Going to Greenville

Sovereign Body/Contested Body. Stainless steel, titanium, vitreous enamel, 2017

That title sounds like a John Darnielle song…

I’m on my way to East Carolina University for the Material Topics Symposium which begins tomorrow. Eep! I’ve just checked out the action packed schedule, and Nadia, Adam and co. have given us a Sophie’s Choice for the breakout sessions on Saturday morning. Or maybe to keep up with the parlance of the kids, it’s a Hunger Games kind of scenario. Now I’ve said it, the idea of seeing Stone vs Cooperman in a battle does tickle me, but to the death might be going a bit far. Though something tells me that Matty Lambert could (albeit with a heavy conscience – which would make for a gripping finale,) take them all out. However, I’ve not met Kimberly Winkle, so she is the dark horse in this competition. From the few images I’ve googled, I feel like she could be an unassuming type (not necessarily a closet killer, but it’s always the quiet ones, y’know?), so I’m not ready to lay any bets…

Anyway, that bout of creative writing (I think I’ve been cooped up too long today…) has not helped me to triage the list at all, so it remains to be seen who I will end up learning from on Saturday. But there’s time to influence me if you have any intel on ways to break the Cooperman-Lambert-Stone-Winkle dead heat. What I do know is that I’m on last on Sat afternoon, so if you have been on the fence, you still have time to head on over and check out what has been manifesting in my basement since I got to the US in 2012. And to catch the infectious Mike Holmes, a literal treasure-trove of information and history about the industry.

Though you will have missed the slew of openings scheduled for tomorrow night, as well as the keynote slot by Andy. Yeah, you should probably leave now.

In case it wasn’t obvious, I’m really looking forward to this one.

Monday – Gun Day

It’s been a couple of weeks owing to celebrations, and my participation in Smitten Forum (more on that soon.) We all enjoyed the reprieve, but now here’s a few more guns for your consideration.

Juan Carlos Cuadra was killed by an officer in NW Houston after brandishing a gun at officers who had come to investigate complaints that he had stabbed someone and fired his weapon into the ground. Houston police have a bunch of weapons on the books, according to Wikipedia, and since we used the SIG Sauer P226 last time, we’ll move to the second on that list, the SIG Sauer P229 (considered a close cousin to the former pistol.)

SIG Sauer P229

Allen Brandon Terry was shot in Walthourville, Georgia. His age is only listed as 18+ on the Gun Violence Archive, and there are no facts about his killer, or the gun that was used. For him, Default Pistol 1.

Ruger SR1911 – my Default Pistol 1

Sheamon Pearlie was found shot by officers in the Franklin neighbourhood of Baltimore, Maryland, around 3:15pm on New Years Day 2017. The 20 year old was pronounced dead at the scene. There are no details about his killer or the weapon used, but Cham Green maps it on her blog in the post 2017 Baltimore City Homicides – List and Map which I will likely consult again. And so soon after the 1st, we get the second used of Default Pistol 2.

Default Pistol 2 – S&W M&P

Deconstruct/Reconstruct

It’s taking me a few years, but I’m finally going to the annual East Carolina University Material Topics Symposium – entitled Deconstruct/Reconstruct – in January. It’s going to be amazing – the list of speakers and break-out presenter list is incredible! Am I just saying that because a bunch of my friends are going to be talking and I’m really looking forward to catching up with them all?

Of course not!

Where else are you going to see Mike Holmes reveal what he learned at Velvet da Vinci, and Andy Cooperman lecture and deliver a break-out on tool tips, or have the beautiful Matt Lambert deliver a break-out session? And then back it up with the vivacious Jina Seo and Harlan W. Butt! And this is me cherry picking – I don’t want to leave out the inimitable Judy Stone… Or Lisa Klakulak! Seriously – look at the list and the exhibitions too. And, hey, if you’re lucky, I might also have a few things to say 🙂

See y’all in Greenville.

Monday – Gun Day

Today we drift over to Allen, a northern suburb of Dallas, Texas. Mark Giurguis (21) was shot at and killed by officers when attempting to reverse too quickly, which had threatened one of the officers approaching the vehicle from behind at a traffic stop. The passenger, Giurguis’ girlfriend, was also injured.

