Robots!

Apr. 20th, 2012 10:48 am
feathersmith: (pic#834217)

A few weeks ago, another member of the Asylum, Cherry Ogata, told me she knew someone who was making a robot-themed mini-comic, and might I be interested in submitted some of my robots for it?

ROBOTS!, by Jesse Lonergan, will be available this weekend at Boston Comic Con (and presumably afterwards, too, though I don’t know the details). I have work in there from Cake and Robots, as does Cherry, along with dozens of others.

I am really super excited to get my hands on a copy. Or multiple copies.

Mirrored from The Feather Forge.

feathersmith: (pic#834217)

I have a longer post to write up with lots of pictures of the completed Dig box, and some other things, but first, an important announcement:

The Blue Cloud Gallery, where I sell earrings, is having an anniversary bash on Saturday, April 21, from 2-5pm. It is located in Ball Square, Somerville, at 731 Broadway.

The gallery shows work by local artists and craftspersons, and has A LOT of variety in a fairly small space. I highly recommend checking it out any time!

The party next week will feature a free raffle of items from the artists showing work, and (I have it on good authority) good wine and tasty treats.

Mirrored from The Feather Forge.

feathersmith: (pic#834217)

I have been busy the last few months! Craft fairs in December, which were fun, participating in the art shows at Arisia and Boskone, finally – finally – getting some reasonable photography of many items and updating ye olde Etsy shoppe a bit, plus miscellaneous long-overdue projects at home, and working on my own space at the Asylum as well as some infrastructural things there.

The Arisia Art Show was not as financially successful this year as last, but I consider it a success overall because I figured out a much nicer display system, which I can continue to use. And IT ALL FITS IN MY ROLLING CART!!! While I have more stuff to pack and unpack, the whole system is more organized, and it looks nice.

Table at Arisia Art Show 2012

One side of the table at Arisia.

The raised boxes double as storage for all of the smaller stuff: jewelry, necklace busts, chunks of rock, and the drapes. I still have to haul a poster tube with me for the paper, and the tree branch remains awkward, but it fits into the rolling cart between the boxes.

Here’s where I got the pattern for the necklace displays.

Necklaces at Arisia Art Show 2012

The right side of my table at Arisia 2012.

This year, I again had problems with my pre-con data entry – last year, some of the information got scrambled, and I had to rewrite parts of every bid sheet. This year, NONE of the information survived being stuffed into the internet, but I was saved an hour of hand-writing by a combination of a friend with a laptop, the hotel wifi, my cloud backups of the file in which I’d saved the data, and Arisia staff with the time to take my spreadsheet and turn it into printed bid sheets. Next year, I bring the spreadsheet on a flash drive. And maybe MY laptop, too.

Boskone was a lot smoother. They provide artists the ability to print (or write out) bid sheets in advance of showing up to the con, so I did that, which meant I knew exactly what numbers went on which pieces, so everything was labeled properly in advance of arriving. And, since I had only half a table, my setup was much shorter.

Things were so fast and easy I actually felt a little cheated. Like, there’s supposed to be some adversity to overcome here!

I sold a few pieces, including one of my favorite pendants. I will miss it, but I am glad someone else appreciated it, too.

Stone and wire pendant - Lonely Orbit

"Lonely Orbit" - stainless steel, stone (jasper and agate, I think)

reverse side of Lonely Orbit stone and wire pendant

The other side of Lonely Orbit. It's not intended to be worn this way, but I think this side is also quite nice.

Oh, yeah: I also made another partial torso for photographing necklaces on.

I wrapped plastic bags and plastic wrap around my mannequin, to protect its decoupage and make the new bust easy to remove, and used some slightly thick art paper and watered-down glue to cover the neck, shoulders, and upper part of the bust. I like the beige art paper that’s covering the mannequin now, but some pieces show up a lot better on this black paper. The decoupaging process is quite enjoyable. I’m toying with the idea of doing another black display bust, but with a thinner paper, so the torn edges aren’t quite so obvious.

