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″. 

AJE Component of the Month! May “flowers”

Welcome! Its that time of the month again! I seriously dont know where time has gone… The Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month is an event I look forward to! … and yet always feel rushed…

Sue Kennedy of SueBeads provided a lovely ruffle edged lamp work bead this month. Seem like I have been thinking this over for ever – and suddenly its time! It has to be finished! 

I was happily out of my comfort zone with the colors. Orange and olive. The shape of the bead was a bit floral to me, and I knew I wanted to place it “flat” so the whole bead would show… Here are my sketches: 

May sketches

I try to use words more and more in my work – this is no exception. I found a quote by Marcel Proust that touched on the friends I have made in AJE and the floral associations I had formed with the bead.

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” 


Here is a close up of the bead and the copper washer I have framing it. The spiral wire will be the soft rivet to hold this into the polymer I am planning… 

Sue beads CoM

 The polymer: I wanted to use the orange and green again, and embrace a palette that isnt my usual. The polymer is 2 layers, textured, hand painted. There are copper tube rivets at the top, and two dangles at the bottom. (There was supposed to be one. I drilled off center. Now there are two. )

pendant detail

The necklace echoes the colors – yellow jade, a seed pod, carnelian, and mystery stones – agate? Jasper? (I hate when I dont label it all carefully after the  rush of shopping at a show…Sigh.)

necklace finished

The back of the piece, stamped with the quote. It is upside down when worn – another adjustment I had to make. But if you are showing the piece to someone while wearing it – it is convenient to simple turn it over instead of flipping it up… ( Nice way to justify… )

necklace back

I love using Sue’s beads. Last year we were table neighbors at Beadfest Philadelphia in August. The time is coming soon… hope we are neighbors again! 

Please share your thoughts! I am working from home lately and love to have some Internet time to chat… Stay tuned for next months AJE CoM – organic ceramic earring pairs by yours truly! 

 

 

Inspired by reading… Paris to the Moon

(If you are looking for the Art Jewelry Elements CoM reveal – it is located here.)

Pour a coffee, pull up a chair… and welcome to the first month of the “Inspired by Reading” book/creative club. This wonderful idea is being masterminded by the tireless  & creative Andrew Thornton. Simply put – we participants, far flung though we may be – are reading a book a month. Then we are creating something – jewelry, a doodle, poem, collage… inspired by the book. Its very loose and flexible – which makes in very do-able, in my opinion. 

Our first offering: “Paris to the Moon” a collection of essays by Adam Gopnik that detail aspects of his life as a writer and father living in Paris. They were originally published seperately in The New Yorker magazine, and collected as a book published in 2000. 

Paris to the Moon

 I enjoyed the book overall, but found some of the essays not engaging to my interests. The topics of French economics and politics were not my favorites. The descriptions of life in the city, the challenges of an expatriot living abroad, and the frequent culture clashes between a former New York City resident and his now-fellow Parisians were charming and humorous. 

I was most inspired by his field trips with his son to Deyrolle Taxidermy. This Paris icon, preserving natural wonders since 1831, was their destination when rain kept them from their habitual turn in the Luxembourg Gardens. I usually find taxidermy a bit morbid, but this had me fascinated. Animals from the farm to the safari, many abandoned by their owners, bills unpaid. And insects, and coral, and butterflies, and all other diverse objects from the natural world – a cabinet of curiousities… 

Deyrolle

Deyrolle cases

Cabinet of curiousities. WunderKammer. Literally translated as “Room of Wonders”… from as early as the 16th century these collections housed “objects included as belonging to natural history (sometimes faked), geology, ethnography, archaeology, religious or historical relics, works of art (including cabinet paintings) and antiquities.” The image below, “Ulisse Aldrovandi’s Cabinet” (engraving by G. Mitelli) shows the concept in all its chaotic glory. 

Wunderkammer

 

Pendants. Amulets. Housing treasures – both natural and relics… Hmm… 

Amulets WIP

From top left: boxes – showing folded corners and inserted wires. They are cut from metal sheet, one piece; with tabs that fold to overlap at corners. There are wires inserted as staples to hold tabs and provide loops for attachments/bails. Then the boxes are filled – with ivory polymer, 2 part epoxy putty, black polymer. 

Wunderkammer amulets

Stained. painted… The shell piece (top left) had a chance encounter with the floor, sadly… The bottom two are my favorites. I prefer the layers of transluscent color I can achieve on the ivory base. 

The set of four

These will be finished with dangles and mixed media necklaces. They are rather heavy – but had to be deep to accomodate the items. I think they are reminiscent of specimen trays, and would be worthy additions to a WunderKammer. They are artifacts, and natural items, and become amulets as well. I think a future series of these will be stamped on the back with a quote, a secret word of power or mantra to wear next to your skin. 

I hope to finish them this week for my first big Spring show – Spoutwood Farm’s May Day Fairy Festival. Its a wonderful, magical time… 

And I hope you follow me to “Hop” and see what others created – inspired by “Paris to the Moon”. The list and links are on Andrew’s blog. 

Thanks for stopping by – I would love to hear your thoughts on these new experimental amulets…