Best of 2019

Two of my bollard necklaces will be touring with the Ohio Designer Craftsman’s Best of 2019 exhibition this summer. London Bollard and Viennese Hydrant and Bollards will be in the exhibition that is opening this Sunday May 5th at the Ohio Craft Museum and then moving to the Springfield Museum of Art on September 20th.

London Bollard

London Bollard

Viennese Hydrant and Bollards

Viennese Hydrant and Bollards

College Art Association Talk

I am so excited to be going to New York next week to speak at the College Art Association conference! I will take part in the session, Wish You Were Here: The Souvenir as Emblem of Regional Identity. If you are in the neighborhood, please stop by! My panel was put together by Christopher J. Moore of Concordia University and Isabel Prochner of Syracuse University. It will take place Wednesday the 13th at 10:30 am at the New York Hilton Midtown - 2nd Floor - Nassau East. I will be presenting my body of work, You Are (the) Here and its relationship to cultural geography, personal identity, and the souvenir.

Photo by Chenli Ye

Photo by Chenli Ye



Not-So-Lone Star Studios: A Gathering of Texas Makers

Natalie Macellaio and Kathleen Janvier have put together a beautiful exhibition of works by Texas Metalsmiths. I count myself quite lucky to be among them and am looking forward to the reception on Friday, September 14th from 6-8. Hope to see you there!

NotSoLoneStar Image-1.jpg
NotSoLoneStar Back.jpg

Industrial Arts: Exhibition and Public Talk

I will be exhibiting a wide variety of work at the University of Texas at San Antonio's Terminal 136 Gallery from August 31st through September 16th with a public "lunch and lecture" at the Southwest School of Art on Saturday September 16th at 12:30.

For more information about the exhibition please contact Laura Crist 210.458.4391

For more information about the talk please contact Jillian Sortore 210.200.8254

IndustrialArts.jpg
lopez card_Page_2.jpg

Go Metals!

It was a true honor to speak at the Society of North American Goldsmiths conference in New Orleans with Cappy Counard and Jaydan Moore. I have enjoyed meeting new people at the conference and seeing a lot of great work. Perhaps the best part of all was getting to share this remarkable experience with so many UNT students, friends and alumni.

Versailles in Iowa

The Clay Fiber Paper Glass Metal Wood (all media) show at the Octagon Center for the Arts is in its 49th year and I am pleased that one of my pieces is participating. The title itself is a bit of a time capsule, back to half a century ago when craft media was rarely mixed and the postwar studio movement was just starting to organize within media-specific groups. 

It was an honor to have had a piece chosen and then it was a whole other thing to figure out how to ship the Versailles Gate Ring! I ended up making a display fixture that would also hold it during shipping. And chastising myself (not for the first time) for designing work without considering gravity or display challenges.

New Piece Done!

This broach is inspired by a the cover from a wastewater access point that I passed on the road every day in Vienna on my way to the museums. The main element is made of 30 gauge fine silver so it is a lot lighter than it looks. It also required much research and development to get the die forming to turn out the way I wanted it. This will be in my show with Harlan Butt at the Georgetown Art Center in August. Thanks is due to Paul Cauthen and Tammy Nguyen who were student apprentices and had some part in its making.

All You Need is Telstar: a collaborative international necklace

INTRODUCTION

A temporary, transatlantic, creative partnership between Poppy Porter and myself sprang up for the purpose of generating a piece of wearable art for the Crafthaus Co-Operation:Garnish project.  The project is a traveling, juried exhibition that called for makers with very different working sensibilities to pair and cooperate on a piece. Poppy is an Abstract Artist/Jeweler based in the United Kingdom who I approached from a list of interested parties.

Our response to the theme of Co-Operation:Garnish is based on the structure of two specific songs and how they played their part in communications history. We have taken the rhythm and bassline to be the foundation and the melody and vocals to be the “garnish”.  One artist works with the foundation the other works with the garnish.   The two songs were written either to be transmitted by or in praise of the first communications satellites, thus starting a communications revolution that makes our co-operation and collaboration possible.

