Planes, Trains… or postage stamps?

 

I am an Anglophile. To those that know me that comes as no surprise. I lived in London for a semester in college and it was the most formative impactful period in my life. My husband and I went to the UK on holiday for our honeymoon and my 40th birthday. (That was a surprise, too. I have never happy cried so hard!)

My work is deeply, fundamentally inspired by my Celtic heritage, by folklore and fairy tale, by myth and magic. And every so often I try to “cross the pond”. You may know I also write for a fabulous blog called Art Elements. My team mate and friend Lesley has invited me to visit and have an art retreat of sorts. ( We have done the same here at my house the last few years). So in an effort to raise the necessary funds – I have created these pieces. This year is the Queen’s Sapphire Jubilee – what better way to raise funds and nod in respect to Queen Liz than there?! The stamps come from my childhood stamp collection – and may go even further back to my  Dad’s collection.

The pendants are double sided – the back included UK map sections. Maps taken from the Encyclopedia Britannica atlas from my childhood! They are going to be listed on Etsy as soon as I finish here… and while sold as pendants with my fellow creators and designers in mind…. can easily be made into a pendant with a gemstone angel for a small additional fee. If you are interested in supporting me and my travel fund – please check them out! I am designating 100% of the sea of these pieces to my travel fund!

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Convo me if you want a necklace with gemstone dangle! 

Fairy tales by mail! The art charm exchange and auction

Welcome the the Art Charm Reveal! This special event is designed to raise funds for a great charity : Beads of Courage. In case you haven’t heard of them , their mission is “… providing innovative, arts-in-medicine supportive care programs for children coping with serious illness, their families and the health care providers who care for them.”

Beads have been seen in many  cultures as symbols of wealth, of status, amulets of power…and healing. The BOC page has a great article to that effect.  Jen Cameron of Glass Addictions has organized this swap and auction for a few years running. Participants made and traded beads, offering at least one of each design up for auction – where all proceeds benefit the charity.

This year I was very inspired, as the Fairy Tale theme is a focus of my work on a regular basis. My first charm was the castle – seen above in its original sculpt and then painted. The castle is such an icon in fairy tales… as the starting pint from whence heroes and heroines depart on quests of discovery and exploration…. as the destination after trials and travails. Its the home, the haven, the sanctuary and yet its the goal, the reward. It can even be the jail, the challenge, the obstacle…

In working on my charms I was playing with the dragon as well. This is its debut! There will be one OOAK charm available at the auction. Dragons can be the obstacle to overcome, but they can also be a guide on the hero/ine’s journey. Associated with age, wisdom, wealth… they are a powerful and recurring icon.

My third charm is very detailed, very meaningful and related to one specific tale. Inspired by the Grimm’s “Fitcher’s Bird” and Angela Carter’s story “ The Bloody Chamber” – this is a polymer hand, with charm key and blood red garnet drop. The tale tells of BlueBeard’s wife, given and egg to hold, and a key to a secret chamber she must not enter while he is away. Curiosity wins, and she enters to find the remains of his previous wives… Through ingenuity and cunning she defeats him… A gruesome tale to be sure, but the original tales usually were… ( Read more at“BlueBeard and the Bloody Chamber” and article by Terri Windling)

So take a look at the treasures I received – and remember! You can bid! Its a great cause and these unique special edition beads could be added to your collection!

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1. Red Riding hood ceramic bead. Caroline at Blueberribeads 2. Tortoise and the Hare ceramic bead. Terri at Artisticaos.

Hand carved exquisite beauty by Caroline, such clear and simple beauty telling the tale. Hand drawn totems by Terri – 2 sides of the same coin as it were…

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1. polymer face bead by Patti/Miya Beads 2. resin charm by Vanessa of Culturezine  3. “Muchness” lampwork and metal focal by Jen at Glass Addictions 4. Stamped heart charm by Marianne of Simply Seablime

Some Alice in Wonderland love from Jen and Vanessa – always a favorite! I love that Jen’s heart has a subtle fairy tale message and is such a  stunning complementary palette!  Magical faces and iconic words from Patti and Marianne!

