Saturday, July 29, 2006

Minimal Metals

Peggy Cochran Jewelry Designs
Peggy's work is appealing because it has an unpretentious, archetypal character--sort of a techno-primitive feel. Peggy's work is
... inspired by her interest in architecture, technology, anthropology, history, symbolism, and communication.

Her work is considered 'Art To Wear' and creates a statement that ranges from subtle to bold. Her designs include one-of-a-kind, limited edition, and limited production pieces consisting of earrings, necklaces, bracelets, brooches and small sculptural objects. Her pieces are made of sterling silver and may include bronze, brass, copper and 14 karat gold.

Prior to her metalsmithing career Peggy apprenticed and became accomplished in the art of furniture making, woodcarving, clay modeling and dental technology. She considers herself very fortunate to have studied under a variety of highly skilled artists and artisans whose knowledge and demand for excellence have greatly affected her work. Each of her pieces is meticulously handcrafted and proudly signed by the artist. >>continue>>
Peggy's jewelry can be found at River Gallery in Chattanooga, TN and at the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, OR.
update 2/11: Peggy's website,, is currently inactive, perhaps on hiatus.
update 1/12: Peggy has a new website,, where she showcases her jewelry as well as her beautifully crafted sculpture, woodwork and furniture pieces.


Ethereal Enamels

Carly Wright transforms shapes and colors from the environment into beautiful champleve enamel jewelry pieces. Champleve entails creating recesses in a metal piece for enamel. Carly lines these recesses with a layer of gold or silver, then delicately applies a layer of enamel powder. After dozens of firings and careful finishing, the result is a jewelry piece of quiet beauty with softly glowing patterns of color. The earrings, pins and pendants are very wearable, not heavy and bulky like many modern enamels. Carly is a talented jewelry designer and craftsperson who also has a keen artist's eye and a true sensitivity to the world around her.

My jewelry is inspired by the natural world. I am fascinated by cliffs revealing layers of sedimentary rock. I believe that the images that I see on my daily walks, give me a vocabulary. I often stop to sketch , or pick up a stone or a piece of bark. These small objects sit on my drawing table for weeks, sometimes years. When I sit down to design new pieces I look to them for inspiration, and try to convey something of what I see in them to others. I am also drawn to architectural symbols such as windows or doors.

The subtlety of these pieces attracts viewers to further investigate each plane of silver, each line representing a crack found in rocks and cliffs, and the many layered blocks of brilliant enameled color. >>continue>>


Serenity in Glass

Sonja Blomdahl
Sonja's glass is expertly crafted--vivid, luminous, yet exquisitely serene. She specializes in architectural panels and vessels, and is known for her mastery of difficult techniques such as incalmo (joining two or more separate blown glass pieces while they are hot). Sonja's pieces can be found in several prestigious collections such as the Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, the Corning Museum of Glass, the Museum of Contemporary Art & Design, and the Renwick Gallery-Smithsonian Institution.

In a sense, the vessel is a "history of my breath": It contains the volume within. If I have done things correctly, the profile of the piece is a continuous curve, the shape is full, and the opening confident.

Color is often the "joy" in making a piece. I want the colors to glow and react with each other. The clear band between the colors acts as an optic lens; it moves the color around and allows you to see into the piece.

For me there is still much to explore. The relationship between form, color, proportion, and process still intrigues me. >>continue>>


Monday, July 24, 2006

Posters and Pitchforks

FLATSTOCK 9 Poster Convention
and the Pitchfork Music Festival
Union Park, Chicago
July 29th - 30th, 2006
Noon to 10PM

Chicago revs up this weekend with art, music, films and more...

FLATSTOCK 9 will be happening July 29th and 30th , 2006 during the Pitchfork Music Festival. Poster artists from around the world will be pitching tents in Union Park for the world famous convention sponsored by the American Poster Institute, dedicated to the promotion of music poster art and design worldwide. Now based in Chicago for easier access from East coast fans. Come grab posters and hear the stories behind them straight from the artist. FLATSTOCK is free for everyone with a Pitchfork Music Festival pass so come one come all. Show up early and be ready to be overwhelmed with amazing posters (you might want to bring some dough too since you won't want to leave empty handed.) FLATSTOCK is an all-ages event.

Pitchfork Music Festival won't be just another sun-drenched party in a park. More than music, more than just two days in July and more than Pitchfork Media, the festival will be a week-long, city-wide celebration of underground arts and culture presented in partnership with Chicago's foremost clubs and other cultural institutions.


