Tag Archives: Inspiration

2016 Mission: Bringing back the METAL!

What a head-banging start to the new year already!  We’re on a mission to bring our passions with a vengeance: hard rock, heavy metal and motorcycle riding culture back into our lives and art. Big dreams and plans for new designs that come full circle to where this journey started: wearable and sculptural kick-ass art from Artwork Cubed! Speaking of, here are are some of my coolest custom pieces:

We started by checking out a set by metalcore band, Play the Victim, to welcome into the family our new 19 year old, vocalist nephew.  Great set at Rocketown in Nashville and proud to have another metalhead in the clan! Check out this track  http://playthevictimtn.bandcamp.com/track/catalyst and show ’em some love on their facebook page.  Gotta keep an eye on the up-and-comers!

This week we raged on at Lamb Of God’s “Sturm und Drang” tour with the mighty Anthrax at Marathon Music Works.  KILLER show that also included the band Power Trip who put in a thrashin’ performance.  Next month, the relentless, “Repentless” SLAYERRRRRR!!!!! https://www.wmarocks.com/events/detail/slayer-2016-wma. Shout out ya’ll to let us know you’ll be there and we’ll hook up!

We’re on the prowl for future show dates and scheming ways to connect with YOU…we and 68 Artwork Cubed initiates did some major connecting at the July 2015 show.  Here’s the coin (logo on reverse) they all got and me, post-show, with a sample of some of the love…washable ink stamps of my logo, one for them…68 for me!

We need you to continue to connect and inspire with us to create awesome new designs to bring to the Nashville metal community. We know you’re out there! Help us bring the 2016 metal evolution and let’s ride!

 

 

“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” Emily Brontë

I kicked off the new year by creating a piece I started in 2011 that was originally intended as a wedding gift for our nephew Daniel and his talented wife Eden (Eden Frangipane Photography). Things were going splendidly when suddenly the muses fell silent. Something was missing, elusive, beyond me.  Maybe I would finish it for their third anniversary, but no, still it was not yet time.                                                                                                                                                                               Until recently….

Fused Glass

Here is the fused glass component as it was in 2011, (double layer kiln formed glass with mica letter inclusions and transparency of their photo), patiently awaiting the right moment…

Then the moment came.  The couple has brought forth a new soul, their first child, daughter Basil.  And the muses sang, now they are three!

 

 

 

Wedding materialsThe concept and design are inspired by their enchanting ceremony/reception, and are distilled from their lovely, organic wedding materials: the photo (included in the wedding invitation), the rehearsal dinner invitation cover (copy seen here, original now permanently affixed to the back), the shape of the leather hang tag from the envelope address label…

now with the addition of an element that literally ties the entire piece together: the tricolor braided wire to symbolize three souls now woven into one.                                 (Click for larger pics; Detailed description at bottom of post)

Serendipity graced us when I presented it yesterday: with Basil’s parents, grandparents and great grandparents all present on Mimi’s birthday (her great grandmother and my loving mother-in-law)!  I was delighted to meet and hold sweet Basil and, as icing on the cake, the piece coordinates with the decor in her room so they plan to display it there.  All things in good time, indeed.

The muses are smiling.  I am happy and thankful.  It is one of my favorite pieces.

(Glass suspended by braided copper wire (through channels in glass) in painted wooden box padded with white leather and trimmed in torch fired copper. Hand tooled and aged leather tag, quote from original rehearsal dinner invitation written in the hand of Daniel’s creative mother, and my signature on back. Stands on rubber feet or hang.)

 

 

 

THE MORNING AFTER – INSTALLMENT #1

Greetings Cube’sters!  New year, new tack on my blog postings.

As many of you already know I am a trained Sociologist with a minor in Philosophy, emphasis in ethics and aesthetics.  I often have strong opinions on things but rarely the time to reflect, adjust and refine enough to share.  I was recently given that opportunity. I am calling these “The Morning After” because I typically require time to assimilate and think about such heady topics. Maybe more of these will follow so I’m calling this “Installment #1”.

On the evening of January 14th I attended a salon, “UnBound Arts Hosts: Group Discussion on “The Death of the Artist – and the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur”, with some of the most interesting and talented individuals one could hope to engage in intelligent conversation. We all read the above article in quotes as well as a counterpoint then convened to discuss. There were many salient issues and one chose me to examine it more thoroughly. Later that night and into the next day I could do nothing but think and write about it.  The following essay is a result.

On Agency: Intent, Goals, Making Art and the “Dirty Word” – Marketing

The diversity of opinions expressed in last night’s above mentioned meeting brought some ideas into sharp relief for me.  I recall watching a TV interview with several hair bands that had been wildly popular in the 80’s.  The gist of one of them went something like this:

Interviewer: What do you say to the critics who wrote that you were an untalented musician?

