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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Some Early Inspiration for the SRAJD June and July Jewelry Design Challenges

Today, I’m going to try to help your imagination along.  Our challenge themes are words on a screen.  Like this…

June’s themes:  Exotic Landmarks
June 2nd Kyoto, Japan
June 9th Deadvlei, Namibia
June 16th Antelope Canyon, USA
June 23rd Angkor wat, Cambodia
June 30th Marble Caves, Chile

That might not be inspirational enough for you so I wanted to make sure you saw WHY I’m picking the themes I’m picking. 

I hope these amazing images move you to design and create pieces for our weekly challenges.

Click on any photo to see a much large image.  You can’t help but be impressed.

June’s themes and deadlines:  Exotic Landmarks

June 2nd Kyoto, Japan

June 9th Deadvlei, Namibia

June 16th Antelope Canyon, USA

June 23rd Angkor wat, Cambodia

June 30th Marble Caves, Chile

July’s themes and deadlines:  Famous Painters

July 7th Pablo Picasso

July 14th Piet Mondrian

July 21st  Leonid Afremov

July 28th  Henri  Rousseau

BTW, want to tell you a little bit about one of the artists I selected, Leonid Afremov.  He is actually a contemporary painter, born in 1955 and he sells his work at Deviant Art and Fine Art America amongst other places.

Check this out from his site: “Afremov is mainly known as being a self-representing artist who promotes and sells his work exclusively over the internet with very little exhibitions and involvement of dealers and galleries.

When I saw his work, I thought it would be so fun to translate it into jewelry design.  I hope you join me in creating jewelry pieces during his week as well as taking up all the other challenges.

CHRONOS May Week 4 Greek Gods and Goddesses Theme SRAJD Jewelry Challenge

Our theme for May is “Greek Gods/Goddesses” and the entries for this final week’s design challenge were inspired by the theme of “Chronos, god of time”.   

Also come back this Sunday as we reveal the entries for the overall theme of gods/goddesses to round out our May challenge month.

To read more about our challenges and/or to get in on the action, click here. 

Tammy Adams of Paisley Lizard 
This mixed-metal necklace has hands-free clock faces to represent how our individual perception of time is relative and subjective. As poets and musicians across the ages have noted, time is either standing still or passing us by, depending on our point of view. Or perhaps depending on whether Chronos is toying with us, as gods are known to do.

Nohline L'Ecuyer of Nohline L'Ecuyer
Chronus, God of time - Bracelet in fine silver with vintage watch faces and watch parts; vintage mother of pearl buttons. Note the infinity clasp.

Nohline L'Ecuyer of Nohline L'Ecuyer 
Chronus - Watch parts and sterling stud earrings.

Nohline L'Ecuyer of Nohline L'Ecuyer
Chronos - Mother of Pearl and watch part earrings. Sterling silver studs.

Kelly Hosford Patterson of PyxeeStyx
"Everybody Wants To Rule The World" 
Time is not my friend. Never has been. My piece is dedicated to Chronos fall from power. 
Chronos was not a nice guy. Castrated his own father to steal the throne. Then ate his own children to prevent the same from happening to himself. Rhea wised up and saved Zeus who was eventually able to unseat his father from power. This is my thank you note. 
Zeus was born, hidden away on the isle of Crete. The center of my pendant is a postage stamp encased in glass, from the neighboring Greek isle of Cypress, which is adorned with their coat of arms featuring the laurel wreath. 
Below that an upcyled watch face, representing Chronos. The hands of time that no longer turn. 
Below that a vintage silver plated and enameled horse representing the Anemoi. The Gods of the four winds, who in the guise of horses drew the chariot of Zeus. 
Hung from a chain of alternating Lapis Lazuli diamonds, and upcycled pottery shards, with blue moonstone spacers and dangles. 
Culminating in Greek Keys. Also known as the meander was the most important symbol in ancient Greece. Symbolizing infinity, or the eternal flow of things. 
Sari silk runs across the back of the neck for a comfortable fit, and closes with a Greek key hook clasp. All in shades of Greek blue.

For my Chronos theme, I went with the Saturnine inspiration and repeated a technique I’ve used in the past to create a “planet-looking” effect.  This small lentil was made from copper and bronze metal clay and fired in a kiln at 1500 degrees to create this colorful reaction in the metal.

Check the previous blog posts to see all the weekly challenge designs to date.  And keep an eye out for the upcoming challenges.

