July 3…What’s your color IQ?…(try the test)….and….what’s been waiting for you all of your life?

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Hail to the Small Angry King” ©2011, Robert Redus

“Truth is so hard to tell, it sometimes needs fiction to make it plausible.” – Francis Bacon

it just floated there…a bit lost…maybe more unaware of the things just around the corner…but still waiting for another…then another…and all of it was setting the table right…you know…fork on the left…plate…knife and spoon…napkin folded neatly….because you never knew if the door would open easily…or would crack the plaster walls…with a hard knock…and he’d stand there on the high dive…board…arm resting across his stomach…finger in his mouth…in his blue bathing suit with the red stripes…thinking…maybe of the day he died…or how the cold water would feel on his milky skin…turn around…walk back down the ladder…his bottom lip quivered…and it all was wrapped up in crystal clear plastic wrap…I could eat the bologna…on the white bread with the potato chips tucked carefully under the bright green lettuce…but I couldn’t spell…”business”…I tried it….B…U…S..Z…Y…N…I…S…would put the green olives in my belly button…tried to talk like my father…it was all smoke filled then…a window air conditioner…a few packs of Luckies…and we were reliving…the good life…man was it the goodlife”…from the Black Eye Project

I don’t want to sound even remotely close to Donald Rumsfeld…but there are those known knows…and yes…those unknown…unknowns…that’s about as far as I’m willing to go…and I guess what Donald so eloquently attempted to say was…we do know some stuff and there is other stuff we know exists…yet know absolutely nothing about…and again…that’s as far as I can go with that statement…and I think because a few times what we know…what we’ve tried and what has worked…is what we continue to use as the method of doing it all over again…and hopefully getting the same or close to the same results…

sure I’m certain the scientific method…with the required empirical data…measurability and of course the specific principles of reasoning…take any emotional component and fundamentally puke it up and wash it away with a giant “harrumph”…well…that’s what its designed to do…but install a bit of personality…emotion and “I am who I am”…sort of thinking…it becomes simple to realize that  my method…your method…our collective method…though hosed up in many regards…tends to be the method of choice…even if it means bringing a knife to a gun fight…more than once…

and I think it’s really easy to plod along doing the exact same thing the exact same way…sort of like eating at a cafeteria where the menu never changes…and while the plodding expertise increases…the efficiency of the plod becomes much less effective…and eventually the boots are so thick with mud it’s easier to stand still than try and move the weight…any direction…

producing art is exactly like this…I have done fundamentally the exact same thing for a number of years with the changing variable being color…so my initial exploration of the medium…at one point was global…but like an old married couple…now…my style of painting and I sit in separate lazy boy recliners…wear the same night gowns to bed and can finish each other’s sentences long before we’ve even opened our mouths…to speak…we probably even look alike…

and sure consistency is what some think the lifeblood and success of a great artist….has to be…so it’s easy walking through the gallery and picking out who did what by the small little fingerprints of style left by each artist… and I suppose if galleries are the goal…then consistency is the key…while if moving forward and pushing the…”artistic limits…if you will are the desire…then the complete opposite has to be the focal point….or at least some part of the complete opposite…has to be the place to visit regularly…

I’ve often wondered if classical musicians only listen to classical music…or if secretly they put the headphones on…and clean the house to Miles Davis…or Mahavishnu Orchestra…I’m sure they do…or maybe they listen to 1970’s one hit wonders…but what matters is they listen to what they want…play what they play and somehow it blends together to work…painting is no different…

The other day while out painting…I broke the rules…I broke my own rules…initially in the first nano seconds of rule breaking…I felt as if I was cheating or going to have to explain something…since I made the rules…breaking them was difficult…because again…”method”…has made my rules real and workable…or as worakable as I have convinced myself they are…the more the rules became transparent…the less the method had any value…and quickly I realized…I had over these years painted….myself into a corner…(no pun intended)…and that entire moment was like I had nothing to remember…and nothing to forget…and no matter what happened…everything was…A…Okay…this point of departure was a major leap into the abyss…something that once done…was never possible to change…I have experienced very few of these…and know when this has happened in the past…big things are on their way…

How I got here has always been a mystery to me…not the physical…”Here I am”…but that place…sort of the esoteric port of entry…where I ended up doing what I do…I do believe with every once of my being…what I’ve done…and what I’ve not done…have been the instruments that have landed me right here…right now…doing what I do…fundamentally I have been preparing myself for this moment in time…my entire life…unaware…see there are those unknown knowns…again…all of the events…that happened and the events that didn’t…the left turns…the moves…the pleasures and pains…all of the darkness and light…that was the mixture…

it is much like standing at a doorway looking out over a vast landscape…pointing a finger to…”there”…everything that has happened was required to be at this exact place….and “there” has always existed…as “there”….now it’s time to move a little closer…perhaps the last 10,000 miles…

here is a great way of seeing what you really know…comment your results to me and gender….Try this color test 
my results…Male 8

