Button Swap Blog Hop

Good Morning! Welcome to the Button Swap Blog Hop! Thanks Cindy for hosting!  I have quite a journey to share, with interesting results – so refill your beverage and let me tell you the tale…

I got gorgeous buttons from my partner Sandi Volpe. I knew right away the button she cast was the star; organic shape, interesting design… I sort of see a female partial figure in there! I couldnt get to work until Thursday – yes, 2 days ago – but I knew exactly what I wanted to do…

starting out

The buttton was going to be “set” in Faux bone, creating a frame and a backing structure. Wires running through the shank in the back woud form prongs over the edges of the FB to secure the button. 

detail of button

(Do you see the female form? Are those breasts? They also look like owl eyes…)

ink and FB

Way too much color at first – I knew I would sand it back to a minimun, the antique look I desire.  

front back

There it is! Button set – front and back views. I inscribed the words “Bandia taobh istigh” on the back, Gaelic for ‘Goddess inside you’. I cant NOT see the female owl faced woman at this point in time. She is there every time I look. 

The problem? I dont like it. The button is deep, and currently sits up too high. The copper prongs are too visually busy and distract from the button, and I want it to be all about the button…

Plans for FB button piece

Here is where the FB piece is going. This is another gorgeous antique button from Sandi. Framed and cushioned with leather, it is ‘glued’. (Shh dont tell. I almost NEVER use glue.) The plan here is a bracelet, triple strands – the leather, 2 strands seed beads and the clasp as shown. That is as far as the piece has gone for now…

Back to button #1. (Love the alcohol ink fingernails!) I have deep copper bezels from Nunn Designs, and I have been waiting for the right thing. This may be the right thing. 

New plan

On the left: set into epoxy putty. On the right: collaging in a plastic lens for the back, *text and a feather. 

Set in epoxy lens for back

Left: painted and distressed epoxy and tentative dangle choices. Right: Similar treatment to epoxy, lens in place. 

almost there! Lens in situ

*Caillech-oidhche is one Gaelic name for the owl. It literally translates as ” Crone of the Night” a reference to the Goddess the Cailleach – a crone, or aged wise woman; a Scottish goddess of winter, storms, stones. Since I was seeing a female form and an owl this dual reference sprang to mind. Owls are seen as symbols of wisdom and far-seeing/perception; both attributes we gain as we mature into wise women ourselves. 

This is as far as I have traveled. I am sorry to not have a finished piece, but I am sure you can appreciate the trials and tribulations. I am very happy with where this is headed. If I had planned the lens from the beginning I could have set it into the epoxy earlier. Now I will have to set it in and camoflauge the adhesive as a separate step. I had thoughts of collage and resin directly into the back over the epoxy putty but  wanted to be more finished for today…

Please take a look at my colleagues – who may have finished pieces for your viewing pleasure! (The list is alphabetical, names do appear twice. ) I loved this challenge – I had a secret stash of buttons I could share with a new freind, and it has definitely inspired me to stop hoarding and start integrating them! Especially my collection from my Grandmother. I think it would please her!

Thank for stopping by, happy travels!

 

Alice Peterson  and Kim Bender

Angie Blasingame and Billi R.S. Rothove

 Billi R.S. Rothove and Angie Blasingame

 Birgitta Lejonklou and Pam Farren

 Bonnie Coursolle and Tania Hagen

 Brenda Salzano and Hope Smitherman

 Cat Kerr and Heather Powers

 Cece Cornier and Jeannie Dukic

 Celeste Thurston and Christine Damm

 Christine Damm and Celeste Thurston

 Christine Stonefield and Dana James

 Cilla Watkins and Lori Bowring Michaud

 Cindy Wimmer and Mimi Gardner

 Cynthia Machata and Julia Johnson

 Cynthia Riggs and Lori Finney

 Dana James and Christine Stonefield

Diana Ptaszynski and Erin Prais-Hintz

 Emma Thomas and Rebecca Anderson

 Erin Prais-Hintz and Diana Ptaszynski

 Erin Siegel and Sharon Borsavage

 Heather Powers and Cat Kerr

 Holly Westfall and Sally Russick

 Hope Smitherman and Brenda Salzano

 Jayne Capps and Kim Dworak

 Jeannie Dukic and Cece Cornier

 Jenna Meyers and Kristi Harrison

 Jenna Tomalka and Karen McKillip

 Jenny Davies Reazor and Sandi Volpe

 Julia Johnson and Cynthia Machata

 Kalaya Steede and Kylie Dickman

 Karen McKillip and Jenna Tomalka

 Karen Mitchell and Renetha Stanziano

 Karla Morgen and Mary Govaars

Kay Thomerson and Shannon Chomanczuk

 Kim Ballor and Laurel Steven

 Kim Bender and Alice Peterson

 Kim Dworak and Jayne Capps

 Kim Roberts and Partner unable to participate at this time.

