Hello all - and sorry to be late the the "party"! The Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month party, naturally...
Let me be brief:
Kristen send amazing beaded beads.
Life got really crazy wtih multiple shows and the holiday.
I am late, and finally decided what to do!
Kristen's beads are a luster finish, grey/silver/purple... that is hard to describe, and harder to photograph. They inspired the entire palette!
Gems include: blue calcedony, jasper, and moonstone.
I would love to hear what you think! Back to the studio... Big show at the DCCA this weekend. Talk to you all later.
Alice Alice Dreaming
November was a whirlwind.
It started with a trip to Faerieland, aka FaerieCon.
Needless to say fun was had, friends old and new, revelries, magic...
Then there was a two week period of custom orders and teaching. Whew. Glad to be getting caught up...
And now its Thanskgiving, Black Friday sales - and more importantly the last few shows of the season! If you are inthe area - I would love to see you at:
The Arden Holiday Shoppe - a great local show, small and very "homey"! In the town of Arden DE (north of Wilmington.)
The DCCA Alternatives Holiday Craft Show - new to me - this annual show hosted by the DE Center of Contemporary Art shuld be stellar! In WIlmongton, at the River front...
And I will have a few special season items at The Palette and the Page in Elkton MD.
Have a great Thanksgiving, one and all! You will hear more from me in the near future. I CAN see the light at the end of the tunnel...
Welcome to the AJE Component of the Month reveal!
(If you are looking for the "Inspired by Reading" book Group - its here.)
I love copper, the warm tones are very autumnal to me. So when I recieved this lovely copper clay bracelet bar from Kristi Bowman for this month's CoM - I was thrilled. And to have spiral/ammonite textures? They are some of my absolute favorites. I love the combination of patterns that brings to mind suns, flowers... The heat patina on the copper had a flash of purple. That's all it took...
I wanted to accentuate the purple and play off the contrast between the copper and the flash colors. But I didnt have any amethysts that were right, and the seed beads and glass I had werent the right scale. So I challenged myself and went a bit outside my comfort level and used leather. I have a stash of scraps from my friend Betty at Emperor's Needle. She makes clothing and accessories and is a regular at the Pennsylvania Rennaissance Fair. The purple was divine...
I paired the purple with 2 strands of size 8 seed beads to add texture, and color variation. I accented the focal, and drew attention away from the clasp with a lamp work bead by Sandi Volpe. ( My Beadfest swap partner, and friend). That bead cap? Yes, it looks familar! It is a duplicate cap from Lesley Watt/Thea Elements from last month's CoM! Lesley did not recommend manipulating the bronze bead cap; but I dared, and was gentle yet persistant... and it worked! I curved the petals in to curl around the leather and hide the connections. I am happy with the way it came out, like the leather, and love the feel of it on!
On a second note - I have finally finished the polymer pod from last month - inspired by Lesley's bronze petaled bead cap. Here it is painted and sealed. I am not sure what I am going to do with this one - but it has really started the creative wheels turning thinking of vessels and hollow forms... What do you think?
Here's to another great month at Art Jewelry Elements! Its a pleasure to work with such creative original artists! Please head over to the Art Jewelry Elements blog for links to all of the participants this month. You wont regret it...
I am always "Inspired by Reading". But this month the selection was so... diverse, enchanting, haunting, original, epic in scope...
This month's book was "My Mother she killed me, my father he ate me" forty new fairy tales, edited by Kate Bernheimer. Its an amazing selection of contemporary authors with a magical foreword by Gregory Maguire, author of "Wicked". I will confess - I have not read them all. The book, to me, was like a box of chocolates. If I read them all at one time, I will over due it, and not appreciate the flavors and nuances. I think I have read 9 or so. And so many ideas sprang from those 9...
(Pictured here with "Hopeless, Maine" a graphic novel by Tom and Nimue Brown. A delightful dark, beautiful read.)