 “Namely, we have no right to believe a thing true because everybody says so unless there are good grounds for believing that some one person at least has the means of knowing what is true, and is speaking the truth so far as he knows it.” – William Kingdon Clifford

537. June 15th…New Chopstick Earrings…

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

These Chopstick earrings are made from both ends of the chopsticks and have hand textured, hand stamped copper discs floating above them. Each pair of earrings ranges in length from 1 1/2 inches to 3 1/2 inches…they are light weight since they are made from real bamboo chopsticks,some are covered with Japanese paper or painted.

Retail on these earrings is $28.00 and $30.00  (click on images to enlarge)

Style #C5P Pointed end with single disc $28.00
Style #C5C Capped end with single disc $28.00
Style #C6P Pointed end with 2 discs, $30.00
Style #C6P Caped end with 2 discs, $30.00
 
         
      


Opening special,  Buy 2 Pair get one pair FREE

 
 

531. May 30…”It is better to travel well than to arrive.” – Buddha

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“The Giant Pancake of Death” 2011

“The way positive reinforcement is carried out is more important than the amount.” – B.F. Skinner

I can’t say I ever wanted it any different than it was…and maybe the wishes were just a way of moving on the game board…kept me there but let me feel what over there was like…and some days I was the shoe..with no foot…others the dog…that couldn’t bark…I thought it all…over it tumbled in my mind…trying to settle on one single drop of water…and one crumb didn’t taste any different than another…and the big stuff….were just a bunch of little crumbs…together…maybe more a single cloud in the fall sky…moving it there…from there…on those waterbone days…the ones she still dreamed about..where the shadows stayed the same…the light crisp early in the morning…and they towered like sentinals…there against the sandstone and gray colored  cliffs….

as a child…when we traveled…it was non-stop from point A to point B…bypassing every scenic site…along the way…typically in the west…at that time…roadside attractions…enticed the curious traveler with giant luring billboards…”The Thing, only 300 miles“…and about every 5 miles was another billboard…”Don’t miss ‘The Thing’, see a real live Indian village, cactus candy”…the traveler was hooked by each sign with a bit more information…and then another 5 miles…”The Thing, PREHISTORIC! never before seen by human eyes, Black Mambas, Indian jewelry”….I would sit patiently…waiting for the next sign…and when I was able to read… and didn’t have to have my brother tell me what each sign said…I was all powerful…often though they would start spreading the signs out…15 to 20 miles…the anticipation would kill me…I’d look for downed billboards…and then there in front of me…another one…”The Thing, oldest known human, see Indians making moccassins, real ‘war drums and tomehawks’, beef jerky, cherry cider, don’t miss the ‘Thing“…I would often not say I needed to go to the bathroom until we were close enough to the roadside attraction so we’d have to stop…there…I could see myself…walking back to the car…a real Indian headdress…a bag full of fool’s gold…some cactus candy….and the “Thing”…burned into my memory…and maybe my mother would have fainted…because the “Thing” was so gruesome…and my father in his checkered shirt…khaki pants….and green lensed sun glasses…would be carrying a box of gallon jugs filled with cherry cider…and Kenneth…held a giant bag of  real “Buffalo” Beef jerky…and we were set….

it rarely ever happened that way…but I did see…”The Thing”…

now a days when I travel…I will stop at every place I want to stop…if I feel the need to read each historic marker from New Mexico to Maine…I’ve not made a timeline that requires anything other than start when I do…stop when I do…I like to drive about 4-5 hours…check into a hotel that …A). has a swimming pool…B). HBO….C). A restaurant at the hotel…D). a really cool ice machine and E). Has that hotel smell….if anyone of those are not there….I just can’t stay there…because traveling is well….about traveling…and I like the in-house restaurant to have scenic placemats…of places like…”Picturesque Wyoming”….or “Points of Interest in and around Bisbee”…or a brief history of the place I’m sitting in…and the waitress…was born and raised right there in Uvalde Texas…or I like to hear how everybody on the restaurant staff ended up right there…in say…Lander Nevada…and I especially like when the in-house restaurant is the place where all of the locals eat breakfast…it makes me kind of feel like them without all of the gossip…and nothing to do on Saturday night…

