Wednesday, September 29, 2004

It's funny how life goes...

Mayflwr's comment from my Sept. 24 post sent me to her website where I discovered that, not only is she a (fabulous) knitter, she is also a senior in college, majoring in pretty much the same thing that I did. Going through and reading some of her posts brought back a flood of college memories for me, and I must say I was getting pretty misty with longing to have those years back.

At the end of my freshman year in college, I declared my concentration in metalsmithing, which is part of a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. I happily proceeded with the program until my fourth year of college, when I decided I just didn't want to leave. I applied for another year's worth of loans, and added on a journalism minor to justify my staying in school. You see, college is such a creative and supportive environment that I just couldn't stand to leave the nest. Once my fifth year rolled around, it hit me that I would actually have to start paying those student loans back someday, and that I should really graduate. I received a fantastic art education, but unfortunately, our program failed to stress that you'd actually need to earn money after graduation, and art just isn't the way to do that. I had worked in a jewelry repair shop for a year and found that I hated the work, so being a bench jeweler was out of the question, as was the hope of living off of the sale of any of my pieces. After applying and being rejected from nearly every museum and arts organization with a steady payroll in town, I got my first real job at an auction house. I loved my work there and, at first, tried to make art on the side. Unfortunately, the hours at my job were long, and by the time I got home, I was so dead-tired that I couldn't bring myself to make anything, or do anything for that matter. I insisted that I wanted to keep making art, but gradually, I have let go of it. I don't make jewelry or metalwork anymore, but hold the hope that maybe someday I will again.

What does all of this have to do with knitting, you ask? Well, when I was in school, I made a series of knitted necklaces. That was actually the very first knitting I had done- taught by an older co-worker on the night shift of my college job (I later found out that I had been knitting wrong, though on wire it made no difference). To view some of my selected works from this time, including one of the knitted necklaces, click here. In the years since I gave up metalsmithing, I've often felt that there was something missing, and knitting has been the balm to soothe my restless hands.

Happy knitting!


Blogger Stephanie said...

Wow! Those jewelry pieces are absolutely gorgeous! Deep down I am truly a peasant, so sometimes I'm put off by metalwork jewelry. But I felt that your pieces strike just the right balance between sturdiness and daintiness. I hope someday you consider revisiting that realm of creativity--you have a true gift for it.

5:15 PM  
Blogger mayflwr said...

OMG...i'm so happy i found you!!!!! hehe

I'm always so fascinated by people who were Studio Art majors in college, and what they are doing now (etc. etc.) Knittens (her link is on my sidebar) was an art major in college too.

I gasped when I saw your work, because it reminds me (kinda) of my own!!! I've been trying to hard to incorporate knitting into my work, I have a couple unfinished peices from last semester that I'll hopefully get to this year. My prof wasn't too thrilled because I didn't have a concept behind my desire to incorporate knitting (yes, our metals/ art school in general is heavily concept-based (it's apparently the utmost importance, even before design!). I have the book "textile techniques in metal" by arline fisch, who is this AMAZING metals artist who knits/ crochets/ weaves metal in all her projects!

I have a ton of ideas this semester of using 'alternative materials', all 'encapsulated' in glass tubes like yours!!!!!!!!!! what a strange coincidence!!!! One of my designs looks very similar to your ring with the vertical tubing!!!!! wowie..

I just bought some black rubber "tubing" (not really tubing, since it's not hollow) In yarn terms, it's about a dk/worsted weight and I'm hoping to knit with it..

ok, enough blabbage...thanks for sharing your story! yay!

7:49 PM  
Blogger um said...

wow, your work is gorgeous! (hi, just found your website through lisa aka knittikins!) i really liked "milk" and "butterfly." what a great talent you have!

10:13 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Jen, your art is beautiful. I'm sure I can't even begin to appreciate it, but it really is breathtaking. It's so interesting to see what other knitting bloggers do in "real life." Your "Shelter" is my favorite. It looks so serene.

8:49 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

Thank you all for your kind words- I hope I get back into the metals groove someday. Mayflwr- I'd love to see some of your work, it sounds lovely :)

12:00 PM  

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