Swirls: the Art Elements theme reveal

Swirls.

Its the time of month – reveal time for our theme challenge at Art Elements. Marsha picked a wonderful theme – so many ideas! This month does involve Bead Fest, travel, Lesley visiting from the UK – so I was glad it was a theme that resonated so strongly with my creative self.

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Travelogue doodles at Bead Fest.

My main swirly piece is a beaded tapestry I am working on – although swirls were on my mind even in doodles ( see above.)

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This piece is approximately 3 x 5″ and features a swirly ceramic goddess by Lesley! There is a bronze clay moon, antique miniature buttons and beads, so many beads. I wanted the swirls to be evident in color – and am keeping size and texture of the beads uniform throughout.

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This one? Its on deck on the beading table. It was fired for Bead Fest but sadly had a flaw. Such a shame I have to keep it and bead… LOL. I also must say – once you start looking swirls are EVErYWHERE! (Chihuly installation at DE Art Museum; Art Deco door also at DMA. Hotel wall paper!) 

Hello – Lesley here...I’m currently vacationing with Jenny so I’m piggy-backing her blog post too. I didn’t get anything started for this challenge before I left the UK but it turns out that was a good thing because I got some great inspiration from a trip to Longwood Gardens with Marsha and Jenny. When I think swirls one of the first images that pops into my head is ferns and the wonderful patterns the newly forming leaves form as they unfurl. Fortunately for me there were examples aplenty at Longwood.

Back at Jenny’s I started to think about how I was going to use this inspiration and looked to a half face cab of Jenny’s that I’d started beading a few days earlier – unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of it then but it brought to mind the ‘Mud Maid’ sculpture from one of my favorite UK places – The Lost Gardens of Heligan.

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I decided I could use these two elements to create by own beaded Fern goddess and this is what I’ve come up with so far…

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Jenny’s cab has been bezeled with Peyote stitched and then I’ve just free-form beaded around it – the excess backing will be trimmed away to give a contoured edge. I’ve used dagger beads to create mature fern fronds and seed beads to represent the swirling new growth. Fire polished crystals give some organic structure and random flower beads add texture. It’s not finished yet because I’m not sure exactly how I want to continue. The plan is for the lower portion to graduate into slightly more earthy colors and finish up with some sort of fringing to suggest the ground and roots. I need to take some time to think it through so it will probably happen when I get home. so far though I’m pretty pleased with it.

I did also manage make a couple of other pieces – both using ceramic components from our lovely host Marsha. First up a pair of earrings using the yummy pod charms she made for the last Art Elements challenge. I added some swirling wire and some pale smokey quartz beads to come up with this design that I’m pretty happy with…kinda cute and very easy to wear.

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Finally I beaded (because that’s what you do when you stay at Jenny’s) a pendant using a swirly cab of Marsha’s that I brought from home.

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This one is in my trademark muted autumnal tones and uses a lovely Peyote mix I picked up at Bead Fest…pretty simple but again very wearable.

So that’s where Marsha’s challenge took me and to be honest, I could probably go on for ever with this theme as there is no end of inspiration. So a big thank you to Marsha for giving us this opportunity, to Jenny for letting me raid her bead stash and to both of them for taking me to the wonderful Longwood Gardens.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our offerings and will join us on our blog hop to see what all the other participants have come up with – just click on the links below. Enjoy!

Guest Artists:

Alison

Anita

Cat

Caroline

Jill

Kathy

Karin

Kimberly

Mischelle

Raven

Sarajo

Susan

Tammy 

Art Elements Team: 

Cathy

Caroline

Claire

Jen

Jenny & Lesley

Laney

Marsha

Susan

 

Plethora of pods – the Art Elements theme reveal

This month at Art Elements, Jennifer challenged us to be inspired by “pods”. See pods, organic shapes, to me, very symbolic of potential and growth. I have been a pod collector for years – and inspired by their myriad forms and interiors!

Yesterday I wrote about the humble eucalyptus, a favorite of mine. I am using its structure to stamps ceramic charms. These “organic ceramic” pairs will be ready for Bead Fest!

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Ceramic eucalyptus charms on the bead table!

In revisiting pods, I happened across a few hand held sculpted pods in stoneware clay. I had never glazed or finished them in any way… so what better time? These two are painted in multiple light layers of acrylic paint, in washes and some dry brushed texture. The pod on the right does spill forth a full hand full of individually rolled seeds.

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These older stoneware pods finally (cold) finished.

