Monday, January 31, 2011

Teaching and Lecturing at Kenan Institute/UNCSA

Tuesday and Wednesday of last week I gave a lecture and taught two back to back workshops at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts for the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts, a program that brings "a Penland artist to UNCSA each year for a special lecture and workshop." (from the Penland School of Crafts website.) My lecture went well. This time I included a section on my process and the ways I generate ideas, work through blocks, and learn about my work. I've been wanting to do this for a while now because process has become such an important subject for me. It was great to have a chance to follow through and to share it with others.

The classes I taught focused on one of the ways I work in my own studio. I based the lesson on a composition exercise by Leslie Noell which I had translated into a jewelry making exercise for myself last year. For this class I translated it back into a composition exercise. I had the students make photocopies of drawings from their sketchbooks before class. Once we were together I asked them to manipulate their copies in any way they wanted, to add a color field, and to create at least three compositions with office supplies--different kinds of tape, staples, a variety of papers. The compositions were kept to 5" x 7" and students had two hours to work. Then at the end of the two hours they pinned their pieces up and we spent the last 45 minutes talking about them. I was impressed with the compositions and all the insightful things the students said during the crit.

Some students brought in photocopies of things other than sketches and I picked up a few ideas from them like the above image of a copy of layers of cut chipboard. I would love to try this myself.

More on Flickr.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Guest Star Friday #69...Theresa Burger

I have been following the work of Theresa Burger for some time now. I like her combination of modern and elegant--chandelier earrings with graphic silhouettes, draping pearls with geometric side pendants, and over-sized cast resin cocktail rings. Just lovely...

You can see more on flickr including some process shots like the one above.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Now THAT was good! ECU Symposium, Pt 3

charm with mineral pigments by Ken Bova

A few final words on the ECU metals symposium...

Angela Bubash and I were asked to lead a break-out session Saturday morning about our residency experiences and residencies in general. I enjoyed talking about my time at Penland in this setting and sharing it with others who might someday consider it for themselves. The next day I stopped by a professional practices session and participated from the audience.

necklace by Liz Steiner

Liz Steiner, an ECU MFA jewelry/metalsmithing candidate, asked me to critique her work while I was at the symposium. We spent an hour together, talking about each piece one at a time and I feel like there was a great exchange of thoughts. Her work is looking really beautiful and I know she will have a great show this spring. (Please be sure to visit her flickr site to see more.)

the charm I made

I also participated in the charm swap organized by Tara Locklear. This is the second one I've been involved with and I was again really pleased with my pick, this time by Ken Bova. (see top image)

And finally, I thought I would mention that you can now read Caroline Gore's wonderful key note lecture introduction at the ECU metals symposium website. It is well-worth reading.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Spectrum on Art Jewelry Forum

gallery display at Heidi Lowe with my work
and Timothy McMahon's

There's a great post about Spectrum on Art Jewelry Forum's blog. (Spectrum was the recent exhibition on color at Heidi Lowe Gallery that I was a part of.) The article includes a short statement about color from each artist accompanied by images of their work.

Timothy McMahon

Thanks for reading.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Show of My Own

I am incredibly excited to announce my first solo show AND it's at Velvet da Vinci in San Francisco, CA! The opening will be Friday, November 4 and the show will run through November 30. This exhibition and the fact that it's at Velvet is a dream come true and a milestone for me.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Guest Star Friday #68...Jantje Fleischhut


I found today's Guest Star, Jantje Fleischhut, yesterday while I was reading an interesting post on the Lark Crafts blog, "Realism in Jewelry: Still Life" by Marthe Le Van. I loved the topic and accompanying images, among them the work of Jantje. Her website includes a vast selection of work divided into collections, many of which include images of her inspiration--for example the collection "Neighborhood" includes pictures of buildings and stacked shipping containers (see "B270" below). There are also pictures of her studio and materials archive. I like her clever use of plastics, the way she arranges the varying shapes and colors in each piece, and her quiet attention to detail. I get the feeling that she is telling a story in each collection.


"Ursa Minor"


You can also visit her blog which features her contributions to Redlight Design in Amsterdam.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Now THAT was good! ECU Symposium, Pt 2

Dan DiCaprio - wood carving

I enjoyed all the lectures over the symposium weekend: Caroline Gore, Nicole Jacquard, Michael Dale Bernard, and Tom Muir. I like lectures because I enjoy hearing about the work of other artists from their individual perspectives. Artist talks can also be learning experiences for how to execute a good lecture. Both points were true over the weekend and I found myself just sitting back and listening. I took a few notes here and there as well and left feeling inspired.

Tom Muir blackboard sketch of the pin stem mechanism he demonstrated

Also throughout the weekend there were demonstrations by Michael Dale Bernard, Dan DiCaprio, Ken Bova, Tom Muir, Lisa Johnson, and Mi-Sook Hur. I spent time in nearly every demo because the content of each was truly exciting. I picked up little gems throughout each one: soldering tricks, mold making demystified, the engineering behind wood carving... Each workshop was well-organized, included a short artist talk, and then a start to finish demonstration of the topic at hand.

Michael Dale Bernard - powder coating

More images on Flickr.

Thanks for reading.

