Sunday, January 22, 2017

Susana Arias

My new series of sculptures “Sailmaker” are large anagama and soda fired ceramics. They are representations of people going through passages in life. Abstracted, cocooned people traveling in vessels, the sculptures are about our secrets, the things we have within us, unseen, unheard.

I concern myself with the contrast between primitive cultures and contemporary aesthetics; and I explore man’s attempt to control nature in an entropic world.

My work is done in series.  Each series is inspired by a glimpse of nature, a word in a book or maybe a nagging thought such as how can I simplify this form to it’s essence.  The most amazing part of the creation of a series is the conversation between art and artist. I may begin with a specific thought and then the work starts talking to me, whispering it’s needs and guiding me through a process of growth and development that may even change the original concept and make it more profound and imperative.

See Susana's Website HERE

Susana Arias, a native of Panama, is an internationally recognized artist.  Her work is in the permanent collection of museums in the United States and Latin America.  Arias has lectured and taught workshops in Universities and Museums in the United States and Latin America and has participated in Symposiums in many Latin American countries. 
She was 2013 Santa Cruz County Artist of the Year; she received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1988 for her sculpture series “Earthworks”; and some of her other awards include: 2012 Project of the Year at Beach Area Roundabout in Depot Park, Santa Cruz, Ca., Santa Cruz Archaeological Society Presidential award for “Artistic Achievement and Advancement of Archaeological Awareness” for her Public art sculpture “Finding our Past”.
Susana has a strong interest in Public Art and working with the community.  Some of her projects include “Finding our Past” a bas-relief sculpture on Porter St./Bay Ave. Underpass, which won the “Environs Enhancement Award” given each year by Cal Trans to one California project.  She worked with Gateway Students on a traffic circle on King Street “Light time”, a working sundial; with 150 third graders, on the tiles for the Santa Cruz Police department; and many other public and private commissions.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Marissa Saneholtz's CollaboNation

A year ago, when I was writing my proposal to present at the Yuma Symposium, I had too many ideas, because I am far too passionate about metalsmithing and making in general. 

I ended up narrowing it down to two possibilities: a very metalsmithy demonstration on pin back mechanisms or a presentation on the collaborative projects that I have been working on.

When I was informed that I was chosen to be a presenter, and would have an opportunity to share my collaborative research projects with the Yuma Symposium crowd, I was over the moon!

What better venue to talk about the magic of collaboration than The Yuma Arts Symposium!!  The event that we will all be attending and enjoying this February is a superb example of how collaboration can inspire people and be something that is enjoyed for years.  The Yuma Symposium, and the friends that started it, have motivated younger generations, and we have hit the ground running in search of building our own collaborative relationships.
 Me, hard at work on my presentation.

I am happily working on my presentation, where I will share stories and artworks made during two recent collaborative partnerships: one with Leslie LePere, an illustrator who lives in Washington state, and one with Taekyeom Lee, a graphic designer and tech wizard who lives in North Carolina.

    Collaborative piece from Leslie LePere and I in the kiln.
     Collaborator Taekyeom Lee working with a altered 3D printer.

 Some 3D printed PMC before firing.

I will also speak about the artist residency Smitten Forum, which my good friend Sara Brown and I have collaborated on for the past 4 years.  

Recently I have been hitting the studio making some fresh collaborative work, and Sara and I have been finalizing Smitten Forum 2017, so I will have a lot of new things to talk about when February rolls around!

The benefits of working together can be highly energizing and inspiring on so many levels, bringing us closer and making distance dissapear!  It really is a "CollaboNation."