But as to new ideas – I turned to polymer. And seeds, and pearls. These are large-ish statement pendants. The red seeds ARE seeds – and that pod was finished with resin to keep the seeds in place. The other pods, incorporating pearls, are connected to the raw clay with head pins. These pendants are drilled at the top for stringing. Should I make more?

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Pod pendants available at online FB show: “One Sweet Bead Market” August 6th. And at Bead Fest Philadelphia – Aug 17-19th.

The final pieces are still works in progress. The goddess figures are inspired by votive figures found the world over, across thousands of years and all cultures.  This goddess icon and the pod are fused. The figure on the left will be filled with pearls. The figure on the right pairs two contrasting clay bodies and will be glazed to accentuate that contrast.

The smaller pods are a eucalyptus, my frequent muse and a smaller pea pod style that will also hold pearls. I will have these and more like them at Bead Fest as well.

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Fresh from the kiln

I hope you have enjoyed this plethora of pods – please take a look at the other participants!

Guest Artists:

Tammy

Raven

Alysen

Anita

Cat 

Kimberly

Rozantia

Sarajo 

Divya

Caroline

Catherine

Kathy

Jill

Art Elements Team: 

Claire

Caroline

Lesley

Niky

Laney

Susan

Marsha

Cathy

Jen

Revelry and magic; fire and ash

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When Midsummer arrives, in flowers and greenery, Tatiana the Faerie Queen opens the Realm, for mortals to mingle with fae folk. (Yes, there are trolls, goblins, and mer folk as well.) This revelry takes place in New York state, in dappled sunlight and beside a flowing stream. Sounds idyllic? It is a magical place. This year was the 10th year, and although it was unseasonably hot – we had a lovely time!

For the first time – a few of us that are ceramic artist/potters/lovers of clay got permission to do a thing. Friday nights events include a large bonfire/drum circle. With fire spinners, and performers, and dance, and music – its a pretty amazing night. We got permission to place a little chamber of fire brick in the base of the fire!

Emma and I made small votive offerings and goddess figures, and we decided to bisque fire ours in advance. Although this means we were not relying not eh bonfire to actually FIRE our pieces, we were taking less risk of breakage. Our white stoneware pieces would still be pit-fired or smoke-fired and change color.

Friday evening we built the kiln chamber and filled it with organic matter all found in the immediate vicinity: twigs, pine cones, pine needles, leaves. They were not very dry. Pieces in teh firing ranged from green terra cotta, green stoneware and bisque stoneware as mentioned above. We also included some medallions made form clay from the property itself. These were pretty rough as the clay was very raw, with inclusions, etc.

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Ye s- we are a motley crew. It IS a faerie festival! We had been vending all day in the heat, although it was to get much hotter…

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Two bricks to cap the kiln and offer some protection from falling logs as the large fire was to burn for hours that night.

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.Our host Billy Bardo opened the night with this:“If you are a dreamer come in
If you are a dreamer a wisher a liar
A hoper a pray-er a magic-bean-buyer
If you’re a pretender com sit by my fire
For we have some flax golden tales to spin
Come in! Come in!”

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Saturday morning was already brutally hot – and here was our first look at our kiln! Still warm to the touch, but not smoldering.

 

Results: the nature raw clay did not fire, still crumbly… All the other clay bodies fired well. We had some areas in the bottom of our kiln that were not heavily reduced ( in oxygen/ reduction atmosphere) so there were color variation. Basically – when a piece IS in a reduction atmosphere, the fire steals the oxygen, and the piece absorbs carbon in the exchange. This results in the dark tones on the clay itself.

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A beautiful palette of smoke fired colors and a few flashes of green!

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This was am amazing opportunity. I have done many, many pit fired before: on the beach, with students, large, small, exciting, commonplace. But this was was magical. To have these pieces imbued with the spirit of community from Friday nights events, from this place, at this time? Wonderful!

We gave the pieces away. To the Fire crew, the land owners, the Queen, to the people who make this faire happen! And we hope to make this pit fire happen again next year!

If you are still reading, and want a little more – here is the video reveal of the opening. Silly, excited, irreverent, and un edited.

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Playing in the mud at NY Faerie Festival

** post originally published at Art Elements blog**

I have just returned from the land of the fae, a weekend of revels in Tatiana’s court, a Midsummer Faerie Festival. ( New York Faerie Festivalto be exact.) It is a wooded hideaway, a magical encampment, a respite from the world. It is a place where magic, equality, friendship, acceptance and joy are the rules of the day.

