Bio: Kelsey Simmen grew up on a farm in a small town in Northern California make-believing and walking around in nature, crafting mud pies and coffee out of plant life. She creates beautiful jewelry using silver and found, cast, fabricated or recycled objects gathered from nature and her experiences with Type 1 Diabetes. Kelsey applies several techniques to treat metal, most of which she learned from her studies at the Academy Of Art University, in San Francisco.
In 2010, six team members from the our shop refurbished the Dragon Smelter from the inside out. With an unmentionably long list of upgrades including her new lights, claws, and head constructed from a salvaged oil barrel with saw blades for eyelashes, the smelter team took our lady Dragon to the playa so she could breath her fire into desert nights, at Burning Man 2010, Metropolis.
We worked in the sun and the dust with the crowds, to explore and redefine notions of value. We poured large relief sculpture coins from recycled aluminum cans at multiple live casting events, while miniature versions of the coin were smelted by participants with our supervision and assistance, and given away and at our sideshow, a travelling minting pour and press!
This year, we've been invited back as artists for Burning Man 2011: Rite of Passage! Emma has designed a brand new coin, sculpted in collaboration with Dan. Here's the sculpture in preparation to be molded!
Inspiration came from this:
"An oriental symbol of the soul's pilgrimage through life: the souls climb up the four belts of the world, or elements, to its purification, win through from darkness to light."
This year we're expanding and improving and are really looking forward to what adventures the playa and our dragon will bring! If you're interested in joining our team or know someone who might be, please contact us for more information!