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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.
My guest on Thursday, April 17th at 3 p.m. PDT on MetalSmith BenchTalk will be jeweler, designer, and educator Jayne Redman.
About: “Nature provides an endless reference for imagination and invention. The linear quality of stems and the fullness of flower buds inspire my jewelry. I enjoy integrating mechanics with design, allowing each piece to function in a visually intriguing way. I work with multiples of the same shape, engineering them to fit precisely, giving an abstract interpretation of their botanical source. Many years of metalsmithing have taught me the power of simplicity. My forms begin as flat metal shapes and arrive as small sculptures. Their complexity is in their conception as curving planes of origami.”
Jayne Redman earned her B.F.A. in Jewelry and Silversmithing from Maine College of Art in 1977. She began her career in New York as a design and production assistant in the fashion jewelry industry. She started her company, Jayne Redman Jewelry, in 1982. Jayne began developing the Floraforms™ Collection in 1995. In 1998, the American Craft Council selected a piece from her collection as “representative of the quality of work found at all ACC events” to use in advertising their wholesale markets.
Jayne has been featured in articles for Crafts Report, AJM, Lapidary Journal, Professional Jeweler, Niche, and Ornament magazines as well as a number of books. Jayne is a former faculty member of the Maine College of Art Department of Jewelry and Metals and teaches workshops nationally. She maintains a studio in southern Maine and is represented by fine jewelry and craft stores across the country.
To learn more about Jayne, visit: http://www.jayneredmanjewelry.com.
My guest on Thursday, May 1st at 3 p.m. PDT on MetalSmith BenchTalk will be jeweler, enamelist, metalsmith, artist, and naturalist David C. Freda.
Abou David: “Among the first images created by man were those of animals. One cannot trace the history of art without reference to the animal image. Since prehistoric times, the animal world has provided man the imagery by which to visually illuminate important aspects of himself and his life. The animal image provides a universal language that all cultures can share. Until the extinction of the last species, man will draw upon the animal world for inspiration.
I also probe the world of animals for my imagery. Bird watching, taxidermy, falconry, scuba diving, rock climbing, mountain biking, and numerous other adventuresome activities have educated me enabling me to express the natural world in an artistic sense. My forms are a distillation of these experiences. Some compositions feature realistic “renderings” of animal forms while others are abstractions suggesting a particular theme and create from it an unexpected or surprising result.
To obtain this, I often juxtapose the animal image or abstraction using ancient processes with twentieth century materials such as fine metals, vitreous enamels, aluminum, acrylic, niobium, and so on, while maintaining the sense of a natural habitat via color, texture, and movement. I feel I share a kinship with artists of the past whose intimate knowledge of the natural world also provided them with their concepts..
To learn more about David, visit: http://www.davidcfreda.com.
My Guest this Thursday, March 13th at 3 p.m. PDT on MetalSmith BenchTalk is artist, jeweler, and fine jewelry specialist Deborah Boskin.
About: Deborah Boskin is a specialist of fine jewelry at Bonhams in San Francisco. She knows a lot about establishing value for jewelry on the secondary market. Since joining the company in 1998, Boskin has taken on such responsibilities from Head Cataloguer and Stylist to appraisals. She works with the US Department to create over ten jewelry auctions each year. She also travels the US for various auctions and events.
Her educational background includes a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from the California College of Arts & Crafts, where her focus was Jewelry/Metal Arts, and a Bachelor's in Art History from Boston University. She has been creating wearable jewelry and small sculpture in the Bay Area, and has been very involved in the SF jewelry community, having served as active and adjunct board member of the Metals Arts Guild for over a decade.
Bonhams International Jewelry department is a highly regarded and respected force in the global market place achieving top selling results for pieces of fine and rare jewelry from estates and collections. The department sells all types of antique, period and modern jewelry specializing in diamond Art Deco items, large single diamond solitaires and famous luxury designed and signed pieces by Cartier, Tiffany, Van Cleef & Arpels and Andrew Grima as well as diamonds, rubies, sapphires, precious stones and natural pearls. Our dynamic and well-established team of highly regarded specialists will offer you confidential and professional advice on all aspects of buying and selling at auction.
My guest on Thursday, April 10th at 3 p.m. PDT on MetalSmith BenchTalk will be silversmith Randy Stromsoe, maker of handmade silver jewelry and tableware.
About: A classically trained silversmith, Randy Stromsoe handcrafts what will be the sterling silver heirlooms of our future. Stromsoe works in a variety of styles which include sterling silver and pewter in the Arts and Crafts period of his master, the late Porter Blanchard, as well as his own unique contempory designs in gold, silver, pewter, copper and wood. His body of work spans 4 decades and is highly sought after by corporate and private collectors worldwide.
"My studio is an homage to a generation of craftsmen and an era when fine silver was a part of everyday life. The traditional dining table has changed with time and the number of trained silversmiths has dwindled. Whether I am creating a contemporary pewter tea pot or a traditional sterling silver flatware place setting, I continue to draw upon the stories, instruction, memories, and the unique skills that have been passed down from the generations of silversmiths before me."
To learn more about Randy and his work, visit: http://www.randystromsoe.com.
