Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Back Track

In the course of one's creative progress, is it ever ok to back track? To re-visit, re-work? Resurrect if you will?

I'm rapidly approaching my thesis year, but for the past couple days, I've been thinking about these, which I did in my third semester at Towson. I've always really loved these because they're fun and experimental and I got to try a lot of weird stuff, and nobody can really tell what they are, exactly. I haven't shown them much, most of them fell apart, and I never got really good photos of them.

My themes, and ideas have changed since I made these (mainly, I have a clearer notion of what those themes and ideas are!), but I was wondering if I could revist these in the context of my thesis work. Could I view each one as a prayer or a daily devotional of some sort? I'm not sure if I could manage one daily. They seem to work up better in batches, but I think individually they could represent the idea of a daily practice. I'm thinking of a large installation. At least 40, maybe more.


Monday, March 29, 2010

New in the Shop

Added this and a few others to the shop today.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

"Do You Want to Help Me Hammer?"

I spent most of today volunteering at the annual Youth Arts Festival. The festival is put together by the arts and community class every spring and different local artists and guilds come together and run arts activities for kids.

I was asked to volunteer kind of last minute, and had to come up with an idea for an activity on the fly, based on what materials I could get my hands on. Then there was some miscommunication between the metals grads and undergrads and some confusion on what activity we were actually going to do.

In the end though, we did bottle cap necklaces with the kids, using a huge donation of old bottle caps given to the studio a while back. We let the kids pick a bottle cap, choose if they wanted it flattened or domed, drilled a hole, put a jump ring on it and let them pick out their favorite color of string.

I don't know how many bottle caps I hammered or helped hammer today. Or how many times I heard "Don't hit her fingers." or, "You must be really brave!" The little kids were great, so excited to hammer. Some of the older kids were a little bit shy about it. It was great to see them get excited, and even better to see the parents get excited. And no one hit my fingers with the hammer. Only one came close.

The weather was beautiful, if a little cooler than we would have liked. There were all kinds of great activities: letter press and linocut printing, cyanotypes, marble dying on fabric, needle and wet felting, painting, a bouncy castle, live music, a giant parachute to play with and even a drum circle. The sculpture guild build a huge bamboo dinosaur with the kids and there was even a blacksmith there who dressed the kids up in safety gear and let them forge.

It was maybe a little hippy (there was a drum circle), but very wonderful. I got a beautiful henna tattoo and made a kick ass bird with a crown. Our bottle cap necklaces were a huge hit with the kids and even some of the adults. We hardly put a dent in our supply of caps, despite all the necklaces we made, so they'll probably be back again next year, but maybe I'll let the undergrads run that, and come up with my own cool metals activity.

Have a great weekend. Thanks for reading.

Friday, March 26, 2010

North Carolina Love

If you've hung out with me for any length of time in the past year, you've probably heard me say "I effing LOVE North Carolina!" I'm sure that sounds a little bit fanatical, and it is. But, it's also true. And since I made my drop spine box to the measurements on my handouts, and not to fit anything specific, I decided to make it my North Carolina box. I lined the inside with a vintage NC road map, and plan to put my postcards and other North Carolina memorabilia in it. (Yeah, I just said memorabilia.)

I found this vintage postcard at one of the local antique/junk shops today while I was doing a little retail therapy. It's a classic North Carolina view, and reads:

"Here's to the land of the Long Leaf Pine,
The Summer Land, where the sun doth shine,
Where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great,
Here's to 'Down Home', the Old North State!"


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Quote of the Week

"I am subject to various states. In one state I can speak and in another I do not speak. In one state I can listen to the stories of other lives and respond to them. In another I withdraw to my room and see no one. In yet another I am utterly distraught, absorbed in God, unable to communicate at all. It's too risky for you to come here on the chance I might be amiable and able to have a conversation."


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Wearable Books

Black Spot Books

Allison Cooke Brown

Janna Syvanoja

So, I'm considering making a wearable book for my Book Arts final, and I was putzing around the interweb, doing a little informal research, and came across these. Not exactly what I plan on making, but cool none the less.

Monday, March 22, 2010

SNAG Houston Pt. 4: Rothko Chapel

On Saturday during SNAG, I went to the Rothko Chapel with a few friends. I took some images outside the chapel, but none inside. I don't know if it was permitted or not, but it just didn't seem right. Here's a stock image of the interior, although there were more benches when we were there:

It was interesting to see who came through and stayed awhile, and who breezed right through. I mean, why come at all, if you're only going to spend five minutes in this sacred space?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Considering. . .

I've been intrigued by the idea of Dervishes for awhile now, without really knowing why, but I've been reading Rumi (still!) and been thinking about them for days.

Process Shots of the Week

Pages for my stiff leaf binding project and "Gray Prayer", complete.

