Northwest Jewelry and Metals Symposium – NEXT WEEKEND!

Northwest Jewelry and Metals Symposium – NEXT WEEKEND in Seattle. See you there!

***Get in quick, registrations that include lunch close on the 13th of October***

The Seattle Metals Guild 18th Annual Northwest Jewelry and Metals Symposium
Paradigm Shift: Reinvention, Redefinition, and Fundamental Change
Saturday, October 19, 2013, 9am-4:30pm at the Broadway Performance Hall, Capitol Hill
Registration is open, with student discounts available!

I really encourage you to get along to this event. We’ve carefully planned an enriching day in which we plan to get into the fine detail of how, when and why creative people throw out the rule book to forge ahead on their own path.

To whet your appetite local legend Andy Cooperman, writer and master metal-smith, has diligently prepared an in-depth spiel on each of our game-changing speakers, which I have included below. And of course there will be the book sale, featuring Charon Kransen’s collection of books, a silent auction, and for the first time this year we’ve introduced a jewellery auction! I have contributed a piece with a starting price of $5 for the “Bijoux Big Board” – a collection of little jewels available for sale that can be taken home on the day.

See you there!

Melissa Cameron Quatrefoil Bar Pendant - 2009 - 2013. Mild steel, vitreous enamel, nylon cord
Melissa Cameron Quatrefoil Bar Pendant – 2009 – 2013. Mild steel, vitreous enamel, nylon cord

Elizabeth Brim: Forming/Reforming Tradition

Remember when June Cleaver—Beaver’s mother—wore high heels and a string of pearls as she stood washing dishes at the kitchen sink? Nostalgia for early television sitcoms aside, change that image up a bit: the sink is a forge and Mrs. Cleaver is now Elizabeth Brim, pearl wearing, hammer wielding, nail polished blacksmith. She is not your typical steel worker.

“I grew up in a strong female dominated society. The things I make are all about being female and the expectations of women of my generation. I’m just playing dress-up, making a little fun of myself and having a really good time.”

From subject matter to execution, there is improbability and audacity in the work of this exceptional blacksmith, from the delicately woven southern bonnet forged and fabricated in steel to the sheets of iron welded into flaccid hollow forms, heated red and then inflated with compressed air into pillows. Brim has an MFA from the University of Georgia and has studied metals, sculpture, and blacksmithing at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. She was an instructor in the Columbus State University Art Department in Columbus Georgia before deciding to become a full-time studio artist and moving to Penland. Since then she has demonstrated extensively in the United States and in Germany and Canada and has been a visiting artist at a roster of universities that include Cranbrook Academy of Art. Brim will speak about her life and work

Danielle Maveal: Changing the Game: One player’s story and tips for building a new kind of creative business online

Once upon a time there was no simple, straight path for artists and makers to get their work out there, get it seen and maybe sold. Etsy changed all that, providing almost instant access to worldwide markets, free from the constraints of applications, juries, galleries and booth fees. Focused on the hand-made, this e-commerce site is now for many the way that they first begin and then continue to sell their work. As much as Etsy has helped to redefine the marketplace, it is now also changing things by teaching makers how to be better entrepreneurs.

After working as a bench jeweler and shop manager, and then running her own business, Danielle Maveal found Etsy. Working through this online craft community, she soon was in 30 boutiques worldwide, with thousands of sales and a supportive team of mentors, collaborators and peers. In 2006, Etsy hired Maveal to help grow the company and work with the community. During her five years as Etsy’s Seller Education Lead, Maveal was responsible for writing the newsletter and blog posts and organizing both online and offline workshops for an audience of nearly one million. Since then Maveal has led small business classes at Seattle’s General Assembly, The Creative Conference of Entrepreneurs, Martha Stewart’s Dreamers Into Doers Conference and other entrepreneurial events. She recently launched Creative Little Beasts, the podcast, consultancy and community for rebel entrepreneurs where she is Rebel Leader.

