Sunday, June 30, 2013

Good Bye Columbia. . . . .

I sadly left Columbia on Friday, and NC yesterday to spend some time in PA. I feel like I've left a world of blue sky and blue water for green green forests and grass. Here are a few parting shots of the Scuppernong River. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Jackalope Collective Interviews: Katie Poterala

I'm running a series of brief interview with artists in our group so that you can get to know us and our work a little better, and hopefully donate to our campaign. For your Sunday reading pleasure: Katie Poterala.

Education: BFA Winthrop University (Rock Hill, SC)
                  MFA Arizona State Univeristy (Tempe, AZ)
Lives and Works in: A private studio in Greenville, SC, where she also teaches adjunct for Winthrop University, as workshops and classes in upstate SC, and western NC.

What is your work about?

 I am intrigued by the irony of and differences between perceived and intrinsic value.

My work is an attempt to exploit the boundary between valuable and invaluable, provide the viewer with a universally accessible place of departure, and to provoke a dialogue about values and perception.

Recognizable forms reference objects of understood or accepted value. Jewelry objects, although familiar, are altered to become introspective and uncommon. Modifications, mutations, and unexpected surfaces and appendages call into question our concept of the precious, the significance and value of bodily adornment, and the social values that drive both. Both the body and familial objects and environments act as hosts, providing a context that addresses the importance of place and image: specific concerns that motivate the values we possess.

What are you looking forward to most about Amsterdam?

 I (like I suspect many in our group) am in a very precarious, juvenile point in my artistic career, having just left my MFA, and just beginning to feel my way through the often difficult-to-navigate reality of surviving and making a living as a visual artist. As an emerging artist, I am sensitive to the need to produce work for galleries and for the public, and am therefore becoming increasingly aware of the necessity for marketing and visibility. I see SIERAAD as an incredible opportunity for visibility for all of us as young artists, as well as introduction to a new market. I am so excited about seeing how our work is accepted and what future opportunities will come from this experience. I am also super stoked to see how our work fits into the overall context of jewelry internationally -- we're all very used to exhibiting amongst ourselves as US makers, but for me, this will be a first chance to see my work alongside makers from across the globe.

What's the best advice you were ever given about being an artist?

1. Take risks. I learned this as an undergraduate, from (professor) Courtney Starrett. It is probably one of the hardest, most valuable steps I learned to take, and I realize the validity and importance of this more and more as my work develops and career unfolds.
2. Get a website. No, seriously, do it. You'll never regret it.
3. Be Professional.

Any final thoughts on Sieraad?

 Yes, we want funding. Yes, we need financial help. However, YES, we'll find a way to go irregardless. We're a super motivated, super committed group of young artists, all taking a valuable, necessary, calculated risk. We know it will pay off, and we're willing to take this jump because we know our careers depend on it, that they'll somehow benefit from it. What's great about this campaign is that we're a group that is determined to make the most of the opportunity before us, and I am confident that I speak for all of us when I promise that we won't take the support from our donors lightly. Our varied backgrounds illustrate our commitment to our work, and to our field. We're makers, educators, and volunteers. We not only wish to succeed in our own practice, but also care about the future of our craft and the people and organizations it includes. We, as young artists, understand the value of what we do and the need to share it. We know every ounce of support we get comes with the shared commitment to a common goal, and we're so appreciative of that.

I feel so fortunate to be included among such an exciting group of makers, and am so thrilled to get to experience SIERAAD and hang out with these folks for a week in November.
To help Katie (and the rest of us fledgling artists) make the most of this opportunity, please check out our campaign. We're at $4000 with 28 days left to go!

Thanks so much Katie! Can't wait to hang out with you too and see this awesome work in person!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Process Shot of the Week

I had a relatively productive time in the studio this week, although I'm beginning to have doubts (again) about taking this work to Sieraad. I got some lovely linen thread I'm excited about incorporating into the work in lieu of chain. I did some sewing and book making as well, and made this painted batik silk scarf in last night's Art and Wine workshop here at Pocosin.

