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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!RoseWindowCaitie2RoseWindowCaitie (1)La Ventana de Rosa, Argentium silver & copper mesh, 3.5″x5.5″x1″
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DSC_0163Arches, Argentium silver & copper mesh, 3.75″x5″x1″
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DSC_0174Grotto #1, Argentium silver, sterling silver, and copper mesh, 3.25″x2″x.5″ on 30″ chain.DSC_0182DSC_0171Grotto #2, Argentium silver, Sterling silver, & copper mesh, 3.25″x2″x.5″ on 30″ chain.

Hi friends,

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? 11220892_10153204898385781_6752220485190247559_n

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.

RichmondNecklace3Also opening this Friday, May 8th is Between the Lines: New Jewelry  by Kat ColeDonna D’AquinoSarah LoertscherLauren MarkleyMeghan Patrice RileyCaitie 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!

10974531_10153012003895781_3796026371127777933_oI’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.

RoseWindowCaitie (1)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!

Hi friends!

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:

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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.

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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.

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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?!”

OH, Hi!

Overwhelming things are happening for me and my little art biz, and it’s time to share! First of all, I hope you all will enjoy this complete line of work I just sent to Mora Jewelry in my old haunt: Asheville, NC. It’s a good sampling of the imagery I’ve picked up since moving to Houston, the mother of all sprawl. I’m crushing hard on the overpasses at the moment. Think what you want about the car culture here, but I admire a city that respects its residents enough to beautify the infrastructure they see day in and day out. Texas has some fancy interstates. I’m especially a fan of the giant bronze stars adorning all the structural pylons in the I-10/Outer Loop exchange in Katy.

 

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Anyway. Here’s the jewelry, now available at Mora:

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Marthe was kind enough to share some images of the display:

photo 1-1 photo 2-1I’m such an admirer of Marthe’s work for the art jewelry community, and I’m such a fangirl of the other artists in this gallery- especially Joanna Gollberg, one of the original partners at the space. Any time I’m asked to be in the company of such talented artists I have to pinch myself.

Check it out:

Mora Designer Jewelry Website

Mora’s Facebook Page

 

My work is all about a sense of place. Every time I move I spend endless hours and energy feeling my way around, trying to find a comfortable spot for myself. I’ve moved a lot in the last ten years, but this time it feels eerily similar to when I relocated to Richmond as a transfer student nine years ago. It was the first time I ever left the Blue Ridge Mountains. I spent my three years in Richmond getting to know the city. I wanted to know how it worked and where I fit in. I pored over maps, memorized the block grid, and did a pretty good job of finding a corner where I felt completely at home. It’s interesting to me now to look back at the work I made 7,8,9 years ago. I was just starting to find my artistic process and it hasn’t changed much.

I made the following work while I was a student at VCU.

 
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City Life Cycle, 2005
Copper. Etched, pierced, tab connected and soldered.
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Altered Landscapes, 2006
Inkjet printed cotton. Appliqued and embroidered.

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Scarf Series, 2007
Alpaca. Pick up double-weave

I’ve been in Houston for a whole 12 days! I’m working hard to feel settled and get into a routine with my work and my process. I made a tiny bit of progress the other night. Here are my first drawings. Current obsession: overpasses and powerlines… the biggest pylons I have ever seen!

Houston1 Houston2 Houston3I’m still working through exactly how I’m going to tackle this project and what parameters I’m going to set for myself- if any. So far December feels like get-settled-get-a-job-get-old-projects-finished month. Let’s talk again in January, shall we? Till then, I’m going to soak it in.

 

Hi friends,

I seem to have shouted the news everywhere but here… on the one place that is SPECIFICALLY FOR SHARING NEWS.

I am moving to Houston to be an artist-in-residence at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.

Here is an overview of the program from the HCCC’s website:

“The Artist Residency Program is designed to offer time and space for craft artists to focus on their creative work and interact with the public. The program supports emerging, mid-career, and established artists working in all craft media, including but not limited to clay, fiber, glass, metal, wood and mixed media. Museum visitors have the unique opportunity to visit the artists’ studios and watch the artists at work. Interacting with the resident artists is a great way to learn about a range of craft processes and techniques. In turn, the artists receive a unique opportunity to gain exposure, make connections with the Houston community, and help educate the public about craft.”

I found out about my acceptance back in the spring, and have put myself through a long, slow, and somewhat torturous process of acclimating myself to the move. Now I feel as though I am more than ready to go… just sitting on my hands. Part of that process was making this Asheville Necklace. It’s an homage to the place I’ve lived for the last four years-longer than anywhere I’ve settled since childhood. Being the gorgeous, clean, tourist town that it is, Asheville seems to have shed itself of its powerlines, and it’s far too mountainous to have a good central train track. What’s a girl obsessed with urban infrastructure to do? Start making lamp posts, of course!

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This necklace depicts the architecture on Wall Street, a cobblestone avenue in the middle of town, facing East. Those Ashevillans among you may recognize the opposite side of the building best known for hosting the Wig Shop in the middle, the flat iron building on the left, and our beloved Early Girl Eatery on the right. IMG_8733

 

And here is a slideshow of my process, as documented on instagram:

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I now find myself in a raising of funds situation for the big move. I have a project that I’m very proud of in the works for that, to be revealed in the next week or two… but I’m a sucker so here’s a preview:

Caitie Sellers Card back 3