Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Catch-up Part Three: A Pin for a Favorite

"Keep it in the Can" was an exhibition of the work of Bob Ebendorf at Equinox Gallery in San Antonio, TX in May. Months before that I was invited, along with many other wonderful artists, to make a pin for a Commemorative Pin Exhibition in honor of Bob. It was a surprise for Bob, unveiled at the opening of his show, and participants were asked to keep it a secret until then.

my pin for Bob
photo by Tara Locklear

I admire Bob very, very much. He's an incredible artist, a generous teacher, a wonderful person, and has taught me much in our all too brief moments together. He gave me one of my first critiques as a new resident artist at Penland and he was my partner when we juried "Hot Under the Collar," my first foray into curating. I felt truly privileged to be included in the pin exhibition.

one of Bob's mixed-media brooches

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Catch-up Part Two: In Print!

Exceptional Jewellery by Pepin Van Roojen 
with two of my necklaces

A few books have been published in the recent past with images of my work inside...Two of my pieces even made the cover of one of them! Exceptional Jewellery features 30 international jewelers and includes images of our work, interview questions, and a portrait.

 and an image of my piece, "Ache"

The catalogue includes images of each participating artist's work and an accompanying artist statement.
Images by Becky Parker.

This book includes over 500 incredible earring designs by artists from all over the world. 

More images on Facebook.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Catch-up Part One: More Teaching

This week I'm going to devote most of my posts to catching you up on a few things that happened here in the U.S. while I was traveling. But, today I want to briefly mention a few upcoming classes. In just over a month I head to The Ranch in Snohomish, WA to teach another two-day version of "Innovating the Chain." This will be my first time at The Ranch and after the wonderful two-day experience I had at Pullen Arts Center with the same class, I'm really looking forward to teaching again and checking out a new place. The class is September 7 and 8 from 10am-5pm. To register, call 360-568-7709.

Later at the end of the month I will teach "Innovating the Chain" again at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. This will be my second time at Arrowmont and I'm excited to go back. Arrowmont is a lovely place and everyone who works there is wonderful, so inviting and helpful. This class runs from September 22-28. You can register here.

detail of a student chain made at my Pullen Arts Center workshop

If you have any questions about these classes or would like more information, please feel free to email me at

Thanks for reading.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Guest Star #121...Tobias Alm

I recently spent a bunch of time moving through page after page on Apparat and came upon the work of Tobias Alm. I was instantly attracted to the forms, the details, and the visual movement of his work. There is a lovely balance of the rough and refined in each piece, too,  and a clear sensitivity in the way the materials have been handled. I also read his statements and was so happy to learn of Tobias' interest in "objects showing signs of use, and marks of history,"  both things I am interested in and try to convey in my own work.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A New Heirloom

I just finished a wedding ring set for some good friends in Seattle. Lee's ring is a classic style in 18K yellow gold and was a complete pleasure to make. I rarely get to work with 18K yellow gold and it is a dream of a material. It just works so beautifully. Lisa's ring was a rework of two family rings that she wanted to combine: a filigree band and a channel-set diamond band. I really love how this one turned out. The two pieces complement each other perfectly and Lisa's ecstatic reaction when she saw it for the first time echoed my thoughts.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

In the Works

Raissa Bump and I have been working separately and collaboratively for our upcoming exhibition, "Parallel Constellations" at Gallery Lulo. The process has been pretty wonderful so far and we are enjoying the challenges of developing and making new work. Next week I'll share more about our concepts and our process, but for now we want to share a little glimpse of what we've been up to...

The show opens on September 14.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Innovating the Chain

working with Morgan Cassiano
I met Morgan in Certaldo, Italy a few months ago when I was teaching there and was so happy to have her in my class at Pullen!

I taught "Innovating the Chain" at Pullen Arts Center in Raleigh this past Saturday and Sunday. This was my first time teaching a two-day workshop and it went very, very well. I trimmed my week-long class syllabus to the most important aspects and still gave my students lots of time to work. I had a full class of ten and they were a really good group. Everyone was skilled already, they were hard workers, and they were a lot of fun. Most everyone knew each other already, too, so they got along great and knew how to move around the small, but well-equipped studio. 

I started the first day with a short PowerPoint on chains, showing unusual examples as I talked about different ways of constructing and using chain. I spoke about thinking differently and considering details that could make their pieces unique and stronger. Then we got to work with a few demos and some work time in the afternoon. I asked everyone to start designing a chain and stressed the importance of making samples before diving in. I met with students to talk about their individual designs and then just let them go.

chain-in-progress by Ndidi Kowalczyk

The next day I did a few quick demos in the morning and let students work all day. I really wanted them to finish their chain or get close. I met with students as needed and observed how they worked so I could suggest more efficient methods. By Sunday several students had a finished chain and the rest were well on their way.