Last year I started a personal tradition: part installation, part art abandonment, part gifts for the faeries/nature spirits. I sculpt clay items, and leave them to be found, seen, enjoyed… and ultimately to weather and dissolve and return to the Earth.

Sitting down on a hot festival day to sculpt…

The festival site? The path from the front ate sloped uphill following a stream, through trees and glades, opening into circles and groves. My friend and vendor neighbor Shane of Mythical Designs   set up these stones a few years back – so we could decorate and make an altar of sorts. My first raw clay piece was a goddess figure to leave for Mother Nature.

This past weekend of the festival was dangerously hot – is I did not make as many pieces as I had planned. I like the keep them simple – like this fairy with fern wings.

I had to make a wee frog for Scott Helland– there performing for the weekend. Although technically not an official Frenchy and the Punk“batfrog” it was close…

This one I was excited about – I wanted to put her IN the water:

She started to dissolve – sadly the heat caused this little rill to dry up and get rather muddy so I have no good pictures of her later on…

The Faerie Festival Community as a whole is supportive, accepting, inspired, and inspiring. Creativity in all forms is held in high regard. And play, the need to play and nurture joy. My friend Illya stopped by to sculpt. She is a musician, belly dance, fire spinner… among many other things!  She sculpted these three – then scattered them to be found. Illya reported in on FB as to the fate of her pieces :“I believe that the stream cla(y)imed one goddess rather quickly… the acorn was still intact on its rocky forest bower, another goddess left (along with the lovely log she was nestled in)… I believe a greenman met with a smouldering dragon…”

My friend and former teacher’s aide Emma is a potter as well – so you KNOW she had to get in on this. Here are her 4 pieces – photographed in situ. All we have to document this tradition are photographs and memories. Its the process of playing/sculpting with no pressure; the treasure hunt, the surprise of noticing a piece…

In addition to my “art abandonment” sculptures – the NYFF has a long history of mud Green Men sculpted on the trees. Initiated, I believe, by Shane with others contributing to the paces at times. These are the quintessential art installation! Using only mud from the street, plants and stones – it truly is magic taking form all around you.

Shane starts a face, with pebble teeth.

Although mud moves very differently than clay, potter/sculptor Kim Fritts was eager to get her hands dirty!

Dryad face? Mother Nature? Kim at work!

Kim’s finished duo!

Now I guess I need to return to the mundane world, of post festival laundry and getting ready for a show this weekend. But keep your eyes open! There is magic – and art – all around you.

 

Helianthus. The Sunflower reveal at Art Elements.

Welcome! To the glorious summer time and the reveal of our creative challenge theme for this month over at Art Elements blog. This month: Sunflowers selected and hosted by Sue Kennedy of Sue BeadsIMG_8909Helianthus. In Greek myth the sunflower used to be a nymph. She was an ocean nymph named Clytie who fell in love with Helios, Titan of the Sun. It’s a tale of abandonment, revenge, and unrequited love worthy of a modern soap opera. In the end, she became a sunflower, turning her head to follow Helios progress across the sky, yearning for him still.

As I am inspired by myth, I started there. But the tale was too tragic; albeit a recurring motif in Greek myth. So I decided to honor a wild hare of an idea that was taping mean the shoulder for the last year: micro mosaics.

I have a few beads ( cue laughter) so I selected a sunflower palette. For the center  of the flowers I am using an antique faceted jet button. For the “grout” and substrate I am using Apoxie sculpt. So – snap the gloves on and mix it up…

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Bezels and palette – ready to dive in.

I sketched the petals into the apoxie and started… to be met with immediate frustration. I wanted the beads to sit up – so holes were hidden. Tried tweezers, which worked – but just too tedious. I started stringing beads for each line on 28 gauge brass wire – essentially making elements to inlay as opposed to individual 11* seed beads! Much better!

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Tedious! Making modifications on the fly.

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This is basically what I imagined.

The second bezel? Lets use larger beads! Lets use shaped beads… The palette had to change based on what I had on hand. The working time for Apoxie sculpt is 1-3 hours. For this process – earlier, softer consistency was preferred.

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Looser in inspiration, larger beads!

So if the seed beads are smaller than I wanted to work with – lets make larger mosaic tiles. Christi Friesen has been doing some crazy cool polymer mosaics lately – and those ideas were percolating in my mind.

First I created and cured my printed polymer veneers. This was the palette for my next mosaic.

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Polymer printed veneers – my mosaic palette.

