Thursday, March 6, 2014

Artistic Inspiration - Avery Lucas

I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; it will always be home in my heart; and I actively seek reasons to visit.  Last year, on one such occasion, I participated in a weekend of making in a class lead by Bob Ebendorf at The Society For Contemporary Craft.

During our time together, Bob enthused about the annual Metals Symposium hosted at East Carolina University (ECU) in Greenville, North Carolina.  I left him knowing without a doubt that January would find me there.  As expected, I attended with my friend and fellow artist, Penny Arrowood. 

My time at ECU was a catalyst in a shift in the way that I'm thinking about my creative pursuits, my career as an artist, and this time in my life.  I was overstimulated in the best possible way, and one of the highlights for me was an a demonstration by Avery Lucas.
This life-sized piece is smaller than Envelop.
Each of Avery's creations is constructed from
one piece of copper.  And yes, this "Hand Made Tray" 
actually features her hands.
I'd read about Avery's work in the promotional materials for the conference.  Her piece, Envelop, featuring a pair of hands in glorious detail, was featured in several blog posts, and I was instantly drawn to them.  Then on opening night of the symposium during the art walk, I saw them for the first time in person.  They were even better than I'd imagined, and their sheer size blew me away.  Based on the photos, I was expecting a jewelry sized piece, and I was stunned by their larger-than-life reality.

Avery is humble and overflowing with talent.  She opened my eyes to the possibility of working larger with the same skill set and the same tools that I currently use in the creation of my jewelry.  She also provided me with the opportunity to witness the real life process of chasing and repousse for the first time.

From here, I'll let the photos tell the story...
From her initial sketches to the finished pieces,
this body of work cohesively represents the artist's vision.
Avery's work area.  As soon as I returned, I ordered
my first block of pitch.  I'm not sure exactly where
it will take me; but I'm looking forward to the process.
I was thrilled to add this brooch, Ameba, to my collection.
It's a miniature version of all that I love about Avery's work. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

In No Particular Order - Asheville North Carolina at Christmas

For my birthday during the holidays, Ken and I snuck away for a few days to Asheville, North Carolina.  Asheville is a funky artsy foodie town that we love to visit. 

One of our intentions during this trip was to pay our first visits to The Biltmore House and The Grove Park Inn, as somehow these destinations have managed to elude us in the past.  We accomplished both in high style, and we discovered a few unexpected surprises along the way too.

The photos will take it from here...

The Flat Iron Sculpture on Wall Street,
and near Early Girl Eatery. and
other downtown attractions.
This drive-by photo couldn't possibly capture
Christopher Mello's enchanting garden in West Asheville.

The Spa at The Grove Park Inn
is definitely on my radar for a future visit.
Photos don't capture the sheer majesty of the twin stone
fireplaces in the lobby of the Grove Park Inn.
(The nappers in the rockers tickled me too!)
We enjoyed a delicious brunch with a top notch view here.

The Grove Park Inn is known internationally
for its holiday gingerbread contest and exhibit.
This one wasn't even among the official winners!
Christmas Keepsake, Dare Johnson, Suffolk, VA
A close up of a piece created by
The Irish Team, Winston Salem, NC

Keeping a watchful eye over the entrance to
The Biltmore House.
We tend to be in the moment, and
except for a few selfies, we forget
to take pictures together when traveling. 
This one's a keeper. 

Mayfel's Restaurant warmed this vegetarian's heart with
a homemade Sloppy Jane with sweet potato fries.
(Diverse vegetarian options at home are few and far between.)
Ken continued his love affair with Gumbo,
and the beignets made a perfect ending
to the meal and trip for both of us. :-)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Reach and Win!

We're embarking on the fourth and final week of the First Ever ReMe Blog Hop, and you'll have one final chance to win our original artwork here and on the ReMe Blog.

Your comment here will earn one entry into my personal drawing for the One-of-a-Kind Reach Resin Pendant shown below.  Your comment on the ReMe Blog post this week will earn one entry into the ReMe drawing for my hand stamped Rest  Relax  Renew Collection Necklace shown below. Share either post, and return to comment with the details of your share, and you'll earn an extra entry for that drawing too. All comments and shares made by midnight on Sunday, March 2nd will be included, and both winners will be announced on Monday, March 3rd.

If you're so inclined, please also subscribe to my blog here and the ReMe Blog. We have a few "subscribers only" surprises up our sleeves, and I wouldn't want you to miss a single one of them.   Now, on to my official blog post...
One-of-a-Kind Reach Resin Pendant
Comment below, and you'll be entered to win.
My word for the day is "Reach".  It holds so many meanings for me that it's hard to know where to begin.  Immediately I'm filled with thoughts of "Reach for your dreams." and ."Reach for the stars.".  And while these are important mantras in life, recently I've also been reminded of other ways in which reaching is essential to my happiness in life.  My short list of these thoughts follows:

Reach for the ones you love.  Life is too short, and our time together is precious.

Reach for the ones you don't love so much.  They need it more than we know.

Reach back.  When someone extends their hand or their heart, reach back.  It takes strength to accept love, kindness, and yes even help from another.

Reach without being asked.  When someone's in need, reach out to them.  This can be as simple as helping to unload groceries when you see them struggling.  Reaching doesn't have to be a grand act with a well thought plan behind it.

Reach anonymously.  The joy is in the reaching, and inevitably we gain more than we give.

Reach when you feel like it.

Reach when you don't.

Reach a place of contentment, and celebrate success.  Amidst all of this reaching, make time to enjoy and appreciate those we love and all that we're accomplishing.
Rest Relax Renew Collection Necklace by Jean Skipper

Now it's your turn to reach out to me.  Please leave a comment...any comment...below, and you'll be entered to win my One-of-a-Kind Reach Resin Pendant.  Reach out to us at ReMe Retreats, and you'll learn how to win my Rest Relax Renew Collection Necklace and other original artwork by Jodi Ohl and Penny Arrowood.  Please click here to visit the ReMe Blog now.