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Charleston Silver Lecture

American College of the Building Arts silver lecture
Brandy Culp at the American College of the Building Arts
American College of the Building Arts silver lecture
Kaminer Haislip at the American College of the Building Arts

Charleston Silver Lecture by Brandy Culp and Kaminer Haislip

Brandy Culp, the Richard Koopman Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Wadsworth Atheneum, and I have recently given several lecture presentations on Charleston silver, so I was inspired to write a blog post discussing our unique collaboration. We have presented to private organizations and groups and last week we gave a lecture on Charleston silver for the American College of the Building Arts. The pictures in this post are from that event.

Kaminer Haislip and Brandy Culp at their Charleston silver lecture
Kaminer Haislip and Brandy Culp at their Charleston silver lecture

When Brandy and I collaborate on a Charleston silver lecture, we begin with her discussing colonial Charleston history and silversmithing. She is an expert in the decorative arts field and in particular metalwork. Brandy earned her Master of Arts degree with an emphasis in American decorative arts from the Bard Graduate Center. There she completed her thesis on the 18th century Charleston silversmith Alexander Petrie and the Carolina silver trade. The topic of metalwork remains one of her greatest interests, and she is currently working on a permanent exhibition of the Wadsworth’s English and American silver collections.

American College of the Building Arts Charleston silver lecture
Lecture attendees looking at Kaminer Haislip’s silversmithing tools, silver objects in progress, and finished silver items

Brandy ties my contemporary silversmithing brilliantly to historic forms and processes. I discuss in detail how I design and create my original, silver designs and use tools and in progress silver items to illustrate the relationship between my silversmithing techniques and past silversmith practices. Additionally, I bring a selection of finished silver hollowware, flatware, and jewelry for attendees to see in person during the lecture and up close after our slide presentation is over.

American College of the Building Arts Charleston silver lecture
Brandy Culp with lecture guests

We always save time for a question and answer session at the end of our lecture and spend time with guests after the event to take additional questions and socialize.

American College of the Building Arts Charleston silver lecture
John Paul Huguley and Kaminer Haislip after the lecture
American College of the Building Arts Charleston silver lecture
Brandy Culp with guests after the lecture

Brandy and I both are incredibly passionate about silver and very much enjoy sharing our silver knowledge. The combination of her historic metalwork expertise and my contemporary silver designs has been extremely well received each time we have done a presentation. If you are interested in having us speak to your group, organization, or college, then please email me at kaminer@kaminerhaislip.com. I can provide details, fees, and press material.

Thank you for your interest in silver!

Charleston Silversmithing, Traditions from Past to Present Lecture – March 7, 2019

Denis Diderot 1765 colonial silversmithing workshop
Charleston silversmith Kaminer Haislip

Charleston Silversmithing Lecture at American College of the Building Arts

Thursday, March 7 at 6pm

Brandy S. Culp, Richard Koopman Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Wadsworth Atheneum, and I will give a lecture presentation titled Charleston Silversmithing, Traditions from Past to Present at the American College of the Building Arts in Charleston, SC about colonial Charleston silversmithing and how my contemporary silversmithing relates to it.

It is open to the public, but seating is limited and reservations can be made by emailing handall@acba.edu. There is no admissions fee for attending the lecture, however you may reserve a seat ahead of time by making a donation of any size that is meaningful to you. Included with your reservation is an invitation to meet the speakers at a private reception following the presentation. Without a reservation, seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Lecture Description:

In the eighteenth century, Charleston’s favorable economic circumstances spurred a healthy luxury goods market, especially the precious metal trades. Through the centuries, the tradition of creating and collecting metalwork has continued in the Carolina Lowcountry. Brandy S. Culp, Richard Koopman Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Wadsworth Atheneum, will explore how the Holy City’s talented silversmiths and jewelers reflected the global exchange of ideas, people, and goods in early America. Ms. Culp will be joined by Kaminer Haislip, a nationally renowned and formally-trained silversmith practicing in Charleston. Together they will discuss how many of the tools and techniques employed by silversmiths and jewelers have changed very little over the centuries. From the combined perspective of a design historian and practicing silversmith, Ms. Culp and Ms. Haislip will present a splendid array of metalwork highlighting examples of Lowcountry silver—past and present—found both locally and in collections outside of the South, including notable objects in the Wadsworth’s holdings.

