Lake Scugog Spring Studio Tour – May 4-5, 2013

Lake Scugog Spring Studio Tour – May 4-5, 2013


radiant-circle-necklace-lowreslogo-jpg I’m pleased to be participating in this year’s Lake Scugog Spring Studio Tour, May 4-5, 2013.

This year’s tour brings together the work of 28 artists at 15 different locations in and around Port Perry, Ontario.   Eight  new artists are joining the tour this year and I am once again being welcomed as a Guest Artist at the studio of Cathy Mark, 25 Glasford Road, Little Britain (location 1 on the tour map).

For further information about the other artists participating in the tour and a downloadable map, please visit the LSSST website.  The tour brochure is also available at local galleries, hotels and tourist information offices in Durham Region.

Come out for a drive and self-guided tour to Port Perry, located just one hour northeast of Toronto!

Exhibition – Surfacing: OFF THE PAGES

Surfacing Magazine, Durham Region’s guide to the arts and culture,  launched in Autumn 2008.  It is celebrating its fourth year and the publication of its Autumn 2012 issue with an exhibition at Whitby’s Station Gallery.

The exhibition, “Surfacing: OFF THE PAGES“, brings together a selection of  works by some of the 100 artists, writers and craftspeople who have been featured in the magazine.

My jewellery was featured in Spring / Summer 2012, and I am pleased to be able to contribute one piece to the exhibition.

The Station Gallery takes its name in honor of the former Grand Trunk Railway Station which is now its home.  The building was slated for demolition before  Whitby Arts Inc., a group of arts enthusiasts, purchased and moved it to its present locationat 1450 Henry St in Whitby  in 1971 .  The gallery has served as a community arts centre for over 35 years.  After an extensive renovation, it has now expanded to almost 10,000 square feet of exhibit, studio, collection storage and administrative space.

Surfacing:  OFF THE PAGES
September 8 to October 14, 2012
Opening Reception, September 8 at 1 p.m.
Curator’s Walk & Talk, September 20




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Breathe Scent Box (2011)
Copper, fine silver, sterling silver
Constructed, coiled, woven, cold-joined
H: 2.0 cm x W: 2.6 cm x D: 2.96 cm

Alright… I’m back… sort of…

I got hit with a perfect storm of personal and professional chaos in May, and my weekly postings to YOJ were the casualty. *sigh*

This piece, created for the upcoming HSTA Faculty Exhibition, is the only wire my hands have touched in the last month. It’s one of those pieces that has had to lend itself to being picked up and put down frequently while I deal with other pressures.

This year’s theme is “Breathe”. Years ago, during a conversation with a friend about being overworked and looking forward to a time when we’d be able to come up for air, I deadpanned “Breathing is overrated,” and then quipped about how that would make a really good epitaph for my headstone. The comment laid us both completely flat with laughter.

She reminded me of the conversation a couple of weeks ago when we were talking about all the “stuff” going on in our lives. This time she made the observation that it just seems to be part of my nature to throw myself into lots of projects at the same time. It’s true. I thrive on deadlines. However I’ve noticed a change in the last year or so in how I’m reacting: I seem to have developed insomnia. I regularly wake up after only a few hours of sleep, unable to shut off my brain, which spins with thoughts of all the things I need to get done.

I’ve come to realize that I do, in fact, need to breathe and relax.

This insight was reinforced as I was transcribing an interview I did with Dee Fontans, who teaches in the Jewellery Metals Program at Alberta College of Art & Design. We talked about the need to find balance between work and play, about re-energizing and feeding the muse. It’s something she struggles with as much as anyone else. 1

So, I’ve recently started making a more conscientious effort to slow down, go for bike rides, and take notice of Spring. And breathe.

With the lilac and lavender in my front yard coming into bloom, giving off a wonderful perfume, my thoughts focused on how to carry that scent with me. I continue to be obsessed with containers, so I decided I would make a little box for holding a sachet of herbs or perfumed salts. Lavender, in particular, is supposed to be good for helping with relaxation and sleep.

One thing I wanted to experiment with was patterning. Years ago when I visited the Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico, I was really impressed with the patterns the inhabitants carved and painted onto their pottery. Likewise, I was struck by the patterning on the First Nations baskets I saw in BC. I was able to incorporate a triangular pattern on the rim of the bottom half through a structural change in the coiling of the basket. Because I knew it was going to spin while being worn, I also added decorative elements on the base and top. So there’s lots going on.

Of course, now that this piece is done, I have ideas for a half dozen other pieces, but those will have to wait.

I still have to catch my breath.

The Haliburton School of The Arts Faculty Exhibition 2011 will take place from July 2 to August 5, 2011 at the Rails End Gallery & Arts Centre, 23 York St., Haliburton, Ontario. Faculty will participate in a weekly meet & greet at the gallery on Tuesdays from 4:30-6:00 p.m.

