EMSC Spotlight Interview: Katie Kameen

   

What events led to you becoming a metalsmith?

I discovered metalsmithing while I was an undergrad at Northern Illinois University. I took a class with Jamie Obermeier, and I really got drawn into the way that Jamie’s intro class balanced traditional metalsmithing with contemporary methods like carving acrylic and working with found objects. I always had an eye for detail and an interest in working with my hands, so I was hooked.  I transferred to Eastern Illinois University to finish my BFA and studied with David Griffin, where I became enamored with hand die forming, powder coating, and enameling. This exploration of color and surface, in combination with my existing interest in found objects, is really what lead me towards my current work.

What is the tool you love the most? If you could have one tool, that you don’t have already, what would it be? 

It may sound simple, but the most important tools in my studio right now are drill bits. My work is fabricated completely with cold connections. I try to use found items like old bolts and screws, plastic hangers, or old knitting needles to make connections. Since I need to perfectly match the diameter of these objects I can never have too many bits! Ironically, given all that drilling, I really need a flex shaft in my home studio, since right now I’m doing all this with a hand-drill.

 

 

Who are some of the artists you admire and why?

There are some artists that will always be important to me because they were so influential when I was first realizing that I wanted to be an artist, women like Tara Donovan, Judy Pfaff, Lisa Walker, and Susie Ganch. Lisa Walker’s work in particular really helped me see the importance of spontaneity in a studio practice, and encouraged me to break out of the traditional wearable mold into a hybrid jewelry-as-sculpture/sculpture-as-jewelry space.

 

 

 

 

 

After receiving the EM award, how have you considered ethical practice?

Obviously maintaining an ethical studio practice has always been important to me, but this award has really motivated me to reevaluate how that practice is being represented in my classroom. I’ve thought more about how I can encourage my students to be conscious of the impacts of their practice, and to show them how simple it can be to reduce waste. A few basic examples are that I’ve replaced our studio’s paper towels with shop rags, and set up a drying rack for sandpaper so that used pieces can be rinsed clean and used again. In my own work I’m working more purposefully with using found objects as elements of cold connections. I’ve begun to largely phase out manufactured hardware and metal rivets, trying instead to create pieces that are 100% found and recycled plastics.

           

 What is the significance of wearability in your work?

Because my work recontextualizes functional objects, I think a lot about how my forms interact with the body. I like to take advantage of objects or parts of objects that we have prior experiences with—handles, spoons, or toys, for example—and use those memories to make something new or strange seem familiar. Everyday fashion has not been a major factor in my recent work. Instead, I’m thinking more about moving everyday objects into an elevated position, and experimenting with how literal or implied interaction with the body is necessary for that to take place.

 

How do you select your materials?

Although I use all types of plastics depending on the piece, I am most drawn to mid-century plastics. A major reason for this is the unique and vivid colors of plastics from that time-period. Color and surface are some of the first things that I consider when I’m selecting materials, since I work with pre-made materials and rely heavily on their original attributes. Size and weight of the objects also play into my decisions. Beyond their physically attractive nature, there are additional benefits to working with these materials. I can use older objects that may not be functional any longer. I find a lot of cups and plates that may be considered unusable because of a small scratch or crack, but are perfect for me. Also, a lot of the plastics from this era are not very easily recyclable– materials like Bakelite, Melmac/melamine, and polycarbonate– so taking them out of the waste stream is appealing to me.

 

What do you listen to while you work?

I enjoy listening to podcasts while I work, since it feels more like I’m accomplishing two things at once. Mostly I listen to podcasts about art, but I’ve also been listening to more about teaching. 30 Rock and The Office also keep me company while I work.

What are you reading right now?

Similar to the podcasts, I’m primarily reading for work rather than pleasure right now, so mostly books on teaching or metalsmithing. The Handouts from the 21st Century series has been a really nice combination of both, and is an amazing collection of information.

 Dream job?

