Tuesday, February 12, 2013

In Progress: A Question of Taste, Part 1.


After many months working in other areas, I've been able to get back into the studio to make my first major wearable piece of the year. It feels thrilling to be amongst my tools and materials again - with some new techniques honed in the last year to expand upon.

It starts with a tiny fork.

I've had this little fella for almost a year, and as I'm straightening up my studio to prepare to film my new online workshop, this fork stops me in my tracks and I'm sitting and working with it before I really realize it, the rest of the cleaning forgotten.

My jewelers saw gets a warm-up by piercing a 5 into it.

Next I choose a beautiful Victorian wooden shirt-stud box, which will become the scaffolding on which the piece will unfold.
 

 I love the silhouette when open.

 As soon as the fork meets it, the fur starts flying.

 One of a pair of cello bridges I've had in my stash emerges from a drawer, complete with the bone button I'd pushed into one of the openings years ago. I draw the new outline of the bridge to fit into the stud box.

Sawing the new form. Despite the yummy fit of the button, out it pops.

The bridge in place - now to give it some new detail.

 The shaping comes together.

 The lovely pierced shape in the center gets some quiet carving to soften the geometry.

 Now the fork is split down the handle to allow for it to spread into the piece.

 For the first time, I have a sense of where I'm heading, though it's open to many possibilities still.

Although I often wait until later in the game to select a title for the piece, I'm compelled to see what works at this early stage. This box contains a quarter-century of collected titles in one place.

I'm glad I found it now, it can flavor the direction it takes from here. A Question of Taste. I make a photocopy of the piece at this stage so I can draw ideas for the title plate.

 I decide to hand engrave the lettering, then to etch it.


Almost ready to etch.
 
 One of the discarded ideas for the shape of the title plate. One thing I will keep from this initial design is to retain the prongs that will hold the fork in place.

 An odd design, but I think it reflects the cello bridge's curvature, so I'll go with my gut.

Etched...

 
...and finished. I love the hand-engraved text, it really sits in the 18th-century aesthetic of crude hand-hewn metalwork that so much of my work aims for.

 Now I prep the plate to be cut into shape around the etched title.


 This gives me a good idea of where I'm heading.

 The plate is shaped and the prongs are bent up, so they can lay over the fork handle.

Now the cello bridge has been stained and drilled to accommodate the prongs of the title plate.

In Part 2, I'll be turning my attention to the shirt-stud box itself.

See you next week!

Keith

 

 

44 comments:

  1. WOW I love looking at your process Keith Cant wait to see the next installment

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  2. Your thought process is such a delight to watch and follow. This is coming on beautifully. Looking forward to Episode II.

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  3. Yay - you are BACK! I love seeing how your pieces evolve Kieth - it is a real treat and dead nice of you to share them with us. Goodeeeeee!
    x
    sue

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  4. WOW! It is so much fun to kibitz your creative process!!! Thank YOU!

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  5. Amazing work Keith. It's fascinating to watch the progression of one of your pieces!

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  6. Fantastic, Keith, thank you so much for sharing the unfolding magic with us. Speaking of magic- what would it take to get a workshop in NE Connecticut with you? There's a group of fellow artists / former students ready and wondering. Plus- have you checked your 'other' folder in Facebook messages?

    Keep up the beautiful work, and thank you again for letting us see it all come to life.

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  7. Nice!!! Are you going to work on any skeletons?

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  8. As usual, wonderful work! Your process is so inspiring-can't wait to see the finale!

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  9. Really enjoyed reading about your thought process as you worked on this piece.

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  10. Keith, it is finely inspiring to watch the development of this piece, especially the decisions along the way and the visual sense they make! I was worried about that beautiful little flourish in the bridge when the fork would be mounted over it, and then saw how the plate and the prongs came together to make it a feast of volutes, layered and so even more delightful than the unaltered flourish. I love the way you work and share; it always brings joy and growth. This piece is sure to be one of your finest!

