Thursday, February 28, 2013

I Was in the Desert

I got home late last night after a week away in the desert of Arizona and California. The trip was absolutely awesome! The Yuma Art Symposium was so much fun and my lecture went very, very well. I think it might be the best one I've given so far. It felt conversational and relaxed. There was a good order and flow to the images and story and my conclusion was better. (I always struggle with the conclusion.) It did start off with some technical issues that were quickly remedied by Andy Cooperman. This was the second time he's helped me out like this. This first time was SNAG 2007 and he held my computer for me while I gave my presentation! Thanks, again, Andy! The other extremely cool thing that happened was that my teacher at the University of Washington, Mary Lee Hu, introduced me and said some really lovely things. It was such an honor and totally unexpected. I didn't know she was going to introduce me until I got to the symposium. The rest of the event was great--I met tons of wonderful artists and spent quality time with dear friends. My favorite presentation was by photographer, Deborah Ford. Her narrative work blends photographs of landscape with map imagery.

I also ate some of the best Mexican food I've ever had.

thanks to Rachel Shimpock for the iPhoto pic!

Deborah Ford
Ring by Kaiya Rainbolt - it was part of the Yuma student show and my favorite piece there 

Next I hopped in a car and took a little road trip to Long Beach, CA with my friend and colleague, Kristin Beeler. We drove through the desert of southern California and visited some truly unique and unusual places: the Imperial Sand Dunes, Salvation Mountain, and the Salton Sea. We also went to a huge date farm for date shakes and then stopped near Palm Springs to take pictures of the hundreds of windmills that line the valley.
Imperial Sand Dunes
 Salvation Mountain
Salton Sea

On Tuesday I did two back-to-back lectures, one at Long Beach City College where Kristin teaches and another one I added during the Yuma Symposium (thanks Kaiya!) at Cal State University Long Beach. Both talks detailed my career, followed by question and answer time and then some one-on-ones with students. Both lectures were great and I loved talking with everyone afterward. That's definitely my favorite part. Thanks to Kristin at LBCC and Susanna Spears and Elise at CSULB for inviting me.

And, I managed to squeeze in two awesome tattoos, one in Yuma and one in Long Beach.

It was a very exciting and inspiring six days.

I posted lots of pics on Flickr.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I Might Also be Coming to Your Town to Teach

teaching at Pocosin Arts Center

My 2013 schedule includes lots of teaching and lecturing. This week I leave for Yuma, AZ to present at the Yuma Art Symposium and immediately following I drive to Long Beach, CA to give a different lecture at Long Beach City College. My talk at Yuma will be about Belgium and the work I made there, while my talk at LBCC will be geared toward professional development.

Just a few weeks after I return to Asheville I head back to California, this time to Oakland to be a visiting artist at the California College of Art. I will be giving two lectures there, one for the department and another one for the class I'm visiting. The department talk will be about my work and my process and the class talk will focus on how I use color and spray paint. I will also teach a workshop on color on metal. The department lecture is free and open to the public, Thursday, March 14 from 3-4pm.

Then shortly after that I leave the US again for three months with my first extended stay in Certaldo, Italy where I will teach at the ECU Italy Intensives program. The dates for this are April 8-12. I imagine this to be a rather casual time--I will be present in the classroom, helping students as needed, giving a lecture, doing impromptu demonstrations, and spending time with students one-on-one.

teaching at City College of San Francisco 

When I return to the US in July I will be in Raleigh, NC to teach my chains class at the Pullen Arts Center. The two-day workshop, "Innovating the Chain," will take place July 20-21. Then in September I will teach the class again, but this time all the way over in Snohomish, WA at The Ranch Center for Arts and Crafts just outside of Seattle. The dates for this class are September 7-8. Later at the end of the month I will return to Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts to teach a longer version of "Innovating the Chain" from September 22-28. I love teaching this chains class so I'm psyched to have a chance to teach it around the country.

Here are two examples of chains my students made when I taught "Innovating the Chain" last year at Pocosin Arts Center:

 Hilary Anderson
Joanne Lang

If you have any questions about these classes or lectures, please feel free to email me at

And, here's a link to my collection of teaching pictures on Flickr.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, February 18, 2013


I've been in full production mode these days and recently shipped work to 16 different galleries and shops. It was a lot to juggle but it felt great when everything was invoiced, packed up, and ready to ship. I am excited to continue to work with my wonderful galleries and also to add a bunch of new places to my roster. A complete list follows--maybe my work is in your city? 


