Saturday, May 25, 2013

Printmaking and Being Printed

I am always trying to learn new techniques and knowledge that will help me understand what it means to create with my hands and to create with my mind and to see how other people use these techniques in their own way. So I took a typesetting workshop at Signal Return, a printmaking shop in Detroit's Eastern Market, with instructor and friend, Bryan Baker. The title of the workshop was called Attack of the 50 Word Poem. It took me quite a while to get the whole type setting thing down, with all the different fonts to choose from and spacing, the words I choose were expand, retract, vibration, flowing, live, and free. A group of 8 of us came up with the theme of spring and rebirth. Here is a final print with a portfolio sleeve and all. Enjoy!

Jamaican Style

I took a trip to Jamaica a few weeks ago, and while I was there I was lucky enough to visit Edna Manley College of The Visual and Performing Arts. This campus is located near the heart of Kingston and close to New Kingston, the business district of the capital city. The school is full of life and creativity, with programs in jewelry and metalsmithing, printmaking, painting and drawing, sculpture, ceramics, photography, dance, music, textiles, and visual communications. It was a great opportunity seeing all the final projects that were being displayed and performed for end of the year critiques. We also came back the next day to see a bit of the student run performance Cinderella Chronicles with it's very own jamaican touch. Here are a few images of my trip and the college.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Buckle UP! your pants.

     This week at Smith Shop we finished up our order of copper belt buckles for Detroit Denim Co. The process of making these was tricky with the use of our own interpretation of machining. We used a low speed drill press to do some knurling, the criss cross pattern seen on each side of the buckle, as well as some filed groove marks. It was an experience of trial and error along with discoveries and prevailing overall. Check out Detroit Denim, USA materials, handmade in Detroit.

Makers be Makin'

     Working at the Smith Shop brings something different everyday. This week was our final class of the six week Beginning Jewelry course. Our students each made a cuff, ring, and project of their choice. It was very exciting to see each student progress with every stoke of the saw. There is so much to teach and so much to learn, next session is sure to bring some great pieces of metalwork! Some classes coming up in the summer course schedule include Intermediate Jewelry, Stone Setting, Power Coating, Copper Box Making, Intro to Forging to name just a few. Check out as well as our Facebook page-

Metal Inspiration

      Coming home to Milwaukee WI is always a welcoming experience full of anticipation and that good feeling you have when you are home. On my latest journey home I was walking down Wisconsin Ave. from the bus stop and found some iron work inspiration around the Northern Trust Bank. This building was built in 1906 and designed by architect David Uihlein Jr. who's grandfather was the co-founder of Allen- Bradley company, the name brand of Rockwell Automation. Uihlein's father David Sr. was the heir to Schlitz Brewing Co. once the largest producer of beer in the world. There is so much history to discover all around, all you have to do is take a closer look. Other Milwaukee inspirations include Milwaukee War Memorial Center, Milwaukee Art Museum, Discovery World, the Neptune Gate at Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, and local ironwork on a neighborhood historic home. I can not wait until my next adventure around Milwaukee.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Getting Down in Detroit

I am currently living in Detroit, MI and working with two great artists named Amy Weiks and Gabriel Craig. They own Smith Shop in Corktown, Detroit. SmithShop is a metalworking and making space part of Pony Ride a collaborative, low rent, creative space where inventive individuals can take their business ideas and make them a reality. This is a great atmosphere to work in and be a part of. Check of the website and see what classes and other activities and opportunities are being held here.

Biotechnology and The Hand

I made the following pieces for my undergrad BFA thesis show. My artist statement below describes the relationship between the body and the wearer and how these braces came into exisitance. 

3dimensional renderings of joint specific braces made on the computer.

Final fitting and documentation.

These thumb braces have number keys that correspond to each finger brace and joint location.

This brace was created to keep Josh's joints and fingers in a specific position to help him with writing and painting.

In this body of work I am focused on alleviating body restrictions, such as limited hand function, for a personalized fit to Josh Huyck who has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. With this degenerative disease, Josh is losing everyday hand function due to the deformation of collagen surrounding the joints in his fingers. These finger braces were created using a 3d computer-aided design (CAD) program, and were modeled specifically from Josh’s hands. These prosthetic braces allow him to hold each finger in a position that prevents hyperextension and flexing. Working in this method has enhanced the ability to produce these braces. This allows me to change, manipulate, and retain information that will benefit an individual with this condition while creating a unique work of art that challenges traditional craft discourse. If you have any questions