A Conversation with My Father About Being an Artist. (My Out of Shape Studio Part 7.)

 

Light wisdom 2

Last week marked the end of the “60 Day Studio Challenge.” Two things got in the way of my publishing a final article and showing off my finished studio. Number one: I’m not finished yet! I need more time. Sixty days sounded like plenty of time to whip even the most dismal studio into shape. Wrong! Painting the floor and some of my studio furniture took longer than I expected. I’ll explain the floor (admittedly just fishing for sympathy here!). Imagine a 12-foot square room divided into three 4-foot by 12-foot sections. I had to move everything off of one four-foot square section to paint. When that section dried, I had to move everything off the next four feet so I could paint the second section. Ditto for the last section. That’s a lot of moving (or in my case, dragging)! And that was just the painting portion of the project. So I need more time. In choosing 60 days for the challenge I should have realized that I need 60 days in total, not 60 consecutive days! So now that I’ve cleared that up, counting the 20 non-consecutive days I’ve spent so far on getting my studio back in shape (over the course of the past two months), I have about 40 “studio days” left. I will finish. I have a friend coming to work in my studio and former students looking for classes. So I am very motivated…just temporarily stalled.

The other thing that prevented me from writing an article about my “out of shape studio” last week was world events. By now you’ve all seen the gut-wrenching images of the young boy whose body was found face down on a beach in turkey. He, his young brother and their mother were three of the 12 Syrian refugees who drowned that day while trying to escape to one of the Greek islands. And those 12 souls were symbolic of the hundreds of thousands of Syrian and other migrants and refugees who risk their lives daily trying to reach the relative safety of Europe. My heart aches for them and for their families. In light of these tragic events, working on my studio and writing about having too much “stuff” somehow seemed disrespectful. In fact, anything to do with art this week just felt frivolous to me. Continue reading…

She Ain’t Pretty-She Just Looks That Way. (My Out of Shape Studio Part 6)

Shelley-FrankensteinI can’t remember when in school I was assigned to read “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelly. But I do remember that I couldn’t put the book down. In Shelly’s book, a scientist named Victor Frankenstein creates a living grotesque creature in a rather “unorthodox” way. I have been working like Frankenstein on making a jeweler’s bench by taking apart old desks and creating something new. After reflecting on my route to making a bench, I’m starting to feel less like a crafty artist and more like a mad scientist. I seem to be obsessed with finding or creating the perfect bench for my studio. Continue reading…

A Creative Spin by Joy Funnell

toolsWhen I’m working I have a whole crop of tools and little boxes that I like to have in front of me on my work-surface so they are readily to hand. For the last few years I have used a rotating desk tidy which is great (Thank you Tracey Spurgin for that idea!), but now it has got to the point where I struggle to fit in all the tools, and I have a few others I would like to add! When I go to pull something out maybe another tool falls out at the same time. Something had to be done about it!! I laid them all out on the table and they looked quite a lot!! Continue reading…

Cool Tip: Improve Your Jewelry Photos

Photographing our work is just one of the many hats we must wear as artists.Getting decent photos for online sites, show applications and to submit for media coverage…is very important.  How your work looks says a lot about   you. A jewellery maker friend of mine, Kathleen Nowak Tucci, always, always has wonderful photos of her work.  Even the on scene shots are wonderful. One teacher I took a class from, (Rona Sarvas Weltman) told us that she never puts out any images of her work unless they are professional shots.

1234972_10151874415434687_140511682_n
A behind the scenes shot from a shoot for Kathleen Nowak Tucci— with Rebecca Lynn, Janine Kirsten Jøffe, Paris Lemon and Kathleen Nowak Tucci. Photo by: Janine Joffe Photography

Excellent advice from a guru of jewellery making!  And advice I will follow once my work is “at that level”.  Until then, I will look for ways to improve my own photo-taking skills so that my shots look less “homemade”.

A few years ago, Hadar Jacobson posted a how-to take better photos using a semi-transparent garbage can as the light box.  I have been meaning to try that idea, and was reminded of it when I saw this blog post: turn a plastic bin into a light boxphoto-setup3 from www.quirkyoak.wordpress.com.

(Here’s the link to Hadar’s post from 2009!  Hadar’s Photography tip)

Do you have any tips for photographing jewellery?  Any pitfalls to avoid? (Click on “read more” to add your comments.) Continue reading…