April 28, 2010
April 27, 2010
This is a pendant made of forged sterling silver. It is unfinished, but I plan on filling the bezel cup with resin/flocking. I have work in a shop in Alton, IL called BY DESIGN. I am looking to add new work to the store sometime soon!
April 26, 2010
I finally had a good long day in the studio! I have been working on some more wearable pieces out of sterling silver. This is a pair of earrings in a style I am going to further explore. They are forged sterling wire soldered to tubing, allowing the earrings to dangle nicely while being worn.
April 25, 2010
Again, I have used a material that would have otherwise been thrown away. This ring is made of a paper towel and copper wire.
Copper, Paper Towel
April 24, 2010
April 23, 2010
Cotton/Rayon Blend Thread
April 22, 2010
April 27, 2010
Wool Roving, Elmer's Glue
April 21, 2010
Using glue as a material for making a wearable object yesterday got me thinking. What would happen if I combined the glue with raw roving? I have created objects before by soaking felted pieces in resin, but never the roving. It was an interesting experiment, and I am curious as to how other glues would react with the wool. I am intrigued by the soft roving becoming solid, but it sure is messy! The glue got all over me, and I had to hang the piece up in the kitchen since it couldn't dry flat.
Roving, Elmer's Glue
April 20, 2010
Snail Shells, Elmer's Glue
April 19, 2010
Wool Roving, Silver-Colored Craft Wire
April 18, 2010
April 17, 2010
April 16, 2010
Silver, Chopstick Wrapper
April 15, 2010
I am a collector of anything interesting. Today's ring is made of copper wire and a dried bud I found at Arrowmont many years ago.
Copper, Dried Natural Material
April 14, 2010
April 14, 2010
I have a vice. I really love Jawbusters jaw breakers. It was a bad thing when I found that the local Walgreen's carried them in their "retro" candy section. For today's piece I wanted to create a piece made from the wrappers of the candy I so love.
Previously, all the pieces I've made have been rings. For this piece, it seemed logical to create a piece for the mouth. This is a really funny object, and kitschy, but nonetheless it speaks to my addiction to the hard crunchy jawbreakers.
Copper, Cotton/Rayon Blend Thread, Candy Wrappers
April 13, 2010
This piece is similar to the other wrapped pieces I've done, but I wanted to simplify the form. I wanted to play with a straight, linear form that rests slightly above the finger. I tend to over-complicate most things, in my work and other aspects of my life, so with this piece I tried to tone it down, to highlight the simplicity.
April 12, 2010
I wanted to continue experimenting with the idea of a ring that hovers above the finger. In undergrad, I was a ceramics major before I fell in love with metalsmithing/jewelry design. I have a bunch of tiny thrown pots that I never glazed, so I decided to use one in a ring. It is wrapped in copper wire and bounces and wiggles when being worn. The weight is substantial, but not overwhelming, and by creating a double band the piece is quite stable.
Copper Wire, Stoneware
April 11, 2010
This piece is much more functional for everyday wear. I was experimenting with simple ways to make a highly wearable ring using nothing but copper wire. It creates an interesting space on the top of the finger when being worn, and hugs the finger nicely. If I were to create this to sell, I would forge the wire and smooth out the wrapped wire. It is slightly uncomfortable with the thin wrapped wire pressing into the finger, but with a few alterations, it could be a really fun ring to wear!
Copper, Spray Paint
April 10, 2010
This was a really fun ring to make! I found some old broken gold chain that I didn't really want to fix, so I decided to play with the fluid movement of the chain when suspended above the finger. The focal point of the ring sits about four inches above the finger and the chain moves constantly when being worn. It has great movement, and I hope to involve this idea in my work.
Copper, Cotton/Rayon Blend Thread, Gold Chain
April 9, 2010
For today's ring I continued using plastic bags. This time I wanted to play with using the soft, flexible material of the plastic bag to restrict finger movement. I wrapped the copper wire around multiple bags and and formed it into a ring for the index finger. The piece acts as a brace for the finger, not allowing the joints to bend.
Copper, Plastic Bags
April 8, 2010
April 7, 2010
I've been getting a little burned out the past week or so using the same materials over and over again, day after day, so I decided to switch it up! At least just a little bit. I am still using the copper wire in this piece, but using another material to be bound. I think the rubber tubing ring inspired me to look at synthetic materials that are typically thrown away. I used a plastic bag today to create this ring. I was interested in the transparent quality and the associations most people have with Ziploc bags. I wanted to take this material which is so overproduced and discarded in our society, and give it a second use. Plastic bags are designed for single use, and I am as guilty as the next person of tossing it in the trash once I've removed my lunch. I have been trying to become more conscious of the materials I use and discard, and at least in this piece, I have saved one plastic bag from ending up in a landfill.
