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[Exhibition] Stacey Lee Webber: CHANGE


#1

This metalsmith is amazing! Her name is Stacy Lee Webber.

She also has a web site that is worth a look! The shots of her
studio alone will astound you…the pennies, the nails, the
obsession…

She is a mere 25 years old…Just graduated in fact!

http://www.velvetdavinci.com

Roberta


#2
She also has a web site that is worth a look! The shots of her
studio alone will astound you......the pennies, the nails, the
obsession..... 

You didn’t give a link to her own page, however. Velvet DaVinci is
the gallery where she’s currently got an exhibition. The shots on the
VDV site don’t show her studio, just the work. It is, indeed, a lot
of fun and impressive. She’s had pieces in several of the various
shows associated with the last couple SNAG conventions, and I was
quite impressed with even just single pieces shown there.

Even more on her myspace page. I didn’t see a quick single URL for
her myspace page, but if you go to mine www.myspace.com/peterwrowe
and scroll 2/3ds of the way down the list of friends there, you’ll
see a link to her myspace page in the “stacey Lee” thumbnail with her
"hammer". You can see the main page’s slide show without logging in.
To see the rest of her pics there, you have to log in… (Oh, and
don’t expect to see lots of my own work on my own page if you bother
to read it. I’ve only got a few simple pieces and one studio shot
mixed in with those photos. Most of my page’s photos are various
vacation pics with my mom… )

She is a mere 25 years old....Just graduated in fact! 

But don’t confuse that with “beginner”. Graduated, yes, but with an
MFA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Not minor school, and
the MFA isn’t a beginner level degree…

Cheers
Peter Rowe


#3

For some reason I thought it was against the law to work (deform and
change) with money. Did anyone else ever hear that? Or was it just
my parents trying to keep me from doing it? I’ve seen people pierce
it over the years.

Jennifer Friedman


#4
This metalsmith is amazing! Her name is Stacy Lee Webber. 

Truly, I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but this work just looks
gimmicky to me. Is it possible to verbalize what you (and Velvet Da
Vinci) see in it?

Noel


#5

It was a pleasant surprise to see Stacy mentioned here, and to get
to see what she’s up to. I went to school with her! She was just
finishing up her undergrad when I was in my second year of the
metalsmithing program. She did amazing work then, as well (a lot of
wonderfully intricate filigree) -

she was ages beyond most of us in skill! Thanks for reconnecting me
with her!

Jen
http://www.jmwjewelry.com


#6
Truly, I don't mean to be disrespectful, but this work just looks
gimmicky to me. Is it possible to verbalize what you (and Velvet
Da Vinci) see in it? 

The coin work is defiantley a spin off of JohnnySwing’s furniture…
(johnnyswing.com) Still, pretty cool none the less. Personally, I
like it, taking whats been done before to a whole new level…kinda
like that saying we all have at one point or another…those “I
could have thought of that” sort of feelings… :wink:

P@
www.patpruitt.com


#7

If you look at her web site and see her studio you can get a better
idea of what she is all about. It doesn’t seem “gimmicky” to me.
Actually I think she is just plain obsessed with her work.

http://www.staceyleewebber.com

I was also very impressed with her silver filigree tools and the
fact that they actually work!

I was amazed at how young and talented she is. If she is this good
at her craft now where will she be in a few more years?

I was recently in San Francisco and the very first place I headed
was The Velvet Da Vinci gallery. I had been only familiar with their
web site so I was excited to see the actual gallery. Needless to say
I was not disappointed. It has become a dream of mine to someday be
good enough for their gallery although I am a far cry from that.

While I have the utmost admiration and respect for the highly
skilled jewelers here and elsewhere, I am not much into traditional
jewelry/metalwork so perhaps that is why I liked it.

I guess we all like different things and that is what makes it all
work!


#8
The coin work is defiantley a spin off of JohnnySwing's
furniture.. (johnnyswing.com) Still, pretty cool none the less.
Personally, I like it, taking whats been done before to a whole new
level...kinda like that saying we all have at one point or
another.....those "I could have thought of that" sort of
feelings... ;-) 

Johnny Swing’s work is thought provoking and beautiful-- his nickel
couch would be wonderful even without the money gimmick-- it’s a
beautiful, innovative shape, the stainless steel structure beneath
it is wonderully detailed and evocative of bridgework and
architecture, while the overall shape is organic and flowing. It
even looks comfortable!

A hammer covered with coins is just, well, a hammer covered with
coins. Cute, but so what?

Noel


#9
Truly, I don't mean to be disrespectful, but this work just looks
gimmicky to me. Is it possible to verbalize what you (and Velvet Da
Vinci) see in it? 

