CG Sculpture and Jewelry

inspirations

Where did the spring/Summer go?!

inspirations, Inspiring Women Project, for funCatherine GrisezComment

Sometimes as a company of ONE it's hard to stay on top of all the stuff and things. I'm clearly not much of a juggler... I definitely dropped the ball on posting here!

There have been several more Inspiring Women Project winners announced since my last post. Congrats to Lila Ghising, Jane Deer, and Sara So! These ladies are fantastic examples of inspiration. You can read more about them here. The summer winner will be announced soon. Feel free to nominate an inspiring woman in your life!

In addition to honoring impressive people, I've been remodeling/reorganizing my studio to better suit the way I currently work. I'll be posting more on that transformation soon.

Lastly, I've been out exploring the pacific northwest, building up inspiration for art to come. I've climbed some mountains that culminated in a backpacking trip around the circumference and up to the summit of Mt St Helens. This time last week I was at the top peering into the crater of a volcano! More to come on that soon...

First Inspiring Women Project Winner!

Inspiring Women Project, inspirations, for funCatherine GrisezComment

Congratulations to Wendy Woldenberg!!!

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Each month one amazing inspiring woman will be chosen from a pool of nominated women to receive this jewelry award. The Inspiring Women Project is a celebration of the GOOD, the COMPASSIONATE, the COURAGEOUS, the INSPIRING.

Wendy is the March Inspiring Woman!
I'm kicking off this award with a personal choice. I nominated Wendy for many reasons, but most notably for her generosity towards others. A teacher for 22 years, she has spent countless hours (and her own money!) to ensure her students gain amazing experiences they would otherwise never have known. Outside the classroom she is dedicated to ensuring the jewelry industry works toward a greater good through her role in Ethical Metalsmiths and her own jewelry work. Wendy is a champion and patron of emerging (and established) artists, creating opportunities such as Art Under $100 and many other events through South Park Arts. She is a dedicated and generous friend who goes above and beyond and has taught me a new definition for brave. Thank you Wendy!

Do you know someone inspiring like Wendy? Nominate her here. The April winner will be chosen the second week of the month.

Inspiring Women Project

for fun, inspirationsCatherine GrisezComment

It's finally here! This idea came to me last year around this time. I wanted a way to acknowledge and show my appreciation for all the amazing women out there doing great things for her friends/family/community.  Recognizing inspiring women with jewelry seemed like the natural (obviously I'm a jeweler!) solution.

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I hope you'll all join me in the effort to thank women you know who lift others up. Nominate the woman in your life who's doing great things, no matter how big or small the efforts.

The first winner will be announced on International Women's Day
March 8th, 2018

A new winner will be chosen each month and featured on the Inspiring Women page. She will also receive the necklace award along with a hand written note touting your personalized appreciation.

Let's celebrate the Good. the Courageous. the Compassionate. the Inspiring.

Nominate her here

Your radishes, made better with butter

for fun, inspirationsCatherine GrisezComment

Have you ever had radishes with butter and salt? Neither had I, until working with two powerhouse ladies on a photoshoot using my Bitty Bowls in the kitchen. Carol Clifford from Orange House Press (also a fantastic chef) and Sarah Flotard, an incredible food photographer turned me on to this interesting and tasty treat.

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This dish is most commonly found in France, though I also read stories of people from other countries who had it as kids so I'm not sure of it's exact origin. From what I can tell in reading through lots of recipes for it, you must trust your own palate - pick a salt and butter that you really love and have it on fresh crisp radishes. 

I think Gabrielle Hamilton, chef and author, sums it up best in her article in the New York Times about this delicious dish - "The peppery, fiery radishes are tamed by the swipe through the cool, creamy butter, and then the flavors of both are brought out by the salt. The radishes are so cold and crunchy and spicy, and they have a mildly sulfuric note. The butter is unexpectedly sweet in contrast. It’s addictive."

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this dish! Comment below if you have a fond memory with this food or you're trying it for the first time and let me know what you think. And if you want unique dishes for your butter and salt to make the presentation extra special, check out my Bitty Bowls. Who's adding this to their Thanksgiving table?!

Now at Imprint Gallery - Inspiration from the Beach

shows, inspirations, new workCatherine GrisezComment

We don't need much of an excuse to visit Cannon Beach, it's beautiful! Luckily, you can also see my sculpture in this fantastic Oregon coastal town. Imprint, a new gallery and print studio there has a selection of music boxes and special one of a kind sculptures.

