Mixed Media Amulets – my Beadfest class draws near…

 Or – how an idea evolves and grows!

In just over two weeks I will be setting up to exhibit at my third Beadfest Philadelphia. But this year will be my first year teaching, and I couldn’t be happier! (Details are here!) The idea for my mixed media amulet class started with a ceramic cab I made – and a piece I designed for Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month… The theme was a labyrinth – and I dove onto the meanings of the symbol. To me it represents journeys – both inner and outer. My journey to teach at Beadfest has been both. 

BF class samples

From top left: class sample with porcelain cab, necklace with polymer cab, the original CoM piece with labyrinth. 

I have been making, and making and preparing inventory for Beadfest, or course. But I have paid extra attention to the cabochons my students will receive in their “kit”. I have made many designs, in different clay bodies. I look forward to making a few more sample pieces – all in the nature of preparing to teach… 

^10 kiln loading

There were app. 300+ cabs in this firing of the gas kiln at the “work” studio. We fired to ^10 reduction – app 2400 degreed F.  

class cabs 2

Knotwork, triskeles, labyrinths… and a few pairs for the seed bead people!

 class cabs1

Athena’s owl, cobalt on porcelain, butterflies… 

face cabs BF

Faces – porcelain, stoneware, and glazed… 

I am grateful for the support of my teamates at the Art Jewelry Elements blog! I even have three of them enrolled in class! There are spots available – although some sawing experience is needed. Perhaps I will see you there? My class is Sunday morning – on August 24th. Here’s the link: mixed media amulet class. 

Oh – and an admission coupon for those of you planning to come and shop! Enjoy! 

BF coupon #461

Polymer Clay Collective Conversation: my interview

Polymer Clay Collective, a Facebook group, is devoted to Polymer. Canes, sculpture, whimsy, jewelry, skinner blends, etc. Its a fun group of people willing to share and discuss a medium that we all have in common. In an effort to get to know each other there is an interview series – and here I am! 

 

Tell us a little bit about where you live:  I live in Newark DE – a decent sized college town in Northern DE. I love that I am within 2 hours drive of the beach, Washington DC, Baltimore, and Philadelphia! I grew up in this region and am a big fan of four distinct seasons. 

 

What do I do when I am not “polymer claying”?  – well – I am a full time working artist… I used to teach art full time and now I have gone freelance, teaching ceramics classes on weekends and summers. I also teach workshops in the region. I divide my studio time between the ceramics studio and the mixed media studio. My “Mythic Nature” series is comprised of ceramic sculptural tiles and pendants. I also create ceramic shrines and altars, incorporating found objects, hand bound books and the like. My mixed media work ranges from jewelry to collage. A diverse array, I know, but I love the having the freedom and the skills to incorporated so many different mediums! 

 

What did you want to be when you were little/do you think you will ever be? I wanted to be a florist. I wanted to be my own boss, have my own storefront, and work with flowers. Will I ever? NO. I have brown thumbs. But I do get to run my own business, work with lovely materials in all colors and textures… Oh – then I wanted to be an archaeologist… 

 

Tell us something about yourself that we dont know. Hmm. I spent a semester of college living and studying in London. Its the single most transformative, influential experience on my adult/artistic life. I went to Art History class in the Tate Gallery once a week. I traveled to ancient sites and museums every spare moment. London still feels a bit like home… 

 

Tell us your polymer clay story: What made you first try polymer clay and how long has PC been part of your life?  I first tried polymer in… 1989? Kathleen Amt, Kathleen Dustin, Tory Hughes… the pioneers where my  inspiration. I taught polymer at a fine arts Summer camp. Then I put it aside in favor of earthenware/stoneware clay for years! In more recent scope, I was inspired to try it again when I had a chance to take a class or two with Christi Friesen. I started to apply my earthen clay sensibilities to PC and love the immediacy and the option for inclusions… 

 

 

What’s your favorite PC technique? My current favorite is image transfer onto PC, but my work ( PC or stoneware) always has texture… 

 

