Friday, August 21, 2009

Master's Registry

Grrrrrr, Blogger is not saving drafts!!! I've sat here recreating a blog post I wrote yesterday that disappeared!

I just committed myself (pun intended)! I joined the Master's Registry last week. This new program bills itself as "the most prestigious and professional credential in the field of metal clay." With a rigorous curriculum of fifty projects it will indubitably provide me with a challenge to improve my technical skills and tackle projects I might not otherwise choose.

The program interests me because it is is judged hands-on, with the work submitted for in-person review. Critical feedback is given, and the work must receive a passing score based on published criteria to be accepted. Ten successful projects, two each from five categories, are required to achieve the Level I Master credential. The categories impose some structure upon the required work, but leave a lot of room for individual creativity. Clearly a much more selective process, this is different than a PMC or ACS certification, where a few days of class with prescribed projects can purchase a "certification." Higher level credentials require more and more of those fifty projects to be completed, so while it's possible to stay with familiar work at first, eventually there is bound to be something new to attempt.

While awaiting my information packet that hopefully details more fully the judging process and criteria, I keep perusing the thematic categories online. Construction includes boxes, nesting rings, handmade chain, etc. That seems straightforward. Color is an enticing category, with possibilities for stones, enamel, and patina. Materials seems to be a mixed media category, incorporating metal, wood, faux bone or glass. Guess which one appeals to me?? Metal Clay & Other Metals requires gold (keum boo or paste) or another metal, copper, steel, etc. There's an obvious place to try to insert my electroforming experiments. The Miscellaneous category interestingly brings in a variety of work that doesn't easily fit in the other categories -- mechanisms such as hinges and threads, metal clay paper, stenciling, and my personal favorite: making a hallmark!!

Goaded by friends to design a stilt rivet brooch, I've been thinking about this all week. The image above is a set of brooches from my sketchbook that predate the Master's Registry decision. I covered many pages in my sketchbook with designs this week, working toward a more dimensional version of these ideas. The image below is version 22. I even made some paper assemblies to mock up the 3D item. I know it was in jest, but it was fun!

I won't tell you yet quite where this is going. Suffice it to say that I have a lot of found (and not so found) objects piling up here that I wish to incorporate somehow into the work. I'm still toying with my model and plotting how to make this work. Just know that those center circles are stones, the triangular areas are filled, and the two lines of holes are all beaded rivets, at least in my current vision.