I’ve noticed I generally practice the accent of the area when I’m traveling…don’t want to stand out you know…so I’ll say things when asked where I’m from…like “down south of here“…so if they have any really creepy plans…they might just think I have relatives that lives close by…and sure maybe I’m 700 miles south of here in a completely different state…but who really needs to know that…my license plate will give me away…anyway…I think it important to blend in a little better than not…you just never know what might happen…I could fall in love with the waitress and end up living right there…and it would be terrible to think that I said something that just might haunt me for a few years…not to mention the bad impression…

I think I like short trips better than long ones…these days…not that a long trip doesn’t keep me awake all night long…because the anticipation is unreal…but short trips…have less driving…more seeing and opportunities for photos…mid-day cocktails…maybe even running into someone I know…or someone that knows someone I know….and something about being in a car for 17 hours that just sharpens the edge a little to much for me…because 17 hours for me is between 3-4 days of driving…based on 4-5 hours a day of driving…short trips…are like going to a surprise party….for me…before I can get fidgity…I’m there…and it’s still light…and it’s all happening right there in front of me…

here is some of this weekend….

and the “Giant Pancake of Death”…it’s at the Ridgeback Restaurant…at the turn to Fenton Lake….they have the best Huevos Rancheros I’ve ever eaten….and yes I did eat the “Giant Pancake of Death”….with sugar free syrup…and I’d do it again…oh and ask for “Jen”

safe and above all happy travels….

thank you Damien and Jennifer for a wonderful weekend….

“It is better to travel well than to arrive.” – Buddha

490. February 10th…Only read this…if you really Love Someone…

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“The Writing on the Wall” 2011

“There is not enough love and goodness in the world to permit giving any of it away to imaginary beings.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

I have received a number of requests for jewelry for people’s sweethearts this Valentines day…I am surprised at the 4 choices that are leading the field…I’d like your opinion…Please take a look at the 4 winners and see which one you’d like to give to or get from your sweetheart:

A. Ruby Red Bowling Ball Earrings

B. Chop Stick earrings

C. Chinese Restaurant Plate Earrings

D. “Fordite” Auto Mobile Paint Pendant

Thanks for your opinion….

I’ve been a jewelry designer for close to 30 years…and in that time…my work has changed dramatically since I first started making jewelry…originally I worked in manufacturing…developing prototypes that went to sales reps who in turn showed them to the retailers..department stores and other manufacturers for inclusion into their giant stock of sales inventory…we did well…my worked ended up in major department stores in the US…Asia…and Europe…we were included in catalogs…women’s magazines…wardrobe for some major television shows…celebrities bought my work…it was all to say the least overwhelming if not a little overbearing…even now I run into people wearing a pair of my older earrings and I have to laugh…because I know the story behind them….

with some time…wisdom and a true desire to build jewelry that I enjoyed designing and making…I landed where I am today…I have a very different philosophy about building jewelry…I really like the combinations of raw and refined…melded together…that is what has drawn me so to reclaimed/recycled jewelry…I decided three years ago to buy  as little as possible of “New” material for jewelry as there is more than enough floating around out there that can be repurposed…and have another stab at the aesthetic….and more than anything…I’m enjoying the work and having fun making jewelry…

“Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.” – Albert Einstein

474. January 16th…We don’t need no stinking jewelry….

Art and my thoughts about being an artist

“Lions and Tigers and Fishnets…Oh My” 2011

“And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

I’ve been working on my line of jewelry for this spring and summer…and found a few things I’d like to explore…

jewelry is like tattoo…people who wear jewelry..do for a variety of reasons…and what I’ve found is often jewelry ties a person all together…they have certain pieces of jewelry that “make an outfit”…while at the same time they have other pieces of jewelry that are their everyday jewelry…much like socks and boxers..or a latte at Starbucks each morning…

being a jeweler…I don’t wear jewelry but occasionally…yet I do wear a silver bracelet I made..it has become a part of me…and I feel like I am missing something when I don’t have it on…sort of like the pocket we carry our keys in…or the rituals we practice…without calling them rituals…

to this day I am still excited about lighting the torch up and changing a flat piece of metal into something else…or cutting a small river rock in half and setting it in silver…and after almost 30 years of jewelry making…I’ve finally come to the conclusion…it’s not really about making the product as much as it is about…the process and ritual of making the product…

every jeweler has their method…has their bench set up in a way that works and usually only for them….certain tools are positioned by frequency of usage…and which hand a person predominantly uses…and the reasons a bench is the way a bench is…are as solid as concrete…I once considered the Revere Jewelry Institute in San Francisco…while I was living in the Bay Area…I took the tour..for prospective students….and found I was intimidated by all of the great new equipment…the high tech gadgets that made jewelry making a process of precision and ease…

