Thursday, June 28, 2012

Creating Dragons - Meet Haakon

Meet Haakon, the latest little hatchling from the dragon's lair. He's saucy, fun-loving, and fearless, sort of like me. He's a response to Wendell, the half-dragon. I made Wendell with only one side, wanting something that would lie flat, close to the body. Every time I look at Wendell I sigh. He really should be a whole dragon. So, Haakon came to be. He's from the same family as Wendell - the Flitz Family (so named because they have wings and are uncontrollably flighty.........) Haakon's wings are quite small, and I clipped them in a vain attempt to limit his sojourns, but to no avail. I caught him in Vigdis' garden, stuffing cloud berries into his little maw, and there was no way he could get there except to fly (Vigdis lives in Jotenheimen and it's a long way from here, unless you die an honorable death, whereupon you are immediately transported into the presence of Odin himself!) Vigdis gave me permission to take a section of her garden fence and I chained it to Haakon as a reminder and to slow him down a bit.



Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Modular Art Jewelry - Mixing it Up

One of the best ways to shake up your approach to design, and to make sure you're not "carpeting your rut", is to mix up your materials. Working with a totally different medium forces you to rethink other aspects of your usual designs. So, what about wire? Not as a connecting medium, but as a design, a focal element.


Now let's try out the Modular Art Connections:

Looking at this I see a wee bird inside (yes, the doors open up) sitting on a perch, one (or maybe 3) tiny eggs hanging from the bottom loop and a nest sitting on top. Or maybe the nest should hang from the bottom loop with the eggs inside. What do you think?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Going on a Dig - Want to Come Along?

I love excavations, especially really old excavations. I think it goes back to grade school when the King Tut exhibition came to the Montreal Museum and our school arranged a field trip to see it. It wasn't so much that I wanted to wear the gorgeous necklaces and armbands excavated from that Egyptian "dig", but I wanted the thrill of being the first one to brush carefully at the surface dirt and see the glimmer of treasure just beneath my hands. To hold my breath, steady my hand and exercise excruciating patience so that I could carefully uncover the artifacts and lift them, undamaged, to light. To study every detail of these ancient artistic works would have brought me great delight. I think those memories spur a great portion of my passion for creating neo-artifacts. Ok, I can't brush away the detritous of centuries of time, but I can do my best to make it look like I have!
Meet la LlĂ grima Celeste. She was unearthed from an imaginary dig in Chichen Itza. From the wealth of the jewels and metals included nearby I have to conclude that she was an influential figure in her time, and from the art materials in the vicinity, I also imagine that she was an artist.
Her backdrop suggests the lush surroundings of her habitat, the linear architecture of the advanced culture at that time and the adornment of an opulent, peaceful era. With thought of Modular Art Jewelry, her attachments allow me to easily suspend her from one of several neckchains.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Designing with Modular Art Jewelry in Mind: Letting your Imagination Flow

The beauty of creating jewelry with Modular Art connections in mind is that a huge part of the design process is already taken care of, leaving you free to create the focal component uninhibited by potential design roadblocks. So dragons, bird skulls, sketches, surface designs, imitative techniques, primitive, abstract, art deco, wherever your creative process leads you that day can be easily incorporated into a piece of fine art jewelry. Here is another focal element used with the same attachment as the last two. This one evokes the New Mexico desert - bleached bird skull enhanced with metal and faux feathers, steampunked with watch gears.
Click on any image to see a larger picture.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Making Modular Art Jewelry - Another One

This one is so simple, yet looks so elegant. There are many different ways to make this piece - faux scrimshaw, tearaway technique, etc. and the designs can be planned ahead and transferred onto the clay so you know exactly what you're doing, but I love the "process" and this lets the process unfold gradually. It's basically like doodling, but with a v-gauge instead of pen and pencil. Just make a sheet of ivory (white + translucent +smidge brown +smidge yellow). Stack two thick pieces together. Cut a shape out. Bake flat. When cool, start carving out lines and patterns. Then antique with your favorite (acrylic/oil/shoe polish in burnt umber/black/raw umber/burnt sienna). When dry, sand to reveal clean ivory and the stained pattern. You now have a pendant that is your own unique work of art  Design the connections with Modular Art Jewelry in mind and you can switch it with the pendant shown in yesterday's blog.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Modular Art Jewelry - More Thoughts on Components

The whole idea is multi-function, convertible jewelry that simplifies and minimizes purchase expense. In other words, why pay for all kinds of neckwires when a few will do, as long as the "business" part of the necklace (pendant, artwork, etc.) is interchangeable. All that is required is to rethink the traditional clasp. Here is a short copper chain with two ornate clasps.

Now let's look at a pendant designed with components in mind.

Connected to the chain it looks like this:

Over the next few days I'll present more pieces with interchangeable connections.