*Please allow me to do double duty with this post - and count it as my "Focus on Life" post. I have been in the studio all week finishing new work! Also - there are additional images tagged on Instagram. Thanks!*
As January draws to a close, I wanted to share with you the latest. I have been in a flurry (pun intended) of activity in the studio, preparing for a new show. Betsy Mortenson and I are showing at the Palette and the Page in Elkton, Md. The opening will be Friday February 1st, and the show will be up for the month. Betsy and I have done collaborative work in the past, sharing ideas, and sparking creative thoughts one off the other. This year we discussed animals/totems. While the work isn't paired as directly as Oceana/Detritus of Dreams from last year, we are happy with what is happening...
I am particularly excited to show collages and mixed media necklaces together. Many venues don't allow for such diverse offerings in one show. Let me give you a sample...
As of yet untitled Raven themed collage. Inspired by Celtic goddesses - The Morrigan...
"Thought and Memory" - labradorite, polymer, copper, silver, silk. Inspired by Odin's ravens - Huginn & Muninn ( Thought and Memory).
"Raven's Token" - polymer, copper, hematite, lapis, pearls, onyx, blue goldstone.
Untitled snake collage. Inspired by the Creatan snake goddess/priestess, the Delphic Oracle, and Eve.
"Athena's Owl" - brass, polymer, enamel on copper, gems.
"Lunar Hare" - polymer, enamel on copper, stamped copper, labradorite, pearls, iolite, hematite, blue goldstone.
Not every necklace has a collage partner, and I will be exhibiting ceramic shrines as well. Should be a truly mixed media showing. PLease do stop by if you are in the area. I will post pictures of the opening at a later date!
“Not all those who wander are lost.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
This year is a journey, an ongoing adventure, a process. A return to health after surgery, a return to my creative voice. I had a productive year last year all things considered, but felt that feeling of being behind, of trying to catch up... all year. Doing enough to get by, to stay afloat, to make do. This year will be an exploration of the new, new inspirations, new techniques, new territory. But I believe we are the sum of our journey, past experiences impacting the self profoundly. So here are a few photos I have taken on places that have had a profound impact on me... (All pix are untouched, unedited. Hover over picture for information.)
“It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.”
Ursula K. Le Guin
“The only journey is the one within.”
Rainer Maria Rilke
“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.
You must travel it by yourself.
It is not far. It is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know.
Perhaps it is everywhere - on water and land.”
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
Please visit my fellow participants at Sally Russick's "Focus on Life"photo challenge/week 2.
" Success is not a place at which one arrives but rather the spirit with which one undertakes and continues the journey." Alex Noble.
I took myself on an Art date yesterday to the Delaware Art Museum. Its a small museum, but has a stellar Pre-Raphaelite collection. I honestly can't remember how it happened as a teenager. Did I go to the museum and fall in love with the PRB? Or did I fall in love with the PRB and then visit them at DAM? The latter I think. I think the Lady of Shallot started it all, but that another story.
Here I am with Rossetti's "Veronica Veronese" - one I have long adored. This year I am participating in Sally Russick/Studio Sublime's "Focusing on life - 52 photos" challenge. Week one was to do a self portrait... I wish I had long flowing Pre-Raphaelite locks...
Howard Pyle - The Mermaid 1910
detail: "Two Women on a sofa" Albert Moore
I loved the stamps! And of course, I never go anywhere without my journal.
detail - "Veronica Veronese" 1872. by Dante Gabrielle Rossetti.
It was a lovely afternoon, calm, serene. For the most part I had the galleries to myself. It was a nice visit with art that has moved me, spoken to me... for over 20 years. Returning to the source of some of my earliest inspirations. And it was a diverse array of inspiration - the galleries have accents of William Morris wallpapers, there are Arts and Crafts style pottery and silver on exhibit, Evelyn de Morgan tiles, and jewelry. The time spent was rejuvenating... if a bit nostalgic, longing for a time I feel called to, yet born too late.
Perhaps today I will wear velvet...
Happy New Year. Happy New Years week!
This week is the week I get things ready. Ready to return to work, ready to start the new year, ready, fresh, optimistic... I have a tendency to clean and reorganize which I find cathartic. Cleaning the clutter both inside and out allows for creative growth and inspiration.
Here is the before:
My old and dear IKEA trestle/drafting table. I have had it for.....20 years? But its a board on 2 sawhorses basically. Rickety isnt a strong enough word... I loved that it was so deep and I could have treasures artfully stored within reach. But it wasnt working anymore...
The top left pix is the table that is leaving. The other pix show the general chaos, every surface covered...
