Monday, September 29, 2008

Off to Mobilia

I finished one more piece for the show at Mobilia Gallery (read more here). They asked for 2-5 pieces and 2 is all I was able to get done. I am a little sad about that, but sometimes you just can't do everything. Here are some shots of the piece and the pair. I have to send them off tomorrow (the opening is on Saturday)! It's always hard to part with things...especially when they were so much work and are so new! I like to give myself time to warm up to the idea of my work leaving me...its just so much a part of myself. You invest so much time, work, and emotion into something, you can't help but get attached. Anyway, I hope they find good homes:)
If you are in the Boston/Cambridge area you should drop by the opening on Saturday (or anytime) and let me know how the show looks! If I didn't have my 15 hour review coming up so soon I would totally be there!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Cleanest My Bench Has Been In Weeks...

Not even joking either.
And, this happens to be a literal translation of my life right now...the rest of my life looks just like this.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Big News! Contemporary Visions in Metal Show at Mobilia Gallery!

About three weeks ago I was invited to participate in the upcoming Contemporary Visions in Metal exhibition at Mobilia Gallery. Mobilia is putting up the show in conjunction with The “Imperishable Beauty: Art Nouveau Jewelry” exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. The art nouveau show "includes about 120 works by the leading designers and fabricators of late nineteenth- to early twentieth-century Art Nouveau jewelry. Although many of these artists acquired their skills in traditional, high-style jewelry houses, they found inspiration in the work of the Pre-Raphaelites, the philosophy of John Ruskin (1819–1900), the paintings and poetry of the symbolists, and the arts of Japan. For motifs, they looked to the flora (orchids, lilies) and fauna (dragonflies, butterflies) of the natural world and the sensuality of the female form. This new aesthetic was, in large measure, a reaction against nineteenth century historicism, industrialization, and the “tyranny of the diamond,” and these Art Nouveau artists chose to interpret nature rather than imitate it.
René Lalique (1860–1945) was the most renowned Art Nouveau artist, whose one-of-a-kind pieces were often large and made of unusual and inexpensive materials such as horn, enamel, and glass. Art Nouveau designers/jewelers also employed a pastel color palette much like the Impressionists. Color was, for the most part, achieved through the use of enamel, and plique à jour (open to light) enameling added a delicacy and level of technical sophistication not previously seen in jewelry. In addition to works by Lalique, jewelry by Georges Fouquet (1862–1957), Eugène Feuillâtre (1870–1916), and Lucien Gaillard (1861–1933) is shown, as are paintings, sculpture, prints, posters, textiles, and decorative arts from the period. "

Mobilia Gallery is hosting the "3rd Annual Conference on Jewelry and Related Arts: Ahead of Its Time: Jewelry in the Milieu of 1900", which the show will be a part of.
The exhibition will open Saturday, October 4th and run through the end of the month. I have been asked to send 2-5 pieces for the show, so I have been frantically trying to make time to make work for the show while also teaching, focusing on school (upcoming metals intercollegiate show, and printmaking critique), studying for art history midterm, and getting ready for my 15 hour review (and trying to sleep at least a little bit in there somewhere). I don't have any idea how I will get it all done, but somehow I will make it work! This is an image of the first piece I have completed for the show. I really am so excited about this opportunity and just hope that I can get some nice work done. I wish I had more time!!
Now, back to work!
Sterling silver, 14K gold, pearl, embroidery
Etched, fabricated, sewn

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Two New Etsy Shops You HAVE to See!

Two friends of mine just opened up their etsy shops! The first one is:
My friend Jason Woolery just started an Etsy shop for his pottery. I met Jason at Arrowmont this summer. One of my favorite parts about going to Arrowmont was the friends I made. I feel like in one week I made friends that I will have for many years to come. Jason is a very talented ceramicist who will be applying to graduate schools this year to start next fall. I've been trying to talk him into applying at ASU but I am not sure if he is buying my sales pitch. As much as I love ASU, I'm not sure I would want to live in Phoenix after living in beautiful Tennessee! Anyway, his work is great and I am sure he will do well wherever he decides to go.
I bought this bottle above from him the other and can't wait to get it. Isn't it gorgeous?! He has some other really beautiful things (like the jar below) in his shop too, go check it out!

