Happy Weekend Everybody!!
link to her blog post:
Hey Everyone! Go and check out Jessica's post talking about making her Yuma Symposium pins for 2013. Jessica Shy is an awesome metalsmith from So Cal that I met at last year's Yuma Symposium. Aside from loving animals, she makes sweet jewelry! She often uses vintage and re purposed materials with her nature based designs. She also takes beautiful photos which can be purchased as well as her jewelry on her Etsy site: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Kissthearth
Happy Weekend Everybody!!
link to her blog post:
Nate Jones here with his lovely wife Cat
I had the pleasure of attending Nate Jones' last exhibit in San Pedro, Ca.. Nate was kind enough to allow me to interview him about his life and his art.
[Paradise Metal Art: So Nate, thanks for taking the time to let us get to know you. Let's start with how we can contact you and some of your background.]
[Nate:] The best way to get a hold of me is sadly at my shop where I'm working full time (562) 597-3369 - and be sure to ask for Nate Jones the younger. I work with my Pops . . . who is also Nate. My website is natejonesart.com , which can also contact me. I live and work on both art and tires in Long Beach, well technically the tire shop is in Signal Hill. I got my BFA from CSULB in Drawing and Painting in 2005, and struggled after that to make any art that really ... got me going. I think I had a hard time because of the newness of no boundaries and no structure. I'm naturally unstructured and so I was not helping myself. I got married in 2007 and was curious to see how marriage would affect my art production. Thankfully it was hugely positive. My wife was an Art History major and now teaches that and drawing and painting at a really great High School in Long Beach. It turns out she was the structure I needed to be able to actually consistently make work. She is also a wonderful person to discuss ideas with, being that she has such an informed background.
[PMA: So what do you like to do for fun?]
[Nate:] These days for fun it seems like I am mostly making art. If it's winter and I have the time I love to snowboard. I love the snow... I'm Norwegian by blood. I used to skateboard, but over the past many years as friends quit I also fell out of it unfortunately. I've always loved to draw. Figure work is especially fun for me, as long as I don't HAVE TO do something specific. I also like going to see other art and sometimes bands ... you know ... general fun type stuff.
[PMA: Where have you shown your work?]
[Nate:] I've been blessed enough to be in several group shows here in California, and in Italy which were mostly related to school. After graduating shows became more difficult. I was in two back over in Italy that were juried, but I found out about them through a teacher I had in the past. It pays to stay in touch. After those, I was awarded the Sister Carrol Brody fund at Marymount College in Palos Verdes, Ca.. That was like a grant to do a solo show of whatever I wanted on their campus. Oh, I forgot about a juried group show at the Long Beach museum of Art as well. Their biennial art auction. My piece actually sold!
My most current show was at the Warschaw Gallery in San Pedro last November.
[PMA: Tell us about your materials and your ideas/connections.]
[Nate:] I started experimenting with tire shavings as a medium in 2004 when I returned home from Italy. The shavings are a by-product of a process called truing, which is shaving a tire round. It's an old process hardly practiced any more in the tire industry. We, at our shop, are some of the last actually utilizing the method. Having worked for years at my Dad's shop I had been around the shavings for a long time and it seemed fitting to use them. One of the qualities that initially attracted me to them, other than proximity, was line. They act like a three dimensional pencil or paint stroke, which for me was really seductive because I L O V E line ... ! My favorite works of the masters are absolutely their drawings, not their paintings. A Rubens painting is obviously awesome and ridiculous but I love his drawings ten times more. Anyway ... I began simply, as I was just starting to develop the "language" with which to use the shavings. As I worked with them I realized how connected I felt to them, having poured hours into the work from which they come. I decided to use the shavings as my primary medium and now find making work with them to be somewhat of a conversation. Sometimes the shavings are pushing me and telling me what I should be doing or trying and other times I am exerting my will upon them. I think somewhere in the middle is where my art is successful. Sometimes I wonder, "what if someone else decided to try this medium, would I still be special...?". I've come to the conclusion that I have the upper hand, being the laborer from which the materials come. I have a long relationship with them and believe anyone else would pale in comparison. I guess that is part of the interesting thing about the art I'm making now. We have a full working relationship from beginning to end.
[PMA: Ok, now tell us about your process.]
[Nate:] I have great faith in the tire shavings to be able to do all that I want them to. One of my primary jobs is to figure out how to get them to do it. As I said before, sometimes I tell the shavings how to act and sometimes they tell me. In many cases I have an idea that I think would utilize the rubber in a very interesting way. An idea that would ultimately showcase their great formal qualities. Often times I do preliminary drawings, keeping in mind the attitude of the rubber,and then I build a rubber piece from that idea. From here it becomes somewhat of a dance as I try to lay out what I want and the rubber directs me where it wants. Sometimes my work can look accidental, and for sure there are moments within that I cannot control, but for the major part it is all very calculated. It seems I spend more time staring at a piece than actually working on it.