The shallower workbench (thank you Harbor Freight) opens the room up quite a bit. Many thanks to the namelass Grandpa who handed me a 20% off coupon as I was debating the table in the store! The table is rock solid - and was a bear to put together. But my husband was patient... and I love it. Drawers for tools, no carts to slide in and out from underneath. Almost everything in one spot. (Micro torch, enamel tripod etc. are on a smaller tabel across the room, on deck until needed. ) The beloved IKEA table is to the left for collage, journaling, resin etc.
Many people start the New Year with an introsective post about goals, desires... and a word for the year. I am thinking on these things. I am not in a hurry. A year ago tomorrow I had major surgery and I am thrilled to be NOT there this year. Words I am pondering: journey, health, strength. This New Years Week I always reflect on my 2012 goals and write new 2013 goals as per the sage advice of Alyson Stansfield aka Art Biz Coach. I set up my Year-at-a-glance calendar with shows and deadlines. I clear off the bulletin boards....
This year I am looking forward to Kerry Bogert's "Aspire to Wire" class in January; my Coast 2 Coast adventures with Cooky Schock and new mixed media work for shows with my art partner Betsy Mortenson.
The year is dawning brightly!
What a whirlwind December has been! I hope it finds you all content after holidays spent with loved ones, filled with festivities and frolic. Today - New Year's Eve - has us standing on the cusp of a new year, a new journey. For myself I can say that 2012 was full of challenges - some fruitful and some very taxing. I will be thrilled to begin a fresh start... ( To read more about labyrinths, here is my original post. )
And those thoughts of the journey were in my head as I was designing a piece to incorporate my ceramic labyrinths, this month's Component of the Month over at Art Jewelry Elements. Here is what I came up with...
My "Journey" necklace - polymer, copper, ceramic labyrinth cabochon, aventurine, kyanite.
(The text is in Welsh - the words reading journey, health, strength. These speak to the challenges I faced in 2012, and the hope for the new year as well.)
I wanted a halo of copper to frame the labyrinth, as I love the celadon glaze paired with copper's warmth. A staple is embedded (hidden) in the polymer, and that secures the copper piece. The cab is set with tabs, and a dot of glue as a safeguard. This style is a new configuration I am experimenting with, and the tabs are a bit short... I did work on two others. Thoughts?
Thanks to all who participated this month! Joining the Art Jewelry Elements team has been one of the shining moments of 2012! I look forward to a bright future working with these wonderful women. But for today, please join me in "hopping" to everyone's blogs! There will be diversity and creativity abound - I can promise that...
And a most Happy New Year!
Just a quick note to announce the winner of the snowflake earrings! Lucky #8 is Saraccino!
(I asked Random.org, but asking the 8 Ball is a fun flashback! The image above is linked to a virtual Magic 8 ball, btw!)
I will send the snowflakes to you! Just email me with your address!
On a different note - thinking of snowflakes... I saw this over coffee this morning: Snowflakes for Sandy Hook.
What a lovely idea, to cut snowflakes and send them to show our love and support to the community. Now where are my scissors?
My hearts and prayers go out to all those affected by the tragedy in Connecticut. And at this time of year, let us remember the season is one of love, family, and friendship. Hold your loved ones close, and remember to breathe...
It seems like ages ago that Sally of The Studio Sublime sent out a call for participants - the 2nd Annual Ornament Swap. I worked on mine and sent it away before Thanksgiving - that also seems like so much time has passed... ( My original partner was unable to participate - so I will be sharing what I made. Sally adopted me as her second partner, and I will be sending her something along these lines in the very near future. Sorry for any confusion. )
My idea started with a tiny vial of snow, of ice, of crystalized winter. I prefer to do seasonal motifs, as everyone's beliefs are personal and varied... I set up the polymer oven - as I have been doing more and more of late. Polymer is versatile and immediate. Earthenware and stoneware have such a long process time: dry, fire, glaze, fire... For something like this polymer suits the bill nicely.
The swap brief said to include an artist bead. Although I am creating the entire piece, I wanted to be true to the challenge, and created these snowflake charms. You will see them again...The bird and tree are stamped and hand painted onto ivory polymer. Here it is all together:
And my partner/friend? So sweet! Sent me this ...I may have to keep this up in the studio all winter!
Ooh! I love the flame patina on the copper, the SueBead with silver, the accents of olive and aqua! Its so lovely...