Like a lot of artist-educators, I think my dream job is to have a tenured position in metalsmithing. I’m currently a visiting faculty member, so I get to teach, work with students, and still have time for my own work. I am trying to be open to other possibilities though. Metals has really impacted my life, and I want to help others have the same access to this field that I had, and to encourage young people to develop and embrace their creativity. Right now I’m making that happen through my teaching practice, but depending on where things take me I would also be really interested in bringing my ideas to a gallery, co-op, or community center.

What’s next for Katie Kameen?

I’m excited by the ways that additive manufacturing can help minimize material usage, and by the ability to make whatever form I want out of bio-based and bio-degradable plastics like PLA. Right now I’m primarily working on creating small wearable pieces that compliment larger sculptures, and the idea of bringing my own 3D computer

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EMSC Spotlight: Katie Kameen

   

What events led to you becoming a metalsmith?

I discovered metalsmithing while I was an undergrad at Northern Illinois University. I took a class with Jamie Obermeier, and I really got drawn into the way that Jamie’s intro class balanced traditional metalsmithing with contemporary methods like carving acrylic and working with found objects. I always had an eye for detail and an interest in working with my hands, so I was hooked.  I transferred to Eastern Illinois University to finish my BFA and studied with David Griffin, where I became enamored with hand die forming, powder coating, and enameling. This exploration of color and surface, in combination with my existing interest in found objects, is really what lead me towards my current work.

What is the tool you love the most? If you could have one tool, that you don’t have already, what would it be? 

It may sound simple, but the most important tools in my studio right now are drill bits. My work is fabricated completely with cold connections. I try to use found items like old bolts and screws, plastic hangers, or old knitting needles to make connections. Since I need to perfectly match the diameter of these objects I can never have too many bits! Ironically, given all that drilling, I really need a flex shaft in my home studio, since right now I’m doing all this with a hand-drill.

 

 

Who are some of the artists you admire and why?

There are some artists that will always be important to me because they were so influential when I was first realizing that I wanted to be an artist, women like Tara Donovan, Judy Pfaff, Lisa Walker, and Susie Ganch. Lisa Walker’s work in particular really helped me see the importance of spontaneity in a studio practice, and encouraged me to break out of the traditional wearable mold into a hybrid jewelry-as-sculpture/sculpture-as-jewelry space.

 

 

 

 

 

After receiving the EM award, how have you considered ethical practice?

Obviously maintaining an ethical studio practice has always been important to me, but this award has really motivated me to reevaluate how that practice is being represented in my classroom. I’ve thought more about how I can encourage my students to be conscious of the impacts of their practice, and to show them how simple it can be to reduce waste. A few basic examples are that I’ve replaced our studio’s paper towels with shop rags, and set up a drying rack for sandpaper so that used pieces can be rinsed clean and used again. In my own work I’m working more purposefully with using found objects as elements of cold connections. I’ve begun to largely phase out manufactured hardware and metal rivets, trying instead to create pieces that are 100% found and recycled plastics.

           

 What is the significance of wearability in your work?

Because my work recontextualizes functional objects, I think a lot about how my forms interact with the body. I like to take advantage of objects or parts of objects that we have prior experiences with—handles, spoons, or toys, for example—and use those memories to make something new or strange seem familiar. Everyday fashion has not been a major factor in my recent work. Instead, I’m thinking more about moving everyday objects into an elevated position, and experimenting with how literal or implied interaction with the body is necessary for that to take place.

 

How do you select your materials?

Although I use all types of plastics depending on the piece, I am most drawn to mid-century plastics. A major reason for this is the unique and vivid colors of plastics from that time-period. Color and surface are some of the first things that I consider when I’m selecting materials, since I work with pre-made materials and rely heavily on their original attributes. Size and weight of the objects also play into my decisions. Beyond their physically attractive nature, there are additional benefits to working with these materials. I can use older objects that may not be functional any longer. I find a lot of cups and plates that may be considered unusable because of a small scratch or crack, but are perfect for me. Also, a lot of the plastics from this era are not very easily recyclable– materials like Bakelite, Melmac/melamine, and polycarbonate– so taking them out of the waste stream is appealing to me.

 

What do you listen to while you work?

