Casey Sharpe [caseysharpe]
Which publications associated with your field do you regularly read?
I regularly read Metalsmith magazine, Glass on Metal magazine, and American Craft magazine, along with various newsletters put out by the Society of North American Goldsmiths.
List any credits, publications, competitions, etc.
I've had work in the following exhibitions, listed by year:
- Americas 2009: All Media, Hartnett Hall Gallery, Northwest Art Center, Minot State University, Minot, ND, Juror: Terry Jelsing
- 8th International Juried Student Enamel Exhibition, The Oakland Art Gallery, Oakland, CA, Jurors: Suzanne Baizerman, Harlan Butt, Maria Phillips. (catalogue)
- On the Rise: Work from the Crafts Department at the University of the Arts, Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington, DE
- Out of Hand, Gallery FFHC (First Floor Hallway Cases), University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
- Out of Hand, Hamilton Hall, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA (catalogue)
- 30th Annual Contemporary Crafts, Mesa Contemporary Arts, Mesa, AZ (catalogue)
- Emerging Artists December Exhibition, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
- Petal Pushers, Krikorian Gallery at Worcester Center for Crafts, Worcester, MA
- Postal Cards and Postage Stamps, Carpenter Foundation Vitreous Enamel Center and Museum, Bellevue, KY
- Crafts Gala Exhibition, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
- Sideshow, Gallery One, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
I've also been featured or mentioned in the following publications:
- Sharon Church, The Mace Project: Craft Practice for the 21st Century
- “Postal Cards and Postage Stamps, The Exhibition,” Glass on Metal, Vol. 27, No. 5, 2008
What do you do? How do you define yourself as an artist?
I make one of a kind jewelry pieces and small metalwork. I am driven to create tangible things in a search for beauty. I find most of my inspiration from the natural world and utilize a lot of animal imagery in my work.
Do you upload your work to the web? If so, where could we see it?
I do upload my work to the internet. I maintain a blog, where I post work in progress shots along with finished pieces and updates about shows. The web address is http://caseysharpe.blogspot.com/
What role does technology play in your creative process?
Technology provides me with a lot of my inspiration, in a way. The internet is a place of infinite creative sparks. If you pay attention to what you're looking at, it can give you ideas. Although my subject matter focuses mostly on the natural world, technology is the microscope that I view it through. It provides me with the power to answer questions, to research, to reference, to record.
How do you evaluate whether an idea is good or not?
Well, that's the question, isn't it? Sometimes it's simply a matter of whether it works or not. Those are the easy ideas, the technical ones. The artistic ideas are harder. Sometimes you have to consider where it fits into what your message is. Sometimes it doesn't matter whether an idea is good or not, because you're compelled to follow it through anyway. Those are the difficult things, because you put a lot of work into something, and after you finish, you look at it and say "well, that doesn't work" or "eh." Or you use people as a sounding board. Sometimes you have to just take an idea and run with it. I think it's better to be working on something that's merely okay rather than to not be working at all.
Must an artist reinvent him/herself everyday?
I'm not sure if reinvention is the key, but I do think that you have to strive and reach out for something. You have to chase the elusive. You have to be better, to find that perfect something. And, in some ways, you have to accept that you will always be chasing something just out of reach. Sometimes you catch a glimpse, and it makes it worth it. If you can't look at your work and see how you can do it better next time, or different, or see where it just plain doesn't work, then you stagnate and you might as well become a typist. It's the chasing the impossible that makes us better artists.
Is art necessary?
I think it is necessary for the human spirit to experience beauty, in any form. In our modern culture, which is so removed from the natural world, art is incredibly necessary. Especially in urban areas, where we may not be able to see beauty in our surroundings, it is necessary for certain individuals to provide another medium for beauty, and this is where art comes in. It is a balm for the soul, a breath of fresh air, and an escape. Art speaks to the viewer and transports him or her to another place, if only for a brief moment. This escape is what makes life bearable, a reminder that in an imperfect world, beauty still exists.
Does it pain you to let go of a piece you have sold?
Sometimes, if the work is a personal best. Most of the time I feel an exhilaration that the piece is leaving me to fulfill its purpose. My art was never meant to sit around my studio. It was meant to go out and be worn, to be loved and admired, or to provoke thought. The piece that hasn't gone out into the world yet and found someone to love it, isn't finished in a way. The point of making wearable art is for it to be worn.
In art, there is no guide. How do you know what the next step is?
With any luck, the last piece brings you to the next step. An idea or process sparks another idea. It's like following a trail of breadcrumbs. You can't necessarily see where it eventually leads, but if you're looking, you can hopefully find the next breadcrumb. In the grand scheme of things, sometimes you have to step back and think about things besides the pieces you make however, and consider where you want to go, and then make it happen. The idea is to break that down and figure out what the little steps on the way are, and then to take them one at a time. Otherwise you get overwhelmed.
Parksley, VA, United States