Inter-Connections, the Michigan Silversmiths Guild’s First Annual
Mark your calenders --March 23-25, 2012 is Inter-Connections, the
Michigan Silversmiths Guild’s First Annual Spring Conference ! This
Friday through Sunday event will take place at the College for
Creative Studies in Detroit and will be hosted by its Metal Programs
Chair, Tom Madden.
Opening night events include a social time to meet and interact with
fellow members, a workshop on creating professional quality images of
work using easily sourced materials, and time to learn about the
College for Creative Studies new tools and facilities through
interaction with current students. A light meal is provided.
This first conference is designed to facilitate new connections
between members, strengthen old ones, and make opportunity for a lot
of interaction and contemplation. Metals is a dynamic, complex field.
It at the intersection of art,commerce, craft, fashion, function,
skilled trade, international markets, and academia-- and is
intricately linked to bodily intimacy, and individuality. We have
chosen to address this complexity by having a panel discussion
between metalsmiths who vary in their approaches and who navigate
this field in different ways. We have asked Adam Shirley (an
independent artist working mostly in steel), Cary Stephani of
Stepahani & Co. (maker of fine jewelry), Iris Eichenberg (artist,
curator, and current head of the jewelry department at Cranbrook
Academy of Art), and James Viste (artist and blacksmith) to discuss
how the constraints of their path in metals (material choice, cost,
compensation, position, and context of their work) shape and
facilitate their creative processes.
Our membership has a vast and deep collective knowledge and we wish
to share it and show it off by having a series 15 minute quick-tips
on processes and creative solutions to metalsmithing problems as
presented by current members. Students are some of the innovators in
this field and we have decided to harness their freshness and
enthusiasm by asking some to share their solutions to a design
challenge and give short presentations on the processes by which they
completed the challenge as if they are a living diorama.
Lunch is included and we will be treated to Tom Madden’s famous
chili along with other munchies.
Saturday afternoon, Iris Eichenberg of Cranbrook Academy of Art and
Tom Muir of Bowling Green State University will each give a talk
about their work.
Saturday evening, MSG is planning an afterglow or networking event
at Angelina’s Bistro in Downtown Detroit. Snacks will be provided,
you will be responsible for your own transportation and beverages.
Sunday features an all-day workshop with Tom Muir in which he will
give his own metalsmithing tips and share making a complex mechanism.
We also encourage members to bring problem-pieces to share with one
another during an extended, catered lunch this day
This fun, educational, and dynamic conference is a member’s only
event, but we highly encourage non-member metalsmiths to join the
guild so that they can enrich and be enriched by this experience.
Information on our participants:
Iris Eichenberg: Graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in
Amsterdam, Iris Eichenberg worked as an independent artist and art
educator, as well as a part-time curator, and co-organizer of
art-related events. She has taught at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and
is currently the Metalsmithing Department at Cranbrook Academy of
Art. Iris has received Incentive Grants from the Netherlands
Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture, The Artist
Stimulation Award from the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, The Herbert
Hofmann, The Gerrit Rietveld Academy Award, and residencies at The
European Ceramic Center in Den Bosch, the Netherlands. Eichenberg’s
work can be found in museums in various European countries as well as
the United States, including the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the
Schmuck Museum in Pforzheim (Germany), the Fondation National d’Art
Contemporain in Paris (France), the Mint Museum in Charlotte (North
Carolina), and the Rotasa Foundation in Mill Valley (California).
Tom Muir: Tom Muir is Distinguished Research Professor at Bowling
Green State University, where he is head of the Jewelry and
Metalsmithing area in the School of Art. He received his MFA from
Indiana University, Bloomington, and his BFA degree from Georgia
State University in Atlanta. Mr. Muir has lectured and taught widely,
holding positions at universities and craft schools around the
country. His award-winning work has been published and exhibited
extensively in art, craft and design exhibitions, in which he has
received 10 best of show or first place awards. Collections include
the Art Institute of Chicago, Renwick Gallery of the National Museum
of American Art, Smithsonian Institution and The White House
Collection of American Crafts, National Museum of American Art,
Smithsonian Institution. He is the recipient of an Arts
Midwest/National Endowment for the Arts Regional Artist Fellowship,
Michigan Council for the Arts Fellowship, and numerous Ohio Arts
Council Individual Artist Fellowship Awards. In 2009, Tom received
the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Ohio Designer Craftsmen
for having made a major contribution to craft in Ohio.
Adam Shirley: Adam Shirley’s works arise from an investigation into
the relationships between two and three dimensional objects, material
and scale. Shirley explores form and volume in model-sized flat
pieces that leave the interpretation of scale and function open to
the viewer. Working primarily with steel, a material typically
associated with utility and function, Shirley creates objects that
exist in a state “somewhere between a thought or idea and the process
of transformation into physical form.” The results are works that
engage the viewer into exploring the potentials of each object or
form, not so much to arrive at a a definition of what they are, but
simply to enjoy the journey of envisioning what they could be. Adam
Shirley received his BFA in 1993 from the College for Creative
Studies (CCS), in Detroit, Michigan, and a Master of Fine Arts in
Metalsmithing Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art, in Bloomfield
Hills, Michigan, in 2010. Shirley has been recently awarded the Toby
Devan Lewis Fellowship.
Cary Stefani: Graduated from CCS in 1976 has worked in the metals
and jewelry business and eventually became co-owner of the
metalsmithing and jewelry studio Stefani & Co with his son, Jesse.
Stefani & Co., located in Birmingham, MI is known for their dynamic,
metal-related works from furniture to fine jewelry. They are best
known for unique engagement and wedding rings. Currently, Cary is
working on a sophisticated line of gold and platinum rings adorned
with colored stones and diamonds, and Jesse is working on a more
fashion-oriented line aimed at younger customers. James Viste:
Received his BS from the Universtity of Wisconson and his MFA from
Cranbrook. James Viste currently teaches the blacksmithing program
at CCS along with mentoring a student blacksmithing guild, and is
currently serving as chair of SNAG’s Educational Endowment Committee.
James is a nationally known blacksmithing demonstrator and exhibitor
and has participated in several national Ironwork Restoration
Projects with Cranbrook Academy of Art and the Detroit Institute of
Arts. In addition he is also the manager of Edgewise Forge, LLC, a
blacksmithing shop. James has also show nationally and has had his
work included in many collections We look forward to seeing you
More detailed logistical will be emailed to attendees a
week prior to the conference. Please feel free to contact Ginger
Chase gingerchase at yahoo dot com if you have any further
questions. MSG would like to thank: Ginger Chase, Mary Kernahan,
Danielle Blanchard, and Dan Neville for organizing this event!
Here is a link to the registration form:
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/1qq [PDF file]