So I think I havent posted for a week. Sorry. It was a busy week. At times I think fall will settle down, when shows are over for the season and I resume my teaching on Saturdays. Not so. FaerieCon is 2 weeks away. I have workshops and classes going on in addition to the regular Sat kids cermaics class. I am thrilled !!! to be a member of the Art Jewelry Elements blog. Working on the October AJE design team reveal, as well as regular blog posts. All good, but busy. So here are a few snapshots for you...
The flavor of the season...
From my ofrenda table/altar in the house. And yes - he has a gold tooth!
Last of the harvest...
Waitresses and a happy couple...
A collaborative piece from me and Cooky Schock. Read more about out shared creative ventures at Coast 2 Coast Creative!
Copper, enamel. faux bone... work proceeding nicely for FaerieCon.
Steampunk cameos... some with a bit of cheekiness...
So pour a coffee, enjoy the weather on the deck, and stay tuned for more work in progress as I create magic in preparation for FaerieCon!
Hop to it! (Just a wee pun for our hostess, Leah of Beady Eyed Bunny...)
The brief - select a period of History - which in and of itself was a HUGE challenge for me. I liked and was inspired by so many... and create a piece inspired by that time, those people, their materials, their style...The choices:
I had to choose Middle Ages/Medievel. In my minds eye I was seeing enameled pieces from Sutton Hoo, golden torcs, spirals, amber, pearls...My Celtic heritage was not going to be passed over. But gold - not going to happen.
My Celtic heritage has been a great influence on my work since I studied abroad while in college, living and traveling on the soil of my ancestors. I designed and created Celtic penannular brooches in my final semesters studying metals in college. I wanted this piece to be informed by and inspired by - yet be modern, and reflect my current tastes in mixing materials and making pieces with meaning and intention.
The Celts wore amber. and quite a bit of gold. They enameled, and created intricate knotwork designs, both geometric and zoomorphic. Knotwork seemed too obvious. Amber... My parents had given me a tiny bag of sand and raw amber chunks they collected on the beaches of Skagen, Denmark. I became intrigued with the idea of encapsulating the amber, so it moved freely within an amulet.
But thinking on Celtic art, I was also thinking of runes and ogham script. In my associations, runes are more Scandinavian while Ogham is more Irish/Welsh. I usually include text in my pieces - so ogham was a must. I perused books in my personal library - La Tene period, Hallstadt...
The plan was to inset a plastic lens into faux bone thus creating a niche for the amber. I started that - last Wednesday. Not going to happen in the time I had remaining. Plan B - polymer. I have recently been reintroduced to polymer by the multi talented Christine Damm. I knew it would do exactly what I envisioned.
Top: working. Ivory polymer.
Bottom: Ogham writing around pendant. Copper overlay to be sawed. Amber and lens in place.
Here is the finished pendant! Three chunks of amber for the Goddess of the Celts - in her three forms of maiden, mother, and wise crone. The Triquetra - a three lobed symbol, also representing trilogies - body, mind, spirit; earth, water, sky; youth, maturity, age...... The ogham translates as "Goddess guide me". The back - a subtle pattern of knotwork and a central triskele motif.
I had intended to pair this with amber beads. I am not sure. I have taken pix with a few different gemstone combinations. What do you think?
1. Amber 2. Howlite & emeralds
3. Green aquamarines & emeralds 4. Labradorite, howlite, emeralds...
Please tell me what you think... I am thrilled with how this turned out, and thank Leah for initiating this challenge. I think I have a few more pieces rolling around in my head still! Please check out my fellow participants and their historical inspirations. (I may be late to the hopping, everyone! Teaching all day today. Monday over coffee at the latest, but I will jump in my Time Machine and meet you there. )
Its been a week of catching up. The house was a bit out of control - I needed to neaten and organize as much as clean. Laundry, groceries, restock after the fridge died... And get back to the studio! I have a collaborative piece freatured on my now blog with Cooky Schock Coast 2 Coast Creative. ( And you could win it... Go take a look!) I also have a very exciting piece on the table for tomorrrow's History Blog hop...
Great to see Jaime and Christina!
I know its blurry. Marina kept dancing in her stroller.
Lovely to be able to bring shrines, tiles and jewelry - to show my cohesive body of work!
The overal set up...
Ganesh and Buddha...
On the left: the purchase of the day. On the right: the old and new collars.
Thrilled to find Persnickety Pup again! These are the best collars ever, well made, gorgeous, and so sturdy. The worn collar - is 4 years old! Daily wear, rough and tumble! And yes - I bought the same pattern. I loved it. They have a great selection, and are really helpful in sizing...I recommend them.
Zoey in her new collar. Oscar loves his simple tribal design, but refused to be interviewed for this post.
