I think, and it is just me thinking…(dangerous) Too much emphasis
is put on making “art jewelry” Not so much by those who buy, but our
While at the Appalachian center for crafts, we had a critique on our
project. Now I was not typical as a student being older. The
youngsters as I call them were all proud of their interpretation of
Not one of them would I have given a cent for. It was the typical
cerebral thought out stuff that was supposed to have greater meaning
and relate to the people in general about their life’s condition.
One was a small bed frame made out of misshapen wire lengths that
had just been cut up and roughly soldered together. Around the part
that would be where a person would lie down, small bits of barb wire
were woven. It was meant to be an image of a woman in the universe.
The girl who made it was excited about it. She was going to enter it
into a competition once she attached it to a bracelet.
When my turn came around, I had made a pendant, and spent hours just
on the polishing and stone setting. No one but the girl commented on
it. She said my piece had no meaning and it looked too commercial
like it would sell. Bob Coogan the professor made the comment, “and
what is wrong with that?”
In all the art classes, we are given assignments and it is up to us
to interpret them. Some teachers want us to stretch and think beyond
the box, and want ideas rather than good work. My son and I took a
sculpture class together. The first assignment was to make a
sculpture starting with a mold from a body part. Tim used his hand. I
used my face as a mask. The teacher showed us all sorts of slides
about what I called fru fru pieces with beads, feathers and other
dood dads as adornments. At no time did she say we had to add such
things to our work. At the critique I showed my piece. I attached the
face shield like piece to a a long length of die cut steel, then to a
scrap of wood. Painted it all black, then with white paint made it
look like a domino. Others had made faces as well, and they all had
the featers and other such costume bling attached. They did not do
anything inventive, but copied the slides. They all got A’s on their
projects. I got a D- for not adding feathers.
Our next project was taking four different types of wood and
creating at least a 4 foot sculpture. No slides. Since i had not
added enough to my first sculpture, I was going to make sure this
time I overwhelmed it. I used round dowels in different sizes, found
square dowel like boards, old rail road ties, a piece of a tree
The ties I cut into four and sued copper wire (2 gauge) to wrap
around it and hold it together around the tree stump, The the dowels.
I cut them into 1/4 inche pieces. I ended up with over 1200 pieces of
Each of those I drilled two holes. Then using 26 gauge copper wire,
threaded them all into long strands. These strands I attached to the
base, and made them look like long tentacles. It took over a week to
do and I worked on it for about 8 hours a day. My son just slapped
his wood together and called it burning man. He wanted to light it on
fire in the parking lot.
At the critique. I kept mine covered with a cloth until the teacher
got to me. She loved it. Went on about how wonderful the execution
was. Then she made the mistake of asking me what I called it. I had
named it hemaroid. “It was a lot of work, but in the end it was
nothing but crap.” I got my A on that one.
Art is subjective. Workmanship/craftmanship should not be thrown
away in the search for art. Just my opinion.
Aggie the producer of crap.