Wow! I can't believe it's the month of May already and the conference is happening in just a few weeks! I am absolutely thrilled to be blogging again for Crafthaus, and have never been more excited to be attending a SNAG conference!

For those of you who may not know me, my name is Liz Steiner. This is my second time blogging for Crafthaus, but my first time blogging the annual SNAG conference. I was still an MFA student at East Carolina University when Brigitte asked me to blog the ECU Symposium, Material Topics. I couldn't believe it when I got asked to blog this conference, almost a year in advance!

Save Me From Myself, copper, enamel, stone, string, 2011

Just a little bit about myself and my work: I'm a recent (2011) MFA graduate from ECU (BFA, Kent State University). My work deals with spirituality, meditation and my love of geology. I electroform and enamel, making rocks with varying degrees of realism. I also use actual rocks, sediments and sometimes salt, combined with fabric or string. I make primarily necklaces and brooches, and am not terribly concerned with wearability, or even the final product. For me, my work is all about the process of making and these objects that I love.

Salt in the Soul, copper, enamel, salt, string, 2011

In my year out of school, I've done a whole slew of things from a stint as a studio assistant at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, to taking care of Linda Darty's cats, to working at a Children's Museum, running planetarium shows and sorting plastic produce, to teaching at community college. In a week or so, I'm headed to Peter's Valley as their Artist Fellow in Fine Metals for the summer, which I could not be more excited about!  All the while I've been trying to maintain some semblance of a studio practice and figure out what's next for my work.

Slate Brooch, copper, enamel, stone, silver, 2011

This is a huge conference for me. I am going to be EVERYWHERE. You lovely people are going to get sick of me, I swear! In addition to blogging, I'll be making my first big curatorial debut. I've spent the past year coordinating/curating the Hot Under the Collar exhibition, which had an overwhelming response. I still don't quite believe it. Hot Under the Collar will also be sharing space with Brigitte's Humor in Metal exhibition, so make sure you all stop by during the exhibition crawl, and show us both some Crafthaus love! (I'll be the one looking completely stunned at having a show at a SNAG conference.)

I'll also be participating in the Trunk Show Sale. I couldn't make it to the conference last summer, so I really have no idea what to expect; I'm both excited and nervous. I've been working on a line using sheet mica (shiny shiny!) that I'm pretty pleased with, and I hope everyone else is too. I'll also have some rock enamels and maybe a few electroforms. My goal is to come out with enough profit to invest in some much needed studio equipment. I'm hoping once I'm settled into the studio at Peter's Valley, I'll have a couple more weeks to furiously make make make.

Mica Earrings and Brooch, copper, silver, mica, 2010


Whew! So there you have it! Three huge opportunities to succeed or fail spectacularly! Regardless of how any of these turn out, I'm still sure it'll be a fantastic conference. I always manage to have a great time at SNAG, aided of course by reconnecting with old friends. I always manage to meet a key few new people, as well, who somehow turn out to have some important role to play in my life and career. All of this, plus my first ever trip to Arizona, in just three short weeks! Yikes!

I'm feelin' the heat! Are you?

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Oh! I almost forgot! Jillian Moore has already set up a Flickr group for conference attendees to share pics of your Pin Swap Pins, Trunk Show work, the work you'll be taking or showing at SNAG, or the disaster you've made of your studio getting ready for it all! We invite everyone to continue to share images during and after the conference as well!

We hope you'll join us! http://www.flickr.com/groups/snag2012/

I AM feeling the heat alright! Congratulations on being Peters Valley Artist Fellow in Fine Metals! That is tremendous. I may have to hit you up for a follow up blog on your experience over there ;-))

Thanks for getting the blog off to a great start! Yay, Scottsdale, here we come!

Thanks Brigitte! I'm excited. I spent some time there last summer as an assistant. I just hope the ticks aren't bad!

Hi Liz, looking forward to meeting you in person as well as others.  I am a first-timer at SNAG Conf, Trunk Show etc.  So really nervous, excited and don't know what to expect... Love your work, especially the new mica pieces!

Hi Rameen,

Looking forward to meeting you too! And seeing your work in person! Expect an exhausting but exhilarating experience full of great talks, inspiring work and lots and lots of metals nerds. It can get a little overwhelming at times, and it certainly is tiring, but there's nothing like being around 500+ other people who speak the exact same language as you. 

And thanks! The mica looks even better in person. It's really hard to photograph.

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A modern metalsmith/metal artist can be found working in traditional metals as well as in nontraditional materials. The designs can range from the classic to the extravagant, and the techniques can either be centuries old or decidedly current.

The wide range of expression preferences, design options, materials, and processes has lead within our field to unfavorable misconceptions, misunderstandings and in some cases even outright disdain between artists. Can the metal and jewelry field overcome its division and send out a much-needed signal?

We appreciate and respect our historical past and acknowledge that current materials have a rightful place in jewelry/object making!

Arriving at this message is the goal of this traveling exhibition opening at the SNAG conference in Boston 2015, Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco, CA - Aug 19 - Sept 20, 2015, Equinox Gallery, San Antonio, TX - Oct 16 - Nov 15, 2015, Baltimore Jewelry Center, Baltimore, MD - Dec 11, 2015 - Jan 08, 2016, Brooklyn Metal Works, Brooklyn, NY - Feb 5 - Mar 4, 2016, Thomas Mann's Gallery I/O April 1 - June 25, 2016.

DETAILS on exhibition premise, call for artists, submission guidelines.....

OFF TO THE RACES:

Rachel and Brigitte got started on their own cooperation. Follow along and comment.

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