  Bowl No. Twenty  - sterling silver and brass, 6" x 12" x 11"

Bowl No. Twenty - sterling silver and brass, 6" x 12" x 11"

If you are familiar with my work, you know I'm often inspired by nature and the oddities found while walking on the beach or hiking in the mountains. So it's pertinent that this piece found it's way to the coast... It was inspired by the egg case of a skate/shark (otherwise known as a mermaid's purse or devil's purse), something I found while walking on the beach.

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These little pouches are fascinating with their tendrils and deep black color. Interestingly, the sharp tendrils exist to secure the egg cases in rocks and protect them from predators. Most egg cases that wash up on shore are empty because the creature has already hatched and is (hopefully!) swimming happily in the sea. In contrast to the black empty pod, I chose to make the interior of this piece bright white silver, a reflection of the life within and the points to represent our instincts to hold on.

A few other pieces you'll find at Imprint...

  Manifest One  - copper vessel, 5.5” x 4.75” x 3.25"

Manifest One - copper vessel, 5.5” x 4.75” x 3.25"

  Indulge  - music box, steel, bronze, silver, mixed media, 5.75” x 4” x 4”

Indulge - music box, steel, bronze, silver, mixed media, 5.75” x 4” x 4”

  Reject  - music box, steel, bronze, mixed media, 6” x 4” x 4”

Reject - music box, steel, bronze, mixed media, 6” x 4” x 4”

  Reject  - open view  This piece plays the song "What the World Needs Now' when opened.

Reject - open view

This piece plays the song "What the World Needs Now' when opened.

If you have a chance to check out Cannon Beach and/or Imprint, please comment below to let me know your favorite part of the visit!

The making of Lady Liberty (and how you can too!)

inspirations, for fun, classes/lecturesCatherine Grisez3 Comments

This summer I had the good fortune to visit my niece in New York City. Along with my mom and sisters, we got to see her awash in the fun exciting energy of the city, following her journalism dreams as she interned at NBC Nightly news. Normally when I visit the big apple I stick to galleries and general nyc mayhem, but this time around we hit some iconic staples- Rockefeller, 9/11 memorial, Ellis Island, and of course the Statue of Liberty.

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Part of the reason Lady Liberty was such a highlight for me (in addition to having a great reminder of America as a welcoming country) is because the process used to make her - repousse hammer forming - is one I frequently use in my sculptural work. Repousse is the art of hammering metal from the inside (or back) to create a form. It is often paired with chasing, which is hammering from the outside (or front) of the form.

I thought I'd share some images from the museum for those who are curious how she's made...

 This is a plaster model of her toes. Since the statue is recreating an immense figure, models were used to ensure accuracy of scale. It's also a better way to make the parts since everything is so huge.

This is a plaster model of her toes. Since the statue is recreating an immense figure, models were used to ensure accuracy of scale. It's also a better way to make the parts since everything is so huge.

 Here's the big toe being formed in a wood mold made from the plaster model above. In the small metals world, we often skip the model and use pitch or wax for this purpose, or even sometimes hammering on air. Since I'm often working with abstract imagery, I can form over a variety of steel stakes, sand bags, and hammers to get the shapes I want.

Here's the big toe being formed in a wood mold made from the plaster model above. In the small metals world, we often skip the model and use pitch or wax for this purpose, or even sometimes hammering on air. Since I'm often working with abstract imagery, I can form over a variety of steel stakes, sand bags, and hammers to get the shapes I want.

 The same toe after hammering is completed with reinforcement bars on the interior. This metal is about 1/8" thick - thin in terms of a large scale statue (hence support bars), but quite thick in terms of small scale metalforming. I usually use metal sheet that is about less than half this thickness. Also, notice the tool to the left called a mushroom stake, one of the tools we use frequently in the holloware/metalsmithing world. It's most often used to smooth out forms from the outside that have been roughly shaped from the inside.

The same toe after hammering is completed with reinforcement bars on the interior. This metal is about 1/8" thick - thin in terms of a large scale statue (hence support bars), but quite thick in terms of small scale metalforming. I usually use metal sheet that is about less than half this thickness. Also, notice the tool to the left called a mushroom stake, one of the tools we use frequently in the holloware/metalsmithing world. It's most often used to smooth out forms from the outside that have been roughly shaped from the inside.

