Over the past number of years I have embarked on my artistic calling. My mother had always encouraged my artistic tendencies, but I dismissed that as a career path for me because how could I ever make a living at it!!! Oh how foolish I was. Now I am making up for lost time and perhaps this really was the way things were meant to be. I have life lessons and experience to make my art be what it was meant to be now.
I knew since the early ’80s that glass was my medium. However, some form of metal work was always connected with that….lead, solder, copper foil, zinc. I didn’t put the relationship together, in terms of that “ah ha!” moment until the last 30 days. And now it makes sense. Sometimes it takes me a while to put the pieces together…does that ever happen for you?
On the weekend of June 13 – 14, 2009, I took my first Art Jewelry Design Workshop from Lexi Erickson. It was an intense two day workshop that covered a semester’s worth of instruction. On Day 2, I started to see designs for new pieces in many places. Lexi said this would happen. Even though I was a little shocked by the process starting so soon, I enjoyed that it had started to happen and it continues with ideas exploding in my mind on a daily basis now. Journals for those ideas are becoming vitally important. Sometimes I have trouble getting things down on paper as I picture them in my mind. I know with practice my drawing ability will improve and I will be able to put on paper what I see in my mind.
There aren’t many times when a special relationship starts. However, something happened the first time I met Lexi was at the sneak preview weekend for Coyote Creek Studio Arts, on May 16, 2009. We had an instant connection and now we have a friendship that is growing. Lexi is my mentor. I have the greatest respect and admiration for her. And she is a dear, dear friend.
Last Wednesday, July 8, 2009, I had my first lesson with her since that weekend workshop at Coyote Creek in Fairplay, Colorado. I prepared two pendants and learned how to set a bezel on a textured surface. With Lexi’s guidance, I learned this technique and will need to continue to practice it. Here are pictures of those completed pendants. To me they show promise of where my work is today and a knowledge of where it can grow with continued work on my part.
Last night, Lexi invited me to meet her friend Helen Driggs who is in town for the CoMA Conference that will take place in Salida, Colorado this weekend. It was such a fun evening. My great fortune to be invited and have the opportunity listen to two very talented metalsmiths discussing their passion for the medium, the art, their work. Amazing stuff. That’s Lexi…sharing, giving, open. And I realize that I am a fledgling with a burning desire to learn all I can about working with metal. It will take time and patience. Trial and error on my part.
So this morning I was thinking about the mystical qualities of metal work. Right now it seems quite mystical for me…. almost magical…which led me to create this blog. Mystical Mythical Metalwork. Yes, a lot of words, however they just kept rolling over and over in my mind. Mystical because there is so much mystery to the metal for me. I have to discover how to employ the different means of working with metal. Mythical…because I think about those wonderful myths surrounding metal…like The Legend of King Arthur…drawing the sword from the stone or the Elves ethereal metal for the sword from The Lord of the Rings. One of my goals and aspirations is to create metal work that has that mythical quality about it. And the last word, Metalwork, well that’s pretty obvious….it’s about the METAL!!!
Metal is a somewhat new medium for me to work with, but in my stained glass work, it has always been there…either through the solder, the copper foil that holds the piece together, or the lead channel (if that is how I built a window), or the zinc frame to stabilize a window. Metal was always a part of my glass process…this was my ah ha! realization moment that Metal is a much a part of my work as Glass. Last year I learned how to incorporate metal inclusions in my fused glass works. For my glass jewelry, I wire wrapped it to distinguish it even more and make each piece truly unique. So yes, metal is an integral part of my work, I just never realized it until recently.
This blog will focus on my journey as a fledgling metalsmith. I plan to grow and someday look back on this moment in time with a sense of accomplishment about where I was as I started this journey and where it led me. I hope you will enjoy following me and sharing this journey with me.