What are your art/design inspirations? So many! Thematically my work is inspired by mythology, folklore, goddesses, and nature. Keith LoBue is a friend and a mentor who has influenced my found object sensibilities. Lana Wilson is a ceramic artist whose textural language, use of symbols and hand carved stamps, and slab construction methods has been profoundly influencial to me. I have had the good fortune to work with both artists in a classroom setting. If we open an Art History book – its the Pre-Raphaelites that come first in my heart for their narrative works, incorporating myth, folklore, and fairy tale. But I could  mention Brian Froud, Andy Goldsworthy, Sulamith Wulfing, Joseph Cornell, William Morris… 

 

Show us something you’ve made with polymer clay. OK! 

 

 JDR PC transfers

As I mentioned – I love PC transfers! For bead embroidery, as shown here… or mixed media pieces – I love having another layer of meaning in my work. 

 

 JDR PC/resin

Resin! Layers of meaning… you see the theme? The “Language of Flowers” pieces incorporate vintage illustrations from a children’s encyclopedia. ( from my choldhood!) The text pieces  were features in January as the “Component of the Month” over at Art Jewelry Elements blog. Both will be available at Beadfest this August! 

 

JDR PC/mixed media

Tarot card inspired shrine pendants and my Athena piece from Diana Ptaszynski’s Waxed Linen blog hop – this was a hollow focal and has started many new ideas brewing! 

 

JDR PC Beadfest

Last, but not least! Mixed media amulet pendants – the class I will be teaching at Beadfest Philadelphia ( August 20-24th) Tab set cabochons, textured PC and all matter of paint finishes! 

 

 

 

 Thanks for stopping by and taking a look at my PC work – Leave me a comment if you feel so inclined! 

Until later… 

 

I can be found: 

FB – The Art of Jenny Davies-Reazor

Twitter – JDRshrineart

Etsy – Jdaviesreazor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fern fronds… the June AJE Component of the Month reveal

Has it really been a month? A month of creative students at Clay Camp, commissions, beads, books, and frolicking with the fae in the woods… Pictures to follow in short order. But its time for the Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month reveal – that’s for sure! 

This month’s lovely focal is the work of AJE teamate Linda Landig. Linda is new to ceramic clay and was generous enough to share some of her first fired treasures with the team and readers. When I saw this fern – I called “Dibs” as fast as my fingers could fly over the keyboard. From first glance, I intended to hang the fern pendant point up, and extend the copper along the bottom to have room for dimples and dangles. The fern was a bit larger that I expected, so I decided to keep the copper tab setting more form fitting. I flipped the setting as I decided to roll the tabs over the top of the piece – not only holding the stoneware in, but creating a channel for stringing material. The bottom tabs, and hole/dangel complete the secure tab setting. 

Fern tab setting

The back has a curled fern cut out, and is stamped with the words – peace, growth, strength. These are symbolic meanings associated with the fern. My initial suede lace arrangement (seen above) was too thin, too stretchy. I was committed in my mind’s eye to the suede as it was the perfect rust tone to echo the iron stain in the super detailed fern imprint. 

Everything in me wanted to use green. I was trying to avoid that as too predictable. I mean ferns are green, sure. but there isnt a RULE… In the end there is a bit of light green, as well as pod beads, wood grain jasper, copper chain… The necklace is very long, over 30″ – but that was the place it seemed to “fit” best.  I like its eclectic, organic design. 

Fern fronds CoM

(There are jump rings employed at variable spaces to connect the suede to the chain. Keeps it loose, yet under control.)

 fern fronds details.

( I included this one for scale – as my hand will give you a reference.) 

Thanks Linda! This was super fun – any reason to design unique tab settings, and I am there!

Please head over to the Art Jewelry Elements blog to see the team members and readers contibutions! There will be diverse offerings to entertain and inspire ! 

“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. 

 

Inspired by Reading book group – Irish inspiration

 Irish Country Doctor

After a long hiatus, I am thrilled to be back on track with the “Inspired by Reading” book group! 

