Monday, June 28, 2010

Indiana Artisan

I am so happy to learn today that my work has juried into the Indiana Artisan program. Out of 97 applications reviewed by the art jury panel, 15 were selected and I'm pleased to be among them. I look forward to participating in this statewide program.

The necklace above is one of the pieces I submitted. It features a favorite quote by Thoreau: Go confidently in the direction of your dreams; live the life you have imagined.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

My dad is so supportive of my work. He checks in on my Etsy shop regularly to see what I've been making. Every now and then I get an email from him, commenting on a new piece. After receiving one of his emails last week telling me that he liked the new Hurt No Living Thing Necklace and the poem that inspired it, I decided to make him a keychain for Father's Day with the public domain poem by Christina Rossetti. The poem reminds me of him; he has such compassion for all creatures. I hand lettered the poem in a spiral and etched it into a hand formed sterling silver cup. It was a challenge to fit all of the words onto a piece small enough to work as a keychain element, and I'm pleased with how it turned out.

Below is the poem by Christina Rossetti. Happy Father's Day, Dad. Thank you for your compassion and care for even the tiniest of creatures.

Hurt no living thing:
Ladybird, nor butterfly,
Nor moth with dusty wing,
Nor cricket chirping cheerily,
Nor grasshopper so light of leap,
Nor dancing gnat, nor beetle fat,
Nor harmless worms that creep.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Handmade Division :: Talk About

I'm a member of a talented group of artists, the Handmade Division. Members with blogs participate in a team "Talk About," discussing a different topic each month. The topic for this month is a fascinating one and I thought it would make a great first post for this blog.

The topic question: Do you consider yourself only a jewelry artist or do you work in multi media application, and or draw techniques from other fields to use in the one you are working in?

I was a calligrapher first, before I began making jewelry, and without a doubt I do draw heavily on my calligraphy skills since I incorporate quite a bit of hand lettering into my etched jewelry. In fact, exploring a new medium for my calligraphy (metal) is what first sparked my interest in metalwork and then jewelry.

In addition to calligraphy and making jewelry, I also design and print letterpress cards with my friend, Julia. While printing on paper is quite different from metalwork, our letterpress cards and my etched jewelry share a dimensional, tactile quality. Many of our letterpress designs are deeply impressed into thick cotton paper; you can run your fingers over the card and feel the letterpress impression. Likewise, the raised or recessed etched designs and lettering on my jewelry invite touch.

Perhaps because of this similarity, I've experimented with sharing designs between the two mediums with satisfying results. I love how the same design can be interpreted so differently depending on the medium.

Below are more examples of designs used on both cards and jewelry:

Sometimes one design inspires another. I designed the "Forever and Always" for this letterpress wedding card, which inspired me to use this theme for some of my jewelry:

I enjoy discovering that a design created for one medium works well with another, or when a theme for one inspires a new design for other work. When I can share designs and ideas across mediums, it sparks new ideas and experiments and new ways of seeing. I have other creative interests, such as knitting and spinning, and perhaps one of these days I'll discover interesting ways to incorporate those techniques and ideas into my jewelry. I look forward to it!
Please visit the blogs of other Handmade Division members to read their posts on this topic:

Andes Cruz:
Thomasin Durgin:
Jewelry by Natsuko:
Maureen BZ (Cosmo's Moon)
Abhaya Fibers
ArtJewel Designs
Susan Moloney
Tamra Gentry
Bill Martin