No weapon is listed in reports, but the weapon currently issued by Dallas PD (there are message boards that confirm, but it’s also listed on Wikipedia) is a Sig Sauer P226.

Sig Sauer P226

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The post where I earnestly protest the current US government and ask you, if you are an American citizen, for your help.

I’m in the USA on a work visa. in fact, I’m the hanger-on, listed as a ‘dependent spouse’ on all the forms, so I can live with my husband, a valuable member of the US working class and the reason why they continue to let us in. All fine, exactly what I signed up for. As a non-resident (but resident) alien I obviously don’t get to vote, so my protests, many of which are documented here, have come in other ways, and will continue to come.

For this particular issue, however, making a plea to a US citizen is more appropriate than making art jewellery, so here I am.

The FCC votes on Net Neutrality in two days. Needless to say, if they reverse the Open Internet Order there will be a lot of big media companies deciding how the internet runs in a pay-for-play fashion, meaning the internet in all its diverse, incredible and sometimes just plain commonplace glory, is under threat. The New York Times, Tech Crunch and Wired all explain it better, but suffice to say, the way I do business, research, shop, eat, relax and play are all affected by the way I connect to the internet, and I don’t need yet another corporation coming between me and free and open access to all of that, and TO MY OWN DATA. (Such as this site.)

So as not to bore you all any longer, I sincerely ask all of you US citizens who have recourse to a senator to click one of the links below to register your protest:

Battle for the net.com

Electronic Frontier Foundation

And while you do that, I’ll get the rest of the world ready to help you in your next fight.

Thank you.

Monday – Gun Day

Narrowing down my Ruger has been a windy road.

There’s the LCP – Lightweight Compact Pistol which is marketed as a concealed carry or second gun for law enforcement, but it “lacks certain features required for sale in California or Massachusetts.” according to that Wikipedia link. Then there’s the classic Ruger Standard, which is up to MK IV, and was first introduced in 1949. It retains a lot of its original look, which at my guess, is not actually a big selling point…

Then we have the Ruger P-Series, which happens to be on one of my most-quoted lists, Wikipedia’s List of Most Produced Firearms (LMPF), with a high end of production of 2 million. The P-Series was designed for everyone (!) “military, police, civilian and recreational use” but was discontinued in 2013. Like my actual choice, they share a design heritage with the most produced pistol ever to come out of the USA.

I settled on the SR1911, which is the Ruger take on the Colt M1911, itself #4 of pistols on LMPF.  In fact, Ruger, with the SR1911, probably has a stake in that ranking, given that the full amount of up to 5 million Colt M1911 weapons includes ‘and copies’. The original 1911’s were designed and developed for the US military by John Browning the gun-design guru, with Colt as the first manufacturer. They’re long out of patent, and even when in, it was more than Colt could do to keep up with production during The Great War. They have been manufactured by well over 100 companies to date, and versions are in current production by many of the big name brands; Colt of course, and (in no particular order) Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson, Remington, Taurus and Springfield Armory. So my drawing is of that weapon.

Ruger SR1911

But it’s not over yet. In my searching for the ‘right‘ Ruger, I stumbled across some actual hard statistics about gun sales in a Motley Fool article about the company. I know the Ruger brand casts a large shadow, and that it’s more for rifles than for pistols, but I thought that with a  yearly production of 748,364 – over one-third of their production is pistols – would clinch it. Turns out Smith and Wesson, despite selling about 200k less firearms in a year, sell many, many more pistols (989,853, over 200k more) than Ruger annually.

Knowing that, I’m ready to compromise. I’m going to alternate the pistols I use as my default weapon. The other weapon will be a Smith & Wesson. The title of most produced pistol for them has to go to the M&P. (M&P? Military and Police). It’s a LMPF place-getter (over 1 million sold as at 2015), it was the double nominated weapon my List of Top 5’s a few weeks back and if you recall it’s also on the list of 9mm weapons that is Chicago PD approved.

