Whirlwind of beads. AKA Beadfest 2014

 Bead Fest was two weeks ago?! Where has the time gone? Don’t answer that – I know: packing, unpacking, sorting. Sleeping, fondling beads, visiting with friends, art camp, field trips… More on the latter soon.  

So here are the hightlights, and the loot. 

 

1. Bead Fest is social!  Hanging out with Staci and Linda on Wednesday, the annual AJE dinner! So much fun! 

BF14 social!

2. Bead Fest is colorful and diverse. My display is for sure! I always bring a few tiles as they run parallel to my Mythic Nature pendants. Sold a few too!

BF my display

3. Bead Fest is preparation – for me! So much to pack and remember for display, class, swaps…  This was my class room still life from set up. Even though it was early Sunday morning – it went so well! And everyone had a great time, it seems. 

BF class prep

4. Bead Fest is learning. Teaching. Creativity. Exploration.  I was thrilled to teach at my first Bead Fest. I taught a mixed media class that incorporated quite a few techniques – that I am confident the students will apply in their work moving forwards. Here you see student work-in-progress, my concentration face, and class samples below. 

BF class WIP

 

Beadfest is shopping. Art beads. Glass, clay, metal, polymer, gems…

BF loot1

(Diana/Suburban Girl, Anne Gardanne, SueBeads, Jen/Glass Addiction, Humblebeads, HMB Studios)

BF loot2

(Sue beads, Caroline/Blueberri beads, Karen/Starry Road, Kristen Stevens, Melissa Meman, Diane Hawkey, Staci Smith, Lesley/THEA designs)

BF loot3

(Caroline/BlueBerri Beads, Mary/White Clover Kiln, Basha Beads, Kristi Bowman, Staci Smith, Green Girl Studios)

Hope you enjoyed that whirlwind recap! Now off to the studio to make more stuff! Fall shows are around the corner… 

Tangled webs: the waxed linen blog hop reveal

Waxed linen. 

When I think of it I imagine the colorful options, know it is versatile, and then draw a blank. Its not in my wheel house. Friends like Linda Landig and Erin Seigel, to name a few, use it with great results. But for me… its a challenge. So thats exactly why I decided to join when Diana of Suburban Girl Studio announced this blog hop. 

I sat down with my journal – and a coffee – to try to sketch… I like to think visually on paper in doodles. The characteristics of waxed linen that I was drawn to: multi strands, an assortment of treasures, versatility for beads of varying size holes, and I wrote down one word more, that really started the ball rolling. WOVEN. 

Athena and Arachne. 

In Greek myth, Athena ( Goddess of wisdom, war, and patroness of the arts) enters a contest with Arachne. Arachne, a human girl of consumate skill at the loom, commits a fatal mistake by bragging of her talent and offending the Goddess. They weave tapestries in competition, and although Athena wins, Arachne’s skill is great. Arachne hangs herself in the tatters of her weaving. Athena, in a moment of mercy, transforms the girl into a spider so she is allowed to/cursed to spin all her days.

Polymer hollow focal

I created a hollow polymer focal with aluminum tubing inside to act as a channel for multiple threads. The owl, representing Athena, is cast from a reproduction drachma. The web for Arachne is a linoleum stamp that I carved to use in clay. I toyed with various spider options, but they ended up distracting from the focal… 

thread and beads choices!

I have an amazing assortment of waxed linen from Mary at White Clover kiln. I also delved into my Czech glass treasure, from back in the days at the Shepherdess in San Diego. Just making the color decisions was the hard part! 

knotting the strands

My original plan involved all three of these strands. Two are double strands, knotted at intervals with beads spaced an inch or so apart . The third was denser, knots, 8’s and drop beads, continuously knotted. I liked the contrast of the more open strand with the denser strand. But all three – was too busy. Here is what I decided on in the end: 

 Tangled web - Athena and Arachne

The front: greys, blues and golds. A linen tassle dangling from the embedded loop. ( Note the top. The channel inset in the pendant was too narrow. Wrapped loops solved that problem!)

Tangled web - Athena and Arachne (back)

The back: Arachne’s web

So I was left with a knotted strand – just waiting for a pendant. Here is the bonus necklace I created with one of my ceramic fairy pendants. ( Fired to ^10 reduction for you clay people out there)

Bonus piece

 So – if I can muse philosophical for a sec, I am glad I did this. I don’t see waxed linen being my go-to material. I respect it, and designers/artists who work with it. I can see using it as an accent in mixed media pieces. I am happy with my pieces, and would love to hear your thoughts!

