Saturday, February 5, 2011

So, what else do you do?

Most creative people we know express themselves in many different media and forms. It is just the nature of the creative mind to find outlets for that creativity. We are no exception, which leads us to the topic of this month’s Blog Carnival*:

What other media do you work and play with? Does it relate to or inspire your metalworking?

When this topic came up, we had to stop and really think about it. We have both been working artists from childhood and everything we touch, everything we do, becomes an art project. Our entire life is one big art project. We can’t help ourselves.

As to whether any of these activities relates to, or inspires our metalwork; it is all a continuum to us. We see no difference in any of it other than the medium of expression. This topic is really about another subject that artists frequently deal with, namely, the idea that art is a job or vocation. For most of us it is a way of life, and it permeates every aspect of our lives.

The best way to explain this is to show you a random selection of images of some of the things we do. Some of the following is work made for sale. Other things are simply random acts of creativity for our own use and amusement. This is life on the art side.

We have worked in glass in its various expressions for may years. Stained glass work is our favorite, but we've been blowing glass of late. The cow jumping over the moon window is in the west wall of our house. Below are a couple of recent glass blowing attempts. The goal is to work this down to the micro or jewelry level.

We also do woodworking of various sorts ranging from furniture to finish carpentry and woodcarving. Most of what we do is commissioned, but we also do a lot of things for our own house. This is an on-going project that we've been working on for decades


This is a door to the library, painted in traditional Japanese motifs. Below is a detail of the hand carved door frame.

Here are a few other details from around the house.

Another hand carved door frame detail.

This is a small wood carving that we mounted on the kitchen cabinets under the sink.

We have served as the curators of the local area Historical Museum for decades. When one of the local historical homes was being demolished we have the opportunity to do some salvaging. This corner niche is constructed of 150 year old Mahogany and slate reclaimed from the house.

Corliss is also a professional pastry chef and has done food styling for many tv commercials and restaurant displays.

We frequently turn our attention to fabric, either on its own or for our jewelry.

This is Sharky, our house mascot.

We will even get downright functional, as with these sofa pillows.

When the mood and the season coincide we occasionally go into "wreath mode". We been making these for decades and no two are ever alike.

Many of you know that we both are traditionally trained artists. We both cut our teeth on painting and drawing and continue to work in those mediums as well. In fact we never go anywhere without a sketch book - including dinner. One of our favorite things to do is people watch and draw character sketches and impressions from memory. Over years we have amassed thousands of drawings of everything from biker funerals, raves, Las Vegas madness and art openings.

If you have ever met us, there is a good chance there is a drawing of you somewhere.
One of the challenges of our classical training has been to break free of the rigid representationalism that is imposed in such a system.

We took up jewelry in the first place, as a method to break out of the training of two dimensional representation. That and the fact that we had been prospecting for many years and needed to actually DO something with all the material we were collecting.

This is our little curiosity cabinet. The other 7 tons of material (no joke) is scattered about the property.
In between all of the above we also practice lapidary & gem cutting, photography, writing, antique repair and restoration, leather work and few other things. And there's lots more we want to do and haven't found the time to get to it yet - but we will.

** Blog Carnival is a monthly group project of EtsyMetal. Each month, members of the group write on a common topic. Readers can click on the links associated with the topic to see how different artists approach it.