Thursday, July 21, 2011

Shout out ..

to - outstanding South Aussie artist, Julie Blyfield who has won the prestigious Waterhouse Prize - yay!

These are her beautiful vessels - I have seen some of her work that is similar and I'm afraid that photos simply don't do them justice. I nabbed this pic from here. You can read more about Julie's win here and all about the Waterhouse finalists here. Julie was an early member of the Gray Street Workshop here in Adelaide. The Gray Street jewellers are an Adelaide legend - have a squizz at their history on their website. Let me show you some of Julie's other work - sigh.

image from here

Such beautiful delicate and organic forms. Their delicacy isn't really captured in photos but trust me - they are gorgeous and I would probably sell my first-born child to own one ( sorry Em!). The Jam Factory held a retrospective of her work this year and I spent an age looking and sighing over her work - it was actually a very serene and peaceful experience, the intrinsic ambiance of the work envelops you when you see it all grouped together like that. So yay for Julie - long may she wield her tools!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Brag Alert!

Lately all my posts seem to have been about the work I am making for an up-coming exhibition. Now as it happens, my daughter is also exhibiting work during the SALA Festival, so I thought I would give you all a sneaky peek at a piece of her work.

With the help of our very favourite "sparky", she has created a light featuring an original papercut - isn't it prettiful? Ellie started making papercuts in her final year at school and despite the lack of encouragement from the art department there, has continued to make art, her way. This will be her second exhibition - the last one was really successful and it was great for her to find an appreciative audience - especially one that was willing to part with their hard-earned dollars to own a piece of her work. Certainly paper-cutting has become more and more recognised over the last few years (thank-you Mr Ryan etal!), but it took a fair bit of chutzpah for my girl to stick to her guns in High School so I am dead pleased that her work keeps on growing from strength to strength. I think believing in yourself is a truly sticky wicket and I think "creatives" often find it particularly so. I am happy that my girl has this gift. Proud Mama will now step off the soapbox - well just before I do, I want to give props to my other daughter who is busily pursuing her writing dreams - one article/review at a time! ( I did call this post "Brag Alert" for a reason you know!) If you head over here, you can get a taste of her linguistic styling - oh yeah! Her ability to convey so much with so few words (editors are fussy about word-count!) blows me away. I think she is a born communicator.  Enough peacocking from me now - their lights are shining and I plan to bask in the warmth of their shiny-ness. All is right with the world.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

May I introduce ...

 The Drifters.

These little beasties came into being over the course of the week-end. They are brooches (on the largish side!) and are made from driftwood, EPNS, pewter, brass and ink. They are super special to me because I collected the driftwood whilst I was on a lovely week-end away with my dear friends. We went for a brisk afternoon walk along the beach and, with eyes cast down, we found lots of treasure - all of which was donated to yours truly. Even a whole swag of cuttlefish that will be great to cast into - well so I have heard I haven't actually tried that yet ...

This is Squidjilly

This is Sqidjilly's friend El Crabbo

And this is Sardinia.

I must say that working with wood was a new experience for me but one I enjoyed immensely. Of course driftwood is rather soft and very light so I think it was a good choice for a first attempt at carving. These beasties will be joining in the fun during SALA at my exhibition.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My Creative Space

Today my bench is blooming ...

With teeny pewter and pearl flowers

and ...

brass and pewter flower-cup ear-rings 
and ...

a large three dimensional flower made of pewter and brass, strung on recycled cotton.
What are you up to? Head over to Kirsty's and check out the creativity that is blooming in Blogland ...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The trouble with ear-rings is that one always has to make two of the blighters!  Do you think a line of ear-rings for solo-lobes might catch on? It kinda worked for Madonna in the 80's but I have a feeling it won't catch on now. So I will just have to keep making pairs! (sigh)

I used up some roller printed pewter that was left over from another piece for these. It kinda looks like snakeskin, but it is in fact, lace. It is hard to see in the pic but these are domed on both sides - creating a bead-like effect.

These sweeties also have a domed back. The discs are brass and the flowers are, once again, pewter I have reclaimed from utensils. Personally I think these are way nicer than a beer mug but that could just be the girl in me talkin'! I gave these ones lovely big, round hooks to hang from.I love that the sterling silver wire is 100% recycled - thank-you A&E Metals.

So this gives you an idea of how the back looks - it is a nice way to finish them off - they feel substantial without being too heavy. I am planning a few more "pretty" ear-rings so it is back to the bench for me. In the meantime I look forward to hearing from all those uni-lobed folks that I just know are out there eagerly waiting for someone to take up their cause and create those single ear-rings ...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Progress ...

