Friday, November 29, 2013

Two More Days

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday! I spent the day with a few friends and we cooked and cooked and cooked and then ate and ate and ate, of course. It was a very nice, low-key day.

I just want to remind you my Etsy Holday Sale is still on and almost OVER! It ends tomorrow night…The response so far has been fantastic and I am so grateful. Please visit the shop today or tomorrow and enjoy 25% off and free shipping. The shop closes at the end of the day on Saturday and will close until January.

And, I added a new pair of earrings to the shop. A combo of my Regal Graffiti and History Repeats Collection. See top image.

Thanks for reading. Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

More Sale and More Ways to Watch What I Do

So the sale is on and I am very happy with the response from all of you so far! Thank you! Just to remind you, it's on through this coming Saturday, everything is 25% off and shipping is free. Sound good? I hope so! Please stop by the shop and take a look…I think I might add a few new things, too, like these Gold Bow Earrings. This color is my favorite right now. It looks different when I first paint and then the color is transformed with patina. I think it's quiet lovely.

AND guess what?! I am now on Instagram! I finally broke down and got an iPhone (which I am absolutely in love with). Find me on Instagram (amytavern)…I'll be posting pictures of my work,  studio and process shots, and pictures of things I find interesting as I move through my day. 

Oh! And one more thing! I'm having a sale this Saturday at my studio (7 Ton Letterpress Collective) with my friend and fellow studio mate, Beth Schaible of Quill and Arrow Press. We'll have all sorts of lovely things on hand and would most certainly love to see you.

7 Ton is located at 178A Westwood Place in West Asheville

Thanks for reading.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Etsy Holiday Sale is On!

My Etsy Holiday Sale is now live! All jewelry is 25% off and shipping in the US is free. The sale only lasts through this coming Saturday, November 30…

I do hope you stop by the shop, take a look, and pick up a gift or two (or maybe a little something something for yourself!).

Happy Holidays and thanks for reading.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Guest Star #126…Anne Kranenborg

Today's Guest Star is Anne Kranenborg from The Netherlands. I discovered her work just the other day while visiting the blog, Trendjuf, where her series, "Fragmentures," was featured. I was drawn to the images of her plaster necklace and it's transformation in the hands of the wearer. My interest lead me to her website which includes various projects using a variety of materials and processes from wind and video to furniture design to light and photography. What I gather from the images and the all-to-brief text is that she is interested in ideas of transience, abstraction, and the alteration of space. Her work gives me pause and makes me rethink objects, function, and observation.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Sales are Coming!

My Etsy Holiday Sale begins next Monday, November 25! Everything will be 25% off and shipping is free to those in the U.S. Due to my move, this year's sale is short--it ends Saturday, November 30. I wish it could be longer, but my move is not just across town, as you know…

My Etsy shop name is AmyTavernJewelry

Or, if you are local, perhaps you would like to stop by the studio on Saturday, November 30 and pick out some things in person? My studiomate, Beth Schaible (Quill & Arrow Press), and I will be hosting a sale that day from 9-3. Beth makes beautiful letterpress stationary and leather books, among other lovely things. We will both have lots on hand and would love to say hello. Our studio is located at 178A Westwood Place in Asheville, NC. Just look for the "7 Ton" sign on the front door.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Guest Star Friday #125...Trinidad Contreras

Today's Guest Star is Trinidad Contreras. Her graphic compositions have a quiet strength and convey  a narrative feel. Each material and form appears thoughtfully chosen and placed, creating beautifully balanced and constructed pieces. I also like her soft color palette and the variety of textural details. 

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

More Progress

As I wrote a few weeks ago, Claire and I have been working hard making inventory for my galleries for the holiday season. I'm happy to report everything got shipped last week and now we are busy making more work for my upcoming Etsy Holiday Sale and a private trunk show I'm doing in Charlotte next week. Claire has been indispensable pretty much since the day she started working with me and she's so much fun to have around. She is such a delight!

If you are looking for my work this holiday season, please check out the complete list of galleries and shops on my website or find my work on Etsy.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, November 11, 2013


I just completed a new series of work for the gallery OHMYBLUE in Venice, Italy. I struggled with my ideas for a few weeks but finally had a break through and I'm very pleased with the final pieces. I used different sizes of brass tubing cut in varying lengths and very simply tied and knotted pieces together. I wanted to do very little metalsmithing and still create a sculptural feel. This was a great challenge. It's amazing how the simplest things can sometimes be the most complicated.

 brooch with stick pin

 See more images on Flickr and on Facebook.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Big, Part 4

