Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Two on Tuesdays…An Abundance of Roses

I had so much fun arranging yesterday’s bouquet of Earth-friendly roses, I did two more bouquets for you…all made from eco-happy rose gold. Enjoy!

From the top, left to right:

Hammered Dangle Hoop Earrings
14K rose gold, $310
Emily Wiser, San Francisco, CA

Moissanite Rose Gold Ring
14K rose gold and Moissanite, $460
Andrea Bonelli, San Ramon, CA

Love Is on the Inside Flat Ring
14K rose gold and sterling silver, 2mm-8mm widths, $165-$295
Jesse Chamberlain, Salem, MA

Solitaire Ring
14K rose gold and White Sapphire, $805-$860
Justine Collins of Single B Studio, Portland, OR

Ocean Blue Cushion-cut Aquamarine Ring
14K rose gold and Aquamarine, $570
Madelynn Cassin Designs/Garnet Girl Designs, NH

My Heart Charm Necklace
14K rose and yellow gold, $502
David Rutledge of Seababe Jewelry, Atascadero, CA

Rose Gold and Sterling Ring
14K rose gold, sterling silver and Garnet, $189.00
Tamara McFarland, Arcata, CA

Little, Little Bit of Heart Band
10K rose gold, 3mm-11mm widths, $355-$660
Nicole Zahour, Rye, NY

Aquamarine Hammered Gold Ring
14K rose gold and Aquamarine, $675
Emily Wiser, San Francisco, CA

Custom Initial Stud Earrings
14K rose gold with sterling silver posts and backs, $64
Christine Mighion, South Bend, IN

White Topaz Rock Fetish Ring
14K rose gold and White Topaz, $905
Madelynn Cassin Designs/Garnet Girl Designs, NH

Roughing It Hammered Domed Wedding/Commitment Band
10K rose gold, $600
Nicole Zahour, Rye, NY

From the top, left to right:

Random Diamond Bands
9K white and rose gold and Diamonds, $ varies
Diana Porter, Bristol, BS, UK

Heavenly Organic Hoops
14K rose gold, $125
Christine Mighion, South Bend, IN

Sealing Wax Ring
14K rose gold, $185
Madelynn Cassin Designs/Garnet Girl Designs, NH

Heavy Four Line Ring
18K rose gold, $2,620
Naomi Maslon, Venice, CA

Spring Evening Ring
14K rose gold and Diamond, $ varies with Diamond
Justine Collins of Single B Studio, Portland, OR

Custom Filigree Ring with Side Rubies and Heirloom Diamond
14K rose gold with 2 Rubies and Center Diamond, $ varies with Diamond
Anna Bario and Page Neal, Philadelphia, PA

Pretty Pink Bow Necklace
14K rose gold and Argentium silver, $36
Kristin Mulholland of Kristin Noel Designs, Atascadero, CA

Three-Stone Wedding or Engagement Ring
14K rose gold and Moissanite, $1968.00
Tamara McFarland, Arcata, CA

Solid Hand Forged Bangle Bracelet
14K rose gold, $1,280
David Rutledge of Seababe Jewelry, Atascadero, CA

Hammered Rose Gold Band with Flush-Set Diamond
14K rose gold and Diamond, $ varies with Diamond
Brilliant Earth, San Francisco, CA

XO Earrings
14K rose gold, $168
Madelynn Cassin Designs/Garnet Girl Designs, NH

Gold and Silver Stackable Spring Vine Bands
10K rose gold, 10K yellow gold and sterling silver, $190/set of four
Nicole Zahour, Rye, NY


Monday, January 30, 2012

A Dozen Extraordinarily Earth-friendly Roses

Here’s a bouquet of treats for your sweetheart, all made from ethically-derived precious metals…

From the top, left to right:

Natural Color-changing Zultanite Scroll Ring
14K rose gold and Zultanite, $534.00
Tamara McFarland, Arcata, CA

Nina Cuff Bracelet
18K rose gold, small, medium or large, $2900-$3200
Britt Anderson, Fayetteville, NC