Mischievous Girls

Dana De Kuyper's Damned Dollies will either make you slowly back away or smirk from ear to ear. Dana began making her wry little characters a few years ago as a hobby, but now works full time to produce dolls, brooches, tees and hoodies, sold through boutiques across Canada and the US. If you worship Edward Gorey or Tim Burton (I do!), you will fall for these fanciful figures in a heartbeat (I did!). There's a peevish personality to fit your every friend or your every mood from pirate-patched Penny to limp-eyed Lydia. If you're feeling slightly twisted and want a good chuckle, take a visit to Damned Dollies!


Mystery Girls

Probably best known for her quirky-witty comic Patches, Kelly Vivanco is also an impressively talented painter with a smart, strong body of work. Measuring from palm-sized to door-sized her paintings primarily depict whimsically costumed girls in Wonderland-like scenes. Reminiscent at times of comic books and at times of tarot cards, the images are rich with color, depth and mystery...what are they thinking as they gaze innocently or rebelliously at you? Where have they come from and to where are they journeying? What else lurks in the dreamy imagination of this amazing artist? Kelly's work has been found in several California galleries and will soon be seen at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. Take a moment and wander into Kelly's wondrous world.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Unlimited Palettes

Improbable Impressions: Jack Lenor Larsen's Psychedelic Prints
Minneapolis Institute of Arts--Gallery 279
Sunday, June 11, 2006—Sunday, January 28, 2007

A delight for the eyes and a delicious feast for the imagination, the Larsen exhibition features just a tiny taste of the endless talents of a textile genius. Larsen's portfolio spans the 1950's throught the 2000's, and the 1960's was clearly one of his most exciting design decades.

The company developed by Jack Lenor Larsen has long been known for its distinctive interiors textiles that exalt the wonder of natural fibers and highlight their unique textures. However, the Larsen Design Studio has never been limited by stereotypes and in the mid-1960s, the company created a line of clothing fabric under the JaeL label featuring dramatic prints on a synthetic knit, the new wonder fabric of that decade. Colors were often bright and demanded attention while patterns ranged from abstract to figural repetitions of exotic birds and animals such as tigers and leopards. These textiles have not been seen for decades and it is the first time they have been highlighted in a museum. >>continue>>

Larsen Design Studio
Tropic Birds
Minneapolis Institute of Arts


The Many Hues of Harmony

I have the greatest respect for people who gather their courage and face their fears to create a vision for their lives, take risks and work like mad to achieve that vision, and in doing so, preserve and promote ethics that value people and the natural world. Harmony Susalla is one of those special people. She left a safe corporate job when she discovered her passion and innate talent for textile design, and has become dedicated not just to the success of her business, but to its sustainable place in the harmony of life. Her organic textile designs are imaginative and invigorating and just downright cool!

HarmonyArt Organic Design
harmony art (här’m?-ne- ärt)
> n. 1. the combination of art and sustainability.
2. where creativity and organic textiles evolve.
3. a harmonious arrangement of design and business inspired by nature.
> v. 1. to bring together pleasing elements, organic fiber and fair trade.
2. to help revolutionize the textile industry.
3. to merge past experience with environmental and social passions.
4. to support like-minded people and companies. >>continue>>


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Treasures of the Midwest

Without question, one of the top five art fairs in the nation...

Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, The Original--July 19-22, 2006

Established in 1960, the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair is the Original of the now four award winning art fairs attracting over 500,000 attendees from across the nation and was recently named the Number One art fair in the country by AmericanStyle magazine readers survey (October 2004).
The 47th annual event is set among the University of Michigan’s most elegant architecture and beautifully landscaped pedestrian walkways, including the landmark, Burton Carillon Tower. >>continue>>

Bill & Lisa Bailey--Dripping Springs, TX
Jewelry - Enamels, metals, stones, our original non-representational designs. All pieces hand fabricated.
Leon Niehues--Hunstville, AR
Fibers - My baskets are made of white oak splint gathered locally, drilled and stitched with linen thread.
James Wilbat--Deerfield, IL
Glass - My techniques include blowing, hand-tooling, fusing and sandblasting clear and colored glass.


