Saturday, October 16, 2010

Serendipity, Gratitude, and Memories of Ocracoke

Life since our vacation last month has been a whirlwind of activity, with oodles of good things happening. There's been school for Alan, numerous work obligations for Ken, shows and openings for me, and love and support through all of it from Mom. With all of this, and a hundred other curve balls that life seems to throw our way, we quickly slipped from "vacation-mode" back into "real life".

This week, a special message from Cynthia Deis at Ornamentea changed that for me. Ornamentea is my all-time-time-favorite-brick-and-mortar-bead-and-more-store, located in Downtown Raleigh, NC. Cynthia owns Ornamentea. She taught the first ever art marketing class that I took, and she's had a big impact on my professional development. (Ornamentea's class offerings still tempt me on a regular basis. If you're in the area, I highly recommend them!)

Anyway... while we were on Ocracoke, we stayed in our favorite little cottage, Windmill Point. Windmill Point seems to be in chronic need of a little love and attention, so when we stay there, we always leave the place a little better than we found it. This year that meant gifts of a new iced tea pitcher, a funky little pottery turtle and mushroom made by North Carolina Potter - Hank Allred, a few additions to the found object sculpture that seems to be growing organically from the deck, and a dozen or so of my magnets on the refrigerator for the visitors who followed us.
Imagine my surprise this week when, less than a month after we returned, Cynthia contacted me with a photo of my magnets on the refrigerator at Windmill Point! She and her family are enjoying a bit of Ocracoke Magic right there, right now, in our little cottage.

Serendipitous things like this tend to happen on Ocracoke, and it's part of the magic that we find there. Cynthia's note took us back to our happy place again, and I thought I'd share a walk down Memory Lane with you one more time too.

Today, I'm grateful. Grateful for my family and friends and the memories that we've made together...for the creativity that surrounds me...for Ocracoke and all that it means to me... and to Cynthia for reminding me to pause amidst the chaos to remember all of this. :-)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Form Folding... Before and After

This week during my class time with Erica Stankwytch Bailey, we worked on form folding. This technique provides metalsmiths with a way to move and mold metal into a fluid and dynamic form. The first photo below is where I began. Flat pieces of raw copper, with a basic fold or two in them.

The photos that follow are the results of my creative play. The first piece is flat and industrial, and I love the rawness and strength that it conveys. The other photos are my early attempts at leaves. I'm pleased with the work itself, and the colors are amazing in person!

Even if I'd tried, I don't think that I could have achieved a more
lip-like form on this final piece.
Move over Mick Jagger! Your lips have nothing on this one! :-)

Erica is a wonderful teacher. I've learned so much from her, and she's also formalized some techniques that were self-taught for me until I began studying with her. If you're in the Raleigh area, Erica will have an exhibit at Pullen Art Center throughout the month of October. Her featured pieces were inspired by her retreat to The Grand Canyon. Her work is incredible, and you can read and see more about it here.