Band member (likely the front-man/vocalist): You know man, that stuff never really bothered me.

Interviewer: Now come on….

Band member: Look, I never even thought about being a musician.  I set out be a rock star.  And that’s exactly what I did!  (Kicks back on sofa with broad grin and general air of confidence and satisfaction).

This speaks volumes to the ways in which intent, goals and efforts to create operate within a given cultural climate. Individual tastes aside some ass kicking music was created that resonated with a lot people.  In the interest of full disclosure I was one of them. The rock star obviously considered himself successful and the critic’s arguments irrelevant.  Time seems to supports the rock star’s opinion.  One thing is for certain; a sweet package of marketing and creativity made that part of rock culture an iconic era, and for a lot of folks a lucrative one.  But was it art?  Should the two even be compared?  Is that important?  Why is it important?  What we should be asking ourselves in forming our opinions and questioning those of others is this: What is AT STAKE?

The works of the relatively few scholars I have had the good fortune to read and reflect upon (from those who lived centuries ago to contemporary authors) have well demonstrated to me that none of us exercise our agency in a vacuum, no matter how much the isolating effects of (post?) modernity may cause us to feel so.  Like it or not we all stand on the shoulders of…well, in this case if not giants, those who came before.  Willful ignorance, or simple neglect, to acknowledge this does nothing to advance the “state of the art”, whatever domain we’re considering.  In thinking about Thomas Kuhn’s work regarding scientific paradigm shifts it seems impossible to do “anything you want”.   Whether broadening the current paradigm or roundly rejecting it in favor of something entirely new one still references the former.  Even if one claims to be unaware of doing so the situation is not likely to escape the notice of others.  And those others usually have a vested interest in the dominant paradigm: be it reputation, integrity, a desire to maintain existing values and quality or (gasp!) money.

Discourse predisposed to dichotomies, for example Artist vs. Creative Entrepreneur, lends itself to bringing out the defensive in the most well-meaning of us (myself included).  After all, these aren’t just free-floating labels we’re batting about.  They have a practical impact: mainly on the legitimacy required that allows us to act autonomously within the socio-economic and political conditions of our time. (Read: create with integrity and still eat, preferably clothed in your own abode).  Make no mistake, regardless of the “democratization” technology has offered we still don’t get to decide these definitions as an amorphous group of individuals.  Democracy is not “anything goes”; its ultimate end is majority rule.  And definitions only exist by majority agreement.

My position is that doing/being BOTH “Artist” AND “Creative Entrepreneur” is unavoidable; perhaps even desirable.  Will this prevent me from mastering my art?  Or being referred to as an artist?  Considering all the pieces I have to “join together” I might incidentally and quite happily become one (as in the root definition of the word).  Maybe that 80’s rock star had it right all along.  Clarity of goals and honesty with ourselves and others about our intent are essential to success: however you define it.

July 4th Trip

Summertime….my absolute favorite season of the year.  Our July 4th trip: to see a bazillion uber-cool motorcycles at Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, AL.   We couldn’t think of a better symbol of American freedom!

So Ron and I rode our bikes down to stay for a couple of days, lounge around the hotel pool, catch some in-room movies, and then…spend an entire day visiting the immense and carefully curated collection of bikes owned by the Barber empire.

The Building and the grounds are spectacular.  There are huge, metal sculptures inside and out and the landscaping is impeccable.  Wish I had more shots of the grounds but whew what a day!

You really have to see it to believe it.  To illustrate, here’s a life-sized car that looks like the Bat-mobile ON TOP of the glass elevator that spans 5 floors of sheer awesomeness. Look closely and you’ll see the multitude of bikes just in that area. (Click for larger images on any of the following pics).

Auto on top of Elevator reduced

In fact, Ron found all but two of the many motorcycles he has owned.  The yellow one, for sure but who’s counting?  Here are a few random shots.  Hubby’s a Kawi man…

And, unassumingly nestled amongst the throngs, sits The LEGENDARY Vincent Black Shadow. (Cue the disturbingly alluring music and goose bumps.) Here I am trying not to touch it. (Click to look closely at the background and you’ll get a small idea of how massive the collection is.)

Alice with Vincent Black Shadow reduced

It was quite a day.  But the staff wanted to go home so we had to call it a day  🙂

Vincent Black Shadow Tail Light reduced

Vincent Black Shadow tail light.

Hope you enjoyed.  Check out Barber for your own personal experiences:  www.barbermuseum.org.  Have a great summer!

SEE YOU NEXT TIME, CUBE’STERS!         Alice waving Barber reduced