Poppy and I have very different styles of working. Poppy is synesthetic, and has a visual response to music and sound that resembles a colorful, abstract animation.  She takes her inspiration for her jewelry and painting from the drawings generated while listening to music.  Poppy uses a variety of techniques and materials to make jewelry, usually creating or finding a form that will be painted using automotive custom painting techniques.

THE COLLABORATION

We were strangers at the beginning of the process and to date have never met or spoken in real time.  In fact, as Poppy made her half first, it is possible that she will never see the finished piece in person! The entire project was conducted and made possible in the time available via social media and email.  The constraints of time and distance focused the making process considerably.

This transatlantic communication sparked the idea for the piece.  We decided they wanted to work with music to use Poppy's synesthesia.  I suggested we use “All You Need Is Love” by the Beatles which was commissioned by the BBC for the first live global television transmission
 in June 1967 and Poppy suggested “Telstar” by The Tornadoes, a 1962 instrumental piece about Telstar, the first communications satellite.

After email dialogs and starting a Facebook group to document the process and ease communication of ideas they decided to make a necklace.  This would be comprised of 12 ovals, each oval will be around 4x6cm, half of the ovals would be inspired by "Telstar".  The other half of the ovals would be inspired by "All You Need is Love."

They decided to look at the structure of the music and use that to reflect the theme of “Garnish”.  Poppy (a bassist among other things) began by laying down the groove.  Creating the foundation of the piece by responding to the rhythmic structure and basslines of both songs.  It was agreed that I would then look at the melody and vocals to “garnish” the foundation.

Poppy listened, looked and drew several abstracts for each song.  The main color of the basslines for both songs was purple with distinct white shapes superimposed over the top, cubes for “Telstar” and star shapes for “All You Need Is Love.  There would be twelve purple ovals, six with white cubes and six with white stars to represent each song.  There was also a very sci-fi sound effect at the beginning and end of “Telstar” clearly meant to represent the satellite itself. This was a very dominant shape and Poppy decided to include it as a central motif with the ovals coming out from it as if they were the transmissions. She airbrushed these abstract shapes on to pierced out aluminum composite panel using automotive custom painting techniques for vibrant colors, adding a little stardust for sparkle at the end.  Each piece was designed to be elements that I could arrange in any way I wanted once I was working on the necklace.

As teleportation is a thing of the future there was an anxious wait for the UK and US postal services. I received the elements and respond to Poppy's groove with my own interpretations of the melody and vocals to "garnish" the foundation. Although I had made a variety of abstract sketches based on the impressions of both pieces of music, my elements were also considerably changed as a result of Poppy’s painted imagery. Not wanting my elements to obscure too much of the white painted forms jumping off of the painted ovals, I strove to position my complimentary elements around the baseline-inspired pieces, creating a harmony. I was further inspired by Poppy’s sparkle finish to include fine light-catching textures on her dimensional garnishments.

The success of the piece comes from the conscientious merging of the disparate strengths of each contributor. The merging of Poppy’s colorful approach with my dimensional methods has resulted in a fun and wearable necklace. It is a fitting expression of international communication, representing the cordial and encouraging working relationship that developed between two strangers.

Metal-Phors

I was awarded a solo exhibition at the Sheetz Gallery of the Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts at Penn State, Altoona. The exhibition is free and open to the public and will run January 15 - March 15. A reception will be held 3-5 p.m. January 15 in the Titelman Study of the Center. 

The pieces in the exhibition utilize disparate forms of metalworking in order to create metaphors for intra- and inter-personal relationships. The exhibition consists of a mixture of small sculptural pedestal pieces, wearable objects and framed drawings executed in vitreous enamels. These pieces address a variety of relationships including those of the contemporary constructed body to industry, the alchemy of interpersonal relationships and those of the individual to one’s core beliefs. They represent a collection of metaphors in metal. 

