Thursday, July 17, 2008

middle aged artists

I picked up the summer issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry a few weeks ago. It's now quarterly and when reading it, I was surprised to see their choice of artists to showcase. Many new artists, some that are good, some that aren't all that great. The pictures that are published do showcase the work, but they waste a lot of space with giant pictures to go with their articles rather than adding more to the magazine. Since color ink is expensive, the magazine is also. I thought it was rather nifty that some Etsy artists are featured, but did wonder why they made the choices they did. I did read that they searched the internet quite a bit for their artist featured. Ok... How old was the person doing that searching? What is the age of the editorial staff? That said.....

Would I buy it again? Not sure.

I took particular issue with an article on lampworking which states about a lampwork artist (who I haven't heard of before and I am way into lampworking and have been for at least 10 years of buying it, working with it, and the last 6 years, melting my own glass into beads) plus do you need more credentials? I have plenty but why list them now before my rant. ;-)

quote "she stays on top of trends in lampwork beads by tracking the listings on ebay, where you can see a huge range of quality and style, from the omnipresent mold pressed beads to one-of-a-kind works of art, from the traditional colors and shapes created by the typical middle-aged bead artist to the more experimental pieces created by the younger artists just starting out."

Hello Belle Armoire... have you forgotten who buys your $15 magazine?
Who wrote this article?? some one obviously who thinks middle aged artists are 'typical' and the only artists who experiment are the 'younger artists'

Upon reading this article, I kept thinking 'who is this person' who is the lampworker.. is the author a friend of hers or does she have a good agent? Then I started to think about how lampworking wasn't being presented in a very good light. So many little comments about how this artist does lampworking 'right' and that isn't very common. Wrong o mundo!
First.. pretty much everyone who does lampwork anneals their beads. So when the article stated that the artist has to tell people who had broken beads from other artists, that they weren't annealed properly, but 'she' does that, I took issue with that. I figured it was written by someone who doesn't know a lot about lampworkers, so I moved on from that. But rest assured, lampwork artist anneal, lampwork from mass produced sources isn't generally annealed.
Next..Ebay isn't the only place to look at lampwork. There is great lampwork on Ebay and Etsy, but there are many lampworkers who don't sell there. If someone wants to see absolutely great lampwork, contact the International Society of Glass Beadmakers. (ISGB) The work is unbelievable. Lampwork beads that are beyond anyone's idea of what can be done with glass. The talent in the lampworking world is filled with artists who use presses, artists of all ages, experimental artists can be in their 80's for Heaven's sake! Think of Grandma Moses, Monet, Matisse! And uhhhh... I experiment in glass almost everytime I work on the torch. I guess I am an middle aged experiementer. I don't ever think my work is mundane and take great offense at being thrown into a group and discriminated against.

If you are in the Oakland, CA area see if you can get to the Bead Bazaar to see what real lampwork is. I am unable to attend the Gathering of ISGB this year but if you want to see jaw dropping work, get yourself over there!

This comment written by the author of the article has caused a stir. No way do I blame the featured artist who I am not naming, but where are the proof readers? Where is the publisher? Who is the audience this magazine is targeted to? Grow up Belle. You want to feature lampworking? Do it right. Get yourself to the Gathering and make nice to us offended middle-aged mundane lampworkers. Show the beauty of what can be done with glass, and make a list ( a very long list) of cutting edge experimental glass beadmakers. I don't care what age they are, but do it right.


Bonnie said...

Hi Susan,
I followed your etsy links from the Middle Age post, and bought the little sea shell that was waiting there for me. My buddy Suzanne Cooper says I should only consider myself middle age if I expect to live to 110. Not likely!!! So this older-than-dirt creative type loves your beads.

susanlambert said...

awwwww thank you Bonnie! I hope you enjoy the sea shell and charm. :-)

pam said...

amen! although no hellion could ever be considered middle age. and your art certainly is not "middle-aged" or anywhere close! it is innovative - especially the discs - which i'm going back to take another look at!


Frostfire said...

Hi, Susan! I just found your blog by chance this morning. We met in Asheville over Memorial Day weekend, BTW.

I, too, was incensed by the article in BAJ, enough to actually write a letter (well, an email) to the editor and send it off. I've had plenty to say on my blog as well. I could not believe how much misinformation and misconceptions saw the light of print in that article. Amazing.


Four Tails Lampwork said...

Hear, hear! I found that article condescending and ignorant, to say the least. I wrote a latter to the editor, as well, AND I blogged about it in two posts, here and here. Your points are superb ... and so are your beads.