Friday, February 25, 2011

Guest Star #72...Farrah Al-Dujaili


Today's Guest Star is Farrah Al-Dujaili. Farrah's pieces are truly drawings in metal. They have a wonderful gestural quality created in copper with enamel paint, water color, pencil, and thread instead of pen and paper. I imagine these works developing just as a drawing would, but 3-dimensionally in space until they feel complete. I also like how Farrah treats the surface of each wire with a light touch and airy color palette.


Be sure to check out the modelled section on Farrah's blog to see images of the jewelry on a person. It's great to see how the pieces interact with the body and clothing and you might be surprised at the scale.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I acquired a nice stump a few months ago and last week I finally customized it (with the help of Adam Whitney) to fit my vice, stake, and bench block/dapping block. Chiseling was harder than I remembered it to be and it was tough on my hands, but worth it. Now I can better utilize my tools and they are safer.

More images on flickr. 

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Spectrum Pro-Shots

Here are some recent photos by Hank Drew of the pieces I made for Spectrum. I've posted a few different views on Flickr as well.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Guest Star #72...Christiane Kohne

Today's Guest Star,  Christiane Kohne, hails from Germany. When I first found her work I wasn't sure what the materials were (her website is in German), but was curious to find out. Luckily I found English captions on Klimt02 and confirmed what she has so cleverly used: artificial flowers! For some pieces, she cuts up the stems and binds them together with wire, while for others she pieces and layers lots of petals of one color together. I really love this use of the unexpected and the abstract compositions that result.


Be sure to check out her wonderful drawings, too.

Thanks for reading.

P.S. I just discovered Google translate

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Courtney Starrett Solo Show

This is not Betty's Bundt Cake Recipe (Detail of Installation), sillicone rubber, vinyl and 
powder coated washers, upholstery tacks

On February 4 I went to Rock Hill,  SC with Angela Bubash to attend the opening reception of RubberMADE, the solo exhibition of Courtney Starrett. RubberMADE is a collection of colorful, cast plastic jewelry and objects inspired by Courtney's interest in the history of silicone rubber and its relationship with the culture of the 1950's. The pieces with titles like "This is not Betty's Bundt Cake Recipe" and "Almost Everyone Appreciates the Best" remark on life mid-century and post war. Some pieces have an organic, almost other-worldly feel, while others take a more rigid, recognizable shape. The display of the show was also fantastic--clear acrylic cut outs of an iconic image of a typical 1950's housewife.

Almost Everyone Appreciates the Best, silicone rubber

Strawberry-Kiwi Jello, silicone rubber, sintered nylon, stainless steel

The show is currently on view at Winthrop University's Patrick Gallery through March 25, 2011.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I've Been Practicing My Knitting

Nearly every year I take up knitting in the winter and every year I get involved with others things and knitting gets left behind, unfortunately. Over the last couple of weeks however, I've been trying it once again. Every Wednesday during the winter here at Penland is "Textiles Wednesday" and the textiles studio coordinator, Megan Fluegel, leads a class in one of any number of textiles techniques. Knitting was the focus of the last two classes and I have been practicing away. Since I have knitting on my mind, I thought I would share one of my favorite knitters, Yokoo, who in addition to making incredible scarves and cowels, makes over-sized knitted chain necklaces.

 Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Flip Book!

My friend Adam Whitney has metalwork in a show called "Tacit" currently on view at the Visual Arts Center in Richmond, VA. In addition to his brass and silver vessels, he also created an incredible flip book that demonstrates raising and chasing. Here's a video of the flip book in action:

 Please be sure to visit Adam's new website.

My friend Caitie Sellers is also a part of the show. You can check out her lovely book on Blurb and see her amazing work here.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Metalsmith's Exhibition in Print

Cover of the 2010 EIP - "Neo-Palatial: Objects of Virtue and Vice" curated by Garth Clark

My work has been chosen for Metalsmith magazine's 2011 Exhibition in Print! EIP is the magazine's annual issue that features the work of both national and international metalsmiths in a special format, different from the publication's regular columns and articles. This year's exhibition was juried by Lola Brooks and Cindi Strauss and is titled "Fresh." This is a true honor for me and it's hard for me to express in words how excited I am. I also can't wait to find out about the other chosen artists. The issue comes out in the fall.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Guest Star #71...Denise Julia Reytan

I was very excited to find the work of Denise Julia Reytan (Berlin, Germany) while flitting around Twitter last week. I still haven't made it through the entirety of her dense website of jewelery, installations, and objects. Her jewelry is composed of layer upon layer of mixed-media and found objects like plastic toys, fragments of costume jewelry, and swatches of ribbon. Her dramatic use of color either in monochrome or polychrome shows an acute understanding and love of color and every piece is loaded with texture. One of my favorite non-jewelry sections found under Object is "Collagery," images of her personal collections and arrangements that are interesting to her. As a collector and arranger myself, I always find this sort of thing fascinating when I discover it in others.

from Collagery - "fascinating objects"

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Steel Wire Jewelry

I got my advance copy of Steel Wire Jewelry by Brenda Schweder today, another fine example of good mail. The book consists of jewelry projects using steel wire alongside plenty of useful information. I flipped through it moments ago and it looks really good with lots of great designs, like the "Sticks and Stones" necklace and "Meet 'n' Greet earrings--just a few I would like to try myself. The Scallop Link Necklace from my Steel + Gold Collection was published as a gallery image inside. You can pre-order your copy now.

Nice work, Brenda!

Sticks and Stones Necklace, page 44

Scallop Link Necklace

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Winter Reading List

I gave myself a book list for the winter and I am steadily reading my way through it. Here are the titles I am in the middle of, planning to read, or have finished since December:

Evocative Objects (above) edited by Sherry Turkle includes essays from artists, scientists, and humanists about the importance and meaning of favorite objects.

The Artist's Guide: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love by Jackie Battenfield details information for creating and keeping a successful career in the arts.

Dorothea Pruhl: Colliers edited by Florian Hufnagl with text by Renate Luckner-Bien describes the necklaces of one of my favorite jewelers, accompanied by lots of huge, beautiful pictures.

Bernd and Hilla Becher: Life and Work by Susanne Lange discusses the life and work of the Bechers who photographed an industrial landscape including water towers, factories, and grain elevators.

Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century Fashion in Detail by Avril Hart and Susan North offers an almost scientific view of costume details like darts, draping, and pinking.

The Language of Ornament by James Trilling discusses the history and meaning of ornament.

Do you have a title you think I might like? Please send me an email ( and share your recommendation. I am always on the look out for good books!

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

From the Forge, Cheshire Forge

I hired my friend Jon Shearin to make me a custom stake with a long, round mandrel on one end and a narrow, flat anvil surface on the other. I used a similar tool in college to make forms for my BFA thesis on chatelaines and then revisited it last year when I made work for Spectrum. I love what I can make with this tool and want to continue with other hollow forms this year and beyond. Having a custom stake made by a friend makes it even better. (And he'll make one for you, too.)

one of my first chatelaines, made using a similar stake

Sculpture in steel by Jon Shearin

Be sure to check out Jon's work on Etsy, too, like this enameled
steel belt buckle.

Thanks for reading.