The most exciting teaching opportunity coming my way is to travel to Ballarat, Victoria in Australia next July. The week-long class is called "The Whole Jewel" and is part of Art Jewellery @ The Winter School, a program of Fibre Arts Australia. It runs from June 30-July 5, 2012. I plan to fly to Melbourne a few days early to adjust to the time change and to explore. Then I will head to Ballarat which is about 1.5 hours away. After the class I would like to stay in Australia to travel more for about three weeks.
" In this class students will be challenged to think beyond traditional jewelry design to create work that is both sculptural and wearable. Through demonstrations, discussions, and plenty of one-on-one time, students will create one-of-a-kind jewelry that is beautifully made and thoughtfully designed. We will focus on the details, bold or subtle, that make jewelry stronger and more interesting, as well as unique and personal. Technical demonstrations will include surface design, cold connections, bezel and tab setting, pin mechanisms, and much more."
"In this class students will be challenged to think beyond the traditional chain while learning chain making techniques and design using both wire and sheet metal. Students will examine and manipulate line, shape, repetition, pattern, and negative space to innovate and personalize their chains. Daily demonstrations and discussions will be complemented with projects and lots of one-on-one time."
I've been wanting to teach a chain making class so I am excited for this opportunity. I will be joined by Tara Locklear, a BFA metals student at East Carolina University, as my assistant.
Other instructors include:
Mary Hettsmansperger - baskets
Kranitzky and Overstreet - mixed-media
Akira Satake - handbuilt vessels
Jane Wells Harrison - painting
Kirsten Stingle - figurative ceramics
CFR takes place February 16-19, 2012 in Bulls Bay, NC.
My workshop takes place on Sunday, January 15 from 10am-12:30pm and then again from 1:30-4pm. Here's the class description:
“Every artist has their own way of generating ideas and making work. In this workshop students will be introduced to a new method of idea generation/making: sketching 3-dimensionally with common materials. Through hands-on exploration students will be able to consider their own individual artistic process as they create a unique piece of jewelry or an object.”
I went to the symposium last year and was impressed with the quality of the programming. The speakers and workshop presenters were wonderful and there was lots of time to visit with other attendees. I wrote a series of posts then titled, "Now THAT was good!", if you are interested in seeing what happened last year.
"This class will start with basic metalsmithing, including sawing, filing, and soldering. We will then go further with scoring and folding, mechanisms, bezel setting, and many other techniques in between. With a focus on craftsmanship and design, students will learn to make jewelry and explore the artistic process. Class time will be complemented by sketchbook assignments and studio visits with area jewelers."
At this point I believe the class is full, an exciting prospect for me. I'm looking forward to teaching for eight weeks because it's a chance to really get into things. I'm planning to focus time on each basic form of jewelry (rings, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, brooches), while students explore their interests/inspirations and creative habits. Students will be encouraged to work in their sketchbooks, I'll give slide talks on contemporary and historical jewelry, and we'll talk about setting up a basic studio.
I'm also very happy that I get to see the Lady Slipper (above) one more time before I leave...
To find today's Guest Star I revisited my copy of Exhibition in Print: Fresh. I'm interested in so many of the artists featured inside and it's hard to choose just one to write about. But, after visiting everyone's website and lots of thought, I finally landed on Namu Cho. I chose him because I wanted to look closer at someone working with traditional techniques and using primarily metal. As much as I'm drawn to alternative materials and processes, it's refreshing to find someone who focuses on metal. Namu's work is composed of high-karat gold, damascene, and damascus steel. (One of the great things about his website is that he includes definitions of these materials as well as the techniques he uses.) I like his abstract compositions and how he pairs geometric form with organic line. The intricacy of the technique is also fascinating.
I was recently invited to participate in Heat Exchange, an exhibition of enameled works curated by Elizabeth Turrell, Melissa Cameron, and Beate Gegenwart. The exhibition will open in May and will be on view during the SNAG conference. Here's what the Exchange is all about:
"Heat, in physics, is defined as an exchange of energy. In thermodynamics, a heat exchanger is a system built to effect efficient heat transfer. In most heat exchange systems the exchange is mediated so that the hot and cold media do not come into contact. Typically it is only their energy that is exchanged. This exhibition seeks to replicate this exchange. The participating artists, located in North America, Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom will exchange ideas and inspirations without actually coming into contact with one another. The main interface for their exchange is this blog."
Although not an enamelist per se, I have done some enameling and have wanted to focus more attention on it. Between spray paint and my solo show, however, I have not had a chance to do so, until now. This show is a fantastic opportunity for me to move forward with enameling and to participate with a such fascinating group of artists. I like the idea of interacting via the internet and look forward to the give-and-take that situation will afford all of us.
During the summer I made an enameled book while Elizabeth was teaching a class here at Penland. Something went "wrong" during a firing of one of my steel pages, but Elizabeth suggested I look at it in another way. This "mistake" will be my starting point as I begin work for this exhibition. I am also happy to report this little book will head to London for an exhibition of enameled books in September, 2012 at Studio Fusion Gallery.
I will jury an exhibition with Bob Ebendorf for the 2012 SNAG conference in Phoenix, AZ. The show, titled "Hot Under the Collar," will feature contemporary necklaces and was created by Liz Steiner, a recent MFA grad from East Carolina University. I am thrilled to be a part of this exhibition! Jurying has been in the back of my mind for some time now and I am excited that my first experience will be working with Bob. I think we will complement each other during the process and I look forward to working with him and Liz in the coming months. I am also excited to be involved with my community in this way. It is a opportunity to participate, to give back, and to promote the field and the work of my peers. There is an issue regarding the lack of insurance at the venue and steps are being taken to remedy the situation. Despite the controversy, I believe this troubling problem has come to the forefront for a reason and I truly hope that only good things will result in the end. If you are interested in reading about this, please visit the SNAG Facebook page.
