Saturday, June 16, 2012

And Now A Break From B&B News For An Editorial Comment - or Ten....

Sometimes colleagues in any field can disagree.  Learning to disagree isn’t easy.  Agreeing to disagree often doesn’t work and you are just left with the disagreeing part of the equation.  In fact, it’s often painful to all involved but it’s as necessary as, uh – using the toilet.   It’s a growth thing – like a wart.  I wasn’t inclined to post about this topic at first.  I’m not the one who opened the door to blog about this disagreement, but on my end this officially shuts it with my two cents worth.

I’ve stepped on a colleagues toes.  Yup, I did it.  That part we can agree on but it’s unlikely I’m going to change my mind.  Techniques that are generic are just that – generic.   There are a million (well maybe not a million but a lot) of people who stamp words on metal, on polymer, and on clay.  And, there are only so many ways it can be done or enhanced.   I do not see all of the metal stampers getting upset with one another for stamping the same words or phrases on metal…uh, been stamping those since college.
My intentions were not to hurt, copy, or deny anyone their just desserts in making a living off of their art.  To that end I am doing with my stampings as I have done with all of my pieces and mixed it up with my other work.  I am and have always been a mixed media gal and I always will be.  I don’t say this for the colleague whose feelings I hurt but for all those who have now read her blog post and are running over here to mine.  She already knows how I feel and how this came about – we have communicated.
I’m 62 this year (Hello Social Security) and to say I ain’t new to this art rodeo is an understatement.  If we start with college – holey crappers – it means I began doing art in earnest in the year 1969. 

My husband and I began the art show circuit together – me as a multimedia jeweler and he as a toymaker.  That was in 1982 although I had done the jewelry since college.  I was also working a full time position with the State of Michigan and as my responsibilities grew there (and with our children) something had to give.   Oh how I wish I’d of had the luxury of someone supporting my every artistic whim.   I slowed down the jewelry and totally quit exhibiting or competing in juried exhibitions.  I had been in quite a few gallery exhibitions – in many mediums.
In college I took many subjects (painting, ceramics, printmaking, sculpture, figure drawing – heck all of the fine art goodies) and my interests lie in multi-discipline pieces.  I can paint in three mediums pretty well – although I have to say I don’t have any particular love for acrylics.  I draw or sketch daily and created the silkscreens for my husband’s toys – which I also designed.   And this doesn’t cover all of it.

I’m certified as a PMC Instructor (I learned how to do that when I lost the CMC joint in my left thumb and spent a gruesome six months unable to hold metal tight enough to work with it) and it’s when I returned to using clay of all kinds, art clay and ceramic.  It was as good for the rehab of my hand as it was for the rehab of my soul.  You’d have a good laugh at the fact that my 50 pound boxes of clay have been in the basement since that surgery (in my daughters high school years – she graduated in 2000).  Like I said, not my first art experience or rodeo, as it is.  I’m still using the tonnage of earthenware.  My daughter learned to throw pots while I was rehabbing and we played in the mud together.
Luckily I was able to take a class with Jennifer Heynan at a previous B&B who re-tuned my ceramic skills and made me lug even larger chucks of clay upstairs.

LOL – Some of my chasing tools and metal stamps are older than some artists I know and love.  I was excited when the first Kismet set was brought out by Beaducation.  How divine to have new fonts to work with.  I bought Kismet and plenty more as they hit the market.
Well, having been around as long as I have I know that not much is new.  I have tortured materials with stamps, hammers, hydraulic presses, rolling mills and rolling pins, and oh so much more in lampworking, ceramics, printmaking, and painting.   My studio is well equipped with all of them.   I’ve done the same over and over with all mediums.  The only one I truly learned after college was glass.  We didn’t “do” glass in college or I’d of gone there too.  But as soon as those hotheads hit the market I was on them.

Oh how did we get to the disagreeable part? Well – it’s like this…or so I surmise.  And the surmising part could get me in trouble if I didn’t know it was the case.  Well meaning “friends” informed my colleague I was copying.  I actually think they got her pretty worked up about it.  Well, I get it.  I understand how it must seem.  It’s not the first rodeo – right? I know my way around the jury system of an art show, how to make slides, magazine submissions, all of the above and below.  We frequent the same shows and generally know the same people.  What no one bothered to consider was the fact that I do not consider myself competitive with my colleague – or a threat to her domain. I didn’t even blink an eye when lampwork beads were in her booth.  There is room for everyone in the sandbox.  I didn’t email her – call my friends – or get concerned where she learned to do enamels on glass.  Why would I?  She’s a great person – a kind person – a good artist, and if she wanted to add another medium to repertoire – well, why not?  They go so well together.  As far as I know she might not even being doing them anymore or never went any further than the ones I saw a long time ago.
What else can be said about this………..not much.  Except maybe to the “well meaning” friends who might want to consider Paul Harvey’s ending/beginning  laments, “and now for the rest of story…” and try butting out or growing up in the way they “bring things to people’s attention.”  Some people like drama and if others are involved in it then they get to sit back and be all self-righteous and consoling to “the offended”.  I often wonder whether those who are threatened enough to overreact and drag decent people down their path actually have an artistic background enough to flex or if they are just too threatened because their corner of the world is so tightly bunched up in their crotch like a thong in an ass they couldn’t conceive of more than one person doing the same thing.  Okay, now – everyone doing coffee cups or bowls better stop right now – There can be only ONE!  (leave it to me to quote something as silly as "The Highlander")

Too much said…..and I’m not talking about it again.  Continuing on with art of all kinds…

Kindly refer to the post on Zen – This too will pass.


Shanti Johnson said...

Gre8t post! I likey ur blog. Thanks 4 keepin it real, and reminding me why I luv Livin by the beach and being cre8tiv and doin my own thing.

Gallery 13 - Lela Bouse-McCracken said...

I was just telling my daughter the same's all been done. Plus, most of the blogging jewelry artists out there are willing to share their techniques.

Well written, Sharon.

Right Turn ArtWerks said...

Thanks Shanti - You're right and living at the beach must be a kick. Lela good to hear from yoiu so often - there isn't much new under the sun. Everything is dirivative and reinterpreted. I prefer to share...but then you know that already. :-)

angelinabeadalina said...

Oh, good grief, I was feeling bad for you until I read that thong wedgie bit and started laughing so hard... now, you're gonna have to fork over some of your ill-gotten "copying" gains toward a new laptop for me, chickadee :) I don't know what the ruckus was about, but I do not like people getting their drawers in a bunch because someone else uses the same word in a pendant or bracelet or coffeee cup or whatdaheckever. For as long as you've been creating, there has been a new crafting/art fad every year, hasn't there? I could name a bunch myself, and I don't have 1/1000th as many skills in my repertoire as you have... and you mix and pair those skills in all sorts of incredible creations! I'm sorry to bring this post back to your attention, because I'd be stewing over it for days myself, but I'm really disappointed that someone would be miffed at for the meddlers, shame, shame.