Friday, March 19, 2010

SNAG Houston Pt 3

While taking in the excellent exhibitions at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, I was able to touch base with Gabriel Craig and his partner Amy Weiks, who are both working as artists in residence at HCCC. Gabriel and I got a chance to talk a little bit, and he was nice enough to let me shoot some pictures of the space that he and Amy share.
I absolutely loved the work Amy had on display. Unfortunately my pictures of her brooches didn't turn out so great (I've done a lot of apologizing on this blog for all of my bad images. Maybe I should take a photo class.) I also love this neckpiece of hers (top photo). A larger version was in the Exhibition in Motion and it was difficult to tell what the materials were, especially since I couldn't hear the announcer from where I was. Both are made out of hand dyed terry cloth and glass beads. I love that Amy uses glass beads, which always seem to get a bad rap in the metals community. I started out as a beader, and still love beads, but haven't ever been able to work seed beads into my work successfully. It's great to see an artist who has. I was also very intrigued by these sketches of Gabriel's (bottom photo).
Gabriel also gave a talk at the conference. You can read the entirety on his blog Conceptual Metalsmithing.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Check out this awesome thing my friend Mike Moore created titled Populate. I'm not going to tell you what it is. Just go there and start typing letters.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

SNAG Houston Pt. 2

I think I said this before, but I feel that this conference had the best work on display out of three conferences I've been to. I don't know if it's just my personal taste, or the fact that I got to see more of the shows this year than in the past. The gallery tour lasted two nights, with different shows featured each night, which gave everyone a chance to see more. One of my favorites was Caroline Gore's show Interventions, Observations and Simulations at the Lawndale Art Center.
I've admired her work through photographs for a while now, but seeing the work in person is always a different experience. Her entire show was quiet and lovely. The large installations had a certain quietness to them, and they didn't over power the small works at all. I love her combinations of metal, fabric and photography. For me, it was a gem of a show.

We also hit up the Extreme Tea Exhibition. I made a tea infuser in two days, right before the submission deadline for this show. It turned out great and I was super happy with it. It didn't get into this show and after seeing the work that did, I can totally see why. Although I thought this show was great, it was overall not the aesthetic of my work at all. My piece totally wouldn't have fit in. I still glad I made my tea infuser, and was able to show it here at ECU.
Here are my favorites from the Extreme Tea Show, which I managed to photograph before they told me to stop. These were probably the most non-tradition pieces in the whole show, and unfortunately I don't know who made them.

And here's my friend Marissa with her enameled lady tea infuser!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Quote of the Week

"But the morning breeze and one
handful of earth from somewhere near Tabriz,

Will heal my eyes and show what to do."

~Rumi Knowledge Beyond Love

Monday, March 15, 2010

SNAG Houston Pt. 1

I'm back from the conference, safe and sound and mostly recovered. Houston was my third SNAG conference, and overall pretty good. The conferences keep getting more interesting for me as I get to know and meet more people in the field. I've got lots to blog about, and I'm going to take it one piece at a time. I'm going to start with the student show, because I haven't photographed my pins from the swap yet.

My Salt Vessel piece was in the Student Show, the Student Slide Show, and an image of it was also in the conference program (Thanks Arthur!) I wasn't super happy about how it was displayed at the Student Show. I should have included an image of the piece being worn to display with the piece. Oh well, live and learn.

Overall, I though the work was really great. The past two conferences I've been to, there's been a lot of work that was in both the slide show and the actual show, but this year there were only a few repeats (mine included). It was nice to see a wider variety of work.

Sorry the lighting on these pictures is so bad, and I'm also sorry I don't have photos of my favorite pieces from this show. (What the hell was I thinking?) Anyways, my favs were Loring Taoka's bowls and Erika Uzmann's sea slug brooches. There was a lot of other stuff I liked, but these are the pieces that I still remember days later.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Away We Go!

My bags are packed. My business cards printed. My pin swap pins finished. My flight leaves at 11:00 am tomorrow. I will see you in Houston!

Friday, March 5, 2010

New(ish) Work

Here's some more professional photos of some of my recent work. The first piece is from this semester, the others are from last semester. From top : Lightness of Being, White Sands, Black Sands, Soft Slate and Lava Neckpiece. You can see more on my flickr site.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Drive By Press

Greg and Steven from Drive by Press have been hanging out in the print studio for the past two days. Yesterday, I went to a wonderful presentation by Greg on how he got the idea for Drive by Press and how it all got started. It was really great. They also have a huge collection of prints from tons of different artists, which I got to see yesterday. I donated a print of my own to their collection. Today, they're outside printing wood blocks onto paper or t-shirts on a press, out of the back of their van. Here's some shots of Greg printing my shirt, which says "Spread the Ink, Spread the Love."