Thursday, 31 January 2013

Talented Friends

Friends and fellow NSCADians Katrina Craig and Darren Pottie just had an exhibition (Oh, Then I See Queen Mab Hath Been With You) at the Anna Leonowens Gallery and I wanted to share the greatness.  I had a lot of fun modelling for one of the photos despite the fact that it was pretty cold when we did the shoot.  Though with how the weather has been here lately I will take 3 degrees over -25 with windchill we had last week. 

The textiles work was beautiful and the photos turned out so great.  The best part was getting to see the Craig parents when they came to check out their daughter's handiwork! 

Their description of the show: Based on an unusual dream involving spiders, birth and transformation, A fashion/textile and photo collaboration aims to transport to another world through reaction and emotion.

Monday, 28 January 2013


To go along with my last post I figured I should show some of the inspiration for the work I am making this term.

These are banksia pods, and they are my new favourite thing.  The pods are such fascinating objects in and of themselves, but the plants are pretty interesting as well.  The most fascinating thing I have learned is that they can be pretty resistant to brush fire and that the brush fires coming through can even help with germination. 

I love the textures in mushrooms so much.  Look at those beautiful gills! 

The colours in these ones are really beautiful too

Lotus seeds

Love the colours in this photo:

I love how light and wonderful these milkweed seeds look.  Hint: this is what I am using all of that silk for! 

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Electroforming and Enamelling

Well I am three weeks in.  It sometimes feels like it has been much longer than that because I feel like I have accomplished a lot already.  Sometimes it fills me with existential dread knowing that my show is coming up in just a few weeks and I feel like I should have more done. 

But let's look at the progress, shall we?  I have 5 of the banksia pods made.  I am planning on enamelling the little beaky parts.  I am off to the studio soon to do a small scale test of some colours. But hopefully these: 

Will look something like this when I am done:

All of my pieces start out at the wax stage, I embedded copper foil into the wax which is all fused (for lack of a better word) together when it has been coated in copper. 

I still have a lot of decisions to make in regards to these pieces but a few things will be decided today (once I venture out into the -20 degree weather)

Mushrooms are also sort of taking over, these are my test pieces, I figured out a lot working through these ones.  I used copper foil again for these.  It was embedded far enough in the first one, but was put it too far in the second one. 

These ones, still in wax and foil stage were at the best of both worlds stage. 

As with the pods, I have some decisions to make with these too.  Enamelling is probably going to play a huge part in these pieces as well.  It's kind of weird that before I see these as jewellery, I see them installed in a gallery.  I suppose that is kind of a good thing, seeing as my gallery show is in 40 days, but I am kind of concerned for how everything is going to come together this semester.  At the same time though, I am really excited by this new work. 

This picture might seem completely random, but all will become clear soon.  I ordered some mulberry silk roving.  It is so luxurious and beautiful.  I will hopefully be using it to make some earrings, actually time permitting, lots of earrings. 

And have I mentioned before how much I love enamelling?  I have been lucky enough a few times to be the only person in the small room.  One day, I will be as organized as our instructor Lillian.  Everything in this studio has a place/is colour coded/is labelled clearly.  

A few of my sifting samples from last week.  I really love this blue (it's called Wedgewood).  I mostly love it in the sample on the left because it covers up the really terrible fleshy colour I used as a base with the lace stencil. 

This, I have put up purely for my parents delight.  I was always a little bit neurotic when it came to sorting things by colour, there were always categories and often subcategories.  Specifically there was always argument when it came to the aqua range of colours. I had clearly distinguished the difference between green-blue, and blue-green to my parents (I was probably 7 or 8 years old, possibly younger).  Eventually they learned not to argue with me, mostly they just laughed at my long winded descriptions of colours. 

Imagine my joy when I saw the enamel board with all of the colours and saw two distinct categories "green-blue" and "blue-green" (the third row from the top of the opaques).  See Mom! There is a difference! 

The opaque enamel colours are really beautiful, though I am not really partial to the transparents.  This struck a few people as odd at school given my glass background.  Perhaps layered over similarly coloured opaques (something I am going to test today) but I am not a huge fan of them as is.  Who knows, maybe I will learn to love them. 

Monday, 7 January 2013

New Year - New Adventures

I am still blown away by the fact that it is 2013 already. Even more blown away that in 100 short days I will have completed my degree at NSCAD.  It is so nice coming into 2013 having had a very relaxing break after an incredibly busy and stressful 2012.

Now that everyone has gotten their Christmas presents I can finally post the picture of the earrings that I laser cut at the end of the semester.  I did some black acrylic ones as well but I really love how the walnut ones turned out. 

I am so excited for all of the possibilities and great things to come this year.  This final semester at school is sure to be the best yet.  I am finally taking enamelling which I am already in love with.  This is the one class that I just couldn't wait to take.  I spent my afternoon today doing some fun samples (not the samples I need to do for my homework this week, but samples nonetheless!) 

In less than two months I have a show at the Anna Leonowens Gallery which I am not as panicked for as I thought I would be.  I will be posting lots of pictures as the work progresses in the following weeks. 

Another incredibly exciting thing on the horizon is having a studio when I get home.  It's in the works at the Edy Roy Glass Gallery in Burlington.  They are in the process of moving the gallery and studio to a bigger space.  There will be so much more on this later as everything unfolds! 

As far as school goes I am also in studio this term which I am also excited about but with mixed feelings.  It's strange to be in studio level being an interdisciplinary student rather than a jewellery degree student.  I get the distinct feeling that not all of the degree students feel that I deserve to be in there with them. That's okay though, I will have fun proving them wrong. 

It's unfortunate that interdisciplinary work isn't promoted and encouraged more, I really wish that it was.  That's one of the things I loved about Sheridan is that we were in such close quarters with the other studios.  In fact I have heard that the students this year are all participating in a big cross disciplinary collaboration project.  I am so jealous, I so wish that such a project existed while I was studying there.  I don't know if it's just because this type of thing has been on my mind a lot lately but the work of Pia W├╝stenberg just came to my attention.  She fuses several media together to create these fantastic stacking vessels. 

It is hard to say exactly what I am going to be doing when I leave NSCAD.  To be honest, I thought I would have a much better idea by now.  All I know is that I love working with metal, but I still like glass, I even sort of fell in love with textiles along the way.  I do keep coming back to glass as my preferred medium, I think mostly because it's the medium that my personality can relate to the most.  But I have always wanted to explore lots of materials and processes, to the point where I can get very easily overwhelmed.  Even back at Sheridan I didn't want to be pinned down as just a glass artist, and still now I don't want to be known as just a jeweller because there is so much to explore beyond that. I would so much rather be overwhelmed by possibilities than to purposely limit myself by exclusivity in material.  

What will my work look like in 5 years?  Who knows.  My work is constantly evolving and I love finding inspiration in something new.  I spent a good part of this evening obsessing over pictures of quilts. Will this new obsession manifest into something great one day? Perhaps.  All I know is that I love that I can explore anything that I want and that would have never happened without an interdisciplinary approach to my work.