Friday, May 15, 2009

A Metal Edge

Vintage Vocabulary Necklace by Joonwalk, with quality metal ball chain

Last weekend I attended the Inspired Artist Workshop in Charlotte NC. This workshop is developed by Donna Downey annually, and each time I attend I am stretched into very uncomfortable places - I stress before the event because the classes are things I don't think I am interested in, things I don't think I will enjoy. I attend because I know it is good to get out of my comfort zone. And every year I learn about new arts and techniques that I didn’t know before and that I never would have tried otherwise.

This year was no different – I did some fine art (yes, I painted a FACE on a Canvas!) and some sewing (who KNEW I could actually work the sewing machine for more than a minute on a zig zag stitch from one of Sue Bleiweiss journal classes?) and some polymer clay beadwork. I learned new techniques for scrapbooking and for creating on various mediums – and my most favorite of all the new works was what I learned in the metal working class.

My husband works in metal and has always told me that it is a very cool medium, quite forgiving. But I have never been interested in metal – I am in fiber love at the moment, and have a hard time not spending time at the spinning wheel.

My metal working class was with Cheryl Darrow of Ten Seconds Studio, and it was a real revelation, for several reasons. Cheryl is as honest and direct as a person can be. She said what she meant, meant what she said, and made us all laugh with her direct approach to answering questions. She told us funny stories of people just learning about metal work, and even funnier stories of people who failed to read or pay attention to all the directions associated with metal work. She showed us fascinating art works. And she taught us how to make surprising art from metal ourselves. These photographs of some of her art are from her blog.

Life is not measured - Cheryl Darrow

She also inspired us to be in the moment when she talked about how Ten Seconds Studio got its name – she shared a very personal experience and talked about her close call with Cancer about three years ago, before she and her daughter started their company. The experience brought her to the realization that, as she puts it - Life is about Ten Seconds Long, so we need to LIVE Every Second of it.

Deep Thoughts Journal - Cheryl Darrow

She talked about being inspired in a very candid way – you can read some of her thoughts on her web site. Through the entire course she inspired us – to enjoy ourselves, to take no prisoners in our creativity, to be brave with new techniques and mediums, and she reminded us to grow and learn in every minute.

I feel very privileged to have taken her class and to have learned about a new art form that I am planning to incorporate into my other works – yet I am still not as confident as I would like. And so, I checked out our BBEST team for more inspiration and to see where others were using metal, working with metal, or incorporating the idea of metal work into their other products. I found some great examples of interesting and (as always) creative and works from our team! Take a look at these fab metalworks - or how our artistic teammates incorporated metallic ideas into other interesting works of art and creativity!

At the top of this blog is a fun Vintage Vocabulary Necklace by Joonwalk, with a great metal ball chain. LOVE IT.

And then we have this very cool metallic gun metal and gold Stoneware tea trinket storage jar by Pearl at FehuStoneware. The metallic finish really provides a great shine!

Check out the absolutely stunning Spring Bloodroot Leaf Pendant made from fine silver from the talented hands of Hemlock Hollow.

And what a fun Sparkly Purple Bracelet we find in OneDogTalking's shop! Love the metal charms!

Susan Lambert provides metal kits for doing lampwork, like this silver disc and headpin for lampwork beads. What a beautiful tool!

And what lovely earrings with a Native American Sterling Silver Ingot and Turquoise from Joni Stinson. Love those designs.

Liz Plummer has an interesting incorporation of metallic texture and sheen on her Medieval city Journal. She achieved that incredible metal look by the creative use of embossing powder in her design.

And Christine of Chris1 has many metal offerings incorporated with fabulous glass designs in her shop, including this stunning metal and glass Squares and Rectangles framed artwork.

I would like to encourage each of you to give some metallic thoughts space to grow in your art work - or at least to be inspired by the fun and fantastic work of our talented team mates!


Judy Nolan said...

This is a wonderful post that talks about the importance of getting outside of your comfort zone. Great examples of the use of metal, too. Thanks, Kimberly!

Chrissie said...

What a thoughtful and well-illustrated post, thank you Kim!

Jackie at FabTWD said...

Great post! I like the idea of stretching ourselves into different mediums...thanks so much.

Jean Levert Hood said...

Gorgeous stuff! Wow! And that must have been a fascinating workshop. Very lovely post!

Chauncey said...

Wild, this is a fabby post. So fun to stretch your mind by learning something new.

Jill said...

Great post. Thank you.

Fused Glass said...

Great post Kim and thanks for including my work!

Beth said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this feature

Pam said...

This was such an interesting and thought provoking post in many ways, and I absolutely love the art you have chosen to share.

Sixsisters said...

Fabulous blog Kim .

gloria said...

Thank you thank you! What a great show to be a part of! Metal is fun!

joon said...

wild, what a wonderful feature. I love the story behind Ten Seconds. I try to live by the 3 days to live rule, which asks if you were told you had 3 days to live, how would you spend that time? Why wait for your last 3 days. They could be now.

Thank you for featuring one of my items. Love everything you chose. Great variety & range of metal use.

On a Whimsey said...

What a great post! We could all do with coming out of our comfort zones!