Other things that may be of interest:

I started a portfolio on Behance. I like the look of the site a lot, adding projects is pretty easy, and it’s a great way to waste time looking at shiny things! I mean, a great source of art and inspiration. Yes.

Also I started a Tumblr. I know, I know, I’m a little late to the party, what took me so long? (Hey look I got started on Pinterest before the whole internet noticed it was A Cool Thing, so I’m not completely behind, right?) What took me so long is that look, the last thing I need is another blog-like thing to update, but I guess I can cheat at Tumblr and post my posts here to Tumblr, right? Mixed in with sporadic additions of whatever else that catches my eye, of course.

Things upcoming: I worked out a new design for ear cuffs, using 2 different metals. It’s my original two leaf design, with a 3rd leaf of another metal overlaying them. I like them a lot, I just need to *sigh* photograph them and make some listings and stuff.

Also, I want to brag about some work I did at the Asylum, because projects that cost NO MONEY and use up lots of scrap and spare materials, AND look great are worth bragging about, but I’ll save that for another post.

Mirrored from The Feather Forge.

feathersmith: (Default)
FYI, posts here, which come from my main blog, will no longer be mirrored to Livejournal.
feathersmith: (pic#834217)

I will be at two holiday craft fairs in the next couple weeks:

December 5, 5:30-8:30pm: Kennedy School Gift Fair (FB event link, sorry, that’s all I got), 2 Cherry St., Somerville. The Kennedy School is an elementary school in Somerville; the event includes a raffle that will benefit the PTA.

December 10, 1:00-7:00pm: Underground Artist & Burner Bazaar 2011 (FB link only, sorry), Redtail Collective, 369 Congress St., Boston. Includes food and music performances, as well as lots of crafts!

I will also be showing some work at the Arisia Art Show in January, and I’ve signed up for a table in the Artist and Author Alley. I don’t know what time slot I will get, but I’ll update that when I know it.

I’ve been making good use of my space and membership at Artisan’s Asylum, and am now almost completely out of ear wires. Oops.

Here are some terrible images of some recent work – click to view much larger (only way to see the colors in some shots):

Stainless steel, glass, and stone.

I am quite pleased with how the fairy earrings turned out. I’ve made earrings very similar to that style before, but not exactly; the method I used to hang the charm is new – just a loop in the wire, rotated 90 degrees from the rest of the wire, which means I don’t have to make a separate loop to connect the charm to the rest of the earrings. Saves time and space in the design!

More lousy photography:

The boot earrings are HEAVY.

Those are some serious charms, those boots! They are fully 3D, and solid. I see many more earrings in the style of the fairies/dragonflies. It works well for a lot of things. And I have a lot of charms, which until now, I’ve struggled to incorporate into my work.

The beads are cloisonne, I think, and are mostly blue.

Close up shot to get a better sense of the bead color.

The beads have some great iridescence.

I also made a leaf necklace, using stainless steel wire and cultured pearls, instead of my usual brass and glass leaf beads. It’s harder to get nice leaves with the stainless steel, since it is so much stiffer.

The pearls are greyish purple.

I’ve been naming the brass leaf necklaces “Spring Rites,” but that doesn’t seem appropriate for metals and beads that are the color of the late autumn and winter sky. (Oh! This just occurred to me: I must – MUST – make one like this with the BRIGHT PURPLE pearls, and call it the “Beautyberry” necklace. Though it would be more seasonally correct if the leaves were just bare sticks, to match the one in my yard. Hmm. Whatever. “Artistic license!”)

I also spent a couple of hours last night working out a composition for an elaborate collar, along the lines of the Machinist’s Collar, but on a sort of pirate queen theme. AUGH IT WAS HORRIBLE! I spent most of the time feeling completely incompetent and certain it will All End in Tears and Failure, but at the same time I feel compelled to finish. I’ve known enough other artists who have written similar things about their own works to know that this is normal and probably means it will be just fine.