Smith & Wesson M&P

So these are the guns that will fill in for the weapons used to murder Mr Rosales, and Mr Smith, back on January 1, 2017, in San Francisco.

US Exhibitions: North & South

One half of Quatrefoil Trio by Melissa Cameron, pieces made for a work in collaboration with Sean Macmillan, 2015. On display at BAM

The Bellevue Arts Museum is hosting an enormous group exhibition Making our Mark: Art by Pratt Teaching Artists, which went live at a grand party for the artists (and there’s a tonne of us) at the start of November. There are too many local legends to name; jewellers, wood-workers, painters, sculptors and of course the Northwest’s favourite, glass artists, so I’ll just mention me, and the very famous glass artist who happens to live across the street from me (!) Preston Singletary. We’re finally in a show together! One day I’ll work up the courage to tell him 😉

Also just opened is a show at form & concept center in Santa Fe, New Mexico, called Smitten Forum. So what is Smitten Forum, then?

Call it a mobile artist colony, a colorful social experiment or a crafty piece of performance art. Each year since 2014, Sara Brown and Marissa Saneholtz have invited a new group of pioneering jewelers and metalsmiths to work side-by-side in a communal studio for 7 days. The initiative is called Smitten Forum, and invitees range from emerging to well-established makers who employ a staggering array of mediums and techniques. This year’s participants are headed to Abiquiu, New Mexico in late December, but they’ll also leave their mark on the nearby art center of Santa Fe. The form & concept shop is pleased to present the Smitten Forum exhibition, which features wearable artwork from all of this year’s artists.

And now it is also an exhibition, with this year’s Smitten cohort exhibiting: Sarah Perkins, Melissa Cameron, Bryan Petersen, Cappy Counard, Cheryl Rydmark, Tanya Crane, Rebekah Frank, Anika Smulovitz, Don Friedlich, Laritza Garcia, Leslie LePere, Hannah Oatman, Marissa Saneholtz and Sara Brown

It opened on the 24th of November and finishes on the 6th of January. And Smitten Forum itself? Yes, this year I’ll close out my year hanging with that awesome crew, at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico. Yes, the Ghost Ranch that Georgia O’Keffee lived and worked at.

Tales in the making.

Monday – gun day

There are no guns to report today, which is to say, I have no leads on either of the weapons used against the next two victims on the Gun Violence Archive list.

The two men killed in separate incidents in San Francisco on January 1, 2017, were 21 year old Ernesto Rosales, and 35 year old Mitchell Smith.

I did find that “San Francisco police arrested a 37-year-old suspect,” Michael Peace in September on suspicion of killing Smith, but again there were scant details, including no motive, released. With few details about the circumstances of either shooting (although interestingly the location is always logged in news reports – 26th and Shotwell, or 3rd St and Oakdale Ave, respectively) there’s nothing on which to base further research.

In anticipation of this outcome, you’ll remember that I started by searching for a popular pistol as a substitute weapon for when I could find no leads on which to base drawings of the actual guns used in these crimes. So today we chalk up two for Sturm Ruger & Co.

Thanks to some uppity tech (computers, who needs ‘em… wait, clearly I do, at least for some things…!) I’m not able to bring you a drawing today, so I’ll save the reveal of the gun that will probably feature the most in this work (yes, all this research is for a jewellery work, coming to the US in mid-2018) for next time.

So until then I’ll owe you two of ‘em. One each for Mr Rosales, and Mr Smith.

A plethora

of exhibitions contain my work right now!

Social Unit, 2017

Beijing International Jewelry Exhibition 2017 has some of my enamel works, and it has a short run, from November 18-26, 2017 at Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology Park (BIFTPARK)

Itami International Jewellery Exhibition in Japan also began on November 18 and runs until December 24, 2017. I’m pleased to share that I was awarded one of the Judge’s Choice prizes for the Social Unit series (above) in this years Itami!

And finally, Bilk gallery has White Christmas, for which I made a few new goodies, like the ornament below, and some jewels to go along with them of course. Because who doesn’t want to match their decor this celebration season?

Wreath ornament, 2017