Still in Pittsburghia

Melissa is still talking about her week in Pittsburgh. Will it ever end?

During my travels I overheard a local mention that Pittsburgh was on its way to becoming ‘the new Portland’. Given that actual Portland is only a 3 hour drive from Seattle you think I’d be able to make a call on this… I’ll let you know when I get down there.

So while I was in Pittsburgh I spent part of Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday teaching a group of seniors at a local high-school the basics of working with recycled materials, so that each could make a small wearable pendant. I don’t have images of those guys, but I hope to have images of their works to share with you at some stage.

What I do have however is an image of what I made on Wednesday before class, after an overnight dumping of 5 inches of snow. It’s meant to be a snow kangaroo – a ‘White Boomer’, if you will.

Boomer

Yes, I know, it’s more of a snow wallaby. Or a snow quokka even.

On Thursday I went out to Slippery Rock University with assistant professor in metalsmithing Sean Macmillan. He also just happens to be one of the first people to have put one of my works in an exhibition in the ‘States, many moons ago. Turns out I incorrectly stated that he was actually the first to bring my stylings to America. I have since had a read of my own CV (memory failing already is it jewellist?) and realised that I first got a piece into SFASU in Texas, with Slippery Rock not far behind. Sorry guys!

Out on the big Slippery Rock campus I first got a tour of the jewelry/metals building and then did, for want of a better description, a technical demonstration of Autocad. Using my computer I went through a bunch of my drawings and explained what and how I ideate and then design straight into cad. I had with my one of my lasercuts as well as a bunch of my drawings printed at scale and a few completed works that I make from such a beast. Using them as props I described how I work, the concessions I have to make for the laser and the general process I have for when I’m making drawings for someone else to cut.

After this we had a coffee and a quick tour of the creative buildings of the campus, including the new textiles facility, before I went back to the 3d/sculpture building to give a second presentation on my work. The lovely Sharon Massey (previously mentioned as part of my Monday night capers) came out to The ‘Rock (she now runs the gallery that Sean was previously in charge of on campus) and we all went for lunch that turned into a great discussion that lasted half the afternoon.

Metalsmithing studio overview.
Metalsmithing studio overview.
Metalsmithing studio, view over the soldering/casting area.
Metalsmithing studio, view over the soldering/casting area.
Sharon Massey in the enamelling room of the SRU's metals building
Sharon Massey in the enamelling room of the SRU’s metals building
Sean Macmillan in his office/studio.
Sean Macmillan in his office/studio.