I think this is part of the problem with letting one’s nonverbal mind be involved in the decision making process.

I have a picture, but I’m holding off posting it until I’ve committed to putting it together. Because then there will be no turning back.

Mirrored from The Feather Forge.

feathersmith: (pic#834217)

A lovely flat piece of rusted metal

I found this lovely thing on the sidewalk this morning while I was walking to the T.

Most things I pick up like that are smaller and not terribly fragile – old nails or bolts, pieces of chain – and I can immediately stuff them into a pocket, where they will either languish for months (if in my jacket), or be discovered in the washing machine in a week or two.

This was too big and too fragile to fit into a pocket, but I had some time while waiting for the train to arrive to carefully stow it inside a notebook, like a pressed flower.

A closer look at one side of the metal thing.

Gorgeous, isn’t it?

I don’t know what I’ll do with this. I think it is probably too fragile, and possibly too big, and too corroded, to be used for jewelry, though it would be amazing as the main piece of a necklace. I suppose it could be made into a necklace or pectoral that isn’t actually intended to be worn, but at that point, I’d rather make something that is definitely NOT meant to be worn. While I appreciate art that results in something that appears functional but is really just meant to be looked at, I also find it kind of irritating, so I am disinclined to do that sort of thing myself.

Besides, I still have plenty of materials for making actually wearable pieces of jewelry; here are the first things I made in my first day using my space at Artisan’s Asylum:

Stainless steel wire, glass beads, lava beads

It was fantastic having a work space that isn’t doubling as kitchen counter, miscellaneous craft table, or horizontal surface of holding all the stuff. I’m realistic enough to know that my uncluttered work surface won’t stay that way for long, but I am enjoying the hell out of it while it lasts (and at least it will NEVER be competing with the production of a big meal, so there’s that).

These are not new designs, but OMG I am out of practice. It took way too long to get those damn spirally earrings right; in the process, I created and then had to cut up another 2 pairs (had to cut them up at 80% done to free the beads).

The workspace isn’t completely set up yet: I bought 3 full sheets of OSB to lay down as the floor, thinking it would be nicer to walk on that than concrete, and also less likely to end in the destruction of fragile dropped things, but the walls of my space are not quite big enough to just lay the boards down.

They are supposed to be 8 feet apart, which would be perfect, but they are about 2 inches too close together.

So I have to haul the OSB all the way to the wood shop, trim 2 inches off one end of each sheet, and then haul it back, and I am not fit enough to do more than maybe one of those a day.

The 1/3 of the floor that I have put the OSB down on is much nicer to walk on, however, and the sooner I get the rest cut and laid down, the sooner I can bring in more shelving and work surface and . . . stuff.

The floor, in progress, with anti-surveillance eagle sign, and penguin.

The stencil version of the anti-surveillance eagle works quite well as  stencil; I used it to make a large sign on foamcore. The penguin supporting it I deny all responsibility for.

ANYWAY. As soon as I get more work surfaces set up, the sooner I can lay out and admire the contents of my various boxes of random rusted metal things (I got 26 pounds shipped to me from home recently!), and figure out if I can find a good use for my newest acquisition.

Mirrored from The Feather Forge.

feathersmith: (pic#834217)

Earlier this year, I submitted some photos to the Ganoksin Exhibition, “Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder,” which is focused on jewelry made primarily from materials other than precious metals. The exhibition went live in early July, and is worth spending a good chunk of time looking through. There is a lot of fantastic art in there!

And locally, I now have several of my pieces in the Blue Cloud Gallery, which shows and sells work primarily by local artists and crafters. It’s a fairly small space, but there is a lot in there, in a wide range of media: ceramics, cards and prints, wooden boxes, textiles, etc. along with jewelry.

I’ve spent most of the summer focused on things other than crafts (like following the catastrophe that is Google+ – which has had the benefit of finding an excellent list of alternatives to various Google products), but since the fall/winter craft fair season is coming up, I probably need to dust my pliers off and start using them again.