Copper, Plastic Bag
April 7, 2010
I wanted to continue using the copper and craft wire I had used in a ring earlier this week, but in a new way. I created a very rough and quickly formed vessel and using the basketry/textile technique of twining, created a small and delicate hollow form that sits on your finger. It is strange for me to work with wire without soldering. It's pretty exciting to just sit in my living room and create simple, more rough and less polished wearable pieces, but I feel these pieces would be more refined if I took the time to solder the structures first. But, it is part of the challenge for myself to work in ways I am not necessarily comfortable with, so I think I will continue to explore more materials I have just laying around at my house. It's exciting to see what I come up with using ordinary materials that most people overlook.
Copper, Craft Wire
April 6, 2010
I decided to change things up a bit today and use some scrap rubber tubing I had laying around. I made multiple knots in the rubber and then stitched and wrapped the ends together to make it wearable. It was interesting using the same knotting/wrapping technique I had previously been using on a much more sturdy and thicker material. The rubber was interesting to work with because it doesn't hold it's shape unless you force it into position. I think the embroidery floss offers a nice contrast to the rubber.
Rubber Tubing, Embroidery Floss
April 5, 2010
In my art I strive to push the boundaries of what a specific material can do. Through trial and error and many discarded attempts, I stretch the possibilities of a material, taking it away from what it was originally intended to do and highlighting its texture, color, and tactile qualities. Utilizing techniques such as stitching, cutting, folding, stretching, soldering, enameling, forming, dyeing, drawing, and piercing I create wearable pieces that question the historical traditions of metalsmithing as well as paying homage to it through scale and relationship to the body.
Menacing Enticement. Hair Ornament. Copper, Silk, Flocking. 2009.
Rarely beginning with sketches, I proceed directly to the materials and search out forms, textures, patterns, and color relationships that excite me. I search out materials that I may or may not have ever worked with before, and play with them until they produce the effect I want. Each material has its own characteristics and offers up an array of textures, colors, and forms, which I can then choose to employ in the creation of my artwork. I refuse to be confined to one process or technique, and my excitement and inspiration comes from the discovery of new materials. My artwork is eclectic and spans numerous material and technical processes. If I work with a specific material or technique for too long, it begins to feel like a process of constructing, rather than a process of creating. To avoid this I pick up a different material and begin experimenting with it, finding new ways to bring together this new material with the ones with which I have already been working. For me, this playful process of stepping back from work I have done previously and starting off in a new direction is a cyclical process that in the end leads to more informed final pieces as well as a greater understanding of the possibilities of materials.
The majority of my creativity is about letting go, letting the materials speak to me, paying attention to the subtle interactions of materials, colors, and textures, and not trying to control every aspect of a material.
Experience Contained/Set Free (Detail). Brooch. Steel, Copper, Enamel, Wool. 2008.
My felt jewelry is a perfect example of this. Felt is a dense, non-woven fabric produced from compressing wool to interlock the fibers. Wool fibers have little barbs all along the surface, somewhat like Velcro, and when heat, moisture, and pressure are applied, the fibers latch onto each other, creating a fabric that has no warp or weft. The longer you apply these factors to the wool, the harder and denser it will become. Needle felting is done when the fibers are dry using a long pointed needle with barbs on its surface. When repeatedly pushed in and out of the wool, the barbs interlock the fibers and tighten them. For example, when I needle-felt I don’t follow a predetermined design but rather I closely observe each piece that I have previously wet-felted and trace with the needle the patterns of the fibers left from the wet-felting process. While I am aware and conscious of design elements and color relationships, much of my creativity is intuitive and process-driven.
April 5, 2010
Continuing on with the craft wire, I wanted to push the height of the ring and see how adding heavily wrapped areas affected the look of the piece. I think this wrapping technique has the potential to find its way into my work as another way to reference the snail trails I obsessed over for so long.
Copper, Craft Wire
April 4, 2010
Well, it was bound to happen eventually.
I forgot about making a ring until about 4:00am after I was already in bed. Luckily, Brandon reminded me, and though I was so tired I could hardly see straight, I stuck to my goal and made a ring. I just finished reading the Inferno by Dante' Alighieri again for the first time since high school. It had been my book of choice to read a few Canto's of before bed. It's actually the perfect bed-time book because each Canto is a few pages long, and when I got too tired I could quit at the end of a chapter and not feel like I was interrupting the flow of the book.
I leaned over and ripped out the last page in the book. Brandon poked his finger through the page, and that was that. It's interesting because the text says "By the year 2000, 2 out of 3 American's could be illiterate." I wonder how accurate that prediction actually was.
April 3, 2010