August 27, 2008

The Breakup Ring aka What's in a Name

I've struggled for many years trying to see art in the work that I do. Making jewelry is a lot like a woman chef or hairdresser, it can come naturally and who cares cause it's kinda expected of a girl anyway. Is it just because I like to make pretty things, is there anything deeper behind it? For those who work outside of the established art community it can take some time to discover that much of what we make says something whether we recognize it ourselves or not.
It hit me hardest in 2006. I got dumped. It wasn't like the ending relationship lasted long enough to devastate me, it was more an issue of not being the one to make that decision first. So I got out of bed the next day and went to the jeweler's bench (at the time it had replaced the table in the kitchen). In a single day, with no planned design I made The Breakup Ring and it kicked ass. It was one of those pieces you look at after you're done and get so excited cause you can't believe you just made that.
Since then I have begun to reflect more on each new piece and make a point to discover what brought out the design. (I could try and play it cool here and pretend that I know what I'm
doing when I'm doing it, but alas I'm a little slow in the obvious at times.) These days I find it is all in the name. When I teach a design, I have to title the piece. At times this can turn into a quiz for my friends/family; those who know me best are the ones who usually name it right if I can't.
What's next? don't I wish I knew. I do know it involves fire, let's hope this is a reflection of the fire glowing within. Art is after all messy work.
Something to look forward to: A photo shoot this weekend that will resonate the transitional qualities of human (read: my) relationships over several years in jewelry. Will post those pics soon.

August 20, 2008

Pretty Things

The task of cleaning up the studio is taking longer than expected. One big shopping trip to Ikea, a set of curtains in the mail and hopefully a rug soon to be chosen will provide the atmosphere I think I need. While I wait for these things to come together, I take stock of the jewelry I admire most. Last year at the Puget Sound Bead Festival I ran into Kriss Silva and we traded one of my 20 Minute Spiral Rings for one of her Riveted Rock Band Rings. (I think I got the better end of the trade.) She is currently living the hard life in Hawaii and only teaches a few times a year on the mainland.

August 14, 2008

A Room of One's Own

Once the dishes are done I can move on to the studio. After a summer of bead shows the space is filled with boxes and bags of wire and beads. Each pile representing hours of time absorbing bead sorting. I have decided that I can't work until I get these mountains down to a reasonable hill.

Several months ago two young girls attended my Fused Chain class at Baubles & Beads. The materials list included a quench cup. They brought vintage carnival glass bowls to use as a quench cup. I scoffed at this as I remember these bowls in my Great Grandmother's house, an item we look at but never touch. Weeks later, I found myself wishing I too was cool enough to use an antique glass bowl to quench my red hot rings. I made my way to the monthly Alameda Antique Show and bought myself a small lilac bowl with a gold foil rim and a lovely carved scroll design in the glass. I do believe my fusing has improved since the purchase of this lovely tool.

This week will focus on my studio space and how to make it more of a reflection of who I wish to be as an artist.

August 13, 2008

Why the sink?

It all starts here. My home, my studio they are the same. I awake only to find a sink full of dishes, a stack of things left behind on the counter and general life mess standing before me and the work I should be doing. It is where I clean, patina, prepare and rinse all of the day's sustenance. It is what calls my name with procrastination priority when I should be making a sample or a handout. I feel as if when the dishes are done I can stand before the jewelry bench and create to my fullest ability. ...if only there wasn't laundry in the next room.