The Teensy Cups Earrings
14K rose gold, $99
Marja Germans Gard of Lemonade Handmade, Oakland, CA

Pebble Ring
14K rose gold and Denim Sapphire, $ varies by gem
Justine Collins of Single B Studio, Portland, OR

Gold Coin Necklace
14K rose gold with Diamond or Fancy Sapphire, $195
Marisa Pezzoli of Tula Jewelry, Santa Barbara, CA

Flora Studs
14K rose gold, $155
Andrea Bonelli, San Ramon, CA

Vintage-Inspired Paisley Spinner Ring
14K rose gold, 10K yellow gold and sterling silver, $195
Janice Hagey-Schmidt, La Crescenta, CA

2-inch Hoop Earrings
14K rose gold, $99
Rachel Barfield of 2 Trick Pony, San Francisco, CA

Moonstone Hammered Gold Ring
14K rose gold and Moonstone, $205
Emily Wiser, San Francisco, CA

Oval Cage Pendant
18K rose gold with sterling silver chain, $1,592
Naomi Maslon, Venice, CA

I'll Always Remember Delicate Ring
18K rose gold, 1mm-2.5mm, £240-£430
Oak Fine Jewellery, New Malden, Greater London, UK

Chiseled Rings
14K rose gold, $280-$535
Danielle Miller-Gilliam, Greenville, SC

Blooms abound! You can find a bonus bouquet of 12 different jewelers at The Alternative Consumer!


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Mary's Merry Menagerie

Who: Mary Kilvert
What: Illustrated Prints, Cards, Gifts and Homegoods
Where: London, England
Web: http://www.marykilvert.com/
Why: Lovely and endearing, inspired by fairy tales, inhabited by amiable animals, Mary's creations are completely sweet and keep-able!


Saturday, January 28, 2012

In Love and Light

Who: Joan Nicole of Light Curves Glass Studio
What: Stained Glass Jewelry and Art Objects
Where: Loch Sheldrake , NY
Web: http://www.etsy.com/shop/lightcurves
Why: Peace, Love and Happiness make the world a better place. :)

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Wandering Her Own Way

Who: Delias Thompson of Delias Studio Inc
What: Custom Handmade Sterling Silver & Gold Art Jewelry
Where: Atlanta, GA
Web: http://www.deliasstudioinc.com/index.html
Why: Delias has led a courageous free-spirited gypsy life traveling near and far. She grew up living on the road, tagging along as her parents worked odd jobs at Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd shows, and helping them sell "dancing egg rolls" and tie dye t-shirts. In practice she has settled in Atlanta, but her spirit continues to wander and explore, led by an insatiable curiosity and an irresistible impulse to break free, let go and discover life's treasures.
In a sense then, her jewelry chronicles that spirit, in words and in designs. Organic, hand-hammered shapes and textures along with gloriously colored gems dance with a naturally free spirit too. Talismans of good luck for the road ahead?
I think so.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Blossoms, Birch Trees and Boxer Shorts

Who: Josie Jurczenia of Josie's Pot Shop and Fourth and Clay
What: Handmade Functional and Ornamental Ceramics
Where: Berkeley, CA
Web: http://www.etsy.com/shop/JosiesPotShop
Why: Josie is one of a celebrated group of feisty Bay Area female ceramicists. After 30 years as a founder, lead designer and president of a highly acclaimed children's clothing company, she's turned her ample talents to making delightful and whimsical ceramics. Her textile-themed pieces boast whirling rosette appliques and bold floral patterns. Her lively birch tree forms animate a quirky curvy series of cups, vases, pitchers and tea sets.
And just in time for Valentine's Day, Josie has created a laughingly sassy line of fun undergarments in clay..."His" and "Hers" mugs, plates and swinging trinkets sprinkled with bright red hearts. Brandish your boxers as you swig your morning coffee and plop your pancakes right on top of your tightie whities! Best way I can think of to air your flirty laundry! ;)