 

Thanks to Diana for organizing the challenge. Please visit her page for the links to all of us participating! There are sure to be diverse offerings, and many beautiful things! 

Thanks to Mary Hubbard for the sample bag of the waxed linen from her shop! I purchased it from her at Beadfest a year or two ago, and the plethora of pretty colors really inspired me to try my hand at linen and knotting! 

To my fellow participants – I am currently photographing flowering cacti in Austin, TX – and visiting family. I apologize for the delay, but I look forward to “hopping” as soon as I can! 

“The Interpreter of Maladies” – Inspired by Reading Book group blog hop

Interpreter of Maladies

Inspired by Reading Book Group. 

April’s selection: “The Interpreter of Maladies” by Jhumpa Lahiri

I was happy to have a chance to revisit these stories, as I had originally read the book 10 or more years ago. What I was instantly reminded of was their intensity. They are haunting, evocative, heartfelt and at times so very heavy. I was not able to complete the book this go through; both due to time constraints and the need to read something of a different mood. 

It was “When Mr. Pirzada came to dine” that inspired my piece this month. 

“Before eating Mr. Prizada always did a curious thing. He took out a plain silver watch without a band, which he kept in his breast pocket…Unlike the watch on his wrist, the pocket watch, he had explained to me, was set to the local time on Dacca, eleven hours ahead. For the duration of the meal the watch rested on his folded paper napkin on the coffee table. He never seemed to consult it…When I saw it that night, as he wound it and arranged it on the coffee table, an uneasiness possessed me; life, I realized, was being lived in Dacca first… 

The watch and the ritual was so symbolic, even more than a symbol – a direct link to his family so far away. There was love and longing in that ritual. There was hope and lonliness, worry, and despair present as well. I wanted to honor that ritual and create a talisman. 

Ganesh collage

Its not lost on me that Mr Prizada in the story is not Hindu – and I have chosen a Hindu god to go into the talisman. At story’s end he sends the family in the US, a Muslim New Year card – thus giving the reader confirmation as to his religion. But Ganesha is the “Remover of Obstacle” and there were so many obstacles, tangible and intangible, that stood between Mr. Prizada and his family, his future, his homeland. 

Ganesha watch

The piece is created inside an old pocket watch, lined with colorful sari fabric. I sculpted a Ganesh from polymer, and hand painted many layers, many details. There are crystals inlaid into the headdress as well. I am not sure what will happen to this piece – I can see it worn long with a tunic and leggings, but I can also see it as a hand held talisman. 

Ganesha watch 2

Dont let time be an obstacle. Make time for the people and pursuits that are important to you. 

 

Thanks for stopping by, I look forward to your comments, and seeing other’s book group offerings. 

Participants links can be found at Andrew’s blog. 

 

Starting anew…

Happy New Year! 

Meditation table

Yes, its the 2nd, and I am still honoring feelings of fresh starts, cleaning out the old, preparing for the new. Last year was a hectic mad dash to the holidays.  A mad dash that I felt was my state of operating – for the entire year. Many things DID get finihed, many loose ends neatly tied off and trimmed before December came to a close. Others? Well – January is the calendar’s Restart button. So I feel the slate is clean, and I look forward to the new year, its offerings, its potential, and its promise. 

Having said that – I dont do resolutions as much as I do “new beginnings”. I wanted to share with you a few things I have begun and will be endeavoring to continue as the calendar pages flutter by, as the wheel of the year spins… 

I am a collector of Tarot decks, and have probably a dozen. I tend to use the same few decks most frequently. I like to draw a card for the day, sit and ponder the message, sip on my coffee… It is the closest I come to meditating, but a few minutes of stillness to start the day is so beneficial. I was inspired to create wool/felted/embroidered/beaded bags for each deck. And then that grew into working with a deck a month… This month its the Druid Animal oracle deck, looking at totem animal, and animal symbolism from the Celtic/Druidic perspective. Written by Phillip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, it is exquisitely illustrated by Will worthington. In the back you see the bag I have started, upcycled from a felted wool sweater with a needle felted white horse ( ala Uffington) I still need to do details. 

Worthington's deck

The daily practice thread continues – into an art journal idea. A Rolodex card-a-day art journal. I can see the finished Rolodex in my mind’s eye, filled with color and texture, snippets and memories. The cards are so small – 4″ long – easy to travel with, and I am allowed to catch up if I miss a few days from business, sickness, etc. The idea to do a piece in 365 parts was inspired in part by Kirsty Hall.  Kirsty Hall is a British artist who did a 365 jar project.