 

CraftTexas Juror's Award

I am pleased to announce that "Attic Turbine" (shoulder broach) won a juror's award at CraftTexas this year. CraftTexas is a biennial, juried exhibition at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.

CraftTexas 2014 was juried by Carol Sauvion, the visionary behind the PBS TV series, Craft in America, and HCCC Texas Masters, Piero Fenci, Ceramics Department Head, Stephen F. Austin State University, and Clint Willour, Curator of the Galveston Arts Center. The jurors were tasked with selecting the finest works from a pool of 176 applicants and 477 pieces.

The exhibition is up through December 24th. If you find yourself in Houston, I hope you will have a chance to go by and see it.

Soulcology: exhibition and award

Plumb Bob: Shelter and Plumb Bob: Loving and Faithful were both accepted into Soulcology: An Exhibition in Metal at the Guilford Art Center in Guilford, Connecticut. It is a national, juried exhibition and will be on view from June 6 through July 27th, 2014. It was organized by Lanette Barber and adjudicated by Robert Dancik. I am additionally pleased to announce that Shelter received the third place award! Both pieces are part of a series of plumb bobs that either hang from forged wall hooks or may be worn as necklaces.

 

The following is the statement which pertains to these pieces:

 Plumb bobs have been used to find “true” vertical lines as well as depth. These plumb bob pendant necklaces come from the understanding that hard decisions must sometimes be made and those things upon which we base our decisions are reflections of what we value. “Shelter” references the idea of a secure home as a concern around which major life decisions may be built. It is not difficult to see great significance in the ability to access a dependable shelter, and the gold key is an exact duplicate of the back door key to my first house. “Loving and Faithful” is about a commitment to another in a partnership as a foundation for decision making. My husband and I were married according to the traditions of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and our vows were to be “with divine assistance, loving and faithful” unto each other.

 

Plumb Bob: Shelter (detail)

 

Materials Hard & Soft - Juror's Award

I am pleased to announce that my piece, Attic Turbine Vent (shoulder brooch) was selected as one of ten pieces in this year's exhibition for a Juror's Award. Materials Hard & Soft is a competitive, national exhibition now in its twenty-sixth year. This year's juror was Jean W. McLaughlin, Executive Director of the Penland School of Craft. 568 pieces were submitted and 71 chosen for inclusion with 10 juror's awards given. I am also pleased to say that a number of other UNT faculty, students and alumni were also chosen for inclusion resulting in very strong North Texas representation.

You Are (the) Here: London

This was the final city to be visited for this stage of the You Are (the) Here project. Although I had been to London on two previous occasions, I reasoned that a significant enough period of time had elapsed for me to be able to see the city afresh. However, there was still a familiarity due to similarities of language and culture that rendered much of London less remarkable than the previous three cities by comparison. This is not to say that I did not thoroughly enjoy myself or see a great many new and magnificent objects of metalsmithing and other decorative arts. But after having lived in New York City a few times, London could not help but feel the most familiar of the four locations in this project. And I cannot be insensible to the fact that such a familiarity might have brought a certain amount of blindness to my surroundings. When one is surrounded by the strange and novel, I believe one notices more. However something of the pattern established by the first three cities probably also guided my observations, as you will notice that I found another bollard that I like.  As for museums, I spent more than ten hours at the Victoria and Albert Museum, which has stolen the title of “My Favorite Museum” from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Crown Jewels, Design Museum, and British Museum were also delightful but could not hold a candle to the V&A. The following objects are likely to become the representations of London for this project, with the cylindrical, ceramic chimneys being the main representational object. I like the subtle reference to the British ceramic industry and found the variety of shapes delightful. As for the wall images, I was responding to the variety of sizes and textures in their composition and their testimony to the layers of history that abound in the city.