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Out of the Fires

Who: Anne Malone of CocoandChia
What: Handcrafted Jewelry
Where: Boston Metrowest, MA
Web: http://www.cocoandchia.com/
Why: Anne has followed the same path that I did as a jeweler...trial by fire.
Working first as an apprentice for many years, and now for a luxury high-end jeweler, she has also become a full-fledged independent jeweler, designing and crafting her own fabulous eco-respectful line using reclaimed metals and natural, recycled and non-conflict gems.
Exquisite workmanship, crisp precise lines, subdued and sophisticated color combinations make her one of my favorite jewelers. Oh yeah, and that kinship that comes only after toiling in the fires of apprenticeship hell. ;)


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Two on Tuesdays...Word on the Street

Who: Sycamore Street Press
What: Letterpress Prints, Cards, Calendars, Games and Garland
Where: Heber City, UT
Web: http://www.sycamorestreetpress.com/
Why: Because nothing makes me go weak in the knees faster than cleverness via letterpress.

Who: Susan Black of 29 Black Street
What: Prints, Cards, Calendars and Collage
Where: Pugwash, Nova Scotia, Canada
Web: http://www.etsy.com/shop/29blackstreet
Why: Glorious color, heartfelt and exuberant designs and those oh-so-cute little owls.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Here Be Dragons...

Who: Liz Russell of R Honey Pots
What: Handmade Ceramics
Where: Forestville, CA
Web: http://www.rhoneypots.com/
Why: I love Liz's hand-scratched animal and fantastical designs! Sgraffito is one of my favorite ceramic techniques...covering the piece mid-process with slip, scratching a design into it, then completing the firing and glazing process. See how Liz does it here...a magical transformation in the heat of a kiln dragon's fires!

Who: Christi Friesen of CF Originals
What: Beads, Jewelry, Vessels and Sculptures
Where: Tehachapi, CA
Web: http://www.cforiginals.net/
Why: Christi is wickedly witty and talented, creating all sorts of functionals, wearables and ornamentals out of polymer clay, precious metals and gems, glass, found objects, etc. She teaches countless classes and writes towers of books on how to do it so you can learn too. I think she's probably a blast as a teacher and if I ever get anywhere near Tehachapi, look out Christi, here I come!

Who: Dana Schneider
What: Jewelry and Film Props
Where: Ohio and Los Angeles
Web: http://www.danaschneider.com/
Why: Edgy, mythical designs in sterling silver, 14K and 18K gold rock my medieval self. Dana is RISD-educated, Tiffany-trained and highly sought after not just for her ultracool jewels, but for movie props and treasures as well. She has worked on the Terminator, Transformer and Tron series, Wolverine, X-Men, Elektra...the list goes on, and so does her client list, which includes Cher, Pink, Rooney Mara and Burton C. Bell of Freak Factory. That dragon is calling my name, along with that knuckle-busting ring...bring 'em on. ;)

~ Happy Chinese New Year ~ The Year of the Dragon! ~

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

If a Tree Falls in the Forest...

Who: Cynthia Mann
What: Handcrafted Jewelry
Where: Brighton, MI
Web: http://www.cynthiamanndesigns.com/
Why: I've always been fascinated by Petrified Palmwood. Often a warm sand or honey color with darker organic patterns, it forms as a result of a typical fossilization process...a tree falls in the mud, becoming encased in mineral-rich sediment and silt. Slowly over the course of several decades, the minerals replace the tree's original cells, crystallizing into a rather hard stone that takes to polishing quite well. In the hands of a skilled cutter, the stone can be cut along different faces to reveal different patterns of grain such as playful polka dots or stripes.
...sorry for geeking out, but seriously, how rare and cool is it that a majestic tree becomes a gorgeous wearable gem that will last until the end of time?
In addition to golden Petrified Palmwood Cynthia uses all sorts of unusual gems such as rich marine blue Azurite, lavender-colored Chalcedony and minty Gaspeite, alongside traditionally faceted gems. She frames them in textured, oxidized sterling and high-karat gold, using gently feminine motifs. Timeless designs for timeless gems. Perfect!


Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Garden of Delight

Who: Jamie Cassavoy de Gonzalez of Cassavoy & Company
What: Handcrafted Jewelry
Where: Decatur, GA
Web: http://www.jamiecassavoy.com/
Why: Cheerful flowers, leaves and birds accented by a spectrum of gems make up Jamie's smart, trend-savvy jewelry. Jamie is a well-accomplished businesswoman and metalsmith, exhibiting and selling her work through her website as well as through catalogs, boutiques, galleries and museums around the world. She stays well-grounded though...her design sense is spot on, and her attention to little details like safety chains on neckpieces is noteworthy. I love the combination of deeply oxidized sterling with 18K gold and the perfect amount of color that she uses in many of her pieces, and I like the range of her work too...easy to picture it dressed up or down on teenagers and grandmas alike. Oh yeah, and me too. ;)


Friday, January 20, 2012

The Artimals of Happiness

Who: Noelle Dass of Artimal Studio
What: Original Paintings, Prints, T-shirts and Tiles
Where: Eugene, OR
Web: http://www.noelledass.com/index.html
Why: Noelle is all about bringing light-hearted joy to others...just check out the whimsically clever titles of her pieces (above, left to right):

• Hippo Doing Handstand on the Beach
• Don't Fence Me In
• Human Watching
• Shark Contemplating Viewer
• Hippo Gazing at the Moon
• If the ball fits, eat it!
• The Grass IS Greener on the other side!
• Young Bee on Date
• Rabbit with hands in pocket wondering why you are looking at him.

I'm lovin' those happy hippos!
She donates generously to people- and animal-nurturing charities, paints murals in kennels so the dogs can sleep better, and arranges for sponsored donations of her pieces to pediatric hospitals. Woohoo!
She says "I feel to make someone feel good inside means more than anything in this crazy world." Yep, that's all it needs to be about.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Handmade Treats

Who: Chelsea Stone of Eye Candy Jewelry
What: Handcrafted Glass and Metal Jewelry
Where: Prescott, AZ
Web: http://www.eyecandybychelsea.com/index.html
Why: Chelsea's Eye Candy is so much more than just sweet little trinkets! She makes a dazzling Gumdrop, Jellybean and Spotted Flower series featuring glass beads made with traditional flamework techniques, and a more techno-primitive series of colorful cast glass set with gems in tribe-inspired forms. Her intriguing metal series represents a unique process that tells a story within itself. Each piece has a lively character that reflects Chelsea's enthusiastic love for her craft. And she offers newbie-friendly classes in all of it...you can learn to make yourself glass beads, gem-set pendants, even double-decker rings. Give yourself a Valentine treat! :)


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Micro Marvels

Who: Joy Serwylo
What: Hand-bound Miniature Books, Collector Boxes and Dolls
Where: Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Web: http://www.etsy.com/shop/madebyjoy
Why: Wondrous little curiosities...tiny books made using traditional bookmaking techniques, merry mini mermaids and mischievous wee bears. All a reflection of Joy's obsession with creating collectibles on the smallest of scales. I don't know how she does it...she must have the hands of a world-class brain surgeon and the eyesight of a hunting hawk, not to mention oodles of imagination! Oh, and visit her website and blog for all things different but equally mesmerizing...illustrations, photographs, artist books, woven textiles and more curiosities of all kinds.
Like Alice in Wonderland but better.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Two on Tuesdays...Written in Stone

Who: Andrea Williams of Bound Earth
What: Handcrafted Jewelry
Where: Cohasset, MA
Web: http://www.boundearth.com/index.html
Why: Andrea is devoted to nature in all aspects of her life, from collecting seedpods on her frequent outdoor hikes to using only non-mined materials in her work and encouraging other jewelers to do the same. Her goal is to share her sense of wonder and reverence for the earth, and to help develop a communal sensitivity and respect for the gifts that it provides. Her pieces bear that message beautifully...bold balanced designs, gently uniting person to place.
Want to learn more about Andrea's award-winning earth-friendly jewels?
Continue reading at The Alternative Consumer...