Kirsty Hall Jar 365 in situ  KHall jar 365 detail

The 365 jars project has its own website. The project was interactive – jars were found, recorded on the site and adopted by their finders. Sadly Kirsty is in the UK, or else I would have been searching for a jar myself. It was fascinating and very inspirational to travel the year with her. While this is much smaller in scale and definitely more personal – I have to tip my hat to her! I have ordered a vintage metal Rolodex card file… but started on New Year’s day regardless. 

Rolodex sketchbook

Rolodex sketchbook2

One last venture – The Empty Shelf challenge. The idea of author Jon Acuff, the idea is to fill an empty shelf with the books you read over the course of the year. Well, I have no empty shelves, and read many things on the Kindle. So I am translating this to Instagram & Twitter, where I will be posting pix of finished books, and tagging them #emptyshelf. I have meant to do this many years running, and with the ease and fun of editing pix in Instagram – I may just achieve it. Many thanks to Jess of Rosy Revolver for bringing this to my attention! 

 

Please feel free to follow along – my Instagram ID is “jdaviesreazor and my Twitter ID is “JDRshrineart” 

I’d love to hear what you are reading, planning, or resolved to do in 2014!

 

 

Blank slate

The beginning

I find it both exasperating and exhilerating to start a new sketchbook. 

I am aware of the places I will go, the ideas I will have, the inspiration, the magic that will be housed in those pristine uncharted pages. 

But I feel sorrow having to put aside the book currently filled with the same. A chronicle of where I have been, classes taken, ideas hatched, lists made, and sketches… I will miss the former book as an old friend that has moved away. 

the canines

collections

sketches notes

Here’s to odeas and inspiration. And thoughtful musings on this grey autumn day. 

Blissed out. ArtBLISS 2013

 

 Follow your bliss.

I know this J. Campbell wrote may be used overmuch – but it is a mantra for my chosen life and creative career. And it relates to the past weekend where I spent a blissful time with friends, old and new, creating, learning, experimenting, sharing and socializing. 

ArtBLISS 2013. 

Many heartfelt thanks to Cindy Wimmer and Jeanette Blix for the community they have created. Yes, its an art retreat; classrooms and a small sales venue. But its much more. Lifelong friendships are started, and nurtured. Support and encouragement offered freely. Inspiration and creativity are the daily norms.  

AB13

ArtBLISS faces

The only complaint – there arent enough hours in the day. Or night for that matter! So refreshing to meet faces that priviously had been a computer avatar. Equally satisfying – spending time with like minded people… 

AB 13 charm swap

The annual charm swap – gorgeous, diverse charms created and swapped amongst particpating students. Amazing packaging! Great work, a priceless momento. 

AB 13 polymer

Saturday I had the pleasure to work with Christine Damm for a second year. The pastels and crayons dazzled the eyes! Class mates Terri, and AJE teammates Karen and Diana working, each piece stirring new ideas… 

3 ring circus

Friday and Sunday I was taking class with Richard Salley and Jessica Papke. Two rings of their “Three Ring Circus” class series. It was so phenomenal… I am going to go a little more in depth into that experience in another post. Really. 

My Ab 13

My weekend’s treasures. A polymer work in progress – a palette, and a process to work with going forwards. The rings – as I said – the class was so rich, and so fantastic… and it carried extra weigth with me. I am giddy with pride at the results of my labors and so excited moving forwards. And yes – I am wearing them now – a talisman to keep in touch with the energy of the weekend. 

I will save my philosophical musings for another time – I have supplies to order, and artwork to create. Thank you one and all for making the weekend so magical!

 

Focus on Life – 52 photos. Catching up.

Green

This week: Green Taken in the ceramics studio courtyard on a break from loading the big gas kiln. 

Hello everyone, 

Jenny here. I know I have been MIA. This weekend is the first in 2 months that I have been home without a show, or company. Posting on a Saturday would mean having it all done in advance… and you see how well that works for me. So this week I wanted to jump back in, catch up… I have posted many of these on Instagram, but I am not sure if many of the Focus on Life groups is there ( I know some of you are, Hello!)

Yes, the purpose of this year is to live and look mindfullly in the “now” during the week. And I have been for the most part. Its getting better now, summer, as my schedule is settling in: teaching “Clay Camp” and making things for Beadfest. So here is a glimpse. Thanks for your patience and understanding. 

