Friday, March 27, 2009

I appreciate all the good words about my last posting. As I have an 11-year-old already, I'm no stranger to the gear-shifting necessary in raising kids. But two! Neither my partner or I were ready for that, and it is a different kettle of fish, to put it mildly. Miles and Audrey are the most amazing little humans, and I don't play weekend daddy with them - I'm right in there with their day-to-day. I'm grateful that this work I love so dearly can support my super-sized family, but it does make a soul-satisfying run in the studio rather a rarity nowadays. I'm still buzzing about the experience of making this new object. The last step in the creative journey of a piece for me is to take beautiful images of it, that show it to its best potential. I have just finished doing that. So, before it goes onto the website's New Work space (in May), may I introduce to you (properly this time):

Pendant: 5" x 3" x 1.25" (13 x 8 x 3cm), chain/cord length: 29" (73cm)

Materials: Spigot handle, raccoon trap jaw, mid-19th-century drawer pull, Masonic Odd Fellows glass seal stamp (1830's), 'Lepine - Paris' binocular lens and housing (1850's) - found washed up on beach, wasp nest, oil lamp wick, fresh-water pearls, jade, turquoise, garnet, shell, Czech crystal, dichroic glass, 16th-century paper, lens, faceted glass, crushed glass, paper twine made with 16th-century kozo paper, Georgian watch-winding key, sterling silver chain, brass, steel wire, copper, artist-made glass bead, steel-point engraving (1850's), linen thread, leather, soil.

Click on images to view them large...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ding-dong, bell.

Sometimes there is a sea change in the studio, 'into something rich and strange'.

THE INNER SIGHT was a big disappointment, and it caused a great deal of soul-searching and thinking back on my last few years of output.

I came to the realization that much of what I have made since my
twins were born almost three years ago has suffered from a bit of an attention deficit (or should I say Traumatic Stress Disorder!). Because my studio time has been squeezed stressfully into my childcare regime, I have not had the brainspace necessary to explore the inspiring avenues that were opening to me in the wake of my Macleay Museum studies. I was also neglecting to rummage properly through my materials, and in doing so I was often on auto-pilot - this eliminated the joyful discovery process that is so central to working with found materials. No wonder I was feeling dissatisfied.

Perhaps simply stating that fact to myself broke the spell. THE
INNER SIGHT out of my mind, I set my outer sights on creating the kind of work that speaks to those impulses that had consumed me before the children arrived. And out of the ashes rose "THE AERIAL OCEAN (MAY IT WATCH OVER YOU)", a double-sided swiveling neckpiece that coalesced alchemically in the studio. It was easily the most thrilling time I've had making artwork in the last three years, and will be my own personal talisman. I will be going into the studio to photograph it properly later today.

What a note to close the studio for a month on. I know that I will return after my teaching travels energized with these revelations.

(A small postscript: this is also the first piece to feature my first glass bead! It doesn't shout out, but it can be seen where the chain joins just over the top of the pendant, nestled in the 'frame' of links.)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wow, time is careening past. I'm in the dungeon, putting finishing touches on a few pieces in preparation for my upcoming trip to the US on a teaching tour. I'm excited to see my old friends and new faces as I travel the west and mid-west states.

(Just an aside - anyone who is taking one of Working With Wire 2 day classes, please go to the supply list and check it out again, I have added some tools that are important.)

I will post in the next few days some in-process shots of my new neckpiece entitled "THE INNER SIGHT."

No, really.