See More of Marissa's work HERE

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Craig Nutt

What’s in That Sausage?
Southern humorist Roy Blount, Jr. once said that asking where you got an idea is like asking “what’s in that sausage.” The list may be long and some of the ingredients are unexpected. Here is one example:
I was born in north central Iowa where the land is flat, the corn grows tall, and silos and grain elevators punctuate the skyline.
In 1960 my family moved to Huntsville, Alabama, “The Rocket City,” where the rumble of rocket engine tests was commonplace.
Just across the state or county line you can find fireworks stands like this, peddling rocketry fantasy – promising so much, but delivering so little.
Many people in the South are vegetable gardeners. I started gardening seriously at about the same time I began making furniture. I soon found that gardening opened up a channel of communication with all kinds of people who grow things, and eventually provided a visual vocabulary that I used in my work.
Have you ever noticed how much the Space Shuttle launch vehicle looks like a silo or considered the parallels between the military and agribusiness?
Can you guess how George H.W. Bush provided the final inspiration for the work below? (More at the Yuma Symposium!)
Golden Bantam Bomb, 1989, 20”x21”x9”, Oil paint on wood.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Colin Blakely

“Overlook, Grand Canyon”

“What a great view!”

How many of us have exclaimed these four words on one or more occasions? Probably most of us. How many have stopped to think about what specific aspects of the scene we were standing in front of inspired the comment in the first place? Probably fewer. Yet chances are, there were many similar qualities in what we were each responding to. It was probably an outdoor scene. We probably were able to see a far distance with few obstructions. We were probably in an elevated position that allowed us to “survey” the landscape in front of us.

“Yosemite (After Bierstadt),” Pigmented Inkjet Print

We tend to assume that the qualities that make a scene a great view are self-evident, somehow innate to human perception. They are written into the structures that dictate so much of our interaction with the landscape, from the most popular spots at National Parks to the ubiquitous roadside “Scenic Overlook.” Despite how ingrained these views are in our collective consciousness, they are not innate, but carefully constructed and written into the landscape to engender particular ideologies that are tied up in national identity as well as a host of commercial and individual interests.

“Topographies 1,” 4 Pigmented Inkjet Prints

The landscape is ultimately one of the most politicized entities of our time. It is the backdrop against which so many narratives and other types of power struggles play out. Ultimately, these narratives become inseparable from the place itself. This intersection of narrative and place, in which the lines that designate where one ends and the other begins become obliterated with time, is at the heart of what motivates my work as an artist. What better setting than the Southwest, a part of the country steeped in these land-based narratives, to discuss this? What better place than Yuma? I look forward to seeing you all there! 

See more of Colin Blakely's work HERE

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Rachel Shimpock & Electroformeriffic!!!


It’s what happens when Electroforming and Terrific lie very, very close together! True story!! 

Listen, I know you may know what Electroforming is, but lets talk about home/studio small set-ups shall we? 

From plan ahead-ers to wake up in the morning and plate by the afternoon-ers I got you covered! If you don’t know what electroforming is…come find out!  I will present to you tips, tricks and an informative demonstration including setups, solutions, alternative power sources and bunches of samples to nerd out hard to.   

Shake off your Friday hangover with me, Rachel Shimpock, Saturday morning, and lets MacGyver our way to plating!

Also! My photographer best friend and I will be doing a fun lunch activity for you to enjoy! Look for the Red tent!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Kim Cridler : The Descriptive Line

Kim Cridler: The Descriptive Line – Demonstration with lecture 
Trained as a jeweler/metalsmith, but leaning towards sculptural work, I will present the basics of soldering with steel including terminology, material properties, a variety of fluxes and solders, how to color and protect steel, lots of samples, and show my basic way of building symmetrical forms.  I will talk about how these simple processes allow me to build structural forms that become part of sculptural work. The lecture will expand on my formal and conceptual interest in the decorative arts, vernacular art forms, and craft. I will touch on ideas of repetition, beauty, and the essential struggle towards change.
Witness Tree, 2016, steel, mother of pearl, gypsum cement, 58" high x 6" x 56"

Detail, Witness Tree

Thicket, 2013, steel, silver, hematite, bronze, 78" high x 31" x 31"

Detail of bird form in Thicket  

2 Details of building bird form in Thicket using soldered steel wire

See more at

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tom O'Day

hope you can join me at 10:50
looking for a few people to help me out