My Sister

I need to be reminded over and over about the importance of relationships. I can be a very introverted person at times or seeking only to spend time one on one with people. My sister, on the other hand, from what I remember was always a very outgoing person, yet we both shared the the written word as a way to express ourselves. When we were young we used to write together, though through my eyes as a ten year old, her stories were very deep and filled with “big” words that I was too embarrassed to admit I didn’t know. My stories were layed out in book form and I would think about what the size should be for the format and where the pictures should go. This was our departing moment, where I could see my future in layout and design and hers in the written word. We live a great distance apart, but have shared some wonderful experiences when we have been close, both figuratively and physically.

My sister went on to become a teacher and poet and most recently a writer of children’s literature. Her new blog can be found at www.cathrinhagey.com, which is in its infancy but will be exploring literature, myth, her own writing and many other subjects. I like reading it and find it wonderful to reconnect again by reading her posts.

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Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

I had never heard of Spinner Rings or Anticlastic Rings a couple months ago, until my friend and fellow maker of jewelry, Renee Gardner, forwarded me a tutorial by Autumn Leaves Jewelry. After using the tutorial, I made a couple different ring designs with etched patterns. I was completely taken by surprise at the popularity of these rings after selling quite a few in one month.

It never ceases to amaze me how generous other artists can be with their talent and skills, so I want to thank Carolyn for taking the time to put that tutorial together and for sharing with so many other metalsmiths. You can see Carolyn’s gorgeous jewelry at www.etsy.com/shop/AutumnLeavesJewelry.

Working with Felting Wool

I love working with different mediums and exploring other ways of working. So, I signed up for another felting workshop last weekend and again fell in love with the process. It is very exhausting, but yields such magic when the fibers come together and become one.

I made a purse (pictured below) and was amazed at how a project can come together so quickly, albeit with some effort. I am still not sure if and how I want to incorporate the felt process into my jewelry work. I know there are some people that do this. Michele A Friedman is one such jeweler that executes this beautifully.

Art and Responsibility

Since my blog is about art, it is difficult to make the decision to write about current events, however current events can shape us and reflect in our art.

When I look through fine art publications, I notice a lot of violent imagery. Of course this is true across the board…music videos, games, some TV shows. This is nothing new, right? Does it affect us? Many studies have been done on the subject and the majority say yes, it does affect us.

The recent events of Michael Brewer being burned by teens, and the gang rape by teens shook me to the core. I am not oblivious to all the wrongs that happen in this world, but I am terribly saddened by the constant march to moral decay that seems to be happening all around us.

In the realm of arts and creativity, subject matter is the meat and potatoes. Personal expression in the form of violent subject matter can be effective in allowing the creator to get out feelings that have been bottled up. This is not the same thing as violent imagery being packaged up/designed and marketed for profit. I believe this is very harmful to us as civil humans and is confusing to young adults who may not have any mentors or care in their home.

In the last several years in my area where I live, public schools have eliminated or diminished art, physical education and music from their curriculum. I think this is a death sentence for many youth. First off, children need to be active and act out in healthy ways. Actually this is true for adults as well.

The arts can heal… If more young people were encouraged to express themselves through art making, writing, dance, photography, music… I believe that their would be a lessening of this horrific violence that seems to be on the rise.

In addition, if more artists who make money from their art took more responsibility for the messages they are sending, or break away from big business and become independent, I think we would also see some changes. Some would argue the free speech clause, but I argue, with freedom comes responsibility.

Janice Art Jewelry has a Facebook Page

Look for my page on Facebook. While there you can see new designs and give feedback. I will also offer special discounts at times throughout the year.

Fashion Taking Inspiration from Fine Art World and the Past

I subscribe to Art in America, just to see what is going on in the Fine Art World. Although I am very much rooted in the past for my inspiration or maybe just admiration, particularly with female artists…Georgia O’Keeffe, Emily Carr, Beatrice Wood, and of course Frida Kahlo.

Having read a biography on Frida, I was delighted when the film came out about her life with Diego. I also was lucky enough to have seen the Frida Kahlo exhibit in June 2008 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

What does this have to do with fashion? Well, I was looking through photos of fashion trends and came across this dress shown below, which for me conjured up the feelings and dualities of Frida Kahlo’s self portraits. This particular dress, by Sarah Schofield, an emerging Australian designer in the global fashion industry, is for me, at once both sensual and thought provoking. On the other hand, maybe I see everything through the filter of fine art.

Photo by: Stefan Gosatti, Getty Images

Photo by: Stefan Gosatti, Getty Images

Hope

I am writing something totally different than I normally write. I am writing on the word HOPE. We heard a lot about it in the campaign over the course of the last two years. It almost seems overused. What does it really mean to each person and their personal journey. Be it art, design, writing or in my case making beautiful jewelry that people may want to wear.

In the struggle of our lives there are many ups and downs. Many times that we want to give up, but we hang in there. Why? Because we have hope, and that gives us the courage to bounce back—not t0 get down on ourselves and those around us.

Hope has always carried me through in my 20 year career as a graphic designer. There is no reason why it shouldn’t also be a grounding mantra in my art making experiences. I have to remember, that when I feel like packing it in because I am running out of money…as soon as I sit down at my workbench and pick up my saw or at my computer designing a new pattern for a bead…I feel like everything is going to be okay. That is why I am going to hang on. Because I love to create. I love to use my hands. That is why I do what I do.

I hope that you too will hang on to your dreams in these difficult economic times—because whatever it is that you do, it matters to someone out there even if it is only for yourself right now. Keep creating!!