Sunday, December 30, 2012


 Been spending the holidays with my family in PA. It's been snowing quite a bit; a white Christmas and then some. It's nice for staying indoors with tea, a blanket and a book, but not so good for travel plans. Hoping it clears off by the end of the week so I can head back down south.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Looking Forward

 As 2012 comes to a close, I'm excited to say that I already have work in three exhibitions in 2013! I was invited to be a part of two shows in conjunction with ECU's annual symposium Material Topics. The first is an ECU Alumni Enameling Exhibition organized by Kathryn Osgood and Ken Bova. The second is Off the Wall= Structural Adornment, organized by Tara Locklear and Bob Ebendorf. I'll be showing semi newish work, (non thesis work). I'm a little nervous about how it will be received.

 I also got two of the thesis pieces accepted in to the Maria V. Howard Art Center's annual Handcrafted Exhibition. This is my third year in a row to be a part of this show and I couldn't be more excited! It's such a great space and the caliber of the work is always incredible. I feel privileged to be in such company.
The new year looks like it's off to a bright start! Thanks for reading!

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Wow, what a crazy past couple weeks!!! You think at this point I'd be used to the end of the semester craziness, plus moving craziness, plus holiday sales craziness. It occurred to me on my way to work the other day, that I really sort of hate December. At least the first couple weeks of it anyways, and the radio station that started playing 24/7 Christmas music Thanksgiving Day certainly doesn't help.

But the end is almost in sight: the sale was successful, I have all my finals to be graded and once I get all my paperwork turned in, and make the stupid long drive home, I can spend some time relaxing with my family. And by relaxing I mean prepping syllabi and materials lists for two classes I've never taught before and a pile of job applications. The fun never ends.

One more piece of business for today: the random winner of the Novica Giveaway is lucky commenter #1!!! Shoot me an email with your info, and I'll send you your promotion code! Thanks to everyone who entered and congrats to the winner!!!

Happy weekend!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

NOVICA Giveaway!!!!

 Last spring I did a site review and giveaway for Novica, a site where you can support artisans from all over the world by purchasing their wares. For the holiday season, Novica has generously offered me a $40 gift code to test drive their new Gift Finder option and one to giveaway to one lucky reader!
 Novica is a HUGE site with tons of wonderful things to look at. One of my complaints last spring was that it does take a bit of time to sift through it all. But the new Gift Finder option makes it so much easier. It lists so many ways to narrow your search, starting with the typical men's gifts, women's gifts, mom gifts, home decor gifts and gifts by price range. But you can narrow your search even further with options like animal lover gifts, corporate gifts, and eco friendly gifts. You can break it down even more and shop by personality with gifts for yoga lovers, adventurers, wine lovers, and gardeners.
 Some of the sections/search options do seem a tad redundant, but I suppose that can make things easier to find. I also thought that their wedding section should have been more clearly defined. I was interested in what sorts of things they offered for wedding gifts, and found their wedding section to be all about the bridal party and the actual event. I had better luck with the Housewarming section. Once I started exploring specific sections, I noticed these "Curated" selections. Similar to the Etsy Treasury idea, these are items selected by Novica users so fit a certain theme, and interspersed with stunning travel photos.  I recommend checking it out if you'd like to see Novica's items in a glossier, catalogue type layout.
I looked at lots of things and thought of lots of possible people I needed a gift for. I liked the idea of purchasing a set of ornaments, like those above, or as set of books and splitting them up in order to give to more people. In the end, I wound up ordering a pair of earrings for my mom to give to a friend. Who would you shop for and what would you purchase from Novica? Leave a comment and I'll select a random winner Monday, December 10th to receive a $40 gift code!

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Shop and Mingle Sale!!!

