Ribbons, Flowers, and Chocolate + 2020 Workshops
What could be more appropriate for Valentine’s Day? Currently, I have artwork inspired by all 3 of those things and more at 3 different exhibits across the USA.
CRAFT NOUVEAU: AN INTERNATIONAL FINE CRAFT COMPETITION
BLUE LINE ARTS, ROSEVILLE, CA
January 3 – March 7
Ribbons: My concept was to form an undulating textile-like structure that, though strong and unbending, would appear as ephemeral as the folds of fabric.
Pyramids: Ok, so pyramids and meandering rivers aren’t on the list, but I’m thrilled to have this ring included in Craft Nouveau.
The form of this gold granulation ring is inspired by the pyramidal rings in the Sutton Hoo hoard found in England. The base is an Eastern repousse pyramid that is forged out of one sheet of sterling silver with no seams. Upon the pyramid are organically formed sections of 18k gold fused granulation that draw the eye upward to the apex of the pyramid, a 22k gold bezel set pyramidal, pink tourmaline, surrounded by 22k gold granules. The 18k gold granulation of the shank echoes the undulating designs of the ring’s top.
Like Ribbon lace, this ring is another success story of merging millennia old metalsmithing techniques with cutting edge micro-TIG welding.
Flowers: Eternal Spring came about because my son had bought me a large bunch of deep purple tulips for the studio last year. I was in the throws of finishing Ribbon Lace, Storms of Juno, and several other pieces, but every time I looked at those tulips, I’d get a flash of inspiration until one day, I dropped what I was doing and took over 20 photos of the bunched up flowers in my hand. The photos became the basis for the necklace’s design.
The leaves articulate to create a gentle curve around the neck. The center section is one sheet of sterling hammered in Eastern repousse relief. Even though I started puffing out the general triangle shape with my hydraulic press, it took over 120 hours of refined hand hammering to achieve the detail of the overlapping petals and leaves on the center section alone.
For the subtle color, I applied pigmented wax to the recessed areas and finely chased lines. The result is durable and imminently wearable. Because I use 24 gauge (.5mm) sheet for most of my Eastern repousse work, the necklace is surprising lightweight and comfortable.
MARIA V HOWARD GALLERY, IMPERIAL CENTRE FOR ARTS & SCIENCES, ROCKY MOUNT, NC
January 10 – April 12, 2020
I’ve been thoroughly obsessed with these “genie bottle” shapes for the last 10 years. Long after working the shapes into my aesthetic, I learned that the shapes contain ‘rumis.’ A rumi is the design term for abstracted wing shapes in Islamic art, much like the more familiar ‘arabesque’ is the design term for abstracted leaves and vines. Rumi is also, of course, a 13th-century Persian poet, scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic, whose poetry is incomparable.
I’ve often employed these shapes when demonstrating for my students in the many Eastern repousse workshops I’ve taught. Later back in my studio, I’d finish them into some of my favorite pendants and earrings.
One day as I was preparing for another out of town workshop, I got the idea to combine the shapes into a larger necklace. I designed all the shapes I would need, then each time I taught Eastern repousse, I would begin 1 or 2 of them in class as demonstrations and complete them after I returned home. Hammering the segments spanned over 3 years.
One day I laid out 7 of the completed Eastern repousse segments to see if I was on track for how I envisioned them fitting together. As the necklace came together, my forms reminded me of chocolate confections, sprinkled in with gold and colored sugars – a tribute to a poet who wrote of light and love.
Before I soldered on the forged wire rims to the edges of each segment, I took molds of the shapes with a food safe silicon product. Though I’ve yet to have time to cast them into chocolates, I’ve made some seriously fancy butter shapes for a holiday dinner.
Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA
December 6, 2019 – February 1, 2020; Juror: Jane Milosch
In case you missed it, you can read all about Storms of Juno’s turbulent inspiration and critical acclaim in a previous post. CraftFoms ends February 1. If you’re in the Philadelphia area, you’ve just got time to catch this amazing show and find out how the universe might look on your wrist.
As my work travels around the world, so will i
Announcing my 2020 Workshops Schedule!
There are still (so very) many projects I need to complete, but I’m hitting the road again with 3 workshop stops along the way.
I’ll also be attending the Society of North American Goldsmiths conference in Philadelphia in May, Puppet Paradise in Asheville in June, the International Calligraphy Conference in Slovenia in June to study light calligraphy with Julien Breton (hello, bucket list!), and possibly popping over to Ireland next fall. Those are just the highlights…Yeah, exhausting but exhilarating to be me, huh?
THE 2020 LIMITED WORKSHOP SCHEDULE
These workshops will fill fast, so if you’re thinking of signing up, don’t delay!
EASTERN REPOUSSE AND CHASING
Sandy Spring Museum, Sandy Spring, MD, April 24-26, 2020
The Craft Guild of Dallas Please note that registration information may not yet be available for this workshop. Please contact the guild to find out when registration opens.
Carrollton, TX, July 23-26, 2020
Albuquerque, NM, September 22-25, 2020
This workshop at Rio Grande is a special, ‘Rio-only,’ 4-day workshop in which we will focus on creating sculptural filigree with both traditional soldering and the aid of micro-TIG welders.
I hope my artwork and/or I get to meet you on one of these adventures!