Power and Purity

Rebecca Myers Jewelry Design--Annapolis, MD
My studio has always been my chapel for creativity. A place where ideas are given expression. I try to capture the sublime beauty found in nature and art and express it with the work that I make. In some of my pieces I recreate natural forms and in others I try to instill a sense of awe with high karat color, texture and design.

I believe that artists are the scribes of mankind with tangible proof of our expression. The divine can be found in powerful art, architecture, craft, literature, music, and theatre.

In our "supersized" corporate society where individuality is often thwarted, the role of the artist/craftsman is even more profound. I feel privileged to be among this honorable tribe of makers. >>continue>>

Rebecca's award-winning work is a profoundly satisfying balance between excellent craftsmanship and imaginative design. She uses richly colorful gemstones such as Opal, Sapphire and Tourmaline, as well as Diamonds and Pearls, set in gold, silver and exotic metals. It is a joy to work with her because she is so talented and so excited about creative jewelry design. She is available through her showroom and at numerous national art festivals, including the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair.



From TAG Heuer...
The TAG Heuer Monaco V4 Concept Watch
The stunning blend of breakthrough technology with advanced integrated mechanical movement design, encased upside down in a daring evolution of the iconic TAG Heuer Monaco.

"If at first the idea is not absurd,
then there is no hope for it."
Albert Einstein

Since its earliest days, TAG Heuer has led Swiss watchmaking tradition by challenging and innovating its most time-honored conventions. Founded in an horological golden age, it has repeatedly revolutionized the timing and watchmaking world. Today, with the Basel 2004 launch of the Monaco V4 Concept Watch, the first design-integrated mechanical movement truly of the third millennium, the tradition continues. Once again, this time by reinventing the mechanical movement, TAG Heuer stakes claim to the cutting-edge of watchmaking and honors its motto: “Swiss Avant-Garde since 1860.” >>continue>>


Tuesday, July 11, 2006


2006 Industrial Design Excellence Awards (IDEA)

Design Explorations: Gold Award Winners:
Intelligent Energy ENV Bike

ENV is the world’s first purpose-built hydrogen fuel cell motorcycle, intended to demonstrate the potential of this technology, all in a fashion-forward design. In addition to being lightweight, streamlined and aerodynamic, its performance outstrips all electrically fueled bikes. >>continue>>


Sunday, July 09, 2006

Comics on the Coast

Fire up your alternative fuel vehicle and take a cruise along California's coast for some excellent comics-related events:

July 20-23, 2006--Comic-Con International 2006--San Diego, California USA
One of the world's most popular comics conventions, Comic-Con is jam-packed full of events, awards ceremonies, auctions, a film festival and special guest appearances.

Top nominees for Comic-Con's esteemed Eisner Award include:
  • Chris Ware-nominated projects include Acme Novelty Library and Walt and Skeezix
  • Warren Ellis-nominated projects include Desolation Jones and Fell
  • Brian K. Vaughan-nominated projects include Ex Machina
Special guests include:
  • Yoshitaka Amano (Final Fantasy)
  • Brian Bolland (Judge Dredd)
  • Ray Bradbury (The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and Fahrenheit 451)
  • Robert Kirkman (Invincible, The Walking Dead)
  • Walter Koenig (Chekov on the original Star Trek TV series, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year)
  • Kazuo Koike (Samurai Executioner, Crying Freeman with Ryoichi Ikegami, Lady Snowblood)
  • Billy Martinez (Wildflower, Kickass Girl)
  • Jimmy Palmiotti (Painkiller Jane)
  • Gail Simone (Gen13 with artist Talent Caldwell)
  • Yoshihiro Tatsumi (The Push Man and Other Stories)

August 04-06, 2006--AOD 2006: The San Francisco Animation Convention--San Francisco, California USA
Organized by the infamous staff of Anime Overdose, this isn't "the world's biggest", but it's a blast nonetheless.

