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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, April 3rd at 3 p.m. PDT on MetalSmith BenchTalk will be metalsmith and artist Betty Helen Longhi.
About: Betty Helen Longhi is a nationally recognized metalsmith who creates finely crafted jewelry and sculpture in gold, silver, and niobium and pewter. A master craftsman, Ms. Longhi incorporates various texturing techniques with forging, shell forming and die forming in her pieces. Her work is recognized for it's sculptural quality, flowing lines and subtle use of anodized niobium as a source of color.
Ms. Longhi's work has been exhibited at the Virginia Museum, Delaware Art Museum, American Craft Museum, South East Center for Contemporary Art and the Renwick Gallery Museum Shop as well as numerous retail galleries. She has marketed her work through the American Craft Council Fairs and Philadelphia and Smithsonian Craft Shows.
Ms. Longhi is a Distinguished Member of the Society of North American Goldsmiths.She has received a number of awards including an Individual Artist Fellowship funded by the Delaware State Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. A much sought after teacher, Ms. Longhi has lectured on Shell Forming for the Society of North American Goldsmiths and been guest artist at the Univ. of Wisconsin and the Maryland Institute of Art.
She has taught at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Penland School, Parsons School of Design, Peters Valley Craft Center and many more training centers in the USA and Canada. She maintains a studio and retail sales space in her lakeside home near Lexington, NC.
To learn more about Betty Helen and her work, visit: http://fluidformsinmetal.com/artist.html.
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, July 19th at 3 p.m. PDT on MetalSmith BenchTalk is jewelry designer, author, editor, and educator Christine Dhein. Christine returns to the show to share tips for working more sustainably, plus we'll talk about her new Green Jewerly Handbook and her plans for traveling to research sustainable and Fairtrade jewelry making practices around the world!
About: Christine Dhein is the assistant director and an instructor at the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts, in San Francisco, where she developed the curriculum for the first “green” jewelry class, a subject about which she has taught and lectured internationally. She is the author of numerous articles about environmentally friendly studio practices for jewelers, as well as founder and editor of Green Jewelry News. She has also produced two instructional DVDs on the ancient Korean technique, Keum-boo, which include information on how to recycle gold in a small-scale jewelry studio.
Christine’s jewelry has been exhibited throughout the the US, Europe, and Australia, and is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Craft. Her work can also been seen in numerous books and magazines including many of the Lark Books 500 Jewelry S“H eries, 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse,Jewlery from Found Objects, Art Jewelry Today 2, JCK Magazine, MJSA Journal, Metalsmith, and many more.”
For more information about Christine, visit christinedhein.com or http://greenjewelrynews.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/.
This Thursday, May 29th 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 from earlier this year with artist Barbara Minor. Barbara is well known for her innovative enameled beads, her distinctive enameled jewelry, and her unique enameled vessels.
About: Barbara Minor completed her B.F.A. and M.F.A. degrees in jewelry and metalsmithing at University of Illinois and Indiana State University. She began enameling during graduate school and continued innovative explorations of enamel processes, with the support of research grants, while teaching at the State University of New York at Geneseo. During this time she began combining enameling with metalsmithing, jewelry forming and fabrication techniques to create narrative reliefs, sculptural objects and jewelry.
Barbara now lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she is a full time studio artist concentrating on limited edition and one-of-a kind enameled beads, jewelry and small objects. A considerable portion of her studio time is devoted to researching and experimenting with enameling techniques in an effort to go beyond the normal and expected enameling results and to answer the ever present question of "what would happen if I did this?". Her research and experimentation leads to many new and wonderful enameled jewelry and bead designs, as well as subject matter for the in-depth enameling workshops she teaches.
For more information about Barbara, visit http://www.barbaraminorenamels.com.
My guest this Thursday, July 24th at 3 p.m. PDT on MetalSmith BenchTalk is Andrew Kuebeck, award-winning metalsmith and studio photographer!
Andrew Kuebeck is an instructor at Bowling Green State University. He received a BFA from Bowling Green State University in 2008 and an MFA in jewelry design and metalsmithing from Indiana University in 2011. He works in a variety of formats ranging from functional jewelry to sculptural objects and vessels. He has lectured and taught workshops nationally on the incorporation of photographic images into jewelry pieces and vessels. He exhibits widely and has had his work appear in numerous publications including 500 Enameled Objects, Wrap, Stitch, Fold, and Rivet, and Metalsmith and Niche magazines. He is currently represented by Charon Kransen Arts, New York.
"I enjoy working in a wide array of Jewelry and Metalsmithing techniques from fabrication, enameling and electroforming to traditional techniques like stone setting and casting. Currently I'm exploring work that has to deal with personal experiences and memory and how these memories and experiences manifest themselves in our lives and the objects we surround ourselves with".
Learn more about Andrew here: http://andrewkuebeck.com/Home_Page.html
view his Crafthaus profile here: http://crafthaus.ning.com/profile/AndrewKuebeck
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
My Guest this Thursday, December 19 at 3 p.m. PST on MetalSmith BenchTalk is metalsmith and artist Kirsten Skiles, who creates elegant jewelry and handforged home décor, inspired by nature.
About: I'm a busy metalsmith, lazy gardener, and active mom. I spent many years working as a blacksmith but now spend my time as a jeweler. At this stage in life, I am taking some time to sketch and develop a more spiritual and narrative aspect to my art. When I was a senior in college, as an anthropology major, I took a jewelry class and got completely hooked on it! I graduated with honors in anthropology, with a firm appreciation for the link between culture, process, and object. I stayed in the area and kept taking jewelry and metalsmithing courses non-degree until I developed a strong enough portfolio for graduate school. I also took workshops in blacksmithing during this time.
I went to San Diego for grad school and received my MFA in jewelry and metalsmithing in 1996. I moved to Wisconsin and started my career as an independent artist. Circumstances allowed me to focus on blacksmithing and forging. I opened my Etsy shop in February of 2006, calling it "knitsteel", reflecting my appreciation for both fiber arts and blacksmithing. I was busy with commission work, but listed and sold many of my experimental and fun jewelry pieces, as well as decorative steel leaf wall pieces and sculptures.
After many years of large, time consuming, demanding ironwork, several kids, and a move south, I decided to scale back in size and started working in jewelry again, which lets me work faster and more spontaneously. I want to work with more spiritual and narrative themes, so I'm taking some time to develop these lines through drawing and journaling.
For more info, visit: http://kaskiles.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 this Thursday, December 5 at 3 p.m. PST on MetalSmith BenchTalk is Tom Muir, Distinguished Research Professor at Bowling Green State University, where he is head of the Jewelry and Metalsmithing area in the School of Art.
More Info: Tom Muir received his MFA from Indiana University, Bloomington, and his BFA degree from Georgia State University in Atlanta. Mr. Muir has lectured and taught widely, holding positions at universities and craft schools around the country. His award-winning work has been published and exhibited extensively in art, craft and design exhibitions, in which he has received 10 best of show or first place awards.
Collections include the Art Institute of Chicago, Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution and The White House Collection of American Crafts, National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
He is the recipient of an Arts Midwest/National Endowment for the Arts Regional Artist Fellowship, Michigan Council for the Arts Fellowship, and numerous Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship Awards. In 2009, Tom received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Ohio Designer Craftsmen for having made a major contribution to craft in Ohio.
For more information on Tom and his work, visit http://personal.bgsu.edu/~tmuir/information.htm.