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!!!

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