Find Joy in Art Auction – May 26-30, 2020
“Find Joy in Art” is an online art auction organized by the South Carolina Arts Foundation in order to help support SC artists. The amazing array of artwork by some of SC’s most accomplished and established artists represents the wide variety of media employed by our local contemporary creatives. Art items up for bid include elegant pieces of jewelry, masterful paintings, compelling photographs, functional and decorative ceramic or glass objects, beautiful textiles, virtuoso hand-pulled prints and well-designed and built furniture.
For more details on the auction, how to bid, the participating artists and their artwork, visit https://www.southcarolinaarts.com/foundation/find-joy-in-art-auction/
I was honored by the invitation to participate in this exciting benefit initiative alongside so many amazing contemporary, SC artists I greatly admire! Many are longtime friends and colleagues I am thrilled to collaborate in partnership with the SC Arts Foundation to assist local artists. A carefully curated selection of my silver jewelry and functional home objects will be available in the auction. Be sure to register at the link above in order to view my work and the other incredible artwork featured in this charitable event. Most importantly, bid on artwork to help support SC artists!
SC artists have reported due to the coronavirus pandemic, 95% have experienced loss, 66% have experienced unanticipated expenditures, and 63% have become fully unemployed. Cancelled events, exhibitions, markets, performances, concerts, festivals, openings, and many more arts related functions that generate revenue and a livelihood for artists have contributed to this astonishing loss. Creativity is at the heart of our culture and without it, there is certainly less joy in our beloved state, cities, towns, and communities. For that reason and many more it is so important to support this art auction and SC artists.
“Find Joy in Art” is coordinated by the SC Arts Foundation, a nonprofit organization established in 1972 dedicated to recognizing, encouraging and supporting the art and artists of South Carolina. Throughout its history, the Foundation has pursued creative ways to help the business community and private citizens contribute to a thriving arts community across the state. Learn more about this incredible arts organization at https://www.southcarolinaarts.com/foundation/
Graduation Gift Ideas
With summer rapidly approaching, or at least it feels like that in Charleston due to the rising temperature, graduation season will be here soon at the end of spring. Unfortunately due to the coronavirus crisis, many traditional graduation commencement ceremonies have been cancelled or postponed. However, even with the absence of a cap and gown event, giving a special gift to celebrate your graduate’s achievement is still very necessary. My silver objects, jewelry, and men’s accessories are very popular graduation gifts, so in this Blog post I have highlighted some of my favorite graduation gift ideas for both guys and gals. The majority of these quality, lasting pieces can be hand engraved for a personal, memorable touch.
Graduation Gift Ideas for Her
A young lady would appreciate for everyday wear a simple pendant, delicate stud earrings, or elegant cuff or bangle bracelet, especially if she will have a professional job that requires a more conservative attire style.
My pendants come with the choice of a 16″, 18″, or 20″ length silver cable chain.
Bangles and cuff bracelets are also a nice jewelry gift, because she can stack them with other bracelets.
All of my bangles come in two sizes, medium and large, and can be custom sized. My cuff bracelets are adjustable and are flexible to form over the wrist for personalized comfort. Additionally, one size fits most.
Simple, yet elegant stud earrings are always a great gift for anyone, because they can be worn everyday for a delicate touch and are conservative in style for a professional environment.
My jacket style Oyster Shell Double Earrings are very popular, because they can be worn as just stud (small option) or post (large option) earrings for minimal style or with the back component added for a statement look. These earrings transition effortlessly from day to night.
A lovely silver dish to hold small items, pretty silver vase she can put flowers in for her dresser or vanity, or an elegant silver box to store jewelry or other small things all make thoughtful graduation gifts for her.
The etched design for this silver vase from my Learning to Fly Series was inspired by clouds seen from a plane receding into the distance. The concept relates to graduation by the metaphors of flying the nest, being independent, and moving forward.
My round silver boxes come in a variety of sizes, so you can add to her collection as her life progresses.