Who: Jaye Woodstock
What: Handcrafted Jewelry
Where: Boston, MA
Web: http://www.jayewoodstock.com/
Why: I'm drawn to the serenity in Jaye's jewels, not just in the pieces, but in her process. With the patience of the most blessed Buddhist monk, she makes each individual link of her chains, roller-prints and constructs each hollow form, and shapes each irregular bezel by hand...not easy, let me tell you. But when everything is right, the tranquil trance you get into is energizing, makes the time fly by, and transforms not just the piece but you too. Her jewelry communicates this serene spirit to the one who wears it in the most quietly pleasing way.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Composed Construction

Who: Isabelle Posillico
What: Hand-crafted Jewelry, Holloware and Tableware
Where: Santa Rosa, CA
Web: http://www.isabelleposillico.com/index.asp
Why: After a successful career in Architectural Interior Design, Copenhagen-born Isabelle has built a steady following as an accomplished metalsmith. Her jewelry is an elegant exercise in structure, color and form, featuring vivid gems set in 18K and 22K gold. Her holloware and tableware pieces are hand-wrought using organic patterns and textures blended beautifully in graceful lines. Primarily a self-taught artist, Isabelle does it all, from design board to final polish. She has a gift for 3D visualization and construction, and I for one am happy to see her put her talent to the metal!

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Letting Go

Who: Allen Kinast
What: Inlaid Mosaic Wooden Furniture and Painted Wooden Tiles
Where: Portland, OR
Web: http://www.allenkinast.com/
Why: I fell head over trippin' heels when I saw his hand-painted tiles, then tumbled again when I saw his tables. All that painstakingly amazing work! Each piece of reclaimed wood (yes, reclaimed...extra points!) is shaped and inlaid in a perfectly imperfect pattern, creating a primitive, whimsical whole. Rescuing, renewing and reminding us that in every scrap and shard you can find infinite treasure...just let go and imagine.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Beach-Bound Blues

Who: Heather Hertel of Simple Daisy
What: Handcrafted Jewelry
Where: The Midwest
Web: http://simpledaisy.blogspot.com/
Why: A sea-blown whirlwind of creativity and colors, Heather makes fabulous jewelry and ingenious crafts, gardens up a storm, cooks, travels and celebrates life every which way possible. Her unquenchable spirit will buoy you up straightaway as she elbows you to quit taking life so seriously! Her jewelry designs remind me of sparkling treasures washed onshore...rough and tumbled, with vestiges of patterns and sparks of gems. Not your typical stamped out jewels, each piece is made by hand of precious metal clays, fired and finished, so no two are exactly alike.
Heather's obsession with Caribbean blue is evident everywhere...as a fellow Midwesterner with an undying ocean craving, I feel her pangs. You can take the girl away from the sea, but you can't take the sea away from the girl!


Friday, January 13, 2012

A Laffing Matter

Who: Rick and Linda Bachman of The Laffing Stock
What: Kinetic Wood Sculptures
Where: Aurora, CO
Web: http://web.mac.com/laffingstock/iWeb/Site/Home.html
Why: Created by two laughing imaginations, The Laffing Stock is all about spreading life's funny little joys.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Go Slow...Cool Jewels Ahead!

