Etsy Metal Project Runway Challenge is back!
Episode 1: "The Judges Decide"
The Project Runway challenge: With one outfit, give the judges a glimpse of a hypothetical spring collection. Designers must choose from an assortment of 5 fabrics provided to them at the start of the challenge.
The EtsyMetal Translation: Pick how ever many of these 5 ingredients below to make a piece of jewelry!
I picked birds.
This bird necklace is inspired by the story of Demeter and Persephone from the book - Lost Goddesses of Early Greece - A Collection of Pre-hellenic Greek Myths by Charlene Spretnak.
I have just learned how to use decals with enamel and on the front I have added birds or parts of birds and on the back are the words - Leaves & Vines, Flowers & Grass, Grew into Fullness, Faded into Decay, Began Again.
Copper with torch-fired enamels.
Time for the Blog Carnival! What patinas do you use? Any favorite recipes?
Any disasters? Techniques & tips?
I do a lot of torch fired enameling. I like the colors you can get with enamels, but a lot of the time I think of enamels as a patina. Not trying to get a solid even color, but a color mixed in with metal, leaving a more weathered, aged look. The benefit of using enamels in this way is that the look is relatively permanent. I don't need to seal it in any way.
BUT one of my favorite things to do is experiment. AND patinas on metal just cry out to be experimented with. You also have to give way to complete control when experimenting with patinas. For me, part of the fun is seeing what happens when you mix it all up. (Also when experimenting with patinas, it is a good idea to be sure to wear the proper protective equipment – goggles, gloves, dust or fume masks, etc.)
I like to collect patinas. That means when I'm doing other processes like etching or pickling, I can't help but notice the reactions on the metal when I leave a piece out (for a long time - I'm a little sloppy!) after etching and noticing the natural patina it has. So I gather the materials that created that look and match them up in different ways. I have an old plastic muffin tin (is it still called a tin if it's made out of plastic?) and I'll put the bits I have left over or mix up some new combos. Later I'll add water and paint them on metal.
On June 2, 2014, I journeyed up to the Richmond Art Center with Mary Luke for a 5-day 'Radical Enameling' workshop with Andrew Kuebeck. This workshop was the first in a series of radical enameling workshops put on by the new Center for Enamel Arts, founded by Judy Stone. It was well worth the time and money to take a class beyond the basics of enameling - doesn't seem like there are a lot of those available.
I don't want to bore you with the details of the trip... however the details of the trip aren't boring, so I'm going to tell you anyway!
For our first stop along the way, Mary took us to the Rosie the Riveter Museum in Richmond. It was awesome! So thoughtfully done and very interesting. Definitely worth checking out.
We enjoyed our tapas and sangria, then went about 2 blocks to the lecture. We climbed lots of stairs to get there... we knew we were a little late so we weren't surprised to see people already listening to Andrew's lecture. After a few minutes, Mary realized that the present slide said 'Thank You' and proceeded to guess that we had just missed his entire lecture. She was right. At least the tapas and sangria were good!
Ok, that's it for Part 1. I know a lot of you are waiting for the decal information... don't worry it will be in Part 2. Just enjoy the ride!
The content is awesome, but even more importantly what really shows through to me is the thought and care that was taken to produce this book.This isn't one of those 'let's produce a book as fast as we can so I can say I wrote a book,' books. It is obvious that this was a labor of love and came directly from Lorena's heart. The quality, thought, and care, of everything written and the arrangements of the brooches and the idea itself shines through. It felt that she treated each piece as if it were her own. This book is a work of art in every aspect.
My work is on pages 60 and 61.
Origami and my brain don't mix. I just don't get it. But it is so useable with fold forming metal.
I start with trying it in paper. Fold here - ok. Now fold here - ok. Now fold here - ok. So far so good. But generally after step 3, the directions get a little foggy - like this... Now fold here here here and here turn it fold here now and then here backwards and once more like this and you have a bird. Huh?
I have this altered paper jewelry book which has an origami lily necklace. So I thought I'd try it. It took me 3 days and the help of my son how to figure out how to do it in paper. BUUTTT... I did do it, and then I did it several times. Then I did it in copper.
May 22 is Buy a Musical Instrument Day (according to the 'Bizarre and Unique Holidays' website!) Have you ever bought and played a musical instrument? Any funny or interesting stories about that? Is any of your metalwork musical in some form?
Ack, yes I have played musical instruments... however I am not very musical. My father was a singer, sang Come Back To Sorrento in Italian at my wedding and my brother and sister's weddings. He also played the violin well and was able to play other instruments a bit too. I remember my brother and sister (who are both older than me) taking violin lessons when they were young. They are not very musical either. I remember them practicing... sounded very much like cats being killed.
