Wednesday, March 31, 2010

once again...SF, part 5

san francisco is loaded with great jewelers. i am familiar with many of them and close with a few, but was curious to see who else is living there and making interesting work. i started with the list on the snag website and the metal arts guild of san francisco. i also looked at velvet da vinci, gallery lulo, and shibumi gallery. here are a few i found to be particularly interesting:

finally, a little shout out to my former student, eve singer. i got to visit with eve at my opening and later in the trip happened upon her work at the jewelry store pearl in the inner sunset neighborhood of the city. i was delighted to see her fantastic work in a nice space and i wish her great success.

thanks for reading.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

weekend workshop

chasing away

i taught a workshop here at penland for a group of high school students from the rj reynold's high school in winstem-salem, nc. rjr is an arts magnet school. i started by demonstrating roll printing and metal stamping with chasing tools. then i gave students copper discs to experiment with and later they turned their favorites into finished jewelry. we also did some other basics like sanding, using the drill press, and patination with liver of sulfur. it was fun for me (i really do love to see students get excited about metalwork!) and i think they enjoyed themselves, too. they made some really great pieces - here are a few examples:

thanks to all the students and their instructors and chaperons - what a nice bunch of kids (and adults)! thanks also to adam whitney, metals coordinator, for taking care of me in the studio and to stacey lane, community collaborations manager, for making such a wonderful thing happen. (the students spent the weekend at penland - in addition to jewelry they also learned felting with edwina bringle, attended an opening at the gallery, toured the studios, and went to the battle of the bands at local music venue, young's mountain music.)

thanks for reading.

Monday, March 29, 2010

once again...SF, part 4

on the night of the opening of fault lines, there were two other openings happening at another gallery, velvet da vinci. these began an hour earlier than fault lines so i was able to attend. i even got there early enough to hear the curator of "chased + repoussed," nancy megan corwin, talk about the show. the exhibition includes varied work by artists who use primarily chasing and repousse in their work. the pieces, both jewelry and holloware, range in style from minimal to organic, abstract to representational. (see all the images here.) my favorite pieces include the funnel pictured above by suzanne pugh and:

miel-margarita paredes - from the "gnaw" series

kate case - brooch

also opening that evening was "rob jackson - the eloquent nail." for this exhibition, rob created a body of work using "found steel fragments." the resulting work includes an excellent mix of fine metalsmithing, elegant materials like gold and faceted stones, and aged, organic, and wonderfully textured nails. see all the images here.

it was such a treat to be able to attend these openings at one of my favorite galleries and they definitely added to the excitement of the evening for me.

thanks for reading.

Friday, March 26, 2010

once again...SF, part 3

the next day, raissa and i ventured out for more jewelry this time to de vera, gump's, and the sf museum of craft and design. de vera is a tiny shop with new and antique jewelry and objects. the selection is finely curated and inspiring. i especially loved looking at the antique pieces due to my recent heightened interest in historical jewelry. there was a new piece, however, that both raissa and i were immediately attracted to - a crocheted necklace in olive green with hot pink leaf-like "pendants" and little stones scattered throughout. i wish i had a picture to share!

next we walked across the street to look at barbara heinrich's gorgeous work at the incredibly fancy department store, gump's. in addition to all the fine jewelry, gump's also has a selection of antique pieces and fantastic beaded purses.

finally, we stopped at the san francisco museum of craft and design to see the exhibition "designers on jewelry: twelve years of production for chi ha paura...?". this show features the work of a group of jewelers who form "Chi ha paura...?". the group was started by gijs bakker and they focus on making jewelry in which the idea is most important, not the materials or value. the pieces are simple, smart, innovative, and sometimes irreverent and many are interactive, like the "strip bracelet." i was also intrigued by the unusual display. when you walk into the gallery there is a huge, nearly life-size black and white photo of a group of people wearing the jewelry, but the pieces are actually attached to the photo. here's a picture:

thanks for reading.

guest star #56...sebastian buescher

i rarely blog about male jewelers when i write my guest star friday posts and i have been wanting to change this. while in san francisco i was delighted to see the work of sebastian buescher at velvet da vinci. my interest happened naturally, without trying, and i like that. sebastian makes abstract jewelry using a variety of materials including shells, coral, thread, bone, porcelain, and stones in a soft, muted color palette. there is a lot to look at and consider in each piece - the materials and how they are combined, how the piece is constructed, the details. some of the pieces at velvet include bezels with thoughtful details - the edge sawed in short intervals around the piece, for example. i am also interested in his concepts and just read that he considers his ideas to be three-fold: "experimentation, materials, and history." very, very interesting...

you can see and read more at his blog, klimt02, and at alternatives gallery including a great interview about his process.