First I need to find the pliers.

Mirrored from The Feather Forge.

feathersmith: (pic#834217)

Somerville’s awesome ArtBeat festival is tomorrow.

Coincidentally, tomorrow is also another fun SLAM at the Burren, located conveniently in Davis Square, right next to many of the art and craft booths of ArtBeat. I will be there in the back room, enjoying shade and air conditioning and the company of fellow artists and crafters (though I do hope to make a brief tour of ArtBeat; I need to replace a glass hair clip, and want to check out the dragon being built by friends from the Asylum).

Stop by! Enjoy the coolth and the nifty handmade stuff! (And the $5 lunch specials, if you are so inclined.)

I’ve been busy during the last month with Asylum stuff (lots and lots of graphic design, much of it for our recent Open House – hey, we’re moving to a big new space!) and with building a UV-reactive art installation for Firefly and attending said event and recovering from it and so on. No good pictures of the glowfish, alas; my camera is lousy at taking photos in the dark, but the fish don’t look nearly as interesting in broad daylight.

Mirrored from The Feather Forge.

feathersmith: (pic#834217)

So I finally started playing with the titanium wire I ordered recently.

It is very lovely stuff – matte metallics colors (it is anodized), and a soft surface unlike any other metal (probably from the anodization).

It is also, as the website said, difficult to work with. I cannot put sharp bends in it; it will break. Right away. It work hardens FAST. And, like the website said, its temper is similar to spring steel, so I have to bend it well past where I want it to be in order for it to stay where I want it. It is also very light; holding one of the small coils, I had a hard time believing I was holding a metal (well, maybe aluminum).

An ear cuff, necklace concept in progress, and random bent shapes.

I don’t feel like I’ve got a good handle on how to use it yet; perhaps if I made the entire necklace from the same color? (The test piece is stainless steel for the support structure, and two different colors of titanium for the layered leaves.)

I do like how the colors of some of the wires work with the rainbow hues on my grey glass beads:

Shiny! The wire is a greyish blue; the bead has some similar colors in it.

In other exciting materials and supplies news, I made it to Swapfest, and got:

- 2 exceptionally lovely bearings

- 1 mystery object that might have come out of an old textile mill

- 2 hard drives with platters held in place with screws and not the mysterious unremovable mechanism some of my other junk drives have, not that I’m still bitter about that

- 1 box of random metal junk, which cost me $1, and was worth at least $2 in entertainment value

Everything from the box of random junk, laid out nicely. (plus hard drives and bearings from other sellers)

There are some small wrenches in that pile of stuff. And by “small” I mean “about the length of my finger THEY ARE ADORABLE.” Most of the weight of that box is made up by things that I think are bike parts. I don’t need them, but lugging them around was a reasonable payment for the small wrenches and other random small metal objects that I am going to clean and keep and eventually incorporate into . . . something.

There was also a piece of lead, in sheet form, in the box, which is now safely contained in a plastic bag. I don’t need a piece of lead sheet metal running around loose and contaminating the place.

The disk drives were also entertaining. One has unusually dark platters; the other had some fantastic machined pieces of metal separating its platters.

Yes, the platters really are dark brown.

Here's the metal piece separating two platters in the other drive.

Later, I discovered that if you hold a platter up so you can see your face in it, you can get some really odd effects if you move the platter around while looking at the reflection, because you will also see two blurry circles of the background at the same time. If you close one eye, you will only get one blurry circle, which leads to fun things like moving the platter so that the circle (the hole in the center of the platter) is where the reflection of your eye should be. It’s like being inside a Magritte, only instead of having an apple for a head, you have a potted plant for an eye.

It is very difficult to get good photographs of this.

Um.

Anyway.

I’ve also (finally) got two tiny book pendants put on cords and ready to photograph and eventually list on Etsy. I’m seriously considering opening up another online store on another site, but there are SO MANY other sites that I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with trying to choose.