 And voila - the finished toe as seen from the outside. Notice the rivets on the toenail - that's where it's attached to the reinforcement bar as seen in the previous picture.

And voila - the finished toe as seen from the outside. Notice the rivets on the toenail - that's where it's attached to the reinforcement bar as seen in the previous picture.

 You can get a better idea of the scale here with my sisters snazzy sneaker rubbing toes.

You can get a better idea of the scale here with my sisters snazzy sneaker rubbing toes.

 A replica of her face. At more than 8' tall this is copper forming at a most impressive scale.

A replica of her face. At more than 8' tall this is copper forming at a most impressive scale.

 Notice the seem on her nose. Smaller forms were joined together to create one solid shape. To join pieces of metal, In some cases they are riveted to each other or reinforcement bars and in others welded or soldered. Here you can see the soldered zipper seam, a process I've used on larger seamed vessels and one I've taught during holloware classes. Rather than using a butt seam, a zipper seam can handle much more distress during the hammering process.

Notice the seem on her nose. Smaller forms were joined together to create one solid shape. To join pieces of metal, In some cases they are riveted to each other or reinforcement bars and in others welded or soldered. Here you can see the soldered zipper seam, a process I've used on larger seamed vessels and one I've taught during holloware classes. Rather than using a butt seam, a zipper seam can handle much more distress during the hammering process.

 This view shows the interior structure and stairwell up to the crown. Sadly reservations to walk up were sold out but I was able to get this peak into the inside. To the right you can see the interior of the copper with the reinforcement bars that support the form and hold things together.

This view shows the interior structure and stairwell up to the crown. Sadly reservations to walk up were sold out but I was able to get this peak into the inside. To the right you can see the interior of the copper with the reinforcement bars that support the form and hold things together.

There you have it! Pretty amazing for those of us who geek out on metalsmithing. For those of you who want first hand experience with this process, the next workshop I'm teaching is right up your alley. October 7-8 at Pratt Fine Arts in Seattle, I'll be teaching a Metal masks class where we'll be hammering copper sheet much like you see here (only thinner metal and smaller pieces!)

 A few sample copper masks for the workshop. Come hammer with us! Perhaps a Lady Liberty mask is in your future?

A few sample copper masks for the workshop. Come hammer with us! Perhaps a Lady Liberty mask is in your future?

From nature to jewelry

new work, inspirations, for funCatherine GrisezComment

As many of you know I get a lot of inspiration from being in nature. Hikes in the mountains, walks on the beach, garden strolls, swimming outdoors - all lead to tons of ideas and no less than 100 close up photos of flowers, leaves, pods, and beach oddities on my phone. There is nothing like that sense of inner calm while simultaneously being energized from being outside. So when given the opportunity to design jewelry for fellow nature lovers, I'm thrilled and jump at the chance! 

A recent wedding ring set commission reminded me how lucky I am when I can combine my passions - art and nature. The fellow and I talked at length about he and his girlfriend's (now fiance!) outdoor adventures, hobbies, and design aesthetics. Fortunately for me, she posts a ton of pics from their hikes on Instagram so I was able to get a sense of her favorite imagery. I asked them to email me pics of a few of their favorite hiking excursions. Between our conversations, her instagram account and thier pictures - I was able to create a design that fit her aesthetic, lifestyle, and commemorated a few of their favorite places.

 These two photos embody the design I came up with. She's a fanatic for amazing looking mushrooms and posts the most incredible pictures of all the creatures she's come across on her hikes. The water worn rock blew their minds when they came across it on a hike near Leavenworth. 

These two photos embody the design I came up with. She's a fanatic for amazing looking mushrooms and posts the most incredible pictures of all the creatures she's come across on her hikes. The water worn rock blew their minds when they came across it on a hike near Leavenworth. 

By combining these two textures, I was able to create a design that will forever remind this happy couple of their hiking adventures together. The mushrooms serve double duty - part aesthetic and partly as prongs for setting diamonds. The water worn rock texture is a nice visual contrast to the bulbous mushrooms. I also really appreciate the symbology - the prolific essence of love and companionship that endures the test of time - a story told through nature. 

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CG-Grisez-wedding ring set-Genavie-mushroom_water worn rock
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CG-Grisez-engagement ring-nature-hike-diamond-organic

All in all, it was a fun and challenging project and I couldn't be happier for the couple who owns them!