A to Z: addicted

 

1: to devote or surrender (oneself) to something habitually or obsessively 
     2
: to cause addiction to a substance in (a person or animal)
 From the Latin addictus, past participle of addicere to favor, fromad- + dicere to say. First Known Use: 1534
When I sat down to compile my list of alphabet words, artistic was one of the first written. But as I perused the Dictionary – I felt drawn to this one. Addicted. In reading the official definition ( Thanks again, M-W.) I had to pause. In that context, I am addicted to art. I have devoted myself to it habitually since a child, and obsessively as an art student, a teacher, and now a working artist. It is my love, my passion. But on to the planned blog entry – tongue firmly planted in cheek. 
I am addicted to beads. 
I can’t go to a bead store and leave without purchasing something. I have had beads, used beads, and collected beads as long as I can remember. A favorite toy as a young one was a strand of plastic “pop” beads. I made and sold beaded earrings as a teenager in High school. I studied metal smithing in college (not so many beads there, though) I make beaded things, and in the past year have been making ceramic pendants. Not really beads themselves, but a companion to beads. I love semi-precious gemstones the best. Glass is good, shell/bone/horn beads are ok…Plastic is a bad word.  I have a plethora of beads. I worked at a bead store in San Diego and grew to love tiny seed beads; learned how to use a bead needle and weave a few moderately complicated stitches. Vintage and antique seed beads are even better! My studio is filled with beads. 
gemstone
Bead storage is a very exciting prospect to this Virgo!
seed beads  soup of beads
bead drawer
Molten Mama  ceramic charms
(Lampwork: Molten Mama; ceramic charms: yours truly)
I am addicted to books. 
While I can enter and exit a book store without feeling compelled… Our house is full of books. There are books in every room of the house. There are books on beads, on art, on ceramics, on myth. There are fictions, and biographies, and how-to books, fantasies and classics. There are rare books, and dog-eared books, and children’s books, and great books and mediocre books. There are comics and graphic novels, books on making books, and lately – e-books! There are artfully arranged books as decor, and there are books stacked willy-nilly by a favorite chair… And as we know from previous posts there are books waiting to be read!
artful books
Morris chair
Yes, I devote and/or surrender myself to beads/books habitually. Happy to!
What is your favorite (healthy) addiction? What are you obsessed with lately? Hey – if it makes you happy, and isnt hurting anyone (including you!)
then I say – Enjoy!
Speaking of which – have to go refill my cuppa joy… I mean cuppa joe… 😉
coffee
* Please note – I say all this in good humor. I do not poke fun at or belittle problems that occur with real addiction. It is a serious matter, not to be taken lightly. I sincerely hope this post is read in the context it was intended, and no offense is taken. *

 

A to Z: amulet

I have been ruminating on this alphabet concept for almost a year. 26 letters; 52 weeks. There is a beautiful symmetry there. I have lists of inspirational words, topics, and the like in my journal. So I am going to begin, on this first Friday of the first month to wend my way through the alphabet, from A to Z. 

A is for…

art? artistic? No. A is for amulet:a charm (as an ornament) often inscribed with a magic incantation or symbol to aid the wearer or protect against evil (as disease or witchcraft) From the Latin amuletum; first known Use: 1584 Synonyms: charmfetish, mascotmojo,periaptphylacterytalisman (Thank you Merriam Webster online.)

"Mojo" amulet

My personal amulet; my “Mojo” pendant. When I started it – I wasn’t even sure if I would end up wearing it, but I wanted to experiment a bit. It started with the bone game piece, altered with antique paper, and aged. It was a paper-centric class I took with my friend Keith at the Shepherdess. I tend to focus on trying a new technique and creating samples to take back to my studio – as opposed to manically attempting an entire piece of art in a class scenario. Doesn’t that sound logical? You would be surprised…

 Anyway – it reads “Happy in her studio” found text from a turn-of-the-century art book. It is drilled and adorned with three garnets.  The paintbrush, sacrificed, cut short and topped with a copper bail. (The component missing in this picture is a ceramic shard from Marsha Neal Studio. It needs to be replaced.)  A delightful woman met me at a show (Artsfest at Annmarie Garden) and offered me antique doll parts. A treasure to have, for sure, but this one is the first I have incorporated into a wearable piece. The sea glass and river stone were drilled through by me, another skill accumulated in a class with Keith. The copper “trapeze” shape is simply forged wire.  

This piece reads on many different levels for me. It is a compilation of the materials I love to work with: clay, paint, paper, metal, found objects. It represents all these materials unified in a  mixed media piece. I have been gravitating more and more to mixed media, and think that is a strength and source of creative inspiration for me. I am so fortunate to be able to work with my hands, at what I love, every day. I felt that needed to be honored, and appreciated – with the hand itself. There is a magic to creating an object of beauty and/or meaning out of seemingly insignifigent and disparate objects. Something from ‘nothing’. It is my idea, my intention, my creative spark that brings the parts together into a whole. My intention was clearly to create a piece that embodied my personal artistic journey, and would act as an amulet to attract creativity, happiness, success…

Many of my wearable pieces have a deeper meaning. A symbolism behind the image, an inspirational word, the properties of a certain gemstone. Yet others are simply a harmonious arrangement of elements, pleasing to the eye. I think the jewelry we wear speaks volumes about us. Our histories, likes and dislikes, our passions, our choices, our culture. What piece do you wear that speaks out, a self portrait of sorts? What piece has a strong personal meaning? (Of course – I am thinking beyond rings – they are the most potently symbolic piece that many of us wear daily. Wedding rings, engagement rings, even school rings.) I would love to hear…

 

* Please forgive the delay. This type of post – longer, more thoughtful and hopefully thought provoking – is new to me. I wrote and edited it for a couple days, although I had wanted it up on Friday. Please stay tuned for a related “amulet” post this week as well as the second “A” post on Friday.*