Friday, October 14, 2011

Vessel Artists

  Just stumbled on this website and had to share with you all

Amazing artistic vessels!!!

I am struck in particular by the twined bird made by Ann Coddington Rast. I'm very tempted to copy that design to learn from it

I googled a few of the artsits from that website and found more wonderful things!!

Nancy Moore Bess

Ann Coddington Rast


I'm working on a little twined basket right now, should be finished in the next few days. My basket is so very sad looking when held up next to the works of these amazing artists, still I love it:)

I wonder often lately, how does one become such an amazing artist with such skill and such a body of work?  Is it a matter of time put in? Years they have worked their craft? Where does such skill come from?

I'd love to do amazing works like that and I would love to do gallery quality work. I just have no idea how one even get's that good!!

Love to hear your thoughts on that!!


  1. I think it's a matter of practicing a lot and constantly seeking to refine your technique. My friend John Penning, who is a wire artist, practiced 12 hours a day when he first started out.

    I think he was retired at the time, though. I doubt most people have room for 12 hours of practice time! ;)

  2. Amazing websites. I can see you twining the bird. The copper vessel also struck me. I spend a lot of time creating divided between my jewelry and baskets. Maybe if I spent a lot of time doing the same technique over and over I would reach a level of mastery. Years?? yet I too have put years in creating. I think a lot comes from exploring creativity, in whatever form, from an early age or growing up in a creative environment. Small town Iowa was not.. Maybe from the soul...all combined?? I don't know.

    Looking forward to seeing your vessel.

  3. Wow! I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite vessel, they are all so amazing! But, I do love the Petal Bowl. Thank you for the links!

    I think being as talented as you describe is part genetic, part environment, part drive. I really believe we are ALL good at something. I believe environment uncovers that God given talent and drive perfects it. :)

    You know, there are people who think of YOU as being on a path to perfection in your work, myself included. :)

    I, too, am looking forward to your vessel.

    (Ach! Such a question! I could write all day! Great food for thought.)

  4. Wanted to add, I totally agree with Tela in believing you are on the path to perfection in your work and pretty close to achieving it. Look at your gorgeous woven pieces, to me, they are outstanding. Be gentle with yourself, my friend.

  5. Great links Mary. I know you will not agree with me when I say that I think your work is as gorgeous as theirs. In fact in some cases, I like yours more. And I'm not being a biased friend. I guess we all have different likes and dislikes, and this is where this arises from. Even though in my spiritual beliefs I might be a bit "out there", in my artistic tastes and jewelry tastes, I am not very drawn towards the "very out there" pieces. To me the question is always -- will I wear it, will I buy it, will I display it?

    What you make, I will wear without hesitation. And if its not meant to be worn, I will display in my living room very happily. The pieces are gorgeous, each wire placed very carefully and perfectly. I know that these pieces when worn will elicit responses like, "Oh wow! Where did you get this? Never seen anything like this! So beautiful!!" etc. I know that some of the vessels you made were not *meant* to be worn, but even they can be worn.

    Basically what I am saying is, if I were to pick a piece to buy for myself from all these links and yours, I will most likely pick your piece. Again...I'm not being biased. I am just talking about my own likes and dislikes, and I prefer your work :-)). Love you!

  6. These comments delighted me. Everyone has put forth such wonderfully complex thoughts on this subject!
    I am pleased you all think that I am on this path and I will use that as an encouragement to strengthen me. But I was even more delighted to find these wonderful thoughtful minds at work on this subject:) What a lovely group of friends you all are!!

    Now my computer is about to reboot itself and it threw away my original long winded comment:(

    I'm going to leave a few more comments on this subject very soon:))

  7. Ok I'm Back:) It does seem that time, environment, natural instinct, and drive all come into play in being accomplished in the way these artists are.

    Christine, you touched on a subject near to my heart. For the last 6 months have been feeling internal pressure to choose a technique above the rest.

    Some wire artists focus on only one technique and the work they produce is impeccable and their craft is perfected in every way.

    I often feel that my pieces fall a bit short of that perfection because I am often trying something new. This week, not only did I twine a basket but I spent hours experimenting with coiling that went no where.

    If you watch Project Runway, I notice that the judges really don't care for the folks who have one thing perfected. They say they are bored because they have seen that same draping technique by that same artist way too many times. However, it one needs a draped dress, who better to buy from than the one who has perfected that technique?

    On the other hand great artists like Calder and Picasso are known for being those who never stopped developing and trying new things.

    So what sort of artist do I want to be? Or is it possible to achieve both over the long run? is it possible to experiment and still achieve that level of perfecting a technique or multiple techniques?

    Sarah's (Sat Sequins) reference in a recent post to the book "Refuse to Choose" is very timely to this subject. The author suggests that having many interests is a strength to be embraced and not thrown away.

    Another thing Christine mentioned, was that one can create things for years and yet never become a great artist without also exploring creativity while one creates.

    I so resonate with her comment because I did not begin to explore my creativity until I began this blog. Before that I created based on other people patterns/ideas. Christine, we can at least be late bloomers!!! :)

  8. Swati, you really surprised me with your comment of preferring my work over theirs!! haha, you remind me that all women have a unique eye for beauty. Beauty and adornment are very personal choices.

    You honor me with your preference:)) I'm grateful for you!

  9. Tela, I'm so happy for our blog friendship! You create a beautiful atmosphere for your readers, myself included, on your blog.

    I feel I have sipped at a cup of soothing and familiar tea after having visited you.

    Feel free to comment and share all your thoughts on this subject without censor if you wish too.

  10. Mary, thank you very much for your kind words. I feel the same way about your blog and look forward to your posts like a visit from a dear friend. I love your candid talk about being an artist and what it means to be an artist. And, of course, I love to see your work. You are a talented woman! You are very REAL, too, which makes your insight so refreshing and accessible.

    Your latest vessel is proof positive that you are mastering your style and technique. I would say mastered, but do any of us really want to master our craft? Where's the fun in that?? If I ever thought I'd mastered my craft, I might be tempted to quit. Mastering is the elusive golden ring and keeps me on merry go round. :)

  11. Mary,

    Not all of the dialog in the video linked below applies, of course, because you're not "holding back".

    But the video does speak to your expressed feelings of "I'm not a supernova artist."

    -jt- (hah -- can't believe that Blogger is actually letting me comment)