Tuesday, May 29, 2012

When You Give An Artist 30 Minutes...

...you get enough fantastic material for Martha Le Van's Lark Books series "30-Minute" Bracelets, Earrings, Necklaces and Rings!  Every book features a compilation of artists and the work is inspiring. The layout of these four books makes them very user friendly... the pictorial table of contents is brilliant... making for an easy return to your favorites.  With added lists for supply needs, the technique applied to each creation and exceptional pictures, each book makes you want to run to the work table to try your hand at making your own.

The cover of  '30-Minute Earrings' caught my eye immediately.  Featuring New Jersey-based artist, Liesl Carlson, the gentle bend of the silver petal encasing a plum pearl drop is elegance at its best.  Nancy Wickman's use of wire and simple copper washers is an excellent showcase of 'less is more' and how perfectly applied texture makes that simplicity a winner. The 'found art' of Bryan and Andrea Ring's clever license plate earrings and the mixed media of Heather Crossley's little boxes add a whimsical dimension.

'30-Minute Necklaces' varied use of materials makes for a joyful book.  In homage to my couture career, I would so wear Sarah Gazia's bobbin necklaces with bright rounds of polymer clay sitting in for thread and Sunyoung Cheong's imaginative incorporation of silver, pearls and tulle for a happy tutu necklace!  LOVE them.  Dilyana Evtimova uses square silver wire to take lowly illusion film to the ball (brilliant!), while John A. Sartin uses his metalwork talent to feature that perfect stone.

I fell in love with Rachel Sims' Copper and Silver Bar bracelet in '30-Minute Bracelets', really enjoying her use of a varied jump ring chain to set off her beautifully done metal bar.  Dangles of Brazilian natural 'beads from seeds' highlight a beautiful leather braid by Lia Paletta.  Carole Zakkour inspires you to take out your frustrations by hammering copper in her freeform wire bracelet.  And, Karen J. Lauseng, you made me laugh with your happy bracelet made from snaps - yes, sewing snaps - and silver jumprings.  What a great piece!

The last book in the series  - '30-Minute Rings' - is as stunning as the first.  What's not to like about happy little elastic bands?  Nicole Jacquard adds them to her hammered fine silver ring to bring spots of playful color.  Robert Dudenhoefer II finds his color in the art of enameling as he beautifully combines copper and silver with geometric enameled shapes.  Victoria Takahashi's ring evokes the riding stirrup in it's simplistic combination of copper rod and patinaed silver.  Lastly, who would ever dream that plumbing PVC pipe could EVER look like carved ivory?  Karen Rakoski does just that in her lovely leaf-design band.  Amazing, and oh so wearable!

There you have it... four fantastic books that compliment any artist's library.  Head to toe... well, fingers... but I bet many of those rings would look awesome on a sandaled foot!  Enjoy!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wishcasting Wednesday: How do you wish to grow?

Jamie's prompt today is "How Do You Wish To Grow?"  I've thought about that off and on all day.  My first sarcastic little comment was 'actually, I need to SHRINK' but after that moment passed, I thought 'actually I DO need to shrink'.  Shrink my doubts, shrink my fears, grow my confidence and grow as an artist.  If I fill my life with those positive paths, there will be no need for me to overfill myself with food and continue building that proverbial protective shell. 
I've done a lot of shrinking already... finishing up commitments I took on to procrastinate with my artistic work.  Self-made barriers set up so I wouldn't fail... or succeed... bc I'd so sidetracked I couldn't even begin. 
So my wish is to grow true to myself, following the happy thoughts that pop into my head saying 'wouldn't it be cool if you did this?'   Yeah, that's how I wish to grow.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wednesday Words: Showcase 500 Rings: New Directions in Art Jewelry

Need Bling?  Serious Bling?  Original Bling?  Finger Bling?

In Showcase 500 Rings: New Directions in Art Jewelry,
Lark Books - doing what it does best - offers the debut title in their redesigned Lark's Showcase 500 Series for our consideration.
And what an offering it is!
From the midieval-inspired simplicity of Aliki Apoussidou's hot-forged Siegelring Rund to Kristin Deiner's aptly named Ring Form: Contraption (truly, a party on your hand),  juror Bruce Metcalf and editor Martha Le Van have selected an eye-catching collecton of jewelry from classic to quirky.

My personal favorites ran the gamut...
Would I wear Julie Lynn Romanenko's elegant diamond and 14-karat gold set Untitled? Absolutely! COULD I see myself wearing the polymerclay fantasy that is Jeffrey Lloyd Dever's Convergence?
The artful sprite in me is screaming "Sure, you can!"

I am longing to own every letter in Trudee Hill's imaginative Letters From Words: Alphabet Rings!
Think of the creative fun you could have wearing those! Ask me how I feel today?
And last, but far from the least, Stefanie Kölbel's Striped Rings spoke to the fiber artist in me with her exquisite translation of a traditional bobbin lace techinique.
 This book lives up to the Lark Books tradition.  It's a jewelry store between two covers.