 A few shots of my set up for the Shop and Mingle Sale at Emerge Gallery, in Greenville, NC. The sale starts tomorrow night with a ticketed preview event (tickets still available) and is open to the public starting Friday, and running until the 21st. I'll be manning my booth from 5-9pm on Friday and 9am-4pm on Saturday. The sale features 12 Eastern NC artists working in everything from glass to wood to ceramics to photography. Stop by and say "Hi!"

PS. This Friday is also First Friday, with bunches of openings, and tons of great art to see!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Process Shot of the Week

I know I haven't blogged in quite sometime. The past few weeks feel like one long gray fog of making it through the everyday tasks of commuting and teaching and prepping for next semester, and massively long "To Do" lists. I've managed to spend a decent amount of time in the studio, but it feels more like treading water than forward motion. The above photo is a collection of enamels from over the past 2-3 years that I'm working on setting. I'm also working on some production work for the upcoming holiday season. I've also been working on some books.
What I'm not working on is this. This is Day River, and this is as far as I've gotten. This has been sitting in the studio like this for over a month. It's starting to bug me.

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are out celebrating Small Business Saturday! I'm heading back to the studio.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Process Shot of the Week

A few things I finished up in the studio this weekend: two more niobium charms, a chain for the shell and pearl pendant and a setting for an enamel. If that enamel looks familiar, it's because I made it over a year ago while I was at Arrowmont taking a workshop with Jessica Caulderwood. The niobium bits I made this summer at PV, as well as the shell and pearl pendant (Golden Tide?, Dawn Tide?); I just made the chain for it this weekend. It seems like now I'm in a state of finishing things up, using what I have at hand, putting pieces parts to use instead of starting completely from scratch.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Visiting Artists

 It was an exciting week at Craven Community College this week! We have five artists visiting from the Dominican Republic, who are painting several murals on our campuses and in the community. It's amazing to see everyone, students and visiting artists working together, even though the artists don't speak much English. It's also incredible how FAST they're working! These are just a few shots of the mural in the Caven Community College Student Center, after about a day/day and half worth of work.

They'll be painting murals in two locations in down town New Bern this weekend, and any and all are welcome to participate! For more information, check out the Craven Arts Council website. Hope you have a happy and art filled weekend!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Quote of the Week

"Is the physical activity of making a work the only consideration, or is the artist's total experience of observing, thinking, and gathering also valid?"

~Kendall Buster and Paula Crawford, The Critique Handbooks: The Art Students's Sourcebook and Survival Guide

I love this line. Of course it's valid; it's vital. One of the most frustrating comments I hear about art (some art) is that "It looks like something my five year old could make." or "I just don't think the artist put a lot of work into this piece." My Art Appreciation students say this quite a bit, usually about artists I love, such as Rothko and Cornell. Some of my work tends to be minimal to the point that it appears to lack effort. But all the reading, writing, and looking and sketching informs each piece of work. How do you convince non artists (and even some artists) that these hours of research prior to making the work, are just as important as the finished piece? Or do you let it go, and let the work speak for its self?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Rust Never Sleeps

So excited to be a part of this show, juried by ECU Alum, Sharon Massey! I wish I could see it in person,  but I hear there's going to be a catalog. Check it out if you're in the Slippery Rock area!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Recent Books

A few shots of some of the books I've been working on lately. Experimenting with handpainted covers and some new stitches/structures.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Ring Repair

 Finally finished up a repair job I've been working on; a simple gold band that needed to be re-enameled. It wasn't a difficult repair, but it was a little nerve wracking. I've never enameled gold before, and in addition to belonging to someone else, this piece is also quite  old. But I just got word from the client yesterday, and he was quite happy with the results.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Peters Valley Re-Cap: NJ State Fair

