Sunday, May 31, 2009

Jewelry In Motion

My favorite event at the SNAG conference this year was the exclusive evening at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Part of the evening was a fashion show called "Jewelry in Motion" curated by Gail M. Brown. It was awesome to see some of this stuff in person! Check out the flickr set of my snag photos for more! 1. snag79, 2. snag73, 3. snag64, 4. snag61, 5. snag36, 6. snag38, 7. snag59, 8. snag56, 9. snag54, 10. snag52, 11. snag50, 12. snag46
At the museum we also got to see the Arms and Armament collection, which had some awesome metalwork in the form of weapons and armor. Photos of that can be seen in my flickr stream as well.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

SNAG Student Show Video

Arthur Hash just posted the slideshow he made of the student you can all see it! Isn't the music he chose great?!

SNAG 2009 slide show from arthur hash on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

SNAG Conference: Day 2

Day2 of the Snag Conference in Philly-Thursday
At 9 am the conference officially started with a welcome and opening remarks, followed by a presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Stanley Lechtzin. Stanley gave a moving speech expressing gratitude for all who helped him along the way, most especially his wife who, "is the solder that holds all his parts together." Its always nice to hear people give recognition to those in their lives deserving thanks.

Stanley then gave his talk as the keynote speaker on, "American Metalsmithing Revolutionaries". Stanley's talk consisted of video (no idea where it came from) of some early educators in the field who he felt were revolutionaries in the field. The video was hard to follow, mostly due to the quality of the sound, and I felt the talk would have been better received if Stanley had simply quoted relevant parts and discussed why he felt each individual contributed to a revolution, while also showing each individuals work and contributions to the field. What was nice about the video was being able to see people I have only read about in books...being able to put faces with names. There was very little dialog from Stanley himself which I found disappointing. He concluded his talk with a light call to action for educators saying, “This is not a dress rehearsal. When they [opportunities] come up, grab them.” And also, “Those who CAN, Do. Those who can Do it Better, Teach.” Overall Stanley seemed like an individual with relentless dedication to the field and his students. It seemed like he was very deserving of the award and it was awesome to see an overview of his 40+ years of metalsmithing.

Dr. Sandra Alfoldy – Imagining Ourselves: Looking into the Future of Craft

This was a well spoken talk about craft today and where it is heading. I think a meaningful part of her speech was when she addressed venues like etsy and the roll they play in the future of craft. Although I wasn't at last years conference, it seemed to me (in reading on blogs in the aftermath) that last year it was implied that things like etsy would be the downfall of "fine craft". Obviously...I wasn't there, this is just the vibe I got from the grapevie. Dr Alfoldy proclaimed the opposite, encouraging us to embrace these new technologies to educate the world about what Craft (with a capital "C") educate people that Martha Stewart does not = Craft.

Leo Caballero who is one of the founders of Klimt02 gave a lecture that afternoon about the website and its mission/purpose. From what I gathered he is a philosopher who founded the company with a metalsmith. His talk was heavy with theory, high diction and hard to understand due to his thick accent (he is from Spain and this was the first lecture he has given in the states...brave guy!). He spent almost an hour on two powerpoint slides that were just text in bulletpoints. I wish there had been more images to keep my interest up simply because it was hard to follow what he was saying. He did play an awesome video at the end that made the first hour worth the wait. Too bad its not on youtube or you could watch it too.

The student exhibition and slide show were AWESOME, but lacked one from ASU!! Arthur Hash did a great job putting the slideshow together (and had an awesome soundtrack...wish I knew what the music was!)

There was not a single ASU student represented in either the show or the slideshow. Why not? Because not one of us even applied. LAME. I have to admit, I applied the first couple of years I was a student, never got in and got discouraged. This year (after finally being able to attend the conference) I realized how important it is to be represented in those shows. I promise to get ASU people to apply next year because we have a great program with some really talented students with work that deserves to be seen! I am so bummed that we flaked on that (bummed about not submitting myself especially).

Anyway, I wish I would have taken photos of the work in the student show...but I wasn't sure if that was appropriate or not so I didn't. I made the assumption that if I looked them up when I got home I would be able to find their work online. Not so. It is 2009 people...with free/inexpensive sites like flickr, crafthaus, blogger, etc. there is NO EXCUSE not to have your work on the web. Why?? Why would you not?? I don't get it.
See some images from the show here on Emiko Oye's Blog.

