Sunday, October 28, 2012

Teal Texture

I haven't participated in the Art Bead Scene monthly challenge in a long time, but I found that this months inspiration piece really spoke to me and I managed to squeeze it in to a very busy month!

"Revolving" by Kirt Schwitters dates to 1919 and is an assemblage of wood, metal, cord, cardboard, wool, wire, leather, and oil on canvas. Schwitters's use of fragments reflects a society shattered by World War I. "Out of parsimony I took whatever I found . . . because we were now an impoverished country," he wrote in 1919. "New things had to be made out of the fragments." This work reflects Schwitters's self-proclaimed "love for the wheel," and its title refers to a poem by the artist from the same year, in which he wrote, "Worlds turn the new machine to thee. To thee. Though, thine the new machine space."

My necklace is also a bit of an assemblage, consisting of a large variety of beading techniques, including three types of peyote stitch, twisted tubular herringbone and two kinds of fringing.

I found my main focal point in my "stash": a vintage handblown Venetian "bumpy" bead, as well as two smaller coordinating bumpy beads.

I'm particularly pleased with my clasp: it features a pair of ruffled art beads from mermaidglass on Etsy. So many women have short hair, which means the back of the necklace is on display nearly as much as the front and this clasp system gives a seamless look to the necklace.

I've many large projects to work on in the next few months; I'm probably not going to be able to participate every month, but I will be making an effort to whenever possible.

Available for purchase here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Transport - October 2012 Bead Journal Project

When I first started this project, I intentionally did not research the ancient rune stones, as I did not want to be influenced by tradition - yet two of my stones ended up exactly following the traditional!

The first was my January stone: Ice. The second is this month's stone Transport or Horse.

The Horse is a rune of travel and change; it may indicate a spiritual journey and the need for faith in your own destiny.

When this rune is reversed, it warns of a restlessness and a desire to escape by traveling or moving away from the problem - a passage away from pain.

On Mackinac, the horse is an integral part of the lifestyle, serving to transport both people and freight. Yet the horses themselves have a routine of transport, traveling to the mainland each fall and returning in the spring - a potent symbol of seasonal change.

I struggled with an appropriate found object for this particular stone, but when our new kitten broke a small horse figurine, I had my horse representation!

This grouping, my January - October stones,  was one of several pieces I exhibited at Crooked Tree Arts Center as part of their Artists of Mackinac Island show - and it sold!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

PinPress Printing

PinPress printing is used in creating monotypes: monotypes are usually made by either painting or rolling inks onto a flat surface. This flat surface can be glass, Plexiglas, or sheet metal (etching plate). With the application of pressure the image will transfer onto the paper.

I had the pleasure of attending a Pinpress workshop recently, taught by Isabella Pizzano, as part of the International Society of Experimental Artists 2012 juried exhibition and symposium in Gloucester, Massachusetts - and I was thrilled to have a piece on exhibit too!

The basic technique is deceptively simple: apply ink and press. But the results can be unpredictable!


We were using Akua inks, which are great - intense colors, water clean up and has a long dry time, which gives plenty of time for manipulation.

The press itself is finely milled steel and it's heavy, which means not as much pressure needs to be manually applied.

I struggled with this technique; I usually liked my plates, but not the prints themselves - something seemed to get lost in the process.

But other's ended up with beautiful examples; maybe I just need more time to experiment with what works for me!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

There's Still Time!!!! ArtPrize 2012


If it's at all a possibility for you, drop everything and make your way to Grand Rapids, Michigan in the next few days and experience ArtPrize.

What's Artprize?

It's 1571 pieces of art, in 161 venues, covering 3 square miles.

ArtPrize was conceived as an experiment - anyone could enter, any space could be a venue and the public would vote for the winner - it turns most conventional art exhibits upside down, with no experts making the choices.

The venues range from restaurants, book stores, and beauty salons to traditional museums and galleries.

The materials used by the artists are equally to diverse, ranging from traditional paints to more unusual such as wire:

Or thread and buttons:

 There are monumental works, immense yet detailed:

And that often have a surprising element!

Some are such a perfect fit for their venue, that it's hard to imagine that they'll be gone in just a few more days.

The response has been overwhelming, people of every age, every income bracket, every social niche out and about enjoying art - it sounds cliche, but you really can feel the energy as you move about the city.

The prize money is overwhelming too, a total of $560,000 in awards!

ArtPrize ends on October 7th, so there's still time - view the art, pick your favorite and vote for winner.