Sunday, November 22, 2009

DC Craft Show Artists...

I collected cards from people I talked to at the show. There was so much to see, so much that I really enjoyed. As I sifted through the cards I had collected to look at web pages, I found that some of the artists did not have websites. Some did, but were not updated with current works, and some people were linked onto the webpages of the galleries or art centers they were a part of. I had always just assumed that artists in shows such as this one were fully linked on the web. It seems as though I'm not the only artist craftsperson without a website after all. As I continue to contemplate and organize for my own fully functional site, check out the work of some of the artists showing in DC:

Carolyn Morris Bach- a jeweler creating intricate and whimsical pieces with precious stones and metals, depicting animals, plant forms- stunning work

Jeong Ju Lee- she is a resident at Penland, and works in metal

Sandra Byers- a sculptural ceramicist who works in porcelain

Linda Kindler- Priest- a jeweler creating delicate forms depicting animals through chasing and repousse on gold, coupled with precious stones.

Jaclyn Davidson- a metalsmith who currently works with blacksmithing techniques to create jewelry, embellished with gold and diamonds

Scott Nelles- a foundry worker who creates whimsical, humorous functional sculpture

Robert Farrell- a metalsmith creating functional and non- functional work, jewelry

Myung Urso- a fiber artist and metalsmith, who stitches hand dyed, printed fabrics and thread to metal frameworks for the body

Baharal- Gnida- a team of two that create gorgeous jewelry, structural and seductive to the eye

Biba Schutz- a metalsmith creating for the body, patinated, bold designs

Jennifer Falter- a ceramicist from Springfield, MO, creating simple forms of white clay, then coating with black slip. she carves through the black slip to reveal designs of flora and fauna.

Check these guys and gals out- you won't be disappointed. I am so inspired by these people and what they can accomplish with their hands. Time to get my hands busy in the studio!

Monday, November 16, 2009

DC Craft Show

Over the first weekend of November, I was able to attend the DC Craft Show, as an assistant to Joan Dulla. The show was held in the Washington Convention Center, in the heart of the district. There were 190 artists showing, and it was a beautiful mix of work.

Joan's money teapot made the cover of the program, what a great surprise for her, not to mention the publicity! Joan was interviewed on the local Fox network the day before the show's opening.
This was Joan's booth, her cousin Lucy joined as well. We had a blast! Joan taught me lots about the business: the real deal, as opposed to just talking about things. I learned a lot! I was given time to go explore and talk to other artists vending. Getting different perspectives, different ideas about the way things work. Here is a view from above, only showing a portion of the hall the Craft Show filled.

I have been reading Madeleine Albright's book, Read My Pins. It's a good one, whether you are into jewelry, politics, or just body adorment in general. The former secretary of state was in attendance, and gave an interview with a book signing. It was pretty neat to listen to the stories come from her, not just pages in a book. She's a smart and funny woman to say the least!

My next post will be about some of the artist's I really enjoyed at the show. If you are ever in the vicinity of DC during the times of this event, it is well worth the trip! Thanks, Joan!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Art Reach

My latest bunch(most of them!) of kids for Arrowmont's Art Reach program! These guys are high school seniors, we had a blast cuttlebone casting with pewter.
Arrowmont has been running a program for years that allows students of all ages in area schools to come in for a day and participate in an art class. This year, there is a photography class, two different ceramics classes, a wood turning class, and a fibers class making batiked bandanas. It is great for the kids because they are getting to experience things outside the norm: art in school is limited in this area to say the least, most students spend about 30 minutes per week with their art teachers. I really enjoy my time with these kids, and I want more! They are a treat to have on campus, and so much fun to work with!

These last two pieces are from my fifth graders! They are both T's, but for very different reasons. The first is a "power T", significant in the football culture here, and the second, a very feminine initial! I wish I had more to share, but the time flies and before you know it were out of it! Today's group had a great cast and some very refined work.... can't wait to see what next week will bring!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Low Tech Casting

Over the weekend I took part in a class based on low tech ways to cast metal here at Arrowmont. Elizabeth Hake was our instructor. She is a former Arrowmont resident artist and lives in Asheville, where she teaches and makes lots and lots of jewelry. You can find her work in a few different books about recycled jewelry, and the 500 Series from Lark. We explored cuttlebone casting, in conjunction with mat board and ceiling tile, broom casting, and more. We used pewter, bronze, and silver...It was a blast! Here is a taste of what the weekend was like:

Lots of molds!

Elizabeth Bray, casting silver

Elizabeth Hake, Kent, and me

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

ACC 2009

Last weekend I had the privilege to attend the American Craft Council's 2009 conference in Minneapolis. I was excited to be there to hear speakers like Sonya Clark, Richard Sennett, Faythe Levine, and Natalie Chanin to name a few. I was also glad to be there with friends, and had the pleasure of making many new friends. The Minneapolis art community was stellar- lots of great things going on at the Northrup King Building and the Northern Clay Center, wonderful people and lots of treats for the eyes.
The conference was fast paced, lots of information- that which was being blogged live by two metalsmiths for SNAG. The official SNAG bloggers were Harriete Estel Berman and Emiko Oye. Click their names to read their takes on things. I am still soaking it all in. So many new aspects to consider, books to read, people to talk to! One thing I can say, and I think many will agree, is that I was surprised at the amount of time spent on Martha Stewart and DIY. Will craft ever be defined? I liked one man's response to the question- Just keep making!
room with a view!
...another room with a view: Richard Sennett speaking Friday morning.
me and Judy!
Lynette, Barbara Smith, and myself