Three Meats on Black
[PMA: Let's talk a little about some pieces you are interested in.]
[Nate:] The pieces that I'm most excited about these days are the meats, which are based off of something one might find in a slaughter house or butcher shop. They are not meant to be political in any way, however I'm not opposed to people appreciating them for certain reasons, like veganism/animal rights, recycling etc. The carcass is, for me, the perfect subject to encourage formal exploration using this medium. The tire shavings are naturally very bodily and it's as if they want to be reconstructed back into a whole unit. My piece entitled " three meats on black" is probably the piece I'm currently the most pleased with. It really shows the rubber in all conditions very well and utilizes many of my different methods for forming the small parts. I also loved using the natural colored rubber for the background. It is generally hidden under paint and so many of the wonderful details that exist in their purity are lost. The contrast between the relatively matte background and the generally glossy meat is very strong and makes me want to grab on to them and squeeze. In creating this piece I discovered many new techniques for working with the rubber and so have added quite a few new words to my language, you might say.
[PMA: Any advice for emerging artists?]
[Nate:] My best advice for emerging artist, which I consider myself to be one of, is to make art! I had a hard time in school and after trying to figure out what I wanted to make and why. I think I made myself a little ill by thinking too much first. It was when I decided to just get my hands dirty that things began to click. If it's just sketching or writing down ideas for the future, do it every day so you develop a habit of creative existence. I know that sounds a little hippie, which I am most certainly not, but whatever. In making work as much as possible I feel that one will discover what they really love and what really seduces them. When I realized that I couldn't sit in front of a painting for very long, and that I needed to be up and moving around, sculpture became a new direction for me. I find it allows me to be more creative in actual space, more involved in all aspects of a piece. I also found I love the engineering, even if just a small amount, that must go into unconventional sculptures.
[PMA: Any advice on how to get in galleries?]
[Nate:] As far as getting into galleries, I guess the best thing is to get to know people. I really believe, for better or worse, it is about who you know. Sometimes that aspect is lame, like when you see work in a gallery that is obviously not awesome. At the same time, however, it is a way for gallery directors to trust you and the seriousness of what you are doing. They have a ton of artists to sift through and if they can get a heads up from someone they already trust it just makes sense. So I guess make good work you believe in, get to know people, and obviously be willing to put the work out for criticism.
Thanksgiving is here! And that means gift giving time is next! I have selected some Paradise Metal pieces that I'm sure that special girl or guy in your life will love. Also, I have free shipping on Big Cartel, enter code :FREESHIP.
I really hope you like my selections! I want to thank everyone for their support this year! I couldn't have gone this far without my wonderful family, friends and fans! Please, be safe this holiday season and have a wonderful time with your loved ones!!!
These earrings are one of the original Paradise Metal Art pieces. They are super light, cute and available in many colors. My personal fav is this white deerskin color. The brass and deerskin come from a tiny shop in Big Bear, Ca. The components of these earrings will always come from that store. I appreciate locally and hand sourced materials. And seriously, at $20 a pair, you can't lose. These earrings are available online www.paradisemetalart.bigcartel.com and at Twig and Willow in Long Beach, Ca. www.twigandwillow.com for more information on the store.
'MEN'S FLUORITE WRAP BRACELET'
This is one of my newest pieces and has been a huge hit. I love jewelry on guys (am I the only one?). If your special guy loves having original unique apparel, then this bracelet won't disappoint. Also, this piece isn't limited to men. I wear one of these layered with other feminine bracelets and it looks awesome! $60 www.paradisemetalart.bigcartel.com
'SIGNATURE DOUBLE ARROW RING'
I adore my signature double arrow ring! It's my company logo, but I like that people tell me what it means to them! A customer told me it looked like a little fast forward sign telling her to keep going! Don't we all need that? These rings are lovely and simple. Pair it up with your fab fringe bag or Navajo print Pendleton. $50 www.paradisemetalart.bigcartel.com and also available at Twig and Willow in Long Beach, Ca. www.twigandwillow.com
The Rec Ring is now available in 4 stones: Turquoise, Tiger's Eye, Amethyst and Peach Moonstone! I decided to extend the series since customers kept requesting different stones! I'm a great listener! Now you can have this ring tailored to your fav outfit or color!. My personal fav is the peach moonstone. This ring has such a classic design and it's great for something special or for everyday wear! $70 www.paradisemetalart.bigcartel.com and at Twig and Willow in Long Beach, Ca. www.twigandwillow.com
Hi everyone! Things have been super busy here at PMA! A couple of announcements:
-I will be posting a new post soon of the Nate Jones solo show in San Pedro, Ca. He is an awesome artist with an awesome show! If you are in the Southern California, you should definitely check it out. More info at http://www.spacedistrict.org/a/transvagrant/
-PMA now has select pieces available at Twig and Willow, Long Beach! www.twigandwillow.com. They are also having a Best Of anniversary party Oct. 13th from 11-7 pm. Located at their store (3740 E. 4th Street Long Beach. Corner of Grand and 4th). Raffle tickets are available now for $5, and you can win some amazing pieces by twig and willow designers! 100% of proceeds go to charity. Recipients will be City of Long Beach Animal Care Services and Maple Village School. For more info go to www.facebook.com/twigandwillow
Well we are back from an exciting weekend in SF! We got back at 3am and my hubby had work at 7, but we are alive (no thanks to some mini van going 45mph and cutting us off) and well. The event went great I think, although some vendors thought it was slow. I think in the coming years Unique SF will be as big as Unique LA and the word will spread around SF and bring more people. I got to meet a lot of brands that I am friends with on Instagram, set up a couple of really important accounts and made some sales and custom orders! Def well worth the effort and money. I had my clam chowder and rode on the Bay Bridge. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough time to do the Golden Gate, but we will be back for sure!
