Thursday, March 31, 2011

Final Countdown

So, my show goes up in a week. Things have rapidly degenerated. I've taken to eating peanut butter straight out of the jar and wearing the same sweater on nearly a daily basis. The perpetual nausea seems to be back as well. Awesome.

After I talked to Bob a couple weeks ago, I decided to use a couple more older pieces of work. I decided to just have people model the four pieces made before these past two semesters, and install the eight new neckpieces and the brooches in the gallery. I selected two more older works I wanted to use, and even though I'm re-making one (the original is currently in an exhibition), I felt like I had a new lease on life by not making myself come up with 2 more new pieces!

But this only lasted a few days. And now I'm having serious doubts. I mean, I've made all this work over the past few years, and I'm only going to show 8 pieces and a big ass installation? That's it? Maybe I should show all 12 neckpieces in the gallery. But I already asked people to model and I'm also afraid things will look too crowed in my space. ARG!!!! I keep bouncing back and forth in my head, and I'm pretty sure it all comes down to me trying to prove something I don't need to prove to anyone but myself. I've made the decision, and for better or worse, I'm sticking to it.

So here's the final line up:

On models:

Rock Necklace
Slate Necklace II: Greenville
Gray Prayer
Lightness of Being

On the Wall

Sacra Sancta
Gray Grief: Potato Rock
Salt in the Soul
Flow Like Water
Pilgrimage: Slate, Sand, Shore
Stillness is Required
Prayer Beads: Becoming
Save Me From Myself

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 2: Panel Discussion

photo credit Dejan Jovanovic

After Nicole's lecture, all of the presenters and speakers participated in a panel discussion, answering questions compiled by ECU students. ECU grad Marissa Saneholtz acted as moderator.

The first question presented to the panel, and one I was particularly interested in, was: Do you sell everything you make and how do you decide what pieces to keep for your personal collection? Michael Dale Bernard answered the second part of the question immediately with "The ones that don't sell!", while Caroline Gore chooses not to keep any of the work, preferring each piece to go out and live a good life, in a gallery or with friends. Ken Bova felt that you should keep the pieces that speak to you personally. This idea totally speaks to me, since I have pieces that I know I'll never part with, because they are so personal.

photo credit Dejan Jovanovic

Another interesting question posed to the panel was: What would you save if your house/studio were on fire (family and pets not withstanding). Nicole Jacquard answered with an emphatic "Let it all burn!" and several panelists agreed with that sentiment. Mi-Sook Hur choose to save a certain brooch, simply because it would be easy to grab on her way out the door. Many of the panelists though chose to save either partially finished pieces or sketchbooks.

photo credit Dejan Jovanovic

There was a discussion on labels; what do you call yourself? Metalsmith? Jeweler? Goldsmith? Artist? Bob joined in at the point, recollecting how some fought to get "goldsmith" in the title of SNAG. James C. Meyer interjected at that point, stating that with the price of gold being what it is, he no longer puts "goldsmith" on his business card. The panelists talked about their inspirations, emerging artists they're following and making the jump from school to life.

The biggest thing that I think all the panelists tried to impress on us students, or maybe just the biggest thing I took away, was that it doesn't matter what you call yourself, or where you get your inspiration, or who your audience is, as long as you make personal, genuine work, that speaks to you. Notice what you notice, and be true to your own personal vision.

That, and Orca's Curtains.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 2: Nicole Jacquard Lecture

Sorry I'm a bit behind posting these on this blog. I'm still doing a Symposium post a week over on Crafthaus, but I'll be wrapping it up in the next couple weeks.

After all the workshops were over, everyone took a quick break before heading back to the auditorium for Nicole Jacquard's lecture, Technology and the Politics of the Handmade.

Bob Ebendorf, Nicole Jacquard, and Linda Darty, photo credit Dejan Jovanovic

Nicole gave a fascinating talk, and while I have a little experience with 3-D modeling and rapid prototyping, some of the things Nicole covered were completely new to me. When Nicole gave me her brooches to put in our faculty display, and I was amazed at the colors and patterns that had actually been digitally printed onto the material. So I was super excited that she covered this process in her talk.

Nicole Jacquard, Frost Pins, SLS nylon, silver

Nicole uses the 3-D modeling program Rhinoceros, and exports the digital files to various types of printers. The one she uses the most is a Zcorp machine, which is able to print over a million colors. You can also project images onto the surface, which is how Nicole produces certain effects on her pieces, such as the urn pictured below. Nicole also uses Fused Deposition Modeling - where ABS plastic is extruded through a nozle that is heated and the plastic filament is bonded layer by layer as it builds up the form, Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) where a laser fuses nylon powder together (see Frost Pins, above), and a process similar to Stereo Lithography, where ultraviolet light is used to cure a photo sensitive resin.