Events include:
  • Guest And Industry Panels
  • Charity Auction-In 2005, AOD sponsored its first charity auction, which benefited the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and drew donations from Pixar's John Lasseter, actors Seth Green, Robin Williams, John Goodman, Dark Horse Comics, Japanese anime director Takeshi Mori, and many others.
  • AOD’s Music Video and Original Animation Contest
  • Video Screenings
  • Artist Alley
  • Musical Performances
  • and who can miss the Karaoke?
Honored guests include:
  • Merlin Crossingham (Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Morph, Creature Comforts)
  • Greg Dean (Real Life Comics)
  • Vic Mignogna (Fullmetal Alchemist, Dragon Ball Z, Neon Genesis Evangelion)
  • PMBQ (Tea Club)
  • Gilles Poitras (author and expert on Japanese anime, culture, and history)
  • Ken Pontac (Bump in the Night, Happy Tree Friends)
  • Marv Wolfman (Crisis on Infinite Earths, Teen Titans, Blade the Vampire Hunter, Lex Luthor)
  • Tommy "Yoonie" Yune (Robotech)

Cartoon Art Museum--San Francisco, CA
May 9-October 15, 2006--Cartoon Tunes: Capturing Music in Comics
Explores the vibrant interplay between music, sound & lyrics and comic illustration from mainstream to indie artists.
Featured artists include R. Crumb, Lloyd Dangle, Gene Deitch, Ellen Forney, Justin Green with Carol Tyler, Dylan Horrocks, David Kelly, Megan Kelso, Keith Knight, Lev, Jason Little, Jesse Reklaw with Joe Sayers, Spain Rodriguez and R. Sikoryak.
Spotlighted musicians include The Beatles, Belle & Sebastian, Miles Davis, Fats Domino, Bob Dylan, Philip Glass, Jenny "The Swedish Nightingale" Lind, Jelly Roll Morton, The Partridge Family, Run DMC, They Might Be Giants, and Frank Zappa.

July 1, 2006-January 14, 2007--Draw Me A Story: A Century of Children's Book Illustration
A 100-year evolution of comic art and illustration is showcased by original drawings and paintings from such artists as Edward Ardizonne, Palmer Cox, Tomie DePaola, Edward Gorey, Kate Greenaway, Johnny Gruelle, Ruth Heller, Walt Kelly, Elizabeth Miles, Trina Schart Hyman, Maurice Sendak, Ernest Shepard, William Steig and Lawson Wood. A colorful candy store of styles, themes and characters graces the walls of this amazing museum.

...just a sip of All Over Coffee...

And while you're in San Francisco, don't forget to pick up (or view online) the latest issue of the San Francisco Chronicle to admire their collection of comic artists--Paul Madonna's mesmerizing, witfully wise All Over Coffee and Mark Fiore's scathingly clever political cartoons are especially noteworthy.


Scoping Reality

Gaze into A Scanner Darkly...

A few notes from the children of Philip K. Dick about their support of and participation in the film. Explore PKD's other work as well, such as Blade Runner, Minority Report, and The Man in the High Castle...each is a revealing story from a scintillating, struggling, irreplaceable genius. Philip K. Dick - Official Site

Behind the scenes, there is always some drama. Wired 14.03: Trouble in Toontown

A chat with director Richard Linklater on his vision of a fantasy. Animation World Network


What is a Paraiba Tourmaline?

Did you know that Sapphire is found in every color, not just blue, and Garnets come in every color except for blue? Can you name a gemstone that changes color depending on the type of light shining on it? Which gemstone is famous for its deposits in Andamooka? Whose engagement ring sold for $2.6million at auction in 1996? For these and other helpful, fascinating facts on gemstones and jewelry see the International Colored Gemstone Association's website ICGA. Lots of information, advice, news and photos for your education and enjoyment.


Echoes of Ancient Egypt

Master goldsmith Ross Coppelman instills integrity and imagination in each jewelry piece he creates. Unusual gems such as Apatite and Rubellite Tourmaline are beautifully accented by rich high-karat gold, platinum and/or silver. Designs like the Hieroglyph series make you feel just a bit royal--an indulgence everyone deserves! Ross is an experienced craftsman, and is truly one of the friendliest, most down-to-earth jewelry designers around.


Saturday, July 08, 2006

Rare Power

One of my favorite jewelry designers
is Phil Delano of Delano Designs. He specializes in rare gems set in powerful, precise designs. His precious metal and titanium rings, brooches and neckpieces are incredibly striking and masterfully realized.

Titanium and stainless steel ring with a 7.2ct square cushion-cut Orange Zircon
14K white gold ring with a 20ct Andradite (Rainbow) Garnet

I found him at 3rd Ward Jewelry in Milwaukee (241 N. Broadway phone: 414-289-0886). Definitely worth a visit!

update 2/11: Delano Designs is represented by Lake Hill House
- International purveyors of antique, estate custom, one of a kind and limited edition art jewelery, platinum, gold, silver, diamonds, pearls, colored stones and other objects of timeless beauty.