Category Archives: Meta-ranting

An Interview With Winter Moon

I was recently visited in my studio by Olivia from Winter Moon Blog for an Islay Taylor Winter Moon Interviewinterview. Olivia and I chatted about jewelry, design, and what I’ve been making as of late. Here are a couple of my favorite questions that Olivia asked me:

How does an idea become a piece of Jewelry?

“For me, it’s a process of day dreaming, sketching, building, messing up, remaking, finishing, and then putting it on! There isn’t a step-by-step route to transform an idea to a piece of artwork, I find that good ideas just sort of take root and grow into finished products all by themselves.”

tell us about your studio and what you’ve chosen to surround yourself with.

“It’s really important for a studio space to not only function well, but to also be a place that you want spend time in. Our studio is very functional and comfortable, and reflects what each of us is currently working on. There are a ton of tools, machines and materials, but there’s also a common space and lounge area. Frequently, we’ll gather together to share wine and food, talk about art, and then begin collaboratively making new pieces together. Our studio is very fertile!”

As always, Olivia was lovely and we have a really great conversation. It’s always interesting to hear about your interests and goals through another persons filter. To get inside my studio and my head, you can read the full interview here.

Winter Moon Islay TaylorPhoto taken by Olivia Mansion.

In the Studio

It’s almost my one year anniversary of working in my new studio space; actually, I guess it’s been long enough that I can’t call it ‘new’ anymore! I share the third floor mill space with three other amazing makers and a ton of plants. Our studio is s a creative incubator that I love to spend time in… despite the fact that it’s sweltering in the summer. I always feel energized and satisfied after working there.

I always think it’s interesting to see where the finished product comes from and how similar the jewelry and the creative environment can be. So, I decided to take some pictures of my work-space to share with you.

 The big picture of my nook in our studio. We painted the space in various blues and greens. 

I now realize how desperately we need to paint the facade of that counter unit!

 This is my little work area; lots of nail polish, hair, and fur!

 Various feathers, ribbons, beads, and reflective glass thread.

Hanging over the corner of my work bench are my hammers, beads, and other supplies.

Neoprene Necklaces at The One Way Gallery

So, I’m excited to have some newer work at the One Way Gallery in Providence for their current show. You should definitly check out the show that’s up now… not just to see my jewelry, but also because this is the One Way’s Providence Flagship location. The One Way has been in Narragansett, Rhode Island for around 7 years now, and I’m pleased to say that I’ve been there since the beginning!

The Providence One Way location is at 231 Westminster St, downtown by Craftland.

Blogged on My Love For You!

I’ve been following Meighan O’Toole’s amazing blog, My Love For You, for quite a while now. Meighan has created a repository of amazing makers, I got to her webspace for a stimulating mental vacation and to view inspirating works from two and three dimensional artists…
Imagine my surprise this morning when I find an email in my inbox from a friend congratulating me on having my work on her website! After clicking through the link that was provided in the email, I found a post about my Pro Nailz rings! Needless to say, I’m increadibly honored to have Meighan dedicate a blog post to me, and I feel like an overly excited nerd about joining the ranks of the artists included in My Love For You.
Thanks to Meighan for acknowledging my work, and for having such kind words about it.
And thanks to Wendi, for liking my work (and me) enough to share!

For the sake of Opulence…

I am flattered to have recently been asked by The Opulent Project to participate in one of their ongoing projects, COSTUME COSTUME. As a result, I’ve been working on making lots of the Pro Nailz pieces the past couple of weeks. As you can tell from the image to the right, I’ve logged many hours painting nails while watching hours of terrible movies. I can barely tell the difference between my living room and a professional nail salon at this point.

The exhibition that I’ve been making the work for, COSTUME COSTUME, investigates the nature and subject of costume jewelry… Costume jewelry has been traditionally viewed as a mass produced, low price point, fashionable yet disposable variety of jewelry. According to The Opulent Project, ‘the original intention of costume jewelry is not to become collectibles or heirlooms but to be fashionable and dispensable when the trend passes. Frequently this jewelry is a mimicry of existing unattainable luxury jewelry or simply of a notion of traditional jewelry.’

The goal of COSTUME COSTUME is to present the limited edition works of designers who have tweaked the identity of costume jewelry to address the conceptual issues associated with this genre of jewelry. The pieces that are represented in this show challenge concepts of value, material, historicism, and identity. ‘By replication and alteration we seek to further remove the simulated jewelry from its origin, thus costuming the costumed…. COSTUME COSTUME.’

I shipped the work that I’m contributing to COSTUME COSTUME out this morning to the ladies of The Opulent Project. It all fit into a small sized USPS priority rate box, which is always nice because the shipping rates are tolerable but also discouraging because it seems like so much artwork and labor should take up more physical space.

