Monday, April 25, 2011

Week 6 and a Fifth Glimpse

Welcome to week 6 and your fifth glimpse, the masking process. Originally I planned to spray paint the entire necklace with light blue paint, but after seeing how the piece reflects light I knew I couldn't cover-up all that shine. Instead I decided to play on the light effects and only paint a few pieces. Masking was made very tricky then and I began by very carefully masking each cube. This got old fast and I ended up just piling on the tape. (Please visit my Flickr set to see details of all that tape!) When I was done I placed the piece on cardboard and taped down a few exposed spots. Now it's ready to paint!

If you are still thinking about donating to my USA project, you still can! I have two weeks left to raise funds and I could definitely use extra funding beyond my $6,000 goal to offset the cost of professional photography. Please consider it! And THANK YOU!

Thanks for reading.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Week 5 and a Fourth Glimpse

It's now week 5 and time for a fourth glimpse of my first solo show piece! These images show the completed necklace after I connected all the cubes with "staples" followed by tumble-polishing overnight. Once I had the necklace arranged on the dress form, I discovered all those sparkling light effects which I was not expecting. Next week I will talk about how they made me change my plan.

Once again I would like to say thank you for making the success of my project a reality for me! I raised a little bit more over the weekend! I'm lucky enough to still have several weeks to accumulate funding and would absolutely love to raise some "extra" funds for professional photographs, a costly but necessary undertaking. You are welcome to continue to contribute if you haven't yet and are still interested in helping! All additional funds beyond my $6,000 goal will be used towards professional photography of the completed body of work. If you have any questions, please feel free to send me an email ( or read more about this here.

Thank you and thanks for reading!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Guest Star Friday #78...Thesis Friends

March 8-11, Cora Stafford Gallery, University of North Texas, Denton

I've been getting MFA thesis announcements from metalsmithing friends around the country so I thought I would share their remarkable work with all of you for today's Guest Star Friday. Each artist has created a body of work built around a singular concept developed through intense study of their craft. Although some shows have come and gone, a few are about to open...I have provided links with each photo and artist name so you can further explore their work.

April 15-May 20, Gray Gallery, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC

April 15-April 30, Inova/Arts Center Gallery, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

April 15-May 20, Gray Gallery, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC

March 25-April 11, Lamar Dodd School of Art, University of Georgia, Athens

April 15-May 20, Gray Gallery, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC

Andrea Miller from "Exchanges and Returns"
April 18-21, Lofts Gallery, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Thanks for reading.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Week 4 and a Third Glimpse

This week's glimpse shows the first stage of the construction of the necklace. Once I had figured out how many cubes I needed to make the necklace, I made wire "staples" that act as the connectors between each cube element--one end of each staple was melted into a small ball. I pierced two holes in each cube and sanded away the burs left behind after drilling. I then began to connect the cubes one by one by threading a staple through two cubes and melting its other end into a ball. (This ball is larger than the hole and is what keeps the connection together.) I hope this makes sense! It's a challenge for me to describe in words!
This process was tedious! I had to grab the end of the staple to be melted with my third arm, making it stick up just enough that I could melt the wire and not cause any damage to the cubes. I also had to quench the necklace after melting each ball so I would not burn my fingers as I set-up for the next round--after patting the necklace dry, I set-up the system again. The completed necklace pictured at the top is composed of 40 cubes and took about 9 hours to connect.
Lots more images on Flickr and my USA project showcase.

I also wanted to let you know even though the project has been funded, I will continue to post a new "Glimpse" and updates every week. You are also welcome to continue to contribute as the project can still accumulate funds until my May 9 deadline! Any additional funds will be used towards professional photography of the completed body of work. If you have any questions, please feel free to send me an email ( or read more about this here.

Thanks again for your continued support!

Thanks for reading.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Guest Star Friday #77...Reka Fekete

Hungarian-born, Amsterdam-based Reka Fekete makes jewelry and objects using discarded zinc etching plates. Reka uses this material because of its history--the plates contain the marks of other artists and these drawings and sketches connect their work with her work. The plates are further layered, stacked, and assembled together with tiny stitches in yarn or steel wire. Other subtle details include an occasional bit of color that remains from previous printing. Each piece has a monumental presence despite is small scale.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Week 3 Updates! and We Did It, Part 2

I am still reeling from the fact that my USA project is now funded! When people ask me about it I often stumble over my words and say things like "I can't believe it" or "It's so cool," both of which are completely true but do not come anywhere close to expressing my feelings. I am honored by the way this project has gone, its success and speed, and, most importantly, how generous everyone has been. I really do feel like a part of team. We did this thing together and that is truly remarkable. We did it! I am so grateful and I will never forget this experience!

My project will remain live and can continue to accumulate funds until my deadline of May 9 even though it has reached "funded" status--having nearly 30 days left is such a great thing! If you are still interested in contributing, it is not too late. I will use any additional funds to help pay for photographing the final body of work. As I stated in my video, I anticipate making at least 30 pieces which will be photographed individually and in arrangements. I estimate that photography will cost $1000. Professional photographs are important for many reasons, documentation and promotion of course, but also they will allow me to show the work in its best light and to share it with all of you. Sharing this process and the completed works with you is incredibly important to me!

Thanks for all your support and kind words!

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

We Did It!

Yesterday just before lunch I received the donation that brought me to my goal. It was such an amazing moment. I stood there dumbfounded and then let out a huge scream. Thank you for making me feel this way. Thank you for every donation, every encouraging email, every Facebook comment, every Twitter retweet, and all the high fives around the Penland campus. I feel like I am part of an incredible team and I am so honored that you have all helped me to fund my USA project. I never imagined that funding would happen so quickly. I honestly did not know what to expect and have been on pins and needles for several weeks. Now 60 donors, $6092, and 17 days later I am in absolute awe. What a fascinating and humbling process this has been! My sincerest gratitude and heart-felt thanks to you all. 

Thanks for reading.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Week 3 and a Second Glimpse

Last week I began to reveal images of the first piece for my solo show. After creating a scale paper model I began working with a 12" x 6" sheet of 26 gauge sterling silver. I cut the sheet into strips and then began scoring them by filing a groove into the metal. Once I had three grooves I used my saw to make smaller pieces and folded these at the grooves using pliers. I also did a lot of filing and sanding to create subtly rounded corners and soft edges. I made about 76 total pieces, soldering each bent groove for stability. I have posted lots more images on Flickr as well as to my USA Projects "Works-in-Progress" showcase. Please visit either to see more of my process.

It has been an exciting two weeks! I am now 94% funded and less than $400 away from reaching my goal. This is all so unexpected. I did not even imagine that the response from all of you would be so incredible. I have received donations from family and friends, colleagues, artists working in a variety of media, gallery owners, clients, collectors, former students, and my Penland friends. Thank you! Each donation means so much to me!

Please help me to reach my goal this week! Here's a link to the project...

Thanks for reading.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Guest Star Friday #76...Misun Won

 I turned to 500 Silver Jewelry Designs again this week for today's Guest Star, Misun Won. Misun's work, inspired by Korean patchwork, strikes a lovely balance between the intricate and the uncomplicated. I love how she creates alternating positive and negative space through the repetition of circular elements. I also like how she incorporates color and alternative materials with line, shape, and additional pattern.

There is a great short video on Youtube that shows Misun in her studio talking about her inspiration and process. It is well-worth a watch!

Thanks for reading.