The story I chose was "The Swan Brothers" by Shelley Jackson. The original tale from the Brothers Grimm is a familar one. Evil stepmother curses brothers to spend eternity as swans by day, men at night. Their only sister has to spin nettles to yearn and weave capes/sew shirts for them within 6 years to break curse. And she must not speak. Falls in love and marries prince, bears children. Accused and vilified by truly evil MiL, condemned to burn for murdering her children. She completes all but one sleeve and transforms her brothers and saves herself in the nick of time. This is already a potent tale for someone who works with archetypal images and icons full of symbolic meaning. Its a tale of transformation on many levels; not only the brothers, but the raw materials, the traditional woman's work of spinning and weaving, a domestic alchemy, if you will. Its what artists do - transform raw materials into works of meaning, symbolism, beauty and power.
This tale combined the transformative powers of the magic with the actual work of an artist - as the sister is a performance artist toiling away on said shirts for years in a storefront gallery! I loved the dark irony of that... The story is woven together with different threads of memory, dream, imagined events, and current happenings. It shuttles back and forth, weaving a mysterious whole from the disparate parts. What is truth? What is imagined?
The themes are sacrifice, pain, and transformation. The artist/sister weaves nettles into shirts to replace feathers, and dreams all the while of flight. She climbs a glass mountain to retrieve her children, opening the lock with a finger bone. My sketchbook contains these words: spin/weave, yarn, nettles, feathers, wings, arms, bones, keys, locks... This is the feather shed by a swan wing, it is the wing of the last brother, its the wings denied the self sacrificing sister. The story has such a contrast, an interplay between opposing materials that I wanted to include the bones to ground the piece, to temper the prettiness of the feather. I intended to incorporate the resin wings, and found they were not suited to the polymer focal.
Feathers and Bones - polymer feather cabochon, brass, polymer, acrylic paint, glass vial, bones, chain, sterling wire, & gems ( blue tiger eye, amethyst, sapphire jade, calcedony, crystal)
from the story: "...you find, pressed between two pages, a feather. It is white, it is black with an iridescent sheen, it is pigeon-grey..." page 85
Then the second necklace sprang to mind almost fully envisioned...
The Armless Maiden - antique clock key, vial of silver leaf, silver charm, porcelain doll hand, copper, cap, vintage minature pocketknife, vintage chain, garnets, silk.
from the book - "Occassionally a woman with silver hands brings pears." page 88. This single line - introducing the "Armless Maiden" as a friend to the protaganist, spoke volumes. The folktales tell of her life, hands cut off by her own father. Differing versions blame the devil, lust... Silver hands feature in the folk tales, and also bring to mind the Irish god Nuada, King of the Tuatha de Danaan. This necklace is for her, a talisman of loss and transformation, blood and bone.
But I still wanted to reference the wings and the swans that are integral to the story in all its incarnations. This piece will utilize the resin wings, and showcase the swans in a more traditional fairy tale context.
The Swan's wings (in progress) - antique postcard, antiqued bronze setting. resin, antique book text, wire...
This was a very fertile challenge for me - as I am drawn to fairy tale imagery and symbolism in my work. I can see other pieces arising from otehr tales as I savor the delights included in this book. Stay tuned...
I look forward to hearing your feedback - whether you are familiar with Shelley Jackson's tale or the Brothers Grimm original. The other artist bloggers participating this month will be listed and linked from Andrew's blog. Please take a peak at the tales they have unraveled... I dont think they will disappoint!
Instead of door to door, today you travel blog to blog. I am sure there will be many treats in store...
Thanks to Diana P. of Suburban Girl Studio for hosting!
Every season I make polymer sugar skulls for the Dia de los Muertos. This year I was happy to take a batch to ArtBLISS for sale - and I even posted a tutorial on my methods over at the Art Jewelry Elements blog. So it was a natural that I would work with one of my sugar skulls for this hop! The "trick" however? I am using a cabochon and doing bead embroidery...
This is actually one of last year's earthenware skulls. I felt bad for him - left over and unwanted. There were three holes in the forehead that I filled with pressed glass flower beads on head pins. Since he wasnt decorated with flowers... it was my chance.
Lots of flowers...
