We are all stardust… the Art Elements theme reveal

Hello – its that time again!

This month Laney gave us STARS. This is a motif near and dear to my heart… should be easy, right? Well I apologize as I have only a WIP post for you today. With my part time job ( at Sarafina Fiber Arts!) and shows, and a two week plague  ( upper respiratory) I only have a WIP to show you. SO let me get started:

Awaiting paint

I started here with a votive star goddess on polymer. I imagined her, framed in a shadowbox, before a speckled starlit sky…

At Sarafina – I carded a custom blend. Starting with a variegated blue, I boosted the teal and purples. I was seeing the background as a wet felted piece.

My custom carded night time batt

From my stash at home – I added merino wool in teals, white nepps, dyed silk, and twilight sparkly Angelina fibers…

The assembled ingredients.

After wet felting – it didnt go as I had planned. I did not get complete adhesion between the fibers, and it is too large. ( I used wool batting as a core of sorts, and the piece shrunk much less) I can work on this agin to try to bond the layers.. .but for now – I will set it aside.

Purples and teals…

details of silk and nepps

I did two smallish pieces at a time. This one in a more teal palette makes me happy! But it sill needs a little work. And with the business of the fibers – I think less beads would have been called for…

teals and blues

The spiderwebs of silk…

The new plan is this: Beading on a piece of felt  – created from felting a cast off sweater. It had a nice heathery color and I can bead a galaxy of sorts swirling out from the star goddess. I am seeing her embedded in epoxy clay, amidst crystal shards in the bottom of the frame.

I am so sorry I couldn’t do more for tis theme! But I will finish – and for now, why not hop over to my team mates and our guests?

Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy!

Guest Artists
Art Elements Team

The Art Elements Rune reveal

Welcome to our last official COM here at Art Elements! Starting next month we are moving to monthly themed challenges. We felt this was expanding the option, invigorating out creativity and opening the door to so many mediums!

This final COM is stunning metal clay runes made by Niky Sayers. I had the good fortune of meeting Niky in London and receiving mine personally!

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Niky’s runes are cast from her own hand made personal set, and based on the Elder Futhark. These symbols were originally carved in wood and stone, and their straight lines reflect that context. Elder Futhark was a runic alphabet used by Norse and Germanic peoples from approximately the 2nd – 8th centuries. ( styles changed, runes evolved, and continued to be used….) Runes are recorded in sources such as the Poetic Edda as being used for inscriptions and talismans.

In the 1980’s Ralph Blum published and popularized the runes as a system of divination. I have long been a fan of Tarot cards, as an inspirational and oracular device. But runes were never my go to, and I enjoyed this chance to start working with them.

The first rune I selected to work with is URUZ, meaning “aurochs”. It’s traditional meaning is “Physical strength and speed, untamed potential. A time of great energy and health. Freedom, energy, action, courage, strength, tenacity, understanding, wisdom. Sudden or unexpected changes…” Immediately I saw a Phoenix, as working with the runes coincided with a New Moon journal spread I was planning. ( And yes – this means I still have this actual rune to use in a piece of jewelry!)

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The dark moon was done in watercolor pencils and crayons. I wanted to leave a hint of a triple spiral there in purples and black. The Phoenix was drawn in pencil and inked with fine marker. The color was very satisfying to do- many layers and colors blended using Derwent watercolor pencils.

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I was a bit disappointed with the background. I used a student grade liquid watercolor and it feels a little flat, a little blah to me. Such is the nature of an art journal: experimentation, risks, and play.

The second rune I selected was EHWAZ, meaning horse. It’s traditional meaning is: movement/ progress, steady progress, transit and transition. When thinking “horse” I immediately think of the Uffington chalk figure, and I was seeing landscapes in my mind’s eye from my recent trip to visit Lesley in Dorset. This idea evolved quite naturally, involving polymer and felt…

I wet felted two abstracted landscapes in a palette of greens:

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The rune will be affixed to the frame at center top. The felted tapestry inside, and an image of the Uffington horse to float above, suspended on fine gauge copper chain.

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This is the work in progress so far – I am seeing a few changes I want to make. I want to create another felt tapestry and play up the copper color from the rune itself. I think I will add a thin layer of white acrylic paint on the frame, a white wash of a sort, to lighten the piece. And yes – that is a rogue hair from my paintbrush. Oops. I am happy with my overall design plan – but need to tweak the palette a little. What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts…

And I look forward to seeing the creations from my team mates and our guests this month:

Guests:

Kelly Rodgers

Deb Fortin

Art Element Members:

Laney Mead

Lesley Watt

Caroline Dewison

Jenny Davies-Reazor

Susan Kennedy

Cathy Spivey Mendola

Jennifer Stout Cameron

Claire Fabian

Lindsay M Starr

Niky Sayers

Wednesday – Work in Progress

Just a quick update – what is actually happening this week? Some people blog a Wordless Wednesday – here is a Work-in-progress Wednesday. I try to be in the ceramics studio on Mondays and Wednesdays. I work at home the other days – on everything from mixed media, glazing, jewelry…

So here is the clay in progress: 

Celtic flora tiles

Here are the initial sculpted pieces – a set of tiles depicting the four Celtic plants. (Scottish thistle, Irish shamrock, Tudor rose, and Welsh daffodil.) They are rough at this stage, and obviously one tile short. When the clay is a bit dryer and firmer, I will carve in details and neaten everything up in general. The shamrock is tough, it is such a simple plant, I may take out the four leaf and enlarge it even more. They are 5″ square, and will be ready for fall shows. 