Everything I did yesterday was an epic fail. So frustrating. I am glad to report that today has been far more productive. Generally, I am all too happy to share my frustrations- no sense hiding them under a bushel, but since I have already unloaded on dog and husband I will spare you the burden of that particular tale.Suffice to say that today my equilibrium is restored, my marriage saved and the dog is happy to be allowed back inside ... It may only be one component for one neckpiece, but I am delighted that it has taken shape - with no real disasters along the way (unlike yesterday ). I can now march forth, faith in my abilities restored and climb new creative mountains - small hills preffered!

In the beginning ...

- some brass and watch parts ..

Hmmm - adding some depth ...


Contrary to how it appears in the pics, this "clockwork heart" is a reasonable size - about 4cms x 4cms. I am loving this 3D look and can't wait to put it together with some other components, but for now I think I deserve a big, sloppy Margharita and Indian take-away!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

There has of late, been rumblings of protest in some quarters with regard to my proliferation of twee woodland critters. You can read about that here. It would seem though, that despite the gentle chiding and not-so-gentle forehead slapping, cute  is in fact quite hard to resist! I am pleased to share with the world that a former denouncer has now become a collaborator in my collecting adventure. Let me set the scene :
A tour of my studio reveals a number of woodland critters that The Denouncer (as she will henceforth be known) had not spied before and I was positively grilled about their sudden appearance. "Bah" I said, "I have had those for ages. Yes, even the little goat ..." She bestowed upon me a sceptical glance but spared me any argument. Next stop was the oppie with the usual rummage through the racks, the corsetry, books and bric-a-brac. I had finalised my purchase when The Denouncer plucks a small palstic prize  from a basket. A miracle really given the overflowing nature of the basket. With a grand flourish she presented it to me saying "I think this belongs in your collection. You have to take it home!Be still my beating heart I thought - The Denouncer is renouncing her denouncing ways (try saying that 3 times, really fast!)

Well of course she was right - that was way more vintage plastic than I could resist. Still, I was gob-smacked by the Denouncer's enthusiasim and I felt tears of joy pricking my eye-lids at the thought of future joint collecting adventures now that we were paddling in the same direction ...

I must confess though that I thought there might be an ulterior motive for all that enthusiasim. Perhaps there was an expletive graffitied on my little friend? I examined her closely and no, she was graffiti and expletive free.

Hhmm - I was still harbouring suspicions as I handed over my fifty-cents ..

I turned her this way and that and finally it dawned on me. My dear little Alpine gal was wearing what can only be described as "the f*ck-off  face". Oh yeah, you had better believe it - clearly The Denouncer spotted it way before I did. This is the look that parents of teenagers become familiar with at some point (generally around the same time you look at your partner in bewilderment and say "But he/she was such a sweet  toddler!?"). Oh bitter disappointment - I had been all ready to welcome The Denouncer to the dark-side - or should that be the cute-side?  Despite this evidence to the contrary, I am clinging to  forlorn hope and choosing to believe that The Denouncer is mending her anti-cute ways. With this act she is in fact encouraging me to collect my little heart out. I will not allow my faith in that to be shaken by one wee maid with that look on her face - no, no I will not! And in the meantime I believe a gauntlet has been thrown down and a campaign of CUTE may well be underway!

Monday, July 4, 2011

"The Process"

Sometimes I just love "The Process". This morning I was tidying up my bench - often it is a good way to start the creative process - and I came across these ring-pulls ...

I have been collecting them for a woman I study with who, in turn, collects them for a charity. I was about to sweep them into a zip-lock bag when suddenly inspiration hit me with all the force of a George-of-the-Jungle style tree-smash! Luckily I wasn't damaged by the experience but I did grab my journal and scribble a few notes because as I am sure many of you know, inspiration can sometimes be elusive and many a good idea has been lost to the ether for want of a few scribbled reminders.

Essentially I am one of those design-by-making types that make art educators want to throw their hands up in despair. I have progressed along the design first/make later road but when I get all excited about an idea the pencil pretty much goes out the window and I start bustling about looking for materials. The up-side is that you get to play around with stuff and have a proto-type at the end. The downside is that the prototype often looks a bit daggy because it gets dinged up when you experiment with different ideas or have to rectify mistakes. So bear all that in mind when you look at my new little proto-type!

Aww shucks - sweet Ring-pull Babushkas. Refinements will be made - probably even some measuring (!) to even out those rivets and I dare say I will make the faces more bone-like. I want to make ear-rings and a charm bracelet. They measure about 3.4 - 4cms and I think a vintage crystal dangle for the ear-rings might be nice. Do you think they will be too big for ear-rings? Now I need to go and write down the method before I forget!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Flea Market Finds

This week it was all about green.

An owly money box for a daughter, a non-functioning clock for wall art and some green glass dishes - well, just because I could! Pop over to Sophie's to see the results of everyone's op-shop adventures.