Our guest on Thursday, August 14th at 3:00 pm PST on Metalsmith Benchtalk is Cat Bates!
Participate by joining us in the chatroom!
Cat spent his early childhood, and summers through grade school, on Monhegan Island off of the Maine coast. He remains strongly influenced by the island's nautical history, rugged landscape, and the resourcefulness and hard work that one needs to live there year-round.
He began studying metalsmithing 14 years ago. He started working as a professional jeweler in 2004, and graduated from Maine College of Art in 2009 with a BFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design. He have received scholarships to study at Penland School of Crafts, Peters Valley, and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and has tught workshops on basic metalsmithing, sand casting, and decorative sailor knotting. In 2012 he produced his first line of production jewelry, under the title Barbarian Enterprises.
He employs a variety of techniques in the design and manufacture of his work, from sand casting to sailor knotting, 3-d modeling to forging.He utilizes the skills of other professionals when economically and/or conceptually appropriate, and in these instances give credit in the product description.He believes that the method used to produce a piece of jewelry (or any object) resonates within it, even if it is not obvious to a casual observer.
For more information about Cat Bates, visit his website: http://www.cat-bates.com/gallery/
and follow him on social media:
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/barbarianent
Our guest on Thursday July 31st at 3:00 Pacifice Time/6:00 Eastern is Christine Huber, New York Artisan Jewelry Designer and world traveler. Join us as we interview Christine and ask her about her drafting process, her collaboration with Yael Designs and the Novelique Bridal Collection, her own line of jewelry and relationship with Hatch Jewelry, and her studio in the East Village, as well as her worldwide travels and how they inspired her.
To ask Christine a question during our live interview, please join us in the chatroom or send us a message on the Whaley Studios' Facebook Page.
About Christine Huber
Christine Huber is a Graduate Gemologist and jewelry designer known for her artisanal style and high quality. Huber has done benchwork for Alex Sepkus, jewelry design and gemology with Julius Cohen Jeweler and designed elaborate collections for Etienne Aigner. Inspired by art, ceramics and architecture, Huber creates pieces that are beautiful, meaningful and fun to wear. She currently lives and works in New York City, designing heirloom quality jewelry.
"I believe that jewelry should come from inspiration, and be inspirational. I create pieces that are beautiful, meaningful and fun to wear. With over 15 years experience in the Jewelry industry, I've learned what it takes to make heirloom quality jewelry here in NYC. I design and draw out each item, then carve it out from wax or pierce it from metal to cast it. "
For more information about Christine, visit her website: http://christinehuberdesign.com/
and read a Hatch Jewelry Interview here: https://jewelry.hatchhub.com/article/fifth-avenue-outer-mongolia-and-back-christine-huber%E2%80%99s-design-journey
Michael Raven began with $475.00, a desk and a catalog, when he first began designing jewelry that would eventually grace every major red carpet in Hollywood on the biggest stars. In doing so, he became connected with, directors, producers, and clients working in all phases of the film and entertainment industry.
With swift efficiency, Michael would, on behalf of his clients, attach talent, or investors for their various projects and in essence, became a producer. In time he would be frequently seen on the set of various locations handling emergencies and helping to fill in any gaps as they were identified. During this time he also wrote a song for a feature film which earned him four Grammy nominations.
Teaming up with Alan Bailey ( CFO of Paramount Pictures for 35 years) Jeff Rice, and other power players while creating the new entertainment company Apex Media LLC, their slate includes today’s most prodigious stars.
Embracing the future with integrity and fearlessness, they assemble teams consisting of some of the most legendary and current talent and producers, as well as UPM’s.
This Thursday, May 22nd at 3 p.m. PDT, we'll be going back into the MetalSmith BenchTalk archives. We'll be re-airing one of our favoite chats with jewelry and hollowware designer and maker Cynthia Eid.
About: Cynthia Eid's hammered metalwork has won awards for creativity and design, featured in many publications, and exhibited extensively. Eid's sculptural jewelry and hollowware is primarily done in Argentium Silver and formed through the creative use of hammers and/or a hydraulic press. Currently an independent metalsmith and educator, she is a Jeweler and Silversmith based in Massachusetts USA, teaching weekly classes at Metalwerx and the De Cordova Museum School, and workshops and short courses all over the USA. Previously, she has worked as a designer/maker in goldsmith galleries, and as modelmaker/supervisor in a gold jewelry factory. Cynthia earned her Master of Fine Arts in Metalsmithing and Jewellery Design from Indiana University in 1980 and has a B.S. in Art Education.
The paradox that “soft”, fluid-looking metal has evolved from flat, stiff rectangles though force, determination, and tenacity enchants me. I am entranced by the metal’s progressive transformation -- through hammering, persuasion, and struggle --- from a lifeless plane of metal toward an object of vibrancy, unity and fluidity.
Experimentation, serendipity, a sense of play, and the subconscious mind determine the forms of my work. The forms have their roots in my gardens, and my meanderings through the woods and along the water’s edge. In my work, the allusions to nature are intentionally ambiguous, to encourage interactive response and contemplation by the viewer.
For more info, visit: http://www.cynthiaeid.com.
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