So - those extra snowflake charms... They ended up here:
Two pairs were already sent on their way to lucky winners of another challenge. I think I will save one pair for my MiL... So that leaves YOU dear reader. If you want to be entered into the give away - mention that in your commment! ( And it would be so easy if you were willing to leave your email as well...) I will pick a winner Monday afternoon!
So - thank you all for celebrating and hopping with me. Here are my friends and fellow swap partners. Happy Holidays!
Be wary if you are out tonight. Should you see a devilish dapper beast abroad - you would be well aware if you met Krampus on Krampusnacht! Could it be the devilsih appearrance, cloven hooves and horns? The lascivious grin? The bundle of switches or the basket on his back - from which muffled cries of kidnapped naughty children can be heard? What gave it away?
Krampus travels abroad this night - searching out naughty children. He might switch them, rattle his chains, scare them witless, or stuff them in his basket to take home to torment. But he usually returns them on the morrow - and they are most often never so naughty again! Krampus is the companion of St Nikolas - who's feast day is celebrated tomorrow. This is the St Nicholas ( aka Sinterklaas) who leaves delectable treats inside your wooden shoes left by the fire; oranges, chocolate, peppermints...
But as scary as some images of Krampus are - I find the cheeky Victorian era postcards the best! Naughty takes on a whole new meaning...
While Santa Claus expanded shop and sold products in mid-1800s America, the holiday card craze exploded in Europe.In Austria and other parts of Europe, countless season’s greeting cards featured Krampus, often emblazoned with the phrase “Grüß Vom Krampus” (Greetings from Krampus). While the lurid images are suffused with a modern sense of the comic and the surreal, they still resonant with mythic power and primordial horror. And with Krampus representing the naughty side of the season, the sexy subtext is hard to ignore in these often very cheeky cards. A century later, the brilliance of these magnificent works of pop art is now gaining global recognition. (Krampus.com)
So however you decide to celebrate Krampusnacht - be you naughty or nice... Enjoy!
And please check out:
my friend Grace wrote a great post on her blog Domythic Bliss!
Its hard to believe we are on the cusp of December. I just posted the Art Jewelry Elements December Component of the Month - my turn next, and its hard to think about that reveal being on New Year's Day!!! But I digress, and get ahead of myself...
For the current month of November, filled with fall leaves, and roasting delicacies... we have this harbinger of the season to come... a bronze clay snowflake from member Lesley Watt in the UK.
I immediately wanted to make it spin, to wear it on a long necklace over a tunic sweater... but the actual size was larger than I expected. I think my design is similar to what I had imagined, but as I started creating a new idea formed... I was working in polymer as time was limited, so earthenware clay was out. No time to make it, dry it, fire it, glaze it... you get the point. I wanted to frame it with an ornate, even Victorian type pattern...
... but when I put the polymer and the flake together, I needed a visual rest to focus the eye on the snowflake. I used leather scraps in a deep teal, wrong side up, and the color picked up accents in the polymer very well. The back is dealt with as well, since both sides of an ornament are on display:
Te leather and polymer "snowflake" button also camoflauge the wires where the front bead is attached.
I had been reading and re-reading some seasonal folklore on the plants holly, ivy, and mistletoe for my AJE Holiday Open House posts. It was so much fun to create polymer leaves and bead berries. I even have extra - perhaps a sprig for my lapel? The snowflake theme had me feeling very festive, and I made a few additional polymer snowflakes. I think a give away is in order!
Winners will be randomly selected - 2 winners - from comments here and on my Facebook page (Please leave an email in your comment so I am sure to find you if you win!) Let me surprise you with a pair!
Happy Holidays! I am starting to think about decorating the house....
But wait! There is more... My team members offerings:
OH! Dont forget! This is the last day to enter for a free Labyrinth Component of the Month! ANd I have 5 to give away! The post is here: December CoM at AJE.
I have so much to be thankful for... my husband, family, my work, my friends.
I travelled yesterday without any stress or mishaps. I am visiting my parents and my sisters, and my little nephew. While I miss my husband and his family - I am so thankful to be spending time with my far away sisters! There are delicious smells wafting up the stairs, and I think another cup of coffee is calling my name...
I hope you have a wonderful day with you and yours!
I am also thankful of my online community of friends and family. I recently joined Art Jewelry Elements and am thrilled to be working with such a diverse and talented group of women. We are hosting a Holiday Open House tomorrow! Blog posts every half hour or so, recipes, articles, sales, folklore, and beads... of course! Whether you are shopping Black Friday in the stores or staying at home - stop by and visit with us. Many of the sales will run all weekend. I know I will be adding items to my Etsy store throughout the weekend, and especially on Cyber Monday! Thank you for your interest and support! Until later...