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’m excited to announce that a project that I’m working on, Flotsam and Jetsam, is up for a project grant award over at crafthaus.
But, I need your help! The grant is going to go to the project with the most votes… and anyone can vote! If you click here, you can learn about my project and vote for it at the bottom of the page.
Flotsam & Jetsam Project Description:
With funding provided by the Crafhaus Project Grant I propose to create a series of laser cut neckpieces that will blur the identity between two disparate materials found in the ocean environment: seaweed and trash. This series, titled Flotsam & Jetsam, will explore the aesthetic dichotomy between these artificial and natural materials.
According to statistics compiled by Save the Bay, (a Rhode Island based organization aimed at protecting the local ocean and coastlines) Rhode Islands five beaches yielding the highest amount of trash produced upwards of 10,000lbs of detritus in 2011 alone. This shocking amount of litter seems comparable to the amount of seaweed and other plant life found on the beach.
In response to this overwhelming amount of trash, Flotsam & Jetsam will put a focus on this litter while presenting the concept in a material that visually references the oceans organic elements.
I will gather debris from each of the five beaches that Save the Bay has identified as the highest grossing, and will then arrange the collected trash into compositions reminiscent of bouquets of plant materials such as seaweed. I will then laser cut the silhouettes of these arrangements into translucent latex sheeting that emulates seaweed commonly found in local waters. These neckpieces will be the same dimensions as the original refuse; yet will be embellished with beads to imitate polyps and air bladders typically found on seaweed.
Click here to vote.
Recently, I was lucky enough to be able to visit the studio of local Silversmith, Jeffrey Herman. Jeffrey is the founder of the Society of American Silversmiths, and also runs his own business, Herman Silver, out of his studio. He does everything from professionally polishing silver pieces to restoring museum quality silverwork. His studio is an efficient and immaculate shop set up do to numerous processes. I loved how organized and clean it is, and how highly polished all his tools are.
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.
I’m currently working on a project proposal, that would allow me to focus on making a series of neckpieces that would highlight the flotsam and jetsam washed up on Rhode Islands beaches. I’ll be focusing on Rhode Islands top five beaches that gross the most amount of trash, rearranging the detritus and making laser-cut neckpieces of the silhouettes.
Here’s a work in progress:
I’m beginning to work on a new project, which I’m calling Flotsam & Jetsam. This project will focus on trash collected from the five most polluted beaches in Rhode Island. This cache is from the South Kingstown town beach, and has some particularly colorful bits of detritus. I found a shoe, sunglasses, lobster pot bits, ropes, bottle caps, shell cartridges, wire, and a glove.
I’ll be using these materials to create adornment from. Although the finished product won’t incorporate this source material, I really love the saturated colors and patterns created by teh trash. Consider this an appetizer, as I’ll be posting more images of the project as it develops.
The new studio space is in progress! I can’t wait to have it workable! So many boxes to unpack, shelves to hang, and tools to set up. Also, check out that huge clivia plant that I got from a friend… beautiful! And, I’m sure you’ll agree that the color is a drastic improvement!
So, I’m ecstatic to be moving into a new studio with some wonderful artists! The new space is located in the industrial neighborhood of Providence, so I’ll be getting my studio closer to my home and work! The building is full of other working artists as well, and I’m really excited to have a place in a community of like minded people.
I’ve included some ‘before’ pictures below, which show off the space when we first signed the lease. Although it’s really raw, it’s pretty obvious how amazing it’s going to be. Once the bright yellow is painted over, and the mulberry purple is gone… It’ll be our future jewelry utopia…
The mill space in this image may not look like a lot, but it’s my future home. Creative home, that is… Sometime in the next couple of months (after some cleaning and clearing) this will be my new studio space! I’m excited to be sharing 3,000sq feet with some really talented friends, in a huge space that will be drastically closer to where I live. The building used to be the site of the Eastern Butcher Block Company, is environmentally clean and abuts a river. Sounds like paradise to me! I can’t wait to see how it looks after its prepped for us to move in!
I’ve got my work cut out for me today…