Tasting Tales from the Toolbox

Narrative Jewelry: Tales from the Toolbox has arrived!

I don’t know about y’all, but my eyes popped at the initial photos I saw of this book. Scale is a big thing with me, and a little part of me went “Eep, they’ve stuffed it.” when I saw the pics on the socials with editor Mark Fenn holding his advanced copy. Why? Because it is a mammoth book.

What can I say? I was just so wrong. Happily wrong (is that a thing?)

Mark and Schiffer have done a really beautiful job here, producing a book that I am really keen to sit down and read. There are so many artists and just soooo many works, packaged respectfully with each makers words, and laid out so carefully, all one book! I was so excited to turn the pages and see familiar ‘faces’ of artworks that I know and love, by artists who I respect, admire and of course also love.

Congratulations to Mark Fenn, to Jack Cunningham for his words, and to Dauvit Alexander (Mr Justified to those in the know,) on the beautiful cover, and to all of my friends in this one (all 241 of us!) We’ve done a good, and beautiful, thing. Please enjoy!

Monday – Gun day

Wow, a whole week has rolled around without an intervening post – sorry team, that wasn’t mean to happen, but the Northwest Jewelry and Metals Symposium took over my focus late last week (from making works for Bilk Gallery in Canberra – more on that soon…) and the whole weekend, and what can I say, it was a CORKER! The best yet. If you’re ever in the area for the third weekend in October, you HAVE to head to it. And I can say this with unbiased hand to unbiased heart, as I’ve been off the organising committee a full two symposia now 😉

So, it’s Monday – gun day, part II.

I have a bunch of gun research that stretches back to 2012, which I’ve decided to start sharing, and lucky for y’all, this seems to be the obvious place. I’m not trying to trigger anyone, so if you’re not keen on following this line of thought, know that on Monday (Tuesday in some time-zones,) there will be posts generated as a result of my past and ongoing gun research.

The above images comes from a really interesting post that I first saw a couple of years ago, in 2015. I see it semi-regularly, as the post has been open in my web-browser since the day I came across it. I found it really arresting, but I didn’t know what to do with it. It’s so affecting, however, that I now count it amongst my always-open tabs (there are a random assortment of site alongside this, not just my mail client.) When I occasionally run across it, I’ll again scroll through to see what 33,636 guns looks like.

The author of this really unusual ‘article’, Matt Haughey writes; “According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2013 all deaths due to firearms in the US amounted to 33,636 people.” He found a unique and very compelling way to visualise this, which proves really ‘sticky’ (you know what I mean?), at least to my brain.

I hope you take a look.

1 book and 3 deadlines

I’ve got to sell you this book that’s launching very soon:

like everyone – I’m in it!!

Narrative Jewelry: tales from the toolbox, edited by Mark Fenn, is now available for pre-order via www.narrative-jewellery.com and www.markfenn.co.uk  or via the usual.

And since I’m here (and only if you’re really, really quick – two expire in a matter of hours), let me sell you on entering these 3 things:

Craft Forms 2017

Snag Jams 2017

and one for the 18th – China time:

Beijing International Jewelry Art Exhibition – a biennial

Imagine Peace Now – RSVP, books and Metalsmith article

NB: a post about guns and where you can see an exhibition of them. With a snow-friend chaser.

For those of you in the greater Boston area whose interest was piqued at the mention of the opening of Imagine Peace Now at the Society for Arts and Crafts last week, there’s a place to RSVP if you’re planning to attend.

Opening reception for I.M.A.G.I.N.E. Peace Now (IPN) will be held on Thursday, February 23, 2017 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (EST) at the new Society of Arts + Crafts in Boston.

And if your interest was piqued by mention of the catalogue, then you might want to go here to grab yourself a copy. I received mine last week, and it’s an intense read. The images are universally great, and as you might imagine, the included artist statements are by turns affecting, depressing and thought-provoking.

There is also a new Findings section in Metalsmith Magazine (in the newly refreshed format – something we have had in the pipeline for the last eight months – I have mine and I’m proud to have my name in it as it’s a corker!) featuring a couple of the works from the IPN exhibition. You can see it via a digital free trial or you can purchase yourself a hard copy to keep forever!

Finally, Boris Bally, the man to whom we owe this whole exhibition, the man who sourced, stored and then sent out all of the ‘hardware’ used to make pieces for the show, is a keynote speaker at the ACJ 20:20 Visions Conference in Sheffield in July. He will be speaking about this show, and no doubt his deep antipathy towards guns. And as I mentioned last week, I’ll be there too, speaking about the evolution of my work from my residency in the UK in 2011 until today, namely all of the protest art (including the pieces about/with guns) that I have created over this period.