Nicole Jacquard, Wallpaper II and III, brooches, Zcorp and silver

Nicole had great process shots in her presentation, both of making models in Rhino, and of the various printing processes she utilizes. I know a lot of metalsmiths tend to get scared off by technology being used to make work sometimes, but I think that Nicole has an excellent approach to combing both traditional metalsmithing with these new technologies. You use this type of technology because there is no other way to get this type of results. 3-D printing is just another tool at our disposal.

Nicole Jacquard, Moon 4am, Zcorp

She covered how her family, their lake house, and her Aunt's bar influenced her work. People who make work about their family always interests me. I sometimes feel like as artists we're supposed to make art about lofty social, historical, political topics and I love it when I come across an artist who is dealing with incredibly personal subject matter and putting it out there for everyone to see. It's like saying that this personal thing is just as important as commentary on the war or the environment.

Nicole also talked about her time in Australia, where she earned a doctorate from RMIT, although she didn't originally intend to. She also had great process shots of this body of work which show just how much handwork still goes in to finished pieces that utilizes a 3-D printing process. Even if is cut out with a milling machine.

Nicole Jacquard, Letters and Notes, Zcorp

I can't speak for everyone, but she left the students at ECU VERY excited about the possibilities of using these technologies. We currently don't offer any type of 3-modeling which I think is a bit of a disservice to our students, especially since we have a 3-D printer on campus. Hopefully, inspiration from Nicole will help us to make steps towards intergrating some of these practices in our own program.

For more on rapid prototyping and 3-D printing check out these sources:

Red Eye Express

Solid Concepts

Quick Parts

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Quote of the Week

"Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heros of all time have gone before us. The labyrinth is thoroughly known. We have only to follow the thread of the hero path, and where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god. And where we had thought to slay another we shall slay ourselves. Where we had thought to travel outward, we will come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we will be with all the world."

~Joseph Cambell, The Power of Myth

Thursday, March 24, 2011

What a Hoot.

I'm taking laughter wherever I can get it these days, and one site I go to when I need to lighten the tension a bit is Fuck Yeah Art Student Owl. It's a series of quick two liners about the funnier side of art school, all with the same smoking owl backdrop. A lot of the jokes center around illustration, animation and painting, but every art student can identify with most of the content. The site updates several times a day which is great, since I'm in the mood for constant distraction. This is one of my favorites, something I've personally experienced on more than one occasion:

Go check it out!

Monday, March 21, 2011

And the Winner is. . . .

. . . . . Laura!!!! This is great for me, since it means I don't have to go to the post office. Congrats Laura! I'll be leaving a small surprise on your bench!

Thank you all for for you comments and input! In the end I decided to go with one card with the Pilgrimage detail, and one with the Sacra Sancta detail. Both Sacra Sancta images had the same number of votes, but I decided to go with the detail shot, since it showed off the enameling better. The Gray Grief detail is actually on the back of the Pilgimage card.

I got my cards ordered yesterday and they should be here by the end of the week! If you'd like me to mail you one, make sure I have you address!

Thanks again!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Postcard Problems

So I need to order postcards, like yesterday, but I'm having a hard time choosing an image (or 2). So here's my top five. I'm leaning towards the Pilgrimage Detail, and one of Sacra Santa, but I can decide between the full view or the detail.

Sacra Sancta

Sacra Sancta Detail

Pilgrimage Detail

Meditation Green and White

Meditation Red

Gray Grief Detail

What do you think? Leave me a comment telling me your favorite or favorites by 5pm tomorrow and I'll select one person at random and send them something cool. I'm not sure what, but it'll be cool.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mineral Eye Candy

Love, love loving this site of fantastic mineral images. I'd like to learn how to render these in china paints, eventually.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Quote of the Week

"I assume that like any other meaningful effort, the ritual involves sacrifice, the suppression of self-consciousness, and a certain precise tilt of the will, so that the will becomes transparent and hollow, a channel for the work. . . . It is noble work, and beats, from any angle, selling shoes."

~Annie Dillard, from Teaching a Stone to Talk

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Spring Break

I was on Spring Break all this week. It was probably the most unspectacular Spring Break of my academic career. Not only did I not do anything fun, I also got virtually no work done. I honestly don't know what I did, except clean my apartment, run errands, sleep A LOT, and spent several fruitless hours searching for a dress for my opening.