Graduation Gift Ideas for Him
Cufflinks add sophistication to a man’s attire and are a creative way he can express his personal style. Jewelry options tend to be limited for men, so cufflinks are a fashionable accessory to spruce up his look. Most of my cufflinks can be personalized with hand engraving and custom initial cufflinks are also a unique, thoughtful gift option.
Contact me directly at email@example.com to commission custom, initial cufflinks if you do not see your letter in my Men’s Accessories Shop category.
Silver collar stays are another professional gift idea that also can be personalized with hand engraving.
A silver box is a very useful gift for a man, because he can put it on his dresser to store cufflinks and other small items or on his desk. My husband has several silver boxes he uses and it is a classy way to store things and keep your desk tidy.
These silver boxes are from the same Learning to Fly Series as the vase highlighted above and the same metaphors apply to them as well. Also, just as with the Chorus boxes also featured, they come in a variety of sizes, so as he moves forward in life, you can add to his collection.
Visit my website Hand Engraving page for more engraving samples and styles as well as pricing and details.
A silver dish like my Oyster Dish above (available in two sizes) is wonderful for a dresser or desk as well. They can be used to hold small items, such as change or keys, and function as a pen tray.
A final graduation gift idea is to start him on a collection of silver cups. My Sounding Series cups come in two sizes with the shorter tumbler cup shown above and a taller, Mint Julep sized beaker shown below. Both styles can be hand engraved to commemorate each date he receives one. I have several clients who have started special people on collections and it is fun to hear for what each occasion the cup is gifted. Many have started out as graduation gifts and progressed to wedding gifts.
Hopefully I have given you a wide variety of thoughtful, special gift ideas to commemorate your graduate’s momentous achievement! I received a lovely array of beautiful silver gifts for each of my graduations and think fondly of the person who generously gifted it to me when I see it in my home or wear it. They bring back wonderful memories, which is the purpose of a lasting gift. Silver is just that!
Daughters of the American Revolution – American Heritage Award
I am so incredibly proud to announce I have been honored by the Daughters of the American Revolution two prestigious awards for the annual American Heritage Competition. My collection of handcrafted silver boxes Chorus was awarded the American Heritage Award for Crafts, First Place in the Other category!
The theme this year was “Rise, and Shine Your Light on the 19th Amendment” in celebration of the one hundred year anniversary of the women’s right to vote law being passed. The three birds symbolize a group of women together lifting up their voices and being heard, which directly relates to the suffrage movement. Just as women stood together and bravely fought for the right to vote, these birds collectively as a choir are rising up, harmonizing as one, and vocalizing their strength and determination. They are unified in their efforts, just like the women who courageously struggled for women’s right to vote and ultimately prevailed.
The second American Heritage Award I received was for the same entry and it is The Evelyn Cole Peters Award, which is awarded for excellence in any of the contest categories when an exceptional entry is presented. It is not given out every year, so it is a special honor. I was shocked by the first award, but the second award really floored me! It is such an honor and privilege to receive both of these prominent awards for my artwork.
I will receive the awards formally at DAR Continental Congress in June and I am so excited to highlight my wonderful Charleston DAR Rebecca Motte Chapter during this special event! Rebecca Motte’s father Robert Brewton and grandfather Miles Brewton were two of the most accomplished and talented silversmiths of colonial Charleston. Hopefully I am representing our chapter namesake well!
Through both this award and my involvement in DAR, an exceptional national non-profit organization and genealogical society, I strive to honor my American Revolution patriot and family heritage. For more information on DAR and our dedication to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America’s future through better education for children please visit http://www.dar.org/.
Kaminer Haislip PechaKucha Presentation
PechaKucha, a series of rapid-fire presentations from an array of local creatives, had its 36th show in Charleston on Thursday, February 20, 2020 in celebration of the first International PechaKucha Night alongside 1200 other cities. Each presenter had approximately six minutes and forty seconds to discuss 20 specific images related to their profession for 20 seconds each. Emceed by musician and record producer Wolfgang Zimmerman, this lecture series featured head chef/co-owner of Spanish taperia, Malagón Juan Cassalett; designer and silversmith Kaminer Haislip; actor, playwright, and educator Michael Smalwood; and more at the Charleston Music Hall.
