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Hello and welcome to ART Talk, a series of conversations with the artists and master craftsman that make our world a more beautiful place. What inspires them to create? What does it take to make it in the world of handmade? Today I'm joined by artist, mother, small business owner, master craftsman, jeweler and nature lover Dina Varano. A graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, Dina has had a presence in the Connecticut River Valley for nearly thirty years. After spending several formative years living and studying in Italy, Dina settled into her studio, nestled deep in the woods surrounding her home and retail space in Chester, Connecticut. At her shop, that fittingly carries her name, Dina displays her stunning collection of jewelry and artwork as well as a mindfully curated collection of the works from other artists. She continues to draw inspiration from the natural beauty at her doorstep.
“I am inspired by nature. I study and explore through drawing in charcoal. My goal is to capture this essence and gesture in metal. I want to show the mark of my hand in each piece and achieve a rhythm of grace and movement. My parents are dancers, at an early age I learned the grace of rhythm and movement which has become a formative influence in my work. I want my jewelry to inspire and welcome play with the wearer.” ~Dina Varano
Our guest on Metalsmith Benchtalk on Thursday, April 2nd, 2015 at 3:00 pm PST is jeweler Todd Reed, best known for his innovative use of raw diamonds.
Please join us for this live interview and participate by logging onto the chatroom or by sending a message to Whaley Studios via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
In 1992, Todd introduced the aesthetic of the raw diamond to the fine jewelry industry. With designs that challenge the common perception of luxury jewelry, Todd's work is one-of-a-kind wearable art for the true individual.
Todd pulls inspiration from the endless beauty found in nature--the most intricate details of the natural world can spawn an entire collection. Since the beginning, Todd has been involved in every step of the process. All pieces are inspired, designed and hand-fabricated in Boulder, CO and Venice, CA with recycled metals and diamonds that have been purchased through reputable sources.
At a very young age, Todd Reed was introduced to the world of fine art. His mother, a renowned commercial illustrator, ensured that Todd’s childhood was filled with creative work. When Todd was 10 years old, he witnessed a silversmith at work, and it forever changed his perception of design. “I watched in awe as this man turned sheet metal into body adornment in what seemed to be a very short amount of time,” says Reed.
Throughout his adolescence and early adulthood, Todd was drawn to creative arts such as culinary arts, painting, sculpting, clothing design, leather work and eventually, jewelry design. While in his teens, he graduated from culinary school with a developed appreciation for process before result.
Visit www.toddreed.com for more information
Our guest on Metalsmith Benchtalk on January 15th, 2015 at 3:00 PST/ 5:00 CST is artist and jeweler Jesse Bert.
Please join us for this live interview and participate by sending us your questions via social media (via Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook ) or by logging onto the chat room.
Originally from the U.S, Jesse relocated to Mexico in 2006. With eleven years of experience as a jeweler, Jesse has a BFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from Rochester Institute of Technology, and an MFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from East Carolina University in North Carolina.
Jesse’s prefered work format is sculptural jewelry that incorporates recycled and found objects. Over the past five years Jesse has taught metalsmithing and jewelry techniques on a regular basis, to students of all skill levels, at his private studio in San Miguel de Allende, Gto. He also teaches annual workshops around Mexico as well as in other countries.
“When I am not teaching or working on new pieces, I love to be outside. I tend to my cactus collection or spend time exploring the Mexican countryside and hiking in the mountains.”
Visit his website and Facebook Page.
Our guest on Metalsmith Benchtalk on Thursday, January 8th, 2015 at 3:00 PDT/ 6:00 EDT is New Zealand jeweler and taxidermist Julia deVille.
We invite you to participate in this live interview by logging onto the char-room or sending a message to Whaley Studios via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
About Julia: Arriving in Australia from New Zealand on the cusp of adulthood, deVille trained as a jeweller and learned further crafting skills studying shoe design before her long hunt for a taxidermy mentorship was successful. Driven by a strong commitment to animal rights, deVille’s sculptural assemblages belie the heroic, trophy-hunting culture associated with mounting dead animals. In a form of gentle protest she combines precious gems and metals with antique ‘ready-mades’ to challenge our disregard for and consumption of both wild and domesticated fauna.
Commissioned by Hobart’s MONA to create a permanent installation in 2011, deVille also won the City of Hobart Art Prize in 2012. She has taken out the People’s Choice Award in the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize twice, and in 2006 her work was included in the MCA’s important Primavera survey exhibition. deVille’s work was acquired by the National Gallery of Victoria in 2012. She exhibits regularly in Australia and overseas.
Our guest on Metalsmith Benchtalk on Thursday, March 12th, 2015 at 3:00 pm PST is French Canadian jewelry artist Matthieu Cheminee.