And start preparing for June’s themes:  Exotic Landmarks
June 2nd Kyoto, Japan
June 9th Deadvlei, Namibia
June 16th Antelope Canyon, USA
June 23rd Angkor wat, Cambodia
June 30th Marble Caves, Chile
(Google of Bing these places and click on IMAGES for inspiration)

Please enter your challenge designs by clicking here.

And/or read the original blog post about the challenges here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

DIONYSUS May Week 3 Greek Gods and Goddesses Theme SRAJD Jewelry Challenge

Our theme for May is “Greek Gods/Goddesses” and the entries for this week’s design challenge were inspired by the theme of “Dionysus, god of wine, parties, madness, and ecstasy”.

To read more about our challenges and/or to get in on the action, click here.

JeriEllyn Leggieri of Images By Jer

Sandra Allen of BlissWorks Studio
Bead woven & embroidered brooch/pendant features a wine swirled vintage Italian cabochon, beads reminiscent of grapes, matte black spikes, and cultured freshwater pearls like drops of wine.

Jo Pound of Jewelry by Jolane
The earrings are ready for a party, with a deep purple for the grapes that the wine starts with!

Rosemarie Cahall of Artistic Creations by Rose
My piece is representing Dionysus, god of wine & parties.  Whimsical Custom Created and carefully sculpted with Sterling Silver Plate and Burgundy glass beads representing grape, my "One of a kind" Piece!

Kim Forrer of Kim Forrer Designs
I envision Dionysus (the God of wine) wearing this cuff of sterling silver grape vines, juicy red Garnet and luscious purple Amethyst grapes.....

Tammy Adams of Paisley Lizard
I used gold artistic wire, Czech glass leaves, and Swarovski pearls to create this wild vineyard wire crochet necklace to celebrate the god of wine.

Tammie Everly of TTE Designs
A bit of a stretch as its beer and not wine, but I thought they were pretty clever. 'Beer-rings' certainly make a statement.

Meri "Roo" Garrett-Perez of Fire and Sand Studio
I made this large lampwork pendant using several layers of glass in various colors to give the bead depth and included dichro, which is what makes it sparkle. 
The grapes, leaves and vines are all made from my own recipes of hand pulled cane, which is to say that I swiped hot glass onto other colors of glass, then pulled it into tiny rods of glass about the size of a pencil lead or smaller in order to create the dimensions of color in the grapes or the different colors in the leaves. 
This is the best theme ever since I'm pretty sure Dionysys is my Patron Saint. I love wine. I love vineyards and grapevines. I love how grapes have such a pleasing shape on the vine ...they always look so relaxed just hanging out in the sun. And I must say I was very surprised at just how difficult it was to make grape colors in glass. The green grapes were actually easier to make than mixing the purples. I've never had to work so hard at making a bead before!

Nohline L'Ecuyer of Nohline L'Ecuyer
Dionysus, Greek God of Wine - PMC, fine silver, sterling silver and cultured fresh water pearls. This was the 4th idea I had for this challenge. The heat kept me out of the studio to do what I had originally planned. I do like how this came out.

Nohline L'Ecuyer of Nohline L'Ecuyer
Dionysys, Greek God of Wine, Necklace of PMC, sterling and fine silver, cultured fresh water pearls. 
The part I am most proud of is the clasp which is made of PMC for the leaf. The grapes are fine silver which was melted into small balls and then fused together. First time I have done any type of granulation.

Kelly Hosford Patterson of PyxeeStyx
"Night at the Acropolis" - The wine flowed, the music played, and the Gods danced all night long. 
A lute sculpted in copper. Ten separate pieces soldered together, and then the strings were wired on to create the three dimensional instrument. Wrapped in a sea of twirling grape vines, with ruby Jade grape clusters. Centered between two wire wrapped Lyre, and two sections of Laurel leaf wreath. A laurel wreath is traditionally made with twelve sets of leaves to represent each of the twelve Gods of Mt. Olympus. I used just twelve leaves due to space constraints. One leaf for each God rather than a set. The leaves are wrapped in Merlot sari silk. Finishing off the back with the sari silk for a comfortable wear. 
I am really proud of how this piece turned out. I mentioned that it was ambitious, but that was a bit of an understatement. This instrument is so far beyond my skill level. I'm completely blown away that I was able to pull this off. Soldering is one of the skills I still greatly struggle with. I was completely winging it. Not to mention I didn't even know about this challenge until Saturday night. This might be one of the coolest things I've ever made. 

