I just returned home from the Enamelist Society's biennial conference, held at Arrowmont, where I enjoyed a life-changing cloisonné intensive with the inimitable American icon Merry-Lee Rae, and fabulous breakout sessions with several of my enamel heroes . It was wonderful to be surrounded by so many thoughtful, knowledgeable, generous and creative enamel artists, and truly, I did not want to leave! Deb Lozier, one of my favorite enamelists, held an unusual and I think extraordinary breakout session called "Enamel Diaries". I almost started crying: it was a beautiful, vulnerable, poetic sharing of drawings, work and text saved over the course of many years.
For this group show at Bajo el Sol Gallery here on St John, showcasing art using different photographic techniques, I made enameled work using iron oxide transfers of my photographs, as well some pieces using antique tintype photographs as narrative backgrounds for my storytelling jewelry. I have 3 cases dotting different areas in the gallery, each telling different stories.
Ocean and stardust earrings; sterling, fine silver, shell, antique tintype photograph
Shoreline memory; silver, beach rock, cowrie, quartz, vitreous enamel
Sharing the story with a gallery visitor!
Me with the smallest of my three cases :)
Exhibition times at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids MI for the show Here + Now, where three of my brooches are part of Janet Bond's Abandoned Margins exhibition, have been extended until May 14, so there is still time to see this extensive collection.
From the exhibition website:
"Here + Now, a series of solo exhibitions, performances and community events curated by UICA Exhibitions Curator, Heather Duffy, extends the opportunity presented by US IS THEM to emerging and mid-career African American visual artists, spoken word artists, curators, and performance artists. Here + Now includes newly created solo shows and a guest-curated group exhibition, as well as community events and educational programs.
Guest Curator, Janice Bond
Abandoned Margins: Policing the Black Female Body
Jan 27, 2017 – May 14, 2017
Janice Bond is a curator, interdisciplinary artist, and cultural producer specializing in arts and culture. As a visual/multimedia artist, her original paintings, installations, and collective soundscapes focus on multidimensional human perspectives and identity, sacred geometry, sound frequencies, and indigenous fractal patterns found in various cultures and urban landscapes. In 2014, Bond opened Gallery ONI, a contemporary art gallery and cultural space located in Chicago, Illinois dedicated to promoting the work of women artists of color. As featured guest curator for Here + Now, Bond will present a new iteration of Abandoned Margins: Policing the Black Female Body, which debuted at Chicago’s Woman Made Gallery in early 2016."
My friend's Aunt Teresa attended the show and shared some of her images with me:
It is true that the professor of my high school senior French class called us all "tres stupides", and it has been difficult for me to speak out loud in the language since then. However, speaking skills will not be necessary for my work to spend time in France! Five pieces have arrived at the Pole Bijou Gallery safely and will be among work by an esteemed group of innovative international metal clay artists. Let me share the invitation here. Click on the image for more information, although it will be in French :)
For the last month and a half of 2016, this wonderful exhibition was shown at the Morean Arts Center in St Petersburg, Florida. Juried by goldsmith Charles Lewton-Brain, the selections widened the scope of possibilities for meaning in metalsmithing and jewelry. Two of my pieces were included, and one garnered a third place award!
See the exhibition finalists here:
Just finished, a simple 14k gold wedding band, so easy to wear!
Just finished: silver and vitreous enamel ring. The quote on the back:
Thank you so much to those who came to enjoy artwork at Bajo el Sol Gallery this past Friday night. Patty Tacquard was showing her gorgeous oils and I had new enameled art jewelry to share. One of my best friends, William Stelzer, took these photos; he's an AP photographer, videographer and all-around amazingly talented person and I thank him very much for chronicling this event .
All set up and waiting for guests to arrive--enjoying some Charles Eisenstein.
A close-up of my mechanical "Alms box for Mother Earth" necklace. It's fun to wear automaton jewelry!
Katha asked about my necklace, and will be filling Tom and Livy Hitchcock's gallery with her beautiful flute music very soon.
Peering into my case with one of my favorite people in the world...
Some of the backs of the pendants have tiny words on them so the magnifying glass is helpful.