If it could be verbalized it would be literature. Speaking of which
usage actually, you’re being critical; disrespectful has nothing to
do with it.

If Stacy had your respect (I get the sense that you don’t know her)
then you could be disrespectful.

The coin work is defiantley a spin off of JohnnySwing's furniture.. 

I didn’t know the name Johnny Swing, but I’ve seen the work and the
work is very clever. I like it.

And I love what Stacy is doing.

KPK


#10
Truly, I don't mean to be disrespectful, but this work just looks
gimmicky to me. Is it possible to verbalize what you (and Velvet
Da Vinci) see in it? 

I find the work of Ms. Webber very interesting. Obviously it
illustrates a great deal of technical skill and precision and
accomplishment.

Seems to me that this is work that was conceived and executed by a
person who is talented and focused and devoted to her studio
practice.

Whether a person likes or dislikes it or has resonance or
appreciation or disdain, the gimmicky comment seems tacky by
comparison.

Michael David Sturlin
www.goldcrochet.com
www.michaeldavidsturlin.com


#11
If you look at her web site and see her studio you can get a
better idea of what she is all about. It doesn't seem "gimmicky" to
me. Actually I think she is just plain obsessed with her work. 
http://www.staceyleewebber.com 

OK, I’m convinced. The more I looked, the more impressed I became.
Guess I’m just jealous of someone so young with such a clear vision
and ability. I still don’t think much of the hammer covered with
pennies, but as part of the whole ouvre, it is another matter. Like
Duchamp’s “Fountain”.

Noel


#12

I’m confused by how you would even call this jewelry. I have no
problem with calling it art (which apparently she does too) but since
Orchid is primarily a jeweler’s forum, I’m not surprised that many
are not so impressed with what she is doing.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
www.spirerjewelers.com


#13
If you look at her web site and see her studio you can get a
better idea of what she is all about. It doesn't seem "gimmicky" to
me. Actually I think she is just plain obsessed with her work. 

Agreed. Gimmicky would be if only the use of coins or other common
non-precious items like drywall screws, were the basis of the work.
That’s just a materiual and starting point, not the end of it all.
And in and of itself, it’s a statement about what precious materials
are. What is worth something (money, versus plain steel or copper
it’s made of, for example). The use of those materials makes a rather
complex series of statements all on it’s own. And then she takes
those elements, and uses them with great skill (and in great
numbers…), exploring virtually all sorts of possible iterations of
how they can be used, altered, abused, changed, etc, often again
exploring the whole concepts of value and preciousness that’s so
integral to the nature of jewelry making and metals. That’s not
gimmicky. That’s intense artistic exploration of an idea. If the work
were gimmicky just for it’s use of pennies, or whatever, then what
would we be saying about those folks who make everything they do out
of metal they’ve made to resemble wood grain. Or who cover everything
they make with countless little fused on grains of metal, often in
patterns that have been around for millenia, not one’s they’ve
originated. And while some granulated or mokume work may be a gimmick
or less than significant art, those who do it well are using it way
beyond just the technique or potential gimmick, as a vehicle to
express their art. To better get an idea of Ms. Webber’s vision
seperated from the misconception of “gimmick” the coins evoke, look
to the earlier works in more traditonal filligree technique. Gimmicky
would be using great filligree technique, same as has always been
done, to do yet more of the same floral and feminine sorts of jewelry
we can find in India or other places where traditional filligree is
done. Instead, what does she make? Well, first she reinvents her own
version of the filligree technique. And uses the resulting repeated
elements to make Tools. Saw frames. Screwdrivers. Etc. Items one
would never associate with being themselves, precious. Yet she turns
them into such. That’s not gimmicky. In fact, that’s not just waaay
cool. That, boys and girls, is art. And that’s why the University
faculty gave her an MFA degree for it all. Those things don’t just
get given away when you’ve spent enough money, you know. You have to
convince a graduate committee and facutly members that you’ve earned
it with your work. And all along the way you have to defend your
work to fellow students and faculty. She’s earned that degree, and
the work shows it.

http://www.staceyleewebber.com 

Just a note. Use internet explorer to look at her site. I had touble
viewing much of it using firefox 3. Some of the site, including all
the thumbnails and image links, don’t appear for me with firefox. Not
sure why. But it works in internet explorer. In fact, I added an
addon to firefox that lets you switch rendering engines from the
firefox engine to internet explorer’s page renderer with a button
click in firefox. That too, allowed the page to work right. I’m not
sure what’s wrong, but that’s OK. Ms. Webber, after all, got a
degree in metals and jewelry, not web design. I suspect she’ll want
to fix her pages to work in all browsers when she gets the chance,
but at the moment, I believe she’s in the middle of moving to
Chicago, which no doubt will be taking her energy for a while.

