The Shop is Open

 

I am excited to announce that at last my online shop is open! I have listed items from Bone, my porcelain jewelry line.  There are only a limited amount of pieces.  Once they are finished I will not be making them again anytime soon.  I have been learning how to work with metal for the past year and I feel that it is time to debut a new line.  So, if you have been interested in my porcelain jewelry this is the moment to get it!

RISD

 

I am officially done with my year of study in the department of Jewelry + Metalsmithing at the Rhode Island School of Design.  It was an amazing 9 months and I learned so much.  Returning to school 15 years after graduating from college as the mom of a 1-year old gave me a real sense of focus that I lacked when I was a young twenty-something.  I managed to acquire so many new skills during my short time here thanks to all the amazing people at RISD. I can't wait to get back into the studio and begin making new work!

Metalsmithing Inspiration

 

Here are some images that I collected as inspiration for my metalsmithing projects.  If you would like to see more, visit my pinterest pages Spoons + Flatware and Metal Vessels.

Raising a Pitcher

 

I started out with a 6 inch diameter circle of 18 gauge copper.  Raising is a pain-stacking process, that takes many many rounds of hammering and annealing.  I am almost getting there!  Next on the agenda are adding a spout and handle.

After raising the pitcher, I also raised a shallow bowl.  Next, I planished their surfaces.  Then I added a spout to the pitcher and made an electroformed handle.  Soldering the handle onto the creamer was a challenge. But, after a few unsuccessful attempts I was able to attach them to each other. Finally, I made an electroformed spoon for the bowl.  And, at last I am done!!


Sinking Bowls

 

Two weeks ago I started out with flat sheets of 18 gauge copper.  After lots and lots of hammering, shaping and planishing I have two bowls!

Flatware Project - Work in Progress

 

The spoon is moving along...

Flatware Project

 

I am working on forging a spoon out of copper.  Above are outline sketches and chipboard models of it.  Eventually, I hope to develop this project further and create a line of flatware that will complement the Functional Landscapes tableware.  But, first I have to master the hammer.

Back In School

 
RISD-SEAL-Benson-Art_1000.jpg

I am taking some time off from my studio practice to go back to school! This is my first week of classes at Rhode Island School of Design and I am studying Jewelry + Metalsmithing.  Follow along on the blog as I document my successes and failures learning a whole new set of skills!

New Continent + New Studio + First Show

 

2014 has brought a lot of exciting changes.  After four years in Barcelona, Spain we have relocated to the United States.  This time we landed in beautiful and wintery Boston, Massachusetts.  I am currently a visiting artist at Harvard Ceramics and I am excited to let you know that I am participating in my first show back in the US.

If you live in the Boston area please come by Harvard Ceramics this Thursday to Sunday to visit our exhibition in Gallery 224 and our Holiday Sale that has taken over the whole studio.  There are more than 50 amazing artists participating and the show should be a blast!

Place: Harvard Ceramics, 224 Western Avenue, Allston, MA 02134
Date + Time: Thursday, December 11, 4-8pmFriday through Sunday, December 12-1410am-7pm.
Tel: 617.495.8680

Ceramics Monthly

I am so excited to be featured in the Working Potters Series in the June/July/August 2014 issue of Ceramics Monthly along with a group of other great artists.  You can get a glimpse into the studio practice of yours truly and fellow ceramists East Fork Pottery, Monica Ripley, Birdie Boone, Adam Frew and Kyla Toomey.  There is also a great article by Bryan Hopkins about his investigations into creating a porcelain like translucent low fire body.  You can check out the issue here!

Functional Landscapes in INDIGO

If you have been following me on instagram, facebook or on my blog, you know that I have been working on a series of Functional Landscapes in a totally new color - INDIGO!  At last the set is finished and I am excited to share the pictures with you!  There is something so beautiful about the combination of the cobalty blues and white.  I can't wait to make more!

To see more INDIGO pieces visit my gallery (the tab is at the top of the page) or click HERE.

Atelier Brancusi in Paris

On a recent trip to Paris I had the pleasure of visiting the studio of Constantin Brancusi, who is one of my faaaaaaavorite sculptors.  When he died in 1957 he bequeathed his studio along with its entire contents to the French State on the condition that it would be preserved exactly as it was.  The new building in which it is now located was built according to the size and configuration of his original studio and is right next to The Centre Pompidou.  We had to wait until 2pm when they opened the doors to visitors, but it was worth it.  The environment in which I create has a big impact on what I make, so I am always curios to see the spaces that other artists work in.  Brancusi's studio was totally magical. The natural hues of stone, plaster, wood and metal created the most calming atmosphere.  The tall ceilings and skylights that allowed the space to be flushed with natural light gave the studio an airy feel.  Towards the end of his life, Brancusi stopped producing work and solely focused on rearranging his sculptures to find the perfect balance between object and space.  I think he was spot on.

Pale Blues

Glazing is such an amazing process.  In the kiln, the dusty texture transforms into a smooth and shiny surface.  I actually love the way a glazed piece looks before it enters the kiln, as well as after it comes out.  There is something about the mat, velvety texture that is so enticing.  These glazes will morph into deep indigos, but I love the softness of the pale blues.  

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

This is one of my favorite dessert recipes.  It's not only amazingly delicious and moist, but it's actually kind of good for you!  It's the best of both worlds.  The recipe is based on the paleo chocolate zucchini bread recipe from elana's pantry, but I added a few tweaks.  I have to say I'm not a huge fan of fad nutritional movements, but this recipe is soooo good that I'll eat it no matter what it's called!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 medium zucchini, grated
  • Zest of one orange

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a food processor combine almond flour and cacao powder and then pulse in salt and baking soda. After that, pulse in the eggs, coconut oil, honey and vanilla extract. And finally, pulse in the zucchini and orange zest.  Pour into a greased and dusted (you can use almond flour or regular wheat flour) loaf pan.  The pan that I use is  8 1/2" x 4 1/2" x 2 3/4" and it works perfectly.  Bake for about 35-45 minutes, until an inserted knife comes out mostly clean. I start checking at around 30 minutes to make sure it doesn't over bake and dry out. Cool on a baking rack for about 30 minutes and then remove the cake from the pan. Enjoy!

 

Deborah Sigel

Today I came across the beautiful work of Deborah Sigel.  She combines steel rods and Egyptian paste to create her suspended sculptural pieces.  There is a post on Ceramic Arts Daily that documents her interesting process.  I think the most evocative part of her work is how she takes advantage of the interaction between the two materials.  I love the way that the metal rods and pods curve downwards during firing and how the shrinking clay cracks to form an organic pattern.

Indigo Blues

I'm working on another tableware set for a lovely couple.  This set was part of their registry when they got married.  They wanted a color scheme of rich blues, which inspired the image board above.  I did a bunch of color tests and in the end we decided on the deep indigos pictured below.  The dinnerware set will include large dinner plates, dessert plates, soup bowls and serving bowls.  The pots will be glazed on the interior with either the dark or light glossy indigo glaze and the exteriors will be left bare porcelain.  I use Limoges, a French porcelain that has a soft white hue and smooth texture. 

Tableware Set

These are some images of a 6 person tableware set commission that I just finished.  I love creating different compositions by stacking and rearranging the pieces.  For more images like these check out Functional Landscapes.