Tuesday, June 29, 2010

SALA Preparations.

I am busily beavering away making jewellery for an upcoming exhibition that is part of the SALA Festival at the end of the month. Today I had a visit from a studio fairy/assistant in the form of the lovely Miss Kath. The fairy filed and sanded without complaint and even shouted me lunch ( yummo tucker at Blonde ) and together we achieved a great deal. Here are some of the components we made that I hope to make into beaut jewellery very soon!

The reds are not showing up in the photos as vibrantly as they do in reality - they are actually quite bright. These enamels were all torch-fired - I just love the rustic look this gives the pieces!

This is not meant to look like some kind of internal organ - it is a wing and looks infinitely more wing-like in real life! It is quite long and will probably be strung fairly simply with one or two other components - still deciding what! All in all a very productive day and best of all, one spent with my buddy. Thank you oh whip cracking, nose-to-the-grindstone fairy - couldn't have done it without you!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Flea Market Finds

Nothing beats the fun of op-shopping with your best mates - had a ball scouring some of the oppies in Melbourne recently and this is what I found ...

It doesn't look all that exciting here but this lovely piece of glassware has cleaned up beautifully - the coloured bits in the bottom appear to float - I love it!

And this little fella found me - honest! He had to come home and join the ever growing band of pixies/elves at my house. Clearly whoever was making these guys back in the day,did not have a high opinion of "little people" because all of mine have this vaguely threatening, malevolent gaze ....

Closer to home I came across this poor decapitated critter and just had to bring it home - and yes, they charged me 50 cents for the privelege!
Oh so forlorn and - well , broken!

All fixed and as cute as a button - well worth the investment I think!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Favourite things - gooodeeeee!

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens,
brown paper packages tied up with strings,
these are a few of my favorite things. 

Recently I received a lovely surprise in the post in the form of a large parcel - ooooo the excitement of it! It wasn't tied up with strings but it was beautifully decorated by the lovely Christina who you might know from her blog Rustic Tarts. Well, inside was a veritable treasure trove of goodies - even the tissue paper they were wrapped in was gorgeous (it has now been flattened and carefully folded for some future project!). Just look at what Christina sent me ...

 First out of the box was this lovelt tin and then when I opened it ...

Just look what was inside - yum yum yum! I have to be honest and admit the tin was FULL when it arrived but these delicious lemon filled buttery handfuls of goodness had to be sampled STRAIGHTAWAY - no waiting for a photo!

These are two lovely coaster-ish things! They have such wonderful folk-arty designs - I am guessing Dutch?

This is an amazing beaded cuff - the beads are so tiny and delicate that it actually feels like fabric. This is what Christina said about it - " The beaded cuff was from the huge Antique Mall in Findlay Ohio - I had been there the day you mentioned the shortage of spoons and I'd bought it with you in mind" How great is that - a zillion miles from home, on holiday and still keeping me in mind! I feel rather special.

The day my parcel arrived I was feeling very low with a beastly cold and was pretty much slouching on the couch all day. As soon as I  got this hat, I put it on and snuggled up feeling much more cheerful with it on my head. Christina made this herself - isn't it great. There has been quite a bit of altruistic crafting going on over her way - check this out.
Thank you Christina I feel quite spoilt or as someone else might put it, "well loved"!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Feathers,lace and studly stuff ..

Do you remember all those feathers I printed a while back? Well, I have finally made them into a wearable piece - maybe not something you would wear everyday, but it does function as a piece of jewellery and if you had the chutzpah for it, it looks amazing on ...



So, the brief was to create a piece of jewellery from non-traditional materials. I decided I wanted to add a printmaking element and was originally pfaffing about with screenprinting images of jewellery onto clothing - that is another story - and finally settled on making something that would juxtapose the softness of the feathers,the inherent feminity of lace and something a little "hardcore" with the studs! It is constructed from leather and studs (yes I did make that collar from scratch!), silk threads,printed feathers (cockatoo I believe!) and is lined with red velvet ribbon. Done and dusted now - just have to wait for the assesment - phew!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Monthly Design Challenge

When I was in Melbourne I was lucky enough to meet the lovely Jay from Finki. She is just as gorgeous in real life as she is online and I was so happy to get the opportunity to catch up with her. Every month Jay  hosts a design challenge. Last months theme was Indigenous Australia. I found it pretty tricky because I wanted to be careful not to appropriate images and styles of Indigenous art. This is what I came up with ...

