Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Images for a Grant

In the application for the Craft Project - Creation and Development Grant, you include a total of 10 images of recent work. The images are supposed to be presented in order of creation, oldest to newest.
This can present a wee bit of a challenge:
Do I have a significant body of work?
Do I have half decent *images* of those good pieces?
Does the order of oldest to newest actually show some kind of progression of skill / vision?
Do those images actually support the proposal for the grant?

I found picking the images one of the hardest parts of the entire grant submission.
I was extremely fortunate that my friend, silver and gold smith Brenda Roy, had gifted me with advise on preparing this grant package. Brenda has applied, and recieved, a number of these same grants in the past. She has actually sat on the jury a couple of times as well. Her insight (obviously) proved invaluable!

Here is what I used - shown in the order the jury would have viewed them :

01 - 2009 - Fresh from the Smelter - bloomery iron - about 5 kg

02 - 1996 - Pattern Welded Kitchen Knife - forged layered iron alloys - L 25 cm

03 - 2000 - Lily Arbor - forged structural steels - H about 1.5 m

04 - 2006 - Celts at the Gate - forged structural steels - H about 1.75 m

05 - 2008 - Segmented Funeral Urn - forged wrought iron, copper - H 40 cm

06 - 2009 - Arts & Crafts Railing - forged steel - assemblage, total about 6 m long

07- 2010- Kelp and Breakers Railings - forged steel - assemblage, total about 21.5 m

08 - 2011 - Burgess Crab - forged steel - H about 1.25 m

09 - 2011- Segmented Bowl - forged steel - L 25 cm

10 - 2011 - Bloom Iron Bowl - forged bloomery iron - L 20 cm

In so much I actually did get the project grant, I guess this selection of images did do what I intended.

One additional thing to be aware of:
The jury had a a total of some 125 of these applications to look at. Each submitting artist only has three ways to illustrate their work and worth. First is the 'Artist Statement & Project Outline'. The second is a submitted CV (an earlier version, prepared for a failed 2008 grant is available if you are interested.) The third are those 10 selected images. Note how short the descriptions are!

So I cheated a bit with that first image. (Its out of age sequence.) I picked one of the most dramatic images I had of an actual hot, fresh from the furnace iron bloom being worked. It was intended to grab attention (what the heck *is* that!) and also to directly show what the grant was for.
The next images are primarily architectural, and bring my work up to the present years. As *blacksmithing* they may not be the most complex. But the designs show the development of a consistent style, and a strong sense of overall design. They are also very good as dramatic images. I had also included the early knife and the funeral urn to show there was more than just railings being created.
The last three images were of current work (grant application was made Fall of 2011). I chose three sculptural pieces. Intentionally you see a switch to a consideration of form and texture, from the dominance of line in the earlier pieces.
The very last image is of a sculptural form made of bloom iron. Brenda had told me that the very last image was extremely important, as typically it would remain in view as the jury considered my application and discussed it. I wanted an image that clearly showed the distinctive properties of bloom iron as a material, and also gave some indication of a possible direction that finished objects might take.

I guess it worked!

My intention is to comment on each day's work on the overall project via a blog post. The first couple of days will be spent on organization and administration. I normally undertake writing tasks early in the morning, so tomorrow I will start reporting on the previous day's activities...

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February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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