For the month of March – we read “An Irish Country Doctor” by Patrick Taylor. It was a good read, quick, easy, and entertaining. It reminded me in some ways of a Maeve Binchy novel – in that there was a cast of characters, richly developed by the author, that I grew to like, and care about. The story line, at times poignant, at times humorous, was driven by the characters… their growth, foibles, and interactions. I could see reading other books in the “series” – I think they are loosely related based on said characters, and can each be read as a stand alone novel. 

As to inspiration – I was immediately making associations from this small town in Northern Ireland, set in the early 1960’s (?) to another fictional small town… Brigadoon. ( I KNOW Brigadoon was set in Scotland, but once I thought it I couldnt un-think it…) 

Brigadoon poster Brigadoon album

My mind seized on the idea of two. Two realities. Two visions, two versions… (In case you arent familiar with Brigadoon, the musical tells the tale of a magical Scottish village that appears into our world for one day every 100 years. Two NYC gents stumble on the town, THAT DAY. Coincidence? Hmm. Boy meets girl, falls in love, leaves, town disappears. Boy mopes in NYC, returns to find town gone… yet it reappears! True love works magic.  He joins his love in magical town, leaving our world behind.) 

So where do we stand? Irish images, but a 2 sided focal. OK! 

Irish details

To create the pendant I started with 2 copper discs, cutting in circular windows. I cut a matching circle of 1/4″ Faux Bone for the center core. The copper is stamped, patina added, tumbled, etc. The images, sealed, are glued on. The piece is assembled with balled wire/soft rivets. 

Making the bail was more challenging. The shape and wire wrap were easy enough (Thanks to Kerry Bogert for causing me to rethink colored wire.) Drilling through the FB – I went a bit crooked and the 2 holes weren’e aligned. So what would have been a piece of copper tubing through one hole – became 2 microbolts and washers, with a spot of glue for security! It DOES spin now as I planned. 

  • The thatched cottage is from an antique postcard, the blackbird is from a vintage Irish stamp. 
  • The stamped text reads “Beatha agus Failte” or “Life and Health” a traditional Irish phrase. 
  • The gems are jade, goldstone, dragon’s blood jasper

Cottage view 

Blackbird view

Thanks for taking this meandering journey with me! I know the Muse often leads us on a winding path, and I find it ironic that I was reading this bookwhile on a cruise ship in the Caribbean! No green in sight… 

Please join us – the links and images of other participants can be found at Andrew’s blog! 

 

 

 

 

 

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. 

 

 

Mythic Nature exhibiting at Allegory Gallery!

Snake Skin

“Snake Skin” mixed media on canvas. 8″ x 10″      2013

I am packing up collages today. Getting ready to ship them to Allegory Gallery for the opening this weekend. Its a whirlwind – with teaching Saturdays, creating new work for Berks Bead Bazaar, sculpting and casting new tiles for the Spring season… and I love every second of it!

(There is a newsletter link on the upper right of my blog page – please sign up if you are interested! )

I am super excited to see Andrew’s gallery/retail space – I can only imagine the labor of love, and the joy such a place would be… Blood, sweat and tears! They describe themselves as: “Allegory Gallery is a creative space that’s one part bead store, one part jewelry boutique, one part fine art gallery, and one part gift shop. The aim of Allegory Gallery is to promote artisan craftspeople, inspire the community to explore their creativity, and act as a focal point for classes and artistic education in the area.”

Please feel free to visit their website to learn more. I am sharing this show with artist Elise Wells; there is a lovely feature article written by the local paper located here. From the article: Thornton said he finds Davies-Reazor’s style to be richly layered, like a sturdy tapestry.

“Jenny mixes layers of ephemera, pattern and symbolic color to embody mythology and mysticism, creating (sometimes quite literally) shrines.”  

The show will run through March and April. Allegory Gallery is located in Ligonier PA. 

 

Many meandering paths… coming together!

MM amulets

BEADFEST 2014! 

I am thrilled to be taking the next step in my teaching career and offering a mixed media workshop at Beadfest Philadelphia this August! ( Information can be found here.) These mixed media amulets bring together metals, ceramics and polymer in a unique and colorful way. Students will design, saw, texture, and create their own personal amulet. Acrylic paint is used to accentuate the impressed designs. Whether colorful or rustic, bold or subtle – they will be gorgeous. 