Crimson Laurel Gallery, Bakersville, NC
Gallery Lulo, Healdsburg, CA
Heidi Lowe Gallery, Rehoboth Beach, DE
Light Art + Design, Chapel Hill, NC
Penland Gallery, Penland, NC
Quirk Gallery, Richmond, VA
Rare Device, San Francisco, CA
Rebus Works, Raleigh, NC
Sienna Gallery, Lenox, MA
The Signature Gallery, Atlanta, GA
Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, MA
Society for Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, PA
Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco, CA


ATTA Gallery, Bangkok, Thailand
Beyond Fashion, Antwerp, Belgium
Crème de la Crema, Roeselare, Belgium
Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h, Montreal, Quebec
Studio Fusion, London, England


Bellevue Arts Museum Store, Bellevue, WACarol Young Studio | Boutique, Los Angeles, CA
Equinox Gallery, San Antonio, TX
Lark & Key, Charlotte, NC
Metal Museum Store, Memphis, TN
Michele Tuegel Contemporary, St. Petersburg, FL

Velouria, Seattle, WA

And this just in, coming soon S.Reynold's Gallery in Asheville!

You can find addresses and telephone numbers on my website.

I also want to give a HUGE thanks to my awesome intern, Samie Todd. I could not have made the amount of work I did in the amount of time I did without her. She's doing a great job! Thanks, Samie!

Thanks for reading.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Guest Star #113...Gigi Mariani

I started my day this morning watching the news and the first segment I saw was about the meteor that crashed through a town in Russia and then the reminder of the other meteor that is going to pass through the earth's atmosphere at some point today. Almost immediately following this, I found the work of Gigi Mariani from Modena, Italy, and, well, I think you can see why I think it's so appropriate for the day. What I like most about Gigi's work is his surface texture which he achieves using traditional goldsmithing techniques like niello and granulation. Additional details like cracks and 18K gold accents add wonderful visual interest. The resulting surfaces and colors are gorgeous!

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

One-a-Day: Heartache

Heartache by Rebekah Rogers

This is my absolute favorite piece right now and my final One-a-Day for the week. I found it on Facebook in an Incinerator Gallery feed and was stopped in my tracks. The image is arresting and haunting and beautiful and deeply resonates with me. It's a self-portrait by Australian artist, Rebekah Rogers, wonderfully executed in watercolor pencils and a fantastic interpretation of non-verbal communication, pain, and sorrow. It also reminds me of jewelry, the way the tears stream down to the heart like a chain and a pendant.

You can also find Rebekah on Tumbler.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

One-a-Day: Reminant Anchors

Reminant Anchors by Spencer Herr

Today's One-a-Day is by Asheville artist, Spencer Herr. I first saw Spencer's work at American Folk Art in Asheville a few weeks ago. I'm interested in his use of opposites, something that comes up continually for me in my own studio. He uses both realism and abstraction combined with layering to create his figures--skillful detail, rough and blurred brush strokes, partially hidden thin lines. The combination of these devices conveys thoughts of things that once were, suggestions or hints of the subject existing in two different places, or a concept that is being questioned. This particular piece, "Reminant Anchors" and others in the same series have a ghostly feel that I am especially drawn to as well.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

One-a-Day: Call of the Coast

Call of the Coast by Duy Huynh

Today's One-a-Day is "Call of the Coast" by Charlotte, NC artist, Duy Huynh. I saw this painting in December when I visited the gallery Lark & Key. It's exquisitely painted with fine detail and its atmospheric quality and contemplative feel make me long to travel again. 

Thanks for reading.

