doubt if you can remember

I started a second journal.  It just seemed that I needed to have a separation.  Although I'm not sure where that separation lies.  Maybe between my past and my present, or between the things I just make and the things I make while thinking.

There has been a rift since the beginning of my creative career.  It divides my technical abilities and my thoughts, and bridging it continues to be a struggle.  Sometimes I just make things because I can, or have to, and they exist insofar as they are well-made and adhere to my personal design aesthetic.  Actually, often my aesthetic is nearly disregarded, like when I build something structural.  It just has to do its job.  This way of working feels predominately design focused, mechanical, logistical, and there are times I appreciate this cold angle.  I can block out everything except for the job at hand. 

Then there are the things I make or do because I'm opening myself to a conversation.  An ongoing dialog between myself, the materials, the tools, the evolving object, and maybe, eventually, the viewer.  Then, within each of these conversations there are certain subjects that invariably arise at some point... my struggle to justify being an artist, what is valid, how to put the work into the world, issues with commodification, and on it goes.  When I'm engaged in this sort of dialog, nothing is exempt.  What the weather is like, what I've been eating,  how well I've been sleeping, the status of my relationship, what bills I need to pay, all of life's minutiae become cast members.    So, if I try to speak or write about it, it becomes impossible to leave out what may be extremely personal.

In the last couple years, more of what I do is of this last way.  The second journal is my attempt to acknowledge the shift.    



I recommend replaying only the first 30 seconds of this about 6 times.


I've received mixed reviews from some friends about my last post.  Yes, it was definitely harsh, but that's where I was... wading waist deep through the harshlands, and I was just trying to keep my rifle dry. 

For those that responded with, "More of that, please." I thought this would be right up your depressive little alley:

Via Standard Design


New Jewelry

Two new pairs of earrings. One organic & edgy, the other sleek & modern.


Field Notes

Latest work... Thinking about less thinking. Taking three dimensional notes of the possibilities from limited materials and limited processes. Material: Small Gauge Stainless Steel Wire
Process: TIG
Some detail shots...
This series of 15 panels was shown at an opening last December at gallery space here in Taos. I'll post a link to individual shots of the entire series soon.


One must have a mind of winter.

The first snow fell on Taos a few nights ago. They were massive snowflakes, and driving through it made me feel like I was on the Enterprise at warp speed. Then, I woke up the next morning to the sugar coated mountains. Even with all the beauty that the season brings to Taos, I usually have a sense of dread about the impending weight of winter. But, to my surprise, not this time. Even though finances continue to be a struggle as I insist on maintaining my self-employment status, I think I may have the ball rolling in so many different directions that the future is going to catch me in a net of semi-security, and I'm speaking much more far-reaching than just the greenbacks. That's serious progress.
One thing that I think has enabled this is my submission to my ADD mind. Can't focus on one thing? OK, then do more than one thing.

Above is the new Dragee Ring. I used to make these out of silver but finally figured out how to do them in stainless... which is really my material of choice. They are so much stronger than the silver ones, and the finish is so incredibly reflective; they almost look like liquid metal.

I also finished the knife that I started over 3 years ago.....if this knife could talk. It has the deceptive appearance of simplicity, which is an influence of my father's design sensibilities and a trademark of his work. In reality, there are aspects of this knife, mostly the stair-step hilt, that other knifemakers haven't attempted. It is an integral design, which means that all the steel has been machined from one solid piece.... the blade, hilt and tang are all the same piece of damasteel. We did a slight etch only on the blade to bring out the twist damascus pattern. The handle is ancient hippo ivory and the screws were handmade from 14k gold. I'm taking it to a knife show in San Diego at the end of this month. Progress posts of the knife are here... 1, 2, 3, 4.
Also, the large welding projects continue. This is a progress shot of just one of the sections of a 30' x 4' steel deck that I've been building. Since this shot was taken, the pieces have been hoisted 20+ feet into the air and attached to the house. I'll post more pics when it nears completion.

More projects to follow in the next post... whenever that may be.


Trunk Show at The Harwood Museum

Featured artist in the Harwood Museum Store July 9-31.
Reception on Saturday the 9th at High Noon!


The Update

For those that follow my blog it must be really irritating. Months and months without a peep, then a burst of activity and posts. Well, welcome to my world - a field of rabbit holes where I scramble around, crawling in and out of cognitive tunnels.... of which, only one contains the fortitude to create blog posts.

Well, here I am
for the moment.

So, this is what's been going on the last few months....

As of the beginning of February, I entered into full time self-employment. I jumped into it with absolutely no savings, so I quickly discovered the very fine line between self- and un- employment. I also came to understand why the word 'hunger' is used to denote both an empty stomach and motivation.

In March, I found myself in other people's workshops doing a lot of welding. After working on such a small scale for so long, I really didn't think I could pull off some of the stuff I did. I welded caps onto a stainless steel tank. A seriously nerve racking job, because it had to hold water - the weld couldn't have any pitting or melt through. I also welded up this steel stand for a heavy machine....
I also found myself in the shop of the amazing duo, Christian Ristow and Christina Sporrong. There I had a bit of a hand in helping out with Christian's 'Fledgling', which made its way to the Coachella music festival and to Maker Faire. Here's an excerpt and image from Christian's blog...