Charleston Music Hall was generous enough to video the presenters and provide their individual presentations for them to share. To view Kaminer Haislip’s PechaKucha presentation, visit the link below!
Church Communion Tray Commission
In October 2019 the silver communion tray pictured above was dedicated to First Presbyterian Church in Aiken, SC. The entire process from designing it to making it to the dedication was a great experience I so enjoyed! This Blog post highlights this very special commission project for a church my family has been members of for four generations.
The church contacted me in the spring of 2019 and asked if I could make a custom, silver communion tray for them. The current tray they were using was not the right size or shape for the communion bread loaf, so they needed a more appropriate, oval shaped tray. During the communion ceremony the church also uses a silver chalice and flagon, or pitcher, both shown above, as well as small round silver bread trays to pass the bread throughout the congregation. All contributed to the design elements incorporated into the tray.
I worked very closely with the church’s committee on the design and met with them to discuss the project in depth and look at the existing church silver together. One extremely important item was the size and shape of the bread, because it would determine those elements of the tray. I did several rounds of drawings with numerous options for them to choose from. The existing silver pieces were so gorgeous they provided a lot of beautiful design inspiration!
The drawing above was the final rendering of the top view. I also provided other renderings of additional angles of the tray and all were drawn to scale of the actual object.
The chalice and some of the small, round bread trays have a bead rim in their design, so that element influenced the bead rim on the tray. Both the chalice and the flagon have very curved, flared shapes as part of their surface design that include on the chalice a chased floral pattern and on the flagon around the spout, so the tray handle design is a combination of those two motifs. The tray plate has a very slight curve, so when seen from the side angle it looks like angel wings lifting up. The dimensions of the tray plate were based on the size of the bread loaf used for communion.
The chalice and flagon both have an interesting past and during the Civil War they were hidden from the Union soldiers in a cistern. During both the Revolutionary War and Civil War, silver was frequently plundered from churches and private residences. Now it is not uncommon for historic silver pieces from the American South to show up in auctions in the American Northeast and England.
The chalice was made by Rogers Brothers Manufacturing in Hartford, CT between the dates of 1853-1861 and has the date 1856 hand engraved on the front of it. The flagon was made by Reed & Barton in Taunton, Massachusetts with the date unknown. Reed & Barton was founded in 1824 by silversmiths Henry Reed and Charles Barton, so we know if was made after 1824. I am still researching what the numbers stamped on the bottom mean and likely they hold the key to the date it was made.
Once the design was finalized and agreed upon, I created the tray out of sterling silver sheet and wire. It was an extremely challenging piece to make! The dimensions are 15.5″ length by 9″ width, so it is a very large and heavy object. The shape and curve to the tray plate required a lot of attention to detail and many rounds of hammering to get it in the correct shallow curve. The bead rim was a careful application on top of the flat, rectangular rim. In order for the slightly curved tray to stay stationary on the alter, I added a silver foot. The handles were the finishing touch to a very complex design.
The interior and exterior of the tray has a high shine, mirror finish, which to achieve over that large of a surface required many, many hours of sanding and polishing. The end result is stunning and worth every minute of time!
The perfect finishing touch was the gorgeous hand engraving on the back done by the very talented Kristina McClure, the only hand engraver in Charleston.
The inscription commemorates the dedication of the tray in celebration of First Presbyterian Church being located on Barnwell Avenue in Aiken, SC for fifty years. The worship service on October 27, 2019 was the church’s Jubilee celebration and the tray was dedicated then. It was a lovely service and a special day enjoyed by many. It was an honor to have created this silver tray to commemorate this momentous occasion. I love the idea that it will be used and enjoyed for many generations past mine and likely by my future family members.
If you are interested in commissioning a custom object or jewelry piece from me, then please check out my website Commission page that has examples of drawings and finished pieces. My Commission Policy outlines the details of commissioning me to make something unique and special for you. Thank you for your interest in my work!