I was working in a pine tray/frame. Painted and sealed first ( acrylic paint and gloss gel medium) I decided on the zoomed in image you saw at the start of my post. The cured veneers cut easily with Xacto knife, or even scissors. My Apoxie is grey – so rather grout like. ( Manufacturer says it can be painted after curing. I chose not to try that in this application.)

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Layout, and progress.

For my first try – I am basically pleased with that. I love the gold leaf shimmer from that one veneer. If I were doing this again – I think i would do more layout and pre-planning. Have more carefully fitted and cut tiles. While the spontaneity of this was fun, and rather freeing for me – I can see so much room to experiment with this process.

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The finished polymer mosaic.

Lastly – micro mosaics! I had all the polymer scraps… I had to try! These mosaics are “grouted” with TLS ( liquid sculpey) and cured to regular time/temperature. I liked these the best. I am still pondering why… was it that I didn’t love the Apoxie? That I had no time pressure here? That they were smaller/faster/less tedious? Whatever the reason – I may have to try these again. What are your thoughts?

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Listed below is a complete list of this month’s participants – both team members and guests.  Take a look at their creations! Enjoy!

And see you next month!

Guests

AE Team

Surfacing: the Art Elements “tidepool” theme challenge

This month I dove into the theme late. I had been away for many weeks, and I am doing my grief work after losing my mother. I relished the chance to dive into the beads, to busy my hands and still my mind a bit.

Lesley selected the theme “Tide pool” and it is  – as these themes can be – so rich that it was hard to narrow my ideas down to one piece. My first ever tide pool experience was in La Jolla CA on vacation with my husband before we relocated there. I was enchanted by the calm encapsulated worlds amidst the rocks and tumultuous spray.

My plan was influenced by the enameled fish I received from Anne at Gardanne Beads. While it takes my pieces from tide pool to ocean – I feel both worlds are represented…

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My teaser sketch – after I had selected artisan beads.

The preliminary stages had me stitching on the densely encrusted tide pool items at the bottom of the 3″ square. The fish swims amidst leather kelp; (if you EVER get a chance to go the the Aquarium in Monterey Bay CA, do so! The kelp forest is ethereal!). Then there is that rather unsightly blob in the lower left. Needle felted from a scrap of wool – its simply a form, an armature of sorts for…

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What is that blob?

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Oh my…

… the anemone! I didn’t have exactly the right colors to achieve an ombre effect on the arms? tentacles? but I am still pleased. so now – the piece in its entirety. All 3″ of it!

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“Surfacing”… my finished tide pool inspired piece.

Details: 1. the anemone in situ. 2. Caroline‘s sea urchin bead sitting on top.  3. Close up of Gardanne Beads enamel fish and Sue Beads lamp work star.

Framed in a stained wood frame – the piece is ready to hang. I like the layering of coral and kelp over the fish – creating some depth. This was a very inspiring theme to work with – thank to Lesley for the topic! Now – please – head over to my friends and colleagues blogs – to see what they have created! 

Guests

AE Team Members:

Nests: the Art Elements themed challenge reveal

Happy Spring!

Welcome to the first in our monthly themed challenges! (We have had these seasonally occurring in the past, but have recently switched to all themes, every month. ) Cathy stars us off with the theme: Nests. Her original post was filled with inspiration for jewelry, fibers, all sorts of mediums.

I knew exactly what I wanted to do… ever since this tutorial was released at Sarafina Fiber Arts, I have been thinking of nests. The timing was perfect for Spring and this challenge – and I do so love the colors and textures of the curly dyed sheep’s locks! ( Not to mention I work there part time, and find all the products, colors, textures very inspiring!

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The first one – a little wild and unruly. 

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Natural colors, mostly… and a scrap of suede.

Sara of Sarafina Fiber Arts shares her tutorials on You tube – you can find the nest tutorial here. When I first saw the nest samples I wanted to fill them with earthy polymer goddesses. So I did:

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This is what I originally imagined. 

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Under the sea

My stash of curly locks *may* lean heavily to greens, teals, and earthy forest colors – but that works well for an underwater themed nest too.

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The river rock balances out the coral as it was a bit heavy. 

And any color works – I made a candy fluff Easter nest for my Mom – including 3 polymer  eggs! This was great fun to do – and I have other nest ideas for my art journal that I just didn’t get completed in time.

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One of these things is not like the others….

Please join us on the blog hop today and see what my talented team mates and out guests have created. 

Happy Spring! 

