Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween from AZ

Only in Arizona is it still t-shirt and shorts weather on Halloween. It was 90 degrees today. I love it! Oh, and to wish you a Happy Halloween I will show you the little guy I found right outside my back door last night. Yum, what a nice little black widow treat!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

More pics of collaboration...

Here are some more pictures from collaborating with Anila Rubiku (see post below). These images were taken by Anila with the exception of the last photo, which was taken by a museum employee whose name I do not know. Check the ASU Art Museum Blog to see what Anila has to say about the project so far.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Collaborating with Anila Rubiku

On Friday I went to an artists lecture at the ASU Art Museum. International visiting artist Anila Rubiku talked about her past and current work. Anila will be an artist in residence at the museum through November 17. Originally from Albania, she currently lives and works in Milan. She is "often assisted by members from local communities and constructs large-scale sewn structures that explore urban architectural spaces and the depiction of the human body. Her work has been exhibited throughout Europe and Asia and in the US [...] Her work is currently included in the Venice Biennale of Architecture, Venice, Italy[...]"
She does a lot of sewing on paper to make really beautiful drawings. I was interested in working with her on the project because of both her use of materials (I'm a sucker for embroidery) and also because of how she spoke about her life experiences in her lecture. I feel like I can gain a lot from the experience and from her as an artist.
After her lecture she talked with individuals who were interested in collaborating with her (which I was!) Today we met up at the museum and began the collaborative project that she is doing while she is here in Arizona. We are working on small scraps of leather, embroidering drawings inspired by the desert landscape, urban growth and human procreation. The scraps will eventually be stitched together to create one large wall piece. It was fun to sit with her for 4 hours today and just stitch away and chat. I plan on continuing to work with her on the project until she leaves next month. You can see more of Anila's work here.

These photos were taken today while we were working on the project.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I hope I won't

(Image above is the work of John Baldessari)

My 15 hour Review is next Friday. Basically its a mid program review and a committee of 5 faculty members reviews my work, asks me a bunch of hard to answer questions and then tells me if I can go ahead and work towards my thesis or not. Sometimes I am ok and just want it to be over with already. Other days I slip into this terrified, hyperventilating, depressed, unconfident phase that makes me want to just walk away and go home. I get this pit in my stomach and I feel like I can't breathe. I shouldn't admit that. But I'm human. And seriously scared. Its hard to work so hard for something and not know if its going to be good enough. Its hard to work so closely on something and take an objective look at it. I really hope it goes well. I have a hard time verbalizing my thoughts about my work. Especially under pressure. My biggest fear is that they will think my work is boring. If you don't hear from me for a while, you know why.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mar De La Color Rosa

I just discovered a great jewelry blog! Montserrat Lacomba of Girona, Spain is the author of the blog, Mar De La Color Rosa. It has tons of great links to jewelry artists and is definetly worth checking out. Also, she is currently featuring my work and although I can't read the post (not really fluent in Spanish), I very much appreciate the exposure. Thanks!
Even if you don't read Spanish, its totally worth browsing because it's loaded with great images of work from tons of metalsmiths and jewelry artists. Now go check it out!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


This is a wall piece I finished a couple of weeks ago (for the Intercollegiate Metals Exhibition). It was mostly an experiment just with trying new things on the found platter pieces. This platter was pewter and really beat up. It had some really nice tarnish and history so I decided to leave its finish as is and not alter it. I embroidered a floral pattern and then tore out and ripped the thread to appear aged and worn. I'm still thinking about this piece and other directions it may lead me in, so I don't have a whole lot to say about it, but here are some images. The images aren't great...I had a really hard time capturing the details. Just use your imagination:) Oh, and it actually placed 2nd in the Holloware category at the Intercollegiate Metals Exhibition so that was exciting! Go here to see what else got awards!
Lots of little holes drilled...I am totally going to have arthritis by the time I am 30!
Embroidery before being torn.
And after the tearing...

