Friday, February 26, 2010

guest star #53...krista mcrae

i found today's GS, krista mcrae, while visiting the pieces of eight website. i was first attracted to krista's work because of her simple shapes. then i looked closer and found i also liked her attention to detail - the use of stones for subtle color, pattern, and texture and the marks she makes on metal with her saw blade. these are slightly primitive looking and also remind me of DNA. (unfortunately, i can't show you any examples of these marks - i can't find any images to post, but you'll see them if you visit her website.)

when visiting her website be sure to check out the "studio" section. it includes some really great images of her work space and her inspirations.

see more here.

thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

2 years old

my blogged turned two recently and i forgot to mention it. i even had it on my calendar and i planned to write this very post then - the exact date is january 13, 2008. after two years, i'm still enjoying it and i feel like i'm better at it. i love how my blog is a chronicle of my career in metalsmithing and i am grateful that it helps me to keep track of the things i do. it's also a wonderful forum for sharing the work of other jewelers which in turn allows me to stay current with what's going on in the field. thank you, my blog.

and, thanks to all of you who are reading.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

what i'm reading

Rings by Diana Scarisbrick. this book is about the history of rings. my favorite new discovery is the "acrostic ring" in which a row of stones spells a term of endearment using the first letter of each stone.

every morning for about the last 6 weeks i have been spending some time reading books on jewelry and subjects related to the concepts in my own work. i got a few for christmas (thanks sister-in-law) and just got two more for valentine's day (thanks mom and brother). i'm also diving back into a few favorites. i usually read for 15-30 minutes and though that may seem like a short amount of time, i find i read quite a lot and it feels incredibly rewarding and inspiring. here are the titles, all of them i highly recommend.

The World's Great Treasures ed. Gianna Guadalupi. this book has giant close-up pictures of historical jewelry perfect for studying all the tiny details.

Jewelry Design by Carissa Kowalski Dougherty. this book features the work of some of today's most innovative jewelry artists - a new favorite for me is kim buck.

On Longing by Susan Stewart. this book covers some topics i am acutely interested in including the miniature and the collection.

Tord Boontje by Martina Margetts. a favorite artist of mine. i couldn't look at this book for a few weeks after i leafed through it for the first time. it was so beautiful (and still is) it overwhelmed me.

20,000 Years of Fashion by Francois Boucher. just an amazing costume reference.

thanks for reading.

Monday, February 22, 2010

the power of limits

i will be assisting marcia macdonald this summer in her 5th session penland class "the power of limits." i met marcia at the snag conference and later was a visiting artist with joanna gollberg and geoff giles in her summer '08 class at penland. a few weeks ago i got to visit with her on my way back to penland from eastern nc. what a treat to see her then and what an honor it is for me to be her assistant this summer. i'm also excited to be a student in her class! the subject sounds really good to me and i think i will learn a lot. here's the description:

"Creativity is sometimes assumed to be a wild, unfettered, unconscious process, but self-imposed constraints can enhance the creative process: think haiku, minimalism, Twitter. Using nature as a springboard for inspiration, we will create design challenges that address concepts such as stylizing, editing, limiting, and purging. We will work with metal, wood, paint, and found materials with minimal tool use. Lectures, demonstrations, and plenty of individual instruction. This class is for students who have learned the basics of jewelry fabrication and want to advance conceptually and technically. Basic sawing, filing, and soldering skills required."

thanks for reading.

Friday, February 19, 2010

guest star #52...isabell schaupp

i've been looking at the work of isabell schaupp for a number of months and realized i should feature her as a GS just now. i'm really interested in her use of line, negative space, repetition, and layering. i also like her abstract organic forms that to me are both familiar and foreign.

thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

fault lines, a show at rare device

i will be in a small group exhibition at rare device in march. the show is titled "faultlines" and also features the work of uniform natural, molly m designs, and yorktown road. i am really excited about this show - the other artists make some really exquisite work (clothing, jewelry, accessories) and i love how it all complements each other so beautifully. i will be showing work from my borderlines series and plan to attend the opening.

the show opens on march 19 and runs through may 2.

thanks for reading.

Monday, February 15, 2010

newly discovered, old favorites

christian dior, carol tanenbaum

i love surfing the web to find interesting jewelry, contemporary and antique. i just discovered this incredible site - carol tanenbaum vintage collection - for costume jewelry. from what i've read carol tanenbaum is a great collector and now her finds are available for purchase on the internet. the site boasts page after page of gorgeous pieces and the images are big so you can see all the details.

i also love the new chariots on fire website. chariots is one of my favorite jewelry stores and now you can see their offerings online including a big collection of natalia brilli and marianne anderson. they also have a great vintage collection.

natalia brilli, chariots

marianne anderson, chariots

and of course, there's also my old favorite erie basin with its incredibly curated collection of vintage and antique jewelry.
ring 1830's, erie basin

ooh, one more...alana antique and estate jewelry.
brooch c. 1880, alana

thanks for reading.

p.s. if you know of any great sites for antique/vintage jewelry please pass them along to me.