Anyway, last but definetly not least on Day 2 was, my favorite part of the conference...
The Exclusive Evening at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Jewelry in Motion
So glad I paid the extra $$ for this event and it totally made me want to have something like this at ASU...hmmm.
I am actually going to make this event its own post because I have so many pics.Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

SNAG Conference in Philly: Part 1

My trip to Philly for the 40th Annual SNAG (Society of North American Goldsmiths) Conference was awesome. I wish I was better at articulating...I hope I can correctly convey my thoughts and feelings about the conference to you (but these posts are going to be incredibly long)! I should let you know that SNAG appointed 3 official bloggers for the conference (which I found to be pretty funny for a few reasons) and I am not one of them. So, let that be a warning:)I am an unofficial SNAG blogger! If you want to hear about the conference from an offical SNAG blogger, visit the blogs of: is what happened and my thoughts on DAY 1 of the Conference.
I was awarded a travel grant from ASU to attend the conference so the whole trip was paid for. I have always wanted to go to the conference but was never able to because of the cost, so I am very grateful for the opportunity to attend my first SNAG conference this year. Because of the grant I was able to talk two of my friends and fellow grads/alumni into going with me as the hotel room was paid for (thanks ASU!). So, we all jumped on a red eye flight, leaving Phoenix at 11:30 at night on Tuesday night and arriving in Philladelphia at 6:30 the following morning (Wednesday). We arrived at the Lowes hotel downtown...checked in and somehow ended up on the VIP Club floor of the hotel...very posh (no idea how that happened)! This was the view from our room. Then we ran into Betsy Douglas (another fellow ASU metals alum from about 25 years ago) and Ken Bova (metals professor in Montana, and the nicest guy ever!) We meandered our way over to the Reading Terminal Market and sat down for breakfast at "Down Home Diner" serving scrapple and scram (YUM!). Ken Bova told lots of great stories and seemed to be just a really awesome guy. He told us, "Before you know it, you are going to be sitting on this side of the table telling stories of your are the future of this field." Whoa...that is crazy to think about.
That afternoon was the Professional Develpment Seminar. I have to admit, this was one of the things I was most looking forward to. After just having done a smiliar workshop at ASU, I really wanted to see how the Seminar at the Snag conference compared. Also, this is a topic currently captivating my interests as this time next year I will be exiting the realm of academia and forced into the real world. The first part of the seminar was speaker, Marla Johnson Norris, CEO of Aristotle Design. Marla discussed having a website presence, content design, search engine optimization, and other technical things about being on the web. She also (very basically) discussed social networking sites like blogs, twitter, flickr, facebook etc. While much of the information was useful, I felt like the seminar could have been much more productive. She spent a LOT of time talking about the technical ways to make sure people can find your website, but then also discussed how to set up a facebook page. Perhaps the audience was too wide a demographic? Speaking to young people about how to set up a facebook page seems like a waste of time, as is speaking to an older generation about the technical ins and outs of website design. Obviously I am making huge generalizations...there are plenty of young people (maybe) who dont know how to use facebook, and plenty of old people who understand the web. I just thought the time could have been better used by discussing branding, marketing, and delving further into how to make these online sites work for you, rather than just telling us that they exist. Obviously this was my first time at SNAG, so maybe these topics were convered at a previous confernce? Anyway, Marla was a great speaker...really kept her audience captive and had tons of energy and I really enjoyed her presentation, and there was definetly information that I took away from it that I did not know before. The Professional Development workshop we just had at ASU, given by Megan Auman was a little more helpful to me, but was also more directed at students (which is what I am and where my perspective comes from.) It was also a more broad view of professional development skills, rather than a more technical narrow one. I guess it is hard to discuss professional development when your audience ranges from well established artists who have been working in the field for 40 years, to students just embarking on their journey. Maybe the Professional Development Seminar at SNAG will someday evolve into two for those more established, and one for those who are just emerging.
The second part of the seminar was much more interesting to me than the first. Titled, "Galleries in an age of Digital Commerce," there was a panel of gallery owners, moderated by PDS organizers Andy Cooperman, Don Freidlich, Ken Bova, and Harriet Estel Berman. The lineup:
Karen Lorene – Facere Gallery – Seattle
Patti Bleicher – Gallery Loupe – Mont Clair, NJ
Whitney Couch – Object Fetish – Online Gallery
Sienna Patti – Sienna Gallery – Lenox, MA
Beth Ann Gerstein – Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston
Ruth Snyderman – The Works Gallery, Philadelphia

Gallery owners were asked tough questions like, “What does a brick and mortar gallery offer that an online one cannot?” The answer? The consensus seemed to be that galleries offer a place for people to see and touch the work in person. Galleries also attract a differnt type of customer. They also act as an agent/manager/career developer/marketer for the artist. The question was then raised, "How can a gallery representing say, 100 artists or more, possibly develop the careers of each of those artists?" Not a clear answer given for that one. Also brought into heated debate, the issue of galleries earning 50 percent (and sometimes more)...what are they doing to deserve their cut? Through most of this discussion there was lots of fidgeting, sighing, and eye rolling...mostly due to gallery owners not agreeing with one another and also being frustrated by the auidence (the artists). I very much enjoyed the responses from Sienna Patti of Sienna Gallery, and Karen Lorene of Facere Gallery. Sienna was honest and confident...Karen was honest and blunt. The dialog was eye opening but not unexpected. I wish there had been more discussion with the audience, but there just wasn't time.
That night was the opening reception for the conference, and also (one of my favorite activities) a pin swap. The pin swap at SNAG was crazy huge...totally overwhelming. If I hadnt been the the YUMA symposium for the last 6 years I would have been hiding in a corner gasping for breath. There were soooo many people! I have a hard time forcing conversation...there were so many people that I really wanted to meet, but was too chicken to introduce myself to. Next year I will be much more brave. I totally missed out on meeting lots of people. I was able to meet and swap pins with lots of awesome people though. Here are some of the pins I traded for (see the rest of my pins here).( above pin by Betsy Douglas)