Please join us for this live interview and participate by logging onto the chat room or by sending a message to Whaley Studios via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
“I was born in Paris and at the age of 19 moved to Taos, New Mexico, where I started learning jewellery making from Navajo, Hopi and Zuni silversmiths. Seven years later I moved to Mali, West Africa where I studied with Touareg and Bambara jewellers for several years.
I then established myself in Montreal where I joined a jewellery school to learn a more classical view of the trade. Since my arrival there I have been making jewellery and selling it in galleries and shows throughout Canada and the United States. For the past seven years I have been teaching jewellery at a professional school.
For many years now, I have been working to give back to the West African jewellers who taught me and have given me so much. One of the ways I have been doing this is through a teaching collaboration. I have been filming old techniques in Guinea, Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso and then creating a course from those videos. I offer these classes in Montreal and split the proceeds with the African jeweller. The revenue created by this equitable collaboration is leading to formidable changes in the lives of these wonderful and skilful jewellers.
I have also been giving many conferences on West African jewellers, their techniques and their day-to-day lives. My hope is to open a jewellery school in Guinea in the near future.”
in Pop Culture
Hr1 Do you know which cities rank the worst and who they're run by? Forget about Party affiliation. This is a problem with the management style.
Jesse Watters interviews college students after Elizabeth Warren's speech. Did they know who she was? Not so much.
Andrea Nelson, from the Clover Agency, joins Joe to discuss recent news events that you probably won't hear anywhere else.
Introducing looker... Caitlyn Jenner. Thoughts?
Christian jeweler can't win... makes custom rings for lesbian couple, then forced to refund non-refundable deposit. Damned if you, damned if you don't!
How long is too long to breastfeed... in public?
Hr2 Yes, everyone CAN run for President, but not everyone SHOULD! Do we really need this many candidates??? At this point, I'm thinking only successful Governors should run for President. No more Senators. We need Executive leadership!
Sec. of State John Kerry's bike accident.
Democrat Congresswoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney thinks requiring gun insurance will reduce gun-related deaths. Silly Dem. Laws don't change behavior of thugs. They're criminals! Anti-gun laws only hurt law-abiding citizens.
Michelle Obama says blacks should always vote Democrat no matter who's on the ballot.
listener calls. Corporate crime vs. street crime.
Hr3 AG Loretta Lynch says schools are the problem causing inner city crime. Oh, you mean the schools whose hands we tied by not allowing them to discipline children?
President Obama says we are a stronger nation now than ever. How are we as a nation stronger now? Our former allies don't even trust us anymore. We have more unemployment, more poverty, and have amassed more debt than every president combined.
Have you had your healthy dose of reality lately?
Join us for another record-breaking episode of UrbanJunglesRadio as we get a visit by artist/jeweler Oscar Reduncido of Biological Jewels who will discuss the craft and inspirations from nature behind his amazing jewelry and sculptures. Oscar is well-known for the articulated rattle snake rattle that Danny wears and so much more! Then we'll check in with Associate Producer Kaeden Miller who will update us live from Texas at the International Herpetological Symposium! We'll find out what good ths weekend and so much more...as usual UJR does not disappoint so listen in!
Our guest on Metalsmith Benchalk on Thursday, May 14th, 2015 at 3:00 pm PST is metalsmith and jeweler April Wood.
Please join us for this live interview and participate by logging into the chat-room or by sending a message to Whaley Studios via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
April Wood received her BFA in Studio Art-Metals from Texas State University in San Marcos and her MFA from Towson University. She is a co-founder of the Baltimore Jewelry Center, where she teaches and manages the studio. Prior to her work with the Baltimore Jewelry Center, she taught at the Maryland Institute College of Art, the Corcoran College of Art and Design, Texas State University – San Marcos, Towson University, Penland School of Crafts, and Idyllwild Arts. She exhibited her work as part of the Jackalope Collective at SIERAAD International Art Jewelry Fair in Amsterdam in November 2013. In 2012, she had a solo exhibition at the Austin Museum of Art and from 2009 to 2012, her work was part of a traveling exhibition of contemporary feminist art entitled A Complex Weave: Women and Identity in Contemporary Art. She has been the recipient of three Maryland State Art Council Individual Artist Awards (2009 – Sculpture, 2010 - Works on Paper, 2012 – Crafts). Her work has been published in Metalsmith, Surface Design Journal, and Sculpture magazines.
Learn more about April by visiting her website or Facebook Page.
My guest this Thursday, July 26th at 3 p.m. PDT on MetalSmith BenchTalk is David LaPlantz (aka D. D. Deco), an active, producing jeweler and metalsmith. He flirts back and forth between jewelry and social commentary sculpture.
About: David LaPlantz is included in Who’s Who in American Art and Who’s Who in the West and was named Humboldt State University’s “Outstanding Professor” in 1981. He received a Fulbright Grant in 1985 to travel throughout New Zealand to conduct master jewelry workshops, and received the Humboldt State University “Scholar of the Year” Award in 1994.
