August 21, 2012 § Leave a comment
With the goal of researching ideas and acquiring new skills in support of my enamel jewelry design work, this summer I had the opportunity to travel to Deer Isle, Maine to participate in a two-week intensive workshop on enameling with renowned artist Jamie Bennett. Jamie’s course focused on experimenting with painting on enameled copper using over-glaze china paints to create wearable works of art.
Jamie Bennett’s work is known for its meticulous use of color and his interpretations of nature that combine historical reference and contemporary explorations. Bennett is a Professor of Art in the Metal Program at the State University at New Paltz. Bennett’s work is the subject of a monograph, Edge of the Sublime, The Enamels of Jamie Bennett, published by Hudson Bay Press, which accompanies a retrospective exhibition of his work that traveled to six museums nationally through 2010.
From the interesting people you meet, to the talented instructors and their passionate support of craft traditions, to the glorious ocean setting, Haystack is an inspirational and life changing place. Yes – working in the studio all day (and into the evening) proved to be exhausting, however it was incredibly rewarding and a luxury I never have at home. It enabled me to hone my process and see new connections between familiar ideas and techniques – my work has grown tremendously.
Each summer at craft schools around the country, diverse communities of beginner to advanced artists gather in non-competitive environments to develop craft skills and nurture the creative spirit. Taught by national and international practicing studio artists and university faculty, craft schools like Haystack enable artists to question their preconceived ideas, reassess their work, and challenge themselves to experiment in unfamiliar artistic territory.
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts is an international craft school located on the Atlantic Ocean in Deer Isle, Maine. Hugging the rugged coastline, the campus was designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes, and added to the National Historic Register in February 2006. The school offers intensive studio-based workshops in a variety of media including clay, glass, metals, paper, blacksmithing, weaving, and woodworking.
May 16, 2012 § Leave a comment
Nature is a primary source of inspiration for color, texture and form combinations for my work. Whether I’m driving New England back roads or wandering conservation land near our house, the creative juxtapositions of colors, textures, shapes, and symbols, even in my back yard, are endless.
Using both found objects and my own designed vintage inspired components, the vintage statement necklace collection is designed around eye-catching focal points and intentionally combines earthy with elegant. Usually colorful enameled flowers and rhinestone floral spray brooches take center stage, inspired by my love of gardening, and especially the flowering Clematis vines that bloom in the back yard all spring and summer. I have pretty much planted them to cover every vertical surface!
Whimsical yet sophisticated color and texture combinations play a huge role in the unique personality of each piece and in the success of a statement necklace. Customers are very intrigued by the vintage craftsmanship mixed with the contemporary creativity of the collections. The handmade pieces are wonderfully original, combining artistry and imagination with functional details. I strive to create bold yet versatile jewelry that is also comfortable enough to wear all day, and easy to pair with any outfit. That is why ergonomics and wear-ability is carefully integrated into the design of each piece, resulting in jewelry with personality, that you can really live in.
It has always been my dream to own beautiful, confidence building jewelry, and that dream was the catalyst for becoming a designer. The right accessories can transform a simple, everyday top or dress into the outfit everyone remembers. While each woman is different, being genuine and original is key to a successful style no matter what your taste or personality. Be true to yourself, and try not to be concerned with trends or the opinions of others. Whether you love big, bright, contemporary statement earrings, or your grandmother’s favorite necklace, accessorize yourself with what brings you happiness. Adornment should be inspiring and a reflection of your individuality. When you feel good about yourself, you approach the world with confidence, which is the ultimate in polish and style!