Meghan Patrice Riley is featured in the June/July American Craft. She recently won the Society for Contemporary Craft’s Raphael Founder’s Prize. Daniel DiCaprio received an honorable mention from the Society for Contemporary Craft.
Claudio Pino is the subject of the article “Light Show” in the July MJSA Journal.
The July Jewelry Artist magazine’s 65th Anniversary Gallery includes Alan Revere and Celie Fago.
Wendy Edsall-Kerwin’s foldforming cuff bracelet project is in the July issue of Art Jewelry Magazine. In the “Gallery” is work by Karen Christians, Andrea Williams, Alex Lewandowski, and Hiromi Suter.
Ornament Volume 35 Number 4 shows beads by Randy Long and Billie Jean Theide. An article about Shana Kroiz appears in the same issue.
Metalsmith Volume 32 Number 3 includes work by SNAG members Jan Harrell, Kristina Glick, Jeanie Pratt, Alicia Boswell, Ubaldo Vitali, Kirsten Haydon, and Flora Book. Exhibition reviews for Niki Ulehla, Micki Lippe, and Gabriel Craig are also in the issue.
Written by Harold Nelson, provided courtesy of the Enamel Arts Foundation
Harold B. “Bill” Helwig (1938–2012), a masterful artist and widely respected educator, passed away in Newport, Kentucky on July 12, 2012. Best known for his extraordinarily well-crafted enamels done using a painterly Limoges technique, Helwig was a leader in the late 20th-century enameling field.
Bill Helwig’s enamels are enormously inventive, both formally and technically. While he typically used round, plate-like forms in his early work, around 1972 Helwig began to pierce, cut, open, and eventually give sculptural shape to his copper plates, creating objects of extraordinary beauty, elegance, and power. Similarly, through near-obsessive exploration, he discovered several nearly-lost enameling and glazing techniques and reintroduced them to the contemporary enamels field.
Bill Helwig enthusiastically shared what he learned with his students through classes, workshops, lectures, and demonstrations. In 1989 Beverly Semmes described Helwig’s generosity in an article in Metalsmith. She wrote, “There are no sacred cows in Helwig’s enamel lexicon. He’s an enthusiastic, prolific risk-taker in the enamel studio, and his expertise is unmatched. He encourages students to learn the logic of the process, rather than the process itself. Unencumbered by an academic’s strictures, he reinvents the artform daily, both technically and esthetically.”
In 1982, he served as cofounder and editor of Glass on Metal. Helwig served on the board of the Enamelist Society, and received the Society’s prestigious Creative Arts Award. He also served on numerous Fair Committees for the American Craft Council, chairing the Committee in 1970.
The subject of numerous one-person exhibitions throughout the course of his life, Helwig was most recently featured in Painting with Fire: Masters of Enameling in America, 1930 – 1980, a publication which accompanied an exhibition of the same name at the Long Beach Museum of Art in California (2007). Helwig’s work is in numerous private collections across the country. He is also represented in the collections of the Long Beach Museum of Art and the Enamel Arts Foundation in Los Angeles.
In 1977 Helwig became head of the Vitrearc division at Carpenter’s Ceramic Coating Company in Newport, Kentucky (which later became Thompson Enamels). In his role at Thompson, Bill Helwig became an invaluable resource to artists, educators, and the industry, alike on the properties and possibilities of the enameling medium.
Written by Baunnie Sea and Jennifer Cross Gans
merry renk was born in New Jersey in 1921. While in high school she attended Fine Art classes at the School of Industrial Arts in Trenton, NJ. She attended the Institute of Design the American Bauhaus, Chicago from 1946-47, and left after completing the foundation course to open 750 Studio, a contemporary arts and crafts gallery with fellow classmates Mary Jo Slick and Olive Oliver. The gallery was one of the first of its kind and well-received by the press, showing the work of well-known artists such as Henry Miller, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Harry Callahan, and Margaret De Patta.
merry spent a year learning enameling techniques through trial and error. She sold the gallery and moved to San Francisco, where she connected with local metalsmiths such as Peter Macchiarini and Margaret De Patta. In 1951 De Patta invited her to attend the first meeting of the Metal Arts Guild (MAG). merry became a founder of MAG as well as its President in 1954. She remained an active Lifetime member through her 90th year.
During the 1960s, merry lost the sight in her right eye and switched to constructing large sculptures of iron, bronze, copper and brass, using the same interlocking ideas she’d used in jewelry. In the spring of 1981, the California Crafts Museum hosted, “merry renk, Jeweler: A Visual Biography and Retrospective, 1947-1981”. After that, she resumed her jewelry production until 1983.
The San Francisco Art Commission presented merry an Award of Honor for her “extraordinary contributions to the Bay Area community,” and she was also named an American Craft Council Fellow. Her oral history is in the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution.
merry’s work is in collections of the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Arts & Design, e Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), the Oakland Museum of Fine Arts, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, as well as in MAG’s Permanent Collection.
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SNAG’s new website, created by web firm Social Design House and launched in May 2012, features an elegant new look, updated content, improved navigation, and a new high level of functionality. The Online Presence Committee, Board of Directors, and SNAG staff have all been working diligently with the aim of a superior product, so we hope that you will be pleased with the results. More phases of development are to follow.
As a part of this new site, SNAG has also unveiled the Maker Profile Pages, a location for the online portfolios of our artist members. Our goal is to provide a well-designed, affordable, and easy to use solution for web presence. These pages provide many of the advantages of a full individual website, at only a fraction of the cost. We will be updating these pages and adding new features as they evolve, promoting it as a destination for anyone looking for interesting new work. This is a great way for us to pool our resources in an ever-expanding web universe, and to show the world why the artists, designers, jewelers, and metalsmiths of SNAG are the best in the field.