Have you noticed the people posting their daily things to be thankful for? I have and I admire the effort. I would start, fall behind, and then feel guilty/stressed that I wasn't being thankful enough! But it got me thinking... what experience in the art/jewelry field am I most thankful for? Class? Mentor? Trip? Tutorial? Instructor?
I ask you to think on this, pour a cup of tea or coffee - and write a response to me in the comments!
My post is brief today - and I am giddy with excitement - and thanks... I am off to Washington DC for the day to spend it with my sister! She lives in Austin TX and is in town for a conference. So please don't equate my brevity with lack of caring...
My most thankful experience is meeting Keith LoBue. He is an amazing artist and an inspired teacher. He calls himself a "stuff smith" as he creates intricate swoon worthy pieces from found objects and diverse treasures. We met in San Diego at the Shepherdess - where he was teaching - it was after I had moved back East but I returned for his class. And we reconnected, and I was challenged anew each year, on his annual trip. I haven't seen him for a few years, he is based in Sydney Australia and doesn't travel as extensively as he did.
|My first LoBue inspired mixed media piece. From his "Precious Little" class: antique sterling butterfly, pod, antique magazine paper, glass lens, gems...|
|Shrine work in progress - center focal composed of pods with vintage pearls, beetle wings, and auto glass, skeleton key, milk glass knob, cigar box, sandalwood fan...|
|My first etching samples, my first resin pour.|
Experiments with antique book text.
These classes were years ago - so I did my first etching and resin under Keith's tutelage - 8 years ago? Before the materials were commonly used in the art jewelry scene... This built a foundation for me - learning techniques to apply to my work, learning them well, being confident to implement them.
But for me - it was also hearing the right information at the right time. The encouragement to think out of the proverbial box. The permission to play, and to alter materials beyond recognition if the piece required that. To not hold precious things too precious, and to hold dear the found treasures that spark creativity. To honor the patina of age, and the inherent history in an object - even if its specific are unknown to me.
I was in a period of transition - having just returned East and trying to settle into my new role as freelance teacher, and more importantly, working artist. I was, and still am working with clay, but it is one of many materials I draw on to say my piece. Mixed media became my voice, and I am thankful that classes with Keith helped me find it. I came away with skills, yes, but more importantly a philosophy that informs my work to this day.
|Aurora: vintage compact, magnifying lens, antique postcard, etched brass, rusted washer, silk...|
|Gaze: pocket watch case, sea glass, image transfer, pearls, antique images and text, resin, microbeads.|