We’re frequently told that life and success are about relationships. What always strikes me is the astoundingly ephemeral and fragile interconnectedness that makes such relationships possible. It is from these contemplations that the project, Giving Voice, was formed. It is a collection of mixed media gilded paintings, to be hand-bound with a metal cover inset, made from Eastern repoussé and dimensionally patterned mokume gane.
This one-of-a-kind book will also take the form of a multimedia eBook, with voice overs, a soundtrack, and animations of the cover, words, and images. Your involvement will help put this story and artwork out into the world.
In order to launch Giving Voice, I have built a team to manage the technology I don’t have time to learn. It takes experts to turn this work of paper and metal into an immersive multimedia experience.
All of the funds raised will offset the production costs of the animations, and the cost of formatting and printing the book for distribution. The total budget for this project is actually $18,000 to pay my team and print the giclee prints, print the book, and produce the ebook. (Alas, that doesn’t including paying me.)
Please help spread the word! I want this book to wildly successful so that it will inspire others to cherish our ephemeral connections and tell the world about them.
For helping me put this story and project out into the world, you will receive giclee prints, a signed print book, or a signed limited edition version of the print book, depending on your level of contribution. That is in addition to my absolute, undying gratitude that you believe in my artwork enough to help midwife its debut. See all the perks here.
My passion for metalsmithing is derived from my obsession with ancient Egyptian art. This fascination was triggered by a fantastically unusual board game, Voice of the Mummy, given to me the Christmas I was five years old. The game consisted of a styrofoam step pyramid with squares depicting ancient hieroglyphics, jewels, and images of Tutankhamun’s gold mask. An only child, I played the game endlessly by myself, meticulously moving each cardboard Egyptologist around the board. I was mesmerized by the artwork; it was unlike anything I had ever seen. No one could have guessed that a child’s board game would become a cornerstone of my artistic existence, but this event was a pivotal moment in my life.
This is the story many have heard, and what can be found when investigating my history as a maker. What I’ve less often told is the back story of the two wonderful families behind the gift. More than this incredibly significant gift, these families brought music and laughter that would shape my outlook on the world.
What I remember most about the mothers of the families was that these two very different but strong, elegant, warm, and self-assured lifelong friends were always so incredibly kind to me. Their passing inspired these reflections of connectedness, and influence. Without these people and seemingly ordinary events; without a profound inquisitiveness sparked by a game; there is no question that the path of my life would have been profoundly different. Life is a chain of events and connections in which if one link breaks, wonders we might never know can be lost.
The book’s pages were completed in 2015. The pages were photographed in 2017, and my studio assistant, Uduak Its, has completed the editing process for half of the artwork. My animator, Steve Walker, has completed 3 of the 11 animations and has 1 more animation in the final stages. The front cover, which will become the 12th animation in the book, will take another 2 months to complete. The original manuscript will not be bound until all the digital work is complete, but this will not effect the ebook and print book’s timeline.
I have waited until this point in the project’s journey to ask for crowdfunding to ensure that we have enough expertise and momentum to see it through. Based on how long the digital work has taken so far, we estimate that the book will release mid summer of 2018. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that it might be sooner!
Unless technology radically changes in the next 6 months, the multimedia ebook version will be for sale only in Apple’s iBook Store and will work only on iPads and Macs. This isn’t out of some misplaced brand loyalty. It’s because at this time, other formats for PC and other types of tablets do not yet support multimedia books of this intricacy and file size. What we’ve envisioned is still very cutting edge in the book world. I’ve thought about writing it as an app or video game, but that would have required raising a lot more money (as in adding a few zeros).
The good news is that the print book will have codes and URLs for enjoying the animations, soundtrack, and voice overs! So even if you’re not a Mac person, you can still interact with the book.
I am and artist/alchemist, obsessed with converting time into beautifully intricate objects of mystery and contemplation. Ideas synthesize through my brain at such a dizzying rate, it is impossible that only one kind of art should come out of me. I specialize in both ancient metalsmithing and illumination techniques that are laborious and intensive, demanding deep knowledge and acute skill, which counter today’s impulse for immediacy. My award winning artwork ranges in scale from wearable art jewelry and hand illuminated artist books to bespoke architectural metal installations for one of the world’s largest super yachts. My work has also appeared in numerous juried exhibitions, books, and magazines, including the Lark 500 series, Metalsmith, Jewelry Artist, and on Home & Garden Television. I created the metals program and served as head of the Metalsmithing Department at Spruill Center for the Arts, Atlanta and was an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee. My instructional DVD and book series, Metal Techniques of Bronze Age Masters, featuring the titles Russian Filigree, Rings, All Chained Up, Eastern Repoussé and Chasing, and my iPhone™ app, iMakeJewelry have sold throughout the world.