You Are (the) Here: Dresden

Of the three cities I have visited for the You Are (the) Here project thus far, Dresden was the hardest one in which to find a representative subject. This was partly due to the close proximity of my hotel to most of the sites I was interested in seeing, which resulted in a reduced scope of experience. The Green Vault, New Green Vault and Armory were within a block of each other and flanked by other delightful collections of decorative arts. The fact that Dresden was nearly destroyed by an Allied bombing in February of 1945 meant that this city’s rich history is somewhat belied by relatively recent reconstruction. What would serve as a reminder of my experience of Dresden? What object’s likeness might be used to create a handmade, personal souvenir of this city? The thing that stood out to me, over and over, was the contrast of old and new stones used in the reconstruction of historic edifices. In a cropped view, these patchworks of dark and light create a minimalist grid of contrasts. In reality they are the perfect representation of a city that had to rebuild from almost nothing in some places. I found the story of the Frauenkirche particularly moving. Computer-imaging technologies were used to place the remaining stones in their original locations in time for the city’s 800th birthday. 

 

In all I plan to make six broaches representing various brick compositions that I photographed around town. I will use engraved cross-hatched lines to depict the darker stones. 

 




I only found one additional urban element that seemed to want to be a piece of jewelry:

Don't you think this grating wants to be a bracelet?

You Are (the) Here

I am about to expand upon a new series of artworks that explore the cultural construction of identity through personal adornment. It will result in four wearable metal objects and related imagery and will be completed during my development leave this fall. This series, You Are (the) Here, is inspired by the historic relationship between body adornment, the idealized self and the souvenir that has been indicated by such things as pilgrimage badges of the middle ages, neoclassical dress in the court of Napoleon Bonaparte and nineteenth century micro-mosaic jewelry. Jewelry as a format of expression is inherently defined in relationship to human scale and therefore to the human experience. In this multivalent program of research, manmade public elements that have become particular and familiar through repeated contact are used as personalized signifiers of place. These are rendered in miniature in painstaking detail and precious materials to become body adornment that may be used by the wearer to take on the constructed identities of these personal/public spaces. 

It all began with a gas meter.

I pass this every day that I take my daughter to or retrieve her from daycare. Located behind an industrial building, the wall behind is an easy and frequently used target for spray painters. Each time the wall receives these unauthorized markings, the city is contacted and a crew paints over the newest batch. Apparently the city of Fort Worth has a handful of different “neutral” shades that they use to cover up these markings and the paints used have not remained consistent to the site. The result is a warehouse-size color field painting in neutral tones. This serves as the backdrop for the now-familiar gas meter. Most weekdays I pass, noticing the changes to the wall, admiring the effect and how it seems to stage the gas meter and make it special.This went on for some time before it hit me: the gas meter wants to be a bracelet. And I want to wear it. 

To be continued...

Dumbarton House Commission

Dumbarton House in Washington, DC, is commissioning works from a handful of jewelers and metalsmiths, to have been inspired by something in their collection. The project was envisioned by Scott Scholz, the Deputy Director & Curator. The pieces will be exhibited along with their inspirational counterparts this fall at the historical house and then auctioned as a fundraiser.

I was honored to have been invited to contribute to the project. It is a great opportunity to try something new and stretch out a bit. After the significant struggle of choosing an inspirational piece from the large decorative arts collection, I settled on a linen and Point de Gaze needle lace handkerchief from the first half of the nineteenth century. The drawing above is of the necklace that I have proposed to make. It combines various decorative elements from the handkerchief and will also be featuring a white-on-white palette of fine silver and mother-of-pearl. I have never used mother-of-pearl and can see a lot of riveting in my future! I purchased several “large” sheets (1.2 x 2”) from a custom luthier supplier. Luthiers, pronounced ˈlo͞otēərs, I learned, are makers of any form of stringed instruments. The finished piece will also incorporate the techniques of piercing, hydraulic die forming and chasing and repoussé.