Thursday, February 26, 2009

The philosopher pointed out that I haven't posted here in too long. "Get back to work." he said. Well, not really, but close enough. So here I am. I dunno-- sometimes I have a lot to say, but if I'm actually being creatively productive, I have less interest in blogging. Thus you can infer that I've been a busy beaver lately.

We went to St. Louis last weekend to see Spring Awakening at the Fabulous Fox Theatre. I'm not so into musicals, so I will refrain from comment with respect to the performance, but the theater! Wow. If you've never seen pictures, think the most amazingly over-the-top 1920s orientalist architecture. So much detail. I had trouble engaging in conversation because I kept gaping at my surroundings.

We also visited the Craft Alliance gallery, which happened to be in the final weekend of an exhibit of contemporary art jewelry. I emerged refreshed and inspired. My favorite pieces were Donna D'Aquino's bracelets. An interesting trend even among the handful of artists in this exhibit was the need to point out that the jewelry can be displayed on a wall or on a pedestal, you know, like real art. If you try hard enough, why, you might even be able to forget entirely that it's potentially functional [tongue planted firmly in cheek]. Of course, that's something I do in my art fair booth, so I'm not mocking-- far from it. It just shows how jewelry artists are so very conscious that they work on the border between two disciplines-- lean a little one way and you're in design, lean the other and you're doing Art. Encouraging storage of jewelry in frames is one way of leaning really hard to make viewer's perceptions swing over to Art. It's a pity we have to work that angle so hard.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Finally, after an inexplicable hiatus, I've finished another Project Panglossia piece. These earrings are Zulu --an official language of South Africa, and spoken by about 10,000,000 people as a first language (and by even more as a second language). Tshela is 'tell (me)' and lalela is 'listen'. Big thanks for my friend Elizabeth for translating these for me-- she points out that they're very informal forms of the verbs, not something you'd want to use with just anyone. But I figure, these are also informal, fun, dangly earrings, so it's a match in that respect.

I went with a pale blue for the big blue sky, and red jasper beads for the red earth under your feet.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

While I sort of enjoy that people don't always guess that my jewelry is made from paper, lately I've been working on developing ways to let the paperiness shine through, without sacrificing durability along the way. It's a challenge! But in the end I think it's more interesting to play to the strengths of paper, make it do the things that only paper can do, that can't be easily simulated by other mediums. Like torn edges. Here's a pair of torn-paper earrings I finished up today-- the construction is similar to the wabi-sabi pieces, but using dyed paper in this lovely creamy jade green. This is the first pair I've done like this.

Monday, February 2, 2009

My latest ACEO. I love this one. More Chekov, you will be unsurprised to discover.

When I make a piece, I usually start with the paper-- I have some portion of my dyed paper that I think is well composed for my purposes. Sometimes so composed intentionally, sometimes serendipitously. Then I search for the words. I collect text as I'm reading, and I write some myself, and I go through all these collected bits searching for the right words. I try to feel the mood of the colors and pattern, see what they tell me. I can't go the other direction so easily-- starting with words and building around them. Sometimes I compose a piece just for that paper and that time. Sometimes I find the right sort of thing in my scrapbook of text, but it's too long or too short, and I set it aside for another project. Then sometimes I find one that fits perfectly in every way, like this one did.

At the beginning you just have some words, and maybe some pretty paper. But combine them in the right way and and you have magic.