a few more photos of this weeks' work...i think that the first one is quite apt, as i'm trying to juggle jewelry creations for the upcoming vendor sale at art and soul in portland, as well as the afore- mentioned trunk show with cynthia ashby at niche, along with class/kit preparations for portland and travel/class/kit plans for the upcoming workshop trip to italy (italy! it's finally hitting me!!!) at the first of november. i just took a peek at cynthia's website and love what this article from women's wear daily, 2001, has to say about her designs:
“Ashby herself is a bit of a time machine. She draws inspiration from the past. Flipping through old books, she soaks up images of Victorian women in petticoats or aproned workers from the 1920’s. ‘I’m interested in American History,’ she said. ‘I like anything from the Civil War, the Revolutionary War and people from the frontier.’ ... Ashby’s pieces have dropped waists, delicate rows of buttons and wire rimmed hems that ruffle and flair like a hoop skirt. But her unstructured designs also have an Asian look to them... she creates modern pieces with nostalgic origins.” The poetry of color is a key part of what makes these garments unique. The clothing is garment dyed, which creates a quality of uncommon depth and texture. As the colors fade they achieve character with wear, like a patina on a bronze sculpture. The color palette is reminiscent of an old photograph or a cracked and faded fresco. They are meant to work together and layer with past and future Cynthia Ashby collections. The garments are made from linen, cotton, silk and wool in assorted textures and weights. The raw look of the fabric is animated with fine detailing in design and construction. Cynthia Ashby speaks to the woman who does not subscribe to fashion trends. This woman is on a perpetual treasure hunt, collecting pieces to mix and layer, creating different combinations and infinite choices for her wardrobe."
make sure you visit her website and see for yourself just how her clothing is truly art in clothing/wearable form.
here is a design (click on photo for close up)that, after all was said and done (an entire afternoon's assembly of finished parts), left my poor old eyes over- strained and arthritic hands aching in places i'd never before known they ached. the copper bird, and copper seed beads are vintage - miniscule, to say the least, three strands' worth on either side, a beautiful set of micro-faceted smoky quartz that was drilled with a tiny hole through which only the smallest wire would go - meaning, i had to work and rework and work around said wire and reinforce, redesign my piece several times. you'd never know by looking, of course, that i thrice changed my course. i would almost
hate resent this piece, were i not to love it. and the teardrop, wrapped in wire? that isn't so easy to do, i must admit. it isn't as easy or as "messily" done as one would think. i call this piece "active flyer".
i'm sharing this next image on the left simply for the sake of the etched words on the backside of the piece (the front side bears the image of an egg, which you can faintly see there on the back): "from the nest comes the egg, comes the bird, comes the song". the words just came to me as i was etching them into the silver. i love that serendipity, the words coming as they may. i never do plan out what words will go onto a piece on the back, actually, because i never know what will exactly fit. just so.
the next design there on the right (click for closer detail) has the loveliest blue chalcedony faceted stones that simply refused to show up truthfully in the photo- graph; the color is not 'milky' as the picture displays, but more opalescent. i am quite fond of this image, and have used it often in my work; the man seems to be very peaceful, in meditation, deep in thought. i looked long and hard at the gem and mineral show for strands of pearls shaped like clouds, and was happy when i finally found them.
sky is a favorite theme of mine, along with birds (the two do go hand in hand, or wing in wing, do they not?); this next piece is again wrongfully portrayed by my camera's penchant for getting the color off in studio light. the pearls are a lovely, lovely soft blue shade, which isn't really shown here at all; i love the very long strands, which to me signify the sky going up, and up, and up.
finally, a simple tassel, from a custom order for my dear friend bonnie moench, who had been patiently waiting for her necklace since the end of january. we had an agreement for the piece to be shipped in september, so september it was.
the little bird and silver leaves are of my own designs, which i shaped from clay and then had cast back in 1995; the large silver chain is fashioned from precious metal clay, which is 99% pure silver.
time, now, to head back into the studio...time to focus those eyes and warm up the fingers for another day of what you see above....