Friday, August 26, 2011

Hi Everyone,

It has been quite the busy summer and a project I have been working on since December is 2010 is finally coming to fruition! It all started with an off the cuff question from a client inquiring if I had ever made a Mezuzah. (A Mezuzah is small cylindical sculpture placed on the door of Jewish homes that holds a parchament paper with a sacred prayer). At the time I had not made one but as I like a challenge I said I would be happy to.

This conversation led to me being asked to design a Mezuzah for the Kehilla Residential Program for a new project.  (Kehilla creates affordable housing for low income Jewish families.) So now it was design time. I did many sketches and had many meetings about the design and what I could produce multiples of in a reasonable time frame. We finally agreed on design and then the funding challenge began. As Kehilla is a non-profit they are always in need of more funding! The team went straight to work and after talking up the project they were able to secure the finances to proceed.

I am now in the process of making 100 Mezuzahs for the fall fundraiser! The image on the left is of the final design. It features the Hebrew letter "shin" and is made from stainless steel and copper. They will be available for purchase through Kehilla in time for Sukkot!

Looking forward to updating you on future projects!


Monday, July 25, 2011

New Rings

It is always exciting to have work published in a book. As we live in an increasingly paperless word you might think the thrill of seeing your name in print under an image of your work would diminish over time but not for me! Everyone can post pictures online but having my work chosen for publication alongside artists I admire is a thrill I may never get over. I just got my copy of New Rings by Nicolas Estrada in the mail today and feel honored to have my work published in such impressive company!

The author is a jeweller which made his selections for the book both informed and interesting. Have a look at his work here:

and you can buy the book here:

If you are a jeweller Nicolas is working on his next book which will focus on earrings. You can find the call for entry on his website as well as facebook.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Bank on Art

So there is this cool new project in the city where artwork will be posted on special ATM machines. People that use the machines will see work before and after their transaction is complete. At the moment there are two locations for these machines but I am hoping this movement catches on. It seems like the perfect pairing for subliminal messaging to kick it. No matter what though it is an innovative way to integrate art into people's daily lives. Hopefully it will inspire them to pay attention to the fantastic artwork all around the city.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Inspired By....Canadian!

The 7th annual national juried show of jewellery and metal work at Zilbersmuck gallery was based on what, in or about Canada, inspires you. My entry titled Burnt Stew Trail was inspired by my favorite run on Whistler Mountain. It was awarded honorable mention for Variation of Techniques. Thank you to this years exhibition jury!

Artist Statement:

My love of travel can be pinpointed to 1997 when I moved to Whistler for a ski season before starting university in the fall. As a novice skier, Burnt Stew Trail became my favorite run. I could take the chair lifts all the way to the top and spend an hour slowly winding down the mountain enjoying breath-taking views of the Rockies.

My ring/necklace pays homage to this trail. It converts from a ring to a necklace to represent how I learned to open up to the experience and enjoy the wilderness around me. I used mokume gane to emphasize the mountains and patinaed copper to represent the rainforest foliage that peaked out across the landscape. The folded ring shows the mass of the Rockies while the open necklace is meant to illustrate the undulating path I took down, what was then, one of the longest runs on Whistler Mountain.

I had always considered myself a city person and could not have imagined how this trip would later inspire me. Once I began to see what was around me, and I felt at ease immersed in nature, I realized what Canada had to offer and I have continued to explore its beauty ever since.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Think Boldly!

Last night was the much anticipated "Boldly" event organized by 18Karat in support of the Assaulted Women's Helpline.

When I say anticipated it is for various reasons. The event was a year in the making and did not come off without a hitch or two in the planning. There was a change of date, new jurors and a new location but it all came together for a wonderful night supporting an important cause.

During the opening remarks we heard about the statistics of how many women will come in contact with abuse personally or through someone they know. Everyone at the event was hit with the simultaneous notion that we all know someone who has suffered this trauma and needs our support.
As this is a cause I have always supported I was happy to design and create a piece of jewellery for the event. In addition to the fundraising element the event was also a design competition. I was pleasantly surprised last night when I was awarded Best in Show for my necklace "What Lies Beneath".

When speaking with the jurors after the awards were presented they said my artist statement moved them and truly explained the piece in a way that was not evident on the surface, which was exactly what I was going for!

Artist Statement
“What Lies Beneath” is a necklace about strength and courage. The front of the necklace follows the curve of the neck so that it contours into the body while the back has an entirely separate effect. The back defies the conventions of where the focus of jewellery should be, so as to draw attention away from the obvious and cause the viewer to explore. In doing so, it creates an opportunity to reconsider the piece, what it means, and the person wearing it.

This multi-layered necklace has a subtle delicacy resulting from the combining of complimentary techniques. The left side is made from mokume gané, an ancient Japanese technique made by first layering metals and then removing areas to reveal the layers below. The right side is made from marriage of metal, a flush meeting between metals, with an overlay of knitted wire. The back has knitted pouches holding gemstones. Finally, the central drop in the front combines all of these techniques and elements. These methods were chosen to create both delicate patterns and structural integrity. The concepts of internal strength and courage are mirrored in the necklace through the structure and exploratory nature of the design.

The mokume and knitting have the appearance of fragility, this masks the fact that alone and combined these elements result in a piece with both physical and symbolic strength. While some individuals may not be outwardly muscular, strength manifests itself in many ways. This piece is a metaphor for these hidden strengths.

Courage can take many forms from obvious public demonstrations to actions resulting from subtle decisions known only to the individual making them. The garnets and citrine represent the subtle and often understated nature of courage by being encased and almost hidden. Just as courage is a characteristic often unseen, these gemstones are hidden until a trained eye looks to discover them. The pearls represent public displays of courage. The inclusion of all of these gems represents the range of courageous expressions.

“What Lies Beneath” addresses strength and courage as characteristics that can manifest themselves both above and below the surface. They may appear to be traits worn as badges, but true strength and courage are affirmed through actions. These actions lead to what lies above, in plain view, a persons character.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Well it's about time!

About time for what? A new blog post? A creative project? Curtains I have been wanting to make for the past two years? Yes to all of the above!

To appreciate this project I need to take a trip down memory lane to when I lived in Australia (Dec 1999-June 2000). I went for my last semester of university and lived in the overseas residence apartments. Each unit was shaped like a rectangle and mine was a studio. I was there with my boyfriend and we had no separate space. One weekend I decided we needed a curtain to separate the "bedroom" from the rest of the box. I waited for a weekend alone and dedicated the entire 48 hours to this project.

I went nuts at the dollar store and not only drew the scene on but sewed on lots of accessories! You can see how this wonderful work of art was being held up by duct tape which constantly needed adjustments.

When it was time to go home I had to leave my curtain as it weighed to much for my luggage. I took the yellow boa sun and one of the butterflys home as my only reminder of this quirky decoration.

Now over ten years later I still wish I has been able to bring home the curtain. For the past two years I have been planning to make something like it to cover the front of an Ikea wardrobe but never seemed to find the time.

Two weeks ago I finally decided it was time to make my curtains! This time I would make them properly and hang them on a rod and even sew up the edges. First I needed a little lesson on how to use the sewing machine I inherited from my great aunt and then I was off to sew.

Below are the process pics and my finished curtains!

My yellow boa sun has finally been restored to its proper place of honour!

I am so happy with this project I am now considering the fun things I can do to my plain white Ikea chair!