Yesterday was a glazing day. I moved things up to a temporary spot in the dining room; it was too lovely a day to be in the basement for hours. (Now when it gets hot – I love the basement!)

goddess pendants

From an Indian goddess icon, these are half way there. The color to bring out the details and a transparent glaze will be applied over that. 

Plate-o-pendants

I wish I could say I got all these done! – but they are also awaiting their clear transparent coat of glaze…

Milagro pendant WIP

These milagro eyes are my current favorite. I have a finished one I wear almost every day… 😉

But there is more to be done:  the chipmunks for Robert, the buttons for Noelle, and the molds for Cooky… and that glazing to finish. Back to work. Maybe I will load the kiln before dinner…

 

Bead Table Wednesday…

(I was procrastinating doing a blog entry because I am behind on my A to Z entries. Well, that’s silly. I am so far off the original schedule! I will do them, I will, but not today.)

Today is Wednesday – Bead Table Wednesday – a Flickr group devoted to whats currently on your table, in all it’s mess – or glory. First – the overview. I have a dozen or so vintage mix-matched saucers, often stacked up with the equally vintage muffin tins. There is a tray of finished work, awaiting photos and Etsy. There are seed pod slices/beads on my sketchbook, I think they are headed to a bracelet, myself. 

BTW overview

Next, a detail of a saucer. I have been experimenting with enameled components on brass mixed media lockets. I haven’t done any collages inside yet. To the left are resin samples for the class I am teaching next week. 

mixed media saucer

Here is a piece I am falling in love with. I have half a dozen or so of these brass book lockets. This one has the word “Fate” tube riveted on, and a key – stitched on with linen thread. (Sorry it is so dark…)

Book of fate

And last – but not least – a quartet of “Mojo” necklaces. These are a bit collage-like, a bit gypsy, a bit eclectic. I love them! They will be finished with copper chain – since the pendant has enough going on in it already… (From top left: Gypsy Spirit, Weave enchantments, Fae Maid, and Sea Siren)

Mojo necklaces

And let me leave you with a glimpse of the work in progress from the ceramic studio: 

Labyrinth detail

More on that later! Perhaps my new Wednesday’s will be “Work-in-progress” Wednesdays… Hmm. I like the sound of that…

Spring is bringing many new things…

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold:  when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.  ~Charles Dickens

spring daffodils

Today was such a day. The daffodils are teased with the chill wind. The dogs are sunbathing, recharging their solar cells. And I was in the studio…. I try to do a seasonal newsletter, yet I find myself liking the weekly blog entries better. So please feel free to follow this blog, if you are interested in updates and musings, and work in progress. But on to the news of the season…

The Spring season was ushered in by the magical wonderful Mythic Faire. Held in Baltimore, this is the little sister show to the autumn extravaganza that is FaerieCon. The weekend is a medley of talks, panels, music, artwork, and meeting and chatting with creative people. It was great to see old friends and make new! More on Mythic Faire can be had here: Mythic Faire website and my blog entry…

Immediately after returning from the Realm, as Mythic Faire is often called… I had to get back into the studio! I had a new exhibit going up in days at the Music School of Delaware.  My dear friend and talented artist Betsy Mortenson and I are revisiting our ImagoDea – Envisioning the Feminine Divine show with new work. The show is open now, and will remain up until May 20th. Our opening reception is in tandem with one of the schools concert series – Music : Ritual and Healing – held on Sunday April 3rd. If you are in the area and interested please stop by! More information at their website.  They are located at 4101 Washington St in Wilmington DE. 

ImagoDea postcard

A sneak peak into some of the new collages, you ask? ok – here is a teaser. This is from the series of 9 small collages – The Muses, as I was still working on them. 

Muses in progress

But there is clay on my hands as well as paper fibers and glue! I am trying to achieve balance between areas of my life – arent we all? So time spent in the clay studio and ever increasingly in the jewelry studio rounds out my days. I have a fantastic new mold awaiting clay – from a detailed original carving – a split tailed mermaid, a sexy one at that! Cant wait to have a batch of tiles to glaze… I will post pictures as soon as I have some…

I also have new shrine tiles. I made the empty shrines, cast them, and from the mold can make multiples. Each one is different, but related. I like this new way of working in a series, yet still creating one of a kind pieces. 

rough shrine tiles

Here they are very rough, straight from the mold. And after adding elements and glazing…

shrine tiles

Working in a series this way is how I do my ceramic pendants, and it seemed the next logical evolution to work on tiles this way as well. I have been working in the jewelry studio quite a bit lately, and may have news about my jewelry offerings in the future… For now I leave you with a few pictures of new work. (Some of which will soon be making its way to my Etsy shop, naturally…)

pendants

Along with the clay, I have been working in resin and in metals. Getting reacquainted with some of the skills I learned in metal smithing classes as an under grad!

resin

mojo talisman

So here is hoping spring finds you healthy and happy! And may it be a productive, creative and fruitful season!

Upcoming events: 

I am teaching two workshops at through The Art Studio.  Mixed Media Jewelry: Collage in Resin in resin will be held Thursday April 14th from 6-9pm. We will create small collages, inset into bezels and seal them with resin. It is simpler than it seems and highly addictive!

The second workshop is a ceramics workshop – Creating a Floral Mirror Frame. We will work in clay one week, and glaze the next.  Students will design and sculpt a floral ceramic tile, which will become the mirror’s frame.

Information on my classes can be found at the Art Studio website, or by calling 302-995-7661 – if you are interested!

My next festival/art show of the year is in June – seems like so far away as I write this! The Appel Farm Arts and Music Festival is near and dear to my heart, as I was a jewelry instructor there for two summers. The day long music festival is a regional tradition, and draws great musical talent, as well as a stellar arts festival. Please do check it out, and see the line-up at their website.