The more I look at these, the more I realize how terrible the photos are. Sorry 'bout that.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Around Pocosin

I've posted a bunch of photos from the town and nature area of Columbia, but there are some things hanging around the Pocosin Arts building that are also pretty neat.
I love this chair. It's a lot more comfortable than it looks.

Head full of big face anyone?

Detail of a wall sculpture by Jerry Jackson.

You see these swan decoys all over eastern NC, and I've always kinda loved them.

And last but not least, this porcupine toothpick sculpture. I'm pretty infatuated with this piece of folk art made by Pocosin found Feather Phillips. Sorry the images are so bad, but it's behind glass, and well, you know, issues.
Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Jackalope Collective Interviews: April Wood

I'm running a series of brief interview with artists in our group so that you can get to know us and our work a little better, and hopefully donate to our campaign. Next up is April Wood:

Education: BFA Studio Art, Metals specialization – Texas State University – San Marcos, TX,
                  MFA – Studio Art, Metals – Towson University, Towson MD
Lives/Works: In Baltimore, MD where she teaches for the Maryland Institute College of Art

What is your work about?

I make sculptural work that relates to the body and the senses, a context that comes from my education in jewelry and my fascination with tools and utensils.These sculptural pieces are hybrid creations, taking inspiration from the botanical, traditional fiber techniques, and our bodies. The jewelry I make reflects these larger works in its references to lace and floral motifs. I use a variety of alternative materials in my sculpture and am excited about exploring and incorporating more of that in my jewelry for SIERAAD. I want the two aspects of my work to always feed one another and I think this is a great opportunity to really investigate that.

What are you looking forward to most about Amsterdam?

Being in a city that understands and loves art jewelry! Also, this will be my first trip to Europe – I wish we had more time to spend there!

What artists inspire you? Nick Cave, Karen MccGwire, Pinar Yola├žan, Kiki Smith, Beverly Penn, Lucy Sarneel, Helen Britton, Amy Tavern to name just a few.

What's the best advise you were ever given about being an artist?

 If you are truly passionate about making art, you will find a way to do it. If you don’t have that passion or can go a day without doing something creative, find another job, because it’s not for you. It’s harsh, but I’ve found it to be true. This is not an easy path and you have to really fight for it and be willing to juggle like crazy to make it work.

Any final thoughts on Sieraad?

 I’m really excited to be a part of this because there is not anything comparable in the US – no fairs that are just art jewelry of the caliber that SIERAAD is. I, of course want this to benefit my work, to expose a broader audience to all aspects of what I make, but as an educator, I’m also extremely interested in the conversations I might have with students and the way we might work to educate American audiences after this experience. I think that’s also one of the best reasons for us doing this as a group: we are not just singular artists trying to sell our work, we are a community, representing a larger body of makers and we want that presence to be felt. This is a huge endeavor for us (the Jackalope Collective) to undertake and we look forward to making the American art jewelry community proud. Any assistance in funding this project would be greatly appreciated!

To help April (and the rest of us!) gain exposure on the European market, check out our crowd source campaign over on indiegogo!

Thanks so much April, and have a fantastic time teaching at Penland over the next two weeks!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Process Shot of the Week (Part 2)

I made some other brooches this week too. And a couple pendants.

Process Shot of the Week

I made a brooch for the beach.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Jackalope Collective Interviews: Katja Toporski

In conjunction with our fundraising campaign, I'm going to run a series of brief interview with artists in our group so that you can get to know us and our work a little better. First up is Katja Toporski:

Education: MFA, Towson University
Lives/Works: In a home studio just outside Washington DC

What is your work about?

My work is based on the meaning we attribute to objects, both historical and found/ archetypal, with a strong emphasis on the materials they are presented in. In terms of process this means I do a lot of casting, often using materials not typically associated with jewelry like concrete and gelatin. Gelatin castings undergo an aging process when left in the air to dry out, implying them having a life cycle of their own. The forms I work with are largely determined by the objects themselves; tension in the composition comes from juxtaposition of related objects, and their presentation in a different context. My work investigates the role of jewelry in contemplating the human condition through research into historical jewelry formats and functions, and exploring their relevance today.

What are you looking forward to most about Amsterdam: The crowd!

