I was invited to get back into the blogging world by my artist friend Sue McNenly though the Around the World Blog Hop. Kind of like a chain letter between artists, artists blogs link to each other and share their processes and thoughts. I’ve enjoyed reading about Sue’s blog for years and was glad we were able to meet in person at a metal clay conference a couple years ago. After bonding over metal clay, family members with Autism/Asperger’s & geeking out about the incorporation of technical tools with hand made processes, I’m glad we’re now CAD buddies using Rhinoceros 3D as a tool too!
Did I mention I just love how Sue’s brain works? She truly engineers whimsy!
What am I working on?
Since graduation from CAD class in October, I’ve been doing a little bit of everything. From wire wrapping little gemstone rain clouds, researching tools to make finishing my copper & bronze cuff bracelets easier, to going through the process of having a piece manufactured from a file I modeled and designed on the computer.
I would say the most challenging thing I’m working on has been trying to figure out how to merge my love of hands on craftsmanship with CAD as the exist independently of each other at the moment. That is ok though, I’m still an artistic digital toddler.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I enjoy sculpting pieces to give them dimension and movement figuratively or literally. When I find technique that has attracted my attention or curiosity visually; I try to find a way to turn it into something “Michelle-ish”. Art jewelry can be fine and fine jewelry should be fun. Juxtaposing contrasting elements and the meanings of words into something visual actually is a bit of a game I like to play really. For example, “Mermaids Playing Koi”
Why do I write/create what I do?
Because I have to and it makes me happy! Also making things helps me stay involved with the world around me.
I had been making jewelry for a couple of years as a hobby and it wasn’t until I started doing aerial arts and dance where I was able to visualize myself as any kind of artist. From a technical point of view, it was easier for me to be on an apparatus near the ceiling as I could see the floor & know I wasn’t going past that than it was to accept that with every fiber of my being I am an artist. Creating art was/is a “safe” way for me to physically capture a moment in time and express myself. Sometimes it is a struggle to get started but being engaged in creating something literally forces me to stay in the present. Also I find it rather fun to see how other people interpret my pieces or the thoughts behind it.
How does my writing/creating process work?
For most of my pieces, usually it starts with a focal or focus in mind. Often the focal is a stone, sometimes it is for a specific person or narrative and sometimes like with workshop projects the focus is a technique.
Whether fabricating by hand or designing on the computer, I find myself following a similar process. For pieces like Diana’s Garden or my Spider Halo ring, the focal is the center stone from the front or top with a design twist on the sides.
I start with a conceptual sketch which evolves into a template for a base structure.
I will say laying out templates on the computer has gotten much easier after working on a grid in Rhino/Matrix regularly. Most pieces start pretty structured and evolve a bit as I’m working on it. Sometimes it is straightforward elemental type of embellishment like a vine or tendril that is added, sometimes a piece just kind of takes a new narrative of it’s own – like with the Mermaid cuff bracelets.
Next Up in the Blog Hop….
Jamie Rae Leodones of Ninja Art Effects. Jamie is a talented special effects make up artist and will be a contestant on Sci-fy’s Face Off Season 8 startigng January 13th. We met in a figurative sculpture class and I’m excited for her as her blog post in the next week or so. Please check out her blog at: http://www.ninjarteffects.com/#!blog/czwt