Metaphors and Similes

Reposted from my article at Art Jewelry Forum's Blog

I have a habit of making calendars, almost obsessively – in my sketchbook, by the computer, and pinned up in my studio. So I know that it’s only been a month since I returned from Seattle and the SNAG conference, but it feels like a full season has passed. Somehow I’m still scrambling to avoid scorching everything I put on the back burner in May. Now I’ve had some time to sit with the whole ordeal, read other blogs, and let things settle . . .

Often the difference between one conference and another has more to do with the individual attendee than the programming. I’ve been on a hot spree of SNAG conferences for the past six years, and in some ways they become interchangeable. The routine of lectures and exhibitions coupled with the landscape of a giant hotel and an unknown urban setting blurs into a merry-go-round of manic conversations and gut reactions. The whole conference experience is so removed from daily life that it can be too much to process....(continued)


SNAG Seattle 2011

I've recovered (mostly) from SNAG. This was the longest I've ever stayed at the conference, arriving a day early and leaving in the early evening the day after the party. I thought waking up in the hotel on Thursday morning that I would be rested and prepared. Everyone else flew in haggard having been stranded in airports, coping with canceled flights, or not making it at all. Somehow the conference still got the best of me, and as I tried to juggle the blog for Crafthaus, various meetings with friends, the Trunk Show, and the Pop Up Promenade, I lost my mind. Without enough sleep and under duress I become a shambling, squawking, senile version of myself.

I saw a fraction of what I'd hoped to in Seattle and a fraction of the conference as well. It is impossible to be all things to everyone, including myself. The homestead is rough around the edges, there are weeds to pull, pies to bake, and cat hair to vacuum before a family visit. Thankfully the Trunk Show went well enough that I can take care of some of these things without having to dance for nickels until fall.


Pre-Conference Urgency

Trying to make mass quantities of work for the upcoming SNAG Conference. I'm one of 60 participants in the Trunk Show so I want to be as prepared as I can. Also, I don't know how to relax before a trip like this. I might as well be chugging coffee in the studio anyway. So give me your dollars in Seattle or I'll cry like a manic over-caffeinated little bitch.


Door-to-Door Resin Instructor

Did you know that Corliss Rose, in addition to her many other titles, is up for sainthood? She's been plugging away helping to organize and promote my upcoming workshop for MASSC at El Camino College. The lovely montage above is just one of her many labors.

So don't let all of her work be in vain! Sign up!



Yesterday I managed to find a balance between caffeine and decongestants just long enough to avoid sounding like an mucus-filled idiot.

Jay Whaley interviewed me for his show Metalsmith Bench Talk! You can hear the actual show with me and find many other great interviews as well.



I'm still working on prying some time into my new schedule. Thanks to some day job juggling I get a "new" schedule every 6-8 weeks. If this doesn't forestall dementia, then I don't know what does.

Still short the necessary rubber to complete the new neckpiece so I'm only allowing teasers still. Finally some liquidity in the bank account, so I can get it moving along. Things have backed up in the studio, and I'm trying to get back on top of it all. Lots of deadlines in the near future that have to be worked in between other things. Some of those being an upcoming workshop in April at the University of Northern Iowa thanks to the help of Professor Erica Voss, and a workshop in May through MASSC thanks to Corliss Rose. Both have been so helpful in getting me started in the workshop scene! Everything about workshops sounds wonderful--show up, do the fun stuff, get the students wound up, then leave before the late nights and real problem solving. That last bit gets saved for their real teachers.

Along with all that, have you caught the most recent issue of American Craft? That image was mercifully sent by Sharon Massey as the East Coasters got it before I did, and I am terribly impatient. It's still a little odd to open it up and see my work. Beth DeBoom did an amazing job, and it was so much fun meeting with her and talking about my work.

Because I've had some new galleries added to my roster, and because there was only so much room in the article, I just wanted to include some links here as well. I am really lucky to have a lot of amazing galleries out there with great people representing my work. The article did mention Velvet da Vinci in San Francisco, and Friends of Carlotta in Zurich. Also, I am always excited to mention the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia--I have work in their Museum Store.

Additionally, I have work at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft in the Asher Gallery and recently sent work to Fancy Gallery in Seattle.

And of course I would never want to forget Quirk in Richmond. Those ladies are awesome!


Signs of Mental Illness

Nearly there. That's the last in a series of elements that will soon come together in a neck piece I've been slowly toiling on for too long. Hopefully after everything is done, and I've resolved the format a bit, I can get rolling at a more efficient pace.

I thought the dots on the long, thin spoot elements was crazy. But know, I devised a new torture for myself with this circle painting. After the last piece is painted I move on to what will hopefully be the last layer of resin for the larger elements.

The hand painting on these is brutal.


Nomen Dubium

"Capsicia" 2010, fabricated and electroformed copper, polymer clay, epoxy resin, paint, ink, 8" x 3 1/2" x 3 1/2"

Nomen Dubium—“doubtful name”

Our natural tendency to seek out patterns results in a sensitivity to the congruities in biological forms. Deliberate exploitation of these phenomena results in objects that are both ambiguous and evocative. Some are organs removed from the body in which they once belonged, revealing structures with unknown functions. Others are complete specimens tagged with labels. Signs of dissection as well as taxonomy provide evidence of attempts to demystify these new organisms. However, this approach leaves many unanswered questions and highlights the inherent ethical compromise in these methods of understanding.

I choose materials and techniques that are transformative, resulting in objects that do not readily reveal the processes of their making. Copper may be hidden under layers of paint, the only exposed metal oxidized. The electroforming process allows for wax forms to be coated in copper leaving a hollow shell with textural encrustations--evidence of the accretive nature of the process of building copper on a molecular level. The resin pieces are light in weight, built on a core of carved foam that is strengthened by successive layers of an opaque, water-based composite resin. The clear epoxy resin is then layered with paint to create a depth of surface typically expected of glass work. The slick gloss of the resin further mimics biology.

Solo exhibition on view at the Appalachian Center for Craft from January 6th through February 10th.