Love and Loss

I got this book yesterday in the mail. I am SOOO excited to read it!!! Here is an excerpt from the first page...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


When I started my undergraduate classes at ASU as a metals major, the metals professor there was Dave Pimentel. Dave started the metals program at ASU sometime in the 70's and was the department head until he passed away in 2004. When he was there the TA office was full of his work. I took these pictures after he passed away but before his things were taken from the studio. I remember walking into the office all the time and just being so awe struck by all of his amazing bowls. These were all raised, meaning they were worked from a single flat disc of copper, slowly hammered into a 3 dimensional form. He was amazing. There were stacks of them, and this was only a portion of his work. He also made really beautiful jewelry which I dont have pictures of, and really large wall sculptures as well. I think about Dave a lot. When I had my first class with him I was terrified of him, I never made eye contact and I tried very hard not to talk to him. Then one day he walked into the studio and threw a bottle of frizz ease shampoo at me and said, "Here, I thought you may need this." He was totally teasing me (I have really curly hair) and after that I was't scared of him anymore. I like people that give me a hard time:) He talked me into going to the Yuma Symposium and I've gone every year since (this year will be my 6th yuma!) He was a big factor in my decision to go to grad school. I remember he sat us down one day in class and gave us a big long lecture about the importance of getting your MFA. I also remember him saying that you aren't a true metalsmith until you've made a teapot. Thats on my list of things to do. He also talked a lot about "that little touch of gold." He told us that if we added just even the smallest amount of gold that it made the work so much more precious and would totally change the feel of a piece. He taught me a lot in the short time that I had him as a professor and I will always remember what he taught me. I hope someday to acquire even half of his knowledge. I wish I had better images of his bowls for you, but I just had to share these photos. The lamps are my favorite, but I have a lot of other favorites in here too:) I am very glad that I had the opportunity to be taught by such a great metalsmith.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


I should be counting down the days until my 15 hour review (and I am, 19 short days left) but I am distracting myself by counting down for this...

I know. Super nerdy. At least I own up to it!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

One thing about living in the desert...

There are lots of scary bugs. Lately I've been finding lots of black widows around outside the house, and tonight I discovered this lovely little creature on my living room curtains. Doesn't it just give you chills?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Artist Lecture This Saturday!

This Saturday, October 18th, two other Arizona Designer Craftsmen members and I will be giving slide lectures. The two other artists who will be lecturing are Denise Currier in fibers and Jeff Reich in clay. Presentations will begin at 10:00 am and end at approximately 11:30 am. They will be held in the School of Art Building room 220. Parking is available in parking structure #3 off of Myrtle (and University) just west of the School of Art Building.
Feel free to come and listen!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Dad's Old Gloves

There is something to be said for deadlines. As much as I have been cursing them lately (I have had SO many SO close together) I am actually pretty grateful for them. This semester I have just been so slammed and have been working too many 16 hour days at the studio. But because of that, I have been pretty productive lately...which will be good when I have my review in less than a month (eek!). I finished this piece at 4am on Thursday night (or Friday morning if we are being technical). I had critique on Friday morning. The motivation for this piece actually came from a paper I had to write in my "History of the Decorative Arts in Interiors" class this semester. We had to design a container to hold something of significance.
Something of significance to me is the gloves that my dad used to wear when he worked in our yard. My dad taught me from a young age how to work with my hands. We raised livestock and had pigs, sheep, chickens, dogs, and rabbits. I was a member of the 4-H club and raised these animals to show at the county fair (my favorite week out of the whole year as a kid was that week I got to spend out at the fair with my dad!). Each morning before school , and every night before I went to bed I had a lot of work to do to take care of these animals. My dad was always there helping me, showing me what to do and assisting me with what I couldn't do alone. I feel like I really learned a lot during these times spent working with my dad. This is where I learned what good work ethic is, and it has translated into all other aspects of my life. When I think of these times spent with my dad, I remember the smell of his leather work gloves. These gloves had the smell of leather, sweat and dirt. They were worn, tattered, and stained. Each mark on the gloves tells a story, they are the history of these times we spent together. When I think of my dad, I think of a man who worked hard. He was a good teacher and taught me what is important. When I smell the scent of the old, worn and weathered gloves, it reminds me of the days spent out in the sun working with my dad. I remember how much we sweat to get our chores done. I remember the smell of the lanolin in the wool when we sheared our sheep. I remember the smell of WD40 that we used to oil the shears so they would run smoothly. I remember the smell of the sunscreen we rubbed on our pigs so that they wouldn’t get sun burnt. I remember the smell of dirt as we planted new trees that are now full grown. I remember the smell of alfalfa hay that we fed the animals. I am reminded of all these things when I smell those old leather gloves. I love my dad a lot and am grateful for all the good memories I have of spending time with him. This piece is about those memories.