Check it out: COSTUME COSTUME will be exhibited with Sienna Gallery at SOFA NY in April 2011, and will then travel to the Heidi Lowe Gallery in August.

Work Documentation

What’s a great way to spend a Friday night, and I’m not being sarcastic here? I spent last night documenting some of my recent work with Maureen Keaveny, which was so much fun! I really like shooting work on models as well as off the body; and my models were great. I attached a couple pictures below, one of Josie wearing her wedding dress to highlight the design of the neoprene necklaces. And another of Olivia, she looks amazing in the retroglo chains (hopefully the images will make the necklace actually glow!).
I can’t wait to see how the pictures come out!

SO Rhode Island Interview!

I was recently interviewed for what I thought was going to be a short side-bar piece about myself and my role as Gallery Director at Hera Gallery… However, when I picked up the latest issue of SO Rhode Island Magazine, a local Arts & Entertainment Monthly, I was surprised to see a full page portrait of myself smiling (awkwardly) back at me.
Despite the intimidating full page photo, the writing is very generous and references some of my aesthetic philosophies, inspirations, and recent works. They also make note of Chromophilia, which was a great free plug for that show. I’m pretty flattered to have been featured in this months paper, and really appreciate the opportunity to talk about the artistic interests that I’m involved in.

Click on the photo above to enlarge the image and read the article.

Art New England Article

There’s a really interesting article in this issue of Art New England about the Providence art scene written by Doug Norris. Doug is a wonderfully observant art writer who primarily reviews for the South County Independent, and freelances for national publications as well.

In Providence: The Artists’ Nest, Doug describes the Providence art-scene as a incubator focusing on experimentation, collaboration, and community. This mentality is particularly fostered by the local artist run organizations such as AS220 and The Hive Archive. He also elaborates on Providences thriving anti-establishment art subcultures; artist developed micro-communities built around performances, parties, live music, daily creation, and shared spaces that emphasized the collective nature of making things. An example of this would be Fort Thunder. Fort Thunder refers to an illegally artist occupied warehouse which has recently been developed into gentrified condo space. With the eviction of the artists, Fort Thunder has come to describe a group of people (artists, makers, musicians) tied together by their beliefs and interests, but with out a tangible locale. Exhibitions and events are stages across the city in warehouse, peoples apartments, or unoccupied loading docks (which I’ve seen temporarily transformed into elaborate stages for plays), information about which is spread the old fashioned way by word of mouth and screen printed posters. One last local organization that the article mentioned is the Dirt Palace, a feminist collective operating out of a re-purposed Library building. The Dirt Palace is a space that promotes personal growth for individuals, and an environment conducive to challenging thoughts and radical actions.

Despite it’s gritty appearance, Providence proves to be a ripe locale for embracing and facilitating creative natures. There are so many unique facets to Providences art scene that it’s difficult to distinguish or separate these elements. It’s this influence and contamination of one genera to the next that I’ve always found so appealing about this town. Providence really does makes it easy to be a creator, people support one another and businesses actually cater to artists.

Be sure to check out the article below by clicking on the images to enlarge them to a readable size. You’ll also note that I’ve been quoted in this article a lot! I’m excited to have been able to contribute to such an honest, historical, and observant portrait of the city that I live and work in.

Upcoming exhibition: Objectified

So, I’m pretty excited (and a little nervous) to be working with Honfleur Gallery in Washington DC to curate an exhibition titled Objectified: the domestication of the industrial.

Objectified will feature the work of Robert Longyear, Jeanne Jo, Andrea Miller, and Colleen Heineman.

The show brings together the work of four artists utilizing different media, and working in different methods. The commonality that these artists share is a philosophical approach to their subject matter, each artist presented here acts as a conduit transforming common materials and concepts into fine art. Whether transforming detritus into wearable works of art, or meticulously creating a knit codex, the artists of Objectified act as an intermediary, allowing their source materials to become more accessible to the viewer.

Objectified was born of the desire to bring together makers from disparate backgrounds, and working in a variety of ways who all drastically alter their materials as a result of extensive conceptual investigations. The title of the show refers to the artists use of the hand, and the alterations that the artists induce upon their work, each piece yielding an intimate relationship to the viewer. It was also important to have this show represent tangible objects as the results of the concepts and investigations articulated here. Allowing for a physical object to become the final vessel indicative of an arduous creative process emphasizes the complex status of that object.

Honfleur is a wonderful non-profit gallery in the Anacostia neighborhood of DC. And, I actually went to College with their Creative Director, Briony Evans, who was the one to invite me to curate the exhibition there. I’ll be posting more information about the show as the dates get a little closer, including images of the work that will be included.

And, now that I’ve written this blog post I’m not so nervous any more. Much more excited…