Still Figuring it Out

It’s hot, it’s cold, it’s sunny, it snows

I haven’t been in the studio as much as usual lately. There are so many reasons why. It’s too cold, it’s too warm (gardening), too many other things happening, lack of ideas, etc. That doesn’t mean I’ve been sitting idle.

I’ve been working on some other creative pursuits like trying out painting and writing again. I’m taking a free class in one and just jumping in to the other. There is everything I’ve been doing with the PA Guild of Craftsmen & the Yellow Breeches Chapter boards. I’ve been doing non-artistic things as well (gasp.)

But I’ve been mulling things over in my head and I’m ready to come our of my winter hibernation. It’s hard sometimes to build your motivation back up after taking some time off (even if you really needed it.) Not to mention all the vitriol being spewed online has kept me away from places like Facebook & Twitter.

There is a change in the way everyone is experiencing art and it’s tough finding the crest of that wave as well. So that’s something else I’ve been trying to figure out. It’s a time of finding myself I guess. So where do you look when you’re looking for inspiration? What motivates you?

2015 Accomplishments

During this week of looking back at 2015, we have to end on a high note. So here is a list of all the things that went right this year in my metalsmithing life.

2015 Accomplishments

Look at my pretty new booth set-up! I got compliments on this as well as my art!
Look at my pretty new booth set-up! I got compliments on this as well as my art!
  • Designed and made a new booth layout
  • Had work in the JAM Gallery Winter, Spring, Fall, & Holiday shows
  • ACC Baltimore!
  • Fragmented was chosen for Art of the State: Pennsylvania 2015 at the State Museum in Harrisburg, PA
  • Completed my 7th Super Bowl
  • My work is now in the DCCA’s Alternatives Store in Wilmington, DE
  • Trophy of Kaat Lir & Maelstrom were chosen for the 2nd Annual JAM Gallery Juried Exhibition

Me Trophy Bobbie Rose

  • Cascade was chosen for Water at CORE New Art Space gallery in Denver, CO
  • I was commissioned to make the “Rose” Bowl Trophy!
  • Cascade was accepted into the Jurors’ Selection List of the 2015 Foldforming Competition
  • I participated in the Tyler Art Market at Temple University in Philly
  • I had a booth at Fall Into Fine Craft in Carlisle, PA
  • Tara Lynn Johnson wrote an article featuring the Rose Bowl trophy and tournament
  • 2015 ACW Masterpieces adVortex was invited to American Craft Week’s Masterpiece E-xhibit and Sale as the Pennsylvania representative
  • Akimbo was chosen for the We Are SNAG: Contemporary Smiths online exhibition
  • Accepted into Handmade Holidays 6 at Some Things Looming in Reading, PA
  • Completed Scavenger for the YBC Puzzle Piece Challenge
  • I was reelected as the Yellow Breeches Chapter of the PA Guild of Craftmen’s Vice President
  • I figured out how to make belt buckles!
  • I had a surprise pop-up shop at the PA Guild of Craftsmen’s store in Lancaster, PA

Between the Folds

French Origami Artist, Eric Joisel. It’s amazing that each of these sculptures starts out as a single, flat sheet of paper.

Last night I watched the documentary, Between the Folds. It’s about origami, art, math, and engineers. I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it, but I thought I’d give it a try since I did origami as a kid and I obviously like folding metal.

It turns out to be a really cool documentary. I enjoyed hearing how origami has influenced both the artists and the scientists/mathematicians. It was a good mix of technically brilliant pieces and those that had a soft aliveness to them. The patterns were so intricate and resulted in such amazingly three dimensional forms. I wanted to get into the studio right away and start folding metal. Of course it was after midnight when I finished watching it, so I decided to spare my neighbors the headache, hehe.

Material artist Chris K. Palmer experimenting in paper with pattern, movement and a flood light

It was interesting to see how the artists became more and more simpler and emotional in their work as their technique became more developed. For the sciencey guys there was a striving to building a perfect algorithm to create folds or to see what sort of practical applications origami could have. It ended up being such a wonderful blending of math and art.

Being who I am, I was happy to hear both sides talk about how important the process was. One artist, Chris Palmer, spoke about how

The second wedge fold. I couldn't balance the colors in this photo right, sorry.
I have got to get folding!

the public and the galleries see so little of what the piece really is. They see the end result, but so much of it is the process used to create the piece. As a craftsperson, that speaks to so much of what I do.

I still have to finish the pieces that I’m working on right now, but I’m inspired to start working through some ideas that the film sparked. The idea of creating forms using the minimal amount of folding is intriguing. We’ll see where this goes.

I got it through Netflix, but I found this link to Between the Folds on YouTube, though I’m not sure how long it will be available there, it’s unsanctioned. You can also find out more at the PBS site.