design sketch

This is what I’m hoping for.  We shall see how feasible it is.  Stay tuned….


giving the credit card a workout

Supporting the arts with plastic….

click through to Flickr for details.


I’d meant to write more earlier about my thinking going into this project, but a) that seemed boring without any pictures, and b) time is passing rather quickly, deadline-wise.  So I’ll have to just plunge ahead and try to interject a little ‘why’ and ‘how’ as I go along.  Unfortunately, the deadline is five weeks away, so play-by-play detailed documentation may lose out in the mad dash.  I’ll do my best.


  • As the Bosch piece is a triptych, I’d originally mulled over the idea of three pieces, perhaps in some sort of display case.  But, having decided to use wood, a new-to-me medium, I realized that I had to be realistic about my learning curve.  So, now I’m hoping for one piece, a necklace, composed of three parts.
  • Having first played around with some simple shapes, I wanted to figure out if I could execute the most complex form in the piece first.  Because if I can’t, I’d better get another idea, fast.  (This would definitely fall under the heading of “things I’ve learned from watching Project Runway.”)  It’s o.k. to take big leaps and mess around and make mistakes, but you’d better do it early.  You’ve got to know when to move on to something more attainable so that you have something solid when you get to the “make it work” point.
  • I think the most difficult part will be something evoking the sprouting plant/flame form in this detail here. There are similar forms sprouting from the fountain in the left hand section of the triptych, and as part of the monument/shelters at the top of the middle section.  (full triptych here)  I like it’s wild, vegetal shape, it reminds me of a favorite Goethe essay, and think it would make a great pendant.

So the question is:  Can I recreate or suggest that form effectively by carving wood?

a beginning

higher relief

the beginnings of another attempt

(I want to get more outward curve on the leaves/petals)

another test element, thinking about hooks and eyes

More soon….

Warming up

Oh, how I wish I could master chain carving in time to incorporate it into this project!  But, alas, I have to be realistic.  If there’s anything I learned from OAW, it’s that you have to be realistic about the skills that you actually have and if there isn’t enough time to acquire a skill, you have to do without it.  There will be time to play with it later.  So that vision will have to get set aside for the moment.  Right now I need to get cranking on something that I can get done in time, which still includes carving, just not chains.  Time’s slipping away!

More soon…

Project 2010-1: Bosch’ Garden of Earthly Delights

In my new year’s resolutions, I talked about doing four projects this year.  In my mind, calling something a “project”  helps me firm up my commitment to work in a way that is less adding another ‘have to’ to my to-do list and more trying to bring something to fruition. A lot of my thinking about projects, as opposed to deadlines, has been influenced by sites like this with its lists of things to do and not do.  (And yes I see the irony of those lists.  One has to keep a sense of humor about one’s lists!  )  I’m really attracted to the idea of a full flowering, rather than “this is the best I can do by the deadline.”

That being said, my first project does have a deadline.  A friend from college is organizing a show entitled “Replanting the Garden” at this gallery in the spring. Pieces are to be created for the show drawing on the inspiration of Hieronymous Bosch’s painting The Garden of Earthly Delights (there’s a better view of the whole triptych here.).  I’ve been fascinated with Bosch’s work for years, every facet, from the colors, to the forms, to the quirky fantastical images.  There is so much to be intrigued and seduced by.  So it seemed like I should jump at the chance and finally spend some time making work inspired by him.  Rather than going on and on about how and what I adore in this painting, let’s just start with a few close-ups which catch my eye:  (click on each for larger)

More soon!

Carving out inspiration

So, you may have gathered that I have a wood carving project in the works.  A bit unprecedented?  Perhaps.  But ever since the One-A-Week project (can it really be two years ago already?!), I’ve been trying to be less glass-centric, i.e., only restrict myself to glass as a medium when it seems appropriate.  Lead with an idea, not a medium or technique, so-to-speak.  Which has been a bit of a challenge, since my past experience in shows and sales always led me to play up the glass, since that was what was unusual about my work.  But never having had a BFA or formal craft/design education experience, I never really had the chance to approach things more broadly.  Now that sales-driven shows have been set to the side for a while, it seems like the right time to play around more.

So, why wood?  Why carving?  Here’s a few clippings that have been floating around my workspace for a while…

Prada, Vogue, July 2006.

Prada, W Accessories, February 2008.

Stella McCartney, Elle Accessories Spring 2008.

And, lest you think that what I really want to do is give up jewelry to carve shoes (not that the idea of shoe making hasn’t distracted me for a millisecond or two, once or twice, o.k. maybe three times…)  Here’s some wooden jewelry (and other stuff) that has caught my eye:

Something’s hiding in there


Christine J. Brandt

You and Me, the Royal We

Yii designs

Ports 1961

Dorothea Pruhl

Peter Schuyff

Luzia Vogt

and yes, one more shoe example:  I really, really, really would like some of these.

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.

new work

new blue earrings, originally uploaded by kaitschott.

Saturday visits to the hot shop paid off with some new work.

