The Importance of Escape for the Artist

There is an importance of escape for the artist; stepping outside of the studio provides contrast and inspiration, loosing yourself to wonder.  Marylin Monroe once said:

"A career is born in public, talent in privacy."

Like periodical solitude, escape from the "everyday" is essential to producing quality bodies of work and finding meaning in what we do.

I've made escape a habit - it is a part of my life routine.  I find that opportunities for escape are all around me; and I readily take advantage of those opportunities.  Desolate lancsapes are most enduring to me and I often escape to the desert.  I find these environments - where life seems to barely hang on - silence my minds chatter, allowing my most creative ideas to form freely.

 


photography: cj vegas

location: joshua tree national park

Spring Studio Refresh

I did a little Spring studio refresh this past weekend and the result feels spacious and airy! I spread out a bit by adding a soldering station (haven't had one of those in years); giving me more bench space for making and designing.  And I reorganized my tools and sink area - even added a few hanging lights!  I love rearranging spaces - I was a visual merchandiser for 12 years so it's in my bones!  Rearranging shifts the energy and brings back life into a room... and to things; which in turn inspires the soul!

Impromptu Espresso Spoons

This morning I met up with ceramic artist and friend Samantha Brown, to chat a bit over coffee and to pick up 2 espresso cups she had made for me.  When I got them home; I immediately took them out of their wrapping and held them for a bit.  The weight and feel of these cups, in my hand, had me thinking of future Sunday morning espressos.  I was so moved by that image; I decided to make some impromptu espresso spoons to compliment my new wears.

What I love about Samanthas work is the spontaneity and primitive feel.  When I started on the espresso spoons I knew that I wanted to utilize her signature line-work that she hand draws onto each piece.  And I wanted to speak to the tactile texture of the clay that she uses.  

I began with the spoon handles; I hammered them until I achieved a texture that resemble the unglazed areas of the espresso cups.  Then I gave the handles an organic like form by adding slight bends and curves to the metal.  This, to me, resembles the thin white lines on the glaze. 

For the bowl of the spoon I went with an oval shape - I usually go with round as I am drawn to circles, but oval seemed fitting.  I felt the bowl should have an almost floating feel to it; so I soldered the handle underneath the bowl and kept the form minimal and light.  Adding my voice on these spoons; I applied a light scratch texture on the bowl with a bright burnished edge. 

As many of you know, I enjoy making spoons and this was such lovely project to work on.  And I felt it proper to finish this good day with some espresso and cream, sipped slowly from my new cups.

My favorite books, blogs and podcasts!

I wanted to go into more detail on my favorite books, blogs and podcast, here as I promised on yesterdays Instagram post for March Meet the Maker.   I read more books thank anything; pictured are a few that I keep in my studio.  I read mostly interior design blogs and listen to one industry podcast at the moment.  So I apologize that those sections are quite slim.  Having said that, here is are my current favorites: 

 

Jewelry/Metalsmithing Books

 

Art / Inspiration Books

 

Eye Candy Books

 

Blogs

 

Podcasts

 

I hope these are helpful!  Of course this list could go on, and on, and on (the book sections at least)...but I encourage you to explore and discover wonderful things on your own - those are the best discoveries aren't they?  Happy Learning! 

Oh, I wrote a post a while ago about jewelry books I was reading, here! Theres some gems in there - enjoy! 

 

Simple Vow Renewal Wedding Bands

vow renewal wedding bands

I finished up these simple and sweet vow renewal wedding bands last week and sent them on their way to a lovely couple this morning.  There is always a special feeling you get when making ceremonial jewelry.  There is a sense of duty and honor - not matter how simple the piece.   The couple wanted something in silver with a light hammered texture.   I have to respect knowing what you want and they knew for sure what they wanted; no stones, no engraving, no elaborate details...just the essence of love and unity. 

March “Meet the Maker” Can’t Live Without

There are a bit of things in my studio that I can't live without.  If I had to choose a few items right here, right now; the first would be my copy of Complete Metalsmith because I refer to it from time to time.   Second would be my copy of Creative Metal Forming; such fantastic book! Inspirational photos and projects to help you learn.  Third would be my copy of 1000 Rings;  it has been my favorite book in my studio for many years! Forth, is my rawhide mallet and my dapping block; my work, right now, consists of a lot of domed circles and these tools help make them.  And fifth; is my Optivisor; I quite quite a bit of fine detailing and these help me see tiny things, without eyestrain.   

If interested in more things that "I can't live without"; I wrote a post on jewelry books reading a while back; you can read about them here

Silver Sugar Spoon with Wood Bowl

I made this sterling silver sugar spoon with wood bowl last year.  The texture was hammered into the handle of the spoon and resembles woodgrain.  The soft milky white finish on the bowl of the spoon was achieved by raising the fine silver -  silversmithing process that I've been involve with for some time.  I love the contrast of the white fine silver paired with the polished edges and the texture.  I wanted to give the spoon a modern and natural feel using subtle yet contrasting details.  Adding the wood bowl seemed to be the perfect accessory!

March “Meet the Maker”: BRANDING + PACKAGING

BRANDING 

I truly enjoy branding for my business.  I design all of the marketing material for Bless the Theory myself.  It's a satisfying outlet from me that allows my creativity expressed in a different form.  I've got some new ideas for Bless the Theory in 2018 and have spent have spent hours if not days on playing around with concepts.   Because I have the tendency to happily get lost in this area of my business; I give myself time blocks when working on new marketing material.  

PACKAGING

There is a sense of accomplishment that I feel when packing up orders and sending them out into the world.  I try to imaging the joy that the acquirer will feel when the pieces is in there hands.  What they will were it with or how they will use it.  And this feeling brings much pleasure.  I believe that is part of what keeps motivated as a jeweler/metalsmith.  Yes, its exhilarating to dream up the work and make the work.  But nothing is more satisfying than letting go of the work…as to  give it a new life!

My packing process is much like my studio process; simple and thoughtful.  I make sure every piece that leaves my care is properly protected during shipping.  Jewelry is placed into soft black velvet jewelry bags; while utensils are wrapped in white tissue paper.  Both are jewelry and utensils are then wrapped a second time in bubble wrap and sealed with a Bless the Theory sticker.  I often insert a little note, to the new owner of my work, before sending the package on its way.

Simple and Sweet.  I'd like to think.