Monday, October 25, 2010

For the Love of Paper

I've always loved paper. I used to beg my mom to take me into every paper store and down every paper isle I saw. Greeting cards, journals, and note books filled my wish lists and just about every nook of my way too messy for mom's eyes bedroom. I would spend hours scrawling notes, writing poems, and making collages just to feel it in my hands. When I got older paper mache was often my medium of choice in sculpture classes and now I've become reacquainted with paper clay thanks to Ring A Day. There is just something about the smell and delicate nature of paper that gets me going.  I ran through the paper clay package in a matter of days but don't worry, something tells me my fascination is far from over.

I've been told these forms are coral-like in nature. Although that was not my intention I am pleased with the result. For more images of these and other paper clay rings as well as the sticky tack rings that started this series please visit me on Flickr!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

RAD Packs!

Just when we though Ring A Day couldn't get any better along come the RAD packs! Filled with small mysteries wrapped in brown paper the RAD pack is intended to inspire.  Etsy metal member Kathryn Riechert sent out the first RAD pack to the RAD members from  EtsyMetal and I received mine from Sara Westermark. The rules are simple: if you open it you have to use it within 24 hours. The actual object can be used in the ring itself or as inspiration for a ring.

The first treasure I unwrapped was a small tile that I later learned was a piece of pottery by Leslie Willett. Apparently when a piece isn't up to par she breaks it. Sara found out about this process and asked that she hold the pieces for her.  This particular piece was then formed and sanded by Sara before she passed it along in the RAD pack.  A treasure like this deserves a plan:

I was really drawn to the contrasting textures within the tile and I decided to develop that contrast by extending the texture onto the metals of the ring. The tile was so thick that I had to use sheet metal to make a bezel.  When the first attempt failed I decided to go with a partial bezel.

Sterling Silver, Copper, Brass, Ceramic Tile

Check back for how other RAD participants interpreted the tile!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Who Knew Tape Could be so Much Fun

There is a new love in my life; it's name is electrical tape and I'm not ashamed to say it! I can't tell you how happy I am that I stumbled upon this tape.  It was a life saver. Just when I thought all was lost due to the wrist/hand injury and that I would have to leave RAD behind, along came my tape and all was right with the world once again.  OK, so maybe this tape discovery doesn't make the world a perfect place, but it's still a lot of fun!

We've been together eight days now and things are going well.  I know this wont be a long term relationship, but I think we still have a lot to learn from each other before we part ways. Next I'm hoping I'll be able to manipulate it into preconceived forms... I know, I know, everyone always says you can't change em, but it's worth a try!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Humboldt Arts Festival

The 1st (hopefully annual) Humboldt Arts Festival was last weekend and it was a great time. Two fabulous days of local bands and performers including Samba Amore, West African Dance, the Ya Habibi Dancers, New World Ballet, Strix Vega, The Bucky Walters, and many more kept the foot traffic consistent. The sculpture garden and ceramics demonstration area was awesome. Eel River Brewery was there with four local organic brews and 19 local vendors including the North Coast Metal Arts Guild (NCMAG) offered up a taste of plentiful creativity that the North Coast has to offer.

A big thanks to everyone who came out to support our local arts community. It was a pleasure to set up with the NCMAG and to debut the rings from the RAD project. I am pleased to say that they were met with some very positive feedback. I look forward to showing them again during North Coast Open Studios.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

North Coast Metal Arts Guild

     I am very excited to announce that The North Coast Metal Arts Guild (NCMAG) has been formed! Right now we are only three members strong but we hope to have an application process for new members very soon.   The NCMAG hopes to foster a community of local metal artists that will benefit from each others knowledge and support locally and online.  Right now we are meeting in coffee houses and guild member Erin House' s studio but eventually hope to move into a larger studio/gallery space and become an organization that will host classes and guest speakers for the local metals and art community as well as the community at large.  We also hope to support current metal students at HSU, CR and Eureka High through yearly grants/awards.  

     NCMAG members will also be working on several projects each year.  "Reliquary", our first member suggested project, was randomly drawn at our last meeting.  Proposals are due this Monday and the finished pieces will be up for viewing during North Coast Open Studios!

    Upcoming NCMAG events include:

Sat, May 15, 2pm – 10pm
Sun, May 16, 10am – 8pm
I St between 9th and 11th, Arcata, CA  

June 5-6 and June 12-13, 2010
11-5 pm
207 G street room 119
(Buhne Building Artist Studios)

Arts Alive 
July 3rd, 6-9pm
207 G street room #119
(Buhne Building Artist Studios)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Fan Suggestions

Sundays are Facebook fan days!  I've been asking the fans on my Facebook page to let me know what they would like to see me use in a ring.  I never guessed how challenging it would be.

