Friday, December 30, 2016

(Up)Setting the Stone: 2016 We Are SNAG Exhibition

I am very pleased to announce that one of my recent works was selected for the 2016 We Are Snag online exhibition "(Up)Setting the Stone". The exhibition was juried by George Sawyer and Laura Wood, and focuses on the concept of the setting in traditional jewelry as a technical process, conceptual idea, and abstraction to be manipulated and utilized in different ways within the field of contemporary jewelry and metalsmithing. I am truly humbled and honored to be included in such an amazingly talented and diverse group of artists and makers. I am grateful to the jurors for including me in this strong exhibition, check it out at SNAG/SPACE, the online exhibition space for the Society of North American Goldsmiths:

Monday, December 19, 2016

2017 Regional Artist Project Grant Recipient

I am very honored and excited to announce that I have been awarded a 2017 North Carolina Regional Artist Project Grant, through the Arts and Science Council of Charlotte, NC and the Union County Community Arts Council. My grant request was for the funds to purchase an oxygen/acetylene torch setup to be able braze and cast my sculptural forms and units for use in my jewelry and sculptural works. This was my first grant-writing experience, and the process was highly informative and rewarding, and allowed me to better understand and articulate my own thoughts about my work, creative practice, and artistic vision.

I will post more about the process in January once I receive the grant, get the equipment set up, and begin creating a series of 5 brand-new sculptural jewelry pieces and one outdoor sculpture. I look forward to documenting and writing about my creative process and studio practice as I create my first new series of lost-wax castings in over 5 years.

The Arts and Science Council received nearly 100 grant requests from the counties of Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Rutherford, Stanley, Union, and York (SC). In the end, 32 grant proposals were approved and funded. I am honored to be included in such a diverse and talented group of literary, performing, and visual artists. Check out the full list of artists and grants at:

This project was made possible by the N.C. Arts council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, the Blumenthal Endowment and the Union County Community Arts Council.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Found Object Spoon Necklaces

Chrome-Plated Bronze
9.5"H x 7.25"W x .5"D

This set of sculptural chrome-plated bronze necklaces is made from the re-purposed handles of vintage Dirilyte flatware. Dirilyte, (formerly known as Dirigold) was the trade name for a proprietary aluminum bronze alloy created in Sweden in 1914 by Carl Molin for flatware and serving pieces. It was designed to mimic the look of gold without resorting to plating or other coatings that would wear away with time. In 1935 the FTC filed a suit against the company alleging that the name "Dirigold" was misleading the public into believing there was actual gold content in the metal. The company changed both their name and the name of their product to Dirilyte, and operated independently in the United States till they were bought out in 1971.

When I first found out about Dirilyte and Dirigold flatware, I was excited to get my hand on it and see what I could do with the material, as bronze is one of my favorite materials to work with. I acquired several different pattern sets from resale shops and flea markets, and began experimenting with the flatware to see how it responded to annealing, forging, fabrication, and soldering. After playing around for some time, I came upon a simple but elegant use for the handles of one particular spoon and fork pattern. The bronze handles were deconstructed, forged, and ground into the desired links, and connected with soldered U-hinges that were fitted into counter-sunk holes drilled into the bronze for structural support. The larger necklace is a continuous loop that can can be put on over one's head, while the smaller necklace has a hook clasp hand-carved from the bronze material itself. I did an initial test piece for the clasp mechanism by manipulating a single spoon from the set, resulting in an interesting craft/art object that get utilized for further creative purposes in the future.

Detail of Sample Clasp Mechanism

Original Spoon, Clasp Test-Piece, and Forged/Manipulated Links