I played flutophone with the rest of my third grade class (group lessons in school.) I remember Hot Cross Buns. I was jealous that my elementary school pal, Debby, could play the piano. When I was 14, I took guitar lessons from Mr. Luscre, down the street from me. I could read music and could pick out tunes, but I think my lack of rhythm wasn't helpful. Also, the choice of music wasn't thrilling... I did play The Lonely Bull (by Herb Alpert) fairly well!
When I was in college, I took piano lessons and bought a small piano. In my head, I sounded awesome... occasionally I would record what I was playing... not so awesome.
Then some time in 1976, me and my friend Nancy decided to become rock stars. We practiced several times a week - she played guitar and we both sang. In our heads we were awesome! We had our first performance in a bar that I worked at called the Wooden Hinge. We called ourselves New York City, because we both had NYC T-shirts and thought it would look good if we were uniform. We weren't really ready to play out yet. We only knew 2 songs and we didn't know them well enough - so we needed our little tape recorder to help us along. That night I had 10 shots of ouzo and Nancy had 10 shots of Jack Daniels. We were performing 'You've Lost That Loving Feeling' (along with the help of the Righteous Brothers on our little recorder) to a full house, when we realized that they had the juke box on in the other room so I went to ask them to turn it off and Nancy kept singing, difficult song to sing harmonies by yourself... well, I'm not really sure I knew what harmonies were back then and even if I did I certainly couldn't sing them... so I guess it didn't really make any difference if I was in the room or not. Everyone thought we were pretty funny, and we could be flexible so figured we would be a comedy group instead. We performed every Wednesday night for the next year. We wrote every show and even wrote and performed some songs. We always opened with 'Heart Break Hotel.' Oddly, even though we wrote a lot of the songs we could never remember all the words so we would write them on our arms. Even more oddly, the only song where we could remember all the words was 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' by the Beatles IN GERMAN. Go figure.
This month's question is "What are your thoughts on what is considered art or craft? Does the value lie in the process, technical ability, monetary value, meaning, lack of meaning...?"
Seems like I've been talking to friends about this topic quite often lately. Actually, seems like I've been talking about this topic for years and years and years.
I think that art and craft can be tied together, well then again, maybe not...
It seems like art goes in cycles and artists start to take themselves too seriously and then someone comes along and says life is art, this urinal is art, paint dripped on a canvas is art and they get a lot of money for it... but anyone could do that, why is there such a high value on it? Does money make things more art-like?
Sometimes to do art well you have to know the craft of it well. Sometimes.
Most of my favorite artists are the ones that question what art is. Andy Warhol hands down. I just went and saw the David Hockney exhibit at the DeYoung and my favorite part of the exhibit was his iPhone and iPad drawings and his experiments with video. Vito Acconci's crazy performance art, Christo's obsession with wrapping things... Another favorite of mine is Vincent Gallo. His website is an interesting work of art as are his movies, Buffalo 66 and just watched Truth or Consequences NM last night.
The movie Tim's Vermeer brings up a lot of questions about what art is. Tim is an inventor, not an artist and documents how he used a camera obscura and mirrors and lenses to copy a Vermeer painting. It looked pretty good. Was it art? It took him almost a decade to do it... does that make it more valuable and art-like?
I think everyone just needs to find their place in what works for them and then remember that that keeps changing.
What do you think?
See what other Etsy Metal members think:
What was your first work that really pleased you as an artist?
And the apps! Oh the apps! There are such apps in the world that open up whole new potentials for cybernetic art. Smartphones really do make us cyborgs, you know, because we can now transpose our creative selves wholly into cyberspace if we care to. Instagram is my favorite right now, but Snapchat is the one that really blows my mind because of the notion of impermanence. The image once received from the sender is only viewable for a few seconds and then it’s lost forever! It’s like the image as object has become so prolific that instead of trying to preserve it physically in an album forever, we are content and even excited by it only lasting a few seconds.
My other new toy is my body. I started the physical transition from female to male about three years ago when I started undergoing hormone treatment. It’s been about a year and a half since I had chest surgery and, now that I’ve healed I’ve been very interested in pushing the limits of my body as a performance in and of itself. I could give you the whole “at last, I feel right in my body” speech, but I try and resist the narratives we’ve started getting used to hearing about transpeople. For me it’s altogether like having a new body, a new vessel for expression. There was nothing inherently wrong with my previous body, I was just ready for a new toy.
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Should there be censorship?
I love chatting, answering questions and being flattered/insulted so please, please feel free to contact me! I can be contacted through any of the following:
@cauhboi on Instagram
Goofing around with patinas on copper and steel, heat, salt, vinegar, linseed oil, beeswax, baking soda,