Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"Part of the Process" Now on Issuu

Last year I wrote a memoir-style essay for the first issue of literature and arts magazine Trachodon. The magazine is now available on Issuu and you can read it in its entirety for free! The article I wrote details my first winter experience here at Penland and includes descriptions of my process and studio practice. You can also read works by Taylor Altman, Tom Weller, Chris Dombrowski, Jo Ann Heydron, Katey Schultz, and Wesley Middleton.

You can find Trachodon on Facebook, Twitter, and Blogger.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Unexpected Inspiration

My friend Betsy DeWitt brought this back for me from Florida. It reminded her of me and is now my favorite thing. She knew it was for crabbing, but wasn't exactly sure of the how. After a Google search, I learned it's a "crab hand line with weighted bait clip" and seems to work like a fishing pole, without the pole. You add bait (chicken necks works best!), cast it into the water, and wait. Then you reel it in and use a net to bring the crab out of the water. As for me and my vegetarian lifestyle I will only be using it for inspiration. I love its simplicity - it's just a triangular safety pin! Add some string and other objects and you have one fantastic piece of minimalist jewelry. I have posted a picture of one I found online below and some lovely safety pins also for fishing.

Thanks so much to Betsy!

 Thanks for reading.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Guest Star #85...Pilar Cotter

The other day I visited Velvet da Vinci's Facebook page and checked out ¡Genial! New Jewelry from Spain!, an exhibition that recently opened at Velvet's brick and mortar location in San Francisco. I enjoyed the collection of images and I especially liked the work of today's Guest Star, Pilar Cotter. At first glance, the material seems to be cotton rope, but upon closer examination you will discover it is actually porcelain. I love the simplicity of these pieces and their clever pin mechanisms. Each object has personality and appears wonderfully tactile.
Thanks for reading.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day trip

Bowl, 24K forged gold
On Tuesday I piled into a van with Sun Kyoung Kim and her session 2 Penland metals class and drove to the Mint Museum to see "Attitude and Alchemy: The Metalwork of Gary Noffke." The show includes an incredible array of objects and jewelry (124 pieces) that span Noffke's career. It was truly fantastic to see the work in person! His technical mastery of metal is astonishing and I especially appreciate his surface treatments and attention to detail, details that are evidence of the his process and also appear effortless. I jotted down a few notes in my sketchbook about his details that I will pass along to my students anytime I teach: Noffke's hammer marks are expressive; he believed details add another layer of "information and depth." I was also delighted to see a selection of tools and personal objects from his studio accompanied by several large-scale photographs of his workspace. It made the retrospective feel complete.

Evon's Old Chopper, forged steel, carved, etched from circular 8” saw blade, hickory and silver
Chanel Evening Dinner Suit
Afterward we drove to the Mint Museum Randolph to see "Chanel: Designs for the Modern Woman" and the Historic Costume Collection. Both collections are exquisite, but I especially enjoyed seeing the costumes. In the last year or so my interest in historic costume has grown so it was exciting to see so many examples of antique clothing and accessories. Among the many gowns were several cases of jewelry, gloves, hats, and shoes including some fine examples of mourning jewelry. The necklace pictured here is a style I have not seen before in which the the hair has been woven and cinched to resemble beads. I was also excited to see several Wedgewood pieces including a chatelaine.

The day was very, very inspiring. I knew the Noffke show would be great, but I did not anticipate just how much I would enjoy it. The clothing exhibitions were an unexpected bonus and, together, all three exhibits left me in awe. Finally, I loved spending time with Sun and her class and I am grateful that they invited me to join them.
More pictures on Flickr.
Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Thank you ever so much.

Many of my USA Project donors received a reward or "perk" for contributing to "This is the Way I Remember It." I sent 20 Graffiti Badges and 14 Bow Pins out the other day after working on them last week. I included a handmade letterpress thank you card made by my friend, Ele Annand. It truly was my pleasure to make these gifts and put together each package.