Brandy S. Culp is the Richard Koopman Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Wadsworth Atheneum, America’s oldest continually-operating public art museum and stewards of a collection of over 50,000 artifacts spanning 5,000 years. There she has most recently curated the exhibitions, Simply Splendid: Rethinking American Design, Bed Furnishings in Early America, and Design in the American Home, 1650 to 1850. Prior to joining the Wadsworth, Culp served as Curator of Historic Charleston Foundation, leading projects for the conservation and interpretation of the Foundation’s collection of fine and decorative arts. Before that, Ms. Culp served as the Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow in the Department of American Art at the Art Institute of Chicago. She has also held positions at the Bard Graduate Center and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Culp graduated summa cum laude from Hollins University and received her Master of Arts degree with an emphasis in American decorative arts from the Bard Graduate Center. There she completed her thesis on the 18th century Charleston silversmith Alexander Petrie and the Carolina silver trade. The topic of metalwork remains one of her greatest interests, and she is currently working on a permanent exhibition of the Wadsworth’s English and American silver collections.

A native of Aiken, South Carolina, Kaminer Haislip grew up in her family’s hardware store. Amidst the story-telling locals and tools for sale, she was inspired at a young age to create three-dimensional objects ranging from sculpture to jewelry. Haislip received both a BFA in jewelry and metals and an MFA in silversmithing, design, and sculpture from Winthrop University, where she studied under Alfred Ward, an internationally acclaimed English silversmith. After graduating in 2005, she moved to Charleston and established her studio. Nationally recognized for her craftsmanship, Haislip was most recently featured in the Museum of the City of New York’s exhibition Silver: Then and Now. Her handcrafted metalwork has been shown internationally and highlighted by numerous media outlets, including Antiques and Fine Art, Metalsmith, The Magazine Antiques, Traditional Home, Elle DĂ©cor, Garden & Gun, Southern Living, Charleston Magazine, and Handcrafted America. Haislip has also collaborated with Reese Witherspoon’s southern lifestyle company, Draper James, to create exclusive objects that reflect the South’s rich metalworking history.

Inspired by Charleston’s extensive silversmithing tradition, Haislip is dedicated to carrying forth that legacy. Hand-forging her flatware, hollowware, and jewelry, she uses the very tools and techniques employed by silversmiths for centuries, yet her metalwork reflects her unique approach to contemporary design.

American College of the Building Arts
649 Meeting Street
Community Room
Charleston, SC 29403
http://www.acba.edu

Silver and Indigo Charleston Exhibition Lecture – September 8, 2018

silver and indigo

 

Interwoven: The Art of Indigo and Silver Exhibition Lecture

Saturday, September 8 at 2pm

Works by Kaminer Haislip, Leigh Magar, and Jack Alterman

Curated by Brandy S. Culp

August 25, 2018 – October 7, 2018

City Gallery
34 Prioleau Street
Charleston, South Carolina

The City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs presents Interwoven: The Art of Indigo and Silver, on view at City Gallery through October 7, 2018. This exhibition features approximately 60 works by three contemporary Lowcountry artists who explore indigo and silver as both conceptual inspiration and materials of handicraft. Silversmith Kaminer Haislip, textile designer Leigh Magar, and photographer Jack Alterman exhibit independent pieces as well as collaborative installations in media ranging from silver hollowware, flatware and jewelry to textile art, portraiture, and photography. The exhibition was curated by Brandy S. Culp, Richard Koopman Curator of Decorative Arts at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut, who has worked closely with these artists over a two-year period.

An artists’ talk will be held at City Gallery on Saturday, September 8 at 2 p.m. Both the gallery and lecture are free and open to the public.

Silver and Indigo Exhibition Opening + New Designs

silver and indigo exhibition

Silver Rice Spoon by Kaminer Haislip and Boo Hag Blue Indigo Baskets by Leigh Magar
Photograph by Jack Alterman

Silver and Indigo Exhibition Opening + New Designs

Interwoven: The Art of Indigo and Silver exhibition opens to the public this evening, Friday, August 24, with a reception at City Gallery from 5-7pm. See below post for details on this Charleston silver and indigo exhibition and the Press page on this website for publicity. An artists’ lecture will take place at City Gallery Saturday, September 8 from 2-3pm. Both events and the gallery are free and open to the public.

