Harriet Salmon interviews fabricators and craftspeople who assist in the production of contemporary artworks. This podcast will document fabricator’s experiences to shine a light on the amazing breadth of talent in the field and to capture this particular moment in the art world. We're interested in conversations about hierarchies within craft vs. concept, questions of intellectual property, trends of de-skilling in art, wealth disparity, and the conflict felt by many fabricators between working in art production and being artists in their own right.
Episode 14 - Caitlin Riordan: Room Tone
Caitlin Riordan is a master printer who trained with Peter Pettengill at Wingate Studios located in Hinsdale, New Hampshire. Caitlin started off in printmaking with a B.F.A. from the Maine College of Art and went to work with Peter in the multiple plate aquatint etching studio. There she printed with many artists including Louise Bourgeois and Walton Ford. After Wingate, Caitlin went to work at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn where she currently is Head Printmaking Technician and Visiting Instructor in Print. Along with artists and educators Kelley Driscoll and Grayson Cox, she founded and runs PIE (or Pratt Institute Editions), a program which invited artists to campus to publish a print with the resources at the school and in collaboration with the students. Caitlin’s favorite tool is either her collection of glass telephone pole insulators or a Le Deuil etching press.
Chelsea Culpepper: Sticky Wax
Chelsea Culpepper is an artist, fabricator and project manager at Workshop Art Fabrication foundry in Kingston, NY. Workshop was started by Andrew Pharmer and Vincent DiDonato in 2015 after they’d worked together for over 17 years at Polich Tallix foundry and provides an intimate and “boutique” experience; offering artists services including metal casting and fabrication, mold and pattern making, project development and management, patina and paint applications and conservation and restoration. Chelsea began working for Workshop shortly after they opened as a recent BFA graduate from University of Alabama, Birmingham and trained in the wax room - later becoming a trusted artist liaison for artist such as Frank Benson, Kiki Smith and Huma Bhabha. Her favorite tool is a broken chad.
Vanessa Hoheb: The Discipline of Ego
Vanessa Hoheb has filled many roles in the fabrication world; from enlarger to mold maker, teacher to facilitator, artist representative and liaison, production and project manager- she is ultimately an artisan. She talks with me about growing up in her father, Bruce Hoheb’s enlarging studio and learning the ropes with some of the giants of the New York art world. After decades working closely with artists at Polich Tallix Foundry, Vanessa now works with blue chip artist to realize complex projects with Workshop Workshop Art Fabrication foundry in Kingston, NY. Her favorite tools is a steel sculpting spatula.
Episode 11 - Nellie Davis & Kelsey Knight Mohr: Soft Material Manipulation
Nellie Davis and Kelsey Knight Mohr are both Textile Fabricators and printmakers specializing in silkscreen printing. With decades of combined experience in stitching, tufting, draping, embroidery, pattern making, puppetry and costume design, they have worked with many artists, including Jim Hodges, to realize large-scale textile artworks. We discuss the excitement and tensions created by the textile renaissance in contemporary art, the misconceptions surrounding the term “fiber artist,” the challenges of translating from two dimensions to three and the technical skill required to add movement to fabricating intrinsically sculptural objects.
Episode 10 - Ivin Ballen
Ivin Ballen is a co-founder of Lenscloud, a Brooklyn based 3D scanning technology business that specializes in custom solutions for high volume data capture using a custom built, portable unit. A former mold maker, Ivin now specialized is digital file generation for artist, companies and events and is currently working with MIT's Immersion Lab on a photogrammetry scanner for high-speed avatar creation. Ivin talks about the hardware and software that he and his two business partners developed, it’s possible role in the art world and how technology can help artists be more playful.
Episode 09 - Amy Jacobs: Master Collaborator
Amy Jacobs is an artist and extremely skilled paper maker who works with the nonprofit Dieu Donné as their Co-Director of Artistic Projects and Master Collaborator. She works with the institution to serve established and emerging artists through the collaborative creation of contemporary art using paper making. Amy talks about the vast potential of paper, from making a simple sheet to pulp painting to mold making and the rewards of collaborating with artists such as Ursula von Rydingsvard, Anne Hamilton, Jim Hodges, Erin Riley, and Carrie Moyer. Amy’s favorite tool is a good pair of sharp tweezers and the Fogg It nozzle.