It consists of a hammered and heavily patinaed copper shape onto which I have riveted a crockery shard (I shaped it), a coconut wood disc and an orange bead. I attached it to a  wire bound twig and hung the whole lot from a necklace made of ininti seed beads, with some ceramic and fishbone beads thrown in.

Ininti seeds come from Northern Australia and are traditionally made into beads by Indigenous Australians. The holes are burnt rather than driled which gives them a beautiful dark colour around the edge of the hole. You can learn more about them here. I was trying to evoke all those Outback colours and hoped by keeping with organic or naturalistic components that I would impart a sense of earthiness that I associate with Aboriginal people - that tie with the Land that has been the backbone of their culture for a zillion years.
To see how others interpreted the brief or to join in, head on over to Jay's blog here.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Best friends, Mebourne and Inspiration ...

My friends and I have returned from a few days in Melbourne - we packed alot in - it really is a great town - and so easy to get around.
We saw lots of lovely autumn leaves ...
... and can you believe that blue sky? In Melbourne? In June?!

We found some fairly odd things in some of the op-shops - these guys were actually friendlier than the assistants in the shop but they are a little creepy - I kept expecting them to move!

Well, it would hardly be a proper week-end away without a few French 75's now would it?!

We found fabric to die for - Visa card still groaning!

Of course there was graffitti to snap ...

.. and stylish letterboxes too!

And everywhere I looked there was ART! This is an etching and aquatint by Ryan Mitchell whose work forms part of an exhibition at the Ian Potter Centre, showcasing the artwork of Year 12 students from 2009. I was completely blown away by the quality of the students work and also the amazing space used to display it. In Adelaide, the Year12 Art Show is crammed into a fairly small gallery so it is hard to see it properly. Melbourne certainly celebrates the Arts - it seems an integral part of life in the city - yay!!

I came home feeling inspired by the mix of old and new in Melbourne - I like the way it mixes up semi-industrial and quaint. It said "steampunk" to me. Today I am at home with a cold and forced to sit still, so I thought I would channel some of my Melbourne inspiration into a piece of jewellery ...

I have called it "Tempus Fugit" - "Time Flies" and I can feel a small series coming on ...
(could just be a fever from the headcold!)

It is a neckpiece made of brass and epns. I have added a watch face and some discs and a cog for the industrial look. It is all riveted together - not a drop of glue in sight ( feeling a bit proud of that!) - even the little hands are held on by a rivet - and boy was it hard to extract that watch face from its case! It has a faceted crystal and a key hanging from the bottom and the whole thing hangs from brass chain. This was a "design by making" effort and I learned a few handy things along the way which will no doubt make the next one easier to construct!

Time certainly did fly for us over the week-end - it always does when you are hanging out with your besties - doesn't matter where we are, we always manage to have a million laughs and a fantastic time - thanks guys - you are the best inspiration of all!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Goopy, goopy Glue where are you? We've got some work to do now ...

Are you humming the Scoobie Doo theme song yet? If not look at the post title again ... ha gotcha! It is a wonder I can even type this without sticking to the keyboard for I, dear friends, have broken out that goop known as Araldite. Not for the feint hearted this stuff - oh no and since I decided to to do some EXTREME gluing, I chose the quick-set version! It is a really messy enterprise and probably best not done in front of the telly. It also pongs! However, by tomorrow I will have some nice new components to play with so it was all worth it. So, I hear you asking what drove me to this extreme gluing? Well, I am a sucker for a good cabachon - just love 'em and have collected a few vintage ones here and there as well as some dodgy modern cameos - which I also love. Tonight I decided to "seat" some because really, how long can I go on just admiring them rather than using them? Yonks ago I found some strange settings in an oppie and I rediscovered them tonight and made a lovely new component that will hopefully become part of a necklace very soon.

This is the op shop setting - it has a picture made from bark inside it but it has deteriorated. I got three of these and they were a necklace which is mad because they are large and weigh a ton! So, this is the "before" shot.

And this is the "after" shot. I have pulled everything out, cleaned it up and set a vintage cabachon in there instead. Then for a little bit of sparkle I added some Swarovski crystals around the edge. I think it is pretty but it is also heavy so I will have to be careful how I string it!

Side by side - what a difference hey?!

Since I had the goopy glue out and already all over the place I fitted up some of those dodgy modern cameos I mentioned earlier.

The glue wasn't quite dry when I took the photos! Nothing at all vintage about these except the way they look I'm afraid, Still, they have come up a treat and I am hoping to be all inspired tomorrow and make them into something lovely. First I have to get some of the glue off my fingers and I do believe I have stuck the pocket of my trackie daks closed!