TRENDER: Photographer + Jeweler Nancy Reid Carr
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
You studied art at URI and have worked as an artist for 15 years. What made you decide to be an artist?
I was not raised in a very creative environment, but from a very early age it was obvious to me that I needed an outlet. I began writing poetry and eventually went to Roger Williams University to pursue a degree in Creative Writing. It was there that I took my first photography class, and it changed my life.
It was the outlet that I had been looking for and thanks to the encouragement of my first professor, Providence photographer Denny Moers, I threw myself into it and never looked back. After that, I couldn't imagine living a life doing anything else. It was later at URI studying with Professor Annu Matthew that I finally completed my degree & learned the discipline and dedication that I needed to work professionally.
How has RI inspired your artwork?
Living in Rhode Island, the ocean has obviously been a constant source of inspiration to me. I love the idea that photographing the beach at sunrise is a mandatory part of my job description. Also, my fellow artists and crafters have been a huge source of inspiration. I've never lived anywhere where I see so many creative people successfully pursuing their art form. As an artist, witnessing others succeed is incredibly encouraging and it makes you believe you can do it too.
You produce photographs and jewelry. What medium did you start working with first and how have you grown over time?
I worked in jewelry first, mostly bead work and assembly. Then after discovering photography I dropped out of RWU and moved to Santa Fe, where I studied photography and metalsmithing simultaneously. I was always interested in the relationship between photography and metal. Before the current technology, I was printing on film and mounting it on aluminum and tin. It wasn't until this year that I merged the two mediums. Now that technology has made it possible to print on pretty much any surface the options are endless. The aluminum cuffs are just the beginning for me; I am excited to expand upon my jewelry line in the near future.
You work in many mediums, including aluminum prints. Can you tell me more about this technique?
My images are printed on sheets of brushed aluminum using highly adhesive inks that are then heat cured onto the metal. The whites and lighter values get little or no ink and it is in these areas that the metal shows through, giving the print a luminous three dimensional quality. I have been working with this technique for almost five years now and it has changed the way I shoot and what I look for in terms of light, value, and composition. The effect of the aluminum give the images a very lifelike feel; you really must see it in person to understand.
Tell me more about how you go about making your jewelry.
I start by designing the cuffs in Photoshop using small portions of my original photographs. I print them on paper and cut them out to see how each design will fall on the wrist. The designs I deem successful that are then printed onto aluminum using a slightly different method from the prints. The aluminum stock for the bracelets is much smoother and is coated with a special emulsion that receives the ink through a heat transfer process. The inks are basically fused into the coating on the aluminum which also happens to be scratch resistant, which is great for wearable art.
I recently had the honor of designing four cuffs for the George Eastman House Museum utilizing NASA imagery to be included in their current SPACE exhibition running through January 12, 2014.
What's the best part about being an artist in RI?
The very best part is being surrounded by so many creative people. I believe that Rhode Island has such a large population of artists because it recognizes the importance of art and exercises strong support for it in the community. This is reflected most recently in the statewide tax free arts legislation. An action like that makes me very proud of the little state we live in. Feeling that your passion is valid and supported is a very powerful thing. I am also very thankful for the love and support of my husband, oil painter R. Michael Carr and our two daughters who are always eager to help in the “family business”.
Where can people find and buy your work?
My work can be found in the following RI retailers and online at Etsy.com/shop/CarrStudio.
For a complete listing of US retailers please visit: nancyreidcarr.com/wheretobuy.
Studio Hop - Providence
Craftland - Providence
Rhody Craft - Pawtucket
Greenwich Gallery - East Greenwich
JW Graham - Wickford
Curiosity & Mischief - Narragansett
Shell Boutique - Narragansett
Primavera - Newport
Simple Pleasures - Charlestown
Do you have any upcoming galleries, festivals, or plans that RIers should know about?
