Category Archives: Amazing Makers

Superfly Caddis Fly Larvae

French artist Hubert Duprat has made many types of sculptures over the past few decades, but these gilded caddisfly casings are my favorites. I love these tiny gilt insect homes.

Caddisflies live in streams and ponds and protect themselves by spinning silk with debris found along lake bottoms. They use any small bits available to make their sheaths, be it sand, bone bits, shell, plant material, etc.

French artist Hubert Duprat moved some of the caddisfly larvae into a home aquarium, and provided them with only gold, jewels, and semi-precious stones to build their sheaths. The materials used includes gold spangles, diamonds, sapphires, rubies, pearls, opals, lapis lazuli, turquoise, and coral.


COLLECT

This show looks amazing!


COLLECT is an international exhibition hosted by the British Crafts Council which features European Contemporary craft and object makers. Hosted by the Saatchi Gallery in London, COLLECT runs from May 6th through the 9th. This show looks to be the UK’s compliment to our SOFA exhibitions, and the line-up on the website makes it look like a pretty phenomenal event. Although I’ll miss COLLECT, I plan to visit Saatchi Gallery after the show is over and see if the catalogue is still available.

Here is a blurb from the website: COLLECT champions craft makers from across the world and presents their talents, enterprise and innovation under one roof over four days. It provides important new opportunities for makers, as well as giving members of the public a chance to see and own something unique, beautiful and perfectly crafted. We know that a thriving contemporary arts and cultural offer is critical to London’s success as a world city. Events such as COLLECT are an important contributor to this and we are delighted to support the event.

Image:Monsieur Gaston neckpiece, 2010, by Eugenia Ingegno, Alternatives Gallery

New Traditional Jewellery: True Colours

Though I don’t think that I’ll be able to make this exhibition, I wanted to share the information for this years New Traditional Jewellery showcase. The show is a biannual show which is hosted at the Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem in the Netherlands. This years theme is True Colours, which is more than welcome as we exit the drab season of winter and begin to look for the colorful signs of spring.

Some of my favorites are pictured here:
The top image is a necklace by Tamara Gruner. I appreciate her monochromatic palate, and how the uniformity of the composition transforms the recycled materials into decorative objects that seem much more opulent than they are. The middle image is a necklace titled Show Me Colours 2010, by Denise Julia Reytan, and again features a composition of repurposed materials. The hyper saturation of the colors create a vibrancy that just makes my mouth water! Finally, the bottom image of the multi‐coloured Urban Tribal Necklace of Amanda Caines uses rejected telephone and computer wires made of plastic in bright colors, winding wool around them, fastens vintage fabrics to them and subsequently decorates them with beads.

Gah, I cannot wait for the catologue for this exhibition to come out!
Here is the mission statement for the show:

New Traditional Jewellery is a bi-annual international design competition in the field of contemporary jewellery. Historical or ethnographical carriers of meaning are taken as an incentive to generate new forms. In addition to this general framework there is also a specific theme. After traditional costume, faith and intimacy, this year’s theme is ‘True Colours’. Literally this refers to colour, for example in relation to materials and pigments. Throughout the ages colours and materials, such as gold and silver, often determined the meaning and value of pieces of jewellery. In the 1970’s and ‘80s other materials, such as textiles and Perspex, were also used.

As a result there emerged a new ‘language of colours’. This was an important step in the emancipation of contemporary jewellery. Therefore, ‘True Colours’ is about the history, meaning, value, magic and power of colour. Figuratively speaking, ‘True Colours’ could also mean “showing your true colours” or ‘to unveil your true self’. In this sense the theme could be approached from a social point of view, in which today’s multicoloured society is the main focus of attention. Colour contains information about status and social position. Colour can shout, curse, emancipate, help, judge and segregate.

Colours is a statement.

David LaChapelle

I’ve been away from my studio for a bit, and have been spending more time ‘doing research.’ Maybe I’m trying to justify my growing obsession with pop-culture, but I find myself recently attracted to highly saturated images and colors, high gloss, sparkly jewels, gold and diamond encrusted medallions, and just really extravagant objects and imagery. I’m not quite sure what it is about these stereotyped displays of wealth and culture that I find to enticing, but there is something about how these commercial goods and images so bluntly stroke my sensibilities and entice my inner consumer.

On a recent trip around the Internet, I came across this imaged by David LaChapelle. I have really always liked his use of hyper-saturated colors, and the high sheen that everything in his images seem to have. His subjects become plasticy objects, and everything is equalized into a glossy visual melee. Bordering on pop-grotesgue, he creates images that are visual cacophonies which seem to be suspended from time and place.

Davids imagery has the ability to transform even the classiest subject into an objectified commodity. The people in his photographs uncannily seem to lose their identity and morph into anonymous objects that could almost be mass produced.

More I WANT, I WANT, I WANT

I just came across an amazing designer, Walid Al Damirji, whose pieces interpret vintage fashions while using embroidery, fur, beaded fringe, and lace appliques.

