Stuff in my head

1. thinking, 2. garden earrings, 3. Eko-Lab at (Re)Fashion fiber Exhibition, 4. [Dalen, Telemarken (i.e, Telemark), Norway] (LOC), 5. Restoration project II, 6. footstool, 7. ivory,bone,steel,stainless,silver,wood & leather, 8. kristen-mcmenamy10, 9. Industrial Scroll, 10. AllSaints SS2011 rosalina wood heel, 11. cable, 12. Wood Print Block, 13. Meditations, 14. Carrara, Marble quarry/mine, 15. Hairpin at Festa delle Cerase, 16. saint barbara, 17. _8532, 18. dawn from my window, 19. GEORGIA HARDINGE Fall 2011 3, 20. Bora Aksu FW07 3, 21. sling, 22. Herbarium – Siobhan Healy 1, 23. New butterfly cuff, 24. Gris a Barcelona, 25. (Brooch) – Early crystal layout…6/7 years..no even numbers.., 26. Controlled Chaos Bracelet, 27. Regal Earrings, 28. Museo Civico Della Filigana Pietro Carlo Bosio 4, 29. _8574, 30. Tesselated Ceiling 2, 31. Warner Theatre, Erie 37, 32. Detail, 33. new snap objects are finished!, 34. Imaginary phasmid drawings… (Macropterous vs. Apterous), 35. a medio proceso de lijado, 36. Victorian Grille

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Flickr favorites update

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I did this!  Even when my own output is slow, or small, or silent,  I’m always feeding my brain, getting inspired by the work of others.  Here’s a few recent gleanings:

1. Vandaag verkocht / Sold today, 2. graffiti pins, 3. Melody hair clip, 4. Blaker Street, 5. jan suchodolski – earrings, 6. OAW – AvantGarde, 7. Homemade drink umbrellas, 8. Strains Of Pearls, 9. Untitled, 10. Seedling Seal-Ring (2009, IT) Ring 159.2, 11. nautilus earrings, 12. book binding tools, 13. more clouds.., 14. Summer Swap, 15. Britta’s Apartment Windowfarm, 16. objet “, 17. Robin Blue With Dots Branch Ring, 18. a group of wood rings, 19. Mike-EMPR-7.3-4, 20. [Display of home-canned food] (LOC), 21. Mike-011410, 22. RAD 16 Leather Ruffles, 23. Ich gab kein Gold für dieses Eisen, 24. Alice Watch 131, 25. Happy Family, 26. Thinking of You 11, 27. SIX SNOWFLAKES, 28. Ich gab kein Gold für dieses Eisen (WIP) 7, 29. NECKLACE MADE FROM PEARLS AND YELLOW ROSES // HALSSIERAAD GEMAAKT VAN PARELS EN GELE ROZEN, 30. Stasis, 31. newimagerecyclureIII, 32. EMJC-PR 6.5: Newspaper: Polyporus Brackets (1), 33. EMJC-PR6.4: The Customator:Patience: video, 34. Untitled, 35. Untitled, 36. Growth Ring Series

There’s a lot more I’ve been drooling over since my last post of this sort, which you can see here.

Surface

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Inspired by Martha, I recently stepped outside my normal short list when perusing magazines recently.  Fortunate timing!  I’d glanced at Surface before, but never really picked it up and looked.  Well, it was the right time.  I’ve no idea if they have an ongoing commitment to covering jewelry, but this issue had several fantastically inspiring stories.

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A nicely broad pictorial piece on American-made/designed avant garde jewelry.  Images by Akihiko Tagayasu. Jewelry by Phillip Lim, Jiro Kamata, And Erica Rosenfeld and more.

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A four page spread of jewelry by Sergey Jivetin, hair by Ryoji Imaizumi (Shu Uemura), make-up by Nadine Luke (M.A.C), images by Walling & McGarity.

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The non-jewelry related content was inspirational too.  You could dress me up in this any day, and I’d be more than willing to take a stab at being a “Cosmic Nomad”.  With the addition of some jewelry, of course.  Hooded jumpsuit/skirt by TSE, wool boots by Lacoste.  Image by Mark Gong.

