Frequently Asked Questions
When I’m out at markets or post something on social media, I get a few recurring questions. I’d like to spend a little time here going over those queries. So grab a beverage of your choice and follow along.
Let’s get right to it!
How did you get started in Metalwork?
Long ago in a galaxy far far away, I was in first college getting my Associates degree in Art. I needed one more class to fit my already tight schedule, of 3 jobs plus school, and the only one that fit was a night time Small Metals and Jewelry class. Taught by Mr. Michael Anthony at El Centro College in downtown Dallas, Texas, this was the class that kept me making art. Continually frustrated with drawing and painting, I immediately became electrified by the fact that my hands could actually make what was in my brain, something I could never do with 2D media. When I approached Mr. Anthony about a problem and a supposed solution my newly forming metal brain was developing, he’d say try it and see what happens. I enjoyed the freedom and the outcome. I was hooked and I never looked back. The cookies he brought to class didn’t hurt either.
Where did you learn how to do this?
The short answer, everywhere and anywhere! The more colorful answer is of course detailed. I started at El Centro, then moved onto a BFA at University of Texas in Arlington studying under Chris Tinnen. While at UTA, I learned welding and basic foundry skills.That’s where I met James Ryan, one of my favorite humans. James is a Blacksmith, among other things, and he was kind enough to share his forge and knowledge with me for almost a decade. I spent a block of my professional life as an Art Objects Conservator, working on famous and not so famous sculptures. This period in life gave me invaluable skill sets. I’m a hands on learner, so I take in person classes wherever I can find them. In the 17 years I’ve been working with metal I can say for certain, I love learning new things, and I always will.
What is your favorite thing to make?
I love making anything involving a hammer and fire. The more I work with either on a piece the better. I’d say overall my absolute favorite thing to make is vessels and dishes. I don’t make many, but when I do, I pour so much love and sweat into the piece I’m always amazed at how it comes out.
Can you make something out of a stone, another piece, or a new commission?
Usually when people approach me and ask about a commission it doesn’t happen for one reason or another. On the occasion that it does I am very happy to create something for you, as long as it follows the Covert Metals design and quality standards. I am very happy to chat with you about it and hopeful we can work together.
A little side note, I will not ever copy another creatives’ work. Please don’t show me a pair of earrings from someone’s website/Etsy shop/Pinterest page and ask me to make them for you. The answer will always be; “support that artist and buy their piece.” I understand and appreciate you want to support local, but they’re a small business too and they’re local somewhere.
What is your favorite tool?
This is easy: Hammers, any hammer, all the hammers! Seriously, I own more hammers than boots, and I own a lot of boots. The above photo are just some of my most used, all my hammers are my favorite. Oh, and they all have lady names just like my other tools. Third from the left is Bertha, far right is Rizzo.
Can you repair a piece for me?
Yes, maybe? I have to see. Like I said above, I used to be an Objects Conservator, so I’ve more than likely fixed that broken whatever it is. However, I have to see it. I don't mind chatting about your heirloom, but I really do need to hold it in my hand to know for certain if it can be repaired, so bring it with you next time you visit me at a market. A little warning though, there will be some paperwork involved for insurance purposes.
What social media jewelry accounts do you follow?
Very very few. I can count on one hand the other jewelry artists I follow. The reason, I don't want to be unconsciously influenced by another artist. I spent years mimicking sculpture techniques to conserve artwork in museums and collections, so it comes too easy for me. The accounts I do follow create work that is polar opposite of my own creative aesthetic and I only follow them briefly.
How does your hair stay like that, what do you use?
It just does. Or is? I get this question a lot. My hair is naturally grey, really. You’d be surprised at how many folks are disappointed I didn’t color it. I am fortunate to have thick coarse hair that likes to make a statement, and I Own that statement. I used to not use any product and I was super proud of that fact. Lately though the grey outnumbers the brown and therefore my hair needs a little training assistance. For that, I’m trying Ace High pomade. We’ll see how it goes.The current cut is by Kitty at Revolver Salon in Denver, the original style was created by Kristin in the DFW area many, many moons ago. If you’re interested in either of their info message me.
Well that’s all folks! Thanks for being so rad and reading this far, you ROCK! My email is always open if you have a question you’d like answered message me at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the form below to leave a comment. You can also subscribe to my newsletter and check out my events page to see where I’ll be live and in person next.