From tomorrow until Monday you’ll find me haunting Kent State University in Ohio. I’m heading over for the opening of The Digital Hand exhibition at The School of Art Gallery on this Thursday night, the 13th of February, from 5-7pm. At the invitation of Kathleen Browne, the curator and head of jewelry/metals, I will also be presenting a public lecture on my practice on Friday the 14th from 12pm. The School of Art Gallery is located on the second floor of the Art Building at 400 Janik Dr. in Kent, with the lecture taking place in the adjacent auditorium, room 202.
I’m really please to be invited to exhibit amongst a pretty amazing array of artists (from the Kent State News and Events site):
Pam Argentieri, Kristin Beeler, Allyson Bone, Doug Bucci, Melissa Cameron, David Choi, Joshua DeMonte, Arthur Hash, Matthew Hollern, Nicole Jacquard, Amy Klainer, Plural Studios (Courtney Starrett and Michael Gayk), Phil Renato, Rebecca Strzelec, Kim Tatalick, Jess Todd and Linda Threadgill.
And once I’m done there, if you’re in Asheville I’m spending an afternoon and evening in your town next Monday, before I take a day trip out to Penland on Tuesday to visit with the wonderful Elizabeth Brim, blacksmith extraordinaire.
Then I hop a flight to Richmond, VA, where I’ll be chillin with Susie Ganch and team at VCU for a few days, particularly as one class starts their Radical Jewelry Makeover project, making new jewellery from old. And as I’ve just learned, other artists participating in the project are welcome to join us!
I’m going to give a public lecture there too, in room 535 of the Bowe St building, on the afternoon of Thursday the 20th from 12pm. I’m sticking around for a few days, as guest artist, hanging out in the classroom to help out as the students begin work on their recycled jewellery project. I’m planning to have a dabble with the tools myself if I get a chance, since I will have work in the upcoming RJM exhibition that opens in Richmond on the 4th of April. I encourage you to check out the RJM site, as they’re posting up images and text about what each of us participants are getting up to, as we go along.
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!
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!
I spent my third day with ceramicist Yoko Sekino Bové, and we were joined for the second part by her partner Jim Bové, lecturer in jewelry/metals at California University of Pennsylvania. Yoko took me out to breakfast before letting me tour around the Mellon Hall of Science at the downtown Duquesne University, which is a building by my home-boy Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. I was rapt to spend some time in and around the space, only the second Mies building I’ve managed to see so far. There’s a few more in the states, so with any luck I’ll be getting around some more of them.
Fan-girl time over, I was then whisked to Cal U by Yoko to present a talk on my work to Jim’s metal/3D design students.
After that and a quick tour of the university we were back into Pittsburgh for some other commitments, which somehow resulted in an informal night tour of Carnegie Mellon University’s public art collection. Being a wealthy institution with a large campus they of course boast some interesting pieces of public art, and architecture. But no Mies buildings… Here we also caught up with Sharon Massey and Adrienne Grafton, and with them leading the charge we headed in to Lawrenceville for drinks and finally some dinner.
That’s right, I’m leaving Seattle tomorrow for Pittsburgh where I’m spending over a week getting amongst it. What is it? Well, check out my itinerary:
I’ll be teaching a workshop this Saturday and Sunday at Society for Contemporary Craft (SCC) in partnership with Construction Junction and Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse, where I’ll guide students in the adaptive reuse of re-purposed objects for the creation of wearable jewelry. Come join me!
Saturday night: also at SCC from 5-6pm come down and meet me (please!) at the Visiting Artist Reception. Free!
Monday: I’m guest lecturing for Jim Bove’s students at California State University (Don’t get confused Australia – it’s still in Pennsylvania)
Tuesday: I begin guest-teaching a recycled art project at a local high school.
Thursday: I head to Slippery Rock University to meet Sean Macmillan and do a technical demonstration with his metalsmithing students in the morning, then a lunch-time guest lecture from 12:30pm.
Friday: Sees me hanging out with students from the Studio Arts Department at the University of Pittsburgh. I will give a Visiting Artist lecture to the students visiting the SCC gallery, in front of the work on show.
Saturday night: I’m going to join the SCC in getting Out Of Hand. (More details below.)
OUT OF HAND
Contemporary Craft’s annual fundraiser
celebrating the hand and its role in the creative experience
Saturday, March 9, 2013
7:30 – 10:30 pm
Society for Contemporary Craft
2100 Smallman Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
This is not your typical fundraiser! Join us for:
Silent art auction | Hands-on art stations
Artist demonstrations | Local fare from the Strip
Flash auction featuring exclusive packages
Live music & performances Tickets here!
We’re pleased to announce Australian metalsmith Melissa Cameron will be joining us at Out of Hand where she’ll be demonstrating her unique approach to using recycled objects to create beautiful jewelry. Try your hand at your own “confetti necklace” and don’t miss the opportunity to chat with this Bridge 12 artist.
I’m really looking forward to seeing the city and meeting a bunch of creative people, so if you’re in Pittsburgh, please come and say hi!