Thursday, September 25, 2008

cheese please

I need to concentrate more on the things that are important to me. What is important to me? Family? Friends? my work? my job? my dog? the cats? I don't ever know what order to put these things in. Really I don't put them in any kind of order. They are all on the same level. They all get an equally small part of my attention. I don't know if this is a good thing or bad thing. I do feel that if I concentrate more on one than the other I get in trouble.

If I spend too much time petting the cats the dog will get jealous.
If I let the dog sleep on the bed, the cats will want to sleep on the bed.
If I let all the animals sleep on the bed it will get too hot.
If I don't let the animals sleep on the bed it will get too cold.
If I sleep in I will be late for work.
If I spend too much time at work Liz will miss me.
If I spend too much time at home I will fall behind at work.
If I spend too much time with my friends I don't get in the studio.
If I don't spend time in the studio I don't make any money or get into shows.
If I don't get into shows or make money I can't make more work.
If I can't make more work I disappoint myself and get depressed.

Its an evil cycle. Sometimes I wish I could take my brain out and shut it off for a while.

I am trying to slow down. I have a bad habit of letting things slip by me. I will trip over things because I don't see them coming. My life is sooooo crazy. I even show up for classes an hour early because I can't remember what time they start. Thats a bad one. I have been relying on the kindness of strangers for too long. I am going to tighten up. After breakfast...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Edge of the Sublime:
Enamels by Jamie Bennett

September 27 – November 16
Alice and Horace Chandler & North Galleries

Edge of the Sublime represents the first-ever retrospective of works by one of the most important enamelists working today. This exhibition explores the artist’s creative use and development of a variety of enameling and metalworking techniques to produce highly color-saturated imagery on signature brooches, necklaces and pendants. Curated by Jeannine Falino, former Carolyn and Peter Lynch Curator of Decorative Arts, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Edge of the Sublime debuted at Fuller Craft Museum in Massachusetts before traveling to the SDMA and museums nationwide through 2010.

Opening reception: Friday, September 26, 5:00-8:00pm

Anyone that wants to come see this our doors are open. -arthur

Friday, September 19, 2008

Conceptual metalsmithing/Me Ranting

Well well well. I just read a little , ahem, posting over at Conceptual metalsmithing. Another call to arms?

The new SNAG conference is called Revolution. What is going to be revolutionary about it? Gabriel points out....not the speakers. Well.... I kind of disagree. Maybe the whole point of having these lecturers is to have something to rebel against? I am excited to see almost all of them speak. I will be listening,watching and reacting. Old school versus New school. It is going to be a great conference.

Moving on. I think as jewelry designers/metal workers we bite the hand that feeds us. Let me explain. First you have every one has this mantra now "out with the old, in with the new". Complaining about this is kind of like the pot calling the kettle black but let me just say I still believe in the basics first. You can't expect to have design sense, structure or assemblage skills without taking basic courses! Second, you have to remember the "old school" paved to way for the "new school" they made it possible to even have all of this. I love the old school. Now if we can just get them to use a computer everything would be fine. Also without knowing the history of our field its like a real life Holiday Inn Express commercial. You know the one. "Do you know how to raise a teapot from a flat sheet spout and all?"..."sure! I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night." Just because you took three metals classes it doesn't make you an expert on way things are or should be. Shoot I have had over twenty or so metals classes in my time and I STILL don't really know anything (really want to learn how to properly set stones, how to engrave, granulation, metal spinning and knife making etc etc etc). Who do you think I am going to want to learn this information from? Someone that took a two week workshop? or someone that has been making knives for thirty years?