I enjoy listening to podcasts while I work, since it feels more like I’m accomplishing two things at once. Mostly I listen to podcasts about art, but I’ve also been listening to more about teaching. 30 Rock and The Office also keep me company while I work.

What are you reading right now?

Similar to the podcasts, I’m primarily reading for work rather than pleasure right now, so mostly books on teaching or metalsmithing. The Handouts from the 21st Century series has been a really nice combination of both, and is an amazing collection of information.

 Dream job?

Like a lot of artist-educators, I think my dream job is to have a tenured position in metalsmithing. I’m currently a visiting faculty member, so I get to teach, work with students, and still have time for my own work. I am trying to be open to other possibilities though. Metals has really impacted my life, and I want to help others have the same access to this field that I had, and to encourage young people to develop and embrace their creativity. Right now I’m making that happen through my teaching practice, but depending on where things take me I would also be really interested in bringing my ideas to a gallery, co-op, or community center.

What’s next for Katie Kameen?

I’m excited by the ways that additive manufacturing can help minimize material usage, and by the ability to make whatever form I want out of bio-based and bio-degradable plastics like PLA. Right now I’m primarily working on creating small wearable pieces that compliment larger sculptures, and the idea of bringing my own 3D computer

Call for Entry: So Fresh + So Clean 2018

cfe 2018 sfsc

So Fresh + So Clean 2018

5th Annual Ethical Metalsmiths International
Digital Student Exhibition and Emerging Artist Award

So Fresh So Clean Prospectus PDF

Call For Entry

Fresh: Work that’s happening now, challenging how we define the field of metalsmithing and jewelry.

Clean: Objectively looking at where our studio practices intersect with environmental concerns and human health.

Ethical Metalsmith Students (EM Students) is examining what it means to be an artist in the 21st century by curating the most innovative jewelry and metalsmithing work made within the past 2 years. Applicants (see eligibility below) will be considered for the Annual Emerging Artist Award. This award will be given to a student who embraces the greater mission of the Ethical Metalsmiths organization and shows exceptional drive or innovative thinking in their approach to the field of jewelry and metalsmithing in their practice.

We understand a completely sustainable practice is an ever-evolving goal. However, the first step is becoming aware of the ways our work impacts environmental and human health. It adds an important layer to the creative decision making of artists.  Becoming a member of Ethical Metalsmiths is one small step that places you within this essential dialogue.

Through the lens of sustainability – what it means to “do the right thing” – EM Students challenges you to investigate your studio, processes, methods, and personal goals. Consider the small everyday actions that may be overlooked (like riding your bike to the studio, or making reusable studio rags from old clothes). What are some of the things happening in your shared studio that regard environmental or personal health? What are some considerations for setting up your own studio? What are some concerns you have regarding metalsmithing processes that you would like to see further researched, or changed? Are there processes or materials you avoid for ethical reasons? Tell us about it, ask questions, and then show us the work you are making!

*Check out the #MakeItEthical Instagram campaign for ideas! Post your images with this tag, for a chance to win one of four $100 Rio Grande Gift Certificates that will be given away.
Random winners called on 4/22, 5/25 at SNAG, and 6/8 (call for entry deadline)
*bonus “Most Creative Post” will be called on 6/8.

EM Students at SNAG! Come to our Educators Table at SNAG this year and grab a studio rag!

 

Submission Deadlines

Call for Entry deadline: June 8th

Notification of acceptance: July 1st

Exhibition released online: Sept 1st

Awards

Ethical Metalsmiths Emerging Artist Award: Chosen by Guest Juror Curtis Arima and the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Chapter of EM Students.

  • $1000 prize money (Sponsored by Richline Group).
  • Work featured on promotional poster, sent to over 200 schools around the world, and handed out at conferences.
  • An exposé on the EM Students website, including updates and a spotlight interview.
  • Opportunity for your work to be represented by Ethical Metalsmiths.
  • Opportunity to work directly with the EM Students on projects.

Juror’s Choice: Chosen by this year’s Guest Juror: Curtis Arima

  • $500 prize money (Sponsored by Rio Grande).
  • Work featured on promotional poster, sent to over 200 schools around the world, and handed out at conferences.
  • Opportunity to work directly with the EM Students on projects.