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tea Infusor

Just a little something I have been working on in the studio... This is my first attempt at anything related to the table- its a tea infuser. I fabricated this piece to enter an exhibition that will show during the 2010 SNAG Conference in Houston. I know the competition will be fierce, so I'm not getting my hopes up, but had to try!
I wanted the piece to be simple, and carry on the same designs and techniques I usually use in my work-marriage of metals, mokume gane... The parts swivel on a wire rivet, but I think I will change this to a tube rivet, for strength and appearance.
Now I just need to decide on the blend of tea to try it out with! (and the right mug, all my ceramicist friends!) You can click on the images to get a better look...

5 x 1.25 x 1.25"

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Torch-fired Enamels

What a great week! Our class with Marjorie Simon flew by, but not before she could share a variety of skill sets with us. She shared torch firing enamels, fold forming, embossing and the hydraulic press, solderless pin backs, and a variety of cold connecting techniques. We had such a great group, some who had never touched metal, gallery owners, even the vp of the Enamelist Society. And we all come away with new knowledge, and pieces to show for it!

Marjorie even brought some of her own work with her, to show examples of the ways that she uses the skills she was sharing. They were just gorgeous.

And student work a plenty:

Vicki Mathieu

Diane Howey

Robin Lathroum

Cynthia Hicks

...and these were my samples, which you probably recognize from the last post. I fold formed everything and used etching creme galore. I really liked the effect of the matte finish on such vibrant colors.
The last thing I tired was embossing in conjunction with enameling. I used steel binding wire, then some blues. I also used the solderless pin back Marjorie taught us. It was a good solution to making a lightweight, wearable piece. I donated this brooch to Arrowmont's silent auction, which took place the Friday evening. Auctions at Arrowmont are a lot of fun, and support the student scholarship fund. I was happy to see this brooch go home with Bill!
This week long class was incredibly enriching, and I will have a lot to think about in the studio! It was great learning from Marjorie and I know enameling will be showing up in my work from here on out!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Torch-fired Enamels

This week I am lucky enough to be studying torch-fired enameling with Marjorie Simon! It is only day two, but we have covered so much. Marjorie is teaching solderless settings for our enameled jewels, cold connections, and everything in between. I am having a blast, and know enamels will begin to have a presence in my work!

Check out the endless samples:

...and some of the beginnings of my own samples, over fold formed copper...

Can't wait to see what the rest of the week will bring!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Studio work

So its been a while since I've posted! A lot has been going on and I am excited to share the news as things unfold. But for now, take a peek at some of the work I have been creating here at Arrowmont. I have sorta left off with my ideas from graduate school with the sculptural pieces I am sharing here. I have also been making lots of production work, getting ready for a couple fine art holiday sales on the books.
Building studio components, creating new work, collecting tools and gear, making teaching aids, I am loving life at Arrowmont!

This is a wallpiece. It is about 14"across, and about 10" high. There is a stalactite slice cold connected onto this piece, with three grey pearls.This piece was made as a trade with another metalsmith, Joan Dulla. Check out the side view:

This next series is of five copper domes, formed hydraulically, which have a 6" diameter. They include various gems and minerals, such as ammonite, iolite, psalamaline, garnet, chalcedony, carnelian, and a slice of stalactite. These are talking about presence in deep space, and the void that surrounds. Sort of a smaller version of some very large ellipses I worked on in graduate school. I will be taking portfolio shots soon, and these will show the elements which are cold connected on them much more clearly.

So... I have been working on lots and lots of jewelry... I love making jewelry! It really feels good to be able to start and finish a piece in the same day! (although the patterned metal in this ring definitely took longer than a day!!) This is probably my most favorite piece of jewelry I have made since completing grad school. It just found a home in Chicago! I have been working on hollowrings, earrings, as well as various pendents. I am doing lots of exploring in metal and sketching ideas for production lines. I'd like to have two or three cohesive bodies by Christmastime so that I can start approaching galleries. I'll definitely post pictures of progress and hope for your feedback!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


This week I have been lucky enough to have been chosen as a featured artist on Crafthaus. And to boot, I get to share this with five other artists, including Lynette Andreasen, one of my best friends and former studio mate at ASU
Thank you to Brigitte Martin, who is the creator and editor of Crafthaus and the director of  Luke and Eloy Gallery in Pittsburgh. Crafthaus is a great place to see what's happening outside your own studio, to network, and to keep up with what your friends are creating in their studios. Check it out! 

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Color on Metal

I have been working on completing a set of patina and texture sample tiles for the Mesa Art Center in Mesa, Az. I love color on metal and will try anything to make this happen. The smell of ammonia is no stranger in my studio, or how bout the aromatic scent of rotten eggs via liver of sulpher... ahh the beauty of it all.

The close up is of liver of sulpher with gesso on top, then there's gesso with cupric nitrate on top, a piece of opper with vinegar and fumed in ammonia, and copper etched with pnp paper in the back...  The following show peanut oil, ferric nitrate over gesso, and fumed ammonia with salt. I had a lot of fun making these, and am happy to pass them on!