Here is a description of the show followed by a link to the call for entry:
"Choker, collar, lariat, torque, pendant, the necklace is one of the most diverse formats available to metalsmiths today. Whether cascading down the front, or draped down the back, the possibilities are nearly endless. The human torso provides us with one of our largest canvases, while still keeping body as site.
From comments on the classic strand of pearls to contemporary takes on armor, this juried exhibition seeks to showcase how metalsmiths today interpret this incredibly versatile object."
I have several SNAG-related events to share with you so this week's blogging is focused on my field's organization...I will be presenting a 15 minute lecture at the 2012 SNAG conference in Phoenix, AZ as part of the series, "Spotlight on Emerging Artists." This year's group includes Allyson Bone, Andrew Hayes, Caitie Sellers, Loring Taoka, and myself. My lecture is scheduled for Thursday, May 24 at 2:45pm and I will talk about my solo show and my residency. I'm looking forward to sharing my jewelry with me peers at the conference and to standing alongside the other Spotlight speakers who all make incredible work.
While in San Francisco I took a drive to Healdsburg to visit Gallery Lulo. At that time, Niki Ulehla had a solo show on view with jewelry, paintings, and sculpture based on her dreams. Niki combines precious and found materials in unusual ways and creates jewelry that is curious and imaginative, disjointed and abstract. I really like this quote from the Gallery Lulo website: "Through these divergent techniques where play and exploration are among the most fundamental concerns, I work to create unique pieces that are simple and refined, albeit a little bit crazy."
One of my souvenirs from my trip was this wooden necklace by Brooklyn-based, Fort Standard. I was immediately drawn to it and snatched it up as soon as I saw it. I got it at General Store just before eating one of the best and most-fun meals ever at Outerlands.
I also want to mention two online articles about me and my work that were posted while I was in SF: One is on Honey Kennedy, a wonderful design blog. The interview is by my super-fantastic web designer, Kandace Brigleb of Needmore Designs. Kandace asked me a series of questions about my solo show work and my inspirations, among other things. The other post, a review-of-sorts of "This is How I Remember It," was written by Carmela DiLeva of the Secret Life of Jewelry. The post is quite lovely and it made me a bit misty as I read it.
My show closes in just two days. Two. Crazy! All that work, all that time. Nearly a year in the making, it was an absolutely incredible experience and totally worth it--every little bit of stress, uneasiness and insecurity, all the excitement and triumphant moments. I have added a series of process images to Flickr so you can see how I made most of work. I haven't shown these images (except Cleopatra) until now because I decided to keep the work hidden while I was making it. In hindsight, I know this was a good choice because making this work was involved and challenging in a way that I had never experienced before. I often had no idea what to say and had to internalize my thoughts and feelings. However, keeping it hidden also made it feel unreal, almost like it didn't exist, and this made me feel unsure about the work. I realize now I was at once intimately involved and aware of each piece, yet I was also disconnected. Then, when I saw it all together during the installation, it felt real to me and I was finally able to feel excited.
When I returned to Penland I put together a show of process works, titled "With My Heart on My Sleeve." You can also see images from that event on Flickr. Finally, I added a series of images to Facebook that show highlights from the show and my trip to San Francisco.
Thanks for reading and thanks for all your support and encouraging words over the past year. I sincerely appreciate every little bit!
I have some good friends in SF who are incredible metalsmiths--Suzanne Pugh, Cynthia Rohrer, and Raissa Bump. I have written about them before and this time I want to share some images of their studios...I always love seeing where and how artists work, especially my friends.
From the top: Raissa's bench, Suzanne's stump on wheels, Raissa's stump, Cynthia's stump, Suzanne's knotty stump, Cynthia's bench, Suzanne's bench
One of the best things I got to do while in San Francisco was visit the SFMOMA to seeRichard Serra Drawing: A Retrospective. I loved it! The show includes giant drawings and a few sculptures, along with open sketchbooks, smaller drawings, and other examples of process. The SFMOMA site describes it well:
"The exhibition traces Serra's evolving ideas and methods since the 1970s, when he began making wall-size abstractions that radically altered the relationship between drawing and architectural space. Serra uses black paintstick to build stark, densely layered forms that manipulate the viewer's sense of mass and gravity, making for an experience that is as visceral as it is visual"
Minimal, monumental, quiet, captured moments and gestures, visual movement in otherwise static objects, evidence of process...all things I am fascinated by in art and craft. One of the things I liked most was reading about his process--he often wanted to see what would happen if he used his materials in a specific way and he explains how he created the pieces in order to explore and learn. He even talks about pieces being "exercises," something I relate to because creating exercises for myself is part of my process. Before seeing this exhibition I was familiar with Serra's sculptures, but not his 2D work. I really had no idea and walked away feeling inspired and excited. Don't be surprised if I begin a Serra-influenced series in textural black spray paint.
I'll end with a favorite quote:
"...The art that I find compelling always seems to come from unconscious drives that lead artists to tools and procedures they know nothing about but that enable them to extend their work."
On November 3 I taught two back-to-back 3-dimensional drawing with materials workshops at City College. I began each class with a lecture about my work followed by a short question and answer session. Then I set the students to work. They had to complete a piece of jewelry in one hour using common and found materials they had brought from home. I asked them to try different things, to work gesturally, to be mindful of the time, and to have fun. After the hour we talked about the pieces--what students were thinking about as they worked, what their intention was, why they chose the materials they did, how the process made them feel, etc. Students moved quickly and seriously during work time (it was very quiet) and had fantastic things to say during the critiques. I was delighted with the results and how articulate everyone was.
Thanks to Suzanne Pugh, the metals instructor at City College (and my good friend!), for inviting me to teach.