Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Chrysanthemum Festival

Some shots from the Chrysanthemum Festival at Longwood Gardens from this past Fall. I try to go every year - it's very inspirational.

Sunday, October 23, 2016


So this past week I had the opportunity to study at Arrowmont and take a workshop with Dean Allison on casting glass. Deans work focuses on the figure, so we explored mold making and took molds of various body parts (hands, feet, elbows), in addition to the technical aspect of creating an invested mold for casting glass. I think it's important to constantly expand my knowledge (if you don't already know this), so I have more techniques at hand to grow and evolve my work. Naturally working with enamel, glass fused to metal, led me to the next thing, casting glass, which also shares similar aspects with lost wax casting of jewelry (I like finding aspects of various forms of making that overlap).

Before the workshop started, I wanted to prepare a couple of waxes, so I could have an idea of how something smaller sized would come out/translate into my work. I used jewelers wax to create the pieces below.
So these are pretty small. Like around 1.25" to that tiny one on the end. 


First we learned about using silicone to create molds (low right is making the silicone mold of my foot, upper right is the reenforcing cast in plaster, and the right is the wax that was created from the mold)

That wax was used to create this invested mold, and the wax was then removed, so glass can be cast in its place

Glass fit that I used for my first casting
(Mostly) finished foot on the left, the wax model before casting on the right

Filled for casting! These were my color samples. I cast multiples of a bottle opener to do color testing. No surprise, I'm not a fan of working with color or transparent colors. 
These were my favorites - I'm glad I did this so I have a starting point for incorporating glass into my current work.

Not totally related - but look at these beautiful enameling kilns!! (I'm teaching enameling Fall next year at Arrowmont)

Investment mold of my small waxes - wax removed and ready to cast glass

Here are the pieces after cold working! I had to do a little reshaping. I learn a lot from these samples. 

Ideas of where, ideally, I'd like to take these pieces. Some things I'd like to try include learning to enamel on glass, using gold and silver foils in the glass, and exploring how to use/translate my images to the glass.  I love how elegant glass is. Took obnoxiously detailed notes, so when I finally get set up for it I'll be totally ready to go.

I really enjoyed that the glass studio is right next the jewelry studio! Stacey Lane was teaching lost wax casting, assisted by the lovely Anna Johnson, and it was really neat to see how Stacey approaches working with wax and what her students were creating. There was a studio stroll night that was pretty cool, where we could see what everyone was working on in the various studios and slides almost every night to learn about everyones work. I also treated myself to a pair of Maia Leppo earrings, the resident artist in metals there.

The class was great - we covered a ton of info including info on creating our own investment, firing schedules, and how to problem solve a lot of situations when making work. It was exciting to see everyone working in their own aesthetics while learning the technique. It was a fun group of people! Dean is teaching an 8 week intensive at Penland this Spring, check it out if you're interested in learning more about glass!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


This past summer I had the opportunity to visit my friend in Juneau, Alaska! What an amazing experience. After having a handful of shows very close together, it was really nice to have a break, catch up with my friend, and spend time in nature. The forests were beautiful - I finally saw a bear (eating salmon!), salmon swimming up stream, and eagles! Plus my very cool temperatures (yay! after a summer of 100 degree shows)!

I also learned about the area and the people who live there - the culture, the art. The gold mining, which I actually didn't realize took place there and the various forms of gold mining.

It was truly inspiring. I hope I have the opportunity to go back some day.

Mendenhall Glacier

full view at Mendenhall Glacier

hiking in the mountains

an entrance to a closed down gold mine

more hiking!

and more hiking

Herbert the Glacier

do you see the eagle!? 

from the Shrine

Botanical Gardens

Dahlias at the Botanical Gardens

The Shrine viewed from the Botanical Gardens

more Dahlias!

an area where people could pan for gold

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Artist Residency

I decided to dedicate a week of my month to an in-studio residency. Which means, instead of leaving my normal life and doing an on site residency, I decided to make this happen in my studio. I really wanted to focus on creating new work that could accommodate my schedule, which means short term and not right before or between shows. I took time to explore more intaglio print making at, BYO Print, and focused on exploring different techniques in enameling. 

I had a chance to work on a print that’s been my in sketch book for several weeks. II enjoy making copper plates because I feel it really relates to why I like creating jewelry and enameling - it’s heavily process oriented and a lot of technical information. I also had no idea how much work it is to make an intaglio print until I did it last year. I learned the bare minimum and there is so much more to learn. I also enjoying working back and forth between different techniques and the cross pollination that happens - how the ideas from one flow to the other and approaches for one media can cross to another. 

I worked on two specific ideas - dried flower corsages and the intaglio print that corresponds and the city week series, that focuses on studies of weeds found in the city and how lovely they can be, as weeds are often discarded instead of appreciated. Below are some shots from the week (and a little extra) that share what I’ve worked on and developed. I hope someday I have the opportunity to show both bodies of work - prints and jewelry - together.

First day! Prepped plates for intaglio, and various samples with different enameling techniques, as well as completed corsage brooches

Plates covered with hard ground and ready to be etched

first proof

second proof

final proof

First in the weeds series on it's way!

Incorporating the techniques in my body of work

Samples of the weeds intaglio with the city weeds prints

I'm glad I had the opportunity to do this and remember originally reading about it on Crafthaus. Thanks BYO Print for allowing me to be a part of the studio for a month! You can catch the work at several shows this summer