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Tag Archives: metal

linda threadgill: rosette series

Freshly fallen snow this morning (an April Fool’s joke perhaps?) finds me longing for hints from Mother Nature that Spring is really here.


Looking at Linda Threadgill’s fanciful metal, multi-layered brooch’s from her Rosette series gave me a much needed burst of color and hope – they are so vibrant and bold!  Beautiful layering of texture, pattern, color and shape.




Threadgill coordinated the metals program at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater for twenty five years. Now retired and living in Santa Fe, she is a full time studio artist.




“I find many aspects of ornament compelling. The stylization of nature, motifs that are enhanced through repetition, the constraints of symmetry and other design strategies on natural forms, the use of pattern as a way to measure time, as well as ornament’s ability to mask or create illusions are all the focus of my work. Most recently I have added an exploration of color and layering to the textured surfaces I have always used.”


Linda Threadgill’s website

nissa kubly: camera as art

After months of focusing creative energy on taking pictures of my new surroundings (thousands of pictures) and teaching myself about photography and cameras (hundreds of hours), it seems fitting to write my first post of the year about an artist who creates pinhole image jewelry and constructs fully functional, small-scale metal cameras that double as beautifully crafted sculpture and wearable art.

View from the Gardens,
1.5″ diam., sterling silver, 23k gold, fine silver, film, glass

View from the Gardens, back

Nissa Kubly is a metalsmith, jeweler and photographer with an MFA in metals and jewelry. Kubly takes her one-of-a-kind pinhole image jewelry one step further by fabricating the cameras used for the imagery.

Pinhole Ring Camera

All of Kubly’s cameras use film and the wearable cameras – rings, bracelets, belt buckles – “offer tiny glimpses of the outside world when the image is developed.”

I am inspired and intrigued. And so, we begin the new year. . . welcome 2011.

Ten Minute Camera

Box Camera, brass, 5″ x 3.25″ x 4″

“A camera obscura, literally meaning “dark room”, can consist of any dark chamber, such as a box or room, with a small opening. Light from the subject matter outside the chamber travels through the room and appears as an inverted image on the opposite wall. My work consists of functional instruments made of metal, inspired by the camera obscura.” Nissa Kubly

Tuscan Villa Necklace Sterling Silver,
Pinhole Image on Film with 18k Gold Background

“This necklace contains a pinhole image taken from Ravello, Italy. The film is brown toned & set between a small circular piece of glass and 23ky gold. A process of photo etching produces the ornamentation on the back of the necklace. A handmade clasp completes the necklace.”

Lisa Sette Gallery has some wonderful images of Kubly’s cameras and sculptural viewers.  Read an article about the artist here.

See Kubly’s MFA portfolio here and an exhibition of her work at Paoli House Gallery.


Come back this afternoon when I will announce the three winners of the give-away.

And did you get DAM’s first newsletter?  No?  Be sure to sign up below if you would like to receive them in your mailbox.

I’m posting a link to the first one to give you a sneak peek (and news about the apprenticeship project).

See you this afternoon. . .

mariko kusumoto’s magical metal worlds

Mariko Kusumoto captures remnants of her memories of Japan and sets them to motion by assembling these fragments of everyday life into elaborate fabricated metal box constructions – many resembling pop-up books or miniature stage sets with movable parts, gears that rotate and detailed imagery.


{click images to enlarge}

Self Entertainment Kit, open: 17″ x 34.5″ x 3″

Self Entertainment Kit, detail

“Within the relatively small size of my works, I am striving to create a world of shadows, light, silence, spirituality, and my personal memories.”

Doors, drawers and compartments open to reveal jewelry or tiny metal sculptures that move – both figuratively and literally. Kusumoto’s brilliant imagination is pure magic and the combination of wit, humor and masterful craftsmanship will have you under her spell.

Mobilia Gallery created a series of stop motion animation videos of her work – watch all of them (really, you must!) and you will understand why a photograph isn’t enough to get a sense of the details and intricacies of each piece.

Racine Art Museum is currently hosting Kusumoto’s Unfolding Stories, a traveling exhibit of her work organized by Mobilia Gallery.  You can see these utterly exquisite pieces through January 23, 2011 at RAM.

Tokyo Souvenir: Wearable pieces in individual containers
open, 7.5″ x 35″ x 20″

A bracelet from Tokyo Souvenir
One of many, many wearable pieces from this vignette

From Mobilia Gallery’s website:

“A brilliant technician, Mariko Kusumoto masterfully fabricates and embellishes box constructions with a myriad of metalsmithing skills including etching, electroforming, and patination. With astounding attention to detail she explores interior spaces, deftly transforming each compartment into interactive miniature theatres, revealing figures and objects with movable parts, rotating gears, and musical mechanisms.”

Ryounkaku, closed: 27″ x 9″ x 1.5″

Ryounkaku, detail

From Mariko Kusumoto’s artist statement:

“My father is a Buddhist priest, and I grew up in a temple that was founded four hundred years ago. While living in the temple, I took the place for granted and didn’t think anything special of it. However, the more time that I spend living in the United States – with its diverse cultures and varied ethnic groups, the more conscious I become of my identity as a Japanese. As the yearning for my temple grows, I gain a greater sense of appreciation of it, as well as of Japanese culture in general. As time goes by, my memories become stronger and more vivid. This feeling is the inspiration of my artwork today.

Metal has been a familiar material to me since I was a child; polishing the elaborate metal ornaments in the altars in my temple was one of my chores. When the gleam of the gold-colored ornaments would emerge from the darkness, I could sense the spiritual world and its eternal silence.”

Many thanks to Racine Art Museum for alerting me to this wonderful artist. Visit RAM to see Kusumoto’s work in action.

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