EM Student’s Choice: Chosen by the VCU chapter of EM Students

  • $250 prize money (Sponsored by No Dirty Gold).
  • Work featured on promotional poster, sent to over 200 schools around the world, and handed out at conferences.
  • Opportunity to work directly with the EM Students on projects.

Submission Requirements and Guidelines

Images:
This is an online exhibition, so high quality professional images are extremely important.

  •  You may submit a maximum of 5 artworks, and up to 2 detail images per work.
  •  You are encouraged to include up to 2 images of in-progress or studio shots that highlight your efforts in creating a responsible practice. Remember small actions can have a BIG IMPACT. #MakeItEthical. Our goal is to build an ever expanding list of how people consider responsibility in their practice. So think outside the box!
  •      Images submitted must be .jpgs at 300 DPI, and 1280 pixels on the largest side

*Award winners will be contacted for large print quality that are a minimum of 11 inches on the longest side at 300 DPI. You will not be eligible for the awards if these larger image files are not available.

Images must be labeled in the following way:

  • lastnametitle.jpg
  • lastnametitledetaila.jpg or  lastnametitledetailb.jpg
  • lastnamestudioa.jpg or   lastnamestudiob.jpg

*By sending us your images you agree to allow Ethical Metalsmiths and EM Students  to use them for promotional materials and social media posts. You will be credited whenever your image is used, and tagged when possible on social media posts.

Application Materials:

Create one single .doc and include it along with the images in your submission:

  1. Student Status: Your current school and student status, or most recent degree received. Use this format example:

BFA 2020, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA

  1. The mailing address for the Jewelry/Metalsmithing department of your school, and the professor (we will send the show poster).
  2. An artist statement (200 words maximum).
  3. A responsibility statement (200 words maximum) that expresses what you do in your studio practice that relates to the call for entry mission. Think about how the small things we do can have a big impact over a lifetime. How do you #MakeItEthcial?
  4. Image list:
    1. Title
    2. Materials
    3. Dimensions
    4. Year Completed
  5. Please state Yes or No: This image is available upon request at a minimum 11’’ on the longest side at 300dpi which can be used on promotional posters? Award winners will be required to send larger file sizes. Applicants without large images available will not be eligible for the awards, but are still eligible for the online exhibition.

 

Where to Apply

 

Please email images and application materials to emstudentcommittee@gmail.com with subject “SFSC 2018”
Send any questions to emstudentcommittee@gmail.com

Eligibility

 

  • Work must have been made within the last two years
  • Applicants must be a student member of Ethical Metalsmiths ($35). You are eligible for EM Student membership if you have enrolled in a Jewelry or Metalsmithing related course at a high school, college, craft school, or workshop during the current year of student membership, or if it has been less than 2 years since you graduated from a degree granting program.

 

How to Become a EM Student Member:

United States Students

Follow this link (EM Student) click on “add to cart”, and check out.

International Students (any student outside of the United States)

  1. Using, PayPal, Submit your membership donation of $38.00 to EarthWorks (our fiscal sponsor): info@earthworksaction.org
    Include a message identifying Ethical Metalsmiths as the donation recipient.
  2. Please notify us that you joined via PayPal by emailing us at: mail@ethicalmetalsmiths.org AND, emstudentcommittee@gmail.com.
    In the message please include: Your full name, email, mailing address, website, and student status (school enrolled, type of degree seeking, expected completion date),

*You will receive a special follow-up email from Ethical Metalsmiths (1-5 days after donating) to share your benefits with you.

The Jury

Guest Juror: Curtis Arima          

Curtis H. Arima is an Associate Professor and Co-Chair of the Jewelry / Metal Arts Program at California College of the Arts (CCA). He produces jewelry and sculpture in his Berkeley Studio. His work has been exhibited across the country and abroad including: SOFA NY and Chicago, the The National Ornamental Museum in Memphis, Vennel Gallery in Scotland. Awards and nominations include Best of Show for the Innovations in Contemporary Craft exhibition in Richmond, CA, and nominations for instructor of the year for the Niche awards. His publications include Metalsmith magazine, Sculpture magazine, and the Larks 500 Series books. He received an BFA from CCAC and a MFA in Metalsmithing from Cranbrook Academy of Art.

