Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Auction Bling

I just came across a slide show from the New York Times Online featuring jewelry and jewels that have recently sold at auction.  Basically, it's a gratuitous menagerie of baubles.  Surprisingly, many of the items were auctioned off at three to for times their anticipated value.  

My favorite item in the slide show is this Cartier art-deco travel clock made of deep green jade.  The face and handle are gold highlighted with black enamel.  I'd probably stop hitting the snooze button for an hour straight, if I was being woken up by a $14,000 clock!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Esther Brinkmann

I came across this beautiful quote by Esther Brinkmann in a new book that I'm reading Called Just Must. Just Must (must means black in Estonian) was a 2008 international exhibition held in Estonia featuring monochromatic works articulated solely in the color black.

Wearing jewellery conducts a dialogue with the body, the mind, and the feelings. Wearing jewellery enables each of us to transfer exterior signs of interior states. Jewels open up spaces for the imagination. They accentuate or invoke in each of us the feeling of being an individual.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It's getting ugly in the studio

Sometimes thing look really bad before they're finished... This is one of those times.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Domes of Silence

I'm lucky to be staying with friends this weekend in upstate New York. They run an inn on the the Northville Lake near the Great Sacandaga, and it's beautiful here! I found an amazing treasure in the bathroom here... Domes Of Silence! Althought they sound like deadly science fiction mumbo-jumbo, they're really metal pegs to put on the legs of furniture to protect your hardwood floors. I took a bunch of pictures of them, the illustration on the back is phenomenal. Also, you can view the inn at

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!

Yesterday I went to go see Kirsten Hassenfeld's exhibit, Dans la Lune, at the David Winton Bell Gallery. If you couldn't tell by the title of this post, it was pretty phenomenal! As it turns out, dans la lune is French for "He's in outer space," or "He's on another planet;" however, it is also used as a slang term for being drugged or groggy. The title is pretty appropriate, as the ethereal quality of the installation does completely transport the viewer to a new space.

On display were six large scale hanging sculptures made entirely out of paper, velum, and foam-core. Made with the most ordinary of materials, the work is loaded with ornamental references to luxury goods, classical architecture, jewelry, and decorative arts. The resulting hybrid forms are endlessly adorned and heavy with the indulgence of ornament.

The visual stimulation from the opulent swags, chains, gems-like crystals, and honeycomb beads are made palatable by the stark white color palate. The use of the white paper neutralizes the abundant information that is a result of Hassenfeld's thousands of hours of work cutting, gluing, folding, and painting layer upon layer of paper. Yet, there are still slight color variations within the installation. Some of the paper has a warmer tonal quality, while some components have a cooler tonal quality. As the color white shifts to blue, ecru, and ochre, the identity of the paper takes on a biological feel. It seems more alive with the loss of sterility.

The fluctuation in scale involved in this piece transcends the viewer to another world. The vibration between the artwork and the viewer is in a constant state of tension as new elements constantly reveal themselves to the viewer. Traditionally minute ornaments are enlarged to dwarf the viewer, while there are also elements that have been shrunken down exponentially.

I spent a long time in the Bell Gallery experiencing the installation. When I was still for long enough, I was able to notice that each hanging sculpture was slightly twisting and swaying. I could feel the artwork flexing in space, as the paper was quietly breathing or slowly dancing. It momentarily gave me a sense of vertigo, and it seems as though I was a little bit dans la lune.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I've been inspired to revisit some thoughts that I had been working on in the past. It could have been all this thinking about color, or maybe I just need a break from the monochromatic color scheme that's currently encompassing my work... I am gearing up to revisit the necklace that I previously made out of rubber gloves. I have ideas for a few similar necklaces, each focusing on the color and identity of the material. This picture is of florets from two different pairs of pink rubber gloves laid atop a sketch. I really like the subtle color shift between the two hues, and the feminine saturation of the material. I can't wait to really get going on these pieces!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

From the studio

This image has been posted in my studio for years; and after staring at it for a while tonight it has answered a lot of the questions that I've been asking myself lately and has also helped me resolve some really tenacious pieces I've been working on.

Gray matter

Since recently reading Jamie Bennet's article, In the Midst of Color: reflections on color's inescapable presence, I have been thinking a lot about the color gray. More of a tool than a color, it is a utilitarian mix of black and white created to determine the value of other colors in its proximity. Gray is a 'service color' which allows other 'real' colors to appear more potent. Bennet comments that if you are interested in the strategic use of color, you must address gray.

The color gray is a neutralizer, allowing for the material to succeed to form, and for the viewer to view the form of an object without obstruction. Gray can also erase history, pretext, and interpretation. It is a democratic tool, subsidizing an object in to its more primal elements.

Despite the intrinsic qualities associated with gray, it seems that our contemporary culture is adverse to this color. We spend hour dying gray hairs, movies won't be watched if they are black & white (gray), gray days are percieved as dismal, and gray suits are associated with a conformist and boring life style.

Personally, I have long since stopped trying to hide my gray hairs, and feel that it's time to embrace this wonderful hue into our aesthetic vocabulary.