Permission to Play: Christi Friesen at The Palette and the Page

What a week this has been! I’ve neglected the blog already this year when I had mentally recommitted to weekly posts. Let me catch up a bit over the next week!

I am in full production mode for the “Bead Binge” show sponsored by the South Jersey Bead Society. AND Bead Fest Spring. But nothing was going to keep me from the Palette and the Page this past Wednesday. Because Christi Friesen was stopping by for a class after her weekend at the ACC Craft Show in Baltimore. (See my ACC post over at Art Jewelry Elements)

the incomparable Christie

Christi is a polymer maven, a master of the clay. She is a creative and generous teacher, and a consumate professional, full of character and charisma. If you ever get a chance – take her class – any class. I always learn fabulous things that I can apply to polymer the way I work, in my style. The class I attended was going to include some free form more unconventional techniques: painterly swirls and impasto. 

working collage

That leafy squiggle up there? I have finally met a cane I like – free, loose, organic…  

permission to play

I love this picture! Christi teaching, and Lynn and Patti (2 of the 4 gallery co-owners) diving in. Lynn is a polymer person, as am I – Patti is not. She had permission to play and thoroughly enjoyed herself! As we all did… 

my workspace

This was my workspace. These swirls are so me… The purple/grey/white piece at the top left may end up with a goddess on it… Christi – in her incomparable style called it a “vortex of lovliness”! Too fun. 

new techniques

This was my experimental piece. Squiggly canes, swirls… and spirals – because spirals! I think I may mount it in an old wooden drawer, floating – and then hang it on the wall. It will serve to remind me of this class, and the “collision course with excitement” we were on… But it also remends me of the value of sharing, of exploring, and the sense of community that can blossom from a shared love of art, expression, and polymer. 

Collision course with excitement

 Thanks to Christi and The Palette and the Page for a great evening! Here’s to following your Muse! 

 

Old is new again… rejuvenated shrines.

February is short and speedy. I realized that I hadn’t blogged yet all month, and I have a lot to share. This month my show opened at the Palette and the Page in Elkton, MD. We had a fabulous opening on First Friday! So many friends attended, old and new, and I thank you all! 

The timing of this show created a challenge for me. The ceramics studio where I work and fire larger pieces was closed from early December until the third week in January. I had started quite a few shrines, and some large sculptural figures… but it wasnt meant to be. I couldn’t get them dry/fired/glazed/fired in time. So I turned to some orphans I had waiting patiently in my studio. These are pieces that were perfect; no flaws or faults… but they hadn’t ever been completed with their interior elements. I was waiting inspiration, and this year it came! So I wanted to share a few of these with you. 

“Hope springs eternal”

B/F Hope Springs

It all started with the hare, a carved boxwood netsuke bead. The polymer egg is the work of Barbara Bechtel of Second Surf. From the hare and the egg, symbols of spring in many cultures, the rest fell in place. 

“Into the Woods”

Into the Woods

This was loosely inspired by the topic of Red Riding Hood and a discussion that occurred on Terri Windling’s blog. Terri is a Muse of mine, a fountain of folkore knowledge. The piece was carved with trees, intending to have a woodland theme. I sculpted polymer bread and a jug to go inside, referencing the items Red takes to Grandmother… 

And so you see – pieces that were waiting for me. This altar (below left) was a blank slate. I decided I wanted to hang elements, but hadn’t drilled holes before firing. The solution? Fabricate decorate wire hooks, or course. The bright butterfly piece shown below – that was dates 2011. The intense colors are not my usual palette, and it languished. But a polymer moth, hovering in from of a floral collage? Really visually pleasing to me… 

New shrines

Making the links

This piece is a personal favorite, a successful blending of techniques. I have been happily seed beading and adding bead embroidery to my jewelry repertoire. I want to make the wearables and the sculptures cohesive as my body of work. Beading the bottle element in this shrine adds a level of detail and color. It also makes connections to jewelry pieces displayed in the show. 

I hope people do get a chance to see the exhibit, which will remain up for this month. I am represented by the gallery, and do have other ceramic and mixed media pieces on display. Patti Paulus, one of the artist/owners created this wall for me. I was giddy! 

Gallery wall

The Palette and the Page: 

120 East Main Street ~ Elkton, Maryland
410.398.3636
Tuesday – Friday 11am-6pm  &  Saturday – 11am

Stay tuned for the next February update: February FunADay! 

 

 

 

 

 

Allegory Gallery visit!

Allegory – def. a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.

Allegory Gallery in Ligionier PA is more than just a bead store! It has a sense of style all its own, it fosters creativity and community, and supports the arts in myriad forms. The work of Andrew Thornton and William Jones, it is a retail and gallery space that I could see myself frequenting… if it werent 4+ hours away! I was thrilled to exhibit there, and glad it gave me a reason to go for a visit. 

gallery view1

 Allegory display, with collage

Gallery Montage

The shop is a feast for the eyes. From original architectural details of painted tin wainscoting, to vintage glass dishes displaying beads, there is so much to see. The space is shared with a wonderful used book store, staffed by friendly, fun people. I am sorry I did not have more time there! There are beads, glass and stone – your staples and more unusual finds as well. I did manage to shop a bit – of course! Just a few treasures, but such good ones! Those Mother-of-pearl quatrefoils are so perfect, something Medieval, images, resin… 

treasures found

And yes – a few pictures from the opening. (Photo credit – A. Thornton, borrowed from Allegory Gallery page.) It was a pleasure to spend time with local people, and friends who traveled into town. (Thanks Terri and Sue!)

JDR with gallery wall

Laughing at the camera phones. 

JDR Mythic Nature

My Mixed media collages on the gallery wall. 

Mythic Nature showcase at Allegory

My mixed media pieces in a very stylish case! 

Thanks all for a wonderful show opening! The exhibit will run until May 2, 2014. 

If you are in the area – dont miss this great gallery and shop!  

Allegory Gallery is located at 139 E. Main St Ligonier, PA. 

 

 

Curves….

Hello my Focus on Life photo/journey/challenge compatriots. I usually post on Instagram – altho I missed a few, and dont get to interact with you too much. I am usually teaching ceramics class every Saturday morning, and never seem to get a post written ahead of time… Please follow my pix on FB, and Instagram, and here – when I can. 

(The scoop on Focus on Life can be found here for those of you that are curious.)

I spent last Sunday with a group of Stunners. Thats the Pre-Raphaelite term for their gorgeous ideal woman, their muse, that inhabit their paintings. I also spent time with real life beauties – my friends that accompanied me to the exhibit! It was a lovely day, hard to describe. The artwork touches a deep place in my heart and soul. It was wonderful to share the exhibit with like minded people. I ended the day feeling full, happy, sated, inspired, exhausted, euphoric…. 

Here are pix from that day – including my “Curve” themed shots. 

Grey DC

Mansfield's Atalanta

Mansfield's Diana

Diana the Huntress

Sculptures are: “Atalanta” and “Diana the Huntress” by Paul Manship. Divinely Deco, fabulously female, marvelously mythic – my style! ( If the style looks familiar – have you seen the “Prometheus” in gold that dresides at Rockefeller Center? Yup. Same artist.)

NGA fountain

I think I take a picture like this every time I am at the National Gallery. It never ceases to enchant me. 

 

 I will admit – I have not posted pix the last 2 weeks. “Wrapped up” and “Possibilities” So I submit this catch up photo – for both! I am deep into preparing for my first show, and I am all wrapped up in clay. The posssibilities are endless!

Possibilities: clay

Have a wonderful week everyone. I hope to see your pix out there on the Interwebs. Happy Spring!