Speaking of fashion magazines and jewelry, does anyone know if Elle Accessories still exists?  There was many a time when boots and shoes really dominated an issue, but when it actually covered jewelry, I loved it.  I know last year they went from two special issues a year to just one, but I haven’t seen any concrete evidence of a Fall 2009 issue yet.  It would be such a shame if Elle Accessories were killed by the current economic crisis in magazine publishing, just when fashion designers have started paying attention to jewelry again.

Outside my Window

Day 2: Le Grand Chapiteau, originally uploaded by kaitschott.

If there’s anyone who doesn’t already know, (I feel like I talk about nothing else lately!) Cirque de Soleil is setting up right outside my window. Like a little kid, I am super excited! We’ve been taking some time lapse films of the tents going up, which you can see at Flickr. Yay!

Flickr Favorites

I may not have been getting into that white room too much lately, but I’ve been chucking inspiring things in through the window, as it were.  These are actually from a while ago, but when I started looking to update them, I decided they were just too good not to share.  For some more great stuff I’ve found since, check out my favorites here, for instance this and this and this….

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1. close up, 2. OAW #1 – Liked the back much better, 3. Masdevallia constricta, 4. Cavansita, 5. Flowers in the shadehouse, 6. Remote Possibility, 7. Diamond Teardrops, 8. Sealing howtodoit 5., 9. pirites, 10. Campo Ligure in winter, 11. middenvingerconstructie, 12. OAW Final piece – Rachelle, 13. From the side, 14. Untitled, 15. Frames 2, 16. IMG_0653, 17. Frank Gould and wife at Helen’s wed. (LOC), 18. Untitled, 19. Bright Glass Collection – Spring / Summer 2008, 20. Lichens for a new piece, 21. via rail, 22. Sun Printing, 23. Bright Glass Collection – Spring / Summer 2008, 24. “Geek Bling”, 25. Untitled, 26. Top Of The Hat Rack, 27. armreifen – bangles, 28. ., 29. The Parlament from the “Halász Bástya”, 30. dust, 31. damascus with agate, 32. “…de sangre”, 33. Ghostly Gown, 34. Untitled, 35. brrr, 36. * i got tiny tools, too

Not everything else is junk

In the interest of clarity, I might say that I don’t think that everything which is not directly related to jewelry making is junk getting in the way.    I’ve never been that kind of obsessive.  I’m more of a ‘looking-for-balance” type than a “got-to-get-rid-of-all-else” type.  My white room isn’t really empty, but I need to be conscious and deliberate about what I want to put in the room, what to line the path to the door with, what to keep in view from the windows, as it were.

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Plants and gardening get a fair amount of time lately.  Growing food, digging in the dirt, getting outside, slowing down to the speed of plants, doing the constant work of weeding.  All this feeds my brain, or perhaps empties it.  The wordlessness of it is clearly rejuvenating and focusing.

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I might need to be by myself in the room, but the path to the door is lined with friends.  I am constantly inspired and prodded on by the creative process and work of others, many of who I know only thanks to this lovely thing we call the internet.  One of my latest finds is Pretty Good Things, the blog of Mary P., who makes amazing prints and hats and other fancy things for your head.  (Did you notice my hat obsession has been re-kindled of late?)  She’s funny and generous, and is doing monthly give-aways.  And I won this lovely little trio of cephalopods.  And I love sea critters, yes I do.  Pay her a visit, why don’t you?

new-book

There’s clearly a bookshelf right outside my white room and a comfy chair.  If I don’t park myself in that chair and get lost in a book on a regular basis, the door to the white room is stubborn and hard to open.  Sometimes I’m reading something which touches directly on jewelry or craft, and sometimes lessShop Class as Soulcraft was purchased and devoured in about a week.  There was an essay in the NYT a few weeks ago, as well as an earlier version in the The New Atlantis.  I highly recommend you get your hands on the book itself if the essays at all intrigue you.  Mr. Crawford makes an argument which is relevant to anyone who feels drawn to do work with their hands and resists the pressure to inhabit a cubicle.  I think that might be a few of us, no?

