My research into new areas and my learning of new techniques has given me a whole new direction to pursue actively (the cast iron) as well as a number of possible other options which may yield serious pieces either by themselves or in combination. The joy of learning new techniques makes me a student again and brings fresh to my mind all the early frustrations of not having things work the way one wants them to the first time. I feel that this keeps me in touch with the students and their occasional frustrations - and this is one of the reasons I believe in life long learning and continual taking of classes.
The chainmaille has been very enjoyable and has already demonstrated much of its worth and potential to me in terms of its use in jewelry making. I'd like to take it into 3-D fabrication but haven't finished the problem solving dealing with making it rigid. (It's interesting working with steel and finding that you can't make it rigid when you need to...) I am very interested in combining the chainmaille with cast metal forms. It has also been well received in the "real jewelry " world as is witnessed by the awards given to my by the New Mexico Jewelers Association and by the sales and commissions I receive whenever I show the work. I have every intention of continuing with the chainmaille approach to jewelry and have been experimenting with techniques for working with other metals - like titanium and niobium.
I continue to submit my work to a variety of shows in New Mexico and elsewhere. I am pleased to have shown work and won awards in the New Mexico Jewelers Association annual shows, which consist almost entirely of work by professional jewelers. I've also been represented by three galleries, in three different parts of the country. In addition to larger state and national shows, I continue to submit my work to smaller, local exhibits. This allows my work to be seen by others in the community, lets me compare my work to that by other local artists, and also presents a positive image of ENMU, the College of Fine Arts, and the Art Department. Although not included on my listing of shows, I've entered my jewelry and metalworking pieces, and won awards, each year in the Roosevelt County Fair. This not only provides exposure for my work and for the department, but also offers an evaluation of the craftsmanship of my fine art pieces. There are limited opportunities for people in this area to see fine art, and I like to encourage and support as many local exhibits as possible.