Phew, heavy topics.

OK, we’re in dark times, and sometimes you just need a breather. This is not something I would normally share, but I think it’s time to take a moment to contemplate a (very) simple joy:

in the spirit of repair…

19C Caltrop, 2015. Part of the Escalation Series.

A spot of promo for Metalsmith:

2017 Curated “Exhibition in Print” – Call for Related Work
Repair and Renewal: Making Things Whole Again
Guest Curator, Stuart Kestenbaum
Deadline: January 15

  

Besides prolonging the life of an object, repair also speaks to our yearning to make things right again, to make things whole. Repairing is more than fixing–it’s a metaphorical way to look at the role of makers. When we repair things, are we also fixing ourselves?  Can giving renewed life to objects and materials-perhaps ones that have had other functions-renew us as well?  How does the world look when we say that what is broken can be made whole again, using ingenuity and imagination?

For the 2017 “Exhibition in Print” Repair and Renewal: Making Things Whole Again, curator Stuart Kestenbaum is seeking work that addresses these questions.  While the work does not need to have been repaired, it should have the spirit of repair, and be fueled by a desire to extend an object’s value and usefulness.

Deadline is this Sunday, January 15, 2017.

Ever made something that fits this description? Then perhaps you might share it with us – it’s really simple – email some photos/links to the email address listed in the post.

In today’s Seattle Times

Detail image of work My House - Tanya Lippe's Lunch Box, made out of a section of Tanya's lunch box and stainless steel.
Detail image of work My House – Tanya Lippe’s Lunch Box, made out of a section of Tanya’s lunch box and stainless steel.

An article entitled: Transforming metal: ‘Metalmorphosis’ exhibit at BAM shows new possibilities by Gayle Clemans was published in the Seattle Times newspaper today. It’s a review of the Metalmorphosis exhibition at the Bellevue Arts Museum here in Seattle, and features an image of part of my installation My House: Tanya Lippe’s Lunch Box (the print version has a large reproduction of the brooch section of my piece next to the article – online it’s in a slide section, of the image included above) as well as an insightful commentary about Micki Lippe‘s work, among others.

As you might have guessed I was pretty chuffed when I found out, doubly so as the news came via an excited email from Micki this morning!

And yes, for those of you yet to see the show or not familiar with local jewellery doyenne Micki Lippe, Tanya is the name of Micki’s daughter. I’m not trying to tease with my lack of details – in fact there’s been some descriptions in Instagram of the work – but I’ve been refraining from posting full images of the installation until Micki has seen it, as due to other commitments she missed the openings at the start of the month.

Right, I’m off, to go get a copy of the newspaper 😉

Being in the world

I’ve found a couple of things:

1/ Auction for Aid – raising funds for the Refugee/Migrant Crisis

Like their About page on Facebook says, they are an “Auction For Aid – Contemporary Jewellery Auction to benefit the refugee crisis.” A bunch of UK based jewellers, (amounts are in GBP) are auctioning off some pretty great looking work on Facebook (yes, you do seem to need an account to bid) that will post/ship internationally.

Welcome to the 2016 Auction For Aid. All money raised will be going to two charities, MOAS (Migrant Offshore Aid Station) and SALAM LADC (‘Salam: LADC’ stands for ‘Peace: Lebanese Association for Development and Communication’), both charities doing wonderful work to help with the current refugee crisis.

2/ Alliages – The contemporary art jewelery agenda

Finally! An interactive calendar for jewellery events! Look out for deadline info there, and add your own to boot.

The jewelery agenda, the place you can see the contemporary art jewelery events : exhibitions, openings, lectures, awards, etc … You can propose your event to be published in the agenda by clicking in the “Add Event” blue button

Have at it, my sistren.

Imagine

The irrepressible Boris Bally has been gathering a sizable cohort together around a shared passion – the erasure of guns in this country (the United States), under the exhibition The Innovative Merger (of) Art (and) Guns (to) Inspire New Expressions (of) [or I.M.A.G.I.N.E.] PEACE NOW!!

Clunky title aside, it’s a really interesting project. Months ago he sent out disarmed firearms to metal artists all over the world, who got to work on transforming their ‘pieces’ into new works. You might have already seen the process of other artists, including Dauvit Alexander’s inspired work on Crafthaus, or perhaps the many pages of images of finished pieces up on Facebook.

Well, the next step, before the actual launch of the exhibition (those of you undecided about going to East Carolina University’s annual symposium might just have found one more reason to hitch up the trailer and head over there in January) is to create the catalogue, and for that one, we need your help.

Boris has just launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a catalogue that will be worthy of the hundreds, nay, thousands, of artist hours that have already gone into the exhibition so far. We have a big sum in mind, but to make the kind of change that an exhibition like this has the potential of doing, the only option is to go big, or go home.