Visit Flickr for more pieces.
For anyone in the Twin Cities,
some of these pieces are available
at The Artist’s Mercantile.

Where is my resolve?

So, where was I?

Oh, yes, summing up last years resolutions:

1. Work on Reading List WIN! This went wonderfully!  I think I got more reading done than I have in years.  What made the difference?

  • Committing to a reading group which was reading War and Peace.  Having a schedule of readings and deadlines to discuss the book with others really motivated me to dedicate the time needed.  When I was done with that (after about 6 months!) I’d already established some reading habits which helped me finish six more books last year.
  • Keeping my Goodreads profile updated.  By continually adding books which came across my path, and re-prioritizing the queue as I approached the end of a book, I was able to pay attention to what I was really interested in and keep my commitment to reading more updated.  No point in trying to read something which interested me in January but no longer does.  The fact that Goodreads has a facebook interface also helped, because the application was right there, reminding me to update.

2. Work on Books to Purchase ListFAIL!!! I didn’t buy a single book this year.  Why not?

  • I’m an avid patron of the library.  Rarely does not being able to buy a book keep me from being able to read it.  I have a “to-buy” list and this year I added four books which I read from the library, which were so wonderful I want them for my very own.  But I didn’t actually buy them.  Because….
  • Money is tight.  Don’t really need to explain this to anyone.  While my daily needs are well tended to, I don’t have the savings that I used to.  Expenses rise but income does not.  It’s hard to build that nest egg back up.  So buying books still seems like a luxury.  I think I need to revise this resolution:
  • When I have spending money, invest it in ways which further the things I care about, such as supplies, books, and acquiring the jewelry of other artists.  When I win the lottery, I can acquire that dream library in its entirety.

3. Work through The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp and blog about it when something interesting comes upFAIL!!!  (with a caveat) I didn’t re-read this book.  But I did read two other books which impacted how I think about doing artistic work:

  • The Gift by Lewis Hyde:  Found through a NYT article about his more current work.  An examination of the idea of a ‘gift economy’ and how that might relate to artists and their work.  Having read this, I felt like I had a much better understanding of what’s at stake in the conversations about “FREE” going on at Make+Meaning and elsewhere.  It also somehow made me feel better about having decided to take a sabbatical from doing sales a few years ago after some really bad ones.  It has to be about something other than just chasing money.  Still figuring that one out, but this book was a start.
  • The Now Habit by Neil Fiore:  Recommended by Mary at PrettyGoodThings (need a super cute and sassy hat?  She’s your girl!)  This was just what I needed this year.  A very down-to-earth look at how our own expectations impact how much or how little we are able to get done.  A task seems like a horrible chore?  Of course we avoid it!  A series of realistic and no-nonsense ways to re-frame our “to-do” lists so that we can get them done and reap the rewards.  This is one book I do want to buy, because I still need to refresh and review a lot of what’s here and put it into action.  So lets re-frame this resolution too:
  • Continue to read books which push my thinking and support my work habits. I’m currently reading this, and I think this might be next in this category.

4. “Coffee time” at least once (eventually twice) per week:….I had a host of excuses for why I wasn’t dedicating the time and doing the work….I have to work with the circumstances at hand now….I might have to find new rituals: I think I can say this one was a WIN!!!!

  • Well, since money was somewhat better than in 2008, I committed to setting aside money and time by taking advantage of the local/next-door coffee shop‘s gift card deal: $30 worth of charges for only $25.  It helps me worry about the expense less, and I’m always happy to support local business.
  • While it might not have happened every week, I re-established the ritual of getting out and devoting some time to feeding my muse.  In the beginning, it was an offshoot of my committing to reading W&P, but more active creative work developed out of that time as well.  Later, I also started reading things more directly related to my jewelry (see resolution 3. above).  Reading has always been a good springboard for me, helping to calm, focus, and inspire me to make jewelry.  I’d still like to expand this to twice a week and spend more of that time sketching.
  • In the new rituals category:  I started going to the hot shop most Saturdays after work.  WIN!! I’ve really struggled with carving out time with the various employment situations I’ve had over the last few years.  Long story short, I had gotten stuck in the thinking that either there was not enough time after work, or I was too tired to be creative.  While that still seems true on some days, working in our garden plot this past year taught me that I have more time than I think I do, and if I simply commit to working on something that matters to me, working ends up being both relaxing and energizing.  I’ve been keeping it simple, only a few hours at a time, but have amazed myself with how much I’ve gotten done.  Most importantly, I find myself looking forward to it.  Cost of going to the studio:  A few hours of my time.  Turning a “I-have-to” into a “I’m-really-excited-to”: Priceless.

5. Open an Etsy shop: Well, technically, I have a shop.  But I worked on one item listing and immediately put in on vacation mode.  Is that a PASS or a FAIL??????? Obviously my head is not on straight about this one.  I am so sick of this being on my to-do list, yet it’s still not done.  Let’s save that discussion for another day, shall we?  Pretty please????

Where does the time go?