The other shop you have to check out is:
Tedd is one of the metals professors at ASU. He teaches blacksmithing and patterned metals (mokume gane and Damascus steel) and a few other classes. He is one of those people that you can spend 5 minutes with in a metals studio and wonder if you will ever in your lifetime know as much as he does about metalsmithing. I probably won't. Anyway, his work is awesome! He makes fishing lures (and lots of other stuff). Here are some of the lures he has for sale so far (but keep checking back because he is adding more everyday!) Also, check his blog to see his other work.
Floralure Orange and White Twitch and Pause IV Recyclure E Cheesy Recyclure Good as Au

Go check out his shop to see more of his work!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Stitchalicious: Mindy Sue Meyers

My friend Mindy Sue Meyers, has an opening reception for her thesis show tomorrow! The show is titled "Stitchalicious" and is going to be absolutely FABULOUS! Mindy is a fibers grad who creates wonderful sweet things. You must see this show! Pictured below is a view of some work in her studio and just a small taste of the sweetness you will be treated to if you attend the exhibition! Mindy says this about her artwork:
"In my artwork I explore themes of comfort and security by making sculptural objects that represent sweets. I make large quantities of treats from household items that may look tempting at first, but their materials, abundance, or size can leave one feeling quite sour. I draw inspiration from vintage cookbooks, Betty Crocker, and Martha Stewart."

Read and see more about her on the craftzine blog. Also, if you live in the valley, you may have recently seen her work at the Arizona Museum for Youth, or the Eye Lounge.

Here are the details:
When: OPENING RECEPTION Monday, Spetember 22nd from 7-9 pm.
Where: Harry Wood Gallery, Art Building, 900 South Forest Mall(west end of campus near intersection of Forest and Tyler malls)
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Friday: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Weekday Parking: Metered, short-term parking along Forest Avenue and Gammage Parkway; Parking Structure 1 (Apache Boulevard).
Evening Parking:Parking Structure 3 (Myrtle Avenue).
Here is a MAP.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Craftsmanship Opening Reception

Please join me for the opening reception for the Arizona Designer Craftsmen Juried Exhibition, "Craftsmanship" on Monday, September 22nd from 7-9pm. I will have two pieces on exhibit. There will be lots of work in media including metals, ceramics, glass, fibers, wood etc. Fellow graduate students Victoria Altepeter (metals), Nick Deford (fibers) and Erik Bogner (metals) will also have work in the show, as well as my metals professors Tedd and Becky McDonah. Awards for the show will be announced at 8pm. The show is located at Gallery 100 on ASU's Main Campus. Here is a map to the gallery. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

If only it were this easy...

I have this thing about fortunes. I cannot throw them away. I am physically UNABLE. I have been saving them since I was 14. I have hundreds. This one came with my orange chicken lunch at Panda yesterday. I thought it was pretty funny. Someday I will do something with them all. Maybe I will just finally throw them away...

Monday, September 15, 2008

1000 Hearts

I just reached the 1000 Hearts milestone on Etsy! Crazy!
...and am only blogging about it because I am trying to put off writing my art history paper...

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Yesterday I alloyed and milled out my own metal for the first time. One of the luxuries of living in Phoenix is having a handful of local jewelry suppliers. If I ever need a shape or gauge of wire or sheet I don't have, all I have to do is go to my local supplier, Lonnies Inc. So, I had never before tried to make my own. Well, I have always wanted to make the Japanese alloy shibuichi, so I decided to finally do it yesterday! Shibuichi is a copper/sterling alloy.Carbon coating the ingot mold, so the metal comes out more easily.Melting the metal!! Pouring.Ouch, that is hot!
I made two small ingots for wire and a larger one for sheet.
All cleaned and ready for rolling out!
I got my workout rolling down the wire!
Now that I have it made, I need to decide what to do with it. When I make something with it, I'll be sure to let you know.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Another Point of View

"An upside down house is seen in Trassenheide, Germany, Thursday, Sept. 4, 2008. The house was built to enable an alternative view on everyday life for visitors."
This house reminds me of something that happened when my husband and I were dating. Seeing as we just recently had our 5 year anniversary, it seems fitting to tell the story. I'll give the condensed version.
Once upon a time when we were dating and never argued, we stumbled unknowingly into our first disagreement (gasp!). We were just not communicating well (and nothing has changed!) We laugh about it now though. Anyway, back to the story. So, we weren't getting along. It was when we were both in undergrad, so we were on campus. When our disagreement got to the point that neither of us was speaking, Scott asked me to take a walk with him, he wanted to show me something. I thought it was a trick to distract me from my anger and didn't want to go. But my curiosity got the better of me so I grudgingly followed him on a trek across campus. We entered the language and literature building and I was getting totally skeptical. I demanded to know what he was going to show me. He just said "you'll see." So, up 3 flights of stairs and there we were. Standing in front of a small map posted on the wall. He asked me, "What do you see?" I answered, "An upside down map of the world." It was actually printed upside down, but all the text was right side up. Then Scott asked, "Is it wrong?" I knew he was trying to trick me into something so I thought long and hard before I answered..."No, its just different." "Exactly!" he exclaimed. Neither one of us is wrong, we just have different opinions. And so it has been ever since. We see the world entirely different from each other, but somehow, it works. And this way we get to share our upside down worlds with each other. Awww.
map from here