From 1967 through 2002, LaPlantz led an energetic dual life as both a full time jewelry and metalsmithing teacher and full time studio artist. Balancing his precious time between the two, he carved out a career comprised of imparting knowledge and creating art jewelry and sculpture, while trying to retain his sanity. LaPlantz is currently a full time studio artist living on the high desert of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
LaPlantz has always been an active, productive jeweler and metalsmith. His most recent jewelry involves the use of Vegetable Ivory (tagua nut) and /or industrially painted aluminum, which he engraves, stacks and cold connects together. LaPlantz’s sculptural pieces visually explore more political and philosophical topics such as blacklisting in the entertainment industry, payola scandals in the music industry and in radio, along with the “spoken word” as demonstrated in his ‘Art Microphones.’
For more information, visit http://laplantzstudios.com/.
My guest on Thursday, June 5th at 3 p.m. PDT on MetalSmith BenchTalk will be artist, craftsman, and jeweler Jim Grahl of J.Grahl Design.
About: My name is Jim Grahl. I'm nearing 65 years old, 48 of those years have been continuously devoted to jewelry and industrial design. My training initiated with a Los Angeles workshop that was the contract (or outsource) manufacturer for Van Cleef and Arpels, Gump's, Pierre Touraine and many others that were the foundation of the West Coast's fine Art~Jewelry establishment. I have formal apprenticeships in Pave' setting (Gerardo Terranova) and ancillary training in platinum-smithing, machining, and antique musical restoration.
My personal business (J.Grahl Design) was founded at the outset and has been in continuous operation for 47 years. (as of 2011). I'm a maker-builder at heart. All of the items shown in the photographs and illustrations here, on "Custom Made", are exactly that... Custom Made. You will see many cross over categories in metal, wood, glass and illustration-art. I am deeply involved with both vintage autos and surfing, so items relating to those topics are exposed here as well. There are generally a few of my projects available for live viewing at the Museum at the Gemological Institute of America as well as The San Diego Natural History Museum.
Our range of services is extensive. Our experience includes designing, photography, prototyping, project development, and jewelry fabrication. In addition, we also have experience with mechanical music mechanisms, illustration, computer engineering and design development (CAD), restoration of jeweled items and consulting.
For more information, visit: http://www.jgrahldesign.com/.
My guest on Thursday, May 15th at 3 p.m. PDT on MetalSmith BenchTalk will be Marc Choyt, the Director of Fair Jewelry Action, USA and President of Reflective Images.
About Marc: Marc is a social entrepreneur and President of Reflective Images Inc, a designer jewelry company located in Santa Fe, New Mexico which has won several awards for excellence and converted its entire production to recycled precious metal. In addition to producing designer Celtic jewelry, Reflective Images focuses on artisan sourcing/production and was the first company in the US to offer a broad range of fair trade gold wedding and engagement rings.
About Reflective Images: Helen Chantler and Marc Choyt, a husband and wife team, started our company in 1995. Previously, Marc was an English teacher at a school for Native Americans. Helen was a jeweler working for another company. The company grew tremendously and at one point, we were selling our jewelry in hundreds of stores and catalogs in North America. Since 2009, we have been focusing on our websites and our Santa Fe jewelry store.
To learn more, visit: http://www.celticjewelry.com/ or http://www.artisanweddingrings.com/.
Fair Jewelry Action (FJA) is a Human Rights and Environmental Justice Network within the jewellery sector. FJA promotes ethical and fair trade jewellery practices by advocating traceability and transparency in the jewellery supply chain. The CRED Foundation is providing developmental support for FJA as an autonomous organisation as it delivers activities in accordance with CRED’s charitable aims and objectives.
To learn more, visit: http://www.fairjewelry.org.
Our guest on Metalsmith Benchtalk on Thursday, March 26th, 2015 at 3:00 pm PST is award winning jeweler and metalsmith George Sawyer.
We welcome your participation! Log into the chatroom or send a message to Whaley Studios via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter if you have a question for George during the interview!
George Sawyer is the Society of North American Goldsmith’s winner of this year’s Award of Excellence in Jewelry and Metal. He is the originator and internationally recognized master of gold mokume gane or "wood-grain metal".
George Sawyer designs Mirror ImageTM wedding and commitment rings, earrings, pendants, men's jewelry, custom pieces and other unique wearable fine art.
Looking at George Sawyer’s mesmerizing work is like gazing at clouds – you can see almost anything: water, wood, silk.
“I have always loved the refinement, color and subtlety of Japanese art. Here are some historic pieces of Japanese art metalwork, all
relating to the art of the sword, that have inspired my work.The pieces have a wonderful harmony of composition, color,
sculptural shape and fulfillment of purpose.”
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