I finally gave myself permission to not do anything thesis related for a couple days, and took off to Goose Creek State Park yesterday afternoon. It was a much needed trip out of town, but forcibly reminded me how much I'm going to miss North Carolina. I don't know where I'm headed after graduation, but I'm looking all over, and staying here seems unlikely. I just hope I like the next place as much as I like it here.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Quote of the Week

People keep asking me if I have to have 12 neckpieces and an installation and I always answer yes. And here's why:

"The number thirteen is the number of transformation and rebirth. . . Thirteen is the number of getting out of the field of the bounds of twelve into the transcendent."

~Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth

So, entirely self imposed, but just as much a requirement as anything set forth by the graduate school. Maybe more so. If I don't make it, I don't make it, and I think I'll be ok. But if I do make it, it will make my thesis that much more connected.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Progress Report

With Pictures! I got a new camera a few weeks ago, but I've been without one for so long, I'm out of the habit of taking pictures. I keep forgetting I have a sweet new camera.

I finally finished Flow Like Water, and I've got another piece Save Me From Myself, ready to be put together. I think I know what I'm doing for the next one, but I don't feel confident about it for some reason. I don't feel super great about Save Me From Myself either, but I'm not sure why. Maybe I'm just getting burnt out. I've gotten most of the thesis paper down, and I'm waiting for edits, and as for the wall brooches, I've been banging them out over the past couple days, and I only need 34 more. Cake.

So, once I finish all these things up, that leaves me with 3 more neck pieces to complete. The problem is, I don't know what they are. It's freakin' me out!!! I've got some pieces/parts, including some crystalline looking electroforms from some wax I carved. I'm really happy with these, but again, I don't know what to do with them yet. I keep telling myself that I'm wound too tight, and that if I just relax, it'll come to me. But I'm running out of time. . .

I still need to order postcards and insect pins, write about the pieces I haven't made yet, decide how I'm going to attach the neckpieces to the wall and find a dress to wear to my opening! Yikes!

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Quote of the Week

"Because finally the personal
is all that matters,
we spend years describing stones,
chairs, abandoned farm houses-
until we're ready. Always
it's a matter of precision,
what it feels like
to kiss someone or to walk
out the door. How good it was
to practice on stones
which were things we could love
without weeping over."

~Stephen Dunn, Essay on the Personal

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day 2: Slip Casting with Lisa Johnson

So, as I said before, symposium participants attend two out of three workshops per day, which means there's going to be one workshop that you have to miss. Unfortunately, I missed Lisa Johnson's slip casting workshop. You just can't do it all. But I'm going to do my best with what I have at hand.

Photo by Dejan Jovanovic

Lisa was kind enough to put a hand out up on the symposium blog a couple weeks before the event. I went ahead a printed out a copy because even though I knew I wasn't going to be able to make it to her workshop, you just never know when this sort of information might come in handy. The handout is very comprehensive, complete with diagrams of every step, names of artists who use slip casting for sculpture, and tips on selecting an object to mold.

Photo by Dejan Jovanovic

Lisa's workshop took place down in the ceramics studio. This was the first time we had a workshop in another department's studio. All the other workshops take place either in our undergraduate studio, or in the neighboring Art Education classrooms. I thought this went great with our theme of material topics. Last year we had a couple workshops that dealt with found objects and unconventional materials. It seems like this year the workshops focused on more traditional media (wood, painting, ceramics) but adapted for jewelry. It's an interesting dynamic.

Photo by Dejan Jovanovic

Ceramic is a great material on it's own, but it's great to see it combined with metals in a contemporary. I got to see some of Lisa's finished work up close and personal, and she does a great job combining the two. Transition points are always difficult (at least for me) especially when dealing with two different media, but Lisa handles it effortlessly. She brought a necklace for the small present exhibit, comprised of ceramic hand grenades with fabricated metal tops, and a fabricated metal chain. I loved this piece. It was the perfect marriage of materials. I love how Lisa doesn't just limit herself to one medium of the other. She enjoys both, excels at both and allows herself to create work with both materials. I think as metalsmiths we can sometimes get caught up in having to use metal, or mostly metal.

Lisa Johnson, Indiana Princess Wedding Ring

Also, I love this punch bowl. I think it's hysterical. I would have loved to have seen it in person, but I'm sure it was too big to bring all the way from Indiana for just two days. I love that Lisa makes work with a certain sense of humor. Humorous work is a tricky thing.

Lisa Johnson, For the Birds Punch Bowl

I'm sorry I didn't get to see Lisa's workshop, but grateful for the little time I did get to interact with her and for the chance to see her amazing work. If any one out there got to see Lisa's workshop I would LOVE to hear your comments about it!!!