Thursday, August 23, 2018

Coming to life

At the request of a very good, long time customer, one of my "found" necklaces is coming to life. The original piece was formed on a blustery day at Dolphin Beach last June.

Construction is coming along slowly so I'm thankful for her patience. I'm finding the look not terribly difficult to mimic (components were formed in the bowls of three sizes of spoons to achieve the shape) but the engineering in getting the pieces together in a way I'm pleased with is rather tricky. 

June is winter in South Africa and its typically cool and rainy although last year Cape Town was experiencing a terrible drought. In this photo, you can just make out the base of Table Mountain there at the horizon line. On a clear day, this beach has an amazing view, which has no doubt gained for the neighborhood its name as Table View.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Art Date

One of my favorite "dates" is a day at a museum. We took refuge from the heat and humidity last week at the Baltimore Museum of Art. We slowed down, we pondered, we debated compositional choices in hushed tones.

A favorite from the time I was a child...the mosaics from Antioch that ring the museum's central courtyard. 

We chose a rainy day last fall to go to the Susquehanna Art Museum  for one of the most unique shows I've been to. Vintage motorcycles were featured and paired with works from well known artists. Although I find motorcycles only mildly interesting, the concept took on a whole new meaning when a couple who walked into the show just behind us started talking.

The "Mrs." is interested in art. The "Mr." isn't but...the motorcycles lured him in. And guess what, he became interested in the paintings and she spent some time looking at the motorcycle.

What an innovative way to find common ground!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Found jewelry

I enjoy assembling found jewelry pieces so much that I've started to arrange travel plans around locations that might prove to have engaging"ingredients". And I'm married to a person who fully goes along with this though so we're good.

See over there
A created splendour
Made by one individual
From things residual
- Patrick Kavanagh

Although I use anything available and sometimes, in all honesty, trash can be disturbingly compelling, I was relieved to have found very little trash in Maine a few weeks ago. What was there was mostly fishing/lobstering related (not surprising).

I dispose of the trash (recycling when possible) but often leave the natural pieces in place. (Yes, I bring home a few treasures sometimes but after 50 years of picking up stones and shells I've become rather discerning.)

I watched this particular piece get washed away by the rising tide. Will plan ahead and film this part of the process the next time.

In Saint Helena last year I arranged a necklace of fish scales that blew away in the wind before I could even get a decent photo, "temporariness" certainly being part of this process. It can be both melancholy and freeing at the same time.

I hope you have a great week! I'm taking a couple days away from the studio to savor the dwindling summer before my husband goes back to work next week.

Gathered in the cleft of the rock.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Crafting a booth set up...the dress rehearsal

We spent yesterday packing, setting up, taking photos and critiquing my booth set up. The unload and set-up (including two trips back and forth to home for forgotten bits)  took about 2 1/2 hrs.,  I shot 15 photos in 3 mins. Then... we took the whole thing down and packed it back into the car in all of 15 mins.

I'm pretty sure the janitor at the church who graciously allowed us to use their big, open foyer, with amazing skylights, for this non-event thought we were a little nuts but he didn't let on.

Ignore that wrinkly curtain, we put that up to give us a better
concept of what all this will look like within the pipe and drape. 

I'm happy with about 50% of this but the "run through" was invaluable and now I know what I need to change and do differently WELL in advance of the Craft & Design Show in November.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Airbnb/artist's retreat

I've had several people ask about the Airbnb/artist's retreat we stayed at while in Maine and I enjoyed it so much I feel it deserves more than just a link.

The owner (truly a SuperHost) was ahead of her time, renting out this amazing space before Airbnb even came on the scene I believe. This is one room living (plus bath) at its best, atop a large two car garage that the renter is welcome to use. The cathedral ceiling currently holds a (I think) mylar sculpture that sways every so slightly, and silently, when the ceiling fan is running and artwork adorns most walls.


Every need is considered and questions are answered before they are even asked by signs placed strategically around the studio (at the stove, washing machine, tv...). Skylights and windows allow for plenty of natural light even on a foggy day and well into the evening. Because the space is on the second floor and surround by woods, it feels a lot like a tree house. Although not directly on the water, a 2 min. walk on a charming woodland path takes you to a double adirondack chair with a view of the Damariscotta River.

 The studio area blends right into the main living space and is stocked with well organized tools, drawing, painting and collage supplies. There is a utility tub for cleaning up and two six foot, well lit work tables. I spent one evening playing with water soluble chalks until 10:30 pm.  The whole place is completely conducive to creativity and my husband and I both found ourselves saying "I could live here. I could live here".

Hey, look who that is! 

Joy, the owner lives in a house through the trees behind the studio and while she's available, she also allowed us all the privacy we wanted.

She has some open dates at the end of September (hint, hint) and Maine should be glorious then with comfortable days and chilly nights. Businesses and restaurants will still be open but the bulk of the tourist crowd will have left. Put it this way, if our lives did not revolve around the public school year, I would be renting that last week in September for sure.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Ah Maine...

One week is never enough in Maine but I'm grateful for the time we did have to get away, relax and do some day dreaming, without which artists would surely be sunk. Maybe all those dreams won't  come to fruition fully formed as we see them in our heads but they are a necessary fuel that pushes us forward. 

As seen from Shaw's Wharf in New Harbor.
This was a low budget trip as the college bills for our older two oldest kids are rolling in now but I will tell you, Maine can be done quite nicely on a tight budget if you have some basic camping equipment and do your homework on Airbnb. Beyond that there are many free to low cost adventures to be had. I googled "free things to do in Maine" and came up with more than we could possibly have done in a week. 

One of our favorite things to do (possibly my favorite thing in the world to do) is muck about on beaches like above at Owl's Head Lighthouse . There's a charge for admittance into the lighthouse but parking, the beach and walking around outside  the lighthouse is free. I gathered rocks and Kyle did a very nice painting and talked to a charming family from Quebec (he has a gift for starting conversations with strangers - a plus while traveling) .

Iconic image - looking up from the rocks at Pemaquid Point.

View of the Damariscotta River at our Airbnb.

Below are some of the interesting pieces found at the small beach at Pemaquid Settlement. From top to bottom: wood, shell, wire, rock and unidentified rubber thing. I'm happy to say in all our beach wanderings we found very little trash. More on that and "found jewelry" in my next post. 

Kayaking in South Bristol.