L. Brent Kington
The legendary blacksmith, L. Brent Kington passed away on Thursday February 7. Brent was one of the founding members of SNAG, the first SNAG President, and the recipient of our Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. He built the metals dept at Southern Illl. Univ at Carbondale in the late 60s and early 70s. He brought blacksmthing into the program and it is today still the only school that offers an MFA in Blacksmithing.
he has a long record of accomplishments as educator, blacksmith master and mentor. He has also received honors from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Artist-Blacksmith Association of North America, and received the Gold Medal from the American Craft Council.
For more information on Brent Kington’s life and work read the transcript of an interview conducted by Mary Douglas for the Archives of American Art, Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, for the Smithsonian Institution at http://www.aaa.si.edu/collections.
Grosse Pointe Park resident Clare Morison died Sunday, December 2, 2012, at the age of 66. Clare was pre-deceased by her long-time partner, Phillip Fike, professor and head of the Metal Arts Department at Wayne State University, and a founding member of SNAG.
Widely known for her artistic talents, she developed “Studio Clare” into a thriving business to create and market wax and metal art work. She developed innovative technologies such as high-temperature wax to expedite her work. Some of her ornamental works have won prize recognition as serious works of art. She also crewed on the beloved family sailboat, Sunshine, a frequent competitor in the Bayview/Mackinaw race and worked tirelessly on its upkeep as a true labor of love. Claire was also an enthusiastic participant for Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
Clare Morison very generously left a $10,000 bequest to SNAG, naming the organization as the beneficiary of one of her IRA’s. We are deeply grateful for her support.
I started reading Metalsmith magazine at age 15 while in my first jewelry class, and I’ve been a member of SNAG for as long as I can remember. I always thought that I would like to serve on the board at some point, and during the past year the time just seemed right. During the past seven years I have completed graduate school, taught at a variety of institutions, worked for an arts non-profit, and made several bodies of work. I feel like I have a unique perspective of the field as a result of my experiences, and I hope I use that knowledge to enhance my board service.
Anne Havel is a finalist for the Niche Awards in the medium of Metal-Enameled for her piece “State of the Earth Series: From Above, This is What I See.” Additionally, Anne was one of three artists featured in the article “Enameling with Fire” in the November 2012 issue of Lapidary Journal/Jewelry Artist.
Anne will be teaching torch-fired enameling at Jewelry Studies International in Austin, TX from April 15-19, 2013 and at Genevieve Flynn Studios in Kansas city, MO from June 14-16, 2013. She will also be teaching “How to Know What to Charge for Your Work” at the International Society of Glass Beadmakers’ (ISGB) annual conference in Rochester, NY on July 24 & 25, 2013.
Kaminer Haislip was recently honored with the “Made in the South Award” in the Home category by Garden & Gun magazine. Visit http://gardenandgun.
Joe Silvera was recently featured in two episodes of Beads, Baubles and Jewels a fraft show on PBS. Episode 1711: Making Connections aired January 10, 2013 and Episode 1712: Creative Textures aired January 17, 2013.
Author: Brent Kington
Harry Bober (1915-1988) was born in Brooklyn, New York. He entered the City University of New York with a desire to study painting. He was encouraged by the chair of the CUNY art department to change his major to art history. He received his M.A. in 1940. During W.W.II he served in the U.S. Navy. After the war Bober continued his studies in art history and earned his Ph.D. from NYU in 1949.
Harry’s scholarly interest was in medieval art. His dissertation was on the medieval Book of Hours. During his long and distinguished career he authored numerous scholarly papers, articles and books. He taught at Queen’s College, Smith College, John Hopkins University and Harvard University. In 1954 he joined the NYU faculty as a professor of medieval art at the Institute of Fine Arts. He remained there until his death in 1988. In 1964 Bober was named the first Avalon Foundation Professor of the Humanities at NYU. In addition to his academic career Harry was a founding member of the Board of Directors of the International Foundation for Art Research.
During his life Harry was active as a consultant to museums, private collectors and art dealers. He assembled a fine collection of mediaeval art. A number of his pieces were included in the 1968 Metropolitan Museum’s exhibition of medieval art assembled from private collections. In 1975 Harry was invited to curate the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition entitled “The Passover: An Exhibition” for which he authored the catalog for the exhibition.
I first met Harry in the early 1960’s when he was invited by Southern Illinois University Department of Art to serve as a distinguished visiting scholar teaching a series of seminars on medieval art. Early in his residency I looked up from my work in my studio to find him watching me. He asked me about a sterling toy I was working on and expressed interest in my metal working processes. That discussion was the first of many to follow. He was interested in metal forming, joining, and embellishing techniques. Often our discussions would lead me to demonstrate various aspects of metalwork that especially interested him. Prior to our first meeting I had read the book, On Divers Arts: The Treatise of Theophilus written by a Benedictine monk in 1100AD. The book consists of three sections, one on painting, another on glass, and the last on metalwork. All three media topics were concerned with the execution of religious art. We had many discussions of that book as well as conversations on ancient and medieval metal work. His knowledge of medieval icons and stylistic images was fascinating to me. He had an indepth knowledge of The Sutton Hoo Treasure and was kind to answer my many questions about the find.
During one of our early planning sessions for the first SNAG conference I was named the conference chairman. I suggested the Harry Bober be invited to be the keynote speaker. I felt that a presentation on The Sutton Hoo Treasure would be of great interest to an audience of metalsmiths. Harry was delighted to be invited and was so pleased to participate that he remained a friend of SNAG for a number of years.
From the early 60s into the 70s Harry and I developed a friendship staying in touch by phone calls and lunching together when I was in New York. He owned a piece of my work and generously introduced my work to gallery owners, collectors and his friends. The last time I saw Harry was during the 1971 SNAG conference at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Bob Ebendorf had also developed a friendship with Harry and invited him to be a guest at SNAG’s 1971 conference banquet. Bob remembers conversations with Harry about enamel on medieval metalwork. Harry was particularly passionate about enamels, I expect because of the relationship to the pictorial imagery found in Illuminated books.
Harry had a long and very distinguished career. As a scholar he made many important and valued contributions to his field of study. He was certainly a friend of SNAG, understanding the mission of the studio artist/craftsman working in the media of metal. As an advocate of our field he is certainly deserving of the honor of being given the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Society of North American Goldsmiths.
I am proud to bring you this first post of our new news blog. In the past year, we have brought you a new website, the Maker Profile Pages, our “Forging Entrepreneurs” business symposium, a virtual exhibition site, diversification of the work showcased in Metalsmith, and just a few weeks ago we launched Springboard; a real-time hub for finding and posting opportunities in the field/industry. On Springboard, you can find announcements about employment, calls for entries, residencies and internships, classes and workshops, conferences and seminars, studios to share and used tools. It is a resource for the entire field, open to members and non-members alike.