My work is a combination of textiles and metalsmithing, usually (but not always) accomplished by making lace by hand and then casting it into metal. Transformation and recontextualization have become major themes in my work, and I love the change that happens through casting--how something so soft and delicate can turn into something hard and durable, while still retaining the detail and texture of fiber.
I graduated with a degree in jewelry and metalsmithing from Eastern Michigan University, and have been and on-and-off member of the MSG for 10+ years. Notably, I co-coordinated the Ann Arbor Art Fair booth from 2016-2019.
As far as how I got into metalsmithing, it was actually kind of by accident. I was originally studying graphic design in college, but got into wirework as a hobby after my first year. While I liked graphic design well enough, I REALLY enjoyed how tactile and hands-on wirework was. Serendipitously, I soon learned EMU actually had a jewelry and metalsmithing department, and after giving it some serious thought, decided to change my concentration--and upon taking my first class, it was love at first saw! For lace and lace casting, it was similarly something of an accident: I’d gone back to school for an independent study, and as I once again had casting equipment at my disposal, decided to start experimenting with found objects. I settled on lace simply because I knew I'd never be able to recreate the texture through fabrication, and the results were interesting enough that I wanted to keep exploring it as a concept--and after a while it became apparent that store-bought lace wasn't cutting it anymore, and I'd have to start making my own to get the designs I wanted. Fiber crafts have been a hobby of mine for almost as long as I can remember, and it feels right, finally being able to combine that with my area of formal study.
It's hard to say which technique is my favorite. I obviously do a lot of casting and have grown to love the process, but sometimes I do find myself missing some good ol' fabrication. Having an excuse to hammer is always a nice way to mix things up after a lot of delicate, meticulous work. Thankfully, I not only make lace, but lacemaking tools as well, which usually satisfies that craving.
My work can be found online at www.lorrainekolasa.com, and select pieces can also be found at various galleries, including the Ann Arbor Art Center, the Detroit Artists Market, and the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center. In addition to being part of the MSG, I'm also a member of the Great Lakes Lace Group, and a resident artist of Ypsi Alloy Studios in Ypsilanti.