I was trained by a Navajo woman who made almost every tool she had herself…doming tools were polished trailer hitch balls and a carved out space on a tree stump…with a piece of a discarded baseball glove to lessen the scratches on the metal….when doming…broken pliers were turned into tools for setting a stone securely in silver bezel…#16 nails were made into almost anything possible….they were cheap…abundant…and easy to work…I trained with her for about 6 years and in that time I learned to cut and polish stone better…make a variety of things from other things….but mostly she taught me what jewelry was not….

here are a sample of few pieces I just finished for Bright Rain Gallery here in Albuquerque:

 

 

 

 

Places on the Map” Earrings, Sterling Silver and Hand-stamped Copper

 

 

 

 

 

German Glass Doll Eye  Earrings, Sterling Silver and Hand-stamped Copper…the back is stamped with…”Eye Spy”…

Canton Style Ceramic Earrings in Sterling Silver and Hand-stamped Copper

 

 

 

 

 

Sushi Plate earrings, Sterling Silver and Hand-stamped Copper

enjoy your Sunday and especially Zenday….

John Ruskin said :

“A book worth reading is worth buying.”…

so is art…please support local artist and original art….

“You can play a shoestring if you’re sincere.” – John Coltrane



 

467. January 6th..Merging into the other…

Thoughts from the "Tinman", Uncategorized

“Place on the Map” earrings 2011

“I like to drink to suit my location.” – Tom Jones

Merge is defined: “to combine, blend, or unite gradually so as to blur the individuality or individual identity of”

I have merged all of my blogs together…recently so my writing…painting and jewelry are all at one convenient location…sounds a little like an ad for a Wal-Mart…pharmacy or a late night 7 to 11…some place I can get a 12 pack of Keystone…some spicy pork rinds…a pack of Chesterfield Kings…and some writing and paintings…to contemplate…

there is a sort of re-animator feeling about it…as if some identity has been jeaopardized..or worse..lost…I have this idea that separate blogs gives some level of complication…that spews…what…I’m not certain…nor have I ever been certain…and honestly it is much like the way I eat…nothing touches…and eat one thing at a time…this makes sense..so keeping blogs in their respective worlds…has me isolated yet…my island is within view of the tour boats…I feel pretty good about this marriage…and what it offers is much greater than what it doesn’t…

The pair of earrings called “Place on the Map” were a custom order for a sister that they both live in 2 different places in New Mexico…I used sterling silver, hand-stamped copper, road maps and a glass cabochon…and a stamped inscription on the back…


when building a piece like this I wonder about the story that will go along with it…what gets said about it…what the recipient feels about it…and how the giver came to a place that this seemed the logical gift for someone else…often I will inscribe underneath the stone a quote…or another piece of paper with well wishes written on it…and really I only know about it…but the energy…is there…

I once loved a woman…and wanted the world to help me with her…so I set a poem I’d written about her…under glass and made a few hundred pendants….gave them away…to anybody I encountered…”It’s your lucky day“…under the guise that when people wore them…other people read them…and that reading somehow got out into the universe and kept it moving a little more than normal…wether it did fill the universe with more of this energy…I’ll never know… but I am really really glad…it didn’t work…and I did learn to be much more careful about what I ask for…

building jewelry…is like not getting lost in an unfamiliar place…there are steps that have to be done and they have to be completed in a particular sequence…deviating from the sequence has a predictable….usually costly end result…by practicing not getting lost…it is much easier to find where we are when we do get lost…so the pyrotechnics of the event are pretty short-lived and not very exciting…although with jewelry…the unknown portion…is personality…personality of the componants…and what they just might decide to do while everybody is standing in line to exit the high dive board for the first dip of summer…metal has a mind of its own…it responded in certain ways…that can be much like my cat Elvis who is precictablly…unpredictable…and rather than plan the emergency metal might spring…it is much easier to resign myself to the fact that if I act okay…the metal usually will as well…

the unity of this move feels good…kind of like when metal solders perfectly…and we both walk away laughing and smiling…

“Popular art is normally decried as vulgar by the cultivated people of its time; then it loses favor with its original audience as a new generation grows up; then it begins to merge into the softer lighting of ”quaint,” and cultivated people become interested in it, and finally it begins to take on the archaic dignity of the primitive.” – Northrop Frye