Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day 2: Charm Swap and Student Show

I know I'm way behind on posting these. I'm just now starting to catch up on blogging over on Crafthaus after a three week thesis hiatus.

Our last event for Saturday was the opening for the Student Exhibition and this year, we also had a charm swap.

All attendees to the symposium are invited to send a piece of work to be displayed for the duration of the symposium. Space is sort of limited in the case that we reserve for this show, so we ask that participants be mindful of size when choosing a piece to show. The work is shipped to us, and attendees pick up their pieces Sunday afternoon, so we at ECU don't have to worry about return shipping. It's a system that works fairly well for us, except when people don't ship their work on time.

This is one of my favorite parts of the symposium, and my personal biggest contribution. All of the ECU grads head up different committees, supported by our wonderful undergrads, and for both symposia, Marissa Saneholtz and I have co-chaired the Exhibitions committee. The Student show is our biggest responsibility, and we also put together display cases with work from the presenters.

I really loved dealing with the Exhibitions. I swear, I was on the best committee. Unwrapping the work was always a surprise and I love love love seeing the work from different schools. This year we were able to set up the show a week ahead of time, so the rest of the ECU art school got a chance to see it as well. My undergrad helpers Sarah West and Tara Locklear and I came in on a Sunday afternoon to install the work and the handful of people in the building were stopping to take a peak before we had even finished. I think it's so great for students to see what their peers at other institutions are doing, and I know the rest of the School of Art and Design gets excited about it too. I actually had several professors from other disciplines tell me how much they enjoyed this exhibition.

While we've done the student Exhibition both times, this year was the first time we had a charm swap. We've gone a little charm crazy here, thanks to undergrad Tara Locklear. She began coordinating regular swaps about a year ago, and we do one about every 6-8 weeks. Everyone makes a charm and puts it in a box. All the boxes get numbered and then we pull numbers. You get what you get. No switching or pouting.

This system works great for 10-20 people, but we had to tweak it a little bit for 100+ participants. We had everyone (faculty and students) place their charms in an unmarked box, assigned people numbers and called them up by groups. People came and grabbed a box at random, and a safety pin so that they could wear their charm right away.

Charm by Amy Tavern, photo credit Amy Tavern

I also helped out with this event, putting out boxes and keeping the crowd under control with undergrad Lisette Fee, while Tara called out group numbers. It was really great and I had a lot of fun because I got to see many of the charms as people opened them. But the worst part was telling people NO PEEKING! Even Lisette and I weren't allowed to peek! It was so hard to be surrounded by boxes full of all kinds of mysterious, awesome charms and not be allowed to look at them until it was your turn to pull a box. I got a gold powder coated lady by Marissa Saneholtz, and ECU undergrad Sam Woitovich, got my charm, a sterling silver cut out of North Carolina.

These images are both courtesy of the wonderful Amy Tavern, currently a resident artist at Penland. Above, is the charm she made for the swap, which Ken Bova received. Below, is Ken's charm, which Amy received. Not every swap was so serendipitous, but I will say I saw a ton of really awesome charms, and everyone was excited to meet the person who had made their charm. It was a fun way to wrap up an exciting and exhausting first day.

Charm by Ken Bova, photo credit Amy Tavern

Any one can participate in any of our charm swaps, never mind geography! If you'd like to participate in future ECU charm swaps, contact Tara Locklear here on Crafthaus.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Process Shot of the Week

Homesick II: Maritime Forest

Giant Mutant Space Rabbit!!!!!

Via Pinterest

Off the Wagon. . .

It's been nearly two weeks since all my Thesis hoop-la. I got my paperwork from the grad office confirming that everything checked out with my paper. My parents will be back down in about a week for graduation.

I was able to keep up my momentum for awhile after the show, but it seems like lately I've crashed and crashed hard. I have no motivation to do anything. I made a pair of earrings and finished a ring on Saturday, and made a few books this weekend but that's about it. I've managed to watch the first four seasons of Weeds and I started obsessive compulsively organizing my rocks and fossils to take with me when I move. I thought I'd be sleeping like a rock once thesis was over, but no such luck.

On the plus side, I got a studio assistantship at Peter's Valley for August/September after I finish at Arrowmont. I get to take one class, while I'm there, and I'm considering choosing this one on faure enameling.

Happy Thursday. Stay out of the rain.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Etsy Adds

Added a new "Charms" section to the Etsy shop today! These are small, quick little pieces made from whatever I come across. You never know what you'll find!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Shout Outs!