Guest Participants-

Alysen

Anita

Divya

Kathy

Kym

Mona

Rosantia

Sarajo

Tammy

AE team members-

Caroline

Cathy

Claire

Jenny (you are here)

Laney

Leslie

Lindsay

Marsha

Niky

The Art Elements Rune reveal

Welcome to our last official COM here at Art Elements! Starting next month we are moving to monthly themed challenges. We felt this was expanding the option, invigorating out creativity and opening the door to so many mediums!

This final COM is stunning metal clay runes made by Niky Sayers. I had the good fortune of meeting Niky in London and receiving mine personally!

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Niky’s runes are cast from her own hand made personal set, and based on the Elder Futhark. These symbols were originally carved in wood and stone, and their straight lines reflect that context. Elder Futhark was a runic alphabet used by Norse and Germanic peoples from approximately the 2nd – 8th centuries. ( styles changed, runes evolved, and continued to be used….) Runes are recorded in sources such as the Poetic Edda as being used for inscriptions and talismans.

In the 1980’s Ralph Blum published and popularized the runes as a system of divination. I have long been a fan of Tarot cards, as an inspirational and oracular device. But runes were never my go to, and I enjoyed this chance to start working with them.

The first rune I selected to work with is URUZ, meaning “aurochs”. It’s traditional meaning is “Physical strength and speed, untamed potential. A time of great energy and health. Freedom, energy, action, courage, strength, tenacity, understanding, wisdom. Sudden or unexpected changes…” Immediately I saw a Phoenix, as working with the runes coincided with a New Moon journal spread I was planning. ( And yes – this means I still have this actual rune to use in a piece of jewelry!)

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The dark moon was done in watercolor pencils and crayons. I wanted to leave a hint of a triple spiral there in purples and black. The Phoenix was drawn in pencil and inked with fine marker. The color was very satisfying to do- many layers and colors blended using Derwent watercolor pencils.

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I was a bit disappointed with the background. I used a student grade liquid watercolor and it feels a little flat, a little blah to me. Such is the nature of an art journal: experimentation, risks, and play.

The second rune I selected was EHWAZ, meaning horse. It’s traditional meaning is: movement/ progress, steady progress, transit and transition. When thinking “horse” I immediately think of the Uffington chalk figure, and I was seeing landscapes in my mind’s eye from my recent trip to visit Lesley in Dorset. This idea evolved quite naturally, involving polymer and felt…

I wet felted two abstracted landscapes in a palette of greens:

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The rune will be affixed to the frame at center top. The felted tapestry inside, and an image of the Uffington horse to float above, suspended on fine gauge copper chain.

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This is the work in progress so far – I am seeing a few changes I want to make. I want to create another felt tapestry and play up the copper color from the rune itself. I think I will add a thin layer of white acrylic paint on the frame, a white wash of a sort, to lighten the piece. And yes – that is a rogue hair from my paintbrush. Oops. I am happy with my overall design plan – but need to tweak the palette a little. What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts…

And I look forward to seeing the creations from my team mates and our guests this month:

Guests:

Kelly Rodgers

Deb Fortin

Art Element Members:

Laney Mead

Lesley Watt

Caroline Dewison

Jenny Davies-Reazor

Susan Kennedy

Cathy Spivey Mendola

Jennifer Stout Cameron

Claire Fabian

Lindsay M Starr

Niky Sayers

Magic on the Streets of London…

(OK – now I have the Smiths song stuck in my head… )

Part 2 of the trip! 

Don’t you love it when a plan comes together? Its magic… When Lesley and I realized that my visit would coincide with the Harry Potter: History of Magic exhibit at the British Library… well, you can guess the rest. What REALLY made this day magical was who joined us there!

We took the train from Bournemouth and had a lovely scenic ride through he New Forest and into London. Arriving at Waterloo and then heading to Euston by Tube – I was thrilled to see 2 of the 270 enameled labyrinths! This public art project was the creation of Mark Wallinger. In 2013, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Tube, 270 unique labyrinths were designed and installed. One in every Tube station. The signs aren’t labeled in any way, and were enabled by the same company that created the iconic London Underground signage. The video about the project is outstanding!

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Newton in Bronze by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi

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St Pancras station – next door. And no, we did not go on to Kings Cross platform 9 3/4.

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Exhibition poster: Fawkes bu artist Jim Kay

So this was a momentous occasion! I got to meet all of my team mates from the Art Elements blog! The whole UK contingent! I have to say – it was so exciting, so energetic, and yet so familiar. I have known and worked with these creative talented women for years. I treasure these friendships! And while we were meeting in person for the first time, it felt like old friends getting reacquainted!