Katha came wearing one of my Wayfarer necklaces!
Enjoying Patty Tacquard's incredible oils--unique perspectives, gorgeous colors, timeless...
One of my displays.
A best friend and long-time collector has arrived all the way from Coral Bay!
Showing gallery owner Livy and environmental lawyer Gail what happens when you pull the monkey levers--toy soldiers raise their arms with golden heart coins to deposit into the "Alms box for Mother Earth".
Showing Gail a brooch that I made in collaboration with photographer William Stelzer.
From the press release for this week's opening:
"My jewelry comes from a place of profound connection with the earth, something I am only beginning to understand after making the commitment to walk on the shoreline every morning as a form of meditation. I am in awe of how beautifully interconnected the web of life is that we are all a part of."
I'll be showing work in metal, glass enamel and stones; still lots of work to do to finish the pieces up!
In between wedding band orders, collaboration projects, getting images ready for potential inclusion in a book, custom automaton orders and making work for an upcoming opening, I fire up my kiln and sneak in some enameling as much as possible!
You still have a chance to see a juried collection of the most innovative enamelwork in the world-- the Enamelist Society's Alchemy 3 exhibit--opening tonight at the League of NH Craftsmen's gallery in Concord, NH. Nestled in amongst all of the glass and metal treasures are 2 of my automaton pendants from my "for Mother Earth" series--truly an honor!
I'm honored to have work in this show at Woman Made Gallery in Chicago--I'll be contributing three enameled brooches, reinterpretations of several very powerful tarot cards.
Right in front of my house is an area in the road that becomes a small watering hole when it rains. Pigeons and doves stop by and every now and then, an elderly tortoise. He is a gulper!
Almost 30 family members came from all corners of the world for a week-long reunion here on St John recently. Some of us, like me, did not have to travel very far. It was a very happy week connecting with my beautiful family!
When I find the West Indian top shells on my morning beach walks, I like to relocate them to a spot just back from the beach where the hermit crabs assemble--these shells are always gone when I come the next day so I know that a hermit crab has upgraded to a new home. On the beach today, along with the shells for the hermit crabs was one for me, a ring. Thank you beautiful beach!
I wish that I could see this wonderful exhibit again, especially since it is in my hometown's backyard almost. But I am back home on St John now so I can only recommend highly that you go and see it--the scope and variety of forms, colors, sizes and textures that you will see are unexpected and astounding. And with two of my enameled mechanical pendants nestled in amongst these treasures, I am quite honored! According to the website, it runs from Sept 3 through Oct 17. For more information, the gallery's website is here
Two of my mechanical pieces can be seen in the Enamelist Society's juried biennial international Alchemy 3 exhibition. They are lying between the work of two of my favorite enamelists--Amy Roper Lyons and Harlan Butt. The ladies checking out the exhibition here are new friends and talented enamelists themselves! This exhibit of over 60 enameled works of art including jewelry, wall art, vessels and clothing is traveling to several galleries throughout the next few months--The Worcester Center for Crafts, The NH League of Craftsmen and the McGowan Fine Art Gallery. Check it out if you are in the New England area, it is well worth the trip. If you cannot attend, the exhibition catalog is available for sale here
Getting the chance to meet other makers/enamelists was one of the highlights of attending the Enamelist Society Conference in Beverly, Massachusetts in early August. In the photo above, I am dining with Terry Gay Puckett and Kathryn Craig, two very talented and beautiful new enamelist friends. We are enjoying the The Organic Cafe, which serves a 95% organic menu!
A trip to the Fuller Craft Museum to see "Little dreams in glass and metal", an incredible decades-spanning exhibition of enameled works, was organized for the conference attendees. If you have the chance to go, don't pass it up!
I am standing with Delia Dante of FireFusion Studio , who is well known for her large, gorgeous custom and commissioned welded work and her skills as an enamel educator. If you are in the Boise Idaho area, check out her studio and gallery, where she teaches classes. Not only is she incredibly talented but she is a really nice person too!
Note the haunting blue brooch I am wearing that was made by one of my favorite enamel artists, Anne Dinan. I won it in the silent auction :)