Kaminer Haislip’s silver objects and jewelry exhibited in Interwoven is for sale. Purchases can be made by going to the Interwoven Exhibition Shop category on this website or by emailing info@kaminerhaislip.com. To view the pieces in the exhibition, visit the Interwoven Exhibition Portfolio category on this website. Both categories are temporary and will only be up for the exhibition duration.

Interwoven will be on view August 25-October 7, 2018. Do not miss this rare chance to see Kaminer’s silver objects and jewelry in person! Her fine art exhibitions mainly take place in the northeast and in museums around the country. It is extremely uncommon for her large scale hollowware to be seen in Charleston due to the lack of contemporary craft and design venues. We hope you will not pass up this extraordinary opportunity!

Kaminer’s website has been updated with her latest designs created specifically for Interwoven. Visit the Interwoven Exhibition categories mentioned above to view the artworks in the exhibition and to make purchases. Also, visit her Home and Jewelry Shop categories for additional new designs that are not in the exhibition.

Rio Grande

 

A wholesale supplier to jewelers and metalsmiths since 1944, Rio Grande is proud to sponsor the work of acclaimed silversmith Kaminer Haislip in Interwoven: The Art of Indigo and Silver.

 

 

Kaminer Haislip’s involvement in this exhibition is funded also in part by the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs and the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Program, through their joint administration of the Lowcountry Quarterly Arts Grant Program, and by the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation.

Charleston City Paper – August 2018

Charleston City Paper featured on August 15, 2018 Interwoven: The Art of Indigo and Silver, the collaborative exhibition that includes artists Kaminer Haislip, Leigh Magar, Jack Alterman, and curator Brandy Culp. Chase Quinn wrote the wonderful Charleston City Paper article below. The exhibition will be on display at the City Gallery in historic downtown Charleston, SC August 25-October 7, 2018. Visit Kaminer’s website Blog for details.

charleston city paper

Making the past present at City Gallery’s Interwoven exhibit

All That Glitters

By Chase Quinn

silver and indigo baskets

 

As Southern Living extolls, “The Good Silver is a Southern stalwart.” Indeed, one automatically pictures immaculate tea sets and monogrammed flatware passed down generation after generation, of the sort you might find on display at the Charleston Museum. On the other side of the silver coin, there’s the stock and lash of chattel slavery, required to extract the indigo that lined the pockets of wealthy planters and set the table, so to speak, for standards of wealth and culture.

It’s a history of which Brandy S. Culp, the Richard Koopman Curator of Decorative Arts at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Conn. and guest curator of the City Gallery’s upcoming exhibit Interwoven: The Art of Indigo and Silver, is well aware. The exhibit, she explains, is “ultimately about layers of history and meaning, and how we find meaning in materials.” The show will feature three artists heavily influenced by Charleston history and culture including silversmith Kaminer Haislip, textile designer Leigh Magar, and photographer Jack Alterman.

The project began two years ago when Haislip, one of the few formally-trained silversmiths practicing in Charleston, and Magar, known for her “seed to stitch” project, which takes indigo grown in her own garden and uses it to create hand-dyed and hand-stitched garments and goods, approached Culp.

“They wanted me to guest curate this exhibit, so we started with discussions of silver and indigo and how they related.”

With her rich background in the history of decorative arts, Culp explains that indigo and silver were both highly prized as raw materials throughout the ages, globally traded as commodities, and historically transformed by artisans into objects of desire.

“There’s a lot of commonality between these two as raw materials,” she says, “So what these artists have done is they are looking at these two transformative and symbolically imbued mediums and exploring how people actually shaped resources that, in turn, influenced society.”

In fact, it is South Carolina’s own Eliza Lucas Pinckney, the 16-year-old daughter of a wealthy planter, who is credited with first introducing and successfully cultivating indigo in the American colonies in 1742. Long before the ubiquity of today’s blue jeans, at the time, indigo dye was rare and expensive. Like silver, it was a symbol of status and wealth. In the two decades after its introduction, indigo would become one of the colony’s largest exports, second only to rice. That also led to a spike in the importation of enslaved labor to carry out the challenging and time-intensive process of extracting the dye, which could involve pounding the plant for up to 20 hours.

The title of the show, Interwoven, however, refers not only to this shared history and symbolism, but also to how the past and present are worked into the artists’ contemporary interpretations of these mediums. Culp explains, for example, that while Magar and Haislip have collaborated on a number of pieces for the exhibit that meld the elements of indigo and silver, they will also be displaying individual works. For Haislip, that means giving visitors, far removed from the processes of metalwork, the experience of how she forms and forges her pieces, which, while heavily influenced by tradition, are completely contemporary in their design.