And I got to meet Autumn! The new furry kid at my friend Beth's house. This show gives us a mini reunion, and we had so much fun!
Alright. More coffee, off to the studio, I have polymer to cure! Yes - I said polymer. Stay tuned!
So - Art Bliss - I know it was over a week ago, but I am still digesting some of what I learned. I took 2 classes with Christine Damm, a polymer and jewelry artist from Vermont. I had a phenomenal time, in fact I was only signed up for Saturday's class but at the day's end added Sunday's class becouse I wanted to soak up more knowledge and inspiration.
I have been on a quest in recent years to respect the polymer. Its a clay. I love clay. It can be used sculpturally and texturally - as I use "real" clay. (Can you see my bias there?) Best yet - you can embed things in it and cure it in the oven. Cannot do that with stoneware...I see polymer work by other artists that I like, and others that I dont like. I have no desire ever to do cane work or color blends. The exacting nature of those techniques, the fiddli-ness, the precision, makes my creative muse curl up inthe corner and refuse to play. I worked in polymer a bit in the late 80's/ealry 90's. Teaching jewelry making at a Fine Arts camp - polymer was cost effective, user friendly and versatile. I was creating Art History pieces as brooches, all inlay - no painting. Imagine "The Scream" in polymer - that phase didnt last long. So here I am: a sculptor, a jewelry artist, working in mixed media - and I was trying to add polymer to the mix.
I am happy to report that I now like AND respect the polymer. Layering colors appealed to the painter in me. And a painter can create layers of subtlety that make me think: patina, age, weathered surfaces.I can now achieve intricate colors, detailed definition, shimmer, and a bit of mystery in the polymer. I am so taken with it: I went shopping immediately after returning from ArtBliss:
And I made a new bunch or molds - I can use these for earthenware/stoneware as well - But I have some polymer ideas percolating!
Oh - my work from class, you ask? ( Let me go snap a pix in natural light...)
Top: ring and cuff bracelet. Bottom - experiment with copper bezel, Boudicca earrings.
I have three bangles as well - LOVE them. Wear them all the time, and plan to make many more! So please stay tuned for more polymer pieces popping up soon.
This past weekend was the third annual Art Bliss art and mixed media retreat, just outside DC in Northern Va. I have made it to all three - I wouldnt miss it for the world! Planned and organized by the dynamic duo of Cindy Wimmer and Jeanette Blix - this is my favorite event of its type. Its hosted on a smaller scale, resulting in a more friendly, personable atmosphere than you get at the Beadfest/convention type events. Friendships are made and renewed every year. A very supportive sharing group that I am honored to call friends.
The welcoming mascot? Can a mannequin be a mascot?
Multi faceted and extremely energetic Dawn Gallup with her door prize win.
Kerry's work - colorful and fun.
Sally Russick and I are Birthday Twins. (But she IS younger...)
Sway Bags! The Art Bliss lunch tote and the collaged art of Dawn Gallup adorning our charm swap bag!
The charm swap! Every year, just for fun, a few of us create and swap hand crafted charms. This year's theme was "Fall into Bliss". Its a very cohesive offering, great minds and all that...with copper, polymer, clay and beady beauties.
The weekend is chock full of goodness and creativity,energy and laughter; the coffee is on at all times, it is an absolute blast. I can only speak for myself - but I am refreshed and restored when I spend time with my fellow jewelry designers and artists. So often we are alone in our studios, and while I am thankful for the connectedness that the Interwebs provides - nothing beats the real thing. I hope art retreats NEVER go out of fashion!
Oh! Classes - yes! I took two and they were great! Let me get those pictures for you, come back tomorrow!
Up next - POLYMER!
Its hard to believe this weekend is the Equinox, and Fall will officially be here. September has passed in a blur of events and shows. Let me share a few images with you...
The Bethany Beach Boardwalk Festival, September 8th, was a day of extremes. We had perfect weather, simply idyllic the day before, and the day after. I awoke to thunder, we set up under a dry yet cloudy sky. The morning brought torrential rains, the afternoon strong gusts. But the setting is lovely, sales were good - considering. And it was still a good day! And nothing beats a bonus beach day for a trip to Rehoboth. Nicola's anyone?
Next I was headed to southern Maryland to Artsfest at Annmarie Garden and a few long awaited reunions...
Art camping at its finest.
What a backdrop!
The Hoffman sisters - it is thrilling and so satisfying to see my students grown up. What gorgeous women these two have become!
And another artist/teacher reunion: 2 teachers and one student - ten years has it been? Like no time has passed, and yet so great to catch up!
I do have more to post from Artsfest - a few fabulous ceramic artists I met, but that will wait til next week. I am headed to ArtBLiss tomorrow for a weekend of R&R! And inspiration, and camaraderie, and fun, and polymer, and beads, and wine, and laughter.....