So with all that big stuff happening, and coming, I find myself wanting a more low-key schedule. I tend to plan my year nearly a year out and I tend to fill it up with all kinds of interesting things: exhibitions, teaching, lectures, travel... Now I'm doing the opposite and working hard at keeping my schedule as open as possible. I've been saying "no" a lot, a delicate, challenging and often scary thing to do. I'm just trying to create space for myself to figure out the shift I described yesterday, space in my mind and in my schedule. I'm making room. I also want to keep things as simple as possible because I don't know what will happen when I move home to help take care of my dad. This all feels very good and right. And, with that said, I do have a few things planned:

My Etsy Holiday Sale is happening again this year but will be much-abbreviated because of my upcoming move. This year the sale will begin the Monday before Thanksgiving, November 25 and will end on Saturday, November 30. As always everything will be 25% off and shipping in the U.S. will be free. On December 1 I will close my studio to prepare for my move and will not return to my bench until January.

I'm teaching and lecturing at Munson Williams Procter Arts Institute/Pratt MWP in Utica, NY in February. The lecture will be February 6 and my workshops will run February 8 and 9 and March 1. Utica is not far from Richfield Springs and I took some classes at MWPAI years ago (drawing and ceramics). I'm excited to return there as an instructor and speaker. More details soon. 

I will be return to Penland to teach next summer during session 7, August 24-30. The class, titled “The Whole Jewel," will focus on creating one-of-a-kind pieces. I developed it when I thought I was going to teach in Australia a few years ago so I'm excited to finally have a chance to see it through.  

Here's the description:

"In this class students will be challenged to think beyond traditional jewelry design to create a singular piece of jewelry that is both sculptural and wearable. We will look to other sources for inspiration such as fashion, sculpture, or installation. Through demonstrations, discussions, one-on-one sessions with Amy, and plenty of independent work time, students will create a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry that is beautifully made and thoughtfully designed from all sides. We will focus on the details that make jewelry stronger and more interesting, as well as unique and personal. Technical demonstrations will include surface design, cold connections, bezel and tab setting, pin mechanisms and the use of alternative materials."

Finally, I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for reading this week and for your incredible response. These posts were challenging to write--sorting thoughts out and then getting them onto "paper" in a way that makes sense. It felt important to do and also important to share. The response I have received via Facebook "likes," comments and private messages as well as comments on my blog and emails have truly blown me away. Everyone has been so supportive and encouraging and many of you made me cry (in a good way!). I never anticipated the response I got and I am just grateful and humbled and honored. It's always wonderful to share big news with all of you and I thank you for your continued interest and support. I think it's amazing. You are all the best and I mean that. Sincerely.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Big, Part 3

Island of 14,264 Days

My time in Iceland was huge and I am now, four months after leaving, beginning to realize just how huge. Those 70 days serve as a turning point for me composed of many singular moments bearing weight and lightness simultaneously. I started processing my trip in September when I finally had some space to think. Thoughts started coming to me in a sort-of rush and it was difficult to get words out of my mouth because they were in a jumble in my mind. Since then I have told a few people who are dear to me and through these conversations my thoughts have become clearer.

I will begin by saying a big shift for my work is stirring in me, a shift away from jewelry toward something else, possibly sculpture and installation. Iceland and my "Island" showed me I am capable of expressing myself successfully in techniques and materials outside of jewelry. They also showed me I am interested in expressing myself in other ways, too. I see now, first and foremost, that I am an artist, a title I have been uncomfortable with until recently. My "Island" is the best piece I have ever made and it's fascinating to me that it's non-functional and not jewelry. I think this is telling and I am trying to pay attention.  

I also realized in Iceland that my main goal as an artist is to communicate and connect. I wish to make things that reach a wider audience and are perhaps made in collaboration with people I care about and admire. I do not want to be limited by materials, technique, or scale.

a dreamlike first view out my bus window as I left for  
Skagaströnd and the Nes Artist Residency
I'm not sure of much else right now simply because it's all so fresh and I want to add that I'm not giving up jewelry entirely. I can say I want to take some time off to explore this shift, give it room to develop and make itself apparent to me. I want to go back to Iceland to do this and I am working on ways to get myself there in the spring. I might do another residency or I might just live in Reykjavík, creating a self-structured residency in an apartment. Either way I will take time to read, research, think, and write about my work and allow this shift, whatever it may be, to happen. 

My friend, Rebeca Mendez, took this picture the day I left Nes. 
The lava fields are perhaps my most-treasured place in Iceland.

And Iceland feels like the perfect place to explore this. I have never felt more at home anywhere and it felt like I was coming home when I stepped off the plane. I was incredibly excited but also sensed tremendous calm. I love Iceland and I miss it every single day. The vast landscape gives my mind and spirit space and is so beautiful and so unusual that it's still near impossible for me to describe. It is a work of opposites, too, something that resonates with me intimately, and I find myself increasingly drawn to it with each passing day. I feel kindred with it and I am absolutely compelled to go back.