Eye Candy

Since my own production is still a little slow, here are a few things which have caught my eye at Flickr lately. Head over there for even more of my current favorites.

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1. Maharajah’s 6th, 2. Oh what a B E A U T I F U L Morning!, 3. in the garden, 4. Untitled, 5. Blue Sunset On The Grey Lagoon 14, 6. Pomegranate (punica granatum) by Otto Wilhelm Thomé, 1885, 7. Spa, 8. black white bracelets, 9. flocked, 10. Afternoon, 11. hamburgo, 12. sky over goderich salt mine, 13. Grouping, 14. Mrs. Harry K. Thaw (LOC), 15. Donkey’s tail, 16. IMG_2889, 17. art wall, 18. knit-weave, 19. Zur Hirschspurillenbildung Zeit 16, 20. cardinal and body, 21. Roofing Nail Rings (Wear), 22. File Bracelet 4, 23. Victorian cut out earrings, 24. Bronzclay Leaf Earrings, 25. Vicious 7, 26. automne, 27. Untitled, 28. tentacles, 29. ring – polymer clay, 30. State 3, 31. bracelet, 32. foldover bail with dichro pendant, 33. *, 34. Handmade pendants, 35. Discovery, 36. Golden Glints

now it is fall….

Fall seems to have arrived, suddenly. It’s nice, not cold yet. I feel like it will be a good season, even better, perhaps, than other autumns. I feel like I’m moving, after being stuck for so long; a little room to breathe again.

I was so happy to see the shots of ports 1961 from fashion week at simplyolive. It is always great to see jewelry at fashions shows (it’s been a little scarce for a few years), but this was even better. It seemed to me that the jewelry was more than just something to fill a neckline or add a little bling at the wrist. I thought it was great jewelry in it’s own right, like there was artistic intent behind it, a nice balance between showcasing the materials and playing with traditional structures. And hats! There are fun kooky hats! You can see some great pieces by browsing around here. I like that the jewelry is an equal partner with the clothes. Exciting to see, indeed! And then I found out that The Cowboy Junkies played the show! There is just nothing that heralds the arrival of fall for me like The Cowboy Junkies. So Ports 1961 is totally my new fashion crush….

Here are some more recent crushes…

1. Custom earrings for Luz mother, 2. Dominika Naborowska, 3. Das ist der Mond über Soho, 1, 4. ., 5. ., 6. Patination experiments, 7. Untitled, 8. P8020459, 9. MW1X0114, 10. MB20129, 11. Yellow Shrooms, 12. Ring 105 progress no 5, 13. Untitled, 14. New ring. “Agujas de Tejo Tejedor”, 15. tr10362, 16. Untitled, 17. Plexi Hairpin (2008. IT) Hairpin 1.7, 18. IMGP7201, 19. Xmas Tree (LOC), 20. Untitled, 21. landofshoes, 22. ooak137, 23. ., 24. My first green beans, 25. Pastime, 26. Untitled, 27. Engagement´s frame, 28. last renaissance necklace, 29. KL10161EAR, 30. It had long ceased to be a competition for the many., 31. Ethnic Tribal Neckpiece, 32. Dotty faux wood necklace, 33. stone ring profiles, 34. you image.jpg, 35. Flor de Lotus, 36. cameo2 detail

Looking for…..

Well, I’m still in a slump. My energy level is really low, and all I want to do is knit. Is there such a thing as unhealthy knitting? Knitting as sedative? Hard to say.

How do you know when you should just cut yourself some slack and when you should try to kick yourself in the ass. That’s the hard thing for me. That balance. If my energy level is o.k. and I have the time, most of the other stuff is no problem for me.

I often think (perhaps too often) that if I just won the lottery, everything would be fine. Not because I aspire to a life of luxury, (budgeting and enjoying small things works just fine for me), but because I would have TIME. Time and no stupid “I’m-only-doing-this-job-for-the-rent-and-health-insurance” stress.

