Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hmm, Very Interesting...My Favorties 2011

Here is a list of my favorite jewelry and art websites and online articles that I discovered in 2011. I really do love sharing this kind of stuff...if you have a favorite you think I might like, please email me ( the link or leave as a comment.

The Culture of Being Work, Duct Tape Marketing, an article about how the culture of your small business should be a reflection of you

Extreme Tidying Up, a funny and fascinating story about order on NPR

Google Art Project, take a virtual tour in the world's greatest art museums

The 10 Most Important Artists of Today, agree or not with the author's choices, this article will make you think about contemporary art

Memory and Forgetting, a Radiolab podcast I listened to over and over while I was making the work for "This is How I Remember It"

Meanwhile, The San Francisco Public Library, wonderful illustrations by Wendy MacNaughton that tell the story of the San Francisco Public Library Main Branch.
Visual Mantras, a lovely video of an artist book in action by Ana Montiel
Fireta IV. Silver/Gold by Estela Saez

Jantje Fleischhut, mixed-media studio jewelry

Denise J. Reytan, mixed-media studio jewelry

Tobias Alm, mixed-media studio jewelry

Eleanor Bolton, textile studio jewelry

Estela Saez, mixed-media studio jewelry and sculpture

Shu-Lin Wu, porcelain studio jewelry

Anne Truitt, minimalist sculpture 
Paul Edmunds, sculpture using repetition and pattern 
Leigh Suggs, The Nevica Project, 2D works focusing on grids and pattern

Lianna Sheppard, architectural fashion and accessories, the homepage video shows the work and time-elapse images of Lianna making paper models for the featured garments
Alexander McQueen, see inside the exhibition "Savage Beauty"

Studio Fludd, a design collective from Italy
Kontor Kontur, another design house, the website features images of carefully arranged monochrome objects

an image by Duane Rapp on Scaffoldage
Scaffoldage, fantastic pictures of scaffolding
Aichinger House, an apartment complex draped in soft gray curtains
Gary, Indiana, a set of images by David Tribby on Flickr showing the beauty in the ruins of a once thriving city

Pflegschaften @ Mueum de Rdinge, a collection of objects
The Burning House, a blog that asks the question "what would you take if your house was on fire?" Participants list what they would grab and an image of the items is included

Graph Paper,  download all sorts of graph and gridded paper for free
Arrowhead Tacks, a vintage stitch how-to on Burda

Thanks for reading.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Bruised, Once Broken

"Bruised, Once Broken," sterling silver, spray paint
This is the piece I made for the Rapheal Founder's Prize exhibition, "Transformation 8: Contemporary Works in Small Metals." It is based on a paper model I made back in August which I have been looking at and thinking about ever since. Eventually, the idea evolved into the way the piece looks now with the cluster of teardrops pinned over the heart and the single teardrop pinned to the shoulder. I enjoyed making my teardrops 3D and using a different color palate--black, blue, and white. The statement that accompanies the piece is as follows: 

"I am fortunate to have experienced transformation in my jewelry over the last three years through intense exploration and prolific creation of my craft. Additionally, a myriad of overwhelming events in 2011 caused a major shift in the way I think about my work and my life. Heartbreak and loss, accomplishment and success, transition and hope now inform my process in unexpected ways. This investigation has afforded me the opportunity to learn from my experiences in a positive manner. My current work is an autobiography, presenting events from my life in a sculptural, stylized narrative of line, shape, and color."
Because of the personal content behind the piece, it was incredible for me to make it and work through the concept, and then even more challenging to put it out into the world in an such a public format. I am very pleased with the final resolution, though. I really love it.
The exhibition opens this Friday, February 3 and runs through June. The winners 
will be announced at that time.
Thanks for reading.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

First Samples via Heat Exchange

I love making samples. Love. This is something I have discovered since becoming a resident artist at Penland. I have spent a lot of my time over the past three years exploring process, technique, and materials and made many, many samples. I realized the other day as I worked on my enameling what a luxury it is to be able to have the time to make samples. It really is. There are so many things we artists have to do in a day that it is challenging to carve out the time to explore. I am enjoying learning a new material and process and like making sample after sample just to see what happens if…I layer, over-fire, sand blast, stone, scratch, draw, drizzle water on a dried enamel surface, fire before the surface is completely dry. The aim is to learn and get comfortable through exploration and, ultimately, to find that distressed, messed-up, aged-looking, imperfect surface that mimics that kinds of things I am inspired by.
My favorite discoveries so far include incising lines on the surface of the metal as well as on the surface of the fired enamel using my flex shaft and a cutting or separating disc, over-firing, and dripped water on the surface of dried enamel. I have posted images of these findings here. The are tons more on Flickr.

