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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Japan!


This news is a little bit late, but my Bow Cluster Brooches are currently way over the ocean in Japan. Japan! "Art of the Brooch" opened mid-October and includes a seriously incredible group of Penland affiliated metalsmiths: Lola Brooks, Angela Bubash, Raissa Bump, Daniel DiCaprio, Doug Harling, Arthur Hash, Mi-Sook Hur, Stacey Lane, Jeong Ju Lee, Sarah Loertscher, Barbara McFadyen, C. James Meyer, and myself. The show opened at C.A.J. Gallery in Kyoto and made an appearance at Kobe Design University in Kobe earlier in the month. It's always thrilling to have work exhibit in a foreign country and I am psyched to add Japan to my list. 





 Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Positive Effect


Nearly two weeks ago I drove a rental car to the Hudson Valley to be a visiting artist and lecturer at SUNY New Paltz. I started the day with my lecture and took some great questions from the audience at the end. After a potluck lunch with the metals department, I did 13 back-to-back crits that lasted 20-30 minutes each. It was intense and awesome! I loved talking with every single one of those wonderful people. They are working so hard and it's obvious in their work and in the way they question it. I try to get to the heart of things right away and give each person something solid to think about, always challenging in such a short period of time. The lecture I gave that day is now available online, too. There are a few minutes of chatter at the beginning so you can hear me talking about all sorts of things with a few people in the audience. The talk begins around the 3 minute 25 second mark.


I also want to share this wonderful Facebook status, posted by Grand Valley State University student, Anna Petlick, last night:

"After Amy Tavern's lecture and workshop at GVSU two months ago I was inspired to create a piece using limited materials in my studio. Although I did not limit my time for the creation of the piece, I'm very happy with how my brooch turned out! The materials include a leg from a teddy bear, fabric from a child's night gown, and pearls. This piece was featured in the Free Radical gallery show in downtown GR. A big belated thank you again to the wonderful Amy Tavern for coming to our school and helping me see creating from a fresh and different view!" 

I was a visiting artist at GVSU at the end of September and had a wonderful time there, too. Comments like this are so reassuring and also challenge me to do even better next time. Thanks so much, Anna!

Thanks for reading.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Holiday Sale Time…Almost


Switching gears now, I'm happy to announce my annual Holiday Sale on Etsy will start on Wednesday, November 26. Everything will be 25% off and I'm excited to try something new this time around: some special promotions and deals. I'm even more excited to say I'll be introducing a few more new designs, too! The sale will run through December 15 for on-time delivery. Shipping is always free to customers in the US and for this year's sale, I'm offering $10 shipping for customers outside the US. More details to come!

And, in the coming weeks I'll be announcing a few more exciting things… see you soon!

Thanks for reading.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Things I Like: California, Again

I walked the Golden Gate Bridge, 
something I've wanted to do for years

I wasn't able to walk as much as I usually do while I was in California, but I did manage a few miles here and there. Here are a few favorite observations:

I revisited some graffiti sites in San Jose 
(see a picture from last year here)

I spent time in Golden Gate Park

I saw the Pacific

I viewed the permanent collection at the De Young Museum
and discovered this incredible still-life by Alexander Pope

 I looked at details

I went to see @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz… 
the exhibition was beautiful and the space alone was inspiring

If you like the images you see here, please find me on Instagram!

Or, see more images on Flickr.

Thanks for reading.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

…With a Little Help

tying and trying and tying with Elle

I had not just a little help while I was in California, but a lot, and it's my pleasure to share this today. When I installed "I Live Here Now," Nikki Coupee, who works at the gallery, helped me all day. It was our first time meeting and I loved spending time with her.

getting helpful thoughts from Nikki while installing
 "I Live Here Now"

The 1000 bows that formed "Intuition" were made by my CCA students. I did make a bunch, but my lovely assistants did the majority of the work. I had a group of 13 people help me over the course of three days and they cut more than 400 pieces in the first day alone. It was fun to have them in my studio and gave me a chance to get to know them better. 