Who: Victoria Varga
What: Handcrafted Jewelry
Where: Cumberland Foreside, ME
Web: http://www.victoriavarga.com/index-spring11.html
Why: Victoria and her husband Daniel Brouder make jewelry fun and playful using sterling silver, 23K gold leaf, 14K gold posts and brilliantly colorful inlays of resin and gem materials. I'm so charmed by the basic shapes, symbols and patterns that look like traffic signs in an alien language saying Stop!...Wear Me!...Be Happy!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Reaching Higher

Who: Pamela Hitchcock
What: Handcrafted 18K Gold and Sterling Silver Jewelry
Where: Winterport, ME
Web: http://www.pamelahitchcockgoldsmith.com/
Why: Pamela's nature-inspired designs are easy and elegant, combining the soft glow of finely textured 18K and sterling with classic gems. She makes each piece herself from start to finish, a practice that gets my attention right away...so much hard work but definitely worth it! It gives the work a sincerity and integrity that you just can't get when you parse up the process between many hands.
She also participates regularly in Designing Women shows, regional art fairs that feature remarkable women artisans and benefit women- and family-oriented non-profits such as breast cancer support groups, art and therapy retreats, family shelters and health and counseling programs.
Pamela brings to mind a favorite quote by Helen Keller: "One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar." If you have a talent, enjoy exploring it. Then use it to make a difference, no matter how small. One step at a time will change the world!


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Two on Tuesdays...Candy Canes

Who: Ginger Kelly
What: Fine Art Glass and Jewelry
Where: Breaux Bridge, LA
Web: http://www.gingerkelly.com/home
Why: Fruity juicy colors like tart Jolly Ranchers on a hot summer's day.

Who: Penelope Rakov
What: Millifiori Art Glass and Jewelry
Where: Philadelphia, PA
Web: http://www.peneloperakov.com/
Why: Dreamy designs in soft Nordic hues...like fresh sweet salt water taffy.

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Monday, January 09, 2012

A Sense of Place

Who: Feldman Architecture, Inc
What: Award-winning Sustainable Residential Design
Where: San Francisco, CA
Web: http://www.feldmanarchitecture.com/index.php
Why: I'll fess up, I don't know the first thing about architecture, but I know what I like and I like this Big Time. Concrete, steel, wood, natural light...A profound respect for preservation and environment...Drop-dead gorgeous design and completion. Their work soars with ingenuity and imagination in a stunning and spirited way.
I saw that artist's studio and nearly fell over with giddy dizzy delight.
If there is architecture nirvana, this is it.


Sunday, January 08, 2012

Tiny Trinkets from the Tower

Who: Nick Hubbard
What: Handcrafted Jewelry, Gifts and Cards
Where: Burntwood, Staffordshire, UK
Web: http://www.nickhubbardjewellery.co.uk/index.aspx
Why: Latches that swing, doors that open, suns and moons that spin around...all part of the charm that made me fall head over heels for these little jewels. Nick and his helpers tinker away in "Brick and Bean Tower", creating little storybooks in metal...rabbits pop up, owls and pussycats peek out at you, birds and mice flit in and out of windows. All squealingly cute...so hard to pick a favorite! Go ahead, go look, just try. Bet your favorites list is just as long as mine.


Saturday, January 07, 2012

ToonDay...A Cartoonist at Heart

Who: Kurt Halsey
What: Drawings and Paintings
Where: Portland, OR
Web: http://www.kurthalsey.com/
Why: Because it's Saturday and that means it's Cartoon Day and Kurt is just a sweet-spirited cartoonist at heart!

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Friday, January 06, 2012

Gallery Gold

Who: Patty Bolz
What: Handcrafted Jewelry
Where: Camden, ME
Web: http://www.pattybolzgoldsmith.com/index.html
Why: I admire the bold architectural style of Patty's work, as well as her beautifully accomplished technique. Her one-of-a-kind pieces are my favorite, often showcasing brilliant Boulder Opals and colorful Tourmalines set in striking high-karat gold designs that reinterpret ancient themes in a contemporary and totally wearable way. She regards each unique piece not just as jewelry, but as standalone sculpture, and on both counts she succeeds so well...these are collectible art pieces worthy of any gallery. Wouldn't surprise me one bit to find them hanging along with Chihuly glass and Henry Moore sculptures...she deserves it!