More images on Flickr.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Guest Star #84...Heejin Hwang

Today's Guest Star is Heejin Hwang, a current graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I had the pleasure of meeting Heejin last summer in Helen Carnac's enameling class and was quickly impressed by the work she made. Her most recent series, "Connection," includes sculptural necklaces made with enameled steel wire forms. She uses repetition of a single form to create scale and to draw the eye from one point to another. In addition to the volume of the individual works, these pieces have a visual weight that lends itself perfectly to the concept behind her work.

Thanks for reading. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Yellow is my other favorite color.

Here are more samples from the time I spent enameling last week. I was excited to try the liquid yellow and planned to layer white on top of it, but once I was finished stoning it I knew it was great on its own. The faint dots appeared when the color dried and I crossed my fingers that they would still be visible after firing. Happily, they were. Elizabeth thinks they occur due to the very beginnings of rust on the steel plate.
yellow and white samples

More images of the yellow series on Flickr.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Guest Star #83...Christina Pauls

Today's Guest Star is Christina Pauls. After spending a lot of time embroidering, Christina began to focus on the pattern of the holes where the stitches go instead of the stitches themselves. Now she thoughtfully combines textiles techniques with metalwork. The holes suggest an original embroidery pattern while also hinting at the shape of a faceted gemstone. I love this vestigial nod to the embroidery, the redefining of the holes, and the use of negative space as the focus. She also has a fascinating series of brooches that are embroidered directly on clothing using hair.

Christina also has an intersting blog in which she has featured textiles in many forms and other incredible design that focuses on line.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

An Enameled Book

 front cover
I spent some time in the metals studio this week with Elizabeth Turrell and Eileen Wallace who have been teaching the class "Enameling for Books and More." I've been interested in book making for a long time and finally had a chance to learn how to build a simple book, made even more exciting for me because I got to make a metal book. I began by chopping up some steel into 2" x 2" pieces and brushed each with liquid enamels (just like I did a year ago in Helen Carnac's class). I used a scribe to draw on each, creating a sketch that linked from page to page. I had some problems with a few of the panels during firing and thought they were unusable until Elizabeth suggested I sandblast them. So I played around with sandblasting, removing material in specific places. Then I added more enamel, re-fired, and tried to reveal a little of the layers underneath as I smoothed the surfaces with an abrasive pad. What resulted is a wintry landscape that felt more like my work than my original plan for a simple linked drawing. Once each panel was complete I made an accordion style book with book cloth and Gudy V, a very sticky and strong sheet adhesive.

back cover

I loved enameling again after a year and it was fantastic to learn something new outside of my medium! It was also such a treat to be in the studio again with Elizabeth and to spend time with Eileen.

Lots more images on Flickr of the book and a few other samples.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Summer Studio, New Residents

The residents had our first summer open house last Friday. I took some time to rearrange a little, edit furniture, and redisplay my work. More on Flickr.

We have four new residents - Robin Johnson (texiles/weaving), Tom Shields (furniture/wood), David Eichleberger (clay), and Gwendolyn Yoppolo (clay).  Please do visit these links to see and learn more - they all make incredible work and I am excited to be here with them!


Thanks for reading.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Artists for Penland at Patina Gallery

I will be part of a special exhibition and sale for Penland at Patina Gallery during SOFA West this summer. The event includes jewelry, metalwork, and ceramics donated by 34 Penland affiliated artists and proceeds will support a new clay and metals scholarship fund. I donated the "Bow Brooch" pictured above and have included images of several pieces that are also available. You can see a complete list of participating artists here and view more of the work here.

August 3–7, 2011
coinciding with SOFA West

Opening Exhibition: Wednesday, August 3, 3 - 5 pm
Breakfast Reception: Friday, August 5, 9 - 10 am

Patina Gallery
131 West Palace Ave
Santa Fe, NM 87501

Thanks for reading.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Guest Star #82...Andrea Coderch

Today's Guest Star is Andrea Coderch. I like her simple constructions and how they are paired with a wonderful attention to detail. Rivets, stitches, and perforations, unusual metals like shibuichi and kimono fabric all add to the handmade quality and personal feel of each piece. (Be sure to check out the images of the backs of her pieces. They are as lovely as the fronts!)

Thanks for reading.