BFA, CCAC; MFA, Cranbrook Academy of Art

http://www.curtisharima.com/       

EM Students, Chapter: Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)

Anne Bujold, Everett Hoffman, Taylor King, Haiyin Liang, and Meg Wachs

You can find more information about your student committee members on the About Us page of the www.emstudents.org website.


is powered by

 

emstudents

EMlogo

A special thanks to our amazing sponsors:

 

riorichlinendg

Call for Entry: So Fresh + So Clean 2018

cfe 2018 sfsc

So Fresh + So Clean 2018

5th Annual Ethical Metalsmiths International
Digital Student Exhibition and Emerging Artist Award

 

Call For Entry

Fresh: Work that’s happening now, challenging how we define the field of metalsmithing and jewelry.

Clean: Objectively looking at where our studio practices intersect with environmental concerns and human health.

Ethical Metalsmith Students (EM Students) is examining what it means to be an artist in the 21st century by curating the most innovative jewelry and metalsmithing work made within the past 2 years. Applicants (see eligibility below) will be considered for the Annual Emerging Artist Award. This award will be given to a student who embraces the greater mission of the Ethical Metalsmiths organization and shows exceptional drive or innovative thinking in their approach to the field of jewelry and metalsmithing in their practice.

We understand a completely sustainable practice is an ever-evolving goal. However, the first step is becoming aware of the ways our work impacts environmental and human health. It adds an important layer to the creative decision making of artists.  Becoming a member of Ethical Metalsmiths is one small step that places you within this essential dialogue.

Through the lens of sustainability – what it means to “do the right thing” – EM Students challenges you to investigate your studio, processes, methods, and personal goals. Consider the small everyday actions that may be overlooked (like riding your bike to the studio, or making reusable studio rags from old clothes). What are some of the things happening in your shared studio that regard environmental or personal health? What are some considerations for setting up your own studio? What are some concerns you have regarding metalsmithing processes that you would like to see further researched, or changed? Are there processes or materials you avoid for ethical reasons? Tell us about it, ask questions, and then show us the work you are making!

*Check out the #MakeItEthical Instagram campaign for ideas! Post your images with this tag, for a chance to win one of four $100 Rio Grande Gift Certificates that will be given away.
Random winners called on 4/22, 5/25 at SNAG, and 6/8 (call for entry deadline)
*bonus “Most Creative Post” will be called on 6/8.

EM Students at SNAG! Come to our Educators Table at SNAG this year and grab a studio rag!

 

Submission Deadlines

Call for Entry deadline: June 8th

Notification of acceptance: July 1st

Exhibition released online: Sept 1st

Awards

Ethical Metalsmiths Emerging Artist Award: Chosen by Guest Juror Curtis Arima and the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Chapter of EM Students.

  • $1000 prize money (Sponsored by Richline Group).
  • Work featured on promotional poster, sent to over 200 schools around the world, and handed out at conferences.
  • An exposé on the EM Students website, including updates and a spotlight interview.
  • Opportunity for your work to be represented by Ethical Metalsmiths.
  • Opportunity to work directly with the EM Students on projects.

Juror’s Choice: Chosen by this year’s Guest Juror: Curtis Arima

  • $500 prize money (Sponsored by Rio Grande).
  • Work featured on promotional poster, sent to over 200 schools around the world, and handed out at conferences.
  • Opportunity to work directly with the EM Students on projects.

EM Student’s Choice: Chosen by the VCU chapter of EM Students

  • $250 prize money (Sponsored by No Dirty Gold).
  • Work featured on promotional poster, sent to over 200 schools around the world, and handed out at conferences.
  • Opportunity to work directly with the EM Students on projects.

Submission Requirements and Guidelines

Images:
This is an online exhibition, so high quality professional images are extremely important.