  1. My interview with Dee Fontans will appear in the 2011: Two “College Review” issue of MAGazine, which is scheduled for release later this month. The audio of the interview will be available online after the issue comes out.

PASSAGE: HSTA Faculty Exhibition – June 30-July 30, 2010

There are times when a call for entry with a specific theme is put out and I draw a complete blank.  I go through all kinds of contortions trying to come up with some sort of inspiration, and then what I end up with looks equally tortured! So I was really excited when, upon finding out out last summer that the theme for this year’s HSTA Faculty Exhibition was going to be “Passage”, I immediately had an idea.

A former boss made the comment to me once that we are all dependent on the products of mining:  “If it can’t be grown, it has to be mined,” he said.  While this statement could almost be considered a universal truth, it is particularly true for jewelers.

I wanted to show a piece through various stages of its development – the passage from ore to granule, from granule to ingot, from ingot to wire, from wire to jewelry.

Having attended a number of fine craft exhibitions during my time with The Metal Arts Guild of Canada, one thing that has always struck me is how jewellers have dealt with the issue of effectively displaying something so small.

The first MAG show I attended, Behind Glass (2000), directly challenged the problem by asking everyone to display their pieces in shadow boxes.  The pieces I remember were a silhouette of a person – a brooch in silver – attached to a picture of a beach, to give the illusion of it standing at the water’s edge.  Another entry was a ring topped by a tiny sewing machine displayed in front of a old photograph of the artist’s grandmother, who loved to sew.

At the most recent exhibition, MAGC 2067:  Crafting the Future, several of the artists included supplementary props with their pieces.  Anne Lumsden’s piece was displayed over a bed of zebra mussel shells.  Rosalyn Woo’s award winning brooch, “Dear Linda” was envisioned as a birthday gift for its fictitious namesake, and included the “letter” written by the “maker”, Jacob.  Some might argue that the props detracted from the work – turning them into sculpture rather than jewelry – but for me, it added visual interest and helped to put the pieces into the context of the scenarios they were made to represent.

So, for this year’s HSTA Faculty Exhibition, I decided to approach my submission as jewelry cum sculpture.  The pinnacle of the Passage – and the piece that took the longest to construct – is the torus bangle.  Despite my ravings last year after a previous attempt at a torus, the thought of trying again appealed to me.

diannetheprincesswarrior-mini My six year old is currently obsessed with all things LEGO and Star Wars, so when I got the tube to the final length (18″/45 cm) I decided to have a little fun, and took a picture of myself in my best Jedi Princess Warrior pose.

My wonderful handyman husband whipped up a wooden drawplate with large holes for me.  (He loves it when I give him an excuse to buy tools!)  After drawing, the length of the tube was over 40″ (101 cm). The reason I made it that long was to give me extra material in case I had to try again.

The technique for making a seamless join is called kitchener stitching.  It’s a common knitting technique for adding pockets to sweaters, or fingers to mittens, etc.  It’s tricky to do in wire, because the wire work hardens very quickly and the join tends to have a bit of a bulge.

Passage:  From Ore to Jewelry (2010) Passage: From Ore to Jewelry (2010) Part 4 of 4, Torus; Sterling silver, 1.3 cm dia. tube, 8.5 cm OD; Viking knit, kitchener stitching.I made two attempts at tori before finally working out an effective way of keeping the seam from being visible.

The casting grain and ingots gave me an opportunity to feed my own tool fetish:  I now have a new ingot mold! *grin*

The silver ore came from a vendor at the Bancroft Gemboree last year.  Unfortunately, no locality info was included with the specimen, so I don’t know if the source is a Canadian mine.

The mahogany display blocks play an integral role in delineating the passage through the stages.

I am grateful to be able to work with metal and to make wearable art, and so my submission to the HSTA Faculty Exhibition is really about paying homage.

Passage:  From Ore to Jewelry (2010) Passage: From Ore to Jewelry (2010) Silver ore, slabbed; Ingot, sterling silver, cast, 6.844 g; Ingot, sterling silver, cast, forged, drawn, 7.992 g; Grains, 18.43 g, sterling silver, cast; Torus, sterling silver, viking knit, kitchener stitching, 1.3 cm tube, 8.5 cm OD; Diplays, mahogany wood, danish oil finish, various sizes

Passage:  From Ore to Jewelry (2010)
Silver ore, slabbed
Grains, 18.43 g, sterling silver, cast
Ingot, sterling silver, cast, 6.844 g
Ingot, sterling silver, cast, forged, drawn, 7.992 g
Torus, sterling silver, viking knit, kitchener stitching, 1.3 cm tube, 8.5 cm OD
Displays, mahogany wood, danish oil finish, various sizes

Every piece of jewelry is the end of a journey.  The metal forms as ore deep underground.  It is mined, extracted and formed into granules, then melted and cast into ingots.  The ingots are compressed and made into a usable shape.  In this case, it was drawn into wire, then knitted into a torus.