Now THAT was good! ECU Symposium, Pt 1.5

Here's a much better image of Tina Lazarrine's beautiful Pink Cluster Brooch I mentioned in yesterday's post.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Now THAT was good! ECU Symposium, Pt 1

There is so much to say about the ECU metals symposium "Material Topics: Shifting Traditions" which I attended over the weekend. In one word: fantastic. The event began Friday evening with two different openings including 20_3_20, an exhibition in which 20 different rings can be handled and tried on. My favorite rings were by Laura Wood and Joe Churchman. "Tin: The Element of Surprise" was also on view--alongside some great jewelry by Kat Cole, Marlene True, and Jane Wells Harrison, were several wall pieces by Margaret Couch Cogswell. Margaret just finished her Penland residency and since I have been missing her, I loved seeing her pieces. I also enjoyed the exhibition of student work. One of my favorite pieces was an enameled brooch by ECU grad student Tina Lazzarine. (Sorry I don't have a better image!) Finally, the display of Bob Ebendorf's spoon collection was fascinating to study.

Rings by Laura Wood and Joe Churchman from 20_3_20

student work exhibition

Brooch by Tina Lazzarine

Bob Ebendorf's spoon collection

I am still collecting my thoughts on the demonstrations and lectures and will write about them tomorrow.

More images on flickr.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Guest Star #67...Michael Dale Bernard

Today's Guest Star is Michael Dale Bernard from Long Beach, CA and one of the presenter's at the ECU Metals Symposium this weekend. I visited Michael's site to see what he's been up to lately and was immediately drawn to his new work the "Wood Be Diamond Brooch Series": clusters of powder-coated hardwood '"diamonds" with enameled copper and steel components. There is something about his color palette that I find very appealing, the mix of bright, muted, and luster. The work is made from 75% recycled materials, too, which adds to the complexity of each piece--Michael is making representations of precious materials out of the discarded and found.

To see more of Michael's work visit his Flickr site.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Shifting Traditions

Tomorrow I am off to Greenville, NC with friend, fellow jeweler, and traveling companion Angela Bubash, to attend the ECU Metals Symposium, "Material Topics: Shifting Traditions." The symposium, now in its second year, is packed with lectures and workshops. The lectures will be presented by Nicole Jacquard, Caroline Gore, Tom Muir, and Michael Dale Bernard, while workshops will be led by Dan Dicaprio, Lisa Johnson, Ken Bova, Tom Muir, Mi-Sook Hur, and Michael Dale Bernard. Rounding out the weekend are panel discussions, break-out sessions, and exhibitions. Angela and I will lead one of the break-outs to talk with attendees about our residencies.

In the fall I went to ECU to speak at the "Making a Living/Making a Life" conference and had an exceptionally good time. I am excited to have another opportunity to visit ECU metals and to see all the great people out there.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It's the Little Things at Arrowmont

I will be teaching "It's the Little Things" this summer at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN. I am pleased to have another opportunity to teach this class. I loved teaching it at Penland last summer and I like that I can try it again at a new venue this year. The class will be basically the same, except I have replaced acid etching with a longer, more detailed discussion and demo on findings (clasps, earring wires, bales, chain, etc.). Findings are a great way to add the right finishing touches on any piece of jewelry so I want to delve into the topic even more this time around. In addition, I haven't been to Arrowmont before and I am excited to visit. My class runs from August 28-September 3, 2011. You can learn how to register here or see the full catalog online.

my class description

metals & enamel page from the catalog

love this nighttime image of the school

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Core Seminar/The Process Project

paper folding exercise from last winter

During the Spring and Fall Concentrations I taught Core seminar for Penland's Core Fellows; in the spring I led a discussion on process and this past fall we continued that conversation while also diving into some basic professional practices. The spring seminar topic stemmed from my interest in artist process, something I started to investigate during the winter through sample making, writing, and reading. When I began preparing for seminar I thought it would be helpful for Core Fellows to learn how other artists work as well as being equally helpful to me. So I turned to my artist friends working in different media for help and asked them to answer five questions:

What is your process?
How do you generate ideas?
How do you work through a block?
How do you begin a new piece or a new body of work?
Describe an average day in your studio.

I passed along their responses every Monday to my students, usually six or seven at a time. The following week they could comment or ask questions. We also spent each session talking about a different question accompanied by some written exercises.

For me both the seminar and the project were fascinating. I loved reading each response and could hear the artists' voices in my head as I read. I was most interested in the similarities and differences between us as makers and found myself often nodding my head or commenting out loud. They made me feel connected to other artists around the country no matter the age, medium, or level of success. In my correspondence with the participating artists, many said it was challenging for them to put their process into words, but they enjoyed it very much. They said it was great to think deeply about the questions and then get it all written down. The Core students also seemed to get a lot from reading and i think it helped them to describe what they do as well.

In the fall we revisited the questions. I wanted to know how things had changed after a summer of classes. The intense art making environment of the Penland summer helped them to clarify and solidify their own processes.

If you are interested in answering these questions for yourself, please do, and if you like, email me your responses. ( I would love to read more answers!

To see more examples of my process, please visit my process set on flickr.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Studio Visit: Jen Townsend

Over my Holiday break I spent a few days with my friend and fellow jeweler, Jen Townsend. Jen just moved into a new home and is still in the process of getting her studio space settled in. On top of that she had also just completed her big holiday push. It was great to see her space in transition alongside all the evidence of being one busy jeweler. The image above is a brand new piece titled "Pandora."

As a Christmas gift, Jen made me a copy of her favorite chasing tool. It makes great marks and will be perfect for adding detail and texture to my work. Thank you, Jen!

Thanks for reading.