  •  You may submit a maximum of 5 artworks, and up to 2 detail images per work.
  •  You are encouraged to include up to 2 images of in-progress or studio shots that highlight your efforts in creating a responsible practice. Remember small actions can have a BIG IMPACT. #MakeItEthical. Our goal is to build an ever expanding list of how people consider responsibility in their practice. So think outside the box!
  •      Images submitted must be .jpgs at 300 DPI, and 1280 pixels on the largest side

*Award winners will be contacted for large print quality that are a minimum of 11 inches on the longest side at 300 DPI. You will not be eligible for the awards if these larger image files are not available.

Images must be labeled in the following way:

  • lastnametitle.jpg
  • lastnametitledetaila.jpg or  lastnametitledetailb.jpg
  • lastnamestudioa.jpg or   lastnamestudiob.jpg

*By sending us your images you agree to allow Ethical Metalsmiths and EM Students  to use them for promotional materials and social media posts. You will be credited whenever your image is used, and tagged when possible on social media posts.

Application Materials:

Create one single .doc and include it along with the images in your submission:

  1. Student Status: Your current school and student status, or most recent degree received. Use this format example:

BFA 2020, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA

  1. The mailing address for the Jewelry/Metalsmithing department of your school, and the professor (we will send the show poster).
  2. An artist statement (200 words maximum).
  3. A responsibility statement (200 words maximum) that expresses what you do in your studio practice that relates to the call for entry mission. Think about how the small things we do can have a big impact over a lifetime. How do you #MakeItEthcial?
  4. Image list:
    1. Title
    2. Materials
    3. Dimensions
    4. Year Completed
  5. Please state Yes or No: This image is available upon request at a minimum 11’’ on the longest side at 300dpi which can be used on promotional posters? Award winners will be required to send larger file sizes. Applicants without large images available will not be eligible for the awards, but are still eligible for the online exhibition.

 

Where to Apply

 

Please email images and application materials to emstudentcommittee@gmail.com with subject “SFSC 2018”
Send any questions to emstudentcommittee@gmail.com

Eligibility

 

  • Work must have been made within the last two years
  • Applicants must be a student member of Ethical Metalsmiths ($35). You are eligible for EM Student membership if you have enrolled in a Jewelry or Metalsmithing related course at a high school, college, craft school, or workshop during the current year of student membership, or if it has been less than 2 years since you graduated from a degree granting program.

 

How to Become a EM Student Member:

United States Students

Follow this link (EM Student) click on “add to cart”, and check out.

International Students (any student outside of the United States)

  1. Using, PayPal, Submit your membership donation of $38.00 to EarthWorks (our fiscal sponsor): info@earthworksaction.org
    Include a message identifying Ethical Metalsmiths as the donation recipient.
  2. Please notify us that you joined via PayPal by emailing us at: mail@ethicalmetalsmiths.org AND, emstudentcommittee@gmail.com.
    In the message please include: Your full name, email, mailing address, website, and student status (school enrolled, type of degree seeking, expected completion date),

*You will receive a special follow-up email from Ethical Metalsmiths (1-5 days after donating) to share your benefits with you.

The Jury

Guest Juror: Curtis Arima          

Curtis H. Arima is an Associate Professor and Co-Chair of the Jewelry / Metal Arts Program at California College of the Arts (CCA). He produces jewelry and sculpture in his Berkeley Studio. His work has been exhibited across the country and abroad including: SOFA NY and Chicago, the The National Ornamental Museum in Memphis, Vennel Gallery in Scotland. Awards and nominations include Best of Show for the Innovations in Contemporary Craft exhibition in Richmond, CA, and nominations for instructor of the year for the Niche awards. His publications include Metalsmith magazine, Sculpture magazine, and the Larks 500 Series books. He received an BFA from CCAC and a MFA in Metalsmithing from Cranbrook Academy of Art.

BFA, CCAC; MFA, Cranbrook Academy of Art

http://www.curtisharima.com/       

EM Students, Chapter: Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)

Anne Bujold, Everett Hoffman, Taylor King, Haiyin Liang, and Meg Wachs

You can find more information about your student committee members on the About Us page of the www.emstudents.org website.


is powered by

 

emstudents

EMlogo

A special thanks to our amazing sponsors:

 

riorichlinendg

Answers from Rebecca Lynn-Hewitt

Ethical Metalsmith Emerging Artist, 2016

hewitt

What events led to you becoming a metalsmith?