Check the previous blog posts to see all the weekly challenge designs to date.   And keep an eye out for the upcoming challenges.

May Theme: Greek Gods and Goddesses
Weekly theme deadlines
May 5th Apollo, god of the sun, light, and healing
May 12th Artemis, goddess of hunting, wilderness, wild animals, childbirth, and the moon
May 19th Dionysus, god of wine, parties, madness, and ecstasy
May 26th Chronos, god of time

And start preparing for June’s themes:  Exotic Landmarks
June 2nd Kyoto, Japan
June 9th Deadvlei, Namibia
June 16th Antelope Canyon, USA
June 23rd Angkor wat, Cambodia
June 30th Marble Caves, Chile
(Google of Bing these places and click on IMAGES for inspiration)

Please enter your challenge designs by clicking here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Announcing the Winner for Geometric Theme Jewelry Designs

I’d like to thank everyone who participated in the first month of SRAJD challenges.  The results for the geometry-themed March challenges can be seen here:

The administrative staff at SRAJD selected one overall winner for March.  This person’s designs were chosen as best exemplifying the challenge themes.

Congratulations Nohline L'Ecuyer of Nohline L'Ecuyer!

These were Nohline's entries for the weekly challenges:





We thought it would be nice to get to know a little bit more about Nohline so I asked her some questions…

What prompts you to embrace the SRAJD jewelry-making challenges?

I love the challenge of designing for a specific theme.  I also like to challenge myself to learn some new technique, and of course having a deadline keeps me on track.

How did you learn your craft?

From a young age I have always been compelled to be creative.  When I came to the States in 1988 and discovered the community college system and saw how cheap it was, I dove in head first into the art department.  Oil painting, pottery, printing did not fit my groove, but I fell in love with the jewelry fabrication department.  I took classes from Christine Smith for 4 years.  I also love the engineering side to the construction of a piece; working out the mechanics to make sure it fits and lies properly.  That's always fun.

What do you think is the most interesting thing about your creative expression?

I believe it is the simplicity and sometimes the offbeat colors I like putting together.  I believe that there is always an underlying little bit of Africa in each piece I make.

What themes do you pursue?

I love repetition in patterns; in color and in nature.   I tend to be a bit of a minimalist and try to make simple, elegant jewelry that can be worn anywhere.

Did you always want to be a jewelry artist?

No, not really.  When I finished high school I wanted to be a fashion designer.  There was a private school in town, but it was very expensive and my Dad didn't think it was a great future.  So I went to business school instead.  After moving to the United States, I took a silver-smithing class which rejuvenated my artistic juices.   However,   I took a break for 12 years to raise my son and then  4 or 5  years ago I discovered lampwork beads.  I started taking lampwork classes and fell in love with jewelry again.  It has led me back to jewelry and my silver-smithing knowledge.  I am now a member of the Metal Arts Society of Southern California and learn so much from the courses they offer.

What are the biggest challenges that you face as a self-representing jewelry artist?

Self-confidence.  It takes a lot of courage to put your work out there.  I am still rather shy about posting what  I make.  But I realize that in order to create a reputation you have to put your feelings aside and go for it.  The more exposure you get, the more your "name" will become known.  I'm working on it.

What role does the artist have in society?

In the world today, we have become accustomed to perfect mass produced throw away goods.  The artist’s role is to bring us back to our roots and create for the soul.  Art should be cherished and prized for its individuality and creativeness.   The artist’s role in society is more important today than it ever has been and I think there will always be an appreciative market for truly handmade.

How has your art change over time?

It is still evolving.  I don't think I have yet found my voice.  However, that being said, I am not really trying to say anything either.  I just make what comes to mind and that is sometimes dictated by the materials on hand or colors or the seasons.  

What does the future hold for Nohline?

I'm not sure.  I enjoy making my art.  I will hopefully have more time shortly and my dearest wish is to get my supplies properly organized so that I am not spread out all over the place.  I so several shows a year and have been invited to do some of the bigger shows.  However, I do not want this to become a fulltime job where I lose my passion and creativity.

Nohline, thanks for taking the time to answer these questions.  It’s an immense pleasure seeing your work and getting to know you better!

See more of Nohline's fabulous jewelry (she makes the lampwork beads and many of her finding components too!) here: http://nohline.com/