On the other end of the spectrum. I believe that most educational information should be free to everyone. I know this is wishful thinking but hey this day and age there is no reason not to have it all out there. Welcome Internet. We love you. This is problematic. Most blogs on craft, ahem, seem very anti academic. Again kind of a biting the hand that feeds us thing. Consider this: the rhetoric, theory and examples used on such blogs are inherently academic in nature! The authors probably learned all of this in school. With the race for presidency in full swing I would like to point out how political in nature this is. I think its what you would call an "upstart": (an arrogant or presumptuous person) or "rabble-rouser": (A person who tries to stir up masses of people for political action by appealing to their emotions rather than their reason). Academia is not evil. SNAG is not evil. You make the experience. You make of it what you will. An education should give you the tools to succeed not tell you how to succeed. I didn't learn a lot of technical skill in grad school. But that is not what grad school is for. It is about a personal evolution with guidance from "professionals". Saying all of this the system is flawed. What we teach at the entry level should change. We should be preparing our students properly when they get out. Give them the tools and techniques so they can later evolve. That means technology, history in our field, practical design, object sense and at least BASIC technical skills. Ask yourself this, are you getting this information at your school? You should be. After you learn all of this you will have an education. You will have the tools to succeed. Whether you succeed or not is up to you.

SNAG. I have problems with SNAG and ACC. So does everyone. We all have complaints about this or that. Hey man that is life. I am not saying don't do anything about it. The first step is actually going to these things. If you don't go you don't know. Second, its your dime. You paid to go why would you want to be miserable the whole time. Third, some of us are tying to make the best of it. It only takes one apple to spoil the bunch. This past conference all I heard was "this sucks", "the drinks cost more than my hotel room","Why is the pool in the lobby?" etc etc etc. I have news for you wait till you are not a student and have to pay for everything yourself. I bet you wish you hadn't been such a pain in the ass back then. Matter of fact I bet you wished you paid attention more and participated while it was free.

If I were going for the first time I would observe, absorb and process then make a comment. You can't comment on something you just walked in on. Its like jumping onto a sinking ship and yelling "FIRE!" everyone will jump off the boat. Then where will we be? In a huge ocean called life with no communal way of going forward and no structure to carry us. We don't want SNAG to disappear. I don't want SNAG to disappear. I think we just want it to evolve.

Monday, September 15, 2008


[via: Daily Art Muse]

In August, The Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, Oregon opened the doors on ManufRactured: The Conspicuous Transformation of Everyday Objects, a first-of-its-kind exhibit featuring a new class of objects:

"This video shows the installation in progress and includes interviews with artists Jason Rogenes (polystyrene and cardboard), Laura Splan (you MUST listen to her interview…I think you’ll be shocked by both the materials she uses and the elegant results) and one of my favorite artists, Harriete Estel Berman (recycled tin cans). I am always amazed at what artists ‘see’ when they look at any given material. Wonderful stuff."

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Disclaimer: You probably wont get an accurate or full description of either the Storm King or Dia: Beacon so you are just going to have to go see it for your self.... (for those of you that know me you are more than welcome to stay at my house if you plan a trip) Also the images included in this posting have been copy protected to protect the artist who made the work. Do not re-post any of these images unless you are linking back to the Dia: Beacon or Storm king websites. This posting is for educational purposes only. Thank you.

So Liz's parents came this weekend. We had a busy Saturday. First we got up really early and went to the Storm King art center. Really nice. Since we moved in right before school started we have not really had the time to venture out too far, besides for some basic necessities. Finding out that this amazing destination is within one hour of us is just crazy. Then after Storm King we went to Dia: Beacon. Another MIND BLOWING experience. Both places were featuring Sol LeWitt. Storm King had sculpture and Dia: Beacon had Wall Drawings.

When we first arrived at Storm King we were greeted by an incredible Calder piece (The Arch). This was when I knew this experience was going to change something inside me. The big buzz was about the Sol LeWitt show so we went to the gallery to visit that first. Upon entering there were four sets of white sculptures that I gravitated toward first. These studies in form were memorizing. Thoughts of fundamental design projects raced through my head. I got lost in cubes, lines and curves. I couldn't help imagining all the process of attaching endless lengths of wood together in countless different configurations to form a mountain of art. There was a video upstairs that kind of spoiled what was to come later in the day but I will get to that in a minute.

