Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What's New: Fun with Foldforming

 I've fallen for fold forming! Ever since I started experimenting with origami I come into the studio and all I want to do is fire up the torch and beat on some metal. Add to that a bit of forging and balling wire and I might go missing for days. Here's a peak at what I've been working on.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Book Club Challenge: "Hyperion" by Dan Simmons

Hyperion, by Dan Simmons, is one of my all time favorite sci-fi reads. When it was chosen as the most recent book for the Etsy Metal book club I was super excited to read it for the second time. I went back and forth about the piece for a long time and actually ended up reading all four books in the series again before I finally decided.

Hyperion is filled with mystery from the Prologue all the way through, and for me the most intriguing part was the juxtaposition of Christianity and the Church of Final Atonement. Both are fringe religions at the start of Hyperion and both are presented as equally preposterous, the first being outdated product of an antiquated society and the second focused around "The Lord of Pain", better known as the Shrike, and viewed by the general population as a barbarous cult that sends it's pilgrims to certain doom.

Atonement Brooch: Sterling Silver, Copper, Garnet

Hyperion recalls the tales of the seven pilgrims of the final Shrike Pilgrimage. Each tale tells of the connection the pilgrim has with the Shrike and the planet Hyperion. The Shrike is first mentioned in the Prologue as the Consul remembers "screams in the night and the hundred-faceted, ruby blood gaze of the Shrike itself". As the pilgrims tell their tales a clearer picture of the form and brutality of the Shrike slowly develops with "metal blades protruding from [it's] forehead, four wrists, oddly jointed elbows, knees, armored back and thorax." The reader is never presented with a clear explanation or solid connection between the events that have unfolded in the pilgrims lives and the motivations or intentions of this creature, this "Lord of Pain".

When Sol Weintrob takes his child, who suffers from an illness that has her aging backward, to the priests of the Church of Final Atonement and asks for guidance in having her be "made well" the bishop states that Sol is speaking of physical well being and that "[The Church of Final Atonement] is the final arbiter of spiritual salvation".
Atonement Brooch: Sterling Silver, Copper, Garnet

What is the Shrike? Should we fear it or revere it? Either way, I hope my piece does the Shrike a bit of justice. For a look at what the other Etsy Metal book club members came up with please follow the Etsy Metal Blog or Become Friends with Etsy Metal on Facebook. The book club post will be up next week! 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

It's all about the process: Etsy Metal Charm Swap 8

So excited that I was lucky enough to sign up for Etsy Metal's 8th charm swap! What's a charm swap? The best thing ever! 20 Etsy Metal members sign up to make 22 charms each. One complete charm bracelet is sold through the Etsy Metal shop with part of the proceeds going to a youth organization, one of each of the charms goes into the shop as well, and each participant gets a fabulously wonderful charm bracelet. For a look at some of the previous charm swaps go to the Etsy Metal Blog and search for "Charm Swap". While you're there make sure to follow the blog, sign up for the news letter, or make friends with Etsy Metal on Facebook for Charm Swap 8 updates and tons of other cool info.

I decided to fashion my charms after some rings I made early this year for Ring a Week (I know, I know, totally dropped the ball on that one). I really enjoyed using origami techniques with foldforming and everyone knows I'm hooked on the red patina.

I started several weeks ago folding some strips of copper:

Today I cut the folded strips into cabs:

And then gave a few of them a red patina:

I'm really excited about how they're coming out. Stay tuned for more progress!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Etsy Metal Blog Carnival: Creative Space

This months Etsy Metal blog carnival is all about our studio spaces!

 I love artist studios. Each one is as different as the artists themselves.  Like a fingerprint or a psychological evaluation, the artists studio reflects the personality of the creator. My studio is where I go to get messy, to experiment and make mistakes, a space where anything goes and every mistake or breakthrough seems to come at just the right time and leads in just the right direction. Don't get me wrong, it's not all rainbows and butterflies. I can often be heard muttering or cursing, sometimes under my breath and other times at the top of my lungs. But somehow even the mistakes seem to belong tossed among the heaps of tools and materials that accumulate with every project (See last post for a clear illustration on this!).

Soldering Area

The world slows down when I'm working in the studio. There are times where my internal voice is lulled into a quiet and meditative hum and the pieces seem to effortlessly fall into place with the rhythms of sanding or hammering. My studio is one of the most personal aspects of my life and yet it is one that I love to share and experience with others. Somehow the space transcends the boundaries of what I regard as private and allows conversations to begin through my process and my work.

Office Nook

Friends and Family

 My studio, being an extension of myself and the things I value most, is filled with mementos. Photographs, ticket stubs, souvenirs and artwork adorn the walls, bulletin boards, and shelving. At times the spaces are crowded in so tight I imagine there is no way I'll be able fit one more thing and then I tuck another treasure into place. Every few months I rearrange the items, dust them off and remember why they are there in the first place. Inspiration, life is full of it.

Treasures and Mementos

This particular space is especially personal because I was able to design and build the bench and soldering area myself. I'd never really taken on a woodworking project before, and it's not quite level or trimmed perfectly, but it's mine and it works. The remainder of the furnishings are hand me downs and cast offs; the cabinets were discarded from a laundry room, the desk was a gift from my step-dad when I first moved out, a bakers rack from a friend who was pairing down her studio space, shelving that came with our house but didn't quite work for us. It's a hodge podge of organizational methods that attempts to keep the clutter at bay and it's absolutely perfect.

Brand New Bench!

Interested in the studio spaces of other Etsy Metal members? Keep on reading!

 Rebecca Bogan - http://www.AdobeSol.com/blog
Shirlee Grund - http://lichenandlychee.com/blog/ 
Beth Cyr http://bcyrjewelry.blogspot.com
Elizabeth Scott http://esdesignsjewelry.com/blog
Cynthia Del Giudice http://cynthiadelgiudice.blogspot.com
Michele Grady http://www.michelegradydesigns.blogspot.com
Erin Austin - http://metalmusing.blogspot.com/
Nodeform - http://nodeform.blogspot.com/
Evelyn Markasky -- http://markasky.blogspot.com/
Kathryn Cole - http://www.kathryncolejewelry.blogspot.com
2Roses - http://www.jewelrytutorial.blogspot.com

Lauren Anabela Beaudoin/Creative Dexterity - http://creativedexterity.com/Blog/main.html