Monday, September 22, 2008

Crystals Silver & Cake

I am a teacher of metal clay* epoxy resins* fused glass* and beading. I have been exploring art and form and color all of my life. I remember being stopped in my tracks at a very young age by the shape of a cloud. I see unique possibilities in ordinary things and simply love color and sparkle. And funny thing crows have been showing up in my life, some quietly appearing in cards or in a sweet teapot for one with a persimmon for a lid. I am watching this trend to see what else it brings.And in the tradition of crows and their attraction to treasures I am treating you to the fab creations from our local chapter of the PMC Guild. to end our 4th year we had a crystal challenge. What is PMC? and what kind of crystals you may ask???

Well first off the crystals I have been collecting and selling vintage swarovski rivolis and Margarita style crystals for about 4 years I have been collecting for much longer and have been finally convinced and prepared to share them with other crows(Artists) I have 96 colors and the crystals were created from the late 1890's to the 1960s. It has been a crazy journey and many were purchased merely by description sight unseen. But what a droolfest when the boxes arrive and they were carefully unboxed and catching and send light swirling thru the room. Some days just to cheer my self up I would open up the boxes and just pet each little juicy bit of color. I live in the NW and it really helps brighten up a dark day.

The tricky part with these beauties are that they are created like faceted semi-precious stones and are meant to be set in traditional settings They were meant to replace rubies, diamonds, emeralds, sapphires in times where only the very wealthy could afford such luxuries. And of course WWII caused many of these to be hidden away and then forgotten. I love things with a history and stories to pass along and creating jewelry with vintage pieces is very satisfying to me blending the past with the present.... And so our Challenge PMC or Precious Metal Clay is the newest and most intriguing way to work with fine silver. It begins in a clay form then worked in different techniques fired in a kiln at 1650 the clay portion burns away and pure silver takes on what ever form it was given in the clay stage and you have a very interesting and new way to work in metal.

Here are the delightful results
Created by Esse Lyle

Created by JoAnn Harlan

Created By Lisa Lee

Created by Lynn Hranac

Created by Kimberly Kostel

JoAnn Harlan was our grand champion with her leaf and flower collage. But I was really overwhelms by every one's thoughtful entry and original designs, Lynn's trumpet flower has the crystal hidden as a surprise at the opening of the flower so you see subtle flashes of color and need to peer closer to see more. Esse combined paper clay and paste to create a many petaled flower with a jeweled center and this has led her on a journey to create more of the wee beauties for a stunning necklace coming soon. Kimberley's whimsical spider and web in a delightful look at mother nature and web spinning which is not as easy as it looks. Lisa inspired by the sea and spirals took the form and explored and created in both silver and wool embellished with gems.

I was so pleased to see each entry and the joyful expression each person achieved. We also had a great party and wore mad hatter tea party hats . Thanks to all of you who participated and joined us in our celebration

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Forces of nature the final 4

At last I am getting back to finishing up the journey of the Stools. The last time I blogged about them I was trying to be orderly and speak about each stool and the journey int my life, then I came upon CindyBowers and was stopped in my tracks. Cindy had the great idea to begin this artistic endeavor on a grand scale and gathered us all together in January '03 Not everyone invited stayed to go on but it was a stellar group and I often wonder what I was doing with such a fab group. But I stumbled along and grew in confidence as well as in creating on the edge.

Cindy died very suddenly during the first few months of the project. It was decided her stool would continue thru the project and bring a special energy to us all. When it was your turn to work on Cindy's stool you would have 2 stools together. And I found when it was my turn the energy was quite insistant to get going and not put off creating until tomorrow.

Share your Dream is the title of Cindy's Stool and it was created on a old piano stool complete with claw feet on glass balls. This stool was loving embellished and caresses with feathers a tiny merry go round,wee faces and crowned with a delightful fairy created by Tracy Stanley. I am very sorry I did not get the time to know Cindy but very glad to be a part of her final project.

Next came The Mad Tea Party Janice Berkebile

This was the wee stool in our project. It can from the Pottery Barn made out of wrought iron and just right to set on a counter top and perhaps hold a small cookbook or recipe card. It was the smallest stool in the project and Janice stared it off with a WONDERFUL BEADED VINE. But the fun part actually came from the journal she choose to accompany her stool during the project. In this black book a small boy had signed his name or perhaps a lovelorn teen. Any way He be came the hero of the story surrounding the Stool. William was a Dragonfly wrangler, rounds them up and polishes their wings and sends them on their way. He is a 4th generation Dragonfly wrangler and has very long legs. included for the stool was a beautiful cushion beaded with a dragonfly. A small leather bag with his bib & tucker for long nights around a campfire. complete with silver dinner plate a acorn silver cup for special occasions with the fairy folk, spoon & fork fresh napkin and daily cup for hot soup. He has a special companion to travel with and a table lamp for those cozy winter nights when he is tucked in waiting for the summer herds. This was a favorite of mine and I was so fun to see how it had grown and developed during the journey of creation.

Sandy,s Secret Garden

Began as a soft pastel wooden stool with a soft green seat and a vine curling up the sky blue leg. Please turn your head side ways to see vines and flowers progressing in this garden. You can see a bit of the foofoolaDo

vine just beginning to open. A bird house wreathed in vines crowned the top while dragonflies frolicked between the rungs, dancing in and out of exotic beaded flowers. The book the secret garden was Sandy,s favorite as a child and now she has a peaceful and exotic world to view each day Joey created the most wonderful bird feeder from coiled wire and seed beads that looked so much like food it fooled the birds at her home when she was creating it. Sigh... a lovely place to linger.

And finally My stool Sea Dreams the Mermaid Spot. My stool began with a low back of wrought iron curved legs and a soft green color. I happened to have some soft textured yarns which reminded me of seaweed which I added to the stool back flowing off like seawater. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine the direction my stool traveled in. I began wondering how it it look then completely forgot about it until the reveal. I was surprised to learn I was more concerned how excited the rest of the group would be when they saw their stools. I was amazed at the confidence that grew with each stool as I caught the essence of creation surrounding each project and set aside my inner critic and simply created. I struggle with inner demons of "not good enough " "who do you think you are " and more. But I was able to banish them for the current of inspiration was so strong and loud there was not room for doubt.
I was totally humbled by the beauty of the mermaid created by Sandra Jaechs, and the netted base created by Nancy Strahle, the treasure chest spilling out pearls and lovely glittering gem created by Kathy Dannerbeck, the beaded shells and Jelly fish by Tracy Stanley & Janice Berkebile. Lovely vines winding in and out and fabric fish and sensuous seaweed floating from the Mermaids perch by Joey Meyer and Sandy Avenell.

A Big Thank you goes out to each of these lovely ladies for their contribution to my stoll and the wonderful time I had in being part of the project . I am ending with group shots of all thestools and a few candid shots of the artists

ta ta for now