Friday, December 10, 2010

Aspiring Metalsmiths: December Project Blogroll

Photo Credit - Print by Dreamerofworlds on Etsy

Welcome to the monthly Aspiring Metalsmiths: Project Blogroll!

Each month we will choose a different topic and each write a response on our own blogs. All posts will be up for you to view on the 10th of each month.

This months topic: What technique would you like to learn next?

There are always new techniques to learn on this metalsmithing journey, what one are you going to try out next? See what techniques we are wanting to learn by viewing the blogs below!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Secret Santa Gift Exchange

Happy Holidays & Welcome to the Aspiring Metalsmiths Secret Santa Gift Exchange!

Photo Credit to ZuppaArtista on Etsy

All Team members are encouraged to participate. Come on this will be fun!

Here are the rules:
* 25$ limit and/or 30 min. production time
*If you sign up you have to participate, we don't want any sad teamies not get a gift.
*You must send your gift to your recipient by December 15th.

Other than that, be creative and have fun!

UPDATE: Sign ups for the Secret Santa has been closed. Each participant will receive an email with their recipient on Thursday, December 9th around 9am MST.

Thank you to everyone who signed up, we had a great turnout!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

December AMT Challenge - The Best Way to Know Where You Are Going is to Know Where You Are Coming From

First of all I want to thank each of you for your kind words about my challenge entry this month. I am so excited and honored to have one. I truly feel this is a major accomplishment in my learning my craft considering the competition that I had. This is such a talented group of artists that my winning our challenge this month when placed in league with the other entries really helps to boost my confidence in my skills and my craft. Thank you again for your support and kindness. Now to get down to business.

Throughout history one of the most common uses for precious stones, metals, jewels and eventually jewelry as we know it, has been to convey information about the owner or wearer. Typically this information was directly related to identification and status. The most obvious examples of this would of course be the jewel encrusted crowns worn by nobility throughout the ages. For instance consider images of the contemporary British monarchy that we are all probably most familiar with to the jewel adorned head dresses of ancient civilizations like Egypt, Sumaria, South America and the Orient.

When we see these items we immediately think of someone of great importance and high standing. However, pretty metal and stone adornments where not limited to the nobility alone. Take for example the lovely coats-of-arms used to represent family heritage in England or the gorgeous kilt pins fashioned by the Scotts. The design of ones kilt pin and the pattern and color of their kilts were traditionally the most obvious means of knowing the lineage and heritage of an individual. 

So with  that being said please don't kill me but you will need to do some homework for this challenge. Since we are an international group of artists and even those of us here in the states probably exemplify a diverse number of nationalities, I want you to design a 21st century representation of your pedigree. Show us who you are and where you come from using metal and stones. This piece doesn't have to be a piece of jewelry. You can make it a plaque or larger piece of wall or table art if you so choose. Its totally up to you. Do try to be historically accurate and use items in your piece that represent your origins. For example think celtic knots for Irish, Scottish, Welsh ancestories and choose color schemes that have been historically representative of a lineage or family surname (this is where the homework part comes in). Be sure to provide a key with your submission explaining what each item, color, stone, figure etc. represents. So as we begin a new year and most everyone else is working on their New Year's resolutions and trying to decide how to be a new you in the new year let us take the opportunity to discover the old us. Like I said in my post title afterall, "The Best Way to Know Where You Are Going is to Know Where You Are Coming From".
So that is it. I hope you all will have fun with it. Make sure to add your submission photos to the group flickr pool by Midnight EST  Jan. 14th with the tag "December AMT Challenge"
You have from now until the middle of Jan. so I hope to see alot of participants. I know this is a very busy time of year with all of the holiday activities but if you chose not to do anything until after Christmas you would still have nearly two weeks to get something completed. So put on those thinking caps boys and girls and get to designing. Good Luck.

And the winner is.....Heather of Misty Ridge!

It is with GREAT pleasure that I announce Heather of Misty Ridge Designs is the winner of our November Aspiring Metalsmiths Challenge! Her copper and nickle space themed nightlight was a clear leader in this month's contest.

Not only was Heather's design completely original, complex, and beautifully executed, it also moves!

Esmeralda of Silver Blueberry stole second place with this beautiful forged leaf vessel that deserves a place in the Aspiring Metalsmith's Hall of Fame:

And finally in third place we have Clarity of Scrollwork Designs with her tiny copper container.

Fantastic work all of you, and a special thank you to Asa of Asap Designs for coming up with such an original and intriguing challenge. Heather will be along shortly to tell us what she's picked for the next challenge, I can't wait to get started!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

November Challenge Entries-Seasons are Changing

Our challenge this month was brought to us by the lovely Asa of AsapDesigns, who challenged us to step out of our comfort zones and create something unique for the home or garden using a found object of our choice. I think everyone who participated enjoyed the opportunity to think outside of the box and use affordable materials to create a work of art. Here are this month's entries!

Esmeralda of Silver Blueberry wow'd us with this incredible hand forged leaf vessel carefully formed from sheet silver by laborious chasing and repoussé.

Clarity of Scrollwork Designs used some discarded copper tubing to make this tiny (2 inches tall) decorative container.

Heather of Misty Ridge Designs created this NASA inspired nightlight from copper and nickle. The spaceship actually moves across the sky putting this piece over the top!

Asa of AsapDesigns created this astonishing set of nesting bowls with hand-painted Koi fish and a gorgeous lily sculpture in the center. Each bowl is etched, formed and then colored with enamel paint.

Sam of Copper Sunsets learned a new technique to create these incredible copper name plates.

Autumn of Autumn Bradley Designs also learned something new this challenge, and incorporated her first fold formed piece into this lovely wind chime.
It is with great regret that I discovered I've missed an entry, and I'm even more upset because it was one of my favorite designs by one of my favorite people. She did everything right and was even one of the first to complete her entry, I just somehow overlooked the fact that there were two pages of entries. While I go hang my head in shame, please check out this incredible mermaid by the lovely Stacy of Form and Funktion. Unfortunately I cannot change the poll after voting has started, but please leave a note in the comments section if you would like to cast your vote for Stacy's mermaid.

This was an incredible challenge that pushed us all creatively and I'm so glad you all participated. Voting begins now and ends Monday at midnight. Best of luck to each of you!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Aspiring Metalsmiths: November Project Blogroll

Welcome to the first monthly Aspiring Metalsmiths: Project Blogroll!

Each month we will choose a different topic and each write a response on our own blogs. All posts will be up for you to view on the 10th of each month.

This months topic: Show us your Bench!

Here is an opportunity to show off where all the magic happens! Check out each metal artist below and see their setup and learn more about tools and spaces that create the fantastic work you see in their shops.