Foodie

Foodie: I am a coffee snob, its so very true… 

Reminisce

Reminisce: Last weekend my 2 college roomates were here for our annual Girl’s Weekend. Alison summed it up best: ” Talk, eat, drink. Repeat.” It was wonderful to see them, and catch up – yet also feel like no time had passed. We have been friends for over 20 years…. 

 

Looking up

Looking up: This was a hard one. I was having trouble seeing interesting things. Until Oscar decided he wanted a snuggle as I was lying on the sofa… I also used the Percolator app on this one. 

 

Hope

Hope: What better symbol than the blossom about to burst open in all its natural glory? 

 

Hope to see you around more often! If you are on Instagram – look me up! ( I am jdaviesreazor over there!)

Have a lovely week everyone. 

PS. I still “owe” you typography… still looking. 

 

 

Inspired by… A Rumor of Gems

This month’s “Inspired by Reading…” book group selection was “A Rumor of Gems” by Ellen Steiber

A Rumor of Gems

I had a feeling I would like this book. Gemstones appearing, magic and mystery, myth and legend come to life. These are motifs that have fueled my work and inspired me since I was a child, with renewed interest in Art School, studying on England, doing my own research… I expected the inspiration for a piece to come easily, and actually it did not… 

The book is quite engaging, filled with rich characters that have depth, revealing their secrets over time. The locale is both here and now, a city you can imagine readily, and a fantasy landscape of the imagination. I was  drawn into the story, and thoroughly enjoyed it…  

When I finished the book – I had little time remaining with which to design and create a piece. Where to start? I was drawn to the moonstone as it’s one of my favorite stones and I have a lovely cabochon waiting for a setting. But that was to easy for me, too clear cut and evident.  I try to truly challenge myself when I am doing a blog hop, an event like this. It becomes my time to experiment, to play, and to be free of the constraints of shows, schedules, inventory. To make a piece for myself – whether it is a success or not… 

The scene I found to be the most evocative was Alasdair in the Womb of the Mothers. I was thrilled to read the names of so many goddesses, with respect and reverence. They were represented as many faces of the archetypal Maiden/Mother/Crone goddess. I work with the feminine divine frequently in my artwork, surely my inspiration would come from this scene? I have a stellar piece of lapis – as Alasdair gave his personal lapis life stone to the Cat Goddess. But my Muse was silent. 

So I went back to the beginning: 

“Alasdair left the apartment at midnight, well into Hekate’s hours. She was present tonight. He had felt her from the moment the sun sank beneath the horizon, had seen her in the waning crescent of the moon, had heard her owls calling from the hills… And it made sense that she’s be comfortable here. The city was , after all, a crossroads of sorts, and she is a goddess of crossroads.” (page 25)

This was the first goddess reference in the book, and it was exciting to me… It set the tone of myth and magic come alive, of scholarly fact interwoven into the fiction of the tale. This – Hekate – was my inspiration. 

 Hekate and Cerebus

Hekate & Cerberus, Apulian red-figure krater
C4th B.C.

Hekate

Hekate is the goddess of the night, the moon, the Underworld, and magic. She is the dark moon, and with Artemis (Maiden) and Selene (Mother) makes up the Triple Goddess. (She is partnered with Persephone and Demeter in the same way). This three fold nature continues in Hekate’s associations with crossroads where 3 roads meet, and with seeing the past, present, and future. Crossroads are liminal areas, areas of transition; Hekate governs life, birth and death. She welcomes souls to the Underworld, yet carries a torch to light the way to the future. One of her symbols is a key – to unlock inner mysteries. 

The key and her role as the goddess of the Dark moon, the crone, the wise woman… was where my inspiration lay. I chose to use a large black labradorite stone – as a stone was essential based on the book – and this stone evoked the dark moon. 

black labradorite 

Hekate pendant

I sculpted a polymer pendant – three cornered for Hekate’s crossroads. The stone is set with a wire staple and then an additional polymer bezel.  It bears the marks of stars for her mother – the Titan Asteria (Star). and is crowned with 2 crescents to represent the other aspects of the Triple Goddess. A key dangles from the bottom of the pendant. The polymer is hand painted, and finished with Gilders paste for a subtle sheen. 

I plan to finish this with a necklace of gems. Moonstone, labradorite, hematite, pearls, garnet perhaps – but there was no time… 

pendant with key

gems ideas

William Blake's Hekate

“The Night of Enitharmon’ Joy” (aka The triple Hekate) by William Blake. 1795. Pen and ink, watercolor on paper. 

