Thursday, April 30, 2009

Quote of the Week

"The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating- in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life."
~Anne Morriss

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Before and After. . .

Well, more like a during and after. These are pics of a piece I just finished. It's fairly simple, just rocks and spool knitted thread, but with a personal twist. These are the rocks that my friends used to decorate my birthday cake, instead of candles this year. At first I set out to make a piece just for me, using those rocks, but as I was working on it I kept thinking about issues of time and rocks as indications of time and history, and how this was marking a piece of my history. Then I began to think about some things that were mentioned in a critique this past semester about knots in string and ways that people used to mark time and how each rock acts like a knot in the string, marking one year of my life. It all just came together and it kinda tickled me. It's not the most involved piece I've ever made, nor is it the prettiest, but for now I'm pretty happy with it. The top pic is of the piece steeping in tea to dye the thread.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

On the Side

So while I've been finishing up everything for the semester, I've also been working on my first big paper goods commission. I was asked to do 50 place card/bookmark bridal shower favors with party dresses in fuchsia, black and white. Some of these are a little more involved than my regular designs, and include hand stamping and hand painting with metallic inks.
I was also asked to do an 8"x10" version of the bride's gown in paper. This has been a big challenge for me. I've got the shape down, and a pretty solid plan on how to imitate the texture, but I'm nervous because the dress has a lot of detail and I can't find a very good picture of it. So I'm just going to do the best I can, and hope it works out. I hope that this commission leads to others. I really enjoy making these and I like making something pretty and unique for some one's special day!

Monday, April 27, 2009


This is about a semester's worth of prints. Minus a few still on the drying rack, a few at home and a few that I misplaced/gave away. It seems like a lot on the one hand, but on the other hand it doesn't. I feel like there's so much more to explore in these. Not to mention the mezzotint I didn't finish. In the future: printing plates on top of one another, more chin colle, and more soft ground.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Group Enamel Fire

Some time ago, a very nice gentlemen donated a large enameling condition to the studio on the condition that his late wife's enamels get fired. The panels are large (for enamels), maybe 12 x 12 roughly, and are very painterly. They incorporate powder, threads, lumps and silver and/or copper cloisonne wires. They are a fantastic example of what a painter can do with enamel, and they type of enameling that was typically done in the 1950's and 1960's. I'm not exactly sure how old these are, but the most amazing thing about them is that they had been sitting with unfired, powder enamel on them for quite some time. This gentleman had very carefully wrapped them in saran wrap, and miraculously, most, if not all, the enamel was still intact. So, yesterday, we fired up the big kiln, and had a little firing party in the Enameling II class. There was even some running around the art building, showing a "before and after" to some painting/drawing faculty and students, trying to persuade people that enameling isn't just for metalsmiths.
These are all after pictures.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Presentation Time (again)

I gave my presentation for seminar this morning on deceptive surfaces, or enamel that doesn't look like enamel. I found some great artists and some great work and I thought I would share it here.

Jessica Kahle

Kirsten Haydon

Veleta Vancza

John McVeigh

Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Element Swap

A couple of months ago I was invited to participate in an artist to artist element swap. Each participant sends an element to another artist, who makes a piece of work that either physically incorporates that element, or uses it as inspiration. Elements can be scraps, elements an artist has made, a found object or even a piece of old work.
My elements came from ceramic artist Emily Jull. She makes lovely vessels that incorporate felt, crocheted lace and stitching. Her work is simple and beautiful. You can see her work on flickr and on etsy. I've been very excited to swap with her and I finally got my elements in the mail today:

I love them! I'm so excited! My first thought is to electroform some of these, but our bath here is deffinatly not up to it. So I've got to do a little creative thinking. Which is what the swap is all about! First up though, is lots of "Moments" pictures using these.
I got to send my element to Jillian Moore. I was so so so excited to get her as a swap partner! I've been a fan of her work since I saw it last year at the SNAG conference. I forgot to take a picture of my elements before I shipped them off. These aren't exactly what I sent her, but they are quite similar. In fact, I think I meant to send these too, but somehow missed them.

For more on the swap, check out Amy Tavern's post about the wonderful things she got from Japan, and what she's sending to my friend Shand.

Process Shot of the Week

Look at me! I'm gonna make some jewelry!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Quote of the Week

"The narrator states that the artist is never bored. She looks at everything and stores it all up. She rejects nothing; she is completely uncritical. When a problem confronts her she goes through all the stuff she has collected, sorts out what seems to be helpful in this situation, and relates it in a new way, making a new solution. She prepared for leaps by taking in EVERYTHING."
~Coreta Kent
from How to be an Explorer of the World, Keri Smith

Friday, April 17, 2009

Visiting Artitst: Phil Renato

So, on Tuesday, Phil Renato was kind enough to pay us a visit. We had a great seminar discussion, with many many heated opinions, followed by a fantastic presentation of Phil's work. I thought his inspirations montage was really interesting and wonderful and his drawings were just spectacular. I thought it was interesting that all of his digital work starts as a 2-D drawing on paper. We got to see some of these drawings as well as a few prototypes, including two 3-D prints of this piece. He talked about his use of the program Realflow, which I'd heard of, but didn't know much about. We also got a primer on how Phil runs his program at Kendall College of Art and Design, which is very different than anything in the field right now, and also very different than how he approaches his work.
We got to critique with him individually and one thing that Phil said to me about my work, and the salt/vessel piece specifically, was to think about the type of person who would wear this piece and what would they wear it with. This is something I need to consider more than I do, both for the saleability of the work, and how the work should be photographed.
All in all, a very worthwhile experience!

Moments and Small Collections

Monday, April 13, 2009

Presentation Time

Sorry I was MIA this weekend, but it's that most wonderful time of the semester, presentation season! Hooray. . . I've been working on my 50 minute presentation on Joyce Scott for my African American Art History class for the past week or so. I think I've finally got most of it nailed down. Just a few more details to add and maybe a few cuts to make. I'm up to 91 slides!

Family Swimmers, Joyce Scott

Oh and in case you missed it, yesterday was rabbit day!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Quote of the Week

"We shall not cease from exploration
And at the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
and know the place for the first time."
~T.S. Elliot, "The Four Quartets

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Feature and Giveaway!

Check out my feature on Pretty Pink Momma blog! There's also a giveaway, so be sure and comment!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Atomic Rabbit Back On

I apologize for shutting down the blog for a few days. It has been recently brought to my attention that someone I know personally has been copying my work. My gut reaction was to shut everything down, and remove all photos of my work. But with a little more deliberation with a clearer head, I decided that the damage has already been done, and there was no sense in removing everything, since the offending party saw my work in person, at my previous university. My current faculty and peers agree that work is far to similar and that this issue needs to be addressed. I have their full support.
I enjoy being open about my work and sharing it with others. I enjoy being able to utilize the format of the blog to share my work with people around the world. The fact that this occurred so close to home, so to speak, angers and saddens me, but I feel that is in my best interest to keep moving forward while I handle this situation. The offending party still has the work displayed on their blog and shutting down Atomic Rabbit, even temporarily while I determine how I want to handle this situation, would feel too much like giving up my own personal power.
So, I'll be back to blogging this week and with the support of my friends and faculty, handle this situation in a professional manner, and move past it.
Thanks for sticking with me, dear readers.