I was also very impressed with her silver filigree tools and the
fact that they actually work! 

If they didn’t, she’d never have been able to do some of the things
she’s done with them.

I was amazed at how young and talented she is. If she is this good
at her craft now where will she be in a few more years? 

I’ll put my money on her being in a tenure track teaching job
somewhere at a decent college art department…

Peter


#14
OK, I'm convinced. The more I looked, the more impressed I became.
Guess I'm just jealous of someone so young with such a clear
vision and ability. I still don't think much of the hammer covered
with pennies, but as part of the whole ouvre, it is another matter.
Like Duchamp's "Fountain". 

Noel, she didn’t cover an existing hammer with pennies. She made a
hollow shell of pennies in the form of a hammer. Same concept as the
filligree saw frame, etc. There’s no real tool inside there. To
understand it, consider the cultural meanings of the tool displayed,
it’s role in our technology, etc, and contrast that with the meanings
of money, value, pennies, etc. Then turn it around too, and consider
the meaning of valuable money modified to be an image of something
else, perhaps something that makes money, rather than IS money. Or
what about the whole notion of a totally utilitarian and mundane and
non decorative object elevated to the status of art, decorative
object, sculpture, etc. What I find interesting in her work is the
way all these various threads of the concept are so fully interwoven
with each other, feeding each other and relating back to each other.
So far as I can tell, most of her pieces do this in various ways. The
works explore their concepts the way M.C. Escher’s prints of endless
recursive images worked with their images. Everything keeps leading
back to some other facet of the same argument, or maybe, like a
moebius strip, a concept finds itself it’s own reflected reverse…

What I’m actually wondering about it all, is “What next”. Where to
from here for her. The pieces I see on her web site do such a good
job of fully exploring many aspects of their imagery, that I wonder
how she’s going to branch out into something new. Should be fun. The
move from filligree to pennies and coins treated in similar fashion
to the filligree elements seems to have been the last such shift,
near as I can tell. I want to see where she takes it next.

cheers
Peter


#15

I use Firefox, and had no trouble viewing the site - how odd! I did
wish the thumbnails would open bigger when I clicked them. They did
in one place, but not in another. I like seeing things close up.

Beth in SC


#16

OH… I have to pipe in hear. There may be mostly jewelers in this
forum but I would say that we are more metalsmiths especially if you
look at the questions that are asked. Personally, I am impressed.
Cutting and cleaning up the coins took precision and time! And the
filigree…well anyone who can create beautiful filigree has my
admiration. And her chains - That’s not jeweler? Aren’t they
something
that one would wear as an adornment?

Cheers,-d


#17
Whether a person likes or dislikes it or has resonance or
appreciation or disdain, the gimmicky comment seems tacky by
comparison. 

By comparison to what? Also, you don’t see it as tacky (not to
mention disrespectful) to call me tacky? Sorry my vocabulary doesn’t
suit you, but I choose my words carefully and I stand by them.

Though I have changed my opinion about Stacy Lee Webber, as I posted
yesterday.

Noel


#18
Just a note. Use internet explorer to look at her site. I had
touble viewing much of it using firefox 3. Some of the site,
including all the thumbnails and image links, don't appear for me
with firefox. 

Aha! Now I’ve got it to work. I’m on a Mac so I tried Safari and it
worked okay. Safari’s not usually very good with many websites so I
usually use Firefox 3 but as Peter said, it doesn’t work properly
with Stacey’s site.

Now I’ve been able to see her studio and work properly, I am even
more in awe of her talent and art.

Helen
UK


#19

Noel,

A hammer covered with coins is just, well, a hammer covered with
coins. Cute, but so what? 

I understand where you’re coming from since you thought she just
covered a hammer with pennies. That would be a hot glue gun
project!! However, I think the tools are JUST pennies (no tools
underneath the pennies). On her web site, you can see through the
tools where there are voids between the pennies. To cause such
confusion indicates to me that Stacey has a high sk ill level and
attention to detail. I’d bet my pennies on her :wink:

Jamie


#20
OK, I'm convinced. The more I looked, the more impressed I became. 

From what I’ve seen, her work is impressive but I can’t verbalize
why - it’s quirky but still very skilled. However, I can’t see her
studio (which is supposed to be impressive) for some reason. Every
time I’ve visited her website, on the studio page, there is just a
picture of screws - none of the pages actually work.

Helen
UK