Thursday, November 25, 2010


'Jack Island' necklace 20" sterling silver, slate;
Kathleen Faulkner

Thanksgiving 2010.

I am grateful for the snow I woke up to this morning even though it will alter my plans.
I am grateful for the people in my life.

memories are good, too.   

Jack Island. 

We took a small boat and circled.   I remember the north side: large weathered, living rocks,  entangled kelp along their base and the shade from the trees, water calm,  sunny day,  good light.  

Then to the beach and, while landing, I noticed a carpet made of slate and shells.   

Someone  said there was once a fox farm on the island and I was noticing the trees. 
Later,  sitting on the south side facing North Beach, on rocks warmed by the sun, eating lunch, playing with rocks and shells, I remember thinking how interesting life is.

and with that memory I look out my window 

photo: Kathleen Faulkner

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Change is good.

'Strategy is the Craft of the Warrior' 2.5x1.5" Belt Buckle, sterling silver overlay;
Kathleen Faulkner

Once upon a time, a long time ago and far away,  Artists were considered assets.  Anyone who was anyone was a Patron.  Artists worked on projects for years and were funded.  Real jobs, what a concept.

America is very young and so has very little respect or appreciation for the Arts.  Some might say that there are big collectors and that is true.  But, just like the wealthy, it's a small percentage. 

Artists just want to make art.  These days, that becomes more difficult.  Patrons are worried, keeping tight grip of their money, artists need money to live so they can create, materials used for creating are becoming more expensive and the general public doesn't understand any of it.   

Personally I've been doing some thinking about the materials I use.  On one hand, I want to do my part to leave a small footprint but on the other, I want to create.  This is an issue for me as all art is made from and becomes something.  

Silver is a natural resource. * Spot is at $26.01 per oz today.  Last year it was $17.00.  When I started working with silver in the early 90s it was around $4.00.  As you can see, price has become an issue.

This buckle consists of almost three ounces of silver.  At around $30 an ounce my cost, that's $90.  The formula for pricing is cost of materials times three which would be $270.  This price includes designing, materials shipping costs, electricity, heat, water, acetylene, solder, buffing materials, cleaning materials and solutions, polishing materials, boxes, pricing, advertising and a whole lot more.. including labor. I then take that price and double it because the gallery will take 50%.  Now this buckle is up to $540.00. Needless to say, I can't afford my own art.  

This piece took around 15 hours to design and create.  After deducting the cost of silver, I'm left with $180 to cover everything including labor.  I will make about $10.00 per hour on this. 
Since galleries do mostly consignment, artwork is not purchased, there is no money up front.  The artist must wait for the work to sell then, as is the usual, wait 30 days for payment.  

You will not see this much silver in future work.  I am re-thinking my designs - I have a new strategy.  Natural and recycled materials are calling.  I think it is a better way for me: less guilt, less cost and, hopefully, more creativity.

Any artwork takes materials, time, energy and inspiration and the result, if it works, is food for the soul.  I will always make art.

It's about quality of life. 

 *Spot is the unrefined price of precious metals.  Charges are added when ordering sheet, wire, tubing, etc.

Monday, November 8, 2010

My two cents

'Halibut' 2x1.5" brooch, sterling silver, fossilized walrus ivory, printer's ink;
Kathleen Faulkner

Art's Alive is over now.  It was a long yet inspiring weekend.  I heard a lot of comments  about many things..

As an artist and appreciator and, once in a blue moon curator, I get to see three different perspectives in the art world.

The Deciders
Three of this year's Art's Alive shows were invitational.  In this case it was mostly committee rather than a curator selecting a group of artists for each show.  They factored many things into their decisions: space, theme, compatibility and, most importantly,  artists whose work they had seen and knew about .

If an artist sits back and expects the world to find them, it may not happen.  This is one reason why exposure is a good thing.

As with most everyone, this committee works within a very limited budget.  The committee is volunteer and their goal is to pull off a good show and make some money.

The Creators
The artist strives for recognition and inclusion.  Some get it and some don't.  Sometimes, the ones that don't, get hurt feelings, wondering 'why not them'.   I've found that, if an artist is not invited to be in a show, 99% of the time it's for reasons that have nothing to do with emotion, that is if the curator is even aware of their work.  Artists, on the other hand, tend to take it personally.

The Viewers
Then there's the adoring public.  Absolutely handy to have around.  More would be better. There are those who know and appreciate the arts and there are those who don't understand art but 'know what they like' and then, there are those that have no interest.  A good percentage of the appreciators are other artists..  We would be great art collectors if we had money.  The largest percentage, I think,  are those who don't really understand art but 'know what they like'

Bottom Line
We need to educate the public about art and it's processes and why it is an important part of our  lives.   It is food for the soul but many never taste it.

There is a reason art is expensive.  Most people have no idea of the time and expense that goes into the creation of art.  Knowledge of the process helps people understand.

Artists need to toughen up.  Someone of importance once said that if you don't have a pile of rejection notices on your desk you're not trying hard enough.   Add invitational to that, as well.

The Deciders need to keep up on the art scene, think out of the box and take chances.

That's my two cents  just for the halibut.

Monday, November 1, 2010


'The Long Walk' 17x17.5 mixed media; Kathleen Faulkner

My friend died.  She took her life.  She finally made it work after having tried a few times before.  The whole story is one that could happen to anyone and it's so very sad.  It makes my heart ache.
Struggles, strife: some are more sensitive than others  Some just can't take the rawness and ruthlessness that life dishes out. It is a cruel world that can leave us with nothing.

We tend to shun those that are different.  They scare us.  e don't know what to say, how to interact.  It's easier to be afraid, to run away, ignore or bully.

This is the day we celebrate the dead.  I will celebrate you, my friend, and I will miss you, sweet lady.  I'll always wonder if anything could have changed your outcome.  May you rest in peace.