Monday, February 22, 2010

Brandy Stark

Hi There! in the ongoing quest to introduce metalsmiths and their community I'm continuing with Interviews of the Metalsmiths Unite Facebook group members- 

Here is an interview with  Metalsmiths Unite Member Brandy Stark-

"The Guardian:  Triton with Trident". 

How would you describe what you do as an artist?
I do hand wrapped wire metal sculpture with found objects.

what inspires your designs? Mythology. Sometimes my own life experience, but I'm in love with ancient, mostly mythology.

how long have you been involved in this type of making? (how did you start?)
Since 1995. I started in an undergrad beginning sculpture course at University of Tampa. I didn't like clay, woodworking, textile art, etc. I thought about welding but fire and explosions come to mind. Prof asked me if I could bend 1/4 inch thick wire metal welding rods. I could. He told me that the basic shape is the triangle for the torso, and the rest is history.

where are you located?( email if you want to share, or city/town that you live in)
St. Petersburg, Florida

do you have a website or etsy/artfire/1000market etc store? (list url here)

what other ways do you market your work?(shows, galleries, stores)
I show all over the place -- international, national, local. I am also on the board of TESA. I also show through Art Pool and am a member of the Florida Craftsmen.

do you teach? if so, where-  I teach REL and HUM at St. Petersburg College, University of Tampa, Eckerd College, and Hillsborough Community College.

any advice for newcomers that you would like to share? Build up your muscles and invest in good tools.

where do you envision your work going in the next year? (artistic or business direction)
I don't know right now. I am pleased to be winning more awards for my art and it is getting more media attention. I guess I wish to just continue on that way for a while.

anything else you would like to share?
When I was a child, I never saw myself as a) buying wire cutters b) admiring wire cutters or c) having a favorite pair of wire cutters as an adult. Life is strange, huh?

Thanks Brandy! 
Please note- I'd love to hear from other MU members- would you like to get featured on this blog? you may contact me via Facebook message and I will be happy to send you the list of interview questions!
I will be heading to the Yuma Symposium this week, and hope to meet with many metalsmiths there as well- (I will be composing a blog post about the Yuma experience for certain!)
I hope you all are doing well and are getting plenty of studio time- and I hope to hear from you soon!
ciao- Maureen

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Metalsmiths Unite! in Tucson!

Whew! February in Tucson is an exciting and busy time- we are now in our second week of Gem show frenzy- Lots of cars on the roads from out of state, no parking downtown...and our favorite eateries? Booked solid! :-) We love it though- because in exchange, Tucson gets to host 40+ of the most wonderful gem shows you ever have opened your wallet for!

Last week was the most active week for me- The Agta show is in the Convention center, all the tents are up at Holidome and Tep. That first official week of the shows (not including the "pre-show" shows the weekend before) that first week is chock full of activities- many seminars to choose from (most are free!) and of course, party after party after opening to attend.

This year, I hosted a small gathering at my studio for members of Metalsmiths Unite who were in town for the shows- Luckily, the weather was in our favor and we had a cool, dry evening to enjoy a bit of outdoors and a warm bonfire (I even toasted a couple of marshmalows....then gave up when I found that I needed a longer stick- ouch!)

I was happy to see some of my Tucson metalsmithing friends come to the event- The crew from Krikawa Jewelry Designs, Shawna Lobmiller from Starr Gems, Danielle Embry, Mark Ramsaur from Tucson Parks and Rec and the Metallink program, Dave Arens (chain maker and inventer of the original jump ring tool) Kevin Potter a jeweler/machinist (who made my hydraulic press and dies)  and Jude Clark, a wonderful local jeweler and friend. My dear friend (an admitted non-creative person) Gina Reyes was there too, along with Guido and my super kiddo, Cosmo (who proceeded to entertain us by dragging out his drums..(I think he really wanted a big drum circle...I worry that he might be a bit of a hippy! lol)
Cosmo and Wendy Van Camp get their Drumming groove on

Then there were some out of towners...Andrea Robinson buzzed up on her motercycle from Sierra Vista, The amazing Gem and Jewelry trade Blogqueen Robyn Hawk came , as well as Whaley studios Teri Masters, Wendy Van Camp, Shari Seager and Karen Pfeiffer of "Hammered and Stoned" ...and later on we had Polly Mary Amalia Spencer and Thea Demitre (both who drove here...DROVE HERE from MAINE!) stop by to soak in a few moments of campfire.

My idea of using Skype proved to be a bit too problematic to pull off- We were able to chat a bit with Julie Sanford and even Erkki Kokko(though the feed from Finland was very choppy)  I think I'll be trying to figure out a way to use skype for metalsmiths Unite - I think it needs to be a Skype event on it's own....but that's a subject for future deliberation.

OK- to those who could not make it to the meet up- sorry, I know how hard it is to juggle all the demands of the Gem show- I hope that you can find more time next year to come to this fun and relaxing gathering- And I hope that you had a good time at the show- made lots of contacts and found gems and tools galore!

I'm now setting my sights on the next fun February event- The Yuma Symposium! I'll be going there in a few weeks with a couple of my friends- it's going to be my 4th time attending the event, and I anticipate a Hugely entertaining and creative weekend- (I'll be blogging about it for sure!)

Have a great week everyone- remember to post your events on the Metalsmiths Unite! wall- let us know what you are up to- Have fun in your studios! be safe-
Metalsmiths, Unite!
ciao- Maureen