I’ve always loved working with my hands and making objects. In my sophomore year at Peck School of the Arts, I took my first metalsmithing class and fell in love with the challenges metalsmithing gave me to solve. I love that I’m able to study metalsmithing everyday and will never run out of things to learn!

What is the tool you love the most? If you could have one tool, that you don’t have already, what would it be?

I appreciate all of my tools, but my favorites are my saw frame and calipers.

Right now I work out of a small home studio and a community studio space. I love the balance of having a personal space and tools, partnered with a communal studio space where I can access tools that I don’t need on a regular basis/are expensive. Although I’d love to personally own some larger equipment, it’s not really necessary right now…I’d love to have a really solid wooden stump or beam.

Rebecca Lynn Hewitt | To Preserve

Who are some of the artists you admire and why?

I really admire Natalie Jeremijenko’s work because of the way she seamlessly connects community, science and art. I also admire Iris Eichenberg’s work and appreciate her understanding and use of materials.

After receiving the EM award, how have you considered ethical practice?

Receiving the award was such a great honor. It really challenged me to consider ways in which my practice can improve. It’s made me more aware of conversations surrounding trying to achieve a more ethical practice and how overwhelming it can feel. I’ve been working with the Ethical Metalsmith’s Student Committee to start an Instagram to encourage conversation around these topics.

What is the significance of wearables in your work?

Wearable work is important in my practice because it allows challenging and overwhelming topics to be more accessible and conversational through the body.

Rebecca Lynn Hewitt | Plant

 

How do you select your materials?

I research what exists, how it’s made, and how to safely use it. Selecting materials just takes time. It’s definitely something that can ALWAYS be improved on.

 

What do you listen to while you work?

It really depends on what part of a project I’m on. Sometimes I really enjoy the sounds of the studio. Sometimes I listen to podcasts – my favorites are Call Your Girlfriend and An Organic Conversation.

What are you reading right now?

I’m currently reading Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit.

Rebecca Lynn Hewitt | Threatened

Dream job?

My practice!

What’s next for Rebecca Lynn Hewitt?

I’m starting a residency at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft in March! I’m really excited to be making around and hopefully with my community. I’m also looking forward to collaborating with other artists this year!

Save

Save

Save

So Fresh + So Clean 2016

Ethical Metalsmiths and EM Student Committee proudly present:

3rd Annual Ethical Metalsmiths International Student Exhibition and Emerging Artist Award, So Fresh + So Clean 2016

Featuring:

Rebecca Hewitt | Protect

Emerging Artist Award
Rebecca Lynn Hewitt
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA
Prize: $1000, Sponsor – Richline Group

 

Clare Poppi | Camille (147 Grams, 3 Carats Series)

Juror’s Choice Award
Clare Poppi
Griffin College of Art, Australia
Prize: $500, Sponsor – Rio Grande

Emily Culver | Brush Necklace Set

Committee’s Choice Award
Emily Culver
Cranbrook Academy of Art, USA
Prize: $250, Sponsor – No Dirty Gold

Click Here to see the full 2016 Ethical Metalsmiths International Student Exhibition!

Answers from Soohye Park

Ethical Metalsmiths Emerging Artist, 2015

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ethical Metalsmith Student Committee (EMSC): What events lead to you becoming a metalsmith?

Soohye Park (SP): I’ve loved making things by hand since I was little. I previously studied Textiles, because I loved the warm sensitivity in it. After encountering a metal sculpture show by chance, I realized metal could be warm like textiles, depending on how the artist treats it and that moment led me to become a metalsmith.

Soohye Park | Memori Ephmera

Memori Ephmera
Second Hand Rings, Adjustable Cord

EMSC: What is the tool you love the most? If you could  have one tool, that you don’t have already, what would it be?

SP: It is hard to choose one specific tool. I love all my worn out tools that I have been using. One thing immediately comes to mind is my bench pin with lots of file marks and holes that shows signs of use.

