Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Beth Wicker: Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio ~ Artist Interview

This week for our Artist Interview we have Beth Wicker - thanks so much for sharing with us Beth!!!

Beth Wicker
How would you describe what you do as an artist? 
I'm all about creating, so I use a range of media - whatever will work to get the idea in my head out into the open.  Currently my primary media is metals, but I also work in mixed media fibers, paint, make original prints, and create handmade paper.
What inspires your designs?
Patterns - I love patterns!  I find them primarily in nature, but also in traces of the human presence on earth.

© Beth Wicker ~ Leaf Earrings
How long have you been involved in this type of making?
Back in the dark ages when Public Television actually taught subjects my mother would find out what art classes were coming up, get the supplies, and we would all sit in front of the television and learn whatever that class's technique was.  My mother took me to adult classes by the time I was about 10, and I've been learning ever since.  I did metals a bit as a kid, at home and at summer camp, but got back into it in a big way when my daughter wanted me to teach her when she was 10 - that circle of life thing going on.

© Beth Wicker ~ Dogwood
Where are you located?
I live on a farm with a lovely pond, just outside of Cheraw, SC, not too far from the NC border, and about half way between Charlotte, NC and Myrtle Beach.
Do you have a website or etsy store?
I sell on Etsy - http://www.bethwicker.etsy.com
I have a website:   http://www.bethwicker.com
And a Facebook page:  http://www.facebook.com/ThreeCatsandaDog
and I just opened a shop at Handmade Artists: http://handmadeartistsshop.com/shop/ruralart

© Beth Wicker ~ Pod Series #1

What other ways do you market your work?
I have a number of galleries and gift shops that carry my work and bring me in for trunk shows.  I do retail and wholesale shows, and a good bit of custom work.
Do you teach? if so, where?
I teach through area arts commissions, generally what I call "make and take", where I bring all the tools and materials and folks leave with a finished product.
Any sage advice for newcomers that you would like to share?
Don't quit the day job yet!  Making a living as an artist takes WORK!  And you MUST market yourself!  I see too many artists not doing enough marketing.

© Beth Wicker ~ Inner Landscapes

Where do you envision your work going in the next year?
I just took a workshop with Michael Good and learned anticlastic raising.  I already do repousse' and chasing, and I see my work getting much more three dimensional in the next year.  I'm also beginning to explore tableware and vessels.
Anything else you would like to share?
Love my rolling mill!  I use it for texturing (back to the whole pattern thing), and keep playing with new ways to add texture, pattern and color to my work.  I blog about new techniques and tools at http://bethwicker.ganoksin.com/blogs/

© Beth Wicker ~ Art Deco Pendant

Beth has also been working with Ganoksin on a couple online exhibits. 
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder can be seen HERE.
A blurb about the exhibit:

The drive to adorn the human body is surely as old as human kind.
Early jewelry was made of bones, shells, sticks, and whatever other materials the people could find and shape.  Over time the ability to mine and shape metal developed, and jewelry was made from bronze, silver, gold, platinum and other metals.  Gold has long been thought of as a “precious” metal, and today it is joined by silver and platinum as the three main materials modern jewelry is made from.
While much jewelry today is made from these three main metals, a large body of jewelry world-wide is still made from a much wider range of materials.  This exhibition, “Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder”, focuses on jewelry made primarily of materials other than gold, platinum and silver.  
Jewelers today are still using found objects such as shell and bone; they are using “green” materials – upcycled and recycled objects and materials; they are using cutting edge plastics and newly developed technology; and they are using older metals such as copper, brass and bronze. Some of the more unusual materials include vinyl LP’s, velvet, VCR components, rattlesnake vertebrae, corian, canvas, paper, crab claws, magnets, synthetic rubber electrical insulation tubing, and aluminum grounding wire. 


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