(below pin by Lilyana Beckic)
(below pin by Emiko Oye)
Summary of DAY 1...awesome! I had no expectations because I had never been to a snag conference before. I feel like it is one of those things that you get out what you put in. There were so many things and people there to be inspired by. I plan on going back again next year if possible.
Stay tuned for days 2, 3, and 4.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Off again...

Today I leave for Philadelphia for the annual SNAG (Society of North American Goldsmiths) conference. I wanted to get SO much more done before I make little portfolio flipbooks, get better business cards printed (mine are ugly), get my new website up and running (its close!) and lots more...
Now I will just be lucky if I can get packed and to the airport! Too much to do!
Look forward to a full report when I get back...there will be lots to say Im sure!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Some New Little Things

The pin I am donating to the SNAG pin auction at the conference this weekend....
and a commission for an embroidered ring I just finished up.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

"Dont Stop Adding to Your Body of Work"

This is a better (and shorter) video clip of Obamas speech at ASU, where he tells graduates to never stop adding to their body of work.

Commencement 2009 from ASUF Admin on Vimeo.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Obama at ASU

On Wednesday I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to see/hear the President of the United States speak in person. President Barack Obama came to ASU and delivered the commencement speech at graduation.Of course, there were those that didn't want him to come, but he did come, and it was AWESOME!We had to arrive at the stadiom 4 hours early (it was 102 degrees outside). We waited in line in a sea of sweaty people for hours. It was so hot (but totally worth it)!Once we got into the stadium it was a lot better because we could hide out in the shade. We even got to see airforce one! See that little speck in the sky?!The stadium was SO packed! Over 80,000 people attended the event.This guy who sat in front of me had an awesome haircut. His hair said, "Yes we can Obama."It was so fun! I will remember it for the rest of my life.

President Obama gave a very moving speech, with a moral of selflessness at the heart. He spoke of many things, but mostly of using your talents and acheivements for the greater good...working for loftier goals to make the world a better place for everyone.
I wish I could have been one of the graduates shaking his hand. When I graduate next year, whoever the speaker is will probably be a total letdown...sorry, but how can you beat Obama?!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tomorrow: OBAMA

This is my ticket to go see President Barak Obama speak at ASU's commencement ceremony tomorrow. I am SO excited. We have to sit outside in the sun for 4 hours before graduation even starts, and I don't even care...I am SO excited!!!

Megan's Visit

Megan Auman came as a Visiting Artist to ASU a couple weeks ago. We had a great time and I learned SO MUCH! She did a professional development workshop with us and presented topics including: her journey from one of a kind to microproduction, goal setting, branding, creating a packet, marketing and promotion, web tools, pricing, selling, wholesale vs retail, shows, protecting your work, etc. It was so informative! She gave us a ton of resources and lots of advice that I am sure I will be using for years to come.
Thanks so much Megan!
Hopefully she had fun while she was here too...we did take a little time to play on the lazer engraver and burn some pattern onto a couple of her cozy cuffs. She also brought me my very own cozy/cuff which I LOVE!
You can get your own cozy/cuff from her etsy shop. Also, see her blog to read more about her trip to AZ.

Thanks Megan, I am still hearing from lots of people how great your workshop was!

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Check out the awesome stuff I got at our last ASU Metals Club Jewelry Sale. I love our club is so fun to buy/trade jewelry with my talented friends!!
I got these fun little pins, and this ring below from my professor, Becky McDonah. Its an Olive you ring...get it? I LOVE (Olive) you!! SO awesome.This ring was made by my professor Tedd McDonah. I have a couple of his forged rings and they are all super gorgeous. This new one is my favorite. Visit Tedds etsy shop to get your own forged ring, and check out his flickr.
These brooches (and the necklace at the top of the post) are from my good friend and fellow metals grad, Victoria Altepeter. Check out her etsy shop, and her flickr.
If you want to be notified about sales at ASU, go to the ASU Metals Blog and sign up to be on the mailing list.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Road Trip

This weekend I went to Utah on a road trip with my parents and little brother to a family wedding in St. George. It was gorgeous! Utah is SO beautiful (okay, southern Utah). We got stuck at Hoover Dam for over an hour in traffic, but while we were sitting there we saw these mountain goats on the hills just checking us out. It was pretty neat.
Here is where the wedding was...great views. Love all that red rock! It was a fun trip, and hopefully someday soon I can go back and check out more of the scenic spots in was really beautiful.