Friday, February 12, 2010

guest star #51...djurdjica kesic

today's GS is djurdjica kesic. i remember seeing her pebble rings on karin eriksson's blog awhile back, but did not fully explore her jewelry until recently and, i must say, i am absolutely in love with this work. the transformations rings are so pleasing, so tactile and i would like a stack of them. when viewed as 2-d compositions the delicate necklaces in the malmsbury series remind me of maps. and then there's transitions in which an old chair is turned into jewelry. it's all very interesting to me - her use of unconventional and discarded materials, the organic feel of her shapes, the graphic and minimal qualities the work has...lovely.

thanks for reading.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

paper cones, many ways

yesterday i made paper cones, lots of paper cones. i cut circles of varying sizes, sliced through half the diameter, pulled the two ends together, and connected them with pins, staples, tape, and knots. now i have piles of them - not sure what they will become, if anything. it was just a good exercise. i really like this shape and just realized i draw it a lot, too. maybe i should make metal cones now?

more images on flickr.

thanks for reading.

Monday, February 8, 2010

via flickr: my galleries

over the weekend i created some galleries on flickr that include my favorite pictures of things like yellow jewelry, wood jewelry, and arrangements. there are 7 galleries total and they bring together the kinds of jewelry, themes, and imagry i am most interested in, both in others' work and for my own. i really enjoyed putting these together. it was fascinating to troll flickr for images and exciting to find a gem here and there. i can see myself creating more in the future when a specific theme catches my attention.

thanks for reading.

Friday, February 5, 2010

guest star friday #50...barbara crocker

since this is my 50th GS post, i thought i would go back to the beginning (also appropriate because i've been looking back this week...) barbara crocker was my first metalsmithing teacher. when i graduated from suny fredonia in 1996 i promised myself i would go back to school some day to learn metalsmithing; about a year later i ran across an ad for private lessons and i gave barbara a call. we had an initial meeting to see if we might like working together and a few months later i had my first lesson. i really loved that time with barbara in her sweet studio in great barrington, ma. i spent a few hours there every other saturday for about a year before i moved to seattle.

barbara's work is elegant in design and impeccably made. i remember how impressed i was when i saw her mastery of tools/techniques and her attention to detail...and i most definitely loved her minimal aesthetic, simple geometric shapes, clean lines, and descending compositions.

today barbara works for McTeigue and McClelland Jewelers in great barrington, ma. they make exquisite fine jewelry and their website is definitely worth a visit.

thanks for reading.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

201 designs

pop necklace

over the weekend i looked through the images of all my collection designs that have come and gone. there are about 200 of them and a few that really stand out to me. they were my favorites then and i still love them now. i thought i would share a few that you probably haven't seen in awhile:

billionaire earrings

jellyfish earrings

tiny traipse necklace
version earrings

it's so interesting to me to look at them and think about what i'm making now. they are very different and yet there are some similarities, too. i'm still interested in line and negative space, pattern, asymmetry and visual movement, but my newer work is loose and gestural and not nearly as structured as these pieces. i also remember being against oxidation for my work and now i can't seem to stop. wonder where i'll be in another 5 years...

thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

all my little shops

rare device

one of the other things i've been thinking about is the many shops that have carried my work over the years. i put together a list and there are about 75 different shops in 19 states and 4 countries. it was really interesting to compile this list. i had forgotten about some of these places and i found myself exclaiming a few times. they are all a part of my success and my total experience as a small business owner/working artist. i learned a lot from them including things i like and things i want to avoid. a few caused some serious headaches while most of them just made me happy. i would like to say thanks to a few in particular - these are the ones i started with, who ordered again and again, gave me trunk shows, featured my work in some way, and who were just an incredible pleasure to work with:

velouria in seattle, wa
fancy in seattle, wa
cog and pearl in brooklyn, ny
rare device in san fransico, ca
carol young studio in los angeles, ca
habit in chicago, il


thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

a shed, a basement, and a closet

elfin studio

my recent shop-closure/end-of-my-collections has got me thinking about the past. the other day i was fondly remembering my very first studio which lead me to the others. since i've moved a lot i've had the pleasure of occupying many different ones. my first studio after graduating UW was in my backyard, a tiny shed that i renovated with the help of my dad. it was 6' x 7' and had a sweet dutch door. i felt like an elf in there. later i moved into a deluxe basement in portland, OR that was at least 5 times as big. it had wall-to-wall carpeting. (unfortunately, i cannot find any photos!) then i revisited my small studio roots back in seattle and made a utility closet my workspace. next i did something really different and moved into a big shared studio across the country in north carolina with joanna gollberg, geoff giles, and molly dingledine. in between all those were a few very temporary spots - a 4 month residency at vain, a dark and damp basement, my benches at penland during classes, a dining room - and now i'm here in the biggest, most beautiful space i've ever been in and quite possibly might ever be in. so glad i get two more years here.

the utility closet

with joanna, geoff, and molly

to see more pics of my different spaces from 2002 and beyond, please visit flickr.

p.s. arthur hash has been posting pics of different artist spaces on his blog, the art escape plan. i love seeing how and where others work.

thanks for reading.