Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Visiting spindleworks

I made a flying trip to one of my favorite places in the world at the beginning of the month. Maine never disappoints. We were fortunate to catch the leaves just starting to change color.

It was fortuitous that the most recent addition of ACC magazine with an article highlighting spindleworks - a progressive art center for disable adults in Brunswick arrived just a few weeks before the trip and I put it on the "places to stop" list.

spindle works shop

Although we got there too late in the day to meet with any artists,  the director was kind enough to give me a tour. I was so inspired but the quality and the volume of the work being produced. The have painting, sculpture, ceramic and weaving studios. They have a dark room, have started film/multi media production and even had their first fashion show this year. Its a truly impressive place.

paint studio
I hope to make an adventurous winter trip (winter in Maine?) in the next couple of months so my husband and I can spend a full day or two at spindleworks.  I feel certain there is a lot we can learn here to take with us on our next trip to volunteer with SHAPE in Saint Helena and I'm looking forward to meeting artists while they're working.

To learn more about how spindle works started (surprisingly it was with weaving) and how they work today, be sure to read this article on Disparate Minds.

weaving studio

Monday, September 25, 2017

More jewelry...who would have guessed?

Continuing my found jewelry (Nature jewelry? Found object jewelry? I don't know what to call them...) here at home, mostly on our evening walks. Mostly on the rail trail that runs through our tiny PA town and mostly as the sun is going down...which sometimes presents photo issues.

I'm so fortunate to have a husband who's completely content to act as my assistant. "Gather as many good looking walnuts as you can." I order and there isn't a quibble.

He carries rusty metal in his pockets for miles and alerts me to interesting bits of trash. He makes suggestions and critiques and handles my disagreement with critiques like a champ. ("What? No, the cracked, large walnut can't go at the very bottom, too predictable." )

First one I made without using my hands. 

The trail is shimmery for about 50 ft. headed south into Maryland. Almost all the rocks and even the dirt contains mica flakes and its like someone sprinkled silver dust across the path. Sadly the photos didn't turn out nearly the whole thing looked in real life. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Nature Jewelry

I'm making my way through the last of my nature jewelry/found jewelry photos from Saint Helena. I'm so thankful for all the positive response I've gotten about these! I've talked to a couple people about next steps I should possible take to show the images (book, exhibit...) but this would all be unchartered territory for me so I'd appreciate all the help I can get.

Any ideas on what I could do next with this work? Would you be interested to see them in book form?

Several pieces of the moss in this necklace were "in place" and I just built around them. The other pieces had already been dislodged. 

Eucalyptus leaves. 


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Home Again, home again.

We've been home for three weeks now and my settling in is going relatively well...meaning...I am sleeping normally and I have not cried in a grocery store. (Admittedly I did feel a little light headed in Trader Joe's over the weekend.) 

But somehow I feel like I'm not totally here.

Looking down into Sandy Bay.

The capital Jamestown, as seen from the deck of the RMS St. Helena.

It struck me that I've grown sufficiently attached to Saint Helena, more appropriately to people on Saint Helena, and I realize I will now live the rest of my life missing someone.  When I'm there I'll miss home and when I'm here, I miss there. (I believe there's an eloquent travel quote that states something similar - do you know it?)

My friend Marcus' valley. Well its not his valley but its the valley where his family homes are.

Recycle paper necklace and skeletal remains of a "leaf". Do you call them leaves? 

St. Pauls Anglican Church

Monday, August 7, 2017

Leaving is the hardest part

Many bittersweet goodbyes to be said this morning. Our six weeks here just flew by and although we'll be happy to see family and friends at home...we don't want to go. 

Wendy won the auction for paper jewelry btw. Thanks so much Wendy - will be in touch soon! 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Paper Jewelry

I managed to fit in some time working on my own jewelry here. I'm sure it wasn't the best to have the kitchen table also serve as my studio but my son and husband never complained. Not once. I let myself daydream a bit about a longer stay here and a full studio and what that would be like. (Might that happen someday?)

Triple wrapped beads.

By and large I just worked through ideas, techniques, sizing, but I did produce a few finished pieces and I'm offering one for auction with all money going to SHAPE.

Being a charity in one of the most remote communities in the world SHAPE is primarily dependent on aid, grants and donations. They are amazingly good at making due but the needs are many. For instances right now, they do not have a nurse staff. They have no medical aids to help with everyday life skills and none are available on island. Beyond they need simple things like a paper cutter, bead storage, school supplies, good crayons – all of these things are either not available, ridiculously expensive or must be ordered from somewhere far away. And for Saint Helena, everywhere is far away which means $$$ (or £££ as the case maybe be).

So I'm doing two things, small things really, right now to help with their needs.

I'm auctioning off this necklace with a reserve bid starting at $25. Its all recycled denim paper on nylon cord and at 32 inches slips right over the head. Incredibly lightweight as you'd imagine. If you are interested, please email me your bids by Friday of this week. Highest bidder is the winner and money will just go through my Paypal (as SHAPE has no means to accept off island donations right now) and I will deliver the full amount in cash before I leave Monday, August 7.

Denim recycled necklace

Also I'm able to offer a few of the recycled bangle bracelets that I designed for them made with one of SHAPE's main raw materials, cereal boxes. They are just $20 USD and that includes shipping from the US. They are 2 5/8 inches (67mm in diameter) which is a medium size bracelet. Again, if you are interested and can let me know by Friday, I can leave your donation in cash for them. 

Cereal box bracelets

 If you have any questions please be sure to let me know. Thanks so much!