From the beginning of my creative development, I had simultaneous interests in art, craft, and design disciplines. Although the focus of my studio production has typically related to the contemporary craft dialog, I periodically work on design-based projects. Usually this design work is speculative without a client but relate to other professional pursuits, like graphics to be used in teaching. The following are a selection of design projects I have done over the years:
Toolvetica: For more than fifteen years, I’ve been creating a variety of silhouettes related to metalsmithing and jewelry-making. I’ve freely distributed those icons to friends and colleagues, usually to be used in teaching materials. In 2021, I finally completed a “font” using these icons as part of a larger project to create an ABC book about metalsmithing and jewelry-making.
Fundraising Calendar for Harlan Butt Scholarship: https://one.unt.edu/harlanbuttscholarship
In celebration of UNT Regents Professor Harlan Butt’s fortieth year of teaching at UNT, I created a calendar highlighting Harlan’s work alongside humorous quotes of his. A PDF of this calendar is available here.
Zazzle Product Design: https://www.zazzle.com/store/jamesthurman
I have found on-demand product manufactures, like Zazzle, to be a way that I can affordably and efficiently distribute some of my design work to anyone interested in having their own items that I’ve designed. I continue to add new designs and products to my Zazzle Storefront. The following are some of the collections available through Zazzle:
“Tool-O-Rama” Anvil Design: Prompted by an interest to have our own custom-designed work apron, I created this design. I enjoyed taking the main graphic and applying to a variety of products.
Texas Natives series: These designs were first used on limited production copper pins. Agave, Bluebonnet, and Prickly Pear were three native Texas plants that I depicted using a variety of cowboy/Western icons (barbed wire, hats, boots, etc.).
Annual holiday cards: For more than twenty years, we designed and mailed hundreds of cards with matching handmade ornaments. We are no longer able to keep up that scale of production. Fortunately, we've been able to make some of the cards available on Zazzle.