On inspiration...

Sometimes it helps me to see what others are doing and what concepts they are pursuing in their individual bodies of work, also paying special attention to artists working in mediums outside of my primary.  I often take the knowledge from studying other mediums and apply it to my metalwork.

I recently attended a fold-forming class and shortly after watched a documentary on Origami; the two things in my mind really started to intertwine...   The documentary, Between the Folds, gives you a glimpse into the lives of Origami artists and the sculptures they are creating.  The techniques; the results =ASTOUNDING.  I had no idea you could get such animated and intense forms, some of which can take hundreds of hours of pure folding.  I wonder if metal would stand up to this amount of folding.

PBS website > Between the Folds

I highly recommend this documentary and recognizing the significance of other avenues of knowledge and inspiration around us in our everyday lives.   I also feel that the result of experimentation and use of alternative media can work to strengthen and refine a project/series.

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I watched that movie a while back and it is, as you say, amazing. Trying to get out of my head, though, I took a different tack and started a figure drawing group. My primary work is in steel and I draw abstracts, but I have this idea that practice observing, really seeing, will help open me up to new ideas. Anyway, that's the way it's supposed to work....

I am very open to begin a project/thinking process with a medium outside of my own (metal). Actually, the more obscure and unlikely the material the better. I really try very, very hard to not duplicate or draw from other people's work but to come up with my own language.

It's a constant pull: I am very much interested in other people's work and I see loads of images daily, it's part of my job to know what you guys are doing, but for my own practice I have to make an effort to wipe the slate blank the best I can. I can do that best with unusual, simple materials. It could be a string of yarn, plastic or wood, anything.

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Alison Bailey, "Soothing Cactus"

Materials: hand dyed and commercial fabric, brass, and embroidery thread
Dimensions: 11” x 11” x 3”

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