Friday, October 30, 2009

New Metalsmith Magazine!

I just found the newest issue of Metalsmith tucked between junk mail and grocery store circulars that were jammed into my mailbox. The magazine seems to be the proverbial diamond in the rough! I'm pretty excited to read the feature article: Objects of Remembrance: Contemporary Mourning Jewelry by Marjorie Simon. 'Today, as in the past, jewelry proves to be a potent means of tangible solace for those enduring loss and grief.' With a teaser like that, how could I not be excited! I'll post more after I actually read the article...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hair Couture

I just came across a new line of hair jewelry today!

Good friends Anna Rybakov and Eve Cahill have joined artistic forces to create the design collaborative, Grau Wal. Founded in 2009, the collection began as a labor of love when the two women were making bracelets and necklaces for themselves. After much outside interest, the duo decided to buckle down and launch their own company in February of this year.

The creations that have come out of the collaboration have an instant Victorian appeal, which the ladies admit was a starting point, and ended up being “very interesting and wonderfully morbid.” With main design elements of intricately plaited braids ranging from blonde to brunette to auburn, these pieces reference the custom of wearing a loved ones hair during the mourning process.

The necklaces and bracelets from Grau Wal are intricately well made, and aesthetically pleasing with a luxurious color palate of finished gold. However, the works also solicit an uncanny experience associated with draping oneself in hair, albeit synthetic.

Friday, October 23, 2009

What is craft?

''Contemporary craft is about making things. It is an intellectual and physical activity where the maker explores the infinite possibilities of materials and processes to produce unique objects. To see craft is to enter a world of wonderful things which can be challenging, beautiful, sometimes useful, tactile, extraordinary; and to understand and enjoy the energy and care which has gone into their making.'
- Rosy Greenlees
Director, Crafts Council

'Craft is the knowledge of a language and its expressive possibilities. Shakespeare’s sonnets; Thonet’s bentwood chairs; Shostakovitch quartets: all can be described in terms of craft. Human imagination can use craft to invent freely in the world of ideas, materials and forms. Thus are the worlds of design, art, engineering, science and architecture all born of craft.'
- Amanda Game
Director, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

'Craft, art, and design are words heavily laden with cultural baggage. For me, they all connote the profound engagement with materials and process that is central to creativity. Through this engagement form, function, and meaning are made tangible. It is time to move beyond the limitations of terminologies that fragment and separate our appreciation of creative actions, and consider the "behaviors of making" that practitioners share.'
- David Revere McFadden
Chief Curator and Vice President, Museum of Arts & Design

'What craft means to me is the making part, the how you make, and this is an exchange with materials - what you give to a material, and what it gives back. This exchange can be awkward, it can be a struggle, or one party can dominate, but if it is a productive exchange, then that's when it's worth looking at. But ultimately, it is the extra something that makes it special.'
- Christopher Frayling
Rector, Royal College of Art

'Craft has changed its meaning fundamentally at least three times in the last two centuries, and it means fundamentally different things from nation to nation even in the Western world. So there can be no one-liner that identifies larger single meanings, as it doesn't have one. If it is of use in the current context, it is to recognize the significance of genre-based practice in the arts. It should also be a useful category in a global cultural environment. It might even have meaning as a signifier of a socio-political outlook. But it should have nothing to do with aesthetics, and less to do with negative approaches to technology.'
- Paul Greenhalgh
Director, Corcoran Museum

'Craft has never been more important than now, as an antidote to mass production and as a practice in which the very time is takes to produce an object becomes part of its value in a world that often moves too fast.'
- Caroline Roux
Acting Editor, Crafts magazine

Creative Cacophony

This fall I've been teaching an Introduction To Jewelry class at a local art organization called The Steel Yard. In addition to being an experimental environment, offering studio spaces, and fostering a sense of community, TSY also offers a wide range of classes and workshops. This is only the second class that I've taught at The Steel Yard, but I really enjoy participating in the program there. Last night I took a brief video of our wonderfully noisy studio. Enjoy!