In today’s show we are going to tackling that ever present struggle of making art. Is handmade art for everyone? How do you get inspired? How do you get the skills? How do you justify the time? This week you’ll get to meet a true artisan of her trade. Annie Grimes Williams is a professional craftsperson in metal-smithing and enameled jewelry maker. She tells us about what it’s like to make a living as an artisan, balancing home and teaching and find bench time in the studio.
Talking with Annie got me thinking that I don’t need to always have a reason to make something. It may just be for no reason at all, other than to play around with materials, colors and design. Letting our brain have this permission to operate in the right mind unleashes a different type of intelligence. It’s calming, centering and focusing to be able to engage in activity that stimulate our right brain and all types of art projects allow for that to occur.
Even though I’ve spent the last year cultivating a skill for making handmade jewelry, working in copper and bronze, I’ve had an itch to get back to making a different form of art. I noticed I was being attracted to altered art, mixed media and books. After several hours of Pinterest browsing, I found the project I wanted to work on. It was making my own hand bound art book. I wanted it to have blank pages, and an altered art, textured cover. I searched for videos on how to stitch up the binding and attach a cover and converted an old box of clementine wood into two front and back covers, with a bit of leather and hemp cord, I stitched together a binding and whoa- can’t believe I made an actual book! I’ll post some pics in the show notes so you can take a look. Talk about fun. Even though I had zero practice and limited skills, the novelty and fun factor was exponential! I think I’ll make a few more and see what other designs I can come up with. That’s what I love about altered art, you can transform and recycle things into a completely new work of art.
For your maker’s challenge this week, I encourage you to try an experiment in altered art. Mix together some materials that are recycled and see if you can make something new. I like to save kitchen waste like those plastic netted produce bags, egg cartons, and other plastic containers. The most unusual things are the small little plastic bits and pieces that make for amazing textures in art projects. If you’re not composting eggshells, try gluing them to a canvas for a “broken glass effect”. So whether you make a painting or a “junk” sculpture, I’d love to see what you put together. Post it in the Facebook group The Artisan Life.
If you need a few more reasons to get inspired to spend time making art, listen up to my chat with Annie Grimes Williams, the artisan of Copper Tide Studio. Click below to listen to the show!
Listen on iTunes HERE!
Listen on Stitcher Radio HERE!
Find Annie Online here:
Copper Tide Studio
Resources for taking classes:
Sawtooth School for Arts
What to Make this Week:
I’ve been working on making a small handmade book, with textured art cover and all! Isn’t it super cute- it’s only 2 and a half inches square. Love the leather binding!!
Try your own altered art project. Experiment with mixing different media. Paint, clay, paper, leather. Try adding in some recycled bits that might otherwise get thrown away. (The front and back cover of my book here are pieces of wood from a box of clementines.)
Want More Artisan Living? Join the Community on Facebook: The Artisan Life
How do you justify working on art projects? Do you find that taking a class is a great way to get inspired to make things? Has it opened any creative doors for you?