The reason why I am writing this post is to thank my family and friends for everything! Sam even flew out after only getting an hour of sleep! You guys are the best and are crucial to the success of my company and brand.
SF you were def TOOBS.
So we are leaving for SF today! I am so excited, I hope I can fit everything in the car. So far we need to pack: An almost 2 year old and all of her Dora accessories, Mommy and Daddy's stuff, a huge old door, two old windows, a 6ft table, a diorama including plants, two chairs, jewelry displays, sleeping bags, air mattress, pillows, towels oh yea and uh jewelry. All in a Durango for 6 hours. Can it be done? No one knows.... good news is that this has turned into an online check list, so thanks for that. Imma add a few more while I'm here (pay studio rent, batteries, square reader, snacks for baby, camera, email mother in law)
SEE YOU ALL IN SF!!!!! -diana :)
As most of you know (because I am on repeat) that I was accepted into the first Unique SF! Since many of you have asked, I wanted to talk a little about events and why I think they are important.
Ok, let's be real. Events are hard work! I am still recovering from my sun burn from Patchwork in May. My dad always taught me to work hard to get where you want to be. Putting in work gives you experience, it helps you meet cool people and get your name out there. There are so many benefits to events and fairs that I can't understand why everyone isn't doing it.
Events cost money. Period. Events and fairs can cost anywhere between 20bucks-10,000 bucks even more maybe! How do you know when you are in a good event ? (meaning worth your money) Well, it's fuzzy. If an event is 20 bucks, it might mean that the other vendors at the event are selling cheap goods. It could also mean that they don't expect too many people coming through. It could also mean that the event isn't in it for the money and they would like a lot of happy vendors at a cheap entry fee, instead of stuck up vendors who paid a ton and expect to make a ton. The point is, cheap vendor booths are a mixed bag. Life is like a box of chocolates.... etc.
Now, Patchwork Festival. Patchwork cost me $80. I had a tiny space with no easy up, hence the sun burn. I had been up for 36 hours straight. Was it worth it??? HECK YES! Long Beach events in general are a gold mine! I made a ton of sales, made lots of new friends and connections, saw the old homies around and ran out of business cards! I had a couple offers from Long Beach business owners wanting my stuff for their stores/events. Best $80 I ever spent. Unique SF is coming up soon and I will give a full report, hopefully with some pictures.
And how does one find these events and how do you get in? Research gives you knowledge. I know, genius huh!! Craigslist offers smaller venues and galleries. Facebook of course. And hardcore spying. You heard me. Spying. When I hear about someone getting into an event I have never heard of before, I google it. I google everything. I'm googling right now (eww sounds gross.) Anyways, what I am trying to say is that I think it's important to keep one eye open for the next thing. Read blogs (like mine :p) read fashion trends and follow other designers, not necessarily jewelers. Designers you keep track of might have awesome jewelry, or awesome business sense. I always consider what other people tell me to do and especially listen to your (true) friends.
I think the most important asset, other than your work, is your website. It was the only thing Unique SF and Patchwork saw to determine if I were to be accepted or not. It needs to be fresh, original and most importantly CURRENT. By current, I mean play by play current. I hate it when you go to a website and the stuff says like 2010 or something. Lame. Honestly, I lose interest in the company no matter how stoked I was about it when I looked them up. Obviously, they were cool enough for me to take the time to google them, but then blah. Always consider your website as it would look to someone else. Ask your friends for help and advice. Get some real constructive criticism about it. Your real friends will be honest.
Events/Fairs? = YES
Spend Money On Good Events That You Have Researched?= YES
Website?= YES YES YES
Sun Burn?= Yea.... (Unique SF is indoors... whoop whoop!!)
See y'all around!! -Love, Diana
Hi Everyone!!! Thanks so much to everyone who made it out to Patchwork last weekend! We had many sales and even sold out on some items! Many good things and great connections came from Patchwork and I will keep you all posted!
Special thanks to my homies for helping me get ready for Patchwork! Yassie, Sean, Sam, Moshir, Khadija, Marissa and of course my wonderful husband Scott and my in-laws(babysitters), Ted and Lu. Without you guys, I couldn't have done it!.