I suppose these are small things, in the scheme of things. Really. But in the effort to create things, they are huge for me. My brain just digs in it’s heels and refuses to co-operate under less-than-adequate conditions. So what to do? What do you do when stupid day-to-day stuff seems to make creativity impossible?

Just when I think I’m going to chuck it in, I try to catch upon blogs or flickr. And really, when you see all this incredible work and read about everybody else’s creative efforts, how can one even think of giving up?! It doesn’t necessarily get me fully back in the fight, but it sure convinces me that the fight is worth fighting….

1. *, 2. * ring by Rae Ann, 3. Plexi Axe (2008. IT) Ring 112.1, 4. Accidental Self-Portrait, 5. Strange vegetations 3, 6. mio-peeps_027, 7. breather lace fabric!, 8. Illum. Wash., D.C. (LOC), 9. Untitled, 10. Apple Blossom Piercing, 11. Cage Ring (2008, IT) Ring 108.10, 12. IMG_1241, 13. underneath, 14. Emergent Fossils Series, Untitled, Unfinished, 15. giant fingertraps, 16. Untitled, 17. My glass ice and a cherry, 18. kerstin klix, 19. summer colors, 20. A collection of objects., 21. Powderpuff, 22. Reversible Spectrolite Pendants.. Side II, 23. junk jewelry by jane eldershaw, 24. Fresh Orange, 25. Untitled, 26. rivière de diamands, 27. the two sides, 28. Pendientes Meandros, 29. Gleba, 30. -Oid, 31. hooped petals 2, 32. Insects of South America, 33. medium cube rings colors spectrum, 34. Planet Claire 17, 35. Untitled, 36. the Dubiel Gallery opening11

All this and more at my flickr favorites.

On the Coffee Table: Calder Jewelry

At the moment, I don’t actually have a coffee table. Oh sure, I have a table beside the couch. But it’s more a normal height for a table, and rather small. It’s good for holding breakfast and the most recent magazine, but not really the thing for propping up ones feet and settling in with a beautiful book with lots of photos.

But someday…someday I want a coffee table. Because I already have the books. The books that deserve a place of their own. The books that I don’t want to put on a shelf, because I want to live with them every day. The books that make even the smallest moment special, as you sit down and are transported to a place where things are quieter, more relaxed, and more beautiful. Not because they are fiction, but because they are simply the most wonderful distillations of real life. The best bits of reality, the ones which simply make one stop……..oh, so lovely….

I was stunned to learn recently that a few of my friends did not know who Alexander Calder was. I was lucky enough to live here when I was young and a major exhibit of his work came to town. It was either at the Walker or the MIA, I’m not sure which. And one of my most indelible memories is of seeing his circus in Chicago when I was about twelve.

For me, Calder was simply one of the most memorable artistic influences of my childhood. Calder showed me what being an artist could be. His work showed me that you don’t have to choose between elegance and joy, humor and refinement. To look at his work now, I think that he was and is a muse for anyone who ever wished to make their own things, using simple materials, and making everything around them an expression of who they are.

It was years before I realized that he had created jewelry and at the time information was scarce and photos were few and far between. My appetite was whetted when I found The Intimate World of Alexander Calder at the Library which contains jewelry as well as housewares and things given as gifts to family and friends. I have checked that book out many, many times over the years. But it was never enough, and I always hated to give it back. I wanted to live with it, to let it lie open on the coffee table and simply page through it, absorbing it as I went about my day. And although it is a heavy book, I was always happy to carry it home the next time. And then, one day this past winter, I saw this.

Sometimes the universe sends things your way that are so lovely that you hadn’t even dared to ask for them. I have have had this book for about three months now, and to put it simply, I cannot find the words

Click on the photos for larger images. And then imagine them in 9″x12″. And if you feel a surge of excitement at that imagining, go buy the book. Really. There’s so much more to see, and it’s that good. No I’m not getting a cent for this. It’s just a rare and beautiful thing and I hope others will get as much from it as I am.

edited to add: for a review of an earlier book which includes Calder’s jewelry as well as other lesser known works, see here.