It might sound absurd, but this is something that many people in this field might have dreamed of. I wish I had one more hand that could resist heat, so that I could hold a piece with my third hand while I’m soldering.

Soohye Park | Memori Ephmera 5

Memori Ephmera 5
Second Hand Jewelry

EMSC: Who are some of the artists you admire and why?

SP: There are lots of jewelry artists who I admire, such as Iris Bodemer, whose work has a spontaneous quality in interesting forms and unusual approaches to creation; Iris Ichenberg, whose work raises sensitivity; and Dorothea Pruhl, whose work is primitive and humble, yet spiritual.

In terms of art in general, I admire Doris Salsedo’s mute yet reverberant work, which touches me so much, even before I knew the traumatic history of Colombia, the main influence on her work. I admire the empathetic power in her work itself beyond words; it comes from the heart and that is the thing that I’d like to achieve in my work.

Soohye Park | Memori Ephmera 5

Memori Ephmera 5
Second Hand Jewelry

EMSC: After receiving the EM award, how have you considered ethical practice?

SP: I became more aware of ethical practices in many aspects of my daily life, such as minimizing water and energy use and choosing less toxic chemicals. These are actually very simple yet fundamental practices. I’m growing some air purification plants in my home and studio. I’m unsure of how well they function, but the greenery is great. It makes me feel good and reminds me more of ethical practices. In my studio, I began to collect not only silver scraps, but also non-precious metal scraps, and I separate them for easy recycling. Also, I try to create things out of the scraps and during the process, I often find unexpected new possibilities and forms.

Soohye Park | Untitled Ring

Untitled Ring
Sterling Silver

Also, even though I don’t use many other materials besides metal, mostly recycled silver, I became aware of the importance of acquiring the right information and being educated about material resources.

EMSC: What is the significance of wearables in your work?

SP: I don’t take much account of wearables in my current body of work. Rather, I have previously considered the heaviness of work is important to convey the idea of burden. (Now I think the physical weight doesn’t imply emotional weight.)

I appreciate one of my colleagues’ comments on the teardrop-shaped pendant, made with lots of second-hand rings: “It is very uncomfortable to put it on my body, not because of its fit, but because of the fact that I’m holding so many rings once belonged to others, the unknown memories, the embodied emotions.”

EMSC: How do you select your materials?

SP: I take in ordinary objects and materials and try to find meanings and emotional values in them that might be understood and shared socially and/or universally. I started paying attention to discarded jewelry as material for my current body of work for those reasons. Also, it was quite a visceral response to them. The jewelry displayed at a vintage shop or estate sale, and piled on a scale, evokes feelings of poignancy and sympathy. Although the memories associated with the jewelry might be different and unknown, they convey universal symbols and emotional values that could arouse empathy in others. Also, I mostly use rings because I consider that they have more of the characteristics of their owners, and more symbolic associations within people’s relationships than any other form of jewelry.

Soohye Park | Lump

Lump
Second Hand Silver Rings, Adjustable Cord

EMSC: What’s next for Soohye Park?

SP: I currently work in my studio near my home, which is a small space with a bench, a table and a few tools and machines. After graduate school, it was a little difficult to adjust to the new circumstances. But, now I’ve gotten better and feel comfortable working in my studio alone. My working speed is slow and many of the pieces that I explore go to scraps, but I know that is my way of working in my studio. I just try not to be impatient.

My next project is developing my current body of work, investigating new materials and hopefully gaining more recognition in my work.

EMSC: What do you listen to while you work?

SP: It depends on what I’m working on. However, when I work on my current body of work, “Memory Ephemera”, I mostly listen to New Age music or emotional music that helps me be sentimental and contemplative.

Soohye Park | Lump

Lump
Second Hand Silver Rings, Adjustable Cord

 

EMSC: What are you reading right now?

SP: Contemporary Art and Memory by Joan Gibbons

EMSC: Dream job?

SP: Full time Artist + Foster for abandoned dogs

 

See more of Soohye Park’s work in the Emerging Artist Gallery