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!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Streams and Hikes

Lately I've been making efforts to get outside. Not only to explore more of the new surroundings, but to get feeling more fit. All that time sitting at the jewelers bench for those late nights in grad school has left me, well, a bit more roundish. Fishing and hiking has been amazing here, there are springs and streams around every bend in the road and on the trails. 

Along the Porter's Creek trail, remnants from the past- the Ownby's barn and farming area, with spring house, and beyond this, the Smokey Mountain Hiking Club camp house. Really neat places to explore deep in the forest.

The rain has caused many kinds of fungi to grow, some that I've never laid my eyes on. Growing up in St. Louis, but coming most recently from Arizona, its like I' seeing things for the first time again in many ways:

Bridges cross many creeks and streams along the trails throughout Great Smokey Mountains National Park, some more scary than others. (Especially with a team of horseflies and bees, mosquitos and their friends on you all the while!)

The time spent in the woods and on the water surely has me thinking about new work. Inspiring? Incredibly! I can't wait to get into the studio and see what happens next!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A new face for an old friend

My first year of graduate school, I bid on a rusty old anvil, and ended up with it! It is an almost 200 pound cast Vulcan. (I'm learning things about it her as I go.) It has been waiting for me in St. Louis, where my family lives, until I had a studio destination and the tools to fix it up. Check out the gouges... This is a shot after I got through all the rust and filth on the face. It looks good compared!

I started out using a 36 grit sanding disk, I must have gone through 7 or 8...

I moved on to a 50 grit sanding disk. Things were looking better, but not great. Turns out that the anvils horn must have broken off under the hardened steel top plate and fixed with weld. The color differentiation is pretty obvious in person, but not so much in the photo. The pits are definitely obvious! 

After 6 or 7 50 grit disks, I moved on to hand filing the edges of the face, because they were completely rolled over. As I work on this beast, I imagine what the former life of this anvil was like... was it on a farm- used to correct equipment, or used in a smithy until the bitter end? Whatever the case, she was well used. This will be a good facelift, and new life. There is still loads of work to be done. I'd like to get the face as flat as possible, and sand up to a 400 grit. Stay tuned for updates, I'm not nearly finished! 

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Meet the Fam

Meet my new roommates! This is Kent, TJ, Martina and I enjoying ourselves at the midnight Fourth of July parade in Gatlinburg. 

Kent comes to Arrowmont straight out of his BFA program in craft studies at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. He is a woodworker and makes anything from boats to rings to furniture...He's an adventurist. And not scared of anything:

TJ is a sculptural ceramicist who just completed his MFA at Florida State University in Gainesville. He makes lots of figures, busts, and everything else that goes along with the work:tables, support structures, drawing... his work is amazing! Check out his website: to see more.  

Martina is a functional ceramicist. She just finished her studies at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax. She uses slips and glazes to decorate her altered wheel thrown forms. They're delicious! This is a shot of Martina during open studio- you can see her work all over:

Click the links at the side of my page to visit Martina, TJ, and Kent's blogs and web pages... I am excited to have such talented people around me! I think we are all in for a treat this year, working so closely with each other, sharing opinions and feedback. It will be interesting to see how our work morphs.