Sunday, March 25, 2012

Family Matters

I will have several pieces in an upcoming exhibition at Tempe Center for the Arts. The show is entitled Family Matters and "explores the multiple dimensions and meanings that surround the word family. For some family describes the 1950s ideal of the American dream that included two parents, two children and a white picket fence. For others, family can be a contemporary concept made up of extended relationships and non-traditional ideas. This exhibition will feature a wide variety of artistic styles and media. The overall tie that will bring the work together focuses on the saying, “Home is where the heart is.”

Family Matters: June 23-Aug. 25

Tempe Center for the Arts, Tempe Arizona

I would love to see you at the opening reception on June 23rd. More details to come.

Also, as part of the exhibition, the gallery will have an area of local teen work. If you know of any Tempe teens, encourage them to apply! Info can be found here.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Hand Fabricated Chains Workshop

This weekend I taught a Hand Fabricated Chains Workshop at Mesa Art Center. This is a class I have been teaching and developing for a couple of years now and each time I teach it it gets better. It may be my favorite class to teach. The possibilities are just endless with chain, which I guess is what makes it so much fun. Some people don't like the detailed monotony of it, but I love chain making.
I start the students out with a discussion of their backgrounds and goals, and then I show them a powerpoint with about 200 slides of historical and contemporary chains. We discuss chains in depth from historical, industrial, and adornment viewpoints. It really helps to get their creative juices flowing.
After the discussion, I move on to talking about wire, different shapes, metals, gauges, hardnesses, etc. I talk about how to choose each of these before getting to work on their designs. Then we go in to making and cutting jump rings, soldering, and assembling.
The format of this workshop is two 8 hour Saturdays. I've taught the class in an 8, 6, and 4 week format, but never 2 days. I like the weekend time frame but there is so much to cover!! The students learned how to make round and shaped jump rings, solder, and texture. I demonstrated traditional chains like the loop in loop and sailors knot, and also a dozen or more cold connected chains with NO soldering. We briefly touched on forging and twisting as well. Whew, it was one packed Saturday! Next week we go in to using the Smith Little Torch and working with sheet metal for linkage. I hope the students are having as good a time as I am!