As I am new to bead embroidery - I wanted to learn the right way to finish things. And I have to give a shout out to Sally Russick at The Studio Sublime; her seed bead blog hop/challenge started me on this path! And she has great tutorials for this finishing/beaded/edging stitch. I decided to insert the pin back to double as the bail - I am definitely going to wear this at the upcoming FaerieCon weekend!!! (but I wanted options. )
I have two other sugar skull cabs on deck - waiting beads and embellishments. Seen here with a few other pieces destined to debut at FaerieCon..
Sorry to be so brief - a lot on the plate today! I would love to hear what you think, especially since this is a new meduim for me!
Please check out the other blogs! I know you wont be sorry!
Kathleen Breeding http://99bobotw.blogspot.com
Dianne Miller http://www.artbydianne.blogspot.com
Lisa Liddy http://www.lisaliddy.wordpress.com
Toltec Jewels http://www.JewelSchoolFriends.com
Linda Landig http://www.LindasBeadBlog.com
Laura Medeiros http://Www.zoeowyn.blogspot.com
Veralynne Malone http://www.veradesigns.blogspot.com
Lynn Jobber http://thecreativeklutz.blogspot.co.uk
Karen Totten http://www.starryroadstudio.blogspot.com
Jayne Capps https://mamasgottodoodle.blogspot.com
Jenny Davies-Reazor http://jdaviesreazor.com/blog
Joan Miller http://metalmudandsand.blogspot.com/
Melissa Meman http://melissameman.blogspot.com
Kari Asbury http://hippiechickdesign.blogspot.com
Andrea Glick http://zenithjade.blogspot.com
Stephanie LaRosa http://Www.stringaholic.blogspot.com
Lola Surwillo http://www.beadlolabead.com
Jennifer Cameron http://glassaddictions.com/blog
Diane Hawkey http://dianehawkey.blogspot.com
Kristi Harrison http://kristibasket-itsanewday.blogspot.com
Nicole Valentine Rimmer http://www.nvalentine.blogspot.com
Shai Williams http://shaihasramblings.blogspot.com
Sandra McGriff http://skyescreativechaos.blogspot.com
Sarajo Wentling http://www.sjdesignsjewelry.blogspot.com
Marie Covert http://thistledown-and-swaddlings.blogspot.com
Lisa Stukel http://www.carefreejewelrybylisa.blogspot.co
Sherri Stokey http://www.knotjustmacrame.com
Pam Traub http://www.klassyjoolz.blogspot.com
Lori Dorrington http://lorisglassworks.blogspot.com
Kristen Stevens http://kristen-beadjourney.blogspot.com
Eleanor Burian-Mohr http://cornerstoregoddessjewelry.blogspot.com
Sally Russick http://thestudiosublime.com
Dawn M. Gallop http://www.flipflopsandpoptarts.com
Christine Damm http://storiestheytell.blogspot.com
My year goes in cycles. This time of year is one of the times when I push to do new tile designs. My final big show is coming up - <gulp> in three weeks, and I like to debut new designs there. The show is FaerieCon - a wonderful fantasy convention in Baltimore MD. I have written about it here and here...
So a new offering in my "Mythic Nature" series is in order. Or 2 if I can convince palster to dry faster, and faster, than nature would allow.
Here is the first tile - a triple hare design - being cast...
The process is relatively simple. And I use the most commom materials: Build a mold box of cardboard. Seal every nook and cranny with duct tape. Glue tile down - wouldn't want it to pop up, or float. Coat the surfaces with a wee bit of Vaseline to aid in seperation later. Mix up plaster, I do this by eye... pour the first bit in amongst the details, then fill the rest. Set aside and wait. That last bit - the hardest part!
Here is the second design that I cast today.
The hare mold came our perfectly!
Remove the cardboard, gently peel out the clay... and voila!
Now if only that plaster would hurry up and dry!!!
Today I have a few loose ends to tie up before heading to the studio. The deadline for the DCCA Altrenatives Holiday market/show is today! Time has flown... luckily I can deliver this in person. I am submitting a sampling of sculptural and wearable pieces - all perfect for gifting and collecting.
"Chelsea Monday" - copper, brass, lens, antique paper, image transfer, wool, gems.
"Heritage" - copper, antique key, resin, antique paper, image transfer, map, micro fasteners, gems.
"Buddha Shrine" - stoneware, Buddha netsuke, shell, mica, pewter twig. App *" x 5" x 2".