“In today’s society, so many people look at her work and think that it must be cast, or that it’s fabricated,” says Culp. “She is a traditional silversmith still using a lot of the tools and the processes that people have been using for hundreds of years.”

Alterman, a Charleston native perhaps best known for his diverse portraits that capture the city’s many faces, was brought in to tie the whole story together. Through his photography, he will not only document the work on display, but will also have a series of portraits of other local artisans directly or indirectly connected to the craftmanship of indigo and silver.

In addition to the label copy that will provide some historical context for the role Africans and African Americans played in the production of indigo and silver, Culp indicates that Alterman’s contribution is also important because his portraits showcase contemporary African-American artists working in or connected to these mediums as well, including Jonathan Green and Arianne King Comer.

“This exhibit is not a comprehensive look at the subject of indigo and silver,” she acknowledges. “It’s a very specific look at these materials through the eyes of three artists. There are so many talented people that are both metalworkers and textile artists involved in indigo.”

To get a full picture of this interweaving narrative, Culp also recommends that audiences attend the artist talk, which will take place on Sept. 8 at 2 p.m., where the exhibitors will be on hand to discuss the most important stories in their work and to take audience questions.

Charleston Magazine – August 2018

Charleston Magazine highlighted in their August issue Interwoven: The Art of Indigo and Silver, the collaborative exhibition that includes artists Kaminer Haislip, Leigh Magar, Jack Alterman, and curator Brandy Culp. The exhibition will be on display at the City Gallery in historic downtown Charleston, SC August 25-October 7, 2018. Visit Kaminer’s website Blog for details.

charleston magazine august 2018

charleston magazine august 2018

American Craft Magazine – August/September 2018

American Craft magazine highlighted in their August/September issue Interwoven: The Art of Indigo and Silver, the collaborative exhibition that includes artists Kaminer Haislip, Leigh Magar, Jack Alterman, and curator Brandy Culp. The exhibition will be on display at the City Gallery in historic downtown Charleston, SC August 25-October 7, 2018. Visit Kaminer’s website Blog for details.

american craft magazine

american craft magazine

Interwoven: The Art of Indigo and Silver Exhibition – Charleston, SC

indigo and silver

Silver Nest Bowl by Kaminer Haislip and Boo Hag Blue Indigo Baskets by Leigh Magar
Photograph by Jack Alterman

Interwoven: The Art of Indigo and Silver

Works by Kaminer Haislip, Leigh Magar, and Jack Alterman

Curated by Brandy S. Culp

City Gallery
34 Prioleau Street
Charleston, South Carolina

August 25, 2018 – October 7, 2018
Opening Reception August 24 from 5-7pm
Artist Lecture September 8 from 2-3pm

The City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs presents Interwoven: The Art of Indigo and Silver, on view at City Gallery August 25 through October 7, 2018. This exhibition features approximately 60 works by three contemporary Lowcountry artists who explore indigo and silver as both conceptual inspiration and materials of handicraft. Silversmith Kaminer Haislip, textile designer Leigh Magar, and photographer Jack Alterman will exhibit independent pieces as well as collaborative installations in media ranging from silver hollowware, flatware and jewelry to textile art, portraiture, and photography. The exhibition is curated by Brandy S. Culp, Richard Koopman Curator of Decorative Arts at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut, who has worked closely with these artists over a two-year period.

City Gallery will host an opening reception for the exhibition on Friday, August 24 from 5-7 p.m. An artists’ talk will be held on September 8 at 2 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

An interdisciplinary showing of indigo and silver as they relate to contemporary craft, Interwoven brings together three artists who are deeply influenced by Charleston’s cultural heritage. For centuries, indigo and silver have been highly prized commodities among various cultures and the objects created from these raw materials are infused with symbolism and significance. Indigo and silver were essential to the early history of the Carolina Lowcountry—one a product that generated wealth, the other a literal display of this capital, and both integrally tied to enslaved labor. Works such as Haislip’s rice spoons, Magar’s rag quilting, and Alterman’s portraits demonstrate the artists’ profound appreciation of history and place, acknowledging complex, intertwined legacies.

