Wednesday, June 30, 2010

from my scrap pile

in may when i got back from my vacation i was feeling particularly inspired to work but didn't have much in the way of materials. i challenged myself to work with what i had already and made jewelry with all the samples and scraps that had collected over the past year. i used all of them, every single piece, altering some and combining others in new ways. i also added cotton cord and some bits of fabric and string. this was a fun challenge for me because i had to rethink things and i enjoyed designing in 3D. i just sent them off to be photographed so i'll have some pro-shots in a few weeks.

this is just a sampling of the pieces - lots more on flickr.

thanks for reading.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

earrings galore at heidi lowe gallery

a new earrings show called "earrings galore" opened at heidi lowe gallery recently. i made 5 pairs of spray painted earrings in a color palette based on a glass decanter and plastic cups some friends of mine own (thanks allisyn and jason!). i've been wanting to work with these colors in some way for years and finally saw a great opportunity in this show.

the exhibition is open until july.

detail images posted on flickr.

thanks for reading.

Monday, June 28, 2010

gallery lulo

here are a few images of the pieces i made for my new gallery, gallery lulo, in healdsburg, ca. i completed these pieces in may and worked on them for a long time, mostly because my ideas were just not happening. now i think the trouble stemmed from what i did during the winter: a lot of thinking instead of making. i had a lot on my mind after those 4 months and it got "sticky" in there, as i've been saying to myself. i had much to sort through and it was hard for me to get going again at the bench, to switch gears from thinking to making. but when i got back from my vacation mid-may, things started to click and this group just came together. now i find the best way for me to work through the thoughts is to just keep making things.

more images on flickr.

thanks for reading.

Friday, June 25, 2010

enameling part 10, finale

for my last post on enameling i thought i would share some images from a walk i went on with helen carnac. i took her to spruce pine to explore one saturday morning and we just wandered, talked, and took pictures.

now two weeks after the end of the class, i'm working on other things, but i think about what i learned a lot. i'm curious to see what happens when i try out some of the marks and layering i did in enamel on my spray painted pieces, i'm wondering about the orientation of my marks--almost always along one side, and i'm thinking about why i love white or the lack of color so much. hmm...(it was such a great class!)

more images on flickr.

thanks for reading.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

enameling part 9

i really liked the limited color palate of the liquid enamels but felt i should at least make a few color samples using the powered enamel. i stuck with greens and blues mostly, sifting them over stencils and also sprinkling directly onto the surface (which i then manipulated with a tiny pizza cutter-like serrated tool). both of these samples have a 80's feel to me, a little nod to my childhood.

more on flickr.

thanks for reading.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

enameling part 8

one of the treasures found at the scrapyard was the door of an old dryer. it was covered with a layer of white enamel and pretty beat-up, scratched and dented. the surface can be manipulated with a variety of tools, drawn on with pencil, and/or more enamel can be added and then the piece can then be refired. adam whitney, the penland metals coordinator, cut the door up into pieces using an angle grinder and everyone who wanted to experiment with it could grab a piece. i scratched the surface with mine with a stone and then scribbled allover it with graphite. next i rubbed the graphite in and washed some of it away to create a subtle "stained" effect. next i drew the outlines of some favorite shapes and refired it. once the piece had cooled i scratched the surface some more. this was such a fun and exciting process. i loved it! the enamel refires beautifully--it melts like butter and so evenly--and now the graphite is a permanent part of the surface.

i like this technique so much i wanted to do some more of it, so i also played around with one of the pre-enameled steel plates given to us. the effect is the same except the color is black which gives the overall look a different feel.

more images on flickr.

thanks for reading.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

enameling part 7

at one point during the session several students took a trip to the local scrap yard to find discarded, but usable steel scraps and objects to enamel. they brought back several buckets just full of treasures and everyone got to pick and choose some pieces to experiment with. after enameling just a few of my pieces, i got really excited: this was serious instant gratification for me. i then enameled some more and after enameling all of them, went to my own studio to grab a couple rusty objects from my collection. i tried powered enamel instead of the liquid as i thought they would be the perfect vehicles to try out color. the plan was to work in layers, starting with a pale, nearly white shade of blue. i thought i would add bits of color to each piece in a second round of firing, but after seeing how lovely they were as is, i couldn't bring myself to go further. these pieces will become jewelry, too, at some point in the future. i'm thinking i will add color with some kind of fiber...

more details of the individual objects on flickr.

thanks for reading.

Monday, June 21, 2010

enameling part 6

after enameling lots of steel panels, i decided to chop up a few into my favorite abstract geometric shapes. i wanted to see what these kinds shapes would look like with enamel and marks versus a panel. i also made a small series in copper which i plan to stitch on, most likely with colonial knots. i like the results on both metals, but still have a bit of work to do on several of the steel pieces--more stoning to reveal the layers and drawing underneath. i would like to turn all of these pieces, copper and steel, into jewelry.

more on flickr.

thanks for reading.

Friday, June 18, 2010

enameling part 5

in addition to making marks on enameled surfaces with tools, we also learned how to make marks with appliqued wire, metal, and steel screen. i tried scraps of copper flashing, thin strips of fine steel screen, and handmade steel staples (i have a thing for staples these days). i especially like the "ghosting" that occurred on the copper pieces. you can see where i had originally placed each piece and then how they all jumped during firing.

more on flickr.

thanks for reading.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

enameling part 4

here are some images of a few of my favorite enameled plates. i like them because they are simple and subtle. there are more images on flickr including some process shots.

thanks for reading.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

enameling part 3

a sampler of marks on the opaque enamel

after spending the first two days thinking about mark making, we started enameling on wednesday. helen began by introducing us to liquid enamel (industrial enamel--think large appliances) in 4 basic colors: an opaque white, a slightly transparent white, black, and "flux" that varies in color from white to brown to clear depending on the firing). we were also given a stack of steel plates to enamel on. then helen demonstrated the basic process and some ideas for making marks in the enamel before firing.

one big scratch also on opaque white-i got some nice blue undertones one this one

liquid enamel requires lots of time which i came to really appreciate. although the firing part takes just moments, all the steps leading up to it and then after it need time in order to get the best results consistently. for example, once the enamel is applied, the piece should dry for a long time, say overnight. then once the piece has been fired, it's best to allow the piece to cool, again, at least overnight. the materials and process sort of "forced" me to slow down and i liked taking my time. as for the limited color palette, i also really liked it. i tend to gravitate towards white generally and found only a few colors to choose from helped me to stay focused while learning something new.

more on flickr.

thanks for reading.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

enameling part 2

on tuesday we went for another walk and collected more objects and pictures. this time around, i definitely collected more visuals than objects. these walks have given me a chance to take pictures of many of the things i love seeing every day at penland. when we got back to the studio we laid all of our collected bits on a table including what we had found the day before. helen asked us to make 10-20 mark making tools in the two hours before lunch. then she made a beautiful arrangement of all the tools on a big sheet of butcher paper. next we shared the tools and made marks with them on another giant sheet of butcher paper using black paint. the remainder of the afternoon was ours to experiment with the tools in our sketchbooks. the top image is a detail of some marks i made in my sketchbook using bamboo.

i really enjoyed the first two days of class. i got to do some things i normally wouldn't take the time to do like taking long walks, taking pictures, and experimental drawing. it was good to be out of my element--drawing and mark making can be awkward for me. i felt pretty relaxed in class, though, so it was more fun than anything else.

more on flickr.

thanks for reading.