Friday, April 30, 2010

guest star #61...ritsuko ogura

today's guest star is japanese artist, ritsuko ogura. i found her via alternatives gallery and was immediately drawn to her work because of the material she uses and how she manipulates it. the material is cardboard and i love how she delicately cuts and layers it to create voluminous, sculptural pieces. i also like how the layers interact to create line and pattern and the way light comes into play in the negative space. the finished pieces are at once intimate and monumental.

be sure to visit her page at the alternatives website - you can see multiple views of each piece including images on the body and the mechanisms.

thanks for reading.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

in less than 24 hours

last thursday angela bubash and i drove to rock hill, sc to lecture and lead a critique at winthrop university. the lectures went really well. i was nervous as per usual, but also as per usual i was prepared and being prepared always helps me to battle the nerves. i had written brief notes on 3 x 5 cards, but only used them for the first few minutes. i would talk about a few images, realize i wasn't using the cards, and then pause to advance in the deck. this was a bit awkward so i took a leap and put them aside. i remembered most everything i wanted to say and, although the nerves lingered, it felt natural to talk. all in all, for the little experience i have speaking about my work in this way, i think it went really well with room for improvement. angela's talk was great. i've heard her speak before as a penland resident, but those presentations are only 5 minutes long. this was the extended version and i loved hearing more information and details. i think our talks complemented each other nicely - our work is quite different, but we are interested in similar things.

the next day we lead a critique for a group of senior art students whose bfa exhibition opened that day. we met at 11am and talked about each students' work, ranging from painting and sculpture to jewelry and ceramics. i was impressed with the work. the ideas were thoughtful and well-executed.

other highlights from the quick trip include spending time with courtney starrett and michael gayk - after the lecture we made a fire and sat outside chatting and eating pizza at their house - and earlier in the day we visited gallery up and checked out a local patrick dougherty installation.

thanks for reading.

Friday, April 23, 2010

guest star friday #60...courtney starrett and michael gayk

loti 1, bracelets, collaborative project, selective laser sintered nylon and rit dye

last night i gave a lecture at winthrop university with angela bubash (more on that soon) and was hosted that evening by courtney starrett and michael gayk. courtney is assistant professor of jewelry and metals at winthrop university and michael is an instructional developer at york technical college/3D systems university. i went to school with michael at the university of washington. he was working on his mfa while i was working on my bfa. a few years later we crossed paths and that's when i met courtney, his wife. they are wonderful people and are making some really interesting things both separately and collaboratively. i really like the forms and textures of these pieces and i am especially interested in how the texture is created via repetition and layering.

domestic goddess, courtney starrett, silicone rubber

sucker, michael gayk - cast silicone photopolymer

the sociable choice, courtney starrett, silicone rubber

squares, michael gayk - cast silicone photopolymer

thanks for reading.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"Making in the Real World"

this thursday angela bubash and i will be lecturing at winthrop university in rock hill, sc as part of the school's "making in the real world" lecture series. we will both talk for about 30 minutes each. the next day we will lead a critique for the senior bfa students - their undergraduate exhibition will be in the gallery at that time.

"making in the real world" lecture series
rutledge 119/rutledge building
thursday, april 22 at 8pm

for directions click here.

thanks for reading.

Monday, April 19, 2010


here are a few images of the embroidery i did over the winter. it's taken me awhile to write about them because they were wrapped up in my mind and i felt like keeping quiet. now that i've had a chance to process them, i am ready to share them. when i look at them now i definitely see some patterns and have realized a few things about my jewelry. back in february i laid them out to look at them all at once and discovered the curious boomerang-like shape that creeped out from somewhere inside my head. i did not intend to make them all look that way but somehow that shape just kept happening. like my cones from the other day, i think i should probably make some metal boomerangs. the odd one out is based on a drawing from my sketchbook. you'll know the one because it does not look like a boomerang.

i enjoyed stitching away in january and february. the process is like drawing with needle and thread instead of pencil and paper. it comes easily to me and was not daunting like regular drawing. most of the time i used the colonial knot, a methodical and rhythmic stitch. i find knots to be the most satisfying to make and love the way they look. i also loved using my hands in a different way.

more on flickr.

thanks for reading.

Friday, April 16, 2010

guest star friday #59...angela bubash

fin #6

today's guest star is angela bubash. angela is a fantastic jeweler, a former penland resident artist, an instructor at appalachian state university, and a good friend of mine. usually i try to find guest stars i'm not familiar with or know only a little about, but i love angela's new work and feel compelled to share it with you. angela has always made beautiful jewelry that is impeccably crafted. in fact, her intricate fabrication and attention to detail often blows me away. her new pieces are no exception. they also have a duality to them that i find most appealing - they are contemporary with a definite nod to the past. angela perfectly balances clean lines and asymmetry with an antique design sensibility. i also like the way she creates dimension, depth, and movement with her "fin" elements.

fin #10

cluster portrait #3

cirque #1

thanks for reading.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

cones, now in metal

Over the winter I made a series of paper cones using sketchbook paper and a variety of simple mechanisms to hold the ends together. After finishing the series and also looking through my sketchbook, I realized I was more than a little interested in the cone as a form. I then added making cones in metal to my list of things to make in the studio. Recently, I crossed this off my list by making the same cones in copper and starting a series of simple necklaces. The oxidized cones are strung and knotted on red silk cord. The final stage of the process was hanging them on the wall in a graphic manner.

