Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Call of the Goth

I got an email newsletter the other day from SNAG (Society of North American Goldsmith's). A call for entries has been put out for the 2012 issue of their fabulous 'Exhibition in Print'. I totally missed the September 16 deadline for the Saul Bell, so I think I might try my handiwork in this one.

American Gothic by Grant Wood
I have no illusions that I'll make it into the issue, but submitting is a huge challenge in and of itself, and I feel a need to rock my own world. I've been working on my e-book for a few months, perfecting the Mentorial model, trying to be a good Artistic Advisor for the PMCC blog, and teaching the wonderfully talented students in L.A. Do you see making pretty things in that list anywhere? No? Me neither. I'm feelin' the old artist's ennui. I really do think that the kind of creativity you access while working with your hands is like a muscle. Use it or lose it.

Thankfully, it's relatively easy to get back on the artful pommel horse. I need to make a few "things to torch fire" for the Metal Arts Society of Southern California's (MASSC) Demo Day, which is on Saturday (I'll be introducing metal clay to traditional fabricators). That should be easy. Then maybe I'll do a sample of the two part project my 8 week class will be tackling in a couple of weeks. Maybe I'll spend a couple of hours making a stock of teensy granulation balls and bails to set aside for future projects. Baby steps. Things I feel comfortable with. After all, you wouldn't run a marathon after a year on the beach.

The theme of the 2012 exhibition is gothic jewelry. Now that *does* seem like a challenge. The first step for me will be to decide what I think gothic means in relation to my style of work. The first images that come to mind are steampunk cogs and wheels, dark make-up, Charles Addams art, and a general doom and gloom atmosphere. None of which are my aesthetic. But, gothic also refers to medieval art and architecture as well as the Victorian revival of those designs. Which *are* right up my alley.

I have a while to think it out, come up with a few designs, and narrow my focus of the theme. The deadline is February 1, 2012. I'd love some input from you, dear readers. I know you have some ideas of what 'gothic' means to you. Share?

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