Hi friends! As promised, I have been working on a series based on my home here in San Antonio. This city is all over the place- art deco stucco on one side of the street, victorian mansions on the other. The Alamo is literally across the street from Ripley’s Believe It or Not and Del Sol (shirts change color in the sun!!!) It lives in the center of a strange triangle that is a prehistoric native presence, Spanish colonization, and Texas… which is Texas. In Houston there was a bit of a lack of history, an absence of a united culture because no one was from there and the city’s values were different. Here in San Antonio I’m overwhelmed by a distinct personality. In order to understand it and make something that I felt was truly representative and recognizable, I went to the Missions. These communities were built in the mid 1700’s as Spanish Colonizers settled along the San Antonio river to convert the natives and build protection against Apache raiders. As time went on they served as hospitals and fell into disrepair as the native populations they depended on died in huge numbers from European diseases. The churches continue to have active congregations in each of the four missions south of the center of downtown. The Alamo is the most famous of the 5 missions, but definitely the least impressive. Also, there is no basement in the Alamo.
These pieces are fused and fabricated out of silver and copper mesh. They were recently displayed in the popup exhibition I helped organize called Equinox Presents: OCHO, which brought eight San Antonio metalsmiths to the SNAG Conference in Boston. I am pleased with how they turned out!La Ventana de Rosa, Argentium silver & copper mesh, 3.5″x5.5″x1″
Arches, Argentium silver & copper mesh, 3.75″x5″x1″
Grotto #1, Argentium silver, sterling silver, and copper mesh, 3.25″x2″x.5″ on 30″ chain.Grotto #2, Argentium silver, Sterling silver, & copper mesh, 3.25″x2″x.5″ on 30″ chain.
May 2015 is officially the busiest month my business has ever had. Three exhibitions and one trunk show, spanning 3 states and within spitting distance of the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Gulf of Mexico. This modern era is amazing, isn’t it?
This Friday and Saturday, you can find the ENTIRE Highway Collection (and a few vintage Perspective Series pieces [Houston Necklace! What’s up long time no see!]) at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, during my trunk show at the Asher Gallery. I’ll be having a meet and greet with fellow trunk shower ceramic artist Jason Kishell on Friday, May 8th from 5-7pm, and we’ll be selling the wares on Saturday from 11am to 4pm. I’ll even put on lipstick.
Also opening this Friday, May 8th is Between the Lines: New Jewelry by Kat Cole • Donna D’Aquino • Sarah Loertscher • Lauren Markley • Meghan Patrice Riley • Caitie Sellers at Taboo Studio in San Diego, CA. The opening reception is from 6-8pm and the show will be up until June 19th. Incredibly honored to be a part of this show with some of my favorite jewelers. Check it out and see Richmond Necklace and some of my best soldered steel perspective work!
I’m so excited to have been selected to participate in the second volume of Jewelry Edition, a multi-platform project supporting early career contemporary jewelry artists. Our work will be traveling the country over the next year in various exhibitions and pop-up shops. The collections will debut at this year’s SNAG Conference in Boston, rapidly approaching on May 20-23rd. Find JE in Adorned Spaces, the exciting pop up exhibition space taking place on Friday the 22nd.
And finally, I have co-curated an exhibition with Alejandro Sifuentes and Rachel Matthews of Equinox Gallery that will open at the same pop-up exhibition space at the SNAG Conference. The show is titled OCHO, and we have selected eight metalsmiths based in San Antonio to represent our diverse community. The work we are bringing spans every facet of our field- from conceptual sculpture to fine jewelry, from emerging makers to master goldsmiths. At Equinox we are proud of our inclusive approach to curating and we are so excited to show our peers the inspiring and diverse work that is coming out of our community. The image above is brand spanking new work I’ve made inspired by my new home. I can’t wait to debut the rest of it!
Oh thank the art-gods, the studio is out of my house! And good riddance! What am I always talking about being bad at? Work-life balance. You know what happens when you put your studio in your 750 sq ft house that you share with two cats and your boyfriend? NOT THAT.
Just look at those windows. Wasted behind my soldering table with the blinds down so I could see my metal temps. Those heart-of-pine wood floors having mandrels dropped on them. Shame!
But all is well. I’ve been accepted as a resident and co-director of San Antonio’s Clamp Light Artist Studios and Gallery. Our building hosts a gallery in which we put on shows- a few of our own, a few invited, and we put out an annual call for proposals. Behind the gallery we have 6 cubicle spaces where we residents do what we do. There’s a photographer, a mixed-media and installation artist, two ceramicists, and two of us metalworkers. I’ve been here two months and I am SO HAPPY. Plus it’s literally 3 blocks from my house. The back entrance is all minty-gold goodness.