I am really enjoying this time. Really and truly. Now I am beginning to consider the sample as more than a sample as many of them are turning out rather nicely. I hate to discard them for more “serious” pieces and so I’m thinking these samples might turn into the finished pieces. More on that later…

To read more about the enameling project, "Heat Exchange," please visit our blog.

Thanks so much for reading.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Guest Star #88....Jim Bove

My Guest Star for today is Jim Bove. I first saw Jim's work in Exhibition in Print and was reminded of it at the ECU symposium over the weekend. I am drawn to Jim's soft, simple shapes and his beyond minimal drawing and surface design. The pieces are fabricated in copper and painted with car paint. Some drawings are silverpoint or goldpoint, a process in which marks are made with silver or gold. I find this work to be sensitive and absolutely lovely.
Thanks for reading.


Ian Henderson, Box, steel, bronze, sterling silver

My Line Drawing Necklace No. 8 will be part of a one-night only exhibition at The Fuller Projects in Bloomington, IN tonight. This invitational show, titled "Crush," includes the work of Renee Zettle-Sterling, Jim Bove, Lindsay Fisher, Laura Wood, Gary Schott, Soyeon Kim, Marissa Saneholtz, Jonas Mace, Jennifer Wells, Ian Henderson, Raissa Bump, and myself. It was organized by University of Indiana Bloomington grad students Galatea Kontos and Sara Brown.
Sara and Galatea invited two metalsmiths they admire to be in the show and then we were asked to invite two more metalsmiths we admire. I was invited by Galatea and I asked Ian Henderson and Raissa Bump to join me. Ian's incredible box pictured at the top and Raissa's lovely brooch below will be on view. I am so impressed with the group of artists--all amazing talents and so varied. I am sure it will be a beautiful and interesting exhibition.
Raissa Bump, Brooch, copper, enamel, fique


525 E. 9th Street 
Bloomington, IN 47408

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thinking Points via Heat-Exchange

Here's a post I wrote for the Heat-Exchange blog...I’ve been collecting visual information since I last posted here. Lately, I find myself drawn to the winter landscape of my home in North Carolina–it’s quiet and stark, everything is  “dead,” for lack of a better word…but everything is so beautiful! The dim and golden light, the gorgeous palate of brown, white, and gray, the movement of trees and grasses in the wind…

I drove to New York to visit friends and family for Christmas. It’s a long drive, providing 14 hours of thinking time. I noticed these same things as I drove through Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and then New York and couldn’t help but think about them. This is when I knew they were going to influence my enameling and be the starting point for my new work. I took lots of new pictures and sorted through files of images from the past on my computer, gathering together my favorites for this specific project. I have posted several images here and started a set on Flickr for all of them to be together and for you see, if you like. I have also posted some images of things I made during a wonderful enameling class with Helen Carnac. I see a similar thought pattern in these pieces, too.

To read the first post I wrote for "Heat-Exchange, please visit this link.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Now THAT was Good! (The 2012 Edition.)

I attended "Material Topics: Shifting Traditions" at East Carolina University over the weekend and once again this year the ECU metals students put on one amazing symposium! I taught two classes on Sunday, beginning each with a talk about my work and process and then set my students to task making a piece of jewelry in one hour using things like paper, leather, staples, and tape. When the time was up, we talked about the process and what they learned. Both classes were packed--the largest groups I have taught so far, maybe 30 or so each! I was incredibly pleased with the work that was made and very happy with the comments and questions discussed during the talk--insightful, thoughtful, and inspiring. I was also psyched that many of my colleagues were in attendance. That means a lot to me! Thanks to everyone who participated in my classes and for working so hard! It really was a pleasure to lead you all in the workshop and share my experience with you.
top detail Galatea Kontos, bottom detail Melanie Smith
I attended a fantastic mechanisms workshop with Angela Bubash. Angela demonstrated a clever pin mechanism and a simple prong setting using jump rings. Her constant attention to detail and craftsmanship was wonderful to observe in person. Her knowledge is extensive.
I also listened to several lectures including the keynote by Renee Zettle-Sterling. Renee articulated many interesting points about objects, non-verbal communication, and memory.

And finally, I got to have some good talks with ECU grad students, Kat Cole, Rachel Qualliotine, and Leia Zumbro. Kat is currently on thesis and has asked me to advise her along the way. Rachel, a brand new grad, is trying all sorts of things out--enameling, felting, found objects--and wanted to revisit some of the ideas we discussed when we talked about her work over the summer here at Penland. Leia and I also had a lovely visit, talking about her work and process. It's moments like these that make what I do so worthwhile.

LOTS more on Flickr. 

(A note about the images to my students: I posted as many as I could. Unfortunately, some were overexposed or blurry and so I did not include them. If you do not see images of your work it is only because of my poor photography skills and I apologize.)

