Last night I had the distinct pleasure of attending the Fourth Friday gallery opening reception at Art Works gallery. My friend Carolyn, who is a muralist and polymer clay artist, has a studio in the gallery and she invited me to set up a small display in her studio for the opening last night.
Not having done a show of any kind in months, I was really looking for an opportunity to revamp my display and try out a few new things I had in mind. My work has been evolving steadily since I started selling it about three years ago. I think it's really getting to a place where I feel like it is truly an expression of my skill and talent and vision, instead of an attempt to co-opt someone else's 'thing' and make it my own. Granted, there's really nothing completely new under the sun, but I really think most of my recent work has had more of a stamp of ME on it than anything else.
I'm defining my media, for one thing.
I adore copper. Truly I do, almost as much as glass, as a medium, and I have also discovered I love manipulating metal. Well, duh! What with all the pounding and shaping and mangling of sheets of copper and brass....one would hope I love it!
Etching has also become a new thing for me, and I am finding ways to use that process to bring out my own vision in the work I make.
So....copper, glass, etching, metalsmithing...yep. Now I just needed to find a beautiful and enticing way to display it all.
Remember those vintage suitcases I bought at an estate sale a while back? Got those. Also a mannequin hand, Frank and Jane, some basic necklace stands, a pillow I made for my couch, and some wooden cigar boxes. Much finagling and fiddling later, here is what I had:
In the background is one of Carolyn's murals, on the back wall of her studio. She's fantastic, and last night showed me once again how crucial it is for me to have like-minded artist friends that I can hang out with. It was fun to be in the studio with her, drinking some champagne (one glass each -- we're lightweights -- but the cream puffs? We put a hurtin' on those) and talking about pretty much everything under the sun.
Oh, there's Jane. She was hiding behind a lamp, and pointing out the hollow-bead necklace, 'Roman Holiday'. Carolyn's dad is a blacksmith, and he made that gorgeous lamp, by the way.
The picture quality is not the best, because I had to use the flash or else they were too dark. Sorry about that. I did love hanging my bangle and cuff bracelets off the edge of the train case, though, and standing the earring cards up in the cigar box was MUCH nicer than using my usual oak earring rack. All in all, I really like the direction i am taking with display stuff, so hopefully by the time my next 'real' show rolls around, I will have something really nice all worked up.
I have to confess: I made about five bucks last night, but the greater riches were gained in spending a couple of hours with a friend. Thanks, Carolyn!