Thursday, March 26, 2015

Discovering the How and Why

I have two workshops coming up, one here in New York at Syracuse University and the other way on the other side of the U.S. at Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle, WA. I will teach process at both places, leading students through different exercises to get ideas flowing and to understand where they come from and why. I truly believe process is a tool just like the hammer or paintbrush. There are lots of ways to discover and define your process and the more you understand, the better equipped you will be to make your best work.

My class at Syracuse University is for the jewelry and metalsmithing department and happens on March 31. The workshop will happen during the day and later I will give a public lecture. The lecture is free and open to everyone and is also on March 31 at 6:30pm.

Then in May I fly to Seattle to teach a master class at Pratt Fine Arts Center. The class will focus on process, too, and is open to all artists, not just metalsmiths. In addition to process exercises and hands-on learning, I will also talk about how I use social media to share my process. Here's the description from the catalog:

"Every artist has his or her own way of generating ideas and making work; discovering these methods is a helpful tool for creating better work and for dealing with common daily challenges like starting a new piece, making aesthetic decisions, and overcoming creative blocks. In this workshop students will be introduced to a variety of ways to find ideas and understand how they make their work. Through hands-on and contemplative exploration with common materials, collecting visual inspiration, and simple writing exercises, students will consider their own individual artistic process. All exercises are based on Amy's unique experience defining her own process over the years. In addition, using Amy's experience sharing her process on social media through her blog and Facebook, students will begin to learn how to present their process in a public manner as they discover their own language for describing the why and how of what they create. Prerequisite: some Jewelry/Metals experience (or some experience in any media)"

The weekend class runs May 8, 9, and 10 from 9:30-5:30 each day.

I will also give a public lecture at Pratt and will post those details soon.

If you have any questions about the class at Pratt or the public lecture I will give at Syracuse University, please feel free to email me at

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Pearl Piece, Extended

Yesterday I told you my solo show, Persistence, has been rescheduled for October. I also wrote that because I have more time, I have reopened my call for pearls. The original call began in February and when I returned from Iceland there was big stack of packages waiting for me. More have arrived since and I have been overwhelmed and humbled by the generosity inside each box and padded envelop. Even today, two more packages were waiting at the post office! If you are still interested in being a part of this new sculptural work, please send me a pearl. I only need one, but multiples are welcome. In fact many people have sent more than one, but please don't feel you have to as well. I really only need a single pearl... and again, real or fake, white or off-white, drilled or not. The call is now open and ongoing!

Amy Tavern
P.O. Box 1895
Richfield Springs, NY

Thank for reading.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Now This October: Persistence

Persistence now opens Oct 3, 2015

My solo show at Sienna Patti Contemporary has been moved from April to October, giving me more time to make the work and to figure out the best way to display each piece. This new work is more complicated than my past work and will require special pedestals or furniture to show it in its best light. The new dates are October 3-30. I am also thrilled to say the exhibition is titled, Persistence.

Because I have more time, I have decided to reopen and extend my call for pearls. I've gotten many wonderful contributions from around the U.S. and several European countries but would love more. The more pearls the better, the richer the layering of experiences. To remind you, here is the text for the original post:

"...please join me now... please send me one pearl. It can be white or off-white, real or fake, round or natural, something you own already, or something you purchase for this piece. It can be a bead or it can be whole. You can mail it to me in the U.S. to the following post office box:"

Amy Tavern
P.O. Box 1895
Richfield Springs, NY 13439

I have started working on the piece, sewing all those pearls together, and now will continue to add pearls as they arrive. I would like your contribution sooner than later to maintain momentum, though. When mailing, please use a padded mailer or add some bubble wrap. Several envelopes arrived with little holes in them where the pearl must have been forced out in the postal sorting machine. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at Again, I do hope you will consider participating!

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

My Little Shop

My Etsy shop is open and so ready for you to visit. Etsy has added some great new features to the "About" section including a place for extended artist information and studio photos. I've added more written text about me and a few pictures of my sweet Lake Street Studio. I'm very pleased with the new features, more ways to share what I do with all of you. As for my listings, I've done some updating and placed a couple items on sale. I hope you will stop over for a visit, long or short.

Thanks for reading.

P.S. You might learn something new about me when you visit this time. Hint: 2015 is a big year...

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Well Said: New Publications

American Craft 

"Comfort is both a physical sensation and an emotional state, the moment when warmth and well-being meet." 

- from American Craft 

My necklace Since 1882, Since 1976 can be seen inside the pages of the February/March issue of American Craft magazine. The necklace is part of the Collective Unconscious article, Warm Fuzzies, featuring a variety of contemporary craft that fits the theme of warmth and comfort. The article is fantastic and I am excited to be a part of it.