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1. Polymer charm set by Brooke at Artistic Endeavors  2. polymer hat charm by Alenka at Pepita  3. Lampwork pot-o-gold by Sue at Sue Beads

This batch was tougher to photograph ( apologies). A generous robust set by Brooke! A wee adorable hat by Alenka! And Sue’s pot of gold is to die for! Its a amazing shape, and a tiny scale that could work in almost any design!

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Had to show you the packaging! Silver charm by Charlene of Clay Space!

This last one – I adore! And I haven’t even unwrapped it yet because the packaging was too cool! Thanks Charlene!

Now – Please hop the blog hop… but steady on like the tortoise! There are many lovely offerings to see. AND the auction- details to follow as soon as possible! Don’t forget. Great cause – and a treat for you! 

Participants:

Beads of Courage – Charm swap and charity auction

 BOC button

AUCTION! ART CHARMS! BEADS! A WORTHY CAUSE! 

I want to introduce you to a new-to-me charity event called Beads of Courage. This year I was able to participate in this fundraiser; raising money for arts-in-medicine programs for children. As an art educator and advocate, I have seen the power that an arts experience can have on a child. At any age, at any time. 

The charm swap and auction is a prodigious task, undertaken by Jennifer Cameron of Glass Addictions. (And my team mate at Art Jewelry Elements.) Participants made a dozen charms (or in my case 2 dozen!) and received an assortment back. Charms by each participant are being auctioned off, NOW! ( Click here.) 

Beads of Courage 2014 theme: Soar!

 Winged things, flitting, floating. Fairies? or their more earthy cousins – dragonflies and butterflies? Yes! These charms are hand carved, an entirely original offering. These original designs wer sculpted and carved in earthenware clay. A plaster mold preserved the image and multiple new charms can be pressed from soft clay. Each one is hand painted, and customized with “Soar” and date on the back.

Butterflies are symbolic of the soul in many cultures of the world. They are the agents of transformation, and ethereally beautiful. Their delicate wings allow them to flit, fly… and soar. Dragonflies are similar in many ways… and even represented the warrior spirit in Aztec Mexico!

Soar charms

But I was still inspired and signed up to do another batch! These are my newest love: the fusion of polymer and copper! 

These unique mixed media charms combine polymer clay and copper. The copper shapes were cut, stamped, polished and tumbled to create the dark glowing patina. The polymer goes through the copper, holding itself in place with rounded top and bottom shapes – like a rivet! Textured impressed in the clay are accented with oils and acrylics.

courage charms

Now – I have to tease you with images of SOME of the charms up for auction! These could be yours… Remember, I got a double batch! 

Art charm booty

1&2 Toltec Jewels 3. Rosebird’s lamp work  4. Windbent  5. Blu Mudd  6. Lamplight Crafts  7. Pepita  8. Dream Some Design
9. Shaktipaj Designs  10. Firefly Design Studio  11. Culturezine  12. NEDbeads  13. Artisticaos  14. Wanderware  15. Zenith Jade  16. SueBeads

BOC charm loot

1 & 2-Fulgorine  3 & 4-A Half Baked Notion 5 &6- Silver NikNats

 

Thanks for stopping by – I’m off to look at the auction offerings! 

Please feel free to visit the blogs of my fellow participants, check out their designs, and hear their stories! 

 