So please think about donating to this campaign, so we, as a metals community, can add our voices to those already speaking out against the violence that seems to be continuing unabated in this country, and around the world.

xx m

5 true facts!

Metalsmith Spring 2016 - featuring Hanna Hedman's glorious works
Metalsmith Spring 2016 – featuring Hanna Hedman’s glorious works

Here’s a few facts you might not know about Metalsmith – the industry publication that started for and is partially funded by the SNAG membership:

  1. You can buy digital copies online for only $5.99 (USD) and can buy it singly at news stands or news agencies.
  2. A year-long digital subscription of 5 mags is $31 (USD, or approx $43 AUD, or 28 or £21!)
  3. It features some of the best writing on jewellery in print anywhere, with regular contributions from such luminaries as Liesbeth den Besten, Andrea DiNoto and Bella Neyman. And it’s the only place where you’ll find special contributions by artists and collectors like Susie Ganch and Helen Williams Drutt English (and that’s just in Vol 35 No 5!)
  4. Metalsmith Extra has all the online content you can’t get in a print publication but expect from an online-only source, like videos by and about the artists and artisans featured in the magazine. They’re listed by issue, with folks in the newest edition featured at the top.
  5. The current issue, which features profiles on Mirjam Hiller, Vivian Beer and obviously Hanna Hedman, and a LOOK section written by Jillian Moore, is in my opinion THE BEST issue EVER produced by editor Suzanne Ramljak and her crack team of writers.*

So as my mate Molly likes to say – do yourselves a favour, yeah?

*I’m not just saying that because I’m on the editorial advisory committee, nor because even the editor described it as the “Women in Metal” issue, and you know I’m all about women and metal. Turns out it’s a bloody solid read 😉

Nadia Myre and Sheryl Oring

Nadia Myre: Indian Act, 1999-2002. Detail.

A couple of great projects I’ve seen online that I thought I’d share.

Thanks to the perfectly titled Fuck Yeah, Book Arts! site, I’ve been meditating on the beautiful beaded works orchestrated by Nadia Myre:

Nadia Myre, Indian Act

Indian Act speaks of the realities of colonization – the effects of contact, and its often-broken and untranslated contracts. The piece consists of all 56 pages of the Federal Government’s Indian Act mounted on stroud cloth and sewn over with red and white glass beads. Each word is replaced with white beads sewn into the document; the red beads replace the negative space.

Between 1999 and 2002, Nadia Myre enlisted over 230 friends, colleagues and strangers to help her bead over the Indian Act. With the help of Rhonda Meier, they organized workshops and presentations at Concordia University, and hosted weekly beading bees at Oboro Gallery, where it was presented as part of the exhibition, Cont[r]act, in 2002.

Nadia Myre: Indian Act, 1999-2002. Detail.

The piece itself is strikingly beautiful, a perfect realisation of her concept.

A fuller description of the project and her method are available at The Medicine Project website, with more (exquisitely beaded!) work and great photos of this project at her website.

Secondly, with thanks to the Creative Capital blog, I bring you the I Wish to Say project by Sheryl Oring!

byuongupelforu
In summer 2015, a team of five typists took dictation at the Out of Site Festival in Chicago. Photo: Dhanraj Emanuel

Oring has been banding groups of volunteer typists to write postcards to politicians. She started the project with postcards to the President (of the USA, that is) and has recently moved on to the current presidential candidates, using volunteers to take dictation the same manner that she did with her first outing, dressed as a 1960’s stenographer:

In 2006, Sheryl dressed as a 1960s secretary, set up a portable public office complete with a manual typewriter in public areas across the country, and typed birthday cards to then President Bush as dictated by passers-by.

She has gone on to take in commentary of the Obama administration, and is about to start taking down community thoughts on the current lunacy presidential nomination battle.

and the effect?

I’ll never forget this guy in Chicago, at one of the last shows. He came down to where I was taking photographs and said, “I just want you to know that I am a better American because I participated in your project.”

The empowerment experienced by participants has of course been likened to therapy, which I think is a really interesting outcome of the process. Why does the act of airing your thoughts to someone who is an impartial observer give one a feeling of closure, more than, say, talking it out to a like-minded friend or relative? I also think of this project in relation to the public displays of jewellery creation and/or gifting that I have seen. I think the strength of this piece is its sustained and clearly impactful interaction, which is fostered using a rather generic and easily replicable format.

Sheryl Oring presents I Wish to Say April 26 as part of the PEN World Voices Festival at Bryant Park. You can dictate a letter to presidential candidates, or volunteer to act as a typist.