What artists inspire you?: Wolfgang Laib, Joseph Beuys, Eva Hesse, to a lesser extent Cai Guo Qiang, jewelers: Ruudt Peters, Bernhard Schobinger, Iris Eichenberg, Manon van Kouswijk, Lisa Walker, Iris Bodemer, and many many others!

What's the best advise you were ever given about being an artist?: Do what you want to do- don't think about the marketplace! It's the only way to make authentic work and you will be successful because of that, not because you're out to please the audience.

Any final thoughts on Sieraad?:
Sieraad sounds like a great platform and very different from the fairs in the US. While I do feel located somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic with being German and living in the US, most of my jewelry career has been in the US and I am very curious about the 'European Experience'! There appears to be a gulf between the two and I see our participation in Sieraad as an attempt to bridge the gap and connect to European jewelry aficionados. Most of us fall under the category of emerging artists which means that this is an expensive trip for us to front. Any help in funding means a little less worry about the financial burden and a lot more freedom to make gorgeous jewelry!!

To support Katja and her amazing art (and the group as a whole), please check out our crowd source campaign. We've got several great rewards in exchange for donation dollars.

Thanks so much to Katja for your participation and thanks everyone for reading!!!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

In the News. . . .

Last week I did a brief interview for the Scuppernog Reminder, a local reader here in Columbia. It came out yesterday, and today it was posted on the Washington Daily News website. You can read it here.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Process Shots of the Week

Lots of progress made in the studio this week. Lots of half finished or nearly finished pieces; pendants needing chains and such. There's no way I'm going to get to 100 pieces in the next three weeks. I'm at around 40, not counting all the half finished works, which is about 20 pieces behind where I need to be. I don't know though. We'll see. My plans to head to the beach this weekend were rained out, so maybe I'll exchange beach time for productivity instead.

Happy weekend!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Quote of the Week

I've made a lot of progress on my Alabama Chanin piece and I'm pretty pleased with it so far. I've been pouring though my books and over their website gathering inspiration and taking in all their lovely images (already thinking about my next piece!). I came across this quote in the Alabama Stitch Book, by Natalie Chanin, founder of Alabama Chanin:

"But making the first cut is difficult. Taking that first step to do anything new, like starting a business or taking up stitching, can be filled doubt and fear. If I've learned anything from building the business of Alabama Chanin, it's that the reality of our fears is rarely as bad as we envision and that fear only serves to get in the way of the important things we need to do."

This really struck me, since I do a lot with doubt, anxiety and fear. For the past couple months, it's been anxiety about Sieraad. In my low moments, I imagine that I'm literally going to be laughed off the continent. It my clearer, more centered moments, I remind myself that the worst case scenario in this situation, is that I get to go to Amsterdam with a group for really fantastic artists.  It was nice to come across this quote this week, as our crowd source campaign went live and the whole thing suddenly became more tangible.

How about you dear readers? Are you fearless or full of doubts like myself? How do you cope professional anxiety?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Indiegogo is a Go!!!!

I was very fortunate to have been asked to be part of a group of 10 American art jewelers to exhibit at Sieraad in Amsterdam in November of this year. We're trying to crowd source funding for our booth fee for the show over on Indiegogo. We've got several awesome rewards at various levels of giving.

Some of our rewards, all brooches:

Participants:  Jillian Moore
                      Rachel Timmins
                      Laura Wood
                      April Wood
                      Satomi Kawai
                      Katja Toporski
                      Katie Poterala
                      Rebekah Frank
                      Stephanie Voegele

 Please help support this group of super awesome artists, and myself! Check check it out here!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Turtle Time!

There's lots of turtles here. I see usually see at least 3 or 4 on my walks, sometimes up to 2 dozen, depending on the time of day and how many people are out to scare them off. They like to hang out on the same few logs, but I've seen them swimming around or even just lurking in the water plants too. I even saw a dead turtle (sad).

This turtle had just finished laying 10 eggs.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Process Shot of the Week

It's been a fairly productive past few days in the studio. I also finally started my Alabama Chanin inspired piece that I've wanted to do for year and resolved back in January that I would do this past spring. Technically it's still spring right?

Happy Weekend!