 It's fair season here in the south, but way back in August I went and hung out at the New Jersey State Fair for a bit. Peters Valley always has a tent where we spend the entire 10 days displaying art, running hands on activities and presenting demos. I volunteered to do a torch fired enamels demo since, 1. I love to enamel, 2. Fire always gets people's attention, and 3. Peters Valley will actually be running a torch fired enamels workshop during the 2013 summer season.
 One of my fellow Artist Fellows, Jesse Lerch from the Special Topics studio was there doing an encaustics demonstration while I was firing away. I was worried that the combined heat from the torch, griddle and an August day in New Jersey would make things rater unbearable, but I actually had a great time. We demo-ed an extra 30-45 minutes past our scheduled time, to about a dozen or so interested folks in total, explaining that the enamel isn't a paint, it's actually a powdered glass, and no, Jesse is not painting ceramic tile. We then spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the fair.
My favorite parts of the fair are always the animals and agriculture and less the rides and food.  This duck was such a flirt! He wouldn't stop posing for us! A prize winner for sure. There were also tons of rabbits, a few show pigeons and some chickens trying to impersonate David Bowie.
 I'm a little ashamed to admit that it took me about a day to put two and two together and realize that this "skinny pig" is really just a hairless guinea pig. I thought he was a bit cuter than his furry compatriots.
 Loved the vegetable and plant displays. There was an astounding amount of garlic. I never really thought of New Jersey as a major garlic growing state, but there you have it.

This was my other favorite thing from the fair besides the "skinny pig". I paid a dollar to see the "The Rat! The Rat! The Giant Amazonian Water Rat! Drinks Gallons of Water Daily!" The "rat" turned out to be a capybera, who was pretty stinkin' cute.
It was a long and exhausting day, but overall really fun. I rode a couple rides and ate some funnel cake, and got my fair fix in for the year. 

Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Process Shot of the Week

Been working, even though it doesn't seem like it on the blog. Maybe not working as much as I should be, but trying not to beat myself up over it. Anyways, pulled out the gauche and been sketching, thinking about water and the way it moves. Finally did some translations into enamel yesterday. Both use china paints (yeah, back at those china paints) and the opaque sample was much more successful than the transparent one. But neither really look like water. Still, they suggest the look of water and maybe that's all I need.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Peters Valley Re Cap: Luna Parc

 While at Peters Valley this past summer, I got to go to Luna Parc not once, but twice. Luna Parc is the home and studio of madcap artist Ricky Boscarino. The place is hard to describe, sprawling grounds, miles of mosaics and re-purposed everything, wine bottles, bowling balls, license plates and trophies. It's just 10 minutes down the road from PV, and a group of us went one Saturday, when Ricky was hosting an open house and the power was out in the studio.

 There was literally something to see everywhere you looked. The experience was a little overwhelming. Not only was there the main house, but also the metals and ceramics studios behind the house, and numerous little out buildings like this one made from cement and blue glass bottles. There was also building materials for future projects everywhere too. A little ways behind this building were several shopping carts full of more blue glass bottles.

 The inside of the house was as detailed as the outside, if not more so. Inside were more mosaics, paintings done by Ricky and various items he's collected  from his travels all over the world. This was just a small part of my favorite room, which was rather like a minerature natural history museum. My other favorite part was a tiny chapel behind the house full of all kinds of religious kitsch, like this saint covered in rosaries.
 The second time I went to Luna Parc, I went with the Special Topics class, and it was just us. I enjoyed this visit more than the first. There were less people and it was less overwhelming, so I felt like I could notice more details or absorb more. The first visit I took pictures, the second trip I sketched. The second time I went, I also actually got to meet Ricky. He showed us some areas of the house that are still in progress and weren't open to the public during the open house. I got to see more of the studio and learned that Ricky has a metals degree from SUNY New Paltz. He wanted to be a smith, but says the jewelry pays the bills.
 I have a feeling you could spend a week at Luna Parc and not see everything. It really is incredible that someone chose to live in a place like this and devoted nearly 10 years of his life to making his vision come true. I guess it goes to show you anything is possible with enough time, patience, love and and spare parts.

Oh, and yes, Ricky's house was featured on TLC's first episode or Four Houses