"Selkie's Shrine" - stoneware, artist's book ( includes suede, paper, image and text) shell, egg case, bottle, sand, bookcloth, beads. App. 9" x 6" x 3".
I find it both exasperating and exhilerating to start a new sketchbook.
I am aware of the places I will go, the ideas I will have, the inspiration, the magic that will be housed in those pristine uncharted pages.
But I feel sorrow having to put aside the book currently filled with the same. A chronicle of where I have been, classes taken, ideas hatched, lists made, and sketches... I will miss the former book as an old friend that has moved away.
Here's to odeas and inspiration. And thoughtful musings on this grey autumn day.
Follow your bliss.
I know this J. Campbell wrote may be used overmuch - but it is a mantra for my chosen life and creative career. And it relates to the past weekend where I spent a blissful time with friends, old and new, creating, learning, experimenting, sharing and socializing.
Many heartfelt thanks to Cindy Wimmer and Jeanette Blix for the community they have created. Yes, its an art retreat; classrooms and a small sales venue. But its much more. Lifelong friendships are started, and nurtured. Support and encouragement offered freely. Inspiration and creativity are the daily norms.
The only complaint - there arent enough hours in the day. Or night for that matter! So refreshing to meet faces that priviously had been a computer avatar. Equally satisfying - spending time with like minded people...
The annual charm swap - gorgeous, diverse charms created and swapped amongst particpating students. Amazing packaging! Great work, a priceless momento.
Saturday I had the pleasure to work with Christine Damm for a second year. The pastels and crayons dazzled the eyes! Class mates Terri, and AJE teammates Karen and Diana working, each piece stirring new ideas...
Friday and Sunday I was taking class with Richard Salley and Jessica Papke. Two rings of their "Three Ring Circus" class series. It was so phenomenal... I am going to go a little more in depth into that experience in another post. Really.
My weekend's treasures. A polymer work in progress - a palette, and a process to work with going forwards. The rings - as I said - the class was so rich, and so fantastic... and it carried extra weigth with me. I am giddy with pride at the results of my labors and so excited moving forwards. And yes - I am wearing them now - a talisman to keep in touch with the energy of the weekend.
I will save my philosophical musings for another time - I have supplies to order, and artwork to create. Thank you one and all for making the weekend so magical!
Its the end of September already!?!?
Welcome - its the reveal day for the CoM over at Art Jewelry Elements blog! This month we are working with bronze clay bead caps from our one-and-only Lesley Watt! When I saw them I had a brainstorm. One of those far fetched, push the boundaries ideas that leaps to your brain fully formed. An idea that challenges you to go beyond your current level of experience. Lesley very graciously send me 2 - as the grand plan/challenge/hare brained scheme... required 2.
I am not done. (ArtBLISS happened. More on that tomorrow!)
The original plan, a sculptural piece - build a polymer pod with a flanged lid, using the bead caps as ends. They are organic, and so perfect... I have never build hollow forms in polymer before...
The revised sketch - only using one cap and drawing more inspiration from the shape of a poppy pod. I decided I would like the piece to be wearable, and researched Japanese inro boxes. The tops slide up the cord from which the piece is worn, allowing access to the interior.
The pod form in cured polymer. The color Lesley sent me is a gorgeous muted eggplant, inspiring a palette of olive greens, yellow ochre and the eggplant color. At ArtBliss I was in a polymer class with the inspiring Christine Damm and I spent time with the charismatic Erin Prais-Hintz, both polymer influences of mine. So I feel primed to get back to this ASAP!
Here is a picture for scale. I have to address the lid, I think I will drill into the sides horizontally and insert wire/wrapped loops. Paint, patina, Gilder's paste.... Fall is in the air, crisp cool air comes inthe open windows, leaves are starting to turn. A perfect time to work on a fall themed organic pod form!
Lesley - I am so sorry I did not have it finished! I hope I will make you proud regardless! Thank you for a gorgeous piece - I look forward to adding color - and I will post pictures ASAP! In the meantime - please check out the work my friends and colleagues created!
Here are the links to the other artists participating this month:
Erin Prais-Hintz - Tesori Trovati