More on flickr including process shots.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

paper to metal to paper

I tried folding paper again the other day as a way to get me going in the studio. I made four forms and when I was not excited by any of them, I moved on to something else. The next morning when I walked into my studio, they were the first things I saw. They looked so interesting in a group. They had continuity and personality. I immediately thought I should make them in metal. So...I traced each form onto sheet copper, sawed them out, and started bending. Forming most of them was pretty straight forward with a mallet and bench block but the large, rectangular form required more attention. I used a stake for this one and really got into it, so much so, that the next day I went at it again to crisp up the edges. Next I spray painted them with several coats of white spray paint and let them cure for a few days. I followed this with my routine of sanding, filing, drawing, and scratching away at the surface.

paper teardrops

Once I had them looking the way I wanted, I began making pin stems for each - I really saw them as a group of brooches. I spent several hours on two separate days trying to work them out with no success. I finally gave up, wondering if maybe they should just be objects. (As a jeweler I naturally want everything to be wearable.) At this point I had already drilled some holes in each piece to accommodate the pin stems. To make the piercings look intentional I added a few more. Then I dipped them all in liver of sulfur.

The last thing I had to do was figure out a way to cold-connect one of the forms that was in two parts. I drilled more holes and tried wiring them together, but I didn't like the way it looked. I tied the pieces together with white thread instead and left the ends long.

I am very pleased with this little group and I am satisfied with them as objects and not jewelry. I really enjoyed each step of this process. It felt free. I made them because I wanted to make them, just for myself.

more on flickr.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

more graffiti badges

i made a bunch of new graffiti badges last week. this time around i added a some new colors including pink, beige, olive green, and navy. i also tried layering different colors which i have only done on my bigger pieces so far. i saved a few i had thrown in my "dud" pile back in the fall, too. the entire process was fun - i like all the steps and working in multiples.

see more on flickr

thanks for reading.

Monday, April 12, 2010

my 4 15

i only blogged once last week - friday's guest star post. i chose to not blog the other days because i was too busy and too into my work to find any extra time. i had to make a lot last week, get my studio ready for the first resident open house of the year, and prepare my resident artist slide presentation. i have been writing, though, just someplace else. every morning i get up early and spend one hour doing a mix of reading, writing, and thinking. i've been doing it for months now and it finally feels like a habit. i hate to let a day go by without doing it. i break up the hour into 4 sections of 15 minutes each. for the first 15 i read from various books on mindfulness, next i mediate, followed by some automatic writing about my work or studio practice, and then i finish by reading a book about jewelry. i feel incredibly good when i do this. it's a rich hour of my morning and helps set the tone for the day. the writing portion has enabled me to consider my work in ways i never imagined - sometimes i respond to something i made the day before or i write about why a particular day was so productive; other times i write about something i'm stuck on or where i want my work to go. i have never taken the time to process my work like this before. this daily practice helps me to learn about my work and myself as an artist. i feel i am honoring my work, too, and i am grateful for this special hour each day.

all this week i'll be posting about what i've been up to in the studio - new work, sample making, and projects.

thanks for reading.

Friday, April 9, 2010

guest star friday #58...beth legg

hinterlands I

for last week's guest star post, i wrote about a jeweler who uses natural objects in a very interesting way, a way that caught my attention. for today's guest star i thought i would continue this theme and found the work of beth legg. beth uses natural objects as elements in her pieces, like this necklace above, and she also uses nature as a theme as in the brooch below. her jewelry caught my attention because of its minimal feel and the graphic, compositional quality many of her pieces embody. i like how she pairs cast twigs and leaves, wood, horn, and stones with pearls and metalwork. she does a wonderful job establishing a fine balance between the different materials.

caged bird, brooch

pods and buds, necklace

transatlantic (3), brooches

find more on beth's blog and on klimt02

thanks for reading.

Friday, April 2, 2010

guest star friday #57...susanne klemm

i found susanne klemm via facebook when one of my friends posted some images of her work. i was first drawn to her use of white. i really love white and the quiet, stark mood it conveys. i also like it for its true simplicity. then the color made me move in for a closer look. susanne's abstract representation of nature is the kind that gets my attention. using natural objects as her foundation, she turns them into something else by applying white. the finished work is vestigal, ethereal, and even ghostly or other-worldly.

here are a few more interesting related links where you can read about and see more of susanne's work:

redlight design amsterdam
gray area symposium

thanks for reading.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

once again...SF, part 6, the end

just a few more bits about my trip to san francisco before i move on to other things. i met jeweler and gallery owner, karen gilbert, at my opening at rare device. we had a good talk about our work and her new gallery (gallery lulo). she also invited me to be a part of the gallery, which i am very excited about. she represents a strong group of jewelers, many of whom are among my favorites. i will be working in the coming weeks on a new group of jewelry for her.

i got myself a lovely jewelry treat at rare device - this leather covered pendant by jalea jalea. i saw it last time i was at rare device in 2008 for my west coast trunk show tour and have not stopped thinking about it since. i figured that was a sign...

the one disappointment of the trip was that i did not make it to shibumi gallery. there just wasn't time...too bad, i would have liked to see that space and the tina rath show. i'm finding her work very curious right now. i guess i'll have to rely on the internet to see images...

and finally, a huge thank you to rena and lisa at rare device for inviting me to be in fault lines, for curating such a beautiful show, for hosting a fantastic opening, and for just being all-around fantastic people. (it's wonderful working with you!)

thanks for reading.