Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Quote of the Week

I just read an article on Bruce Metcalf's blog that he wrote as a response to a post Kevin Murry wrote for AJF on advocacy and ethics in craft. Basically, Metcalf states that jewelry will never be an effective means to promote social change and here's why.

For me this article was really refreshing. I basically understood it to say that the socially responsible thing to do is make the work you want to make. If you want to be an advocate for social change, go into politics. My work doesn't have a social agenda, and it probably never will. Making green or sustainable or environmentally responsible work is also the least of my concerns when I sit down to make art. Maybe this makes me a bad person, maybe I make up for it in other aspects of my life style.

My favorite part was the last paragraph:

"My gift is imagining and making things. Only as a maker can I truly excel, and only as a maker can I make a contribution that might matter. If I have a responsibility, it is to exercise my gift. It is to function as an autonomous artist who serves only my own vision. In the long run, this is my only hope to have a real effect on the world. And it won’t be about ethics, not at all."

Sometimes I worry that there's no point to my work other than my own selfish amusement, so to hear someone I respect say that it's his responsibility to make his work as he sees fit, maybe I'm not so far off in the desert as I think I am. Maybe I actually am a little closer to the right track.

To read Bruce Metcalf's article go here.

I was unable to find Kevin Murray's article online.

Friday, December 16, 2011


Well, I've been busy (filling out applications), busy (making Christmas gifts for my family), busy (getting ready to head up North)! One other thing that has been keeping me busy is this commission piece.

It's a found shell set in a sterling silver ring, accented with brass, and a small tube set carnelian stone. It was a bit tricky because the client was very particular, and because this is some the most serious bench work I've done for quite some time. The shell also presented it's own set of challenges, because while I thought it was quite sturdy, it is in fact rather fragile. I had to improvise a bit when it came time to set the shell. I had originally intended to rivet the shell in place with the balls on the inside, but wound up flipping them around and turning them into prongs. I'm not exactly happy with the bottom one, I know it could be cleaner, but the shell just started to disintegrate at that spot.

Now to pack and prepare for a very long drive to PA!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Quote of the Week

I'm sorry that the Quote of the Week, has had an extended absence. Ususally, I pull the quotes from whatever it is that I'm reading. And while I've gone through a good deal of fiction this fall, I haven't been reading the types of things I know I should.

So, resolving for the hundreth time to do better, I give you two quotes to make up for the past quoteless months:

"But after awhile
the light I didn't believe in
shone in anyways through the windows,"
~Stephen Dunn, an excerpt from Round Trip

"In winter
seven stars
walk across a crystal forest."
~Soen Nakagawa (1907-1984)

Friday, December 9, 2011

What I've Not Been Working On

The other night I made a new sketchbook with the help of my friend Lisa Beth. She taught me how to put a cover from an existing book on a prepared text block of blank pages. I picked up this old Jesus book at the my favorite antique/junk store, and knew it would be just perfect for a sketchbook for my next body of work. I tend to get a little sloppy with the glue no matter how hard I try, and I glued in the end pages after the fact, when I know that there's a more proper way to do it. But I'm pleased just the same. The pages are watercolor color paper and some old bad prints, so the book looks really thick but I'm already worried about not having enough room. I suppose I can always make another one.

The main reason I came back to Greenville is because it provided me a studio to work in. But I'm finding my least favorite question to be (and one of the reasons I've been avoiding my art people) is "What have you been working on?" and various permutations of the phrase. Truth be told, I'm not working on anything. Or at least anything worth talking about. I'm in that first year of grad school phase where you try a bunch of things and make a bunch of crap. Which is exactly how my thesis body of work started. Only now, no one's around to hold me accountable.

It took me 4 years start to finish for my thesis work. I'm not ready for an undertaking of that magnitude just yet. But I'm getting ready to get ready. Which means I'm ready to start researching and sketching in my new Jesus sketchbook. So a little patience please. I'll let you know where there's something worth knowing. You know it'll be good, because it's got Jesus on the front.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Busy Busy Busy. . .

I thought I would get a chance to rest a little bit after Shop and Mingle, but the past few days, and the upcoming days seem as jam packed as the days before the sale. Unfortunately, not much of it makes for very interesting blogging. I did get a chance to rest on Sunday, and enjoy some time with friends, one who was visiting from out of town. Yesterday, I was invited to an enameling crit at Pitt Community College. Fellow ECU alum and dear friend Autumn Brown teaches there and had asked me to give an enameling demo back at the end of October. It was great to be able to see the completed projects!

Other than that it's been mostly small errands, house tidying, job hunting and gearing up for the next round of applications. I'm anxious to get back in the studio to make a few Christmas gifts and work on some designs for a possible commission that needs to be completed before I leave town. I did manage to make a kick ass sketchbook with the help of resident book maven Lisa Beth Robinson, but I'll blog more about that later.

One last thing I'd like to share with you tonight: Amy Tavern posted about the Hot Under the Collar exhibition. You can read it here. I feel so fortunate she agreed to be a juror! I know she and Bob will put together an incredible grouping of work.

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

La Noche del Broche Opening

The La Noche del Broche Exhibition opened last Friday at the Equinox Gallery in San Antonio, TX. The gallery has done a WONDERFUL job of posting all the work online. You can see all the brooches here.

As I was looking trough the list, I started to feel incredibly inadiquate. But then I looked at my brooch again, and I think it's fine. It's not what I wanted to send, but sometimes things don't work out the way you want.

At any rate, check out some AMAZING brooches here!

Shop and Mingle Wrap Up

Sorry for the lack of posting, but the past couple weeks have been a bit stressful. I was busy preparing job applications, and for the Shop and Mingle Sale at Emerge Gallery in downtown Greenville. No it's on to more job applications, a possible commission, a show piece, and preparing to leave Greenville in just a couple weeks! I can't believe how fast this fall has past!

I had a lot of fun doing the Shop and Mingle Sale. It had been a a few years since I had done a sale on my own, and I was trying not to forget all the little details (like packaging and a reciept book) which I typically don't have to worry about when selling with a group. I also had to sit the entire sale myself, which can get a bit tiring. I'd never done this sale so I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but all in all I'm happy with my sales and my trades. The work is still on display until just before Christmas, so hopefully I can move a few more pieces before it all comes down.

Hope you're enjoying your weekend and buying handmade and local for your holiday gifts!