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


 Brooch No. 16 from "Collected Memories: 1974-Present"

Tomorrow I am off to Greenville, NC to attend and teach at "Material Topics: Shifting Traditions," the third annual metals symposium at East Carolina University. This year's symposium includes lectures, workshops, panel discussions, break-out sessions, professional development seminars, and exhibitions. I will be teaching a workshop called "Exploring Process, Building Form" twice on Sunday, January 15. The first workshop takes place from 10-12:30 and the second happens from 1:30-4. I am looking forward to leading my process class again--it will be similar to those I taught at City College in San Francisco in November and also the Kenan Institute last year. Students in this weekend's class will make a piece of jewelry in one hour using common and found materials. Then we will have a discussion about the finished pieces. I have also prepared a 15-minute lecture on my process--what it is, how I came to discover it, and how I have applied my findings to my most recent body of work, "Collected Memories."

...leading a discussion at City College

In addition to all the scheduled activities I am so looking forward to spending time with my friends at ECU - such a good group out there! 

 ...big group photo from last year's symposium - thanks to
Sara Brown!

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hot Under the Collar Update

Bob Ebendorf
Hot Under the Collar, the exhibition I am co-jurying with Bob Ebdendorf at this year's SNAG conference, now has insurance AND the deadline for entries has been extended to February 1! Please follow this link to the call for entries. I would love to have a large selection of entries to choose from--the more the better in my opinion.

"Choker, collar, lariat, torque, pendant, the necklace is one of the most diverse formats available to metalsmiths today. Whether cascading down the front, or draped down the back, the possibilities are nearly endless. The human torso provides us with one of our largest canvases, while still keeping body as site.

From comments on the classic strand of pearls to contemporary takes on armor, this juried exhibition seeks to showcase how metalsmiths today interpret this incredibly versatile object.

Liz Steiner.jpgJurors: Robert Ebendorf (Belk Distinguished Professor at the East Carolina University Metal Design program) and Amy Tavern (studio artist and instructor).

"Hot Under the Collar" will be shown May 24-27, in conjunction with the 2012 SNAG conference. The exhibition will take place at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts (SCPA), in a large atrium, and is located just steps away from the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Please note that SCPA will provide insurance.  Accepted works must arrive at SCPA on or before May 23, 2012. Return shipping costs must be covered by the artist either by pre-paid shipping label or by credit card. Work may also be picked up from SCPA at the end of the conference." (Necklace to right: Liz Steiner)

Email entries to Liz Steiner at subject "Necklace Show."

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

It's Still Love, Despite the Heartbreak

Today is my three-year residency anniversary! I moved here on January 4, 2009 and the above image shows what I saw as I moved boxes into my studio. The panorama below is how it looks like now. I absolutely love this space!
Back in January, 2009 I settled into a corner at first, basically the size I was comfortable with. A few months later I repaired walls, painted, added more furniture, hung artwork, and spread out. I believe the size of this studio affected my work in a positive way: its vastness allowed my work to literally grow. Over the last three years I have kept the room about the same, but changed the arrangement and displays every so often. The latest version is by far my favorite.
At this point, I only have two months left as a resident. It's hard for me to believe my time here in this capacity is coming to a close. It has flown by and has been truly remarkable. I knew it would be fantastic, but I had no idea how it would really look or what would happen. I had my list of plans and goals, of course, but I left room for the unexpected...these three years far exceeded my vision. I feel excited and humbled, but also sad (and often very, very sad). This is my home and the one place I have felt more like myself than any other place I have lived. I know the opportunity I was given is precious--intense time to explore one's work and focus on making things does not happen like this in the "real world." I have also met some amazing people and had some incredible conversations and experiences with them...I have wonderful friends and colleagues.
To celebrate my three years, I asked my friend Dana Moore, to take pictures of my studio. I have added them to a flickr set that I hope you will view. She did a beautiful job capturing the space and all it's lovely natural light and character. (Thank you, Dana!)

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Winter Sale is On!

My Winter Sale on Etsy has begun! I hope you will visit my new Etsy shop to see all the great pieces I've added. There are one-of-a-kind necklaces, rings, brooches, and bracelets and everything is 50-60% off! Thirteen pieces available now and in the coming months I will add more work. Please check here on my blog for updates...the sale will continue through the winter.

I am excited to be on Etsy again and to be a part of that community. I'm looking forward to spending some time finding other great shops and favorite items. Please also visit my Etsy page to see what I'm interested in.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Winter Sale!

Double Small Arc Bracelet

I'm starting a Winter Sale tomorrow on Etsy! I will begin with some Line Drawings and then add more work in the coming weeks. Most pieces will be 50-60% off! To preview the selection, please visit Flickr.

I will begin posting pieces tomorrow morning around 9am!

Thanks for reading.