My work, or rather, my process is also described in a new professional development book, Let Your Creativity Work for You, written by Heather Allen. Based in Raleigh, NC, Heather helps artists promote their work and grow their careers. (I met her when she was an intern at the Penland and I was a resident artist.) The book covers topics like knowing your story, using social media, and creating routine, the part that details my practice. It also includes clear, organized steps to help artists meet goals, a variety of exercises, and helpful information direct from artists themselves. Here's a quote written by Heather from the chapter that features my contribution: 

"Good, habit forming routines set you up for success. Routine helps you get into flow and creates predicability in how you receive energy, use energy, and generate momentum." 

Well said, Heather. 

Let Your Creativity Work for You by Heather Allen

inside American Craft and the feature Warm Fuzzies

 my work in Warm Fuzzies

inside Let Your Creativity Work for You

Thanks for reading.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Germany, Sweden, Belgium...

my work at "The Grass is Always Greener: Overseas" 

My work is on the move right now, traveling in Europe as part of a few really wonderful exhibitions. Last week, Schmuck began in Munich, Germany and several pieces from I Live Here Now were included in The Grass is Always Greener: Overseas. The exhibition, curated by Platforma, included the work of both American and Swedish jewelers. The show is now off to Platina Gallery in Stockholm, Sweden. It opens on March 26 and runs through April 25. I'm also excited to say a new group exhibition called The Best Of opened a few days ago at my gallery Beyond Fashion in Antwerp, Belgium. This exhibition features a hand-picked collection of work made by the artists represented by the gallery. I'm in such good company in all of these places and I just wish I could see the shows in person!

The Best Of at Beyond Fashion from March 12-25
photos by the gallery

The Best Of at Beyond Fashion
my necklace Nacht is hanging on the wall

The Grass is Always Greener: Overseas with Platforma at Schmuck
photo by Platforma

Forget Me Not at The Grass is Always Greener: Overseas

Thanks to my friends Fritz and Montserrat for posting pictures of my work at Schmuck!

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

And Final Iceland Days...

My last days in Iceland were difficult. As you may know, I had to leave early and it was an emotional and stressful departure. There was so much to do in a very short period of time. I had to move out of the residency, deinstall In Between, say my goodbyes, and tie-up my life in Reykjavík; it's not like I was leaving my apartment in the U.S. I was also very aware of not doing too much in that time and I really tried to do only what was necessary. It was a hard time but I was able to enjoy a few last views and had wonderful support from many dear friends.

And, I can happily say I did everything I wanted to do in those two months. I completed my black island and developed two other pieces for my upcoming solo show at Sienna Patti Contemporary. (These works are still in progress; I just wanted to get them both to a place where I understood their basic meaning and my intentions. The next move is to make them here in the U.S.) I read about Louise Bourgeois and Jóhannes Sveinsson Kjarval, finding so much in both artists that resonates with me. I took many walks and visited all my favorite places around the Reykavík. I went on several day-trips and revisited favorite places in nature like Þingvellir and Kleifarvatn. I spent time with friends and deepened my roots. I did leave abruptly and for an unbelievably heartbreaking reason, but I left feeling totally happy with this third Iceland experience. I also left this time feeling calm and content in a new way for I know I will return again.

Þingvellir National Park

Kleifarvatn Lake

detail of a grave at Hóllavallagarður cemetery

my view of the sea in front of the SÍM residency

See more pictures on Flickr here and here. I just uploaded a bunch!

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

In Between Final Days

Because I had to leave Iceland suddenly, I had to take down In Between at Wind and Weather Gallery a few days early. It took about three hours to disassemble, and just like that the show was over, which always feels strange. I'm so happy I had my near two months there, though. I am grateful for the opportunity and so pleased with the experience.

Thanks to Kathy Clark at Wind and Weather for inviting me to show this piece at the gallery. It was such a pleasure! 

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Textílsetur Testimonial

I wrote a testimonial for Textílsetur Íslands and it's currently featured on their website. This paragraph was easy to write on one hand because I had the most incredible time, but it was also very challenging to sum up all the things that happened in just a few short lines. Here is the piece now, and I hope you will also visit the website and learn more about this wonderful place...

“The month I spent at Textílsetur Íslands was one filled with quiet studio time, long walks, and solitude in the landscape of Iceland. I came to the residency to create an embroidered piece about the darkness of life and spent the entire month stitching the piece. It is an island composed of thousands of knots in black and gray thread. These knots and the dark colors represent the sadness and heaviness of life, the difficulties and challenges, the other half of the human experience. The nurturing environment around me both inside the residency and outside in nature gave me the space and time needed to make this piece. I truly enjoyed every day I was at Textílsetur Íslands and will long cherish that time as inspirational and worthwhile.”

You can read other posts about my month-long residency here and here... and more, on the blog.

Thanks for reading.