Juried Show of Jewelry, Holloware, Small Sculpture
November 2 – November 25 2012
I always consider it a privilege to be asked to be a juror for a show ~ a privilege for which I feel both honored and humbled; honored because, as an artist, my own experience and reputation have been recognized by my peers through the invitation. Humbled because often I find myself placed in the position of selecting work that is far more accomplished in ways I myself would not attempt. What a treat!
The work presented to me by the members of the Washington Guild of Goldsmiths was diverse and expressive ~ in thought, time, energy, technique, skill, and material choice. It was obvious that there were considerable differences in levels of experience and interests within the medium. And so it was that I found myself focusing in on each individual’s entry and studying the qualities contained within that particular maker’s body of work. I made a pointed effort to mentally set aside the other work around me and give my full attention to each individual.
In scoring and choosing the representative piece of a particular artist I used a simple criterion: I picked what appealed to me. That said, what appeals to me is guided by three primary issues.
First is work that presents a quality or aspect in such a way that I may not have considered before. A characteristic that is new, unfamiliar, subtle, or slightly different. Something I might find surprising.
Second is a work that reflects intent (thought) and content (subject) working in concert with skill in execution (craftsmanship). I believe a good idea brilliantly executed trumps a great idea poorly realized.
Third is sustainability. By that I mean the work contains something of the artist’s energy or sensitivity (spirit if you will) that causes me to return to the piece to look again. A detail, attention to shape, a color or material choice may all speak to the nature of the maker. It’s that voice I look for.
These were my guiding principles in choosing work for the show.
I’d like to thank the Washington Guild of Goldsmiths and especially all the Artists who submitted work. It takes effort to create and courage to put one’s work up for judgment. I deeply understand and appreciate the effort and risk involved. And I thank you for the privilege of having me as a part of that.
Though I feel it is a great honor to be asked to jury any show, it is also a process that I feel is almost sacred as far as the mental energy required, and the integrity of my commitment. I was excited to be asked and couldn’t wait to start. What I bring to this job
is 36 years of creating one-of-a-kind works in precious as well as non-precious metal.
When asked to judge others’ work, someone else’s attempt to create an object in metal, I have to try and understand what their passion is all about. I feel it is my job to have an extremely balanced approach to judging every piece. From the simplest crude attempt, to the most intricately crafted, highly designed piece, I try to always take a second or third look at a single piece. In many cases I would have to put a particular piece aside and return to it only after viewing all of the submissions, just to give it the proper attention. I try to see the effort and the ability, the craftsmanship and the skill, and the level of success at combining them all. And lastly, is there a unique beauty created? How well did it work, how good does it look, feel, function, and is there a signature quality to it?
I felt that Ken and I were both after the same goal. To look at each piece equally and try and stay positive with everything we said or wrote. Even if I did not like a particular piece, I tried to be constructive and clear with my criticism. I tried to judge the work the way I would always want my work to be looked at by any juror, with an open mind and a thorough intellect, and maybe even some humor.
The body of work submitted by the members of the WGG showed every level of skill and dedication to technique. The talent displayed in
this body of submissions was clearly present and the level of dedication to the creative process was overwhelming. I came away from the whole afternoon wanting to meet many more of the artists/members, so that I could talk to them about techniques they used. I was
pleased to see such a high level of professionalism in a guild show. It was impressive to see how creatively various materials that I would never think of using, were incorporated successfully. Flawless rings to paper-like bones, bangle bracelets made with thousands of washer-like pieces, teapots of glowing sterling silver with perfect solder seams, and enamel flower necklaces that took me back to the 60’s. The passionate commitment was clear in every piece I looked at.
The creativity kept pace and was equally present in almost every piece submitted. All of these elements made judging this body of work, not just a pleasure, but also a truly difficult task for both Ken and myself. The nice part was that we agreed that 6 awards were not enough. I think I personally could have given about 20 pieces separate honors, i.e. best use of color, most creative and comfortable bracelet (washers win), best enamel in a pin vs. best enamel in a pendant, best architecture in a ring, best reuse of material (cable necklace), best bracelet linkage and on and on. I thought the level of commitment was complete on almost every piece. Needless to say, I was extremely impressed by all the work, but I was also equally impressed by the genuine warmth of the members I met during the jurying of the show. It was an outstanding experience and a wonderful weekend for me. I hope every artist came away from this jurying feeling something positive regarding their work and how it was viewed. Thank you to every member..
Welcome to our 16th Biennial exhibition and sale, METALWORKS 2012. This juried event tasks each member to present his or her best work. It is apparent in viewing this show that each member has taken up the challenge of excellence. You will be impressed by the diverse nature of the entries and the broad spectrum of aesthetics and technical investigation shown by each entry. Our guild prides itself on welcoming the members to participate in this show equally, students, passionate amateurs, faculty members and working professionals. Looking at this show you will be impressed with the professional manner that infused all aspects of the organization, it is apparent that everyone, from professional goldsmiths and jewelers to those with an abiding passion for the craft and beauty of jewelry and metal smithing, is committed to excellence.
The guild welcomes all who are interested in metals and what can be achieved with them. We offer excellent workshops on many of technique, to all levels of ability from student to professional. Information is readily shared within our community and there is always help with a problem when needed. We have a general get together every third Tuesday where we show videos, offer demos by our members, bring in new tools to discuss how they are used and where to purchase. This is something many of our members look forward to and they car pool for as long as 2 hours to get here. We have an excellent newsletter published by Sherry Terao. She keeps us informed about upcoming shows to enter, workshops we are planning, anything exciting our members are doing and items for sale. All of our success as a guild can be attributed to the wonderful volunteers we have. Whenever help is needed, many step up to help. This is truly a guild that promotes the fine craft of metal smithing. I am honored to be president of such a vibrant guild.
An excellent example of how many people contribute to the successes of this organization is this beautiful show. Lisa Vershbow and Marla Rudnick have done a wonderful job as a perfectly united team. They smoothly coordinated the jurying process, the intake and outtake of the precious jewelry, the set up and take down of the show and the many volunteers needed to be on hand during our open hours. Special thanks to Adrian Luxmoore, our web administrator, Nick,
Barnes our exhibit designer, Jan Maddox and Estelle Vernon, our marketing wizards, Jan Mandel, coordinating the photography , Mia Schulman, assisting with the catalog, Jessica Beels, coordinating the jurors, Dana Bussell for creating the postcards, and Winifred Anthony for everything she does. Also thanks to board members Sandra Zacharia and Donna Wilson. This wonderful Show would not be possible without the support of all our members. Finally, we thank VisArts for hosting us, as well as all of those who come to view METALWORK 2012.