Charleston City Paper
By Allston McCrady
It’s been 12 years since an unassuming cinder block building tucked off a sleepy section of St. Philip Street was brightly painted with the giant letters REDUX and transformed into an artistic hotbed. At its inception, Redux Contemporary Art Center was an ambitiously cool concept — a collection of artist studios with a central exhibition space and workshops open to the public. But was it ahead of its time? Too avant-garde for a city whose art galleries sell marshscapes by the dozens? Would it survive?
The answer for the latter is yes. Redux is relevant. Radically relevant. Its panel of advisors sifts through scads of proposals from talented artists across the country to select thoughtful, edgy, often provocative work, pushing Charleston’s artistic boundaries a little further. The application process is rigorous. It is a serious honor to land a show on these walls.
Every other year, Redux takes a break from the national talent pool to cull from within, celebrating the work of its own studio artists. In years past, this took the form of a group show, an often discombobulated hodgepodge of media with no central theme. This year, Redux takes a new approach.
For its upcoming show Reorientation, executive director Stacy Huggins invited proposals from local Redux artists and reviewed them herself, looking for threads and visions that might complement one another. She whittled her choice down to four artists, all women, all working with different materials, whose images struck her as organic or inspired by the natural world.
“These artists really stepped up,” says Huggins. “Their bodies of work are impressive. They’re all super talented, very committed to their art forms. None of them collaborated when submitting their proposals, yet their work meshes well.”
Kaminer Haislip: Silversmithing
Stop by Redux almost any day of the week, and you’ll hear strange sounds coming from a corner studio — whizzing, pounding, cutting, grinding, the steady roar of a blowtorch. Peek your head through the curtains and you’ll see a sylph-like young woman with pale skin wearing green tennis shoes she calls her “grubbies,” hunched over her jeweler’s bench, hard at work.
A silversmith, her name is Kaminer Haislip, and since joining Redux in 2005 she has made a name for herself with her sleek, contemporary vessels. For Reorientation, Haislip submits five works from her “Learning to Fly” series.
Inspired by some photos she took on a flight up the coast, Haislip etches the clouds into metal, paints them with a tar-like substance called black resist, then submerges the silver in nitric acid, which eats away at the recessed silver to give the pattern depth. The result is powerful: a stark contrast between the crisp geometry of the polished silver vessel and the ethereal, transient, organic feel of the clouds.
Creative Women Who Design Successful Business Niches in Charleston
By Baron Christopher Hanson
From jewelry to painting, from mapmaking and metalwork, here are four leading Lowcountry ladies explaining how and why they, and perhaps so many other entrepreneurs, are building their creative companies here in the Holy City.
Our discussions and insights included each of their backgrounds, what it’s like to design or produce something often by-hand, and what challenges they might face as businesswomen and mothers.
What I immediately discovered is that each of these ladies has a deep passion for what they do, including a relevant education backing up their vocations and values. Unlike other cities, Charleston seems to offer them the work-life balance they need.
Kaminer Haislip Designer + Silversmith
Address: Redux Contemporary Art Center, Saint Philip Street, Charleston, SC 29403
Hometown: Aiken, SC
Education: Winthrop University, BFA Jewelry and Metals, MFA Silversmithing
Kaminer is a contemporary silversmith who designs and handcrafts work in a downtown Charleston, SC studio. Her work includes functional objects, jewelry, and custom commission pieces in silver and gold.
Nine years ago, Kaminer graduated from her MFA program. Since, she has worked steadily to build her small jewelry and silversmithing business, albeit with some challenges.
“The most challenging aspect of my work has been creating and building a business out of it. Both of my art degrees taught me everything about being a creative and individual thinker, but the business side of it I had to figure out all on my own along the way. Many hard lessons have been learned about pricing, expenses, invoices, accounting, and marketing.”
How did you get your business off the ground?
“I set up my studio at Redux Contemporary Art Center, which has happened over time due to the enormous expense of equipment. Slowly I have purchased and acquired various, necessary tools and machines to create my work.
What mentors have impacted your business?
“I am fortunate to have found such an incredible mentor in my professor Alf Ward, and I have had unwavering support from my family and husband Matt.
How have you grown your business beyond Charleston?
“By pursuing different locations and types of exhibitions, my work has been exposed to a much wider audience outside of Charleston, and outside the Southeast.”
Her silver and gold works have been displayed in museums, galleries, art centers, competitions, and trade shows in 14 different states, and internationally in three countries. On April 29, 2014 she received the Samuel Gaillard Stoney Craftsmanship Award from Historic Charleston Foundation.
Kaminer sincerely loves what she does, despite the obstacles. She is also very passionate about advocating for hand-made craftsmanship, because the passion for handcrafted objects is also becoming rare.
“For me, it has always been about designing and making objects that will far outlast me. It is incredibly rewarding to draw something from your imagination on a piece of paper and then realize it three dimensionally utilizing similar techniques that have been used for centuries.”
Baron Christopher Hanson is the principal of RedBaron Advisors, a growth strategy, communication design, and PR firm, based in Charleston, South Carolina, serving clients from Washington DC to Palm Beach, Florida. Baron can be reached via (843) 641-0331, or via RedBaronUSA.com.
The entire article can be viewed at http://www.charlestonmercury.com/index.php/en/art-and-culture/271-creative-women-who-design-successful-niches-in-charleston.
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Studio located at Redux Contemporary Art Center in downtown Charleston, SC