Mr. Romeo continues to earn his keep by installing my ventilation, building a loft, and being cute like a squirrel.Extremely cool original tin ceiling.
Added bonus: community, new friends, good art, people to drink PBR with.
Our next show opens on Saturday, March 21st and features works by six artists individually picked by us residents. We have a blog, and I’m going to take on building a real website as my first order of business as co-director…. so stay tuned.
Hi friends! I’ve been working hard over the last few weeks on a big website update. The gallery views have changed, the navigation is cleaner, and…..
I’ve got an online store, y’all!
Take a look around and let me know what you think! The store is still a work in progress, and I’ll be updating steadily with new products. Thanks for all the support lately, you guys!
While living in Houston I had the good fortune to meet and become friends with dozens of super talented metalsmiths. While basking in the glow of their cumulative knowledge one afternoon I shared my problems and hesitations with my work. My friend suggested mesh and I pretty much dropped everything else I was working on… and never picked it back up.
You know what doesn’t work? Soldering.
What does? Fusing!
And so began my journey into a brave new world with almost no steel in it. I do not miss the super toxic flux, the odd pickle acid situations, or the endless grinding and filing.
Before and after.
It’s been a bit of a ride. I started these first pieces in July. Six months seems like kind of a short time to have completely changed my materials, style, and production. I’m still working out the kinks, but damn am I enjoying it. Fusing is the FUNNEST.
If you’re interested, the best way to see what I’m up to is instagram. I post process and inspiration shots almost every day!
The Chariot Card:
The flesh is not the enemy of the spirit but it’s vehicle. The spirit is not the enemy of the flesh but its expression.
I’ve been stopping by Equinox Gallery frequently to chat with Alejandro Sifuentes, a master jeweler with 40 years of experience. I have been making work more slowly than usual and with a disturbing lack of focus. I came to him for technical help but the advice he gave me was for my head and heart and not my hands. I have a feeling that there are a lot of us that need to hear this every once in a while.
This is going to be a long post with lots of technical details, so metalsmiths eat your hearts out.
I sought out the residency in Houston (apply now!) so I could gather some new visual information about a big, unfamiliar city. I like to make work about urban infrastructure and my sense of place and my intention was to continue to expand my current series of three dimensional steel jewelry and focus more on drawing and sculptures. I left the residency with something different than I had expected. If you have checked out my website, Facebook page, or especially instagram over the last few months you’ll know what I’m talking about. The current series I’m working on has gotten very gestural and very wearable these days. I do regret not drawing more over the last year, but otherwise I am so incredibly satisfied with what I’m making. Here’s how I got from here to there:
This blog is already full of love for the highway infrastructure in Houston. I made a few pieces like this over the winter that stick to the old style- what I’ve recently named the Perspective Series. Like everyone who has EVER touched silver knows- it tarnishes. And there is this thing that ruins silversmith’s lives called firescale that was, unsurprisingly, ruining my life as well. The copper added to the sterling alloy rises to the surface during heating and leaves ghostly purple spots that get darker and more oppressive as the piece tarnishes. Metalsmiths have different ways of dealing with this. You know. You’re probably a metalsmith. Mine was starting to hurt, and I’ve had enough trouble with tendonitis. New plan. I started experimenting with a sterling alloy called Argentium silver. Argentium has a higher silver content (less copper) and incorporates the element germanium, which with the proper handling forms a lovely white tarnish resistant layer and is completely immune to fire scale. I signed up- but the learning curve is really steep. Like any new material, I had to learn how to handle it. I had some help. I’m still not great with it but I love it.
In the meantime, while I played the learn how to solder Argentium game, I kept at it with the overpasses. The line of the steel wire just didn’t seem like enough information to convey depth, so I asked my friends for help. This residency was amazing for so many different reasons- being around my fellow residents is at the top of the list. Demi encouraged me to push the drama, Delaney encouraged me to experiment with new materials, and Grace gave me sheets of her handmade paper to play with.
These pieces are currently in the “In Residence” show at the HCCC. They are very important to me because they represent the moment of transition. I like these pieces and they do what I want visually, but I had trouble wrapping my head around their longevity and care. Soldering steel is iffy enough and I take a lot of pains to make brittle joints last for what I hope will be a lifetime of hard use. Paper? What happens in the rain? What happens when the steel rusts? What happens when they’re dropped on concrete?
This is enough words for one post. I shall return with part two of the Highway Series Origin Story: “How the Hell Do You Solder Mesh?!”