Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I love vintage photographic images. I enjoy rummaging through bins of photos at flea markets and antique stores. It always makes me a little sad, though, wondering why some family member doesn't have that precious photo...but then maybe nobody is left...no one left to straighten the bent corner...to blow the dust off...to remember. That's where I come in. When I use a vintage image in my artwork I always feel as though I am breathing a little new life into that memory that was a person. Maybe some day at some distant art show a customer will say..."Hey, that looks a lot like my great uncle Silas." Now that would be fun.
Here is a vintage image of a young boy that I found years ago in the bottom of a shoebox at an antique store. I was immediately captured by the image and especially loved the attitude...he didn't really want his picture taken that day...his pants were too tight ...or maybe it was his boots. Anyway, the pout almost undid me. For years I carried this picture around not knowing how to use it. Once I learned how to photo-etch on metal it became clear to me that images, like this one, would become an incredible resource for my artwork.
Using photoshop I spend a lot of time making an image etchable. Basically, I need clear crisp images that are high contrast. The image of this boy became one of my first pieces of jewelry...and still one of my favorites. I call this piece DAEDALUS AS A BOY. As I worked on the image I thought I was working on Icarus. I got more and more attached to the boy in the photo and finally could not bear the thought of him growing into a young man only to fall to his death in the sea because he flew to close too the sun...so the boy image became Daedalus ( the father of Icarus). Daedalus was an accomplished architect, inventor and craftsman.
For me this piece of jewelry is all about personal flight...about taking chances...about trying on our wings for size and fit. The wingspan is 5 inches and it stands 3.75 inches tall. The body is photo-etched sterling silver and the wings are copper. It comes on a 20 inch sterling silver snake chain.
IN THE BEGINNING...
After years of procrastination about needing a web presence (mainly a web site), I finally compromised and decided to start a blog. A web site may still be in my future but for now my intention is to use this blog to talk about my art and my life...seems like there is less and less of a separation between the two. I like that.
From my studio in Port Townsend, WA, I create sterling silver jewelry and narrative art boxes using a photo-etching technique. For the last 12 years I have been a sculptor and printmaker. The jewelry and the narrative boxes are the offspring of these two art forms. Each piece feels like a small sculpture and the etched surface is a direct product of printmaking. Pattern and texture become my palette more than color. I am also drawn to words and narrative and a good story. When I choose imagery for a new piece, I enjoy beginning a story that someone else gets to finish. My work might not be considered precious due to a lack of gems and gold but when a favorite piece is found at the back of the sock drawer three years lost, my hope is that the finder will feel as though they have discovered a treasure.
So enjoy the ride...bookmark this site...come visit from time to time...see what I'm working on.