Fledgling is a large mechanical bird, made from Stainless Steel, Carbon Steel, and Aluminum. It is modeled loosely on raptors, or birds of prey (eagles, hawks, and falcons). One person at a time, from the general public, is permitted to ascend the staircase up the tail-feathers and climb into the ribcage. In the ribcage is a seat and a pair of bicycle pedals. By pedaling, the operator sets in motion a set of gears, sprockets, chains, and cranks which cause the wings to open and close. There is a wing mechanism and a separate shoulder mechanism such that the motion of the wings is very close to the real motion of a bird.
I was honored to be part of such an amazing project.

Buuuuuut, this last month or so it has been all about my own work. As you can see in the previous posts, I've been communing with the titanium. The look is much more 'tekkie' and substantial than my more delicate stainless pieces, so it has widened the scope of my work.

It was really time to expand a bit, because on July 9th I have a trunk show at the Harwood Museum here in Taos and will be the featured artist in the gift shop for the month! My focus is pretty much consumed by this for now, but I do have another big welding project coming up and some very exciting goings on in the knifemaking realm, too... but more about that later....

See you next time I'm in the hole.


Finally! New Work....

First off... TITANIUM

...and new variations on the Tensegrity necklace and the Sputnik Sweetheart earrings

I'm also working on a Simple Series, because that's what they are... clean, modern... simple in the best way. This is the first I've posted. I'm offering pieces in this series at a discounted price through the month of June.



'Factory' is a very good word, and when I picture a factory in my mind, it looks exactly like this.

Just look at how happy they are....



These are the first in a series of wall panels that I've been working on. Composed of 3-dimensional stainless steel forms on a wood base.


Living with it.

A few pictures my friend, Tom, took of the area around where I live in Taos and a project we worked on.




Decca Earrings

Design Inspiration

Creative Mornings, run by Tina Roth Eisenberg of Swissmiss, are these amazing and inspiring A.M. lectures that people can attend before heading into work. I'd love to drive down from the mountains, take a red-eye flight to New York and actually be at one of these. Until then, I have to settle for watching them online.

Design Matters is a podcast where Debbie Millman interviews designers and artists. There are some serious gems in here.



Succinctly complicated

robo-rainbow from mudlevel on Vimeo.

Via Core77




Thanks to Ash & Kimmy over at GreenEyed.com for a fabulous feature on their website!



Not Just Jewelry, Anymore

Mod Cocktail Picks


Thank you Jenn Ski!

Above is the work of the amazing, modernist designer Jenn Ski. I'm surely flattered for this post about my work on her blog.

You have to check out Jenn Ski for her work, but also if you want to incite the deepest envy within yourself when you see the posts about her retro, modernist home. Kills me.


Tune in Tokyo!

Sputnik Sweetheart stud earrings.


More new work... and more to come

Lilt Earrings


Two New Chains



Little Something New

Tout Petit. Little stud earrings, available here and here.


Where have I been???? .....slingin' sake at Hiro Hobo!

It has been over a year since I last posted anything, because I had a bit of a gear switch in my focus. In February 2009, my friend Sheila Guzman, chef and restaurant owner, decided to close down her little lunch cafe and start a transformation. She enlisted my help, and together we spent a month redesigning the space and menus. Working within a tight budget, we also built all the new furnishings and design elements ourselves.

The restaurant opened in March 2009, and we've been enjoying a surprise cult success and devote following of local patrons along with a few tourists that happen upon us. The place is so small (six tables and six seats at the bar), and we often have a line out the door.

I posted a few images. Disclaimer.... I'm not good at photographing rooms!!

Here's HIRO HOBO......
The sake bar. I was lucky to gain some sake experience while living in Portland, Oregon, and then broadened my knowledge base for this endeavor. The restaurant is based off the Japanese Izakaya style, which places an emphasis on drinking with your meal. Turns out, drinking makes food more fun.

Other than the seating at the bar, we also built this raised platform with traditional style seating.
You might notice the bandanna/handkerchiefs that are used as napkins. It's Taos, New Mexico.... you gotta have a bit of cowboy in there! Oh, and those photographs in the background are the work of Zoe Zimmerman.

Back toward the exposed kitchen. People love watching Sheila cook. I think there should be an admission charge.

In the tiny sun room. The chairs and their upholstery were something already in place and an element that we had to work with. It's interesting how limitations can actually contribute to the originality of a place. The bright blue ended up making the space feel more playful and funky.

This was my personal favorite shining accomplishment. The final design was achieved by hashing around my initial ideas with my friend Anne Bujold when she came to visit. Then, the finer details were tweaked with Sheila's help.
This is the display of all the sakes we carry. It's comprised of empty bottles hanging from brass chain under an illuminated panel. The really cool thing about it is that the bottles are also arranged from right to left in accordance to their dryness or sweetness, and up and down in relation to their quality/price. It's a great visual reference for the printed sake list!

All designs copyright Outlaws&Heroes LLC, Sheila Guzman, Julie Lake.

Now I have to get back into the swing of making some of my own work!
Recently listed for sale here and here, the Tensegrity Necklace.