This year's SIMS Conference visiting artists were Mike Rossi and Andrew Hayes. We arrived just a few minutes late into the demo, but we quickly realized that Mike and Andrew were working on the construction of a dust pan and broom. I really loved this idea as I have been a big advocate of toolmaking when it comes to studio building as well as the impact that it has on artistic growth through studio practice. I've often talked about how my tool building informs my work and allows me to not over think my professional practice. For this reason, the creation of a dust pan just made perfect sense! Both Andrew and Mike may have talked about this at the onset of the demo, but I missed the discussion if that occurred.
Luckily, I was able to meet them and discuss their work and what they do during lunch. It was a true privilege to be able to spend some time talking with them as they both seem to be outstanding people and artists. I realized after lunch that I probably monopolized their "downtime" so I am truly grateful to them for taking the time to talk about their development, thoughts, and ideas on the future of metalsmithing. I felt bad afterwards for taking all of their time, so I hope they will forgive me. It was just too good to hear about what they do and honestly refreshing to carry on a conversation with two individuals who I have a lot of respect for. I found out that we all had several people in common and that Andrew works with my good friend and former student, Jay Fox. I know it's a small world, but it's always good to connect the dots between people. Nonetheless, I had an excellent time watching Mike and Andrew demo and I was so grateful for their time and for sharing their skills and talents.
We were fortunate to also see some of the work they had done with students the day before as well as see some of the pieces that the students made. I was itching to make a dustpan the entire day. I'm sure it will will happen eventually though...
sidenote: the pan with the brass rivets belongs to it's maker, Dan Neville.