Sol LeWitt
Storm King

Next we got a quick view of the grounds around of the gallery and then we boarded the tram to tour the 500 acres of art. The tram stopped only once for Andy Goldsworthy's Storm King Wall.
From the tram you could see the wall snaking down the side of the hill and into a lake. When the tram finally stopped and we got out we got a chance to walk right up to the wall and touch it. It was interesting to actually experience it in such an intimate way. I had seen photos and video of it and kind of envisioned the piece as a whole. For me it functioned very differently then I imagined. Standing close to the wall you can't ever see the whole thing so you only get about 10 or 15 feet of it at a time. I found myself probing the wall for cracks, crevices, moss, bugs and shapes. I spent time speculating the way they built it. It was such a great thing to see this piece. I have two versions of it in my head now. The whole and the up close and personal. Its so exciting when artwork functions on multiple levels like this. After the tram arrived back at the building we got into the car and heading for Dia: Beacon.
Andy Goldsworthy
Andy Goldsworthy
Andy Goldsworthy
Andy Goldsworthy
Andy Goldsworthy
Andy Goldsworthy
Andy Goldsworthy

I have to admit I only knew what this was from people at New Paltz saying "you gotta go to Dia: Beacon" or "Man, have you been to Dia: Beacon yet?" I had see pamphlets for this place but none of this prepared me for the monumental experience that is DIA: BEACON!
So we first stopped to get a cup of coffee which is outside of the gallery (illy I might add, the same thing I drink at home!). The first thing I noticed were the patio stones. They made a nice pattern on the grounds outside. Holes were filled in the stone to create the path and others were left open for grass to grow out of. The book store was amazing, filled with artist books under glass and a reading area were you were invited to read any of the new books or magazines.
Dia: Beacon
Dia: Beacon

When we first entered the place i was thinking it was going to be small. The corridor entering the place was small and dark. It just added to the experience when the space opened up dramatically with skylights and HUGE exhibitions spaces. So here is the thing: make sure you have time to see everything. I tried to do it in an hour and half and it was a HUGE mistake. I had to take a nap after we got back because my brain and body was exhausted.

I will give you the highlights. First SOL LEWITT!! early wall drawings.... I had no idea. They were incredible! At first I didn't know what I was looking at. Then when I got up close my brain exploded. There were walls covered in what looked like faint wall paper. Upon closer inspections I realized they were all hand drawings! Some were just black and white others were layers of colors. Red on blue, blue on black, yellow on gray etc etc. My eyes were on fire. I have a hard time with those stereographic prints (a la: Mallrats "Oh its a sailboat"). I felt like my brain just got it. It didn't have to work so hard. Next to the drawings there was usually a formula that was used where the wall was gridded and each square had a calculation that determined what patter that was to go in it. Then all drawn by hand... I think... again my brain working the way it does, I immediately looked to the floor for pencil shavings.
Dia: Beacon
Dia: Beacon
Dia: Beacon

Dia: Beacon

Dia: Beacon
Dia: Beacon
Dia: Beacon

There were plenty of other things at Dia: Beacon that I got into (Richard Serra,
Dia: Beacon Richard Serra Dia: Beacon Richard Serra

Joseph Beuys, Michael Heizer, Dan Dlavin and On Kawara)
Dia: Beacon
Dia: Beacon

but the Sol LeWitt drawings really threw me for a loop. I hope that the photos that follow only give you a taste of my experience and will convince you to come see it all for yourself.

Friday, September 12, 2008


I just wanted to say thanks to all of my new friends at Towson for inviting me to come and lecture about my work. I especially want to thank Jan Baum and the grad students (Liz Steiner,JP to name a few) for making me feel so welcomed. I made it back home around 2:45 AM! but it was totally worth it! Thanks again you guys!

Check out all of the metals students blogs here!!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


So just to let you guys know. I am doing lecture at Towson tomorrow on my work.


Department of Art + Design, Art History, Art Education Lectures

Center for the Arts, Lecture Hall Room 2032

Thursday, September 11, 6:30 p.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

my ETSY store is open! again.....

So I was waiting to get settled before I announce that I was re-opening my ETSY store. I couldn't wait anymore! I think my caffeine intake has quadrupled since I moved here! Check it out, I added bunch of new stuff. -arthur

Friday, September 5, 2008

new pieces

Here a few pieces I have been working on. A series of rings and brooches cut from ping pong paddles and these "ribbons" made from safety cones. Now that the studio is set up I finally have a little time to make a few things. Let me know what you think.