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work currently on show in "Making: A Career in Craft"

Alberta Craft Council's group exhibition opened on February 1, 2020 in the Feature Gallery, at their Edmonton location. I have two pieces of chased and repousséd metalwork on show: one is, frankly, cute and adorable, the other is vaguely terrifying...

The exhibition will move to Calgary in June 2020.
Recent posts

Chinese Plum Tree Screen selected by SNAG for JAMS Vol. 2

Cory Barkman’s Chinese Plum Tree Screen - which included hand-made bronze flowers by yours truly - was included in the Society of North American Goldsmith’s Jewelry and Metalsmithing Survey Vol. 2. The picture I submitted (to be found on p.180) shows a smaller project we made at 31 x 21 x 2 inches; Cory’s work is usually custom-built to suit a specific location.

I previously posted a detailed description of making the bronze flowers using the ancient techniques of chasing and repoussé, and I will be making more bronze flowers soon. Hopefully there will be some left over for jewellery this time - more details to follow!

Check out Cory’s functional sculpture at corybarkman.com, and please contact me if you are interested in exploring a project idea.

Order from: https://www.snagmetalsmith.org/resources-opportunities/jams/





surprise me!

She said “yes!”. It’s such a joy and a privilege to be asked to make that special ring—and this was an intriguing project right from the start: our bride-to-be had chosen her diamonds, was totally ready to have her custom betrothal band commissioned, and wanted to have no part in the design process. Just wow! The whole idea of that made me smile so much - how exciting would that be? Just waiting for that shiny surprise…


Kudos to Alex, the groom-to-be, for leading this wonderful task, and giving me some really good ideas about what Ali didn’t like—that was such a strong way to start a design process for you both. And cheers for the family brainstorm where I got to know Ali more as a person through all of you: we imagined what sort of ring we might create—something that could fit her personal style, plus we figured it might end up going horse-riding ;) Thank you all for collaborating, getting ring sizes, and sharing your inspiration.

Congratulations to Alex and Ali - wishing you bo…

cory barkman’s chinese plum tree: coming into bloom, one flower at a time.

On his facebook page, industrial artist Cory Barkman has been sharing the journey to design and create unique hand-made furniture and fittings for a contemporary Chinese tea-room. I am going to describe more about bringing the Chinese Plum Tree screen installation into bloom, as I have the slightly scary task of making the 500 chased and repousséd bronze flowers.

As an artist who specializes in chasing, this is a fabulous opportunity for me to really go deep with a particular form and explore technique: every hammer blow is a choice, the weight and angle determine every nuance of the flowers’ character. It is also physically very demanding, and I make 4 complex curled flowers, or 6 open-form flowers each day. Eventually, each flower will have taken around an hour to complete.
Cory’s hand-carved walnut and aluminium screen is 12 feet long and 5 feet high, and he estimates we will need around 500 blooms for the layered and highly detailed form he has designed. As I write, I have made appr…

makers allowed out for one weekend only!

Calgary Maker FaireOct 28 and 29, 2017.

Update: Caleb Kraft of Make Magazine shot this video from the LEXM booth* on October 29, starring Kat McLean and me doing all the talking.

*Video: If you don't use Facebook, use this link to see lots of videos from Calgary, at makezine.com. To find LEXM, scroll down to video #13 - you will see Cam Farn's huge red-headed sculpture appear behind the presenter.

Calgary Maker Faire was a lot of fun - hundreds of makers offering show and tell, and loads of hands on opportunities. Might sound crazy, but I think already know what work I want to show in the LEXM booth in 2018 :)


October 28/29, 2017: I will be demonstrating chasing and repoussé as part of the LEXM team of master makers and emerging artists. We will have an exhibition of one of a kind works, commission pieces (with thanks to our wonderful clients who have loaned them for the occasion), and jewellery and metalwork for sale.

Calgary artist Jeff de Boer and his Armét Canada team are l…

The Crafted Dish: gluten free bread recipe

Celebrating National Clay Week 2017, new cookbook The Crafted Dish goes on sale online at thecrafteddish.com
Canadian Thanksgiving - a perfect day to dish up a new cookbook benefiting thestop.org, an organization that works on many aspects of food security and building community.

The Crafted Dish is full of recipes submitted by clay artists, with the food served on their gorgeous hand-made dishes. Creating the book was a zero-cost project, with all of the work done by a fantastic team of volunteers, lead by Carole Epp (she of the excellent clay web-site musingaboutmud.com). Go SEE some of the recipes - if only the Instagram feed was scratch and sniff...

My contribution to the crafted dish is a gluten-free nut butter cookie recipe (hint: if you don’t tell anyone it’s gluten free, they won’t care, they’re good cookies). I offer a grateful nod to all the other cookie recipes I have ever read because I modified and substituted, and went through lots of trial and crumbly error (though…

narrative jewellery: tales from the toolbox book launch

For every piece of jewellery I make there is a story. It can be simple, just a note on the “why?” that led to the forms and textures, or the feeling that I want to remember.

Sometimes the single idea that could become a piece, conceived way before the act of making, can become so over-whelming that I need to write a whole new reality for the jewellery to exist within. That’s how it was for “Pull”, the first piece of jewellery in a body of work that became the ReFind Collection*. It caused me to look at materials in my home, especially the things that were routinely thrown away, very differently. It was like waking up to realize I just hadn’t been paying the right kind of attention to all the “stuff” in other areas of my life; realizing that maybe jewellery could be linked to something as obscure as industrial-scale food-processing and packaging—if I allowed my mind to receive the information, differently.

I am very honoured that my necklace has been included in Mark Fenn’s new book, N…