Ache, an installation made before I went to Iceland

After my show opens in Sweden I will go to Iceland and live there until July.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Big, Part 2

I am very pleased to announce my next solo exhibition at Four in Göteborg, Sweden! Karin Roy Andersson, a jeweler and one of the four owners of the gallery, invited me last winter and we've been working on plans ever since. Over the summer we finalized the dates and I began developing the concept. I will focus on ideas of home and searching for home...I'm looking for my home right now and have been since before I left Penland over a year and a half ago. I'm also rethinking or redefining my idea of what home is. I travel a lot and very much live in a transitional state, finding home wherever I am but also longing for the place where I feel most myself, a place where I truly want to live my life.

For this new exhibition, I am planning to show three separate but complementary groups of work. One will be about my childhood home, one will be about Iceland, and one will be about the home I find wherever I am. I call these places "Homeland," "Heartland" and "Outerland." I will include the jewelry I made in Iceland, I will make a series of pieces while I'm living with my parents, and, finally, I will create a site-specific installation at Four using materials I find as I explore Göteborg. I will give myself a limited amount of time to create this piece and will rely heavily on intuition.

one of three necklaces from Alone/Together,
a series I began in Iceland

As you can imagine, I am thrilled for this opportunity! I get to make a substantial new body of work and travel to a place I've never been to before. I get to make things there, too, which is always a fantastic and rewarding challenge. I'm also excited to have a chance to work through some very serious thoughts and questions I have right now. As with my previous exhibitions I developed an idea and then made jewelry to illustrate it, working through the concept, exploring its nuances, and finding answers. I have not thought about this specifically until now--as an artist I get to work through things with my mind and my hands and often find answers and gain clarity. I articulated this to myself recently and became very excited. What an honor! I approach this next exhibition with this in mind, alongside thoughts of home and curiosity for what will be at the other end.

The show opens April 4, 2014 and I will travel to Sweden in late March to install the work, attend the opening, and visit Göteborg. 

Thanks for reading.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Big, Part 1

This week I will be posting a series of entries I'm calling, "Big," in which I will share some big things that are in the works for me. Here we go with Part 1... 

I am a very organized person and when it comes to preparing to travel, this trait comes in handy. I include travel prep on my to-do list so getting ready to go somewhere is as stress-free as possible. My system usually works, but not this last time. I literally ran out of time before I flew to the West Coast in late August. I had to go to the airport at 8am and was still working in my studio at 7! I ran back to my apartment at 7:50, threw a few more things in my suitcase, and jumped into a friend's car. It took me the 20 minutes from my place to AVL to calm down and let go, and I did, but it was really hard. I felt unprepared and had to leave some things unfinished. I was a stressed-out mess. I never leave like that! 

Then the day before I started teaching at The Ranch I realized I did not have my tools. I remembered packing them, or at least I thought I did. This was a terrible moment for me as it would be for anyone losing something like this. What made it worse, though, is that those tools have tremendous sentimental value for me: they were given to me by my father when I began metalsmithing 15 years ago. I tried to remain calm, thinking perhaps I had left them behind or, if they were indeed gone, I would have to let them go. It would be too hard to deal with. It was hard just thinking about it. You see, my father has Alzheimer's and everything he has given to me has become more precious, more prized, and more valuable since he was diagnosed in 2011. I put the thoughts out of my mind and chose to not worry until I got back to Asheville. The day I flew home I went to my studio and found them in their travel bag sitting next to my bench. In my haste and stress I had forgotten them. And, I was overjoyed and grateful. 

Christmas 1980

This long explanation leads me to the reason for this first Big post: I am moving back to my childhood home, Richfield Springs, NY, in December to live with my parents. I just want to be with my father and I want to help my mother care for him. This was a conclusion I came to while I was working on my "Island" in Iceland. The move is a temporary one, but necessary. My work will be put on hold for the month of December as I transition into a new way of living. I will have a studio somewhere in R.S. and will work just as I always do starting in January, but at the end of the day I will go home to two very sweet people, my dear father and mother. Just as I chose to not dwell on the possible loss of my tools, I will not dwell on what it's going to be like to care for him. I'm sure it will be hard and I'm sure it will be wonderful, and I'm just going to do it. In many ways, it's that easy. 

Thanks for reading. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Guest Star #124...Jera Rose Petal Lodge

I was introduced to the work of Jera Rose Petal Lodge via the SNAG Facebook page on Monday. She has been the featured Maker Profile artist of the week and I've enjoyed seeing her work each day. I'm thinking about sculpture a lot right now so I was immediately drawn to her work. Her pieces function as jewelry but when not worn they have a strong identity as singular, sculptural works. I also like the graphic, illustrative look the pieces take when they are photographed on white.

Thanks for reading.