We are manifesto-less. Our meetings do not begin on time and they do not follow an agenda. Together we are six, each taking a different position on the spectrum of contemporary jewelry – from those who identify unquestioningly, to those who remain suspect, even one who necessarily despises the entire scene. Our strength lies in a diversity of convictions, an ungainly willingness to speak and to listen.
Collectively, we live 6,537 miles away from our physical point of origin, where our insular gestation lasted only 87 days and ended already three and a half years ago. At that point, our dispersion began, each of us landing in soils of varying depth and nutrient. But whether we now find ourselves in cultivated fields, shallow window boxes, or fighting for light amongst the weeds, necessity strings us back together.
Each of us seeks something different from the other and from our collective conversation, held as often in words as in objects. Some need deadlines; some need a sounding board or sympathetic audience. Some want to be tested, to be terrorized by extremes. Others want to feel important, and some feel perhaps too isolated and lonely. However, we have not yet whittled these desires to cohesion, though the need for branding has already begun. Perhaps the greatest draw is simply the desire to be understood, to be afforded the luxury to speak in our mother tongue and for the emanating objects to be heard and puzzled out.
So once a month, we visit the oracle. Each of us, individually, in our own homes, consults the portal that links our tunneled voices, our blurred faces. For a moment, our entire lives are stitched back together. We exist simultaneously in six different spaces and nowhere at all. The wormhole reopens to our past and our minds seize, trying to make sense of the time in between. Then, usually after only an hour or two, the convergence fades, the portals close, and we return to separate realities, but always with a new imprint to carry. We drag each other’s voices through our deep-rutted days, judgmental or supportive, as individual occasion requires. More so, we rely on each other as pre-committal partners in whatever immediate or long-term endeavor any one of us enters alone – both professional and personal, as the two are always and ever entwined.
In an over-connected world where friendship is degraded by networking and networking is embarrassingly mandatory, this is a connection we have chosen to cultivate. Though we run in different circles, retain distinctive priorities, and maintain diverging trajectories, we recognize the benefit of our familial origins. We have a shared shorthand. We run from similar parables. We desire a panoptic approach to growth, even within our tenuously built community of computer screens and times zones. And though we do not yet know where we are wandering, we are eager to feel our way through new terrains.
Wellington studio, Galleries and shows
It has been quite some time...
The spring semester kept me far busier than I could have imagined really and my summer course is currently coming to an end. Students this spring were pretty great. Many of them had an interest that past just technical training and went into a more conceptual direction. Next term we will have a pretty high number in our advanced classes which is also quite rewarding for both the students and ourselves, the teachers.
School work aside my studio has also been pretty busy as well, thankfully. I have a lot of projects in motion currently and hope to share them all soon. Some of the projects I admit I have put on hold until I get back from Penland this summer. The class I am attending is with Arthur Hash, "One-two, punch" covering enameling, champlevé, etching and more. Reason for being on hold, obviously is the potential use of some of what we cover in the course.
I do not currently know anyone in my Penland class this summer but I really look forward to the two weeks I am going to spend there. It will be my first time, and hopefully not my last.
Also! I can now be found on Klimt02, feel free to take a gander :)
Here at ODU there is a research symposium where faculty are encouraged to have students participate in order to publicly discuss their current projects. The students involved are not simply executing assignments that have been given to them, but rather have taken it upon themselves to research different topics, craft studies, technology, and aspects of art history.
The metals department had three students involved this year. One student was from our blacksmithing course (Thomas), one was an intro to metals student (Jesse), and then our advanced tutorial student (Patrick). Patrick's focus was on abstract raising in copper with a display of process pieces as well as finished work. Thomas was a nice addition to the event with his blacksmithing work. He exemplified how the skills could be used for functional and decorative arts as well as discussing his future plans in the craft. Jesse was our intro student but you wouldn't know it by simply looking at the craftsman. With fabricated and cast pieces Jesse discussed adornment for men - but not your usual brooch or cufflink was on display. His research involved beard jewelry. Having researched historical use and designs, he created pieces that definitely had people talking.
Another ODU event of the year is the trip to NYC for a couple of days right before spring break begins. With about 50 students and a handful of faculty we take a charter bus up to the city and then stay overnight to make it a solid two days stay. The different faculty plan alternate schedules and the students are allowed to take part in whichever they choose (so long as its not a course requirement made by an attending professor.) The group I was a part of spent all of Saturday in Chelsea and I admit it was a pretty great day. All of the galleries were full of work and the weather couldn't have been better. We started the morning out at a diner that could actually fit all of us and then we headed to Highline before doing our gallery hop.
All in all it was a great trip. No drama, not lost students, no lost faculty. We did momentarily lose a purse but it was recovered thanks to wonderful shop keepers. But even that was an adventure! I also was lucky enough to steal an hour or so away to myself to enjoy time with friends that I probably had not seen in almost three years. Well worth it. Art, conversation, loved ones, new friends, and good food.
And did I mention we went to the beastly event by Wolfbat? Yeah we did that too. Go Brooklyn.