Lately, I’ve been interested in incorporating fur components into my jewelry, and have been using old fur coats and stoles as my source material. I literally chop up vintage pieces of fur in order to have material for the jewelry that I’m making. Walid does the opposite. He doesn’t source the fur into his jewelry, but actually bejewels the fur. The resulting adornments are conglomerations of materials invoking concepts of nostalgia, opulence, and romanticism.
Be sure to check out his designs for CotureLab, which is very much in the same antique revival vein as the images below.




I WANT I WANT I WANT

So, I get all anxious and whiney and desperate when I find ingenious pieces of jewelry on the internet. I’m in a tizzy that I don’t think I can live without these smart knit pieces below. I can only justify my obsession by stating that it’s getting cold out, and jewelry that can double as outter-wear seems to be utilitarian, and therefore, I must own it!
This chain from Yokoo is so gangSTAR! I love the size, the texture, and the oddly 80’s Run DMC influence of this piece. You can visit Yokoo’s store on etsy.com, where she has tons of cool stuff available.
Another cool find on etsy.com is this knitted power cord necklace from knitknit. I love the simplicity of the piece, and how much it still resembles an actual power cord. It’s such a clever translation of a crocheted tube into something playful that just wants to get wrapped around a neck.

I really like wearable textile pieces, and I especially like it when artists incorporate age old traditions like crocheting. But sometimes crocheted elements in jewelry can look like grandmothers doilies ended up on the body… I found this set (Ok, I know it’s not technically jewelry, but I’d love to adorn myself with this Ol’ West Parure) by Inger Carina as I was browsing around for neat-o things on the internet. Inger is a Swedish textile artist, and you can see more of her amazing work at Hello Craft Lovers!

Amazing little giftie!

I was so happy to open up my mail box the other day, and find a package from my dear friend Wendi (who recently moved from Providence to Madison, which was a very sad event for me). Wendi is a super creative person, an amazing cook, and all around wonderful maker-of-all-things-awe-inspiring. You should check out her blog, Modern Ma’am, which has a wide range of info from recipes to knitting to house hold tips.

Anyway, the reason why I’m writing this blog post is because inside this package was a hand knit neckpiece that Wendi made for me! She said it was her first piece of knit jewelry, and I’m hoping that she makes more! I love the soft texture of the yarn, and how dressy it can make a casual tee shirt. It also reminds me of the lace and tatted collars that women used to wear… Considering that I have a soft spot for all things that refresh historical ideas, I’m totally in love with this necklace!

ELISE GOLDIN

A jewelery collection where the pieces bond two or more people together, to force interaction amongst the participants in a society where we are becoming increasingly void of real human interaction.


This morning I’ve been wasting time skimming the back-logs of some blogs that I like to read… when I came upon the work of Elise Goldin. Elise is a multidisciplinary designer, focusing primarily on creating artifacts and functional objects. She combines a bold aesthetic quality with unique materials to articulate her ideas. Her explorations with process, technique, and material enable her to create contemporary works that require the active involvement of the viewer.

I came across her ‘Knotted Collection,’ and clearly fell in love. She has used the laser cutting process to create smaller knotted links, then these rope like units are strung together to create wearable pieces. Her idea for this series started with the desire to physically bond two people together, therefore creating the more couture pieces pictured below. Eventually this concept evolved into a more wearable series like the chest plate pictured to the right.
I appreciate the graphic quality of her work, the knots reference old ‘how-to’ maritime diagrams. I also appreciate her ability to move beyond the smaller individual units and link the pieces together to create larger pieces that also reference historical pieces of jewelery. By moving the utilitarian into the realm of the decorative she has allowed the viewer to focus on the beauty of the alternative.


Unpacking Chromophilia

Yesterday I met with Devienna Anggraini, we are co-curating Chromophilia together, to talk about the fast approaching show. We visited the gallery at Craftland to check out the space, discuss display, and check out some of the work that’s already started coming in. I think that we must have looked like two little girls in a candy store as we thoroughly investigated every little bauble that’s arrived so far!
One of the artists that who we’ve received work from is Amy Weiks. She has sent us a series of exquisite brooches from a series titled Equal and Opposite, which I’ve always admired… But, finally getting so experience them in real life totally blows away my expectations! I was honestly kindof flabbergasted at her craftsmanship, her composition, and her unique hardware. The gallery was a cacophony of ‘Oohs’ and ‘Aaahs’ as we unwrapped one brooch after the next.
These brooches subtly investigate her explorations of material, form, and function. They also reflect her working process quite nicely, leaving her hammer marks as an honest portrayal of her method of forming. I really can’t say enough about these brooches… I can’t wait to see what else comes in the mail, and finally how the show looks fully installed!

Top image: Dev and Margaret fawning over a brooch
Bottom image: Equal and Opposite brooch by Amy Weiks