Ursula Ilse-Neuman: The Transcendent Jewelry of Margaret de Patta: Vision in Motion

The 1940’s was a pivotal time in the history of American contemporary metalsmithing. Back east was Art Smith, Ed Weiner and Sam Kramer. Here on the west coast one of the iconic figures was Margaret De Patta. A child of the Northwest—she was born in Tacoma—De Patta studied in Chicago and eventually moved to San Francisco, where she built signature compositions that dynamically balanced light and line and helped define Modernist jewelry.

Curator of Jewelry at New York’s Museum of Arts and Design, Ursula Ilse-Neuman has organized and curated exhibitions including Elegant Armor: Jewelry from the MAD Collection; GlassWear: Glass in Contemporary Jewelry and, in 2012, Space, Light, Structure: Margaret de Patta Retrospective. Ilse-Neuman holds an MA in the History of Decorative Arts and Design from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (Parsons The New School for Design) and has completed doctoral studies at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture. She has lectured widely in the United States, Europe and Asia and has established an international reputation as an expert on contemporary jewelry, writing books and contributing feature articles and reviews to publications that include Metalsmith Magazine. Ilse-Neuman will speak about the life and work of Margaret De Patta, and the retrospective exhibition and its accompanying catalog.

Kiff Slemons: More Than One to Make One: The Jewelry of Kiff Slemmons

Thought. Idea. Metaphor. Slemmons: Words that just seem to go together. Over forty years of work, Kiff Slemmons has explored ideas through serial investigations and museum and gallery exhibitions. Ideas about scale and classification through images of insects, ideas about imperfection in the “repair” and remaking of other artists’ work and ideas about the value of materials in the restructuring of found photographs. Slemmons is a self-taught metalsmith with degrees in Art and French from the University of Iowa. She has studied Literature at the Sorbonne in Paris and Metal through Parsons School of Design (in Japan). She is a Fellow of the American Craft Council and has been interviewed for the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art. The public collections that hold Slemmons work are too numerous to detail here but include The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Victoria and Albert Museum, London and Houston Museum of Fine Arts, TX.

Though now living in Chicago, Kiff Slemmons will always be a favorite daughter of Seattle and the Northwest. She is an artist known for her thoughtful and honest approach to both conception and process. The respect that Slemmons accords even the simplest materials can change the way that we see and appreciate the world and our ideas about it. Slemmons will discuss how she came to work with a cooperative in Oaxaca, Mexico founded by the artist and cultural activist Francisco Toledo, designing jewelry using handmade paper. And how this project led her to question the importance of the handmade in current contemporary culture.

Greg Wilbur: East and West: The Hammered Metal Object: How to make a show(s) from scratch

There is a point of plasticity where metal can be said to act like clay, but this man raises metal vessel forms whose insanely choked-in necks and integrally forged tendrils seem metalurgically impossible. How does he push a sheet of metal this far? Greg Wilbur is a studio metalsmith and artist living in Portland, Oregon. He has earned degrees in Metalsmithing and Art Education from the University of Oregon, where he played a lot of baseball (“hammering is just like baseball” he writes). Wilbur was cofounder of ‘Art in the Pearl’, the highly rated street fair in Portland (“artists should make money”) and since 1996 has participated in the collaborative artists event Emma Lake Collaborations born in Saskatchewan, Canada and also staged in Oregon, New Zealand and France.

Greg Wilbur will be speaking to us mostly about his experiences organizing and crowd-funding the exhibition “East and West: The Hammered Metal Object”. This cross-cultural, bi-continental exhibition of Japanese and American metalsmiths will travel to multiple venues including Portland’s Museum of Contemporary Crafts and the Velvet Da Vinci gallery in San Francisco. Crowd-funding– raising money online through a multiplicity of small contributions on sites like “Kickstarter”—is how many creative projects are now being made. See his Kickstarter here. Wilbur’s work can be found at Velvet daVinci and the Waterstone Gallery in Portland OR among other venues.

And when you’re there be sure to come and introduce yourself to me, I’m running the book sale for the day!