We see and admire only the final form, and acknowledge only the artist whose name is attached to it; yet the piece has been touched by many hands.  I wanted to recognize and thank those who labour behind the scenes to bring my jewelry into being.


PASSAGE: HSTA Faculty Exhibition
Rails End Gallery & Arts Centre
23 York Street
Haliburton, Ontario, K0M 1S0
June 30 – July 30, 2009

New Exhibition: “Contain – Vessels and the Art of Containment”

Contain - Vessels and the Art of Containment Contain - Vessels and the Art of Containment June 5 to July 17, 2010 Luke & Eloy Gallery 5169 Butler Pittsburg, PA

I’m pleased to announce that Shiva’s Pomander has been accepted for exhibition in “Contain – Vessels and the Art of Containment” at the Luke & Eloy Gallery in Pittsburgh, PA.  The exhibition opens on June 5, 2010 and will continue until July 17.

Shiva’s Pomander was previously exhibited as part of the HSTA Faculty Show “Vessel” at the Rail’s End Gallery in 2009.

It will be on display along with the work of 37 other talented artists.

CONTAIN – Vessels and the Art of Containment
Luke & Eloy Gallery
5169 Butler
Pittburgh, PA

Opening:  June 5, 2010  11 a.m – 5 p.m.

YOJ09-41 Goddess Jewels

YOJ09-41 Goddess Jewels (2009) YOJ09-41 Goddess Jewels (2009); Constructed, cold joined; Sterling silver, Preciosa crystal.Goddess Jewels (2009)
Constructed, cold joined
Sterling silver, Preciosa crystal

The opening of the Metal Arts Guild of Canada exhibition “MAGC 2067 – Crafting the Future”, held on November 7 at Arta Gallery in Toronto, was a costume ball.  In connection with the theme of the show, people were encouraged to dress up in character.

I originally planned to wear a costume, but then, in the week before the opening, the issue I had been dealing with in my personal life came to a head.  Although able to attend, I didn’t have the emotional or physical energy to dress up.

My character was “an acolyte of the Goddess” – a jewellery maker for a matriarchal society devoted to worshiping a Gaia-centred deity.  As part of the costume, I made a couple of “Goddess Jewels”.  These are very loosely based on Bajoran earrings, of Star Trek fame.  My version has a chain of handmade spirals, two Preciosa crystal drops, because I love dangles and sparklies, and is worn via an earcuff on the centre of the ear, and a spiral earwire through the lobe.

I used to wear these a lot, and had forgotten how much fun they are.  It’s been several years since I made one.  Usually only worn on the left side, this time I wanted the pair.  Someone took this photo of me at the opening, where you can see one of them.  The whole set of photos from the show is worth a peek.

“Moonrise” accepted for MAGC Exhibition!

I’m pleased and excited to announce that my piece “Moonrise” was accepted for The Metal Art Guild of Canada’s national juried exhibition “MAG 2067 – Crafting the Future”!

The piece will be on display along with the work of other Canadian metalsmiths and visual artists at Arta Gallery in Toronto’s Distillery District from October 31-November 19, 2009.  The jurors for the show were:  Sandra Noble Goss, metalsmith/jeweller, long-time MAG member and 2000 Steel Trophy Winner; Jay Ingram, host of Discovery Channel’s “Daily Planet”; and Bob McDonald, host of CBC’s “Quirks and Quarks”.

The exhibition explores what Canada will look like in 2067 – will we have achieved utopia, or will we be living a nightmare?  Artists were given five scenarios from which to choose, and were asked to create a piece that reflected a particular possible future.

MAG 2067 – Crafting the Future
Arta Gallery
Building 9, Unit 102
Distillery District
Toronto, Ontario
October 31-November 19, 2009

Opening reception: November 7, 2009, 5-7 p.m.

Zilberschmuck Retrospective April 19-May 30, 2009, at Shao Design, Toronto

I’m pleased to announce that two of my pieces will be included as part of a Zilberschmuck Retrospective, being held concurrently with “Connection”, the 5th annual National Juried Exhibition of Canadian Fine Jewellery and Metalwork.

The tiara and necklace were originally shown in 2004 as part of a Toronto Fashion Week event showcasing the bridal and couture designs of Karen Kelly.  That event was hosted by Zilberschmuck Art Jewellery and featured the jewellery of gallery artists.

“Connection” and the Retrospective will exhibit from April 19 to May 30, 2009 at Shao Design, 55 Mill Street, Building 9, Distillery District, Toronto (located at the south parking lot off Parliament Street).

KK Bridal Tiara Opera Necklace