 Kristi Harrison and Jenna Meyers

 Kylie Dickman and Kalaya Steede

 Kym Hunter and Lynda Moseley

 Laurel Steven and Kim Ballor

 Linda Djokic and Patty Gasparino

 Line Labrecque and Teri Baskett

 Liz DeLuca and Lorelei Eurto

 Lorelei Eurto and Liz DeLuca

 Lori Anderson and Niky Sayers

 Lori Bowring Michaud and Cilla Watkins

 Lori Finney and Cynthia Riggs

 Lynda Moseley and Kym Hunter

 Marianna Boylan and Tracy Statler

 Mary Govaars and Karla Morgen

 Mary Harding and Stacie Florer 

 Maureen Baranov and Tracy Bell

 Melissa Martin and Theresa Fosdick

 Michelle Hardy and Peggy Johnson

 Mimi Gardner and Cindy Wimmer

 Nicole Valentine Rimmer and Niki Meiners

 Niki Meiners and Nicole Valentine Rimmer

 Niky Sayers and Lori Anderson

 Pam Farren and Birgitta Lejonklou

Pam Ferarri and Stefanie Teufel (will share their reveal on a later date)

 Patty Gasparino and Linda Djokic

 Peggy Johnson and Michelle Hardy

 Rebecca Anderson and Emma Thomas

 Rebekah Payne and Sue Kennedy

 Renetha Stanziano and Karen Mitchell

 Rose Binoya and Shanti Johnson

 Sally Russick and Holly Westfall

 Sandi Volpe and Jenny Davies Reazor

 Shannon Chomanczuk and Kay Thomerson

 Shanti Johnson and Rose Binoya

 Sharon Borsavage and Erin Siegel

 Shirley Moore and Veralynne Malone

 Stacie Florer and Mary Harding

Stefanie Teufel and Pam Ferarri (will share their reveal on a later date)

 Sue Hamel and Terry Carter

 Sue Kennedy and Rebekah Payne

 Tania Hagen and Bonnie Coursolle

 Tania Spivey and Teresa Gagne

 Teresa Gagne and Tania Spivey

 Teri Baskett and Line Labrecque

 Terry Carter and Sue Hamel

 Theresa Fosdick and Melissa Martin

 Tracy Bell and Maureen Baranov

 Tracy Statler and Marianna Boylan

 Veralynne Malone and Shirley Moore

 

 

 

B is for Brigid – Happy Imbolc

Brigid

Imbolc – the Feast Day of Brigid – goddess and saint. Marking the halfway point from mid-winter to the coming of spring, days are a bit longer, early blooms are soon to bud. Brigid, the goddess of fire, of inspiration, healing, poetry, smithcraft. St Brigid – keeper of the flame, Abbess of Kildare. 

The above image is from my Encyclopedia of Goddesses – my submission for the Sketchbook Project. I included many of Brigid’s symbols – the snowdrop, the Brigid’s cross…and of course a triskele design to reference her Celtic nature. To me this marks a time to start things anew. Sweeping out the old, coming out of the winter hibernation to clean, refresh, and become ready. A new outlook, a new fresh start. Time to undertake new projects and endeavors, time to come out and start to blossom. I spent today with my attention on hearth and home. Cleaning and puttering around the house, neatening, organizing.  And I spend a good bit of the morning in the ceramics studio – purging, sorting, and making ready. Ready to do new work, ready to make the magic happen. Here’s to a fresh month, a dose of inspiration – the fire in the head of the Celtic bard! ( Yeats used the phrase to reference a visionary experience. I use it to refer to the fire of creative inspiration.)

Here are a few links if you are interested in more information or celebrating Brigid’s Day today…

Brigid – Celtic Goddess

Brigid of Kildare

Imbolc 

The Wild Hunt – Brigid article

Montage video for Brigid

And let me close with this lovely peom by the wise and wonderful Caitlin Matthews: 

HEARTH OF BRIGHID PRAYER by Caitlin Matthews

Brighid of the Mantle, encompass us,
Lady of the Lambs, protect us,
Keeper of the Hearth, kindle us.
Beneath your mantle, gather us,
And restore us to memory.

Mothers of our mother,
Foremothers strong,
Guide our hands in yours,
Remind us how
To kindle the hearth,
To keep it bright,
To preserve the flame.
Your hands upon ours,
Our hands within yours,
To kindle the light,
Both day and night.

The Mantle of Brighid about us,
The Memory of Brighid within us,
The Protection of Brighid keeping us
From harm, from ignorance, from heartlessness,
This day and night,
From dawn til dark,
From dark til dawn.

Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Standing over a cauldron, tossing in snippets of this, portions of that – brewing up a potion, a recipe in a cauldron. You imagine them, sisters three, over a large smoky steaming cauldron, aged, gnarled and bent – Shakespeare’s Three Witches. Or perhaps you imagine a younger more contemporary potion maker – young Hermione sitting, small cauldron inher lap, brewing Polyjuice Potion in Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom. (I DID just get back from vacation to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando…)

Cauldron are symbols of creativity, inspiration, transformation in Celtic myth (see the myth of Cerridwen I blogged recently.) So I find it apropos that I am participating in a creativity challenge/bed swap dubbed “Bead Soup Blog Party”. I have been sent the beady ingredients and I will start brewing up a creation of my own – little of this, pinch of that…and what comes out will transform the disparate parts into a wearable piece, or two, or three…

Jelveh's box

This lovely arrived inthe mail from my talented partner Jelveh of Jelveh’s designs. Eager with anticipation…

BS box 3

So full, so many treasures… 

BS box4

…irridescent beauties….