I couldn't find a good picture of me and my dad with our animals, but I guess this works (I was in high school when these pictures were taken, no laughing!). Yes, my hair is big, but not as big as this pig:)

The piece is made of copper, an altered silver plated platter, embroidery, glass pearls, glass lens, and leather from old work gloves. The leather is set under the glass lens in the center of the piece. The back plate measures about 12" across by 7" wide and about 1.5" tall (I'm guessing on all the measurements) In this piece I was also experimenting with the addition of other elements with the found platter, and using the shadow (back plate) as a frame for the piece. I am still having a really hard time photographing these wall pieces, but I think you can at least get the idea of the piece. I am pretty happy with how this one turned out and am looking forward to making more along these lines.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"Students’ metal art takes unusual form"

Our Intercollegiate Metals Exhibition made it into the school Newspaper, the State Press, yesterday. Although the article has lots of slight errors, we are happy for any press about the show! I was interviewed for the article and one of my quotes actually has me saying something is really "cool". I now need to eliminate that word from my vocabulary! Thats so bad! Anyway, see the article online HERE.

Student Work

This semester I am teaching Metalworking 1. My students finished their first project (piercing and riveting) a couple of weeks ago and I'm just now done photographing and grading them. Overall I was really impressed with their craft and thought.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Giveaway Announcement and a Funny Picture!

So, about a month ago I promised a giveaway of one of my sewn necklaces. My husband randomized the list and then I picked a number (8 is my fav#). And the winner is....(drumroll please)...
So, Sara email me with the color you want (any color they make embroidery thread into is fine).
And, hopefully you will get your necklace sometime before Christmas:)
And, I also had to post THIS...
This picture really needs no explanation, but I will give you one anyway.
She is totally going to kill me for this...but I HAD to post it. This is me and my good buddy Victoria Altepeter. Vic is a year ahead of me in the grad metals program at ASU. We made these anvil t-shirts last semester after taking a printed textiles class. We showed up at school matching the other day (totally unplanned!). Go team metals!! (thats what we call ourselves)
I love her! She is an amazing source of inspiration, support, guidance, knowledge etc. to me. She helps me everyday by giving me advice, sharing her talents and being my friend. Her thesis show will be in March and it is going to be amazing! If you come to the opening tomorrow (see below) you can see some of her awesome work!

Third Annual Intercollegiate Metals Exhibition

Announcing... 3rd Annual Intercollegiate Metals Exhibition
Dates: Oct. 6-17
Hours: Monday-Thursday, noon-5:00 p.m.; Friday, noon-3:00 p.m.
Opening Reception: Monday, October 6, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Tickets: Free
A national juried exhibition of jewelry and metalwork, selected and organized by Herberger College faculty member Becky McDonah and the Metals program in the School of Art. Participating schools include:
Arizona State University
Bowling Green State University
Cranbrook Academy of Art
Indiana University at Bloomington
Kent State University
Rhode Island School of Design
San Diego State University
University of North Texas
We set up most of the show today, and I promise it is full of AWESOME work! Come out and see the show!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Another Mobilia Post...

So, I know I have already done a bunch of posts about this, but I am just really excited:) I just had to post this!! My work is featured on Mobilia Gallery's website for the Contemporary Visions in Metal Show!!! I SO wish I could be there for the show for so many reasons! My little brother actually moved to the Boston area this summer and lives about 20 minutes from the gallery. Also, my parents just happen to be arriving in Boston to visit him, the day of the opening reception! Not to mention the fact that there is going to be some really beautiful work in the show that I would absolutely love to see!
Go check out the website to see other work in the show, there are some really amazing artists involved!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Thanks to my technisavvy husband, I now have a page that can direct to my website, blog, or shop. So, if you have bookmarked you will now be directed to this page (pictured above).
Oh google, how I love you (and your free services)!

Opening at Mobilia

I made a mistake about the date of the Opening Reception for the "Contemporary Visions in Metal" show at Mobilia Gallery. The opening is actually Wednesday October 15 from 6 to 8 pm. Make sure to stop by if you are in the area and let me know how it looks!