Can't beat Wolfbat, vikings, moshpits, and live music all in one Van's skate park with crazy decor and lighting. Win. Thanks DENNIS MCNETT.
As always, things are always moving and shaking in that building. We had the craft event in the building last Sunday and it went pretty well. I felt a bit like the odd man out but in my opinion that is not always a bad thing! I had a lot of good conversation and feedback from the locals. Since my work hasn't really been seen around here it was nice to give people a little peek.
In regards to my work, I have a bunch of projects happening. Some are continued aspects of my recent work while others are a new body entirely. Can't wait to share it all when its complete.
It is thesis and degree show time. Knowing how that is I wish you all the best and know that it will all be epic and admirable. Sadly I will not be at the degree show opening but I will be there the last week its up and can't wait to see my friends walk across the stage with all the AIRS and go party hard. I will also be helping metals deinstall so hey, gotta love me right?
Miss and love you guys. See you in May.
My thesis sculpture has moved into his new box house. Wheels and display window in place I feel much better in my space now. Not only are things coming together but I feel like the big baby is safe.
I was recently asked by a colleague to take part in a print trade portfolio this semester. It has been some time since I produced a print so I am pretty excited to get my hands back to the litho stone. One observation I have made is that when it comes to my two dimensional work I think very differently about the 'subject matter' or 'proposal.' That being said there is still that thread that runs deeply through the two in the end.
I look forward to strengthening that thread and allowing it to develop more and more with every thing it sews.
P.S. Pina is on Netflix, all should enjoy.
Today is one of my studio days usually since I don't teach Fridays. However, since VA has decided to be so cold, it's not happening! My studio has no heat and my two space heaters can't work that room properly till the upstairs work is done. My neighbors studio shares tall windows with me and until they get closed in I lose all my heat :(
So here I am at the university trying to get some stuff done. Though I must say its still pretty chilly here too.
Here's to coffee, heating, art, snow, and the hope that I can get working in my space soon!
David Page at the Baron & Ellin Gordon Art Gallery
This past Friday night I went to David Page's opening at the ODU Gallery here on campus. Seeing his work in my home town was pretty nice I must say. Being a bit more demanding of the viewer than some works I have seen here in the past i felt refreshed.
For me this was no ordinary opening either. Friday night I was sitting at the coffee shop down the street when a student asked my coworker and I if we wanted to 'get into the art tonight' because they needed one more volunteer. My coworker said no on the spot but I said to let me know when I got there if they still needed someone. Being curious about the performance aspect of the work how could I just say no?
Once we arrived at the gallery it seemed I was to be in the work. Some thought I was crazy and others thought it was the best thing ever since I was a teacher and not a student from the sculpture department, like the rest of the volunteers. One of the requirements for the piece was to be a small framed person... all made sense after that as to why I was asked.
Everyone should go see his work in person if you have the opportunity. For those of you who don't have the benefit of a show near you, do look at his work online.
In effort to finally move out of the storage unit I was renting I took my thesis sculpture out if its crate. I forgot how big that bad boy was.
When moving back to Virginia from Michigan I was worried about how the materials would fare with all the rain we drive through... Once I got a loom at my piece I felt so relieved. Everything is great! The steel underneath is rusting a bit as it should/ I wanted it to. All of the gut is in tact and doing well. Now that it is in my studio I am remaking the crate so that it can be seen as well as utilizing the storage as a work surface.
I am very happy to have this piece back in my life. Here's hoping that others may enjoy it more as well.
I admit it has been some time since I wrote a good post here on the good old blog.
After returning home from Germany this summer my days became more than busy with work, play and studio days. Some events did not permit me much internet time while others just left me exhausted.
On my return I started teaching at Old Dominion University for the fall semester. This term was two introduction to metalsmithing classes and blacksmithing. It was my first time teaching blacksmithing but I really enjoyed the opportunity and look forward to doing it again next fall.
In October I revisited Cranbrook Academy of Art to take part in the workshop with Christoph Zellweger. I was not only happy to revisit the campus and friends but the workshop was a blast. Christoph is a great artist and person to be around, and definitely makes people think differently about what they are doing.
Also while at Cranbrook I took a day to hang out with Amy Weiks visiting her studio, garden and home that came with two sweet cats I missed a well. Everyone at Cranbrook and the area surrounding Cranbrook seems to be doing well these days.
While at Cranbrook I managed to lock down a studio space in VA. A lot of my fall has been spent repairing and preparing the space for work. I share a portion of my space with a local 2D artist, teacher and good friend Heather Bryant. (lithography and painting) As much as I enjoy my private space, at times its just the best thing to have a mind to bounce ideas off of, much less the fact that it just gets lonely!
So after the fall semester came to an end it was the usual holiday season which equaled almost no studio time for me outside of cleaning and organizing (renovations in the space above me led to a bit of a mess..). Between traveling, wrapping up the semester and preparing for the next term its been non stop.
Oh, and finally I cannot forget! I am to be part of the traveling show Suspend.ed in Pink this year. Look to my activities for more information.
More to come soon, happy new year :)