Its been almost a year since the Racine Art Museum’s Terra Nova Exhibition and Symposium. One of the challenges I came away with from that weekend was to take my work up a notch.
During the year before RAM, I was playing with how to use polymer to make jewelry without any other materials or findings. During this period I worked out how to make polymer split rings, Ndebele influenced wrap collars, and slinky bracelets.
After RAM, I came home and started to really push the idea of using polymer for its inherent strengths. As I worked, I noticed that the new formulations of polymer have slightly different characteristics from the old clays. This led to a new study of the structural characteristics of the different brands.
The structural studies influenced my design and construction process. One thing I learned right away – the pieces always morphed. After imagining and sketching for awhile, I would go into the studio with a certain idea in mind and emerge with a totally different, and usually much better, piece. This happened over and over again and its still happening.
I applied for, and was awarded, a Regional Arts and Culture Council professional development grant to fund an artist website. The grant allowed me the luxury to have my work photographed as I tried out new designs and resulted in an amazing collaboration over the past year between myself, Courtney Frisse, the photographer, and Monica, the model and my daughter. The grant also covered site development by Jess Taylor, whose classical training as an oil painter, and elegant eye, influenced all the site design decisions.
In response to a call for entry for the Society of North American Goldsmiths first virtual exhibit, The Body Adorned, I created an edgy (for me!) piece titled “Espalier” which took the work in a whole new direction.
The results are up on my new website. The site is not quite in its final form – just a few tweaks left to do – but I wanted to get it out this week. I still have one more photo shoot in November as part of the RACC grant. Not sure how the work will morph between now and then. Stay tuned!
Courtney Frisse | Jess Taylor | New Website