For the first "Fan Day" I incorporated two suggestions: a Celtic design, and seashells. I didn't know a whole lot about Celtic designs so I did a little research and found out that the best designs are comprised of one unending line.  My design used two:

"Celtic Shell" 
Sterling Silver

Fan day 2 was Steam punk:

 Mechanical Constraints
Copper, Sterling Silver, Brass

Fan Day 3 was "Let Freedom Ring". This was by far the most challenging. Not being a very patriotic person myself I thought about it for an entire week before I came up with a solution. Then one day I was reading about Google and China and I realized that for me knowledge is freedom and that freedom might mean something different for everyone. I also realized that believing in and supporting freedom doesn't necessarily mean that one needs to be out waving a flag or singing patriotic songs. That freedom can be quiet. And that even if one is suppressed by their government they can still be free through knowledge. Knowledge gives one the information needed to make choices, and although many choices can only be made in a free society, other choices are personal and need only be known to the person making the choice. And so instead of a tongue that would ring loudly this bell was made with a paper tongue that the wearer may inscribe however they like.

Let Freedom Ring
Copper, Sterling Silver, Paper

As always RAD continues to challenge and inspire my creative process.  As frustrating as it can be at times when it's been a busy day and I really don't want to make a ring or I don't have enough time to make the ring just right, the payoff in creative exercise is well worth it.  A big thanks goes out to all of the fans who have come up with challenging ideas!  I can't wait to find out what I'll be working on next!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hippity Hoppity: Still going

Last night I spent time with family for the Easter holiday. They had asked that I bring all my rings along and that everyone also make a ring to present in honor of my firsts months accomplishment with the RAD project.  Not only did they each make a ring, they gave them to me! What a great group of people.  And what a talented bunch at that:

Titanium by Stuart Miller, Copper and Sterling Silver by Judy Miller, Bolt by Alex Miller

Glass by Nick Miller, Wood by Robert LaLonde, Polymer Clay by Carol LaLonde, Found Bubble Ring by Geoff LaLonde, Egg Hunt by Erin Austin

Here are some other holiday inspired rings from the ring a day group on Flickr:

Ring a Day 94/365
Metal Riot

RAD 93/365 4.3.10 Hatching

RAD 92/365  040210

So now the question is, how many more holidays will pass with a ring?  We shall see...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

RAD Day 27

27 days? It seems like the first day and ten years later all at once. This project has been my favorite part of the day and my most dreaded part of the day on several occasions. One thing I can say for sure, I'm pushing the boundaries. Urging, coaxing, and at times just going with it. Below are the rings that I made on days that I either just didn't feel like making a ring or I only felt like providing a short burst of energy.

All tied up
twist tie
Sterling Silver
I think some of the others working on this project can empathize:


Ring a Day 84/365

Monday, March 8, 2010

"Freak Show" A Coloring Book by Lia Sharp

Cover colored by Lia herself

My friend and fellow Humboldt State alumni, Lia Sharp, is "taking a break from making jewelry" and is instead focusing on a project that has been years in the making.  She's putting out monthly installations of some of the most fun, freaky, and fantastic coloring books I've ever had the pleasure of coloring.  This months edition "Freak Show" is the second installment, following "Weirdo",  and includes just the right amount of robots, aliens, and mythical creatures. Many of the characters have relatives that live in her jewelry pieces and I love those cousins dearly, but I must say, there is a little something extra added by making these little guys my own:


Coloring books are available at Hunter Plaid Gallery in Arcata, California or you can visit Lia's ETSY.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

RAD day 7

It's day 7 of the Ring a Day (RAD) project and I am really enjoying the experience. The other artists participating in the challenge are making more and more fantastic rings everyday. Each morning I find myself logging onto Flickr as soon as I get up, as soon as I get home from work, and right before I go to bed. I just can't get enough. I was worried that I would have trouble coming up with ideas, but everywhere I look there is more material to use for a ring.

So far I've mostly been working out of my scrap box. Pulling out strips that were left over from projects that were planned out in detail. The banged up and oddly shaped pieces that would one day be melted down for casting or shipped off for credit with a supplier. Who knew what treasures would emerge from that which was once cast aside. This series of celestial rings is the result of modifying scrap left over from cutting out circles:

 Another theme developing is one of education.  This is most certainly due to creating the pieces during my lunch breaks at school.  The only materials available are those that I use for tutoring and they are yielding some fun results:


Some of my favorite rings by other artists this week:

RAD #64 3/5/10 'Snail'


ring 26