I've been so self absorbed about my thesis for so long, that it didn't even occur to me that other people were paying attention to what I was doing. But, friends Amy Tavern (current resident artist at Penland) and Lisette Fee (current ECU undergrad) both did some lovely blog posts which I was in.

Amy Tavern featured several Metals MFAs graduating from schools around the country. It was great for me to see what my peers at other universities were up to, and really sweet of her to feature all of us on her blog. I gotta say, I'm really excited about the future of our field. You can read Amy's post here.

Lisette just put up an excellent post showcasing all the ECU grads that are currently up in Gray Gallery. Like I've said before, there's a BUNCH of us. You can read her post here, complete with pictures of all the artist's work.

Happy Weekend!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

No Rest for the Weary

Homesick I: Beaches

copper, sterling silver, sand dollar piece, shell, aquamarines, map, mica, ink

So, I finished my first post-thesis piece today. It's small, not very complicated and not rock related. There's no electroforming or enameling involved, and yes, I glued some things together.

Installation Shots

Here are some quick snapshots of the work installed in the gallery. I had four walls, spaced out to create a little cubicle type deal. I wanted the space to be visually quite, and to evoke, a sacred, reverent feeling, like a cathedral. Everything cam together pretty much how I imagined it. I wound up using 175 brooches, because that's what fit on the wall without being too crowded. I had about 20 extra that I didn't use. And yes, I pounded each and every nail into that wall myself.

More pics of the gallery on Flickr.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Thesis Pics Part I

Flow Like Water
Stillness is Required (detail)
Prayer Beads: Becoming
Save Me From Myself

Here's a few shots of the thesis work that haven't been seen on the blog before. You can see images of all the thesis work on my Flickr site. Pics of the installation to come.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Quote of the Week

"The silence is all there is. It is the alpha and the omega. It is God brooding over the face of the waters; it is the blended note of the ten thousand things, the whine of wings. You take a step in the right direction to pray to this silence, and even to address the prayer to 'World.' Distinctions blur. Quit your tents. Pray without ceasing."

~Anne Dillard, Teaching a Stone to Talk

Well here we are.

It's all over. I spent the week between my last post and this installing my show, adding images to my document, completing my oral defense, spending over three hours just on page numbers, submitting my paper electronically, and gathering all my signatures. My parents came into town Thursday night and left this morning; my brother and his girlfriend came in Friday afternoon and left Saturday morning. A dear, dear, friend of mine from Towson came down too, and stayed with me. We hadn't seen each other since I'd moved down here so it was great to catch up on her life, her thesis experience and what was going on with some other good friends I left behind in Maryland.

The show looks amazing. I couldn't be happier with how my work looks, or how the entire gallery looks. I think we were all a little apprehensive with so many of us in the gallery, but everyone filled the space and it all went together incredibly well. The opening went great as well; there was a steady stream of people almost the entire time! Some of the faculty have been saying that this is one of the best MFA shows they've seen. I could not be graduating with more talented people.

But people are asking "What next?" In the immediate sense, we still have a couple weeks of school left, and while I do have very few obligations, I do still have a few obligations. I have work to make for friends and colleagues, work I'd like to make for myself, job hunting and applications to begin working on in earnest, grad assistantship hours I need to keep showing up for. In the more long term sense, as in where am I going to go, and what am I going to do after graduation, well, that's a little trickier. I got a summer studio assistantship at Arrowmont starting the end of June and running through the end of July. I couldn't be more excited about this opportunity, and I'm hoping that by the end of my time there, I'll have the next place to go. And as much as I hate moving, I realize that this is how my life is going to be for the next few years. There are too many things I want to do, all over the country, for me to pick a permanent spot right now.

The future seems scary and exciting all at once. Even this blog is going to undergo some changes I expect. I would stick around for the ride, if I were you. I have a feeling it's gonna be good.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

To Do. . . .

I posted a week ago that my show goes up today. I don't think I'm actually going to get into the gallery until tomorrow; today I'm finishing up displays and photographs. Over the weekend I'll be putting all my images into my thesis document and tightening up the last few details on that. I've gotten a lot done this week (with LOTS of help), but there's more work on the horizon (luckily I have more help on the way!)

Anyways, here's a list of things I'm going to do AFTER my thesis is over:

- Sleep!
- Spend an entire day watching movies!
- Read a book just for fun (any suggestions?)
- Go to the beach!
- Go to the beach!
- Make books!
- Enamel something blue (Ooooooo!)
- Clean my apartment!
- Bake bread!
- Update my Etsy shops!
- Sleep!

I think it's a pretty good list. I'm really looking forward to it. Happy Thursday!