2014 Art Charm Exchange Participants
Jennifer Cameron: http://www.glassaddictions.com/blog
Alenka Obid: http://pepita-handmade.blogspot.com
Alicia Marinache: http://www.allprettythings.ca
Andrea Glick: http://zenithjade.blogspot.com
Caroline Dewison: http://blueberribeads.blogspot.co.uk
Cassi Paslick: http://badatbeingmom.blogspot.com/
Cate van Alphen: http://fulgorine.wordpress.com
Cheri Reed: http://creativedesignsbycheri.blogspot.com
Chris Eisenberg: http://www.wanderware.blogspot.com
Cory Tompkins: http://www.tealwaterdesigns.blogspot.com
Elizabeth Auld: http://www.beadsforbusygals.com
Genevieve Gabbert: http://www.glassaddictions.com/blog
Jami Shipp: http://celebratinglifewithdamamashipp.blogspot.com
Jill Bradley: http://www.jillybeads.blogspot.com
Kim Dworak: http://www.cianciblue.blogspot.com
Lee Koopman: http://stregajewellry.wordpress.com
Lennis Carrier: http://www.windbent.net
Lesley Watt: http://www.thegossipinggoddess.blogspot.com
Mallory Hoffman: http://rosebud101-fortheloveofbeads.blogspot.com
Melissa Trudinger: http://beadrecipes.wordpress.com
Michelle McCarthy: http://www.fireflydesignstudio.blogspot.com
Monique Urquhart: http://ahalfbakednotion.blogspot.com/
Moriah Betterly: http://mlbetterly.blogspot.com
Nancy Dale: http://nedbeads.blogspot.com
Nancy Smith: http://wirednan.blogspot.ca
Niky Sayers: http://silverniknats.blogspot.co.uk
Perri Jackson: http://ShaktipajDesigns.com/blog/
Renetha Stanziano: http://www.lamplightcrafts.blogspot.com
Shai Williams: http://shaihasramblings.blogspot.com
Sheila Prosterman: http://catswithbeads.blogspot.com
Susan Delaney: http://susandolphindelaney.wordpress.com
Susan Kennedy: http://www.suebeads.blogspot.com
Terri DelSignore: http://artisticaos.blogspot.com
Toltec Jewels: http://www.jewelschoolfriends.com
Vanessa Gilkes: http://culturezine.com/blog/

 

 

Cerrridwen, Taliesin…and a Blue Hen?

Blue Hen plywood

It all started with the hen, the blue hen to be exact. The City of Newark, DE is having a fundraiser – in the style of the decorated animal sculptures you have seen – I am sure – in many cities across the country. As the state bird is the Blue Hen… artists have been given a plywood silhouette, app. 30″ tall. Out birds will be auctioned off in September, and will be displayed (inside) at various businesses in town, and on Main St. The previous picture shows the earliest stages, after carving up my bird, to create a niche inside. Then she was covered in paper – from the Encyclopedia Britannica, or course. And yes, I used the article on “Poultry farming”. 

Blue Hen paper

I knew right away I wanted to create a shrine in the body of the hen. Shrines are my most personal, expressive medium. Although the chicken is not a totem animal I use symbolically in my work, I wanted to challenge myself to make a “real” piece, not just a fundraiser donation. I had committed my name, my time, and energy to this venture, and I wanted it to be true to my body of work… So the only mythic reference to a chicken in Western myth that came to my mind – was the myth of Cerridwen. She is the Keeper of the Cauldron – in which She brews inspiration. She is the Goddess of rebirth, transformation, inspiration. She is a creatrix, a mother, a wise woman… In the classic myth regarding her: She brews an elixir for her son, hiring the boy Gwion to stir the cauldron. After a year and a day – the mythic measure of time for an arduous task – the potion splashes Gwion’s thumb. He sucks it, to cool the burn and receives all the wisdom, knowledge therein. Greatly displeased – Cerridwen pursues Gwion to punish him. The chase takes on epic proportions as they shape shift through many animal forms, each pair representing an element. These animal pairings will be shown on the hen itself…

sawing animals

hound and hare

otter and salmon

songbird and raptor

The greyhound and the hare. The otter and the salmon. The hawk and the songbird. But where does the hen come in? After three transformations, as the chase continues, Gwion turns himself into a grain of wheat. Cerridwen as a hen, simply eats the grain. In nine months, She gives birth to Taliesin – who is to become the greatest bard of all time. Rebirth, inspiration, transformation… 

Hen nearly complete

The niche will hold a small clay tile of Taliesin – whose name translates as “Radiant Brow” referencing the ‘fire in the head’ of divine inspiration and enlightenment. It seemed fitting to have him incubating there. I plan to include the text of the myth with the piece. I know that many will find it more in depth than they prefer. But I feel that keeping the inspiration pure and not simplifying the concept of the work is honest, and a homage to Cerridwen herself. The overall color palette is natural and harmonious, very earthy. I hope it finds an appreciative audience when it goes out into the world in September, and does its part to raise funds for the Newark Arts Alliance.   Please feel free to comment and tell me your thoughts!

( I will add new pix as the work progresses!)