Sunday, February 28, 2010

its the little things

from firescale to ice crystals, patina to powdered glass...

i've been busy at work and amused by the smaller, spontaneous happenings... in the studio and out:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

ReFined:Back to Basics

Images of the ReFined:Back to Basics exhibition are online! The show was juried by Lisa Gralnick, someone who I really, really admire. The exhibition is showing in a gallery at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX. I can't wait to get my catalogue and browse through all the work. My professor at ASU, Becky Chader, was included, as was my instructor Tedd McDonah, and fellow grad Lauren McAdams, now assistant professor at SFASU, where the show is taking place. How neat that we could all meet up via our work in Texas!

Friday, February 12, 2010

MTSU Visiting Artists

On Wednesday, Kent, TJ and I made the cold and snowy trip to Murfreesboro, about 3 hours west of Gatlinburg, to present artist lectures to the students and faculty of the art department at Middle Tennessee State University. We were invited by Erin Anfinson, who we had met here at Arrowmont when she was a faculty member during the fall session. She is a faculty member and painter at MTSU. The lectures went well, and we all learned a little more about each others work and got to see pieces we hadn't before.
This is the Todd building, which houses the art department and galleries. It was beautiful. The facilities were relatively new, and very up to date in terms of technology and equipment. I was very impressed. The faculty members were so talented, as well as the students. I wish I had more photos to share, but we were pleased to be able to see student work hanging everywhere, due to a recent critique. After our lectures, we spent one on one time with individuals having studio visits. It was neat to talk to these guys, working in different mediums.

In between Gatlinburg and Murfreesboro, there is a tiny town called Crossville. It is home to a massive treehouse- I mean huge!! It is built entirely from scrap wood, and has different rooms, porches, swings... anything you can dream. Even a stained glass window! We had to stop and check it out.... I found out about this treehouse on a blog I read called This Tiny House. When I found out it was in Tennessee, it wound up on my "must- do while in Tennessee" list. Check out more pictures on my facebook page. The snow made this place that much more interesting, drifts in the rooms and on the stairs, blowing in through the reclaimed windows. Such a cool place, makes you feel like a kid again!

Wednesday was action packed and filled with good story telling- we had about 8 hours in the car together! Thank you very much to Erin Anfinson and MTSU for having us come out.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Daily Art Muse

My work has been featured on the Daily Art Muse today! Thank you to Susan Lomuto, author of this site, for featuring my work. I am flattered! This is a great blog to keep up with, featuring artists of all media and career paths- get your daily dose and check out her site!

Monday, February 8, 2010


Lately I have been sneaking in moments to play in the studio. Unsure of what will become of some of this, I'm having lots of fun reticulating yellow brass and sterling silver. These first couple of images are parts are destined for a wall piece- fusing silver and copper filings to copper sheet.

patinated with liver of sulpher:
To fuse filings, start with a clean copper or silver surface and cover with flux. When the flux looks clear and glassy, sprinkle clean silver and/or copper filings onto the surface and continue to heat until the metal is glowing red. Pickle, and clean with pumice and a brass brush.

16 gauge yellow brass

more 16 gauge yellow brass, patinated with gun blue

this last image is of a piece of reticulated 18 gauge yellow brass

Its easy to reticulated brass- just heat the metal until red hot and pickle eight times. Then, heat the metal until evenly warmed. Using a sharp, hot flame, heat up an area of the metal until it is near melting point. Move the flame away slowly, and you will see the metal begin to buckle. Keep moving across the metal until you have completed reticulating the piece. Definitely work with good ventilation, and my best advice is to work with a piece of metal that is about 3 inches by 3 inches to avoid melting through until you get the hang of it.

I am so enjoying the instant gratification of such dramatic texture. In three short weeks, I will begin to teach a class here at Arrowmont about surfaces. I can't wait to share this with the students. What I think is so great about these techniques is in their simplicity. All they require are metal, a little flux, a pickle pot and a torch; pretty minimal for such interesting results. Start adding patinas, and the sky is the limit...


The Charmed Exhibition is online! Many thanks to Sharon Massey for her hard work putting the show together and photographing the many charms to put online. Its so cool to see what the other participating artists have created. Some of my favorite charms were created by Becky Chader, Cappy Counard, Lynette Andreasen, Margaux Lange and Kat Cole... Check out all the work, made by hand by an array of artists, at the Society for Contemporary Craft website.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Saturday Mornings

Saturdays are not for sleeping in these days...

I have been working with a great group of kids from the area on metalworking projects. I am teaching a class called "Manipulating Metal", and each week, we tackle new skills. Candy Tate, who has been working with metal for years and taking classes at Arrowmont, meets with us each week as well. So far we have met three times, and have covered carving and casting with cuttlebone, sinking and bouging, texture, soldering, forming, finishing and patination. Today we completed footed dishes:

I am so proud of them all! Each step of the way they have been attentive to process and detail, all the while gossiping or talking football... will it be the Saints or the Colts tomorrow??

Here is Damon, deep in conversation, and notice the beautiful cuttlebone creation around his neck! And yes... thats his copper dish!

This is William, his piece is in the foreground. I had the pleasure to meet him during Art Reach in November.
These guys are great, and it is a lot of fun to teach such an animated group. They work together so well, and I can't be happier to see them each come in every Saturday!

As for me, studio work is coming along steadily. With our resident show just around the corner- opening in four weeks- it better be! Here is a taste of something in the works... it is inspired by a past piece, but will be completely different in appearance. Stay tuned!