We started a collaborative project with another artist this summer! We were very excited to welcome visiting artist Laura Wood to the Pacific Northwest for a 2-week micro-residency. Laura is a professional artist and educator living in San Antonio, Texas. She received her BFA in jewelry and metalsmithing from the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia and her MFA in metal design from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. Papermaking and the lineage of jewelry and ornament have been a strong influence in the direction of her work.

We spent two weeks sharing information and techniques and learning about how to make paper, how to work with paper and what paper is capable of. We are very excited with the work that has came out of this collaboration. Together we made the beginnings of a body of work that incorporates pearls, paper, paint and plastic. We explored the unique properties of handmade abaca paper by stretching the wet paper over plastic armatures that we created. As the paper dries it shrinks over the structure. We set pearls into the paper to further manipulate the process. Lastly the pieces were painted. The outcome is an unusual and exciting body of work……….. We will keep you updated as this project evolves, but see the beginnings!

More photos from A Cabinet of Curiosities. .

Sterling silver rings and resin casts made from paper wasp nests.

Highlights from…

                                            A Cabinet of Curiosities

                                                        -OR-

                                               So… What is this?

Upcoming Event:  A Cabinet of Curiosities -OR- So… what is this?

Julia Morris and Matt Nixon

A Cabinet of Curiosities explores the unusual, unconventional, and scientifically unclassifiable. The show brings together seemingly dissimilar work in a fashion inspired by renaissance curiosity cabinets, which displayed mysterious earthly wonders, diverse in subject but related in their inability to be easily classified.

Opening First Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 6pm

4.5.2012   T.O.P. Crate Event  -  Mistakes Were Made

We presented the recent and ongoing Opulent Project, Mistakes Were Made. Over the last four years we have collected our rejected, less than perfect, wax models. Our collection of mistake waxes was on display as well as some cast bronze and silver mistakes. We selected pieces from the collection to “re-craft” into new models to be cast in metal, and we invited the public to both view and participate in our making process… and make their own mistakes!

Making wax models is generally the first step in casting metal jewelry. The wax model is then covered with a special plaster and is placed in a kiln until the wax melts out; leaving a cavity into which molten metal enters and hardens. The result is a metal version of the wax model.

Casting is a manufacturing process that lends itself to reproducing multiples of the same object. For our work, we often make rubber molds of existing jewelry and “remake” found jewelry over and over again. Generally, we do not alter the model until after the wax is cast in metal. For our Costume Costume Series we were most interested in casting exact copies of the original piece. It is not always possible to pull the perfect wax model out of a mold, so we are left with many, many rejects. Some are near perfect, some are hardly recognizable and others are anywhere in between. They are all accidents. Now we are using our accidental waxes to create a variety of forms and objects which we cast in bronze and silver.