Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Craft Show Wrap-Up

Hey y'all! It's been a whirwind few weeks, but I wanted to check in and share my experience of the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show with the blogosphere.

This is the booth itself, created by the fabulous Don Miller (pictured at left) and his crew of volunteers. It is truly remarkable how much work they were able to plan into the space - 17 alumni had work displayed, and only 4 of them were jewelers!

The lovely jewelry cases. The padded drawers slid out from the opposite side for easy access to the pieces. The artists from left to right are Joe Pillari, Kaitlin Kerr, and Melissa Gugliemlo. (And me!)

A closeup of my work, as it looked on Friday morning. You may notice some new insect pieces in the case. Everything except the bee necklace at the bottom has had a photo session with the marvelous Ken Yanoviak, and the photos are up on my website! I'll probably be posting more in-depth about these pieces later on.

Notice those red dots? Red dots make Emi happy!

I ended up selling Hive Queen, Wasp Comb, the mica earrings pictured, a pair of folded earrings, some pyrite studs, and a sterling silver/bone ring. Not a bad haul for my first craft show, and everyone who bought my pieces was really fun to talk to!

Kaitlin Kerr modeling the fabulous Wasp Comb. You'll hear more about this when I can do a dedicated "making-of" post, but I struggled a lot with how to make this piece wearable. I couldn't decide whether to make it a brooch (the safe bet) or a hair comb. I'd always wanted to make an insect fascinator, and I decided to just go for it. Then, the woman who fell in love with the piece asked me if I would turn it into a brooch for her.
Ah well, it was a fun experiment, and it will look great as a brooch!
(Although I guess I should probably give it a new name...)

The Craft Show was a whirlwind of incredible art, fun conversation, and super-nice people. I almost wish it had gone on for longer, except that the poor artists would have died of exhaustion! Doing this show was an excellent experience for me. Not only was it a firm deadline that vastly improved my artistic output, but I discovered that I really love chit-chatting and schmoozing with lots of people. It's made me seriously consider doing craft shows on my own.

Next up: some production work - like this customizable cicada ring, created today!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Hive Queen's New Look

(Sorry for the crappy cell phone pic...)

Some of you may recall way back in 2010 a few posts referring to my new piece, "Hive Queen". I'd gotten an ENORMOUS 156 carat citrine and used some salvaged wings off of an old piece that had been damaged. The piece was completed in 2010 and shown in a few places.


Something about this piece never sat right with me. Not only was I unhappy with the treatment of the citrine, but the wings started to bug me as well.

Since the stone was so outrageous, it took attention away from the carved insect. It almost looked like I just glued the bee on top of it as an afterthought. As for the wings, in real life, queen bees actually have very small wings, much smaller than the salvaged wings from my old piece. And the pierced sterling wings, though lovely on their own, lacked a visual sparkle that would balance the bling-y citrine. What had seemed in my head to be an elegant solution turned out to be rather underwhelming in practice.

So I took her apart.

Re-set the citrine, in a way that was more understated, yet made sense thematically.

Gave a little extra attention to the back of the piece
(including a little baby citrine on the pin finding)

Then let the piece itself dictate the size of the wings. They are proportionally larger than a real queen's would be, but about the same as a normal worker.

And I incorporated mica. This was a suggestion from my boyfriend, who is not an artist but somehow comes up with incredible design ideas anyway. The mica added sparkle and color to the wings while lending the piece the visual fragility I'm fond of. I also popped a little flocking on the the back for some textural contrast.

So here is the final result, lovingly photographed by the talented Ken Yanoviak. The piece I had come to hate has now turned into something I really treasure. The play of colors is so much more compelling, the back of the piece got some love, and the wings are just plain lovely.

You can come see this piece and more at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, November 10th - 13th at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Details here:

And now, the big news...

I've been invited to display work with a group of other University of the Arts Crafts Alumni at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show!! This show takes place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia and is really huge.

I am very excited to have this opportunity and have been working like crazy to bring you folks some fresh, awesome work. Please, please come see me at the PMA Craft Show!

The PMA Craft show is next week, November 10th - 13th at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. You can come and see exciting work from talented artists of all media.

Information here: http://pmacraftshow.org/

I should be there for most of the show, but let me know if and when you'll be attending, and I will make sure I'm at the booth to greet you!

A quick teaser...

photo by Ken Yanoviak

("Hive Queen", above. Is she looking a little different?
I'll spill the beans on her facelift in the next post!)

Friday, September 30, 2011

It's been awhile!

Much has happened in between my last post and now! First, I moved to Somerset, NJ, which meant moving my whole studio (bad) to a room in an old barn (awesome). It has a view to die for, at least in the warmer months:

And it is quite cute. Although it is a much smaller space, as long as I stay diligent about cleaning it works pretty well.

This is just a teaser - bigger news to follow...