Thursday, January 05, 2012

A Quiet Grace

Who: Ananda Khalsa
What: Handcrafted Jewelry
Where: Northampton, MA
Web: http://www.anandakhalsa.com/
Why: Beautifully wrought jewels with visible marks of a sensitive hand. Gentle Asian-inspired birds and blossoms hand-painted and set in 22K gold and sterling. Almost edible gems in high-karat golds. Lovely.


Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The Doodler Is in the Details

Who: Mattias Adolfsson
What: Original Illustrations and Prints
Where: Sigtuna, Sweden
Web: http://www.mattiasadolfsson.com/
Why: The guy's a non-stop, mile-high geyser of doodles, designs and drawings. Not just the chickenscratch kind of doodles, but magnificently detailed to an almost microscopic degree. Sometimes weird, sometimes warped and sometimes squealingly witty...go ahead, look really, really closely at some of the clever little characters hiding in those details. He's an over-the-edge imagination in hyperdrive and I just bet that a few of those wry tiny faces are Mattias himself, smiling in disguise.


Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Two on Tuesdays...Vivid Lands

Who: David Hockney
What: Paintings, Prints, Photography, Photocollage, iPad Drawings
Where: Bridlington, Yorkshire and Kensington, London, UK
Web: http://www.hockneypictures.com/
Why: Usually I try to focus on artists that are underdogs, up-and-comers and rising stars...I really enjoy sharing new talent. Today however, an article on David Hockney caught my eye, featuring his heartfelt opinion on the nature of original art done by the artist vs art completed by an artist's team of assistants. Long one of my favorite artists, not just for his extraordinary artwork, but also for his philanthropic accomplishments, Hockney champions the integrity of the individual artist in the face of more commercial art producers and assembly-line art...
"It's a little insulting to craftsmen," he said. "I used to point out, at art school you can teach the craft; it's the poetry you can't teach. But now they try to teach the poetry and not the craft." He quoted a Chinese proverb that to be a painter "you need the eye, the hand and the heart. Two won't do." (Source: The Guardian)
He's an indie artist's hero, in my humble opinion.

Who: Nick Wroblewski
What: Hand-cut Woodblock Prints
Where: Viroqua, WI
Web: http://www.nickwroblewski.com/index.html
Why: Another of my long-time favorite artists, Nick's prints never cease to capture my eye and soul. Themes based in nature include soaring birds, shimmering birches and soul-striking landscapes in a style reminiscent of master Japanese woodblock prints. They impart a sense of awe and serenity that bring me pure, simple happiness.

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Monday, January 02, 2012

Ancient Treasures by Modern Masters

Who: The Golden Eye
What: Handcrafted and Custom-designed Jewelry
Where: Santa Fe, NM
Web: http://www.goldeneyesantafe.com/index.html
Why: I discovered The Golden Eye on a trip to Santa Fe in 1989...it was like unearthing a long-lost chest of jewels, the kind you seek with a secret treasure map. Their lushly hued, often one-of-a-kind gems tantalized the color-loving gemologist in me, and their high-karat designs reminded me of the priceless amulets and ornaments I had marveled at in museums or in National Geographic. In other words I was hooked. I still am. Their in-house designers and jewelers, as well as their exhibiting artists, continue to create treasurable jewels, from the simple Silver Siren Anchor pendant to the extravagant Azalea ring. The pieces I have always draw attention and admiration, and I cherish them with reverence, gratitude and pure joy.


Sunday, January 01, 2012

Design Is In Her Roots

Who: Robin Waynee
What: Handcrafted Jewelry
Where: Santa Fe, NM
Web: http://www.robinwaynee.com/
Why: Robin is an amazingly multi-talented artist, sprung up in a Saginaw Chippewa/German family of renowned woodworkers. Earning extensive experience first at the hand and then at the helm of major woodworking design projects, Robin turned to jewelry-making in 1997 and has been excelling ever since. Most recently she has won the Saul Bell First Place Award in 2010 and again in 2011, and she has placed First at the eminent SWAIA Market and Heard Indian Fair. All awards well-deserved. Her style is tight, clean, superbly crafted and simply gorgeous.