This is one of the iconic Art History images I always associate with the goddess Hekate. 

 

Thank you for reading my ramblings! I am sorry I did not get the piece done – I am very happy with the results – this one is for me although I may make another similar version. Please check in on my colleagues and freinds who are also participating! It should be a very inspired and inspiring selection this month after such a good read! 

Mary K. McGraw http://mkaymac.blogspot.com/
Mary Harding http://maryhardingjewelrybeadblog.blogspot.com/
Jenny Davies Reazor http://www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog/
Judy Campbell http://www.macmillanmarie.blogspot.com/
Jeanne Billeci Steck
Andrew Thornton, Laurel Ross, Terri Greenawalt http://andrew-thornton.blogspot.com/ 

Participants will also be listed here. 

 

Resources: 

Theoi

A-muse-ing Grace Gallery ( The Art of Thalia Took)

Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

That magic moment.

That magic moment. 

The kind of moment when you step outside yourself and realize this moment is so incredibly amazing and you want to record it in your memory. The split second when magic happens – the magic bean taking root, the dragon hatches, the apple is bitten. 

A few weekends back I had a moment  – I slipped away from my tent, my art and wares, my job… to sit with Carolyn Turgeon and Charles Vess. They were doing a collaborative “talk” on magic in the creative process at the Spoutwood Farm May Day Faerie Festival. I have met them each on numerous occassions and wanted to see what they would create in a tent, on an idyllic farm, on a sunny Sunday… 

Vess WIP

Carolyn is a fabulously charming, witty and very talented author. Her work most recent work takes classic characters from fairy tales and reinvents them in a style all her own. Captivating! She was reading from her novel “Mermaid” and Charles was drawing – a touch of pencil and then Sharpie! Carolyn read the scene of the mermaid’s transformation – and stopped at that magical moment before the potion is consumed. She asked us to imagine that moment  and what we would create from that point.

Vess 2

Charles Vess drawing

Where did I go – since you saw me over Charles’ shoulder, scribbling away on my 3×5″ card… 

my notes

notes 2

I plan on making this piece – as close as can be without harming any mermaids… It was a lovely creative respite from a fun filled festival day. I count myself lucky to be in such good company!

Did I mention my sketch is on Carolyn’s blog? And a huge thanks to Carolyn for the pictures! 

Read more: 

Carolyn’s Mermaid blog post on this topic ( on www.Iamamermaid.com)

Charles website: Green Man Press 

“Mermaid, a twist on the classic tale” on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

April Component of the Month! Headpins…

 (If you are looking for the “Inspired by Reading” post and creative reveal – please click here. )

 I love it when a plan comes together. I received these simply gorgeous glass headpins from the hands of Jen Cameron for this month’s Component of the Month at Art Jewelry Elements. But I was out of town. I got home with 36 hours until the reveal… and I was tired and had mounds of laundry to do… When I sat down this afternoon I was thrilled to make it work – and I am pleased with the results. 

Jen's headpins

The headpins made me think of water. Not only the color, but the spiral and the tiny bubbles… I have been working on and off lately on a series of Goddess necklaces. This color and the element of water made me think of Yemanja. She is the Yoruba orisha, or diety of water, childbirth, the essence of the ocean. She was and is revered in many Afro-American regions, from Brazil to the Caribbean. (My Yemanja figure, shown on my “water” shelf with Sulis from Bath, is from New Orleans. ) Over time, Yemanja was seen to share many characteristics with the Virgin Mary: protectress of women and children, robed in blue, Mother of all… Mary is also known as Stella Maris/Star of the Sea thus linking her with the ocean as well. 

Water elementals

So I started browsing the stash… and started with a piece of sea glass. Here is a little “photo essay” of the selection process: 

planning pix

After that – the Parawire and the seashell were kept in the mix, along with copper links. I found the color blue more vibrant than the gems in my stash, and turned to Czech glass and crystal to satisfy my palette. The copper links are stamped “etoile” and “de la mer” to reference Yemanja/Stella Maris/Mary. 

the necklace

Coiled wire bail, dangle headpin, stamped copper links, wire wrapped crystals and glass beads, sari silk, seashell, hand made wire clasp. 

Not bad for a day’s work! What do you think?

Please stop by these blogs – my team mates and the guest designers participating this month: 

Guest Designers:

Erin Prais-Hintz

Kathy Lindemer

Alice Peterson

 

AJE Team:

Susan Kennedy

Lesley Watt

Melissa Meman

Linda Landig

Jen Cameron