If it’s cool and interesting I’ll use it!

Some people think I have little regions of snobbery in my artistic processes. It’s just not true. I can easily explain my thinking behind what I put with what — glass and plastics with base metals, stone and non-manufactured natural materials with silver — it is pure and simple science. I have a very scientific mind and I classify, analyze, sort and process everything into a sort of taxonomic heirarchy of materials. Some things deserve to be put with other things because of their fundamental or elemental way of being.

Here are some resin and brass “stones” I created with vintage kimono silk for a mixed-media bracelet.

I have used everything from plastic to diamonds in my work. I have beads, stones, buttons, fabric, fiber, art supplies, paper, plastic, ceramic, metal and wood in my studio at all times. I just put those things together according to my own sort of Darwinian system of organization. I am a materialsmith, and I love to investigate everything with an eye for creating assemblages of things that have a reason to be together. My mind sets a problem, I create a reason for solving it in a specific way, and then I let those materials tell me why they belong together. If the things I choose look good — and solve the problem I set for myself — I’ll use anything. Sometimes I am sucessful in making a satisfying object that speaks on several levels, both to me and others. That is the job of art.

Todays tip: Don’t mix resin with a wooden stir stick because wood tends to create an excess of air bubbles you’ll have to pop once they rise to the surface of your piece.

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About Helen Driggs

Metalsmith, Artist, Writer, Maker of things. Former Senior Editor of Lapidary Jewelry Artist Magazine View all posts by Helen Driggs

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