I just finished a new necklace! This chain is made out of bone, garnet, horse hair, brass, repurposed toll tokens, and thread. It was inspired loosely by the people documented by Jimmy Nelson in his new book, Before They Pass. I really love how his photos capture the adornment worn by the various cultures that he’s visited. With this piece, and the other ones I’m currently working on, I really wanted to work in a way that was philosophically parallel to the peoples I’m drawing inspiration from. So, many of the materials are repurposed and transformed from everyday objects that I have on hand.
The finished piece is below, and the thumbnail above is the planning sketch from my sketchbook.
I’ve been quietly poking around in my studio trying to reconnect with some unfinished pieces… At the same time, I’ve been hunting for inspiration and trying to shake the cobwebs out of my brain. During a recent reorganization of the odds and ends that I keep lying around, this necklace emerged… I’ll be putting it together shortly and can’t wait to see what other pieces emerge as a result of this one.
I’ve been working on joining some disparate elements that have been hanging out on my workbench for ages. Here’s a little vignette of some of the elements that I’ve been working with… I can’t wait to show you some more progressive iterations of these designs.
I’m working on a new Providence skyline hair comb, inspired by a vintage Victorian piece that I recently picked up. The Victorian original is from the late 19th century and is a type known as a Spanish mantilla comb because it resembles the traditional high topped tortoiseshell ornaments worn by Spanish ladies with their native dress. The production of the opera Carmen led to a fashion for high Spanish style combs in the 1870s. I really like the piercing and asymmetry of this comb, and how it really has a sense of movement about it.
I’m thinking that I’ll end up doing a series of these combs, because there’s just too much bizzarro skyline in Providence to include in one comb. Obviously, I have to include the Turks head building, and the upright bridge, and the big blue bug… I’ll include newer design pictures once I get that far.
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!
I just came across this amazing tape while perusing the items on display at nonesuch things. The tape was designed by a Parisian jeweler, Marie-Helene de Taillac, who creates beautifully cascading necklaces and earrings that rely heavily on the bright saturation of precious stones. Marie-Helene has created the jewel tape using images of bezel set precious stones in a spectrum of colors, ranging from greens and blues to sparkly pinks or reds. Apparently, she even revised the color balance on two rounds of prototypes because the printed tape didn’t look like the actual stones before she felt that the stones actually reflected their authentic counterparts.
My mind is rolling with ideas of what I could do with this amazing tape… At 16 meters long, there’s lots of possibilities! From gift wrap, to impromptu picture frames on the wall, to package design… I can’t wait to have a couple of rolls of this in my hot little hands!