During the installation of "In Between" I had seven people helping me: some students and an instructor from CCA, a friend's daughter and gallery staff. They tied short lengths of monofilament to hundreds and hundreds of bows for hours. My friend, Elle, helped me on Friday and on Saturday, too. She stood on a ladder for hours and tied monofilament, she ran errands for me and gave me rides to and from the gallery. Her presence was a comfort.

And then there's my fabulous gallerist, Mike Holmes, who was a daredevil as he hung the first lengths of monofilament from the skylight. He helped me with the engineering and gave me many words of encouragement, along with keeping me fed and caffeinated. Most importantly, though, he gave me a chance by offering the VdaV elevator for this piece.

Finally, there was this one moment in particular on the first day of the "In Between" install in which I was tying monofilament and thinking about my helpers that day, and those at school. They were working so hard and they were helping ME. I was humbled and amazed and it brought tears to my eyes. These wonderful people assisted with the labor, but the true help was their interest, enthusiasm and faith in me. Their support was priceless. It gave me confidence and energy, while also helping me relax and stay focused. There is no way I could have done what I did without them. I am grateful to each and every one of them:

Devon Matlock, Trevi Pendro, Katie Edgerton, Briatta Bell,
Martina Miguens, Marilyn da Silva, Irene Huh, Enya Chuang,
Sheri Novak, Alice Son, Curtis Arima, Zeeta Yang, Winston Wang, 
Jo-Ann Donivan, Stella Barackov, Elle Sharifpour

and the wonderful staff at Velvet da Vinci:
Diane Komater, Sienna Freeman, Nikki Coupee and Mike Holmes

Thank you.

Trevi, Katie and Devon, my first helpers

Irene and Enya, day two

 Curtis, Winston, Alice and Enya on day three

selfie with Elle 

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Evidence

evidence of process: the lemon I peeled for "Smell,"printed thoughts and research, amethyst beads I didn't use

Process is very important to me and I do love documenting it. However, time during my residency was limited and I did not really use any of it to stop for photos. There are a few, though, and I'm grateful that I have them. I spent three weeks at CCA, arriving each morning between 9:30 and 10. During the first week, I developed my ideas through reading, thinking, writing and sketching. I also visited the gallery to spend time in the elevator to understand the space directly, both physically and mentally. By the end of the week, I had formed a more concrete idea and plan. During the second week, I started to collect the various found objects and I made nine chains. I also started to make the all-metal pieces, like the ear trumpet for "Hearing." Then, in the final week, the bows were made, the metalwork was completed and the necklaces were put together. The whole process was a mixture of constant planning and just allowing the piece to unfold. I was keenly aware of time but tried to hold it loosely. Thinking back, it's interesting to me that the creation of the work itself was mirroring the finished piece: that balance of cognition and intuition that I presented with a collection of tools and 1000 paper bows. 

morning light on my first day

some books I used for research and reference

I tried things that didn't work out…

I spent hours making hundreds of jump rings

The day before I finished the work, I cleaned up my space and arranged the pieces both finished and still in-progress on my table so I could walk into an orderly studio and look with fresh eyes the next day.

my bench at the end of my residency

paper remnants from 1000 bows

See more pictures of process on Flickr.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Not One, But Two

the attentive crowd at my lecture

I had two back-to-back events at Velvet da Vinci, as you know, and I have to say, two events in a row at that gallery feels pretty special. There were maybe 25 people at my lecture on October 18 and it had an intimate, casual atmosphere. Everyone stood in front me, surrounded by the work, as I talked about each piece individually and detailed my homeland, my heartland and my outerland. It was so good to have a chance to talk about the work in this way. My audience seemed to follow me closely and I loved making eye contact with each person. The following Saturday, I introduced my first installation, "In Between," to a fantastic audience and it was incredible to watch them react to the piece. There was definitely some gasping going on and I heard really positive comments from everyone. A big group of beautiful girls came, too, all students of mine from CCA. It felt great to share that moment with them and with everyone who attended. It was a wonderful night!

I love how overblown the fluorescent lights are in this 
iPhone photo

talking with attendees inside the elevator

some of my lovely CCA students

end of the night last picture...

Thanks for reading.