How many Hydros?
I sometimes have a problem with self discipline–which is not good when you’re self employed. I tend to flit from one thing to the next in the studio, so anything that gets me to stay at my clay table is a good thing. “Watching” (or rather listening) to Netflix on (my iPad with headphones) tethers me to my work table and helps me focus on the things that I need to make. Recently, I’ve been re-watching favorite BBC series; Marple, Poirot, Foyle’s War, House of Card, and best of all Prime Suspect. In a New Yorker profile of Helen Mirren, the star of the series, I read that someone described it as the greatest sustained feat of acting in television history.
One of my jobs in the studio is to document everything we make with good photographs; clean up the images, label and organize the images into an external hard drive, before the work leaves the studio. We try to track who buys what, so that when they call asking for earring to go with their pin, for example, I can look up which pin they bought. When we sell work to galleries, we’re able to give them professional quality images in both 300 dpi for print ads, and 72 dpi for their websites or emailing to clients. Galleries love that, and use us in advertising more because we provide them with good images. It’s something that I wish we had done from the beginning of our making (note to young artists: document all of your work).
In busy times, the pipeline of work tends to back up. So recently, I was cleaning up images of a large group of “Hydro Top Pins”; something that David has made his specialty over the last 15 years, and I was struck by how consistently good they all were. Even within a group that’s nominally “black and white” there is so much variety and invention; warms, cools, soft edges, hard edges, smooth and textured surfaces. It’s all theme and variation, but Dave manages to make each one look distinctive with it’s own qualities. At craft shows, it’s often difficult for people to choose among them. There are arguments to be made for each. Of course, the same inventive talent is true of our metalsmith, Maryanne Petrus. She has made more than a thousand (two thousand?) hydro tops in silver, and copper since 1999 when we started working together.
So I’m thinking that the Hydros are the greatest feat of sustained making in Ford/Forlano history…..such as it is.