Texas Masters Series: Sandie Zilker
Essay by Elizabeth Kozlowski

Posted July 24, 2014 in Blog

Sandie Zilker, "Armored Car Elbow Ornament," 1975. Sterling silver, plastic tubing, moonstone. Collection of Richard and Carol Hutchens. Photo by Logan Beck.

(Fig. 1) Sandie Zilker, “Armored Car Elbow Ornament,” 1975. Sterling silver, plastic tubing, moonstone. Collection of Richard and Carol Hutchens. Photo by Logan Beck.

Nominated by her peers and celebrated by the Houston community, Sandie Zilker was named the 2014 Texas Master by Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC). As a result, she received the opportunity to show her work in a brilliant solo exhibition and now joins an elite roster of former Texas Masters, all of whom were recognized for their roles as career artists in Texas who have made a significant impact on the field of craft.

Zilker’s solo exhibition serves as a retrospective of her jewelry work over the past four decades. Using the body as a frame of reference, she pulls from elements of illusion and surprise to elevate adornment to its fullest potential. Each of her pieces is packed with personality, increasing the wearer’s senses and creating a unique relationship between wearer and object.

After graduate school, Zilker began experimenting with very large, hollow layered pieces. Armoured Car Elbow Ornament, 1975 (fig. 1), demonstrates the artist’s ability to manipulate metal into numerous folds and incorporate both the precious (moonstone) and the discarded (plastic tubing) into wearable form. Within a few years, her work shifted towards the more formal elements of design. The Zig Zag brooch series, 1989 (fig. 2), which is more structured in terms of composition, is an example of this deviation from her earlier work. In her most recent piece in the exhibition, Long Dangling Points, 2014 (fig. 3), she applied line drawings to the Styrofoam surface, adding yet another rich visual layer to the work. Continue Reading »

Interview with Resident Artist,
Tarina Frank

Posted May 22, 2013 in Blog

Tarina Frank in her studio at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. Photo by Ron Scubadiver.

Tarina Frank in her studio at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. Photo by Ron Scubadiver.

Briefly describe what you make.  What projects have you been working on recently?

I make wearable art objects from a variety of materials.  During my residency, I have been experimenting with the idea of wearable art.  My work ranges from the simple, tiny, more traditional idea of jewelry all the way to costumes and masks. My most recent works have been large, lightweight necklaces made from paper. Continue Reading »

Interview with Resident Artist
Robert Thomas Mullen

Posted January 29, 2013 in Blog


Robert Thomas Mullen in his studio at HCCC. Photo by Kim Coffman.

Tell us a little about what you are currently working on.

I’m currently working on a series of jewelry pieces that express my reactions to living in an urban environment.  I have never lived in a town bigger than 10,000 people before Houston.  My more current work focuses on urban settings, the Atlantic Ocean and cityscapes. Continue Reading »

Asher Gallery Spring Trunk Show:
Tom Irven & Anita Barnes

Posted April 24, 2012 in Blog

Earrings by Anita Barnes. Photo courtesy the artist.

From Suzanne Sippel, Asher Gallery Retail Manager:

Putting together a trunk show is unlike any of my regular tasks in the Asher Gallery. It’s not about choosing one person, but finding two artists working in different media that complement each other. It’s important that their work not compete with each other. Ideally, their two sets of clients will merge, bringing new audiences and attracting new collectors for everyone.

Continue Reading »

Interview with Resident Artist
Leslie Shershow

Posted December 7, 2011 in Blog

This week, we share the second in a series of interviews with our current artists-in-residence (AIRs). Leslie Shershow is a metalsmith and jeweler from the small town of Belfast, Maine. After graduating from the Massachusetts College of Art with a BFA in metals, she stayed in the Boston area to further develop her jewelry at her studio in Somerville, MA, exhibiting her work in various group shows around the country. Continue Reading »

Heidi Gerstacker Trunk Show – Coming Soon!

Posted November 8, 2011 in Blog

This week, Asher Gallery Manager, Suzanne Sippel, shares her thoughts on Houston metalsmith and jeweler, Heidi Gerstacker. Continue Reading »

What are the current AIRs up to?

Posted August 12, 2011 in Blog

This week, we stopped by the Artist-in-Residence studios to find out what they’re working on. Next time you visit us, make sure to stop by to meet the artists and learn about their current and upcoming projects! Continue Reading »

Arline Fisch: Creatures from the Deep

Posted July 7, 2011 in Blog

In 2008, the Racine Art Museum (RAM) commissioned internationally acclaimed jewelry artist Arline Fisch to create a special installation for its Windows on Fifth Gallery. Bringing her work to a grand scale, Creatures from the Deep showcases Fisch’s use of knitting and crocheting techniques to create larger-than-life sea creatures made of wire. Continue Reading »

What is your favorite piece in the exhibit “Lisa Gralnick: The Gold Standard”?

Posted May 13, 2011 in Blog

With the closing of Lisa Gralnick: The Gold Standard at the end of the month, we decided to ask the staff to share their favorite pieces from this expansive exhibition, which is comprised of Gralnick’s work from the past seven years. Continue Reading »

Metalsmith Lisa Gralnick Speaks about “The Gold Standard”

Posted March 10, 2011 in Blog

Earlier this month, Houston Public Radio, KUHF, broadcast Bob Stevenson’s interview with artist and metalsmith, Lisa Gralnick, on their daily arts show, “The Front Row.” Continue Reading »