Friday, November 20, 2009

Featured Artisans: JungleTribe

In addition to highlighting my own art & craft, I'd also like this blog to be a place to draw attention to other artisans whose work has inspired and influenced me. I plan to especially focus on fellow leatherworkers because 1) leathercraft has become one of my profound joys and 2) it doesn't seem to get nearly enough attention in comparison to other contemporary crafts and artforms.

As my first feature, I'd like to introduce you to the wonderful work of the two nomadic twin brothers, Beau & Dust, of JungleTribe. I'm particularly fond of their Steampunk Militia series of hip bags which feature cabochons of turquoise, brass filigree, and skeleton keys along with their signature use of layers and hardware as design elements. This elegant yet industrial aesthetic is continued in a line of cuff bracelets which they offer in collaboration with RockLove Jewelry.
Being versatile in style, they also create pieces with an edgier, darker and more thickly textured feel under the title of Galactic Gothic Graveyard. Their collective talent isn't limited to leatherwork though, they also make jewelry. To see more of their amazing work, head over to their Etsy shop.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Little Finch • Necklace with Leather, Silk, & Sterling Silver

This little songbird was inspired by the House Finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) who came to nest in a tree which I can see from the window by my desk at work. I saw them for months darting into and out of the Arborvitae and posing to sing on its branches. I always enjoyed their visits. Although they are native to the US, House Finches were only introduced to the northeastern region where I live in the 1940s, but they have naturalized well and are now very common.

This little finch hangs asymmetrically from a sky blue silk cord strung with beads in colors to compliment his feathers: primarily various shades of warm grey and brown, scarlet red, and black. These beads include labradorite briolettes with brilliant blue flash, freshwater pearls, and glittering swarovski crystals. The necklace closes with a delicate, handmade hook closure of sterling silver.

The House Finch is handcrafted of vegetable-tanned leather which has been carved and tooled into a low-relief sculpture. He was then dyed and painted with acrylics to highlight his plumage, and he has been signed by the artist on the reverse. He's been sealed with a protective coating to help ensure that he sings to you for a long time to come, however, he is not suited to bird baths so do keep him nice and dry.

measurements • necklace is approximately 26"(66cm) long; finch pendant is about 2.5" wide and 2.25" high at its broadest points
materials • hand-carved & painted leather finch; silk cord; sterling silver clasp; labradorite briolettes; freshwater pearls; swarovski crystals; glass beads
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