Monday, February 11, 2013

One-a-Day: Bless the Bad Guys

Bless the Bad Guys by Megan Biddle

This week I'm going to do something a little different and feature one work of art by a different artist every day. The pieces are all favorites of mine and ones I think about a lot right now. They are also drawings, paintings, and sculptures, not jewelry. I love looking at jewelry but I think it's important to look at other forms of art, too. My first pick, a huge, web-like mass of thin, black glass rods, is by Megan Biddle, an artist I discovered when I was in Richmond in November. I went to a glass exhibition then and saw this piece. I was immediately drawn to it--the varying lines, layering, structure, and volume, plus it's fragility and simply wondering how it was installed. Fantastic.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Guest Star #112...Anna Lawska

I really love some good minimal design and find the work of today's Guest Star, Anna Lawska of Poland, to be incredibly appealing. It's uncomplicated even when elements are repeated. It has a sculptural quality and some pieces feel monumental. I also like her subdued palette and how she mixes metal, leather, fiber, even nuts and bolts, seamlessly.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Tia Dale

I have a Skype session planned for later today with Tia Dale and her students at MassArt in Boston. Tia invited me a few months ago to give a lecture and do a question and answer session with her junior sand seniors in her 3D Seminar class. I'm going to start with a short PowerPoint about my career and then open up the conversation to questions the students have. I'm excited to talk with them. I love casual, yet thoughtful discussions when I can engage with students on this level. It should be fun.

Kristin Beeler

I also just confirmed a lecture at Long Beach City College in Long Beach, CA. I will head there after my talk at the Yuma Art Symposium. Kristin Beeler is the instructor and this will be my second time there. I also gave a lecture in 2008 and I'm looking forward to seeing her again and meeting her students now. This talk will be focused on professional practices so I will detail how I started and grew my business and how I maintain it today. Plus, southern California in February? Nice.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Blue Ribbon

My Folded Necklace won First Place at Handcrafted 2013 over the weekend! I'm super happy because I love this necklace. It's one of my favorite pieces and I'm excited it's getting some attention. I also want to congratulate my friend, Caitie Sellers, on her Third Place prize, as well as Liz Brown, Acquisition Award, and Lisa Beth Robinson, Second. Handcrafted is a juried exhibition of ceramics, fiber, glass, wood, and metal and this year's juror was Mark Maiorana        

Caitie Sellers, Richmond

Handcrafted 2013 runs through May 19
Rocky Mount, NC

 Liz Brown, White Line
Lisa Beth Robinson, Quiver

Thanks for reading.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Also Very Interesting...Winter Reading 2013

Around this time of the year, in addition to my favorite online stuff, I also like to share my winter reading list and this marks my third installment. This year I'm revisiting two books I've read before and a few new ones...

The top title, Tone Vigeland, was loaned to me by my first metalsmithing teacher, Barbara Crocker, during a recent visit. Barbara loves her work and wanted to share this book with me. I'm thinking a lot about multiples and repetition in my work right now so it's a perfect book to absorb.

I read this the summer of 2012 and finally have a copy of my own. As I reread it over Christmas break, I realized how Sophie Calle has gotten under my skin and how her work has affected my own work and my process. She is a fascinating artist.

I read Blink years ago and feel it's time to read it again because I realize how important observation as a concept is in my work.

My quest for full sleeves and my recent collection "History Repeats" inspired this one... and since I love to read about the history of jewelry and costume it makes perfect sense to expand to the 
history of tattoos, another form of body adornment and self-expression.

This book is basically the catalogue of the jewelry collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, my favorite museum and the jewelry collection that brought me to tears.

 The last two titles are about the saints, a subject I became interested in while I was in Belgium. I visited so many cathedrals I couldn't help but become intrigued by the stories of these remarkable figures. 

Now let's see how all of this finds its way into my work...

See what I read last winter here.

See what I read the winter before that here.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Guest Star #111...Maria Tsimpiskaki

I was flitting around on Facebook the other day and the jewelry of today's Guest Star, Maria Tsimpiskaki, caught my eye. I have lace on my mind in a number of different ways at the moment--How can I learn bobbin lace from a master in Belgium? How do I get to the Island of Burano, the lace making island, once I'm in Venice? What do I want my lace tattoo to look like?--so I couldn't help but be attracted to the work she is making. Her jewelry is modern lace in metal, formed into simple shapes with beautiful layering and delicacy. I also like that the work is not overly feminine and maintains a sculptural quality. She strikes a wonderful balance between the aged beauty of lace and minimal design.

Thanks for reading.