I have work in the upcoming show, Craftsmanship 2008: 2nd Annual Arizona Designer Craftsmen Juried Exhibition.
The show will run September 22 - October 3 at Arizona State University's Gallery 100. It will feature juried work from many artists in mediums including metals, ceramics, fibers, glass etc.
Join me at the Opening Reception on September 22 from 7-9pm.
Here is a map to the gallery.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Double Take

I managed to make the front page of Etsy twice today. Once with my Elk Tracks Embroidered Necklace, and once with my Sewn Necklace in Sage Green.
How cool is that?!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Arizona Piece: Completed

Finally!!! The embroidery on this piece took SOOOO long! Days and days and days...
It measures 9.75" x 9.75" x .75" and is made from copper and embroidery thread. The process and ideas behind the piece are explained in the post below.
**If you click on the image above you can get a MUCH better view of the piece.**
It feels GOOD to be done! And now, I have to get to work on something BIG. I mean REALLY big. I have exciting news and will share soon:)I think my favorite part about this piece is how the etched contour lines are reminicent of tree rings. It makes me feel like the passage of time is evident in the piece, which is important to me because it is about where I grew up, the place I spent my childhood, and all the memories associated with that time and place.

I am still working on my photography skills for these larger pieces. I am so used to taking pictures of much smaller work, so these wall pieces that I have been doing lately are giving me a good challenge. Unfortunately the colors of the heat patina aren't really done justice in the photos. I will have to work on that...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Arizona Piece

My metals professor gave us an assignment to get us back to work in the studio last week as school started. It was mostly to help us get acquainted with the new grads as we worked on something together. We all had to make our own piece, but we were all given the same assignment. She gave us one week to make a piece inspired by Arizona. It should have been easy for me to do this, but seeing as I have lived in Arizona pretty much my whole life, it was actually pretty hard for me. It's all I know, so it was hard to isolate my feelings about it. I took a drive out to the desert to get myself inspired.
I collected some cactus needles and other plant materials but still didn't really know what I was going to do. The picture above is a prickly pear cactus, and the picture below is a barrel cacuts.
The little day trip was fun but I decided not to use any of the things I collected.It was a really beautiful drive though, and its always nice to get out of the city. I started to think about really old maps and how they were like works of art. Each map was hand drawn and painted. Here is an example from the 1600's (taken from here). Maps give us direction, tell us where we are going and where we have been. They mark important landmarks and show us the way. I wanted to make a map like this of my own home, or at least where I grew up, in Tucson, AZ. I found this topographical map of the area I grew up (I put a little "x" next to where my parents house is). This land is very familiar to me and is a place that I love. I decided to make a copper wall piece inspired by this landscape that is so special to me. I started out by planishing a flat piece of metal, giving it a hammered texture that starbursted out from where my house would be located on the topographical map. I wanted the marks to subtley draw the eye towards my home.I then glued the map to my metal and drilled holes along all the contour lines so I could embroider them.
Then I removed the map, covered the metal with a resist, drew in the rest of the contour lines and acid etched the lines into the metal. This etching part was kind of scary because I had like 4 gallons of acid in this bath, precariously balancing on two magnetic agitators. Probably wasn't the smartest thing ever and would have been a disaster to clean. Luckily all went well. I should have counted how many holes I drilled. It was a LOT (the panel is 11"x11").
Here are the acid etched contour lines.
Then I had to score the back of the plate so I could fold it into a wall piece that comes 1" off the wall. That is no farmers tan folks, that is just the filth that comes with grinding. The picture doesn't even come close to how dirty I actually got.
Next, I gave the plate a heat patina and started to embroider. Then I embroidered...for days, and days, and days (and am still going...)!
I am almost done...but not quite. Stay tuned for the finished piece! It will be mounted on wood and will hang on the wall as a reminder of where I come from, what made me who I am, where I can always go for peace, where my family is, and the place I will always call home.