Candice Kiesow: The Muse Personality

Date started working in metal clay:
In August of 2000, a friend & I ordered a kiln, Tim McCreight’s first video and some PMC+, which at the time was $29.50 for 28 grams, to teach ourselves metal clay. Looking back, we made a few mistakes along the way.
Certified: (what clay, year and with whom)
CeCe Wire in 2002, and Mary Ann Devos in 2004, original PMC and PMC+
Accomplished at what media in addition to metal clay:
I wouldn't say I was accomplished but I did at one time make a living from illustrating and design.
Website and short bio:
I began with ceramics, at El Camino Junior College, in California in the 70’s. Later I studied printmaking, graphic design, and jewelry in Denver. I worked as a graphic designer, before computers. When our department got a Mac and it changed everything. I quit my desk job in 2000 to create full time and be at home for our son. I also make lampwork beads when I feel like sitting for 3 to 4 hours. I teach kids art camps in the summer and I am a perpetual student and take classes whenever I can.
What is your inspiration now? Do you have a muse?
I’m looking for ways to use other materials, to try to defray the high cost of silver. I’ve been recycling, reusing my metal clay and adding other metals that are less expensive.
Do you have a muse?
That’s a good question, I love the amazing details and intricacies that occur in nature. I admire artists who push conventional boundaries with the eclectic and the unusual.
What is currently on your bench/workspace?
I’ve been pounding steel and incorporating bronze & copper clay with silver clay. I have a ton of new pearls & stones from my Tucson trip that need homes.
What project/direction are you working on now?
I am evolving my pearl series, with mixed metals, different vessel shapes. My goal this year is to add color to my work, in the form of stones, enamels, and resin.
How much time do you average at the bench per week?
This is my full time “job” aside from my family, so I spend most of every day at my bench. I still work in ceramics and throw clay for our spring & fall shows where I sell some pots & metal clay jewelry.
What's the average time you spend on a piece?
Depending on how intricate it is 4-6 hours on constructed pieces. I usually have a few pieces in progress.
Do you sell your work?  and where?
I sell at The Evergreen Gallery, Baby Does Clothing, Barbara & Co, Creator Mundi, and Craig Hospital in Colorado, and I do summer art festivals. My favorite was last years Telluride Festival of the Arts that included culinary, wine & great art in a beautiful setting. It was one of my best shows.
Where do you get your new ideas?
Observing around me and looking at the world and daydreaming, I often design in my head while winding down at night, trying to fall asleep.
Do you keep a sketchbook and how do you organize it?
Yes, I have a few. A small one I made in a class, I use pen & colored pencils for drawing and doodles. A larger one I started keeping notes from the first PMC conference in, the first are from a class entitled “The Web Muse” Wooster, 2002. I also keep sketches of pieces I’m working on, clay thickness, dimensions, etc. in the back of that book, it’s full now.
Are there places or things you avoid that zap your creativity?
When my “to do” list has too many non-art things on it for the week. And the many distractions that come up when working from home.
Do you have a ritual before you begin to create?
My workroom is small and tends to get messy in a hurry. Along one side is the PMC work area, and the other side is my beading area. I usually begin by doing a “Feng Shui” thing in the entire room before I can begin, or it drives me nuts.
What do you collect?
We have a collection of original art, glass & ceramics in our home, I have a collection of jewelry from artists I admire. And of course the tons of beads & stones I’ve accumulated over the years.
How do you rejuvenate your creativity?
Getting out & visiting galleries, museums spark my creativity. Clearing my mind through yoga & meditative exercise. Sketching in my small sketchbook when I feel dry of ideas. It can get a wee quiet working at home, with only my cats for company, so music is my other muse.
What would your perfect creative day be like?
I’d get out for an early walk and then have the entire day unplugged–no phone, computer or distractions, and hopefully finish something I started.

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