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  11. So Now I feel like I've entered your creative mind....that's soooo powerful to watch your creation develop....Thank you for allowing me in... I just love the ideas, textures, details .......etc.....

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  12. You are incredible. Your engraving is amazing. My hand started shaking just thinking about it. Glad you're back at your bench!

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  13. OH-MY! It's already well past amazing and on it's way to stunning! Thanks for the inspiration! -Toni

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  14. I am just always awed at how you can look at pieces and think beyond them. Beautiful!

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  15. I always love your work, but just as much as I love the finished pieces, I love seeing your process and watching how you instinctively know where the piece is headed.

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  16. Keith, what are you using for your etch resist?

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  17. Keith, what I truly deeply appreciate is your ability to convey your absolute joy of making, and not just the making, but the mastery of thinking beyond. I love that you create beauty, and that your generosity allows you to share unashamably the process of creation.
    Looking forward to catching up at Halls Gap next week.

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  18. So cool to watch the piece develop.

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  19. Delightful. I do love the way your brain works. Thanks for the peek at the progression of the piece. I can not wait until next week when you post the next series of steps!

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  20. exquisite work from the mind of a mad genius. Bravo, friend.

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  21. all magic. but especially seeing the split in the fork handle and subsequent placment in the box. Inspired, brilliant. As ever!

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  22. Keith Lo Bue should NEVER question his taste.

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  23. Thank you, Keith, for sharing your thought process and for the time it takes to record your steps along the way. Beautiful piece and I love the choices made.
    Thank you, again.
    Doris

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  24. Jennifer Wright (Summers)February 17, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    I love seeing your creative process. Wonderful taste.

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  25. interesting piece; nice process - thanks.

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  26. You are amazing! Thanks so much for sharing the process!

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  27. Love the process. You are an inspiration to all.
    Thank you for sharing.

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  28. I must say I LOVE that you have had etched and engraved this piece. It allows for intimacy between the viewer and the piece...something familiar. Beautiful work Keith!

    Will you be back to CT to teach? I know you thought you might have something in the hopper.

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  29. Love watching the magic happen! Looking forward to the next post!

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  30. I always love your finished pieces but I especially love watching the process....love the problem-solving and creativity combined.

    EJ Abell
    Paducah,KY,USA

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  31. I'm amazed at how you split the fork Keith!

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  32. I'm fascinated to see the seemingly disparate items marry together in this piece. Do you start with a couple of pieces and then dig through your collection of stuff to add pieces? Or collect a pile of things you expect to join together first? I'm looking forward to the next step! Thanks for sharing!

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  33. Thanks for sharing, I love your process and all the step by step details.
    Terry Doyle in Phoenix, AZ

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  34. Keith, you are such an inspiration! I attended your workshop at Ginny's Small Studio a few years ago and loved the lift you gave to my creative side. But after a recent move, I lack motivation to organize the studio (a bit overwelming!). I have a basement full of great "stuff" to work with....but no organization. No organization=no work. Seeing you back in your studio is just the kick in the pants I've needed! Thank you so much for sharing...I look forward to watching the process unfold!
    Avery Applegate
    Hillsboro, Ohio

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  35. Bravo. Put it to music and let's see a video!

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  36. I'm always drawn in by your etching. It evokes wonderful cross feelings of old world meets wonderland.

    Susan Linn

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  37. i agree with everyone! keep it coming, i love to see the process.

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  38. Hey Keith,
    So glad to see you back in the saddle!
    Ok, so here is my speculation on this wonderful new piece that you are unfolding...I believe it comes from the Victorian Period, possibly a bit earlier, a mystical instrument, a sort of divining used to reveal hidden musical treasures that cannot be heard by the human ear.

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  39. as with all above comments, amazing! tx for sharing and inspiring, seems to be needed these days, aloha, angi in hana

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  40. I think I have no words for your extreamly creative mind.

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  41. I was so excited to find your blog Keith!!! I so love your work and am extremely grateful that you are prepared to share your creative process for making. My dream is to attend one of your workshops one day!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing

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