BS box5

…a riot of color…

BS box6

…metallic medley…

coral and clasp

Sterling and coral…

lampwork and focals

…and the focals! WooHoo. Oceanic landscape and a goddess? Sweet! The detail on the Oceanic treasures necklace is stunning. I want to do that bead justice, and really show it to its full glory. And of course I love the goddess bead for me; and she has a little flower on her bottom… Not to mention the gorgeous colors in the lampwork beads. They range from pinks, mauves, lavenders, blues -and are so harmonious together, just my style. 

Many thanks go out to my Bead Soup Blog Party partner, Jelveh, for this fantastic generous package! And to Lori at Pretty Things for masterminding this whole event! I have to say – I started working with my soup last weekend. I have the focal planned, and have already created a few other pieces since my soup was so bountiful! Stay tuned for the big reveal on September 17th! (There are 362 participants around the world!)

 

 

The goddess and the lunar hare

Faux Bone – just what the name implies, a relatively new material, related to PVA plastic, yet non toxic and high quality. It was launched on the market by Robert Dancik, and I have had it on the workbench for months! Wanting to try shaping, sanding, carving, impressing, staining… this versatile material. So here is the first attempt: 

Faux bone goddess

The ceramic oval on the left is my goddess/poppet. To me She is the self, the soul, the creative muse, the feminine divine. Her shape is inspired by Cycladic idols and other ancient sculpture. I wanted to see her in faux ivory of a sort. The copper acts as a structural base for the piece, the dark rich patina of the copper setting off the subtle tones in the FB. From a design sense it serves as a halo, and allows holes at hands (for attachment to a necklace) and feet ( gemstone dangle, of course!)

Cycladic idol  Nile Goddess (Left: Cycladic Idol, app. 2500 BCE. Right: Nile Goddess, app 3500 BCE)

I was happy with how she turned out, although I am still considering giving her breasts… I turned my focus next to me second favorite of my ceramic pendants – the lunar hare. The  hare is a bit of a totem animal for me, and I am greatly inspired by the many myths of the moon hare. From so many cultures, so diverse, yet illustrating a commonality…

Lunar hare

The crescent on the right – is polymer clay. I was baking some other pieces for the Blue Hen and I made a few crescents to test. While i like the sculptural possibilities – this one is too bulky. I think Faux bone will work best here, too. Other things in progress: 

Copper and nickel silver windows/ frames. Images are sandwiched under mica, tube rivets, stamped words… This was a direct inspiration from Melissa Manley – and although she wasn’t the first to ever use this technique – it is only proper, and respectful to give credit. (Her work is amazing, and I am happy to have studied with her, and to call her a friend. ) The piece on the far left: “Such stuff as dreams are made on…” quoted from “The Tempest” – houses an image of Miranda from a painting by my favorite, John Williams Waterhouse

copper frames pendants

The piece on the right is a bit different. It is carved wood, housing a collage. The collage is set in a plastic lens and resin. The front image is an Irish stamp, copper, and the word ‘Journey’. The back: 

MM bird back

It is an idea I am experimenting with – crating sculptural frames for collage/lens. My text, as always, is from 200+ year old books. It is a meditation of sorts, to thumb through the yellowing pages, eyes flitting and darting, until the right words present themselves to me. Words I would not have chosen; phrases I would not have composed…

I would love to hear your thoughts, out there in the ether. Do you have a personal talisman? A totem animal? 

 

Catching up… and creative undertakings

Where did last week go? I lost a few days in a pollen induced haze of headaches and general lethargy. It is amazing how fantastic “Normal” feels after running  on depleted energy stores. SO last week-  no posts. Oops. 

This week – there is a lot going on. Meeting today with the amazing M. Carol Mauer to finalize our plans for a ceramic finger labyrinth class. Should be wonderful. More on that ASAP. (It will be soon, in Wilmington, DE)

Last week recieved the foundation for a fantastic journey that I will be undertaking over the next year. 

Sketchbook

 

The Sketchbook Project – artists from around the world sent a slim paperback sketchbook. Choose a theme, and create! The completed books will be exhibited in Brooklyn, San Francisco, Austin, among others – with corresponding exhibits overseas in Melbourne and London! At the exhibits the books are out to be seen, read, examined.  All of them. I am thrilled. I selected “Encyclopedia of…” as my theme. I am thinking Goddesses – of course! I am glad they are coming to Philly so I can see the show – and hopefully my sister will see it in Austin! I need to get planning… Perhaps an A to Z of goddesses… There is still time to sign up if you are interested. 

And glazing. And weeding. And enameling. Let me post this now, and i will tell you more later – promise!