Oh and I decoupaged the mannequin! At least partially. I didn’t think it was necessary to decoupage the entire thing, since I won’t be photographing the whole mannequin, just the portions necessary to show up jewelry. So she looks like she’s wearing a very stylish sort of crop-top, since the decoupage, which has uneven edges, stops somewhere above her navel.

Mirrored from The Feather Forge.

feathersmith: (pic#834217)

I will be at Carnaval@SomerStreets 2011, in Foss Park (that’s near Sullivan Square). It is Sunday, June 5, from 12-4.

As it will be outdoors, I expect it to be a whole new exciting set of experiences from my perspective. I hope the weather behaves.

Mirrored from The Feather Forge.

feathersmith: (pic#834217)

Part of my motivation for making wire jewelry was to learn how to turn pretty stone beads into pendants and the like, which meant I had to learn some basic wire-wrapping techniques. Lots of people do this kind of work, so I’ve had plenty of sources of awesome inspiration and eye candy.

Another part of my motivation was to explore an idea I had for making ear cuffs, which a lot of people also do with wire, except that one thing lead to another and I found that making interesting shapes with the wire was more intriguing than dangling beads from a basic ear cuff, and I have become more focused on using the wire to create the majority of the piece, to be the focus, rather than be used as primarily connective, structural material, or the framework.

But I have not seen many examples of this kind of work, focused on using the wire as the primary source of form and interest, which has had me at a bit of a loss in some ways.

Until recently, when I started finding other jewelry designers working primarily with wire to create their designs. And the excellent thing about them is that they are all strikingly different.

Beautifully simple mechanics; industrial

First (somewhere), I found this link to an interview with Brenda Schweder, who not only makes jewelry using wire, but steel wire!

Oh my god. I am not alone!

There are a lot of awesome photos of her work on her Facebook page; it’s hard to pick a favorite, but I really like the simple forms of this piece, and the design of the sections that go around the wearer’s neck:

Winterfrost Pod by Brenda Schweder

Three-dimensional organic forms

Also from Lark Crafts (that post has a free tutorial in it), I found the blog and jewelry of Kathy Frey, who also makes sculptural jewelry out of wire. Her gallery and her Etsy have plenty of examples. Her pod shapes, and the nest shapes, are my favorites.

Suspended Hidden Pearl Pod Pendant, by Kathy Frey

Simple geometry, reminiscent of mid-century Modernism

And via a post on Kathy Frey’s blog, I found Tia Kramer, who makes her own paper and combines that with wire forms. The combination of simple geometric shapes and rich colors (from the paper) just blows my mind. She has some very elaborate necklaces that incorporate other pieces of jewelry in them (like earrings and a bracelet) that can be worn as one piece or separately, as well as many simple, stunning pieces.

Crescent Eclipse, sterling silver and handmade paper, by Tia Kramer

Science fiction, high-tech

Going for a totally different style is this choker reminiscent of cyberpunk (found via someone’s board on Pinterest (they linked another piece by the same person)):

Bionic choker by DominicElvinDesign

I am not entirely sure what media are used in this piece, other than wire. Polymer clay? Precious metal clay? Random found objects?

I don’t really care, because the part of my brain that loves high-tech science fictiony design thinks this is the best thing ever. (It is currently engaged in a standoff with the parts of my brain that prefer Modernism, or an industrial look, or organic shapes.)

Mirrored from The Feather Forge.

feathersmith: (pic#834217)

This blog will now automagically crosspost to:

My account (feathersmith) on Dreamwidth from which it will even more magically be crossposted to my account (feathersmith) on Livejournal.

If you’ve been reading via the syndicated feed on LJ, I recommend adding feathersmith to your flist, because if you comment on the syndicated post, I will probably never see it. Also, the syndicated posts eventually expire, but posts made in an actual journal do not.

Mirrored from The Feather Forge.

Page generated Jun. 28th, 2017 01:50 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios