Blog The Seemingly Random that Together = BEAUTY

Wordless #7 : Photographs by Christopher Payne/Bonni Benrubi Gallery

Wordless #7 : Photographs by Christopher Payne/Bonni Benrubi Gallery

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Studio Life: Podcasts

Studio Life: Podcasts

A few weeks ago I made the Beauty Report post: QUIET about basking in the spaciousness and clarity of quiet while making work. When I have this opportunity I find that most of the time I take it. Snatch it up. Settle into it. But there are some days when I get into the flow of working while listening to music or podcasts. Lately podcasts have been so enjoyable and I find myself in conversation often mentioning something that I heard from a podcast. (This has also been happening with the books that I am reading. This year I seem to be devouring information and wanting to know more, more, more. Reading and listening A LOT, letting one thing lead me to the next…)

There is different spaciousness that I find in listening that allows me to focus on work for long spans of time. While I don’t find it everyday, I do know something about when it is with me—usually it arrives when I have work to do where I know the answer, busy work in a sense, ‘production work’ not a problem solving or one-of-a-kind of work.

An example of production work is the following:

Raissa Bump Quintuple Small Beaded Twisted Wire Earrings

Beaded Twisted Wire Quintuple Earrings:
oxidized sterling silver and vintage glass beads

An example of one-of-a-kind work is the following:

Raissa Bump Mirror Complements Brooch

Mirror Complements Brooch 2007:
oxidized sterling silver, vintage glass beads, silk thread

So what have I been listening to? Some usuals like ‘This American Life‘ and ‘Freakonomics‘ (which I have enjoyed for a long time now), ‘Snap Judgement‘ and a newer to me podcast ‘99% Invisible’. And it is through this last podcast that I heard of a new venture: Radiotopia and started listening to other podcasts such as ‘Strangers’ that are part of this collective.

Radiotopia from PRX is “a collective of the best story-driven shows on the planet. It’s also a new model for audience engagement and revenue growth in public radio, with support from the Knight Foundation. Radiotopia is anchored by 99% Invisible, the popular design and architecture show hosted and produced by Roman Mars – named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in 2013. [Their] goal is to bring listeners extraordinary audio wherever they are listening, help independent producers grow their shows, and share what we’re learning along the way. Listen, love, and share Radiotopia.”

What do you listen to while you work? Let me know.

And when you’ve listened to all of your favorite podcasts, and you need some new listening to hold you over till the next one, I encourage you to check out Radiotopia.

In Beauty, thanks for reading.




Beauty Report: Quiet

Beauty Report: Quiet

Most of the time I work alone in studio, though rarely am I alone in the space. Today I am here by myself. Jon and Joe of Anzfer Farms, whom I share space with, are installing a huge project at the Berkeley Art Museum–one that has been in the planning for over a year and includes many people (check out The Possible ).

Hours have passed today and I realize that I have kept the music off. I find myself doing this when I know there is no one else here making shop noise and chatter. Just like when the sun comes out after a grey spell and I want to soak it up and bask in its warmth, today I am basking in the quiet. It is by no means silent. It is quite alive. I listen to my own breath, the sound of my saw cutting through metal, or a file smoothing and edge, a car driving by…but my mind and body vibrations slow and calm down. I have clarity and lots of fun making my work. Time passes fast. It is one of the best kinds of days there are. I feel like I am doing exactly what I should be doing. There is no struggle.


In Beauty…

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A Memory

A Memory

This post is about a simple too that does its job so well that that I use in my studio daily. But really it is about so much more. I recently snipped something that I should not have (a chunky piece of white gold) and broke a tip off of my Lindstrom flush cutters (a friend’s dog had long ago chewed on the handle). I ordered a new pair, but in the meanwhile the memory of how I got the first pair came back to me.

In the spring of 2004 I went to Penland School of Crafts and was there for two months as a studio assistant to Marjorie Simon. It was my second time there and it solidified a place in my heart as one of the most incredible places. Incredible for its landscape,  incredible for the knowledge you take in, incredible for the acceptance you find, incredible for the break you get from the typical ins and outs of a weekly routine, incredible for the people you meet.

One of the incredible people that I met there was the Metals Coordinator, Suzanne Pugh and the story continues like this: Shortly after I arrived back to the Berkshires a small package arrived for me. It was from Suzanne and inside the package was a pair of my now favorite, cannot work without flush cutters (before that package arrived I had no clue what I was missing). They were a little thank you gesture from a new friend (and now years later we are fortunate to both live in the Bay Area and continue to be good pals).

This little incident that was unfortunate and inconvenient in the moment made me remember this story. There is Beauty in this story. It makes me happy.
Cheers to Suzanne and Cheers to tools that do a great job!


Wordless #5: photos by Alexey Kljatov

Wordless #5: photos by Alexey Kljatov

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Beauty Report: Pop-UP Shop!

Beauty Report: Pop-UP Shop!

raissa bump anzfer farms sandwhich board

raissa bump anzfer farms pop-up









Anzfer Farms (Jonathan Anzalone & Joseph Ferriso) and I have had the opportunity to set up shop. We have occupied a storefront on busy Clement Street in San Francisco for the past month or so. The block that we are on is home to Park Life and SeedStore, great Inner Richmond establishments owned by incredible people.

We did nothing to change the space, but brought over our work and created a cozy environment. The fragment lights really helped! I have spent many afternoons there with the door open, welcoming in friends, meeting new people, talking about our work and selling it too.

The experience has reminded me of the good old days working at Sienna Gallery. It is the first time in years that I have kept ‘open hours.’ My brain clicked on in a different way and I became ‘shop girl’, taking this commitment (with myself) rather seriously.

The opportunity to create a retail space has brought up the question: is this the next step for our businesses? Is this where we would like to use our resources and grow? Each of us has decided that it is not. Overall for me it has been enjoyable, but I knew the entire time that it was a fixed gig, not ongoing. I realize how incredible and fortunate it is that I can structure my days how I see fit, and often can do what suits my mood best, without the necessity of showing up to a retail location. My burning passion is in the making, as well as in figuring out how I can make this passion thrive today and in the future.

The Beauty in this story is many things. Here are a few:
*being given the gift of an empty storefront to occupy through the year
*interacting with my neighborhood in a new way
*coming to clarity about what are the next steps in my business (stay tuned!)
*re-sparking the intensity of my gratitude for all of the galleries that I work with (they all make it possible for me to stay in my studio an make!)

whitney at pop-up

This is our last week(end) at the Pop-UP; come visit!

In Beauty,

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