The work I am am doing now is truly the culmination of many years of experience in the arts. From studying painting and metal smithing in Art school, to early experiments with sculpting polymer in the early 1990’s. I have painted and sculpted my entire life, and as my full time job for over 24 years. I was fortunate to work with Lana Wilson at Penland a few year back, and she really opened my eyes to texture. ( My Penland posts are here and here.) I am thrilled to share the things I love with a new crop of students in the Beadfest environment. 

Thanks to all who have supported me along the way, I look forward to this new exciting chapter! 

A few more pictures, you say? I value the diversity of polymer: 

Dragon transfer

Testing out polymer transfers. (Original post on Art Jewelry Elements blog)

Celtic Amulet

My Celtic amulet – contains sand and amber from the Baltic Sea.  

And just for fun: Dont laugh too hard! The early Art History inspired polymer – from my days as “Jewelry Jenny” at Appel Farm Arts and Music camp. Teaching polymer over 20 years ago… ( Munch’s “The Scream, A Klimt woman, and Medusa…)

AH polymer

Thanks for stopping by! 

 

 

 

 

January reveals… the AJE component of the month

(Please feel free to read the AJE post where I introduced these Mixed Media pieces, and discussed their construction.)

Jan CoM

January. Beginnings. Resolutions. Blank slate. Fresh start. Intentions. 

1:  a determination to act in a certain way :  resolve

2:  importsignificance

3 a :  what one intends to do or bring about

   b :  the object for which a prayer, mass, or pious act is offered
 
4:  a process or manner of healing of incised wounds
 
When I designed this piece, I wanted something I could wear often, if not everyday. I had chosen a word for myself that was to be a talisman for the upcoming year. I wanted to wear it and be reminded to be present, in the moment, and to live with intention.  
Jan CoM collage

 

“Live with intention.
Walk to the edge.
Listen Hard.
Practice wellness.
Play with abandon.
Laugh.
Choose with no regret.
Appreciate your friends.
Continue to learn.
Do what you love.
Live as if this is all there is.”

 Mary Anne Radmacher

The piece was in olive polymer, with accents of copper and teal. The teal was so subtle – I wanted to enhance it with gems. Here its apatite. The greens are green garnet, long a favorite of mine. Copper chain, bead caps and wire are the metallic notes. The jade? jasper? beads on one side in the back are sprinkled with apatite as well. The pearls on the other side do have a coppery sheen. 

I am deeply satisfied with the focal and the necklace overall and have worn it many times this month. I do have more of these mixed media pieces in the works – and will have them at Berks Bead Bazaar March 1-2. 

I look forward to exploring the creations of my AJE colleagues and the guest bloggers this month. Plese join me? Links are below. 

Guests:

Hope of Craftyhope 

Sarajo of SJ Designs Jewelry


AJE team

Jennifer Cameron

Diana Ptaszynski

Lesley Watt

Susan Kennedy

Caroline Dewison

Linda Landig

Melissa Meman

Keirsten Giles

Rebekah Payne

Kristen Stevens

Entries and exhibitions – DCCA

Today I have a few loose ends to tie up before heading to the studio. The deadline for the DCCA Altrenatives Holiday market/show is today! Time has flown… luckily I can deliver this in person. I am submitting a sampling of sculptural and wearable pieces – all perfect for gifting and collecting. 

Chelsea Monday

“Chelsea Monday” – copper, brass, lens, antique paper, image transfer, wool, gems. 

 

Homeland/heritage

“Heritage” – copper, antique key, resin, antique paper, image transfer, map, micro fasteners, gems. 

 

Buddha shrine

“Buddha Shrine” – stoneware, Buddha netsuke, shell, mica, pewter twig. App *” x 5″ x 2″. 

 

Selkie's Shrine

“Selkie’s Shrine” – stoneware, artist’s book ( includes suede, paper, image and text) shell, egg case, bottle, sand, bookcloth, beads. App. 9″ x 6″ x 3″.