 

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The UK team! And me! All together none place! ( From top left: Lesley Watt, Caroline Dewison, Laney Mead, Niky Sayers, me. ) 

The British Library? Heavens. I cant even find the words. We toured their exhibit first. The Magna Carta. Original Shakespeare. The Lindisfarne Gospels. Beatles lyrics scrawled in pencil on old greeting cards. Medieval girdle books. Simple awe inspiring. I was incredulous.

Then we went to the HP exhibit. ( No photographs, naturally). What a beautifully curated exhibit! Arranged in groups, mirroring the subjects at Hogwarts, the items displayed ranged from Medieval pieces from the BL collection, to handwritten notes and sketches from JK Rowling, to new illustrations by artist Jim Kay. There were also pieces from the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Cornwall. ( Drawings below from an interactive piece at the end of exhibit)

Heading home – bag filled with treasures, gifts and more than a few books…. Mendel and Malachi were rather mischievous. ( Crocheted mandrakes by Caroline!)

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And hijinks continued as I worked on my travel journal the next day…

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You can read more about my travel journal over at Art Elements. There is a nice sense of spontaneity and memory-making that I get from creating a travel collage/art journal in real time. With found papers, and a little Googling…

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Me – I am back in the studio sculpting cauldrons that Snape might even sneer fondly over… There will be a whole new series of Mythic tiles this year. Magical creatures, witches, wizards, alchemy, and the like!

Stay tuned for part three of the trip coming soon!

Delighted in Dorset…

Part 1 of 3.

This  January I spent a magical week in and around Dorset visiting my friend Lesley Watt. 

If you know me or are familiar with my work, you may be aware of the currents of magic, myth and folklore that run through all I do… So this trip was part vacation, part art retreat, part creative interlude. It was restorative, invigorating, inspiring, and immensely fulfilling. The creative seeds planted this one week will grow all year…

But for now – let me share a few ( or many!) images with you.

The village of Burley IN the New Forest. ( Day 1)

The New Forest was established in 1079 by William The Conqueror. ( Yes, THAT William the Conquerer.) In villages throughout the NF, “Commoners” or residents hold the same rights to access/grazing/resources as their early Medieval predecessors. The New Forest ponies roam free, and are loosely managed by the “verderers”. The town of Burley has numerous ties to witches in history, namely Sibyl Leek and Gerald Gardner…

The New Forest itself – with its history, landscape, biodiversity… has captured my imagination. I have been starting to read up and work with images inspired by the Celtic Tree alphabet – so this dovetails in rather nicely. Although I was there in Winter, the gorse and broom were blooming. The ponies were wearing their shaggy coats – and as you see a gorgeous blue sky appeared.

Corfe Castle. ( Day 2) 

Again – Norman in historical time period. ( I DO like OLD stuff.) Begun by William the Conqueror in 1090; finished by his son Henri I in the early 1100’s. These majestic ruins command the skyline, and its placement as a fortress is evident!

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Im sure there are sprites and pixies living in that tree.

The gentle hike up to the castle and the village was like walking into a fairyland. So much free, mosses and lichens, a stream cascading… And you arrive in Corfe Castle village.

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Rather timeless when cars aren’t pictured…

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The ruins are not overly protected. Visitors are trusted to act and tread carefully. I was enamored with all the unobstructed views.

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There are currently ravens nesting high up in the tower wall. And a flock of jackdaws kept us company.

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This. As lino print. As weaving. As ceramic tile. This!

Then a fabulous lunch… and one more historical marker.

This made me chuckle, incredulous. This stone marks the millennium of a regicide. And even that was 40 years ago!

We left Corfe Castle – and drove back towards Bournemouth via the Isle of Purbeck and Studland Bay. ( Isle of Purbeck as in Purbeck stone of which Corfe Castle is built.) Weather was cooperating – so we did a little beach combing on Knoll beach… I could see white chalk cliffs and even the Isle of Wight in the distance.

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Time to head home after a stunning inspiring day. Then THIS happened:

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That late afternoon light!

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Again – so much inspiration here!

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Greens in January made me so happy.

The third day was a day spent at home, in the studio! Sketching, collaging, and working on my travel journal. ( Stay tuned for that.) Then to the pub for a proper Sunday dinner. A cute pup, a delicious Dorset cider, and Yorkshire pudding ( not pictured.)

Stay tuned for the next installment that includes magic, alchemy, camaraderie, and more!