Thursday, June 23, 2011

Rust Belt Conference and Market

Note:Today we have a blog post written by Metalsmiths Unite member/blog contributor Ralph Paruszkiewicz:thanks Ralph!
In the beginning of April this year I was a volunteer at the Rust Belt to Artist Belt 3 conference which was held in Detroit. The first and second conferences were held in Cincinati,Ohio.

The conference is held each year to bring together art educators, artists, designers and anyone in post industrial cities that want to help build a new economy. One that isn't totally dependent on the mass production of something made of steel.

All these people come together to talk, learn and create ideas on how to make their dream come true.
Although artistic expression will be a big part of (what I call) a creative economy, an entrepreneur doesn’t only need to be able to paint, draw, sculpt or make jewelry, to be able to add to the economy. The entrepreneur Only needs to be creative in his/her ideas on what type of business to build . The economy will grow from artistic expression and businesses that want to build from that expression.

Right after The RUSTBELT TO ARTIST BELT conference a new business called The Rust Belt Market
Opened in Ferndale, Michigan,One mile north of Detroit. It is in a large building and houses an indoor art fair every weekend.
This is a perfect example of being part of a creative economy. Not only are the owners artists themselves
They are giving many other artists the opportunity to become active in building the artist belt.

To read a summary of what was discussed at this years Conference, and to learn more about the creative economy in Detroit go to:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

MU 2.0

Facebook decided to re-format it's group pages and in all the shuffle (trying to figure out how we could protect our group from being permanently archived) I went ahead and opened a new group, which is called Metalsmiths Unite 2.0.

Here are a few links that you may find helpful:

There is a long explanation of how this all happened at my "Cosmo's Moon" blog HERE
and a tutorial on how to avoid getting your email inbox flooded with group notifications HERE

The original group still exists, but I have closed the wall for posting by anyone other than the administration of the page- I did this to encourage people to use the new group page (at MU 2.0 HERE) However, I will continue to keep the original Metalsmiths Unite (HERE) available as a reference page- there are a bunch of incredible images of outstanding metalwork and helpful posts in the discussions area (which is now called "documents") You can still go there- but you cannot do much more than browse.
If you want to post and comment and interact the place to go is MU 2.0! It remains the place to go for interaction between a vast array of today's working metalsmiths/blacksmiths/knifemakers/jewelers etc.
Free respectful participation is encouraged - snobbery is not welcome :-) (there are many other groups for that online!)

I hope to see you join the community! 
May the flux be with you-
Maureen BZ, Metalsmiths Unite founder

ps- if you are confused about which group is which- the active one is the one that has the original avatar of the beaten up bench pin on a blue background - if you see that familiar image, you are where it's at!