Blog

  • Finals week is approaching. I’m racing to finish pieces before my Friday end of the semester committee meeting. I have big ideas for some future pieces and it’s becoming hard for me to focus on finishing what I have on my bench because I’m just exciting to see if what I’m envisioning with new things will turn out. Spoiler alert: it might Incorporate these woven forms.

    Crotcheting is great until I get bored with it and I need a break. The plus side is that break will come soon. Just need to chug along.

    I got the piece that’s pictured back from a show. It’s been in and out of shows since April which is really exciting. I was so upset last year thinking I hadn’t made anything really good, but I keep having to remind myself that this babe has been out of my hands on display. So at least I have that. The down side…after all that handling and shipping it has some damage, but nothing that a fresh coat of enamel can’t fix.

  • There’s so much to update about with photos. Kiel Johnson’s visit was amazing. And those will get another posting when I can wrap my head around how crazy that week was.
    In the midst of everything, OBJECT our student org( just call me madam president) was chaotically trying to organize last minute details for our annual sale. I was also trying to bust out some last minute earrings, which not so surprisingly didn’t sell as much as my woven work.
    Things I learned at the sale:
    - A LOT of people wanted to by my pieces as small sculptural Objects. Specifically male buyers.
    What does that mean?

    It means I need to bust out some small sculptures that can just sit somewhere. How great for me, because It just makes sense that they stand alone as small objects that you hold in your hands occasionally. That’s all I’ve wanted kind of. Again, what does that mean? I’m doing something right. Just conceptually, is that ever enough? Wanting (the pieces) to be held? It’s an intimate thing but something just worth posing…

  • I haven’t done much this week and it depresses me. I never find enough time in the day to get really productive until about 6 hours into the studio workout and then I get tired and decide to go home. I’m getting old. Or maybe it’s just that Wisconsin gets too dark too early and the lack of sleeping in means that my evenings need to be cut short. So, so lame.

    I have big ideas. Now it’s just finding the time to do them.

  • Spent time documenting work over the weekend and making production work today. Thinking about incorporating some keum-boo onto those argentium earrings. We’ll see. I just need a good chunk of time to work. Anyone willing to do my other stuff for me so I can just work in my studio? Please and thanks.

  • Last week was insane. Grad reviews went really well and I finally figured out the resolution to my first piece. The enamel kept chunking off because of the lack of structural stability. Made a cuff. It looked awful. Figured out how to use some single stitch copper chaining to use it for that bracing and the enamel worked out awesome.

    Now I’m just taking feedback from the review and running with it.

  • Grad reviews are this Friday. I spent all weekend busting my buns trying to get trunk sale and production work done for my deadlines only to spend Sunday failing miserably at enameling/firing my conceptual work. The first image is totally how it should look. But sticking that chain into the kiln destroyed any and all beauty and solidarity. I need to remake that piece. Oh well.

  • I’ve been trying to make work for the Object Contemporary craft sale, the 3rd Ward Jewelry trunk show/gallery Night and for my MA show. It’s been a weird cross over where I make components and think “okay, does this piece get to be MA components or production line stuff?” Tough processes but I think after the trunk show due date (10/13) and Grad reviews (10/17 NEXT WEEK HELP!!!) I can be on a normal making schedule for my MA pieces. Hopefully.

    I ordered a whole lot of enamel and I’m playing a bit more with the transitions between components (bottom images) but I think there may be something still missing. I’ll just have to finish the first one, see what’s working and go from there. Isn’t that always the case?

    I’m swamped with student org stuff. I feel like I’m drowning under the pressure of having to write grants by myself for two organizations, while trying to get things done on top of my full credit load of grad courses. I’m maxed out right now on the emotional school-energy level. Can November just get here and I can take a breather from all the almost unnecessary extra work?

    Just got to live in my studio for the next couple of days to actually get all of this done.

  • Last week, I went to the Racine Arts museum. It was a glorious experience and while looking at Bob Ebendorf’s, I also discovered the work of Edgar Mosa. His presentation is solid and the work is beautiful and dynamic.

    I’ve been working on pumping out several tiny crochet forms to enamel and turn into a necklace for grad review. I’m also trying to make extra for my production line. We will see how this goes.

  • The first critique for our eighty projects was on Monday. It was kind of a stress relief to have had a critique with the grads Thursday night in Frankie’s class, and then another critique with my MA committee before having to again talk about my work. It gave me some time to do some more explorations and a couple of starts toward “resolving” pieces. I need to buy a lot more Cotton thread.

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    How do these pieces grow out of your past body of work? Explain.

     Each of the pieces that I have created have some relation to the material studies I worked on in my first year of grad school. I’ve expanded upon the use of textile techniques (crochet, weaving and stitching) from the previous year and have shifted from using precious metal wire such as 14K yellow and rose gold, to using copper wire that has either been coated in black, or bare wire that I have then enameled. I have found that the enamel on my smaller crocheted voluminous cone forms has given more depth and texture than my previous attempts at enameling Viking knit wire. The forms become skeletal and have a solidity to them that was much softer in the bare wire forms.

     What three categories did you choose from the list and how did you interpret those categories in your object making? Explain.

     The three categories, which I have worked with, are: “Soft & Hard,” “Fantastically Ugly” and “obsessively made”. Each of the pieces I have made have a contrast between the material and its treatment. For example, I am using metal, which is a “hard” material; in a way that textile would be used which is traditionally a soft material. From there, I am making the form rigid again by enameling it. In contrast, I am also taking resin that has been cast with stone granules, and have incorporated silicone rubber either on top of or in to the forms to contrast that hard and soft. It also has a “dry/wet” contrast.

    For the fantastically ugly pieces, I have taken silicone rubber and coated some of my woven forms. Many of the material samples that I did turned out poorly and the silicone dried in very ugly drippy patterns. These were unintentional and as an end result, REALLY ugly.

    Lastly, the obsessively made goes for many of my pieces. I obsessively spend time crocheting multiples of the same for and sometimes to my detriment, because I am too afraid to move beyond that initial stage and do something with those forms. The obsession extends beyond the making, into the non-making where I obsess over whether the idea is good enough to utilize the components that I have made. 

    Which object is your fertile seed? Explain why it is.

    The Fertile Seed of my 80 projects is definitely the enameled crochet form that has two smaller cones coming off of it. It was one of the last pieces that I really spent time on and it seemed to have a dynamic quality that allowed it to function both as object and as something more (though I’m still working on the “more” part).

     Which object is your coherent thread? Explain.

     My coherent thread is my piece with the silicone crocheted form mixed with the black crochet. Combining the two materials created an “A-ha!” moment for me, because they were not separate components any more. They had visual weight by themselves but when paired together they had a shift in their material understanding. It was wet, dry, hard, soft and alien.

    Which object is your odd Duck? Explain. 

     The odd ducks and failure’s to be quite frank came from the clay objects which I thought could help my work through ideas faster by modeling them. Clay is not a strong point for me, and the samples became almost a waste of time and energy even though I spent time making quite a few. The inability to have clay function like a textile was what caused this complication and hardship in the making process.

     __________

    I’ve been doing quite a bit of research regarding my work, but after my committee meeting on Friday, I feel like the majority of artists that I was looking at (ones that make jewelry about the body), don’t make sense anymore for the direction that I want to take my work. Again, I’m still unsure of where it is going in itself, but I suspect that once I really “Finish” a piece with a solid resolution, the conceptual direction my work needs to take will be more clear to me. Regardless, I’ve been looking at the works of Susie Ganch (love her approaches to enamel), Amy Tavern, Mary Lee Hu (for her textile technique work) and a handful of others.