thanks for reading.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

once again...SF, part 2

bib necklace, 1947, for the duchess of windsor (nick welsh, cartier collection)

a big part of traveling for me has become seeking out and looking at jewelry. i usually do research before i leave for a new city or favorite place and find new stores or exhibitions to visit while i am there. this trip was no exception! on thursday i met up with raissa bump at the legion of honor to see "cartier in america." it was incredible - the work is elegant and extravagant, refined and sometimes over the top, and always dazzling. i loved seeing these pieces up close, not just for the incredible stones, but for the intense craftsmanship. my favorites include the necklace above and this brooch:

stomacher brooch, 1907 (nick welsh, cartier collection)

i also enjoyed seeing some ancient examples from the museum's permanent collection, like this gold wreath form greece.

gold wreath from greece, 4th-3rd century

more tomorrow...

thanks for reading.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

once again, i left my jewelry in san francisco, part 1

the opening reception for fault lines at rare device was great - the work is strong and everything looked fantastic together. the space was packed and busy all evening and i got to talk to lots of lovely people, including the other artists in the show - molly mcgrath (molly m designs), martha mcquade (uniform natural), and carol gilbert (yorktown road). their work is wonderful - really excellent designs - modern, innovative, thoughtful, and beautifully crafted. i loved all the folds, pleats, layers, abstracted shapes, lines, and the colors, both bright and subdued. here are some of my favorite pieces:

layered pleat sling by yorktown road

distressed scarf by yorktown road

you can see (and purchase) more of the show here.

finally, a huge thank you to all the fans who attended. it's always such a pleasure to meet people who like and support my work. and, another big shout-out to all my friends who came - thank you!

thanks for reading - more tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

oh my, SF!

i am flying to san francisco tomorrow afternoon and i am psyched! not only do i get to go to my opening at rare device, one of my absolute favorite stores/galleries, but i get to see some dear friends, my cousin, and other things that i love love love, like:

two shows at velvet da vinci - chased and repoussed and rob jackson - the eloquent nail - not to mention, their regular selection of art jewelry.

the cartier in america exhibition at the legion of honor - a retrospective of cartier jewelry. here's a link to a great article about the show.

i also hope to get over to berkeley to visit shibumi gallery and see the tina rath show.
...and details on fault lines:

fault lines
opening reception friday, march 19, 7-9pm
show runs through may 2
rare device
1845 nw market st.

thanks for reading.

Monday, March 15, 2010

ribbon and pearls

my long-time friend, sara of twillypop, and i just traded - i got this custom ribbon and pearl necklace. lovely and exactly what i wanted! i love having things my friends create, especially jewelry. when i wear something a friend made, i feel connected to her, one of the many wonderful things about jewelry and part of why it is important.

check out sara's selection on etsy and her fun blog.

thanks for reading.

Friday, March 12, 2010

guest star friday #55...meredith turnbull

today's GS is meredith turnbull from melbourne, australia. i found meredith via the pieces of eight gallery website and was drawn to her chains upon first view - i love the repetition and their scultpural quality. i am also curious about her objects, small, abstract sculptures that, despite their stopped-in-a-specific-moment look in the images, have a lot of personality and visual movement.

see more small objects here and read a great interview here.

thanks for reading.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

lost in the forest

i just got this necklace in the mail all the way from scotland from emily chandler of lost in the forest. i found emily's work on flickr this winter and ordered a necklace from her etsy shop. sadly, that necklace was lost in the mail...but i got to choose another one and it arrived safely. emily was also kind enough to include a few extra goodies including a pin and barrettes. very nice! the packaging was also pretty sweet...see the last photo.

thanks for reading.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

new wedding rings

my friends, tes and jason, are getting married in a few weeks and they asked me to make their wedding rings. i finished them recently and just got this image back from my photographer. i am especially pleased with this new set and i know tes and jason are, too. the design plays off tes' engagement ring which features a tanzanite encircled by a frame of tiny diamonds. i chose to use the frame as a graphic element and chased tiny circles to mimic it around the center of each band.

in addition to these rings, i have also recently made bands for another couple in minneapolis and have two more sets to go, one for a couple in brooklyn and another in philadelphia. i really enjoy making wedding rings. i love making such important pieces of jewelry and working with gold is always fantastic. i must admit, the time leading up to the making can be a bit daunting for me just because wedding rings are so significant - it's a big responsibility. however, once i get started, i find such joy in the process and in knowing i'm making such an important piece of jewelry for a client. it feels pretty special.

also, i've been so into wedding rings these days (between all the making of them and reading about the history of rings) that i finally got myself a copy of 500 wedding rings. the designs are incredible and inspiring not only for wedding ring design, but for jewelry design in general.

to see more of my wedding rings, please visit my website or my flickr.

thanks for reading.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

gold rings

recently i revamped my mom's engagement ring shank. she gave it to me in december to melt down (my father had the diamond reset in a new ring for christmas) but i couldn't bear to do so to such a sentimental piece of jewelry. i considered setting a new stone in the prongs or removing the setting/pushing the shoulders together, but ended up melting the tip of each prong just a bit which created a lovely little starburst. then i revamped two gold bands (also out of my mom's old jewelry) that i made a few years ago. before they were just hammered and then i flattened them in the rolling mill and resurfaced the edges for a more sleek look. i love how all three looked stacked together.

thanks for reading. (and thanks, mom!)