11/23-11/24 - Arts In RI Handmade Holiday in the Red Barn - 30 Middle Rd, East Greenwich, RI
11/23-11/24 - Wellesley Marketplace, 50 Kingsbury St, Wellesley, MA
11/30-12/24 - Deblois Gallery Holiday Show, 134 Aquidneck Avenue, Middletown, RI
11/30-12/01 - Hingham Shipyard Holiday Market, 24 Shipyard Drive, Hingham, MA
12/05-12/15 - Foundry Artist Association Holiday Show - 172 Exchange Street, Pawtucket, RI
12/14-12/15 - SoWa Holiday Market - 41 Berkeley St, Boston, MA
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306 US Route 1, Kittery, Maine. 1 (888) KIT-TERY.
Burlington is home to great universities, Lake Champlain and is the birthplace of Phish. But did you know that this Vermont city also has first class shopping? Church Street Marketplace, an outdoor shopping haven, is the center of the action. Perouse the cobblestone streets, featuring great shops like Urban Outfitters, Saratoga Olive Oil Company, Sweet Lady Jane, and more. If the weather doesn’t cooperate with outdoor shopping, pop into the Burlington Town Center Mall to check out the 802 Store—a place dedicated to everything Vermont.
North Conway, NH
North Conway, tucked away in the White Mountains of New Hampshire is the perfect weekend retreat. There are picturesque mountain views and some much needed peace and quiet. Shopaholics need not fear, though, because this little New England town has got their back. Settlers Green Outlet Village is chock full of all your brand name favorites, plus some specialty shops well worth taking a peek in. In total, there are over 60 shops! If you’re got a sweet tooth, be sure to stop into White Mountain Cupcakery—their cupcakes are the best around. Don’t forget, New Hampshire shopping is tax free!
Route 16, North Conway, NH. (603) 356-7031.
West Hartford, Connecticut
Located in West Hartford, Ct, Westfarms Mall is only about an hour’s drive from Worcester and a two hour drive from Providence. This elegant shopping mecca is stocked with designer names and delicious dining. Makeup lovers will appreciate the handmade cosmetics at Lush while fashinistas will fall in love with the styles at Anthropologie. Of course, it never hurts to look inside Tiffany & Co. either...
1500 New Britain Ave., West Hartford, Connecticut. (860) 561-3024.
Providence Place Mall
Okay, so this one is super close to home—but it had to be included! The Providence Place Mall is a destination that people from all around travel to visit, so why not take advantage of it if it’s close by? This multi-level shopping mall is any fashionista’s dream come true! Banana Republic, the Apple Store, dELIA*S, and Nordstrom are some retail favorites; while The Cheesecake Factory is a top choice for a bite to eat.
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Yankee Candle Vlg. Store
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25 Greenfield Road, South Deerfield, Ma. (877)636- 7707.
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Newbury Street, Boston.
Photo: Rudi Riet/flickr
The Umbrella Factory
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4820 Old Post Road, Charlestown, RI. (401) 364-1060.
The magic of the cape has been delighting artists and poets for centuries. Of course it is befitting that they have inspired shopping options as well. From the whimsical and free to the beautiful and dramatic; if you can dream it chances are it is on Cape Cod. Looking for sea glass jewelry, Cape Cod bracelets, or other great gift ideas? Check out Heart of Stone in Sandwich. For great art, take a peek in the Coastal Craft Gallery in Orleans. If something offbeat is more your style, Cape Kaleidoscopes in Mashpee is a do not miss!
For more on Cape Cod Shopping, visit http://www.capecodchamber.org/.
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95 Main Street, Freeport, Maine. (877) 755-2326.
Vermont Country Store
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Sometimes there’s just nothing better than good old fashioned hospitality and great products. The Vermont Country Store, with locations in West and Rockingham, provides just that. The Orton family, who opened the first Vermont Country Store in Weston in 1946, are self proclaimed “Purveyors of the Practical and Hard to Find.” This store has got everything and anything that you can’t find anywhere else, from old-fashioned games and candy to high end, high quality wool apparel, to house wares and more. The Rockingham location is even complete with a covered bridge dubbed “The Kissing Bridge!”
657 Main Street, Weston, Vermont. (802) 824-3184.
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350 S Main Street, Middletown, Connecticut. (860) 344-0039.
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Fifth Avenue, NYC
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