For so many years this was my back to school part of the year. Now its the back to the studio time - after teaching Ceramics camps over the summer - time to design and create new work for the upcoming Fall season.
The month of August was all about Beadfest Philadelphia! Glazing, firing, preparing, and finally exhibiting at my first bead show. It was a fantastic time and a success! That's me pictured at my Beadfest table. But it may be partly to blame for the complete lack of a Summer newsletter...
So while it still feels like summer, I have Fall on my mind. Fall festivals and events, fun and frolic. This update is going to be brief - out of necessity as I head to the beach tonight for a show this weekend...
Bethany Beach Boardwalk Festival - THIS SATURDAY (September 8th) in town on Garfield Parkway and the Boardwalk. I will be on the boardwalk between Parkwood and Hollywood Sts. The show runs from 10-5, and I find this to be my favorite time of year at the beach . There is also a Silent Auction to benefit area schools. Their site: http://web.bethany-fenwick.org/events
Artsfest at Annmarie Garden - Next weekend! (Sept. 15 -16th) Imagine it - dappled sunlight through a canopy of trees, music drifting in on the wind... artists galore... Its a lovely setting and a great show! Their link: http://www.annmariegarden.org/annmarie2/content/artsfest-2010
The following weekend I have some “me” time planned. ArtBliss is an art retreat held outside DC, in Dulles VA. In its third year, it hosts art, mainly jewelry themed, workshops by nationally acclaimed instructors. I look forward to being inspired, experimenting in polymer ( a new/old medium for me) and catching up with friends! ( Find out more at: www.artblissworkshops.com)
The final Fall show of the trilogy: Art on the Avenue - Saturday October 6th in DelRay/Alexandria VA. This to me - is a “Welcome Autumn” show as there are pumpkins, kids building wacky floppy scarecrows... you name it. Great music, tasty food - and the festival is huge! Definitely time to do Holiday shopping! Their list of artists: http://www.artontheavenue.org
On a different note I have a series of workshops that I am offering this Fall at The Art Studio. It is located in Wilmington DE, and houses “my” ceramic studio. My classes will be a mix of jewelry and ceramics, projects and techniques - suitable for all experience levels. I will send a more detailed list next week, as time allows. You can check them out if you are interested: http://www2.nccde.org/artstudio/default.aspx
Until then - sorry I have to run! Fall is my favorite time of year! I am looking forward to sweaters & jeans, crisp breezes, creating new work, and all that Autumn brings! Enjoy!
For details, links and more pictures - as well as up to date work in progress, please stop by my blog on my website: www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog. As always - if you no longer wish to receive the newsletter - simply email me. Thanks!
Once again Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati has created a cohesive yet diverse and individual challenge. The brief: Select a region, then a country. Create an accessory or your choice that evokes that nation. Sounds simple. Yet the possibilities are endless.
I chose Europe: Germany. Seems like the least exotic choice when the world is laid at your feet, or at least your Interweb accessing fingertips. My heritage is Celtic. All Celtic. I am approximately 1/4 Irish, 1/8 Welsh, 1/8 Scottish, and you guessed it - 1/2 German. The German part of my heritage hasnt spoken as loudly as the island Celtic bits... I have lived in London and felt at home there. I have visited Edinburgh, Scotland and the bagpipes stir my blood. I have trekked Wales from waterfalls to Medieval castles. And I have seen treasures in the Rebublic of Ireland, from the Book of Kells to romantic crumbling ruins. I have never been to Germany. Ever. It seemed fair to give the other part a fair investigation.
I wanted to stay away from the cultural icons of Oktoberfest, beer steins, the Black Forest, the fairy tale turrets of Nueschwanstein. I read lists of famous Germans, articles on Anglo Saxons, and have an enticing list of folk tales to pursue in the future. I wrote a pair of teaser posts on German notable persons and German artists. But it was still all too much...
So I turned to the research done by a distant cousin on my mother's side; the history of the Boesch family - my maternal grandfather's heritage. The branch of the Boesch family can be traced back to Stade in the mid 1600's.
Unified Germany is so large, with so many distinct regions - I found it much easier after I decided to focus on the city of Stade.
I was inspired by the griffins on the city's coat of arms, and there was also a key. I like that symbolism, unlocking a bit of my ancestry. I have wanted to do a copper pipe shrine for a while, and this was the time to experiment... Shield shapes to reference the coat of arms...
Words stamped in German: "history & my country". A map showing Stade from my mother's girlhood Encyclopedia Brittanica atlas. (Yes - the days of door to door encyclopedia salesmen. My Grandpa invested in a set - and I still have them...) Slivers of mica.