“Providing a modern look at historically significant mediums, these artists are transforming materials important to the city’s history into contemporary art,” Culp says. “Through this project, the artists and I hope to create a dynamic and innovative exhibition that celebrates current design in Charleston as well as inspiring appreciation of waning craft traditions.” While compelled by Charleston’s rich and diverse heritage surrounding indigo and silver, each of the artists brings a unique, contemporary perspective to the exhibition.

Nationally recognized for her metalwork, Kaminer Haislip is one of few formally trained silversmiths practicing in Charleston. Her work was most recently highlighted in the Museum of the City of New York’s exhibition New York Silver: Then and Now. Inspired by Charleston’s long-standing silversmithing tradition, Haislip feels compelled to carry it forth. “Through my metalwork,” she explains, “I seek to enhance daily life by creating functional handcrafted objects that give a nod to the past but are entirely contemporary in form.” Hand-forging her flatware, hollowware, and jewelry, Haislip uses the very tools and techniques employed by silversmiths for centuries. Interwoven features nearly 30 of her handcrafted objects, as well as several hand-drawn designs and select forms in progress, all to illuminate the art of the silversmith.

Milliner turned textile artist Leigh Magar has established a small-batch label that combines art, fashion, history, and performance. Her “indigo seed to stitch” project was inspired by Eliza Lucas Pinckney, who brought this cash crop to the Carolina Lowcountry in the mid-1700s. Magar interweaves design and nature with her local garden, where indigo is grown and then used to create contemporary hand-dyed, hand-stitched garments, goods, and textile art. Interwoven highlights Magar’s wide range of indigo-dyed textile artworks, including items rooted in traditional quilt making and rag quilting as well as those which feature contemporary, non-traditional elements.

A native of Charleston and an award-winning photographer, Jack Alterman has participated in numerous multimedia exhibitions and one-man shows. With a new photography series focusing on color, texture, and creation, Alterman conceptually explores indigo and silver through portraits of local artists who are influenced by or who directly work with these materials. This series complements Magar’s indigo and quilted portraits of key figures, such as musician Nina Simone and Eliza Lucas Pinckney. “When I began this collaboration with an indigo artist and a silversmith, my thoughts were mainly focused on the raw materials with which they worked,” Alterman says. “Then I expanded my vision to capture a wide variety of contemporary artists [in Charleston] who are influenced by the shades and textures of indigo and silver. They are each unique, but all are connected by this time, this place and their use of indigo and silver as they seek to capture our unique culture.”

This exhibition has been organized and curated by Brandy S. Culp. The project is funded in part by the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs and the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department through their joint administration of the Lowcountry Quarterly Arts Grant Program, and by the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina. Additional support has been provided by Rio Grande, a wholesale supplier to jewelers and metalsmiths since 1944.

City Gallery, located at Joe Riley Waterfront Park, is owned by the City of Charleston and operated by the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs, presenting an annual program of exhibitions and events featuring the finest contemporary art from local, regional, national and international artists, with a focus on the Lowcountry. City Gallery provides access to the visual arts for everyone in Charleston, visitors and residents alike, by offering exhibits that are all admission-free.

City Gallery is located at 34 Prioleau St. in downtown Charleston, and gallery hours of operation are 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday as well as 12 p.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information and holiday closures, visit www.charleston-sc.gov/citygallery or call 843-958-6484.

 

Rio Grande

 

A wholesale supplier to jewelers and metalsmiths since 1944, Rio Grande is proud to sponsor the work of acclaimed silversmith Kaminer Haislip in the “Interwoven: The Art of Indigo and Silver” exhibition.  

 

Luxury Simplified Lecture – November 2016

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 contemporary silversmith Kaminer Haislip and curator and historian Brandy Culp presented “A Sterling Opportunity” at Luxury Simplified’s headquarters The Peter Bocquet House located at 95 Broad Street in historic downtown Charleston, SC. The informative and fun event was hosted by Holly Roberson, Heyward Hamilton, and Luxury Simplified. Brandy discussed the history of 18th and 19th century silver and Kaminer shared her contemporary silver designs with the guests. It was a lively and interesting lecture and the attendees had really great questions. The guests’ enthusiasm was much appreciated and it was a wonderful collaboration!

Many thanks to Holly Roberson, Heyward Hamilton, and Luxury Simplified for hosting the event at Luxury Simplified’s stunning location!

http://www.luxurysimplified.com/