On Saturday after class I gave a lecture on my work to a nice crowd of students, local jewelers, and community memners. The talk felt conversational and I answered some good questions at the end.

my bench

Then after class on Sunday I gave a lecture about Iceland and the work I made there to my class after several students asked to see pictures. It felt wonderful to tell my Iceland story and to share that experience with them.

Finally, Pullen is a community arts center with metals, ceramics, printing making, drawing and painting, and glass fusing. As I stated above the studio is small, but well-eqipped. It seemed to have practically everything and the tools are well-cared for. The space also has great natural light. Betty McKim who runs he metals program was ever-present and if I needed something she got it for me. I was so impressed! She also spent time in the class and made chains alongside the students and I really enjoyed having her there.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Guest Star #120...Adam Grinovich

I'm not sure how I found the work of Adam Grinovich, but I do think it happened when I was traveling. I visited his website again the other day and was drawn to his use of non-metal materials like horse hair, pitch, and leather. The pieces that use textiles in a sculptural way are particularly appealing to me. While maintaining their inherent qualities, the textiles, namely fabric and thread, are transformed into something else. Then I read his statement on Klimt02 and became even more curious because he writes about being "interested in moments," something that resonates with me directly in my own work...because of jewelry's intimate nature, it is an ideal vehicle to capture and portray, even hint, at a point in time that is now gone.



Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


This weekend I head to Raleigh to teach my chain making class, "Innovating the Chain," at the Pullen Arts Center. I'm really excited to teach again, especially this class because I'm all about chains right now. I know it will be fun. Then Saturday at 5pm I will give a lecture about my work. The talk is free and open to the public. I hope you will join us!

Artist Talk
105 Pullen Road
Raleigh, NC 27607

Saturday, July 20 at 5pm

free and open to the public

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

LIVE! "I've Been Gone for Three Months and Now I'm Back" ETSY SALE

My latest Etsy sale, "I've Been Gone for Three Months and Now I'm Back," is live! As a big thank you for following my European travels, your comments and kind words, and your patience while I was away, I am offering 25% off and free shipping (for orders in the U.S.) on all jewelry. It's also a way to celebrate being back in the U.S. and the reopening of my Etsy shop, AmyTavernJewelry.

The sale runs until Friday, August 16.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, July 15, 2013

"I've Been Gone for Three Months and Now I'm Back" Etsy Sale!

My new Etsy sale, "I've Been Gone for Three Months and Now I'm Back," starts tomorrow at 9am EST. All collection jewelry will be 25% off and shipping will be FREE! The sale will run for one month, ending on Friday, August 16. I do hope you will visit the shop...and in the coming weeks I'll be adding new pieces so stay tuned here and on Facebook.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Guest Star Friday #119...Helga Mogensen

I mentioned Helga Mogensen here recently when I saw her work at Kirsuberjatréð in Reykjavik. The next day I went back to meet her after we exchanged some Facebook messages. It was wonderful to see her and have a few moments to talk.

Helga's work combines silver with found materials like driftwood and fish skin that she collects and it tends to be very personal, focusing on themes of family and capturing moments. In person the pieces are tactile and have lovely, subtle details.

To read a great post on more Icelandic jewelry, including Helga and my other Icelandic Guest Star, Hildur Ýr Jónsdóttir, visit this link: Design March Reykjavik.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Things I Like RVK

derelict space

Some final pictures of things I saw in Reykjavik that gave me pause as I wandered...

turquoise container

silhouette of where a house once was

cracks on a gravestone at the old cemetery

mass of rope at the harbor

pallets near the harbor

More on Facebook and Flickr.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

More Jewelry RVK Part 2

Also on my last day in Reykjavik I went to the National Museum of Iceland to see two jewelry exhibitions: Icelandic Silverwork and A Part-Time Silversmith. The first exhibition shows a variety of traditional silver jewelry and objects and focuses on the techniques used to create them. I was astonished by the collection, the details, all that handwork...I just wished I could have gotten closer to the pieces. The other exhibition recreated the studio of turn-of-the-century metalsmith, Kristófer Pétursson. Everything was labeled perfectly and because none of it was behind glass, I was able to get really close. I loved seeing the personal details and the signs of years of use marking all the tools and benches.

More images on Flickr.

Thanks for reading.