Stade is located in northern Germany just outside Hamburg on the river Elbe.
So with all this going on in my head - this is what I created:
The top copper piece has an overlay of antique paper covered in resin. It is in German, from a book of unknown origins. Lovely Gothic font, and at least 200 years old. The griffin image is framed at the center, and key dangle. I had used a tube rivet to hang the dangle, but it was awkward going through the rivet. Turned - much better. To complete the piece - chunky stones (calcedony) and copper chain, 18-20" long. I wanted the griffin image to be seen clearly so it is not recessed into the depth of the center chamber.
The back allows you to see into the center chamber with the vintage map and a few glass beads for movement. The top two corners are joined with micro bolts that I sawed off and riveted to secure the piece.
It will be fun to wear - in the fall. I have to admit - the large area of the copper does stick to one's skin in the humid late summer. I often use words, an dcreate pieces with a meaning. I also enjoy creating a piece with a secret. The wearer knows of the secreet and chooses to reveal and share or to concel and remain quiet. It creates an interaction and a dynamic between the wearer and the viewer. This piece certainly fulfills that, and I had a fantastic time reading and researching and creating.
Please take time to tour the world - in under 80 days! My fellow travelers are listed at Erin's Treasures found blog or the following map. Have fun!
Tomorrow is the big reveal - Erin's Challenge of Travel. Yesterday I shared information on famous German figures in science, literature, music. Today - the arts. When I was in art school, getting a minor in Art History was a done deal. Literally! I had the credits almost completed after taking Art History electives. Art geek. That's me!
There are so many German artists whose work I respect, especially when taken in context of history. How they were influenced by their patrons, reaction to events of the time... Art is propoganda, art as expression, art as cultural vehicle...My short list included Holbein, Caspar David Friedrich, Hans Hoffman, Kathe Kollwitz, Eva Hesse, Anselm Keifer... But I narrowed down to artists whose work I respect AND find visually compelling, evocative, inspirational...
(In no particular order)
Albrecht Durer - printmaker and painter. 1471-1528.
Melencolia I 1514. Young Hare 1503.
Franz von Stuck - Symbolist and Expressionist painter. 1863 - 1928
Spring 1909 Sin 1893.
Emil Nolde - German Expressionist painter. 1867 - 1956
The Sea Moonlit Night 1914.
Kurt Schwitters - Dada and Surrealist painter and collage artist. 1887 - 1948.
Merz231 Miss Blanche 1923 Merzbild - for Alf Gaudenzi
Karl Blossfeldt - photographer. 1865-1932.
Sulamith Wulfing - painter and illustrator. 1901 - 1989.
Hope you enjoyed that ecclectic sampler. Stay tuned tomorrow to see my piece. And I will tell you - all that I have posted in the last 2 posts - not what influenced my piece at all. Hmm. What a tease...
This Saturday is Erin's Challenge of Travel blog hop reveal. Its a creative challenge to create a themed piece - in this case the country of your choice. Germany is mine. Not exotic, not a place that is known for a different design aesthetic - like Japan or Aboriginal Austaralia. German is a large part of my heritage (along with Irish, Welsh and Scottish. Full Celt!) yet I have never been there. It is the British Celtic lore that inspired and informs my artwork. So in reading and researching Germany - I wanted to share some of my finds.
Part I - Thinkers, musicians, architects.
The Brothers Grimm - linguists and cultural ressearchers, most well known for their collections of folklore.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe -artist, writer, and politician.
Richard Wagner - composer and conductor. Retold Germanic myths in "Der Ring des Nibelungen" (The Ring of the Nibelung)
(Brunhilde the Valkyrie - A. Rackam 1910)
Martin Luther - theologian and religious reformer
Johann Sebastian Bach & Ludwig van Beethoven - Classical composers extraordinairre
Albert Einstein - theoretical physicist, developed Law of Relativity.
Walter Gropius - pioneering architect, founder of the Bauhaus School.
Mies Vander Rohe - Pioneering architect, "master of Modern Architecture.
( I apologize for not linking them all - but any can be found readily in Wiki for more info)
The stamps as illustrations was a happy accident - and so much more. I kept finding stamp images which were so apropos at documenting and honoring German figures from history and culture. So I searched out ALL stamp images. But what could be more perfect as a souvenir of travel? As a child I took over my Dad's stamp collection. His mom, my Grandmom always requested postcards when we traveled, especially our first school trips to Europe as teenagers. I myself have made it a quest to buy stamps on Carribean islands, the Owl post in Hogsmeade... not for use but to collage. I am an inveterate collector of paper ephemera, ticket stubs, wrappers and such that I collage into my travel journals. So let this post whet your appetite - for travel or for the upcoming reveal - hopefully both!
Tune in tomorrow for German artists!