Saturday, August 15, 2009

Transitioning to Blogger

I'm just beginning to transition my craft blog from LiveJournal to Blogger. While I find that there still are a handful of pros to LiveJournal, for instance the comment structures which function more like forum posts and the groups to which you can belong and post, overall I prefer Blogger's ease of use and its lack of advertisements (unless you want them). Actually posting first to Blogger might make it easier to later cross post to Livejournal, so perhaps I can have my cake & eat it too!

I'm starting by posting some of my recent, unsold creations, but I hope to give this journal a larger scope and include more information about my inspirations, techniques, materials, etc. I have a commission I'm working on so perhaps I'll post information on how my artistic process works along with meeting the desires of a client and show some in progress work. We'll see.

I have a few other projects in the works too, but unlike the vast majority of my jewelry, it's not intended to be sold online via Etsy. I may have found myself a real live bricks & mortar gallery/boutique to offer some of my wares which is exciting. More information on that to come!

Faery Wing · Leather & Sterling Silver Necklace

When most people think of faeries, they think of wings: lovely little sprites or enchanting maidens with insect wings unfolding delicately from their backs. It might be surprising for some to learn that before Shakespeare's time, wings were not a common, defining trait for faeries and in fact it is very rare to find reference to them in traditional European myth, legend, and balladry. The faery folk of old could be beautiful or bizarre-looking, and encounters with them were perhaps more feared than they were desired, but they were always respected as being embodiments of something sacred and numinous.

Today the wings of faeries are regarded as literal, but perhaps they were not meant to be so. During the same time period when wings became to be a newly popular attribute of fey creatures, interest was being renewed in the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome. The word for butterfly in ancient Greek was psyche which also happened to be the word for 'soul.' Psyche was also the name of a mythical girl who became the lover of the God Eros. In classical artwork Eros was shown with feathered wings and Psyche was often represented with the wings of her namesake as a visual cue to her identity. Perhaps those who originally associated the fey with butterfly wings were really intending to use metaphorical clues to show the sacred nature of Faery as well as its proclivity for transformation.

This necklace is a lovely reminder that not everything valuable in the world is to be taken literally and not all knowledge lies on the surface.

The letters stamped across the hand-carved and painted leather pendant read "Wings are but a symbol of the soul." From delicate chains hang briolettes of labradorite and moonstone with inner flashes of blue, freshwater pearls, glittering swarovski crystals, and semi-precious stones to compliment the colors in the faery wing.

measurements • the overall length of the necklace is approximately 17 inches and closes with a lobster clasp; the faery wing pendant is about 2.5 inches long by about 1.75 inches wide at its greatest points and dangles 1.5 inches from the main portion of the necklace
materials • hand-carved & painted leather faery wing; sterling silver chain & wire; freshwater pearls; labradorite & moonstone briolettes; swarovski crystals; coral; semi-precious stones; glass beads

Wicked Vixen · Original ACEO Painting

Inspired by antique Victorian and Edwardian erotica, this sultry seductress gazes out from the canvas, enticing the viewer to come hither. Approach her with caution though for she keeps some strange company. What appears as a collection of shapes in the background when the painting is viewed from straight on reveals itself to be a thoughtful skull with a piercing stare.

"Wicked Vixen" is an original acrylic painting on a miniature stretched canvas in ACEO format. Parts of the painting have been treated with a crackle finish to lend an aged, creepy quality to accentuate the subject matter.

ACEO is an acronym standing for Art Cards, Editions & Originals. They are small pieces of art measuring 2.5 by 3.5 inches, the same dimensions as a baseball card, and are a great format for collecting. The canvas is approximately 3/8ths of an inch deep and can be hung quickly and simply on a small nail but would look lovely in an ornate little frame in your Gothic boudoir.

This piece is signed and dated on the reverse by the artist. The copyright notice does not appear on the original piece, but the artist does retain all rights to the image even after purchase.

measurements • 2.5 x 3.5 x 0.375 inches
materials • acrylic paint & ink on canvas

Mortal Geisha · Leather Cuff Bracelet

This is the second version of this bracelet that I've created, and I'm much more pleased with the carving & tooling aspect than I was with the original. The first time around the leather was being strangely finicky (I think that I got it too wet in preparation for carving) so I was having difficulty getting details and nice crisp lines. The original version still turned out nice — better than I first anticipated — but this version I feel is a great improvement. I really wanted to highlight the carving so I left the color scheme rather simple: earth tones with a halo of red.

Mortal Geisha is a hand-crafted leather cuff bracelet inspired by my love for the Japanese tradition and by tattooing.

The design was originally slated to be part of a series of tattoo flash I was working on, but I decided that I liked it so much that I wanted to use it in a leather piece. A woman's profile superimposed with that of a skull is a common motif in American old school style tattooing (likely derived from calaveras, sugar skulls, and other Day of the Dead imagery).

My unique twist incorporates an influence from Japanese woodblock prints of geisha and courtesans of the floating world. Perhaps it represents the "Lady from Hell," the courtesan Jigokudayu who achieved enlightenment upon gazing at herself in a mirror and seeing a skeleton reflected there instead of her own youthful form. A gnarled pine tree curves around her neck, clouds swirl about her head, and a flame licks up from her collarbone. She is silhouetted by a scarlet stain.

The main portion of this cuff bracelet was hand-carved from vegetable-tanned leather and then dyed and painted. A strap of supple mocha-colored leather is affixed to one side of the pictorial panel using two gold-toned rivets and on the other with a gold-toned snap closure. The front of the carved leather portion is sealed with an acrylic coating to ensure that it stays vibrant for a long time to come, but please keep it dry to ensure its longevity. It is signed by the artist on the reverse.

measurements • bracelet is about 3.75 inches wide at its broadest point and approximately 7.5 inches around
materials • hand-carved & painted leather, gold-toned rivets and snap
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