Monday, January 25, 2010


Another studio visit, y'all! I was lucky enough to sneak a peek at what they are doing down at DEPENDABLE LETTERPRESS on 3rd, in their workspace in the former American Can Co. factory, on the Bay side of Potrero Hill. What a gorgeous building, and a truly wonderful collection of presses that are put into use producing beautiful, high-quality prints from digital files.
Many thanks to owner Joel Benson for letting us come on by! We love our amazing calendar!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

June Schwarcz, Living Treasure of California

Last Sunday my wife and I had the unforgettable experience of being the lucky ones to pick enamelist and metalsmith June Schwarcz up from her home in the hills of Sausalito (just over the Golden Gate Bridge from SF) on the way to her lecture for MAG. She invited us in while she had a quick snack, and encouraged us to look around her amazing home filled with international art, where she has been living since 1954.

To be in the presence of someone who has been honored by the Smithsonian, the ACC, and myriad others, and to have them let you come on in and look around, is one thing. To have that person be still making work, and in my humble opinion, some of the best of their life, in their nineties, is incredibly inspiring.

She sometimes starts with paper mock-ups (hooray, paper mock-ups!!), and gives structure to her forms by sewing together copper wire mesh (100 threads/inch) or several different thicknesses of copper foil. She then works adding layers with electroforming (copper), and enamelling, and plating (iron, silver, gold, and others).

She spoke in her lecture of making pieces that someone wants to look at over and over again, and wondered if conceptual art today doesn't often lack this character. Here is a shot of a small part of her studio (I was too shy to take photos in her home, and luckily for all of us, there is a link below of some really yummy images of her home and art collection).

Here are some links to images of her incredibly loose and layered work, followed by links to interviews and a wonderful photo tour of her home.
work at Velvet da Vinci gallery
interview with the Smithsonian Archives of American Art (great images way down in text)
incredible photo tour of her home by Catherine Bailey of Heath Ceramics (another California craft institution)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Who's afraid?

SF Museum of Craft + Design is having several events around the opening of their new jewelry show, including a walk-through of the exhibit with SFMC+D's interim curator Mariah Nielson on Friday at 11am.

Designers on Jewelry: Twelve Years of Jewelry Production by Chi ha paura...? is the show, and Dutch product and jewelry design megastar Gijs Bakker will be giving a talk on Saturday from 4-6 pm on his 12 year dialogue with modern designer/jewelers which resulted in this show of over 50 international artists. (SFMC+D link above for more info.)

"Who’s afraid of…contemporary jewelry? ...Moving past the conventional concept of simple decoration and an investment in gold or stones, the goal was to redefine the value of jewelry by the fineness of the idea, not the materials."

Monday, January 11, 2010


In the spirit of a new decade looking us in the face, I have been working on professional development by utilizing a great Bay Area resource; metal artist Harriete Estel Berman.
I love her serious commitment to reuse, and her use of art as social commentary, as seen in this image of Bar Code Identity Necklace, 2007. (click title for her description.)

She is a force to be reckoned with in the craft and art of professional guidelines, and her blog Ask Harriete is worth a serious piece of your time.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

rustbelt fiberwerks

Here is my lovely new apron that I got from the wonderful Leah Parkhurst of RUSTBELT FIBERWERKS at the Renegade Fair. Her grandmother was a strong believer in this phrase, and I and my apron are all the better for it.

This is a saying that my wife first heard from the venerable photographer Evon Streetman, who has been a strong part of the Penland School of Crafts community for over 30 years, and gives a kick-ass slideshow. Keep an eye on the Penland catalog for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to take a class with her.

Monday, January 4, 2010

new year

When I stepped outside my parents' house on New Year's Day to begin loading up the car to head back to San Francisco, there was a very deceased, but very beautiful butterfly right on their doorstep. I am taking this as a sign of good luck, (even though its head appears to be quite unattached upon closer inspection) and don't particularly want to hear about it if anyone knows otherwise. Here's to '010, everyone!