Hello friends! I’m already getting quite a few requests for custom work for Halloween. On that note, I have good news and bad news:
* The bad news (just to get it out of the way) is that commission slots will be very limited this season. My apologies in advance, but I’m taking on several new commitments this fall, and I know that I’ll need to be protective of my health and sanity if I’m to accomplish all that I hope to!
* The GOOD news is that I’ll start accepting custom orders again very soon, and past customers will get first dibs on those commission slots. If we’ve worked together before – and especially if we have already discussed your idea – your project will have priority.
Artchain day 3 (I’m still doing it, just not consecutively 😉 ) I was nominated to post an item of artwork a day for 5 days, and to nominate others…
I’m choosing my “Snow Queen” headdress, because I think it illustrates something important about the creative process: You have to be willing to experiment, take risks and make mistakes.
This piece began as a mask, around 2004. I was going for a “north wind” theme, but the overall shape wasn’t right so I chucked it in the reject pile. Once a year or so, I’d pull it back out and fiddle with it some more. No matter what I tried, it just didn’t fit nicely. It also looked more like an octopus than a cloud spirit, so it kept going back to the reject pile.
In 2012, I decided to give it one more shot. When I realized that there was no way this thing was going to become a cloud, I decided to hack it in half, and turn the top half into a headpiece (the other half is still with me, waiting to become a crown). This piece has been very popular, and I’m often asked to recreate it, or to riff off of the original design… but it’s worth noting that it started out as a “mistake” that I rescued from the reject pile.
Artchain Day 2 – I was nominated by Mary Tafoya to post an item of artwork a day for 5 days (and to nominate others…).
Here’s a more recent example of my mask designs. It’s a mask/headdress set (shown together and separately) that I did in 2010. Sculpted leather, peacock and pheasant feathers, vintage brass filigree + genuine turquoise & jasper beads and cabochons.
This crown is a recent commission. The customer was really nice — not only because of how patient and positive she was with me, but because she commissioned this piece as a gift for a friend. She told me that the recipient nearly cried when it was given to her, and that she decided to go someplace very special for New Year’s Eve so that she would have a reason to wear it!
That makes me incredibly happy. I love creating pieces that are “talismanic” for the wearer… pieces that make women feel beautiful, special, powerful and/or remind them of their own growth and/or healing. I like making pretty things, but what I really strive for is to create pieces that people connect with. Pieces that empower the wearer on some level.
Interestingly enough, the woman called to say “I love the headdresses that you have on your website, and I wondered if you have any more that are not up there yet?”. I told her about this one, which had been sitting unfinished since Jan 2013. I knew what I wanted to do with it, but between the move and a whole lot of custom work, I just haven’t had much time to actualize my own ideas this year. As it turned out, my plan for this piece was right in line with what she’d been hoping for … so I suspect that maybe it was just waiting for her to find me 🙂
Made from hand cut and sculpted leather, accented with a 1960’s vintage aurora borealis glass cabochon, Swarovski crystal, 1930’s vintage German crystal and glass seed beads. The snowflake medallion at the center uses a series of rough quartz points and a single piece of kyanite.
Michelle did this shoot in February or March, but I just realized that I never shared any of the images here! She had the concept for this last year, but it took a few months for the various participants and contributors to bring it all together. It has been a pleasure to collaborate with her, and this is one of my favorite shoots so far.
The set was an old civil war graveyard. When she contacted me with the idea, she was a bit worried that it might be “too dark” for me, but I think it’s perfect. The photo to the right is one of my favorites — I love the faded look, and the subtle damask pattern in the background that echoes the pattern on her dress as well as the pattern on the headstone.
It’s been a lot of fun collaborating on these shoots. I love her aesthetic as well as her imaginative approach. I also love that it challenges me to work on more intensive pieces. This collar for example — it may look simple, but it’s very detailed and it reflects countless hours of work. It incorporates a series of 1960’s era cabochons and cameos, along with a huge assortment of unusual vintage French jet sew-ons from the late 1800’s. These beads were traditionally used in Victorian mourning jewelry and garments, and I hoped to capture that feel with this piece.
If you’d like to see more images from this shoot, you can check them out on my facebook fan page. While you’re there, consider “liking” the page, so that you can keep up with our future collaborations.