Posts filed in Travel
For many goldsmiths and jewelry designers, both professional and amateur, the annual Tucson Gem Show held in January and February is the ultimate buying and networking event of the year. After hearing about it for years, I finally decided to see it for myself. Fortunately, my dear friend Cori Dantini agreed to join me, which made it all work AND all play. Thanks Cori!
I am thrilled that my family happily indulges my love of visiting museums. I am continually inspired by artworks old and new. Ofcourse, for some, it is more fun to be photographed with the art then to contemplate it…
It’s hard to believe that this Sunday marks the end of the open market season. We will have our last trunk show at the SoWa Open Market on Sunday, October 28th, 2012. Featuring a costume contest, pumpkin carving and live music, the last SoWa Open Market is entitled “The Market of the Living Dead”. Looking at the pictures from last year, it is a very serious costume contest!
The SoWa Open Market is held Sundays from May through October, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., at 460 Harrison Avenue. One of Boston’s hippest neighborhoods, The South End has been touted as the best outdoor shopping in Boston. At SoWa Open Market you can buy top-notch items from local artisans, making everything from couture fashion and leather accessories to jewelry, glass, and custom framed art.
Always on the hunt for rare or out of production vintage textiles and findings, and unique ethnic specialty fabrics, the Manu collection includes silk, local wool, organic cotton, and leather. Several of the fabrics have been hand-dyed or graffiti printed in the studio, a technique I discovered while traveling in Japan and studied after returning home.
I am passionately curious about other cultures, their identities and design traditions, and I love to I travel the world hunting for materials, sketching and photographing. Everything I discover and experience is incorporated into my design process. Hand-selecting unique materials with distinctive details or that have an elegant flair; antique buttons, vintage Lucite handles and elegant trims often find their way into my designs.
These many beguiling finds are playfully combined with sometimes unexpected colors and textures to create unique, timeless designs – blending surprise and romance. Manu designs are inspired by my personal aspiration to feel sexy and confident with a sophistication that is also whimsical and fun.
Hope to see you Sunday!
With the goal of researching ideas and acquiring new skills in support of my enamel jewelry design work, this summer I had the opportunity to travel to Deer Isle, Maine to participate in a two-week intensive workshop on enameling with renowned artist Jamie Bennett. Jamie’s course focused on experimenting with painting on enameled copper using over-glaze china paints to create wearable works of art.
Jamie Bennett’s work is known for its meticulous use of color and his interpretations of nature that combine historical reference and contemporary explorations. Bennett is a Professor of Art in the Metal Program at the State University at New Paltz. Bennett’s work is the subject of a monograph, Edge of the Sublime, The Enamels of Jamie Bennett, published by Hudson Bay Press, which accompanies a retrospective exhibition of his work that traveled to six museums nationally through 2010.
From the interesting people you meet, to the talented instructors and their passionate support of craft traditions, to the glorious ocean setting, Haystack is an inspirational and life changing place. Yes – working in the studio all day (and into the evening) proved to be exhausting, however it was incredibly rewarding and a luxury I never have at home. It enabled me to hone my process and see new connections between familiar ideas and techniques – my work has grown tremendously.
Each summer at craft schools around the country, diverse communities of beginner to advanced artists gather in non-competitive environments to develop craft skills and nurture the creative spirit. Taught by national and international practicing studio artists and university faculty, craft schools like Haystack enable artists to question their preconceived ideas, reassess their work, and challenge themselves to experiment in unfamiliar artistic territory.
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts is an international craft school located on the Atlantic Ocean in Deer Isle, Maine. Hugging the rugged coastline, the campus was designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes, and added to the National Historic Register in February 2006. The school offers intensive studio-based workshops in a variety of media including clay, glass, metals, paper, blacksmithing, weaving, and woodworking.
Last week-end Jenne Rayburn Jewelry joined antiques, architectural salvage, vintage clothing, and original art at The Vintage Bazaar, an upscale outdoor market in Salisbury, MA. Despite being book-ended by rain on Saturday, the two days turned out to be delightfully warm with great live music and homemade ice-cream.
Thank you to Devon Chouinard-Allen for her hard work and wonderful style, which made the week-end a huge success. You can check out pictures from the day on The Vintage Bazaar Facebook page.
The feedback from the day was amazing, especially from customers admiring the recycled plastic necklaces. And the other venders were so generous with their advice and wisdom. We had a great experience!
Here is the treasure I let slip away – Owl fire irons circa 1950…
I am continually inspired by texture and color patterns. Take for example this colorful warehouse we passed as we rode the train to New York this spring. Wow! I can’t wait to see if I can get these texture and color variations in enamels.
Although much of my work is based on graphic images, I strive to visually transform them so that they are perceived as three dimensional. Take a look at this detail from a bridge in Central Park… we had perfect weather!
Have you visited the High LIne yet? This spring it was gloriously green and filled with flowers. Looks like new buildings are sprouting up along the High Line too!
We live in a world where we can buy so many inexpensive and efficient things that function so well. Why bother to make anything by hand today, much less something ubiquitous like jewelry?
Most of our daily interactions are with mass-produced goods, created by the thousands. Some may have been made partly by hand, but any evidence of handwork is usually absent. Most goods are made completely by machine. As a result, these products are relentlessly uniform and anonymous.
Although many of the mass-produced objects that surround us have meanings and stories attached to them, the stories often have little or no relevance to the object itself. Brand names, designer labels and celebrity endorsements, for example, create associations of quality and exclusiveness and connect with personal beliefs and interests; however, this is value through association, not inherent value. Once we lose interest in the meaning of and the identies behind the products, they are frequently discarded and can be easily replaced.
In contrast, handmade objects are nuanced. They express the skill involved in making; exclusivity due to the cost of production; authenticity because of human workmanship and materiality linked to a specific historical and cultural lineage. The intrinsic value of handmade objects is that the handmade object reflects its maker and references meanings or values that are part of a rich narrative that genuinely connect to the ideals and culture of the consumer.
Take, for example, a typical drinking glass. No matter how you hold it, the experience is the same. Every time you use the glass, the experience is the same. There is no nuance, no complexity, no authenticity, and we are not challenged to appreciate, or even consider the glass – how it feels in the hand, its weight, texture or any other quality. On the other hand, to contemplate and admire the complexity of a hand blown glass or a hand thrown clay cup, can bring a sense of wonder, appreciation, and even a new perspective.
Handmade objects can be more durable and more enduring than those of mass-production because their value is centered on their materiality; the object is as important as the stories and meaning behind it. It is not just a monetary investment. It is an investment in your values and your culture that supports a local way of life, environmental stewardship and craft heritage.
Beyond the personal satisfaction derived from interacting with things handcrafted, there is a larger issue, something our contemporary lives are lacking. You know that saying about food, that “you are what you eat”? Well, the same principle applies to your mind. We become more like whatever we put into our head, more like the experiences we have everyday. Things handcrafted repeatedly challenge our preconceived ideas, stimulate our senses and enrich our lives. If we do not have the opportunity to experience this in our personal lives, how can we hope to meet and engage with people and ideas different then ours, with tolerance and respect?
Thank you Rob for taking time to chat with us at Craft Boston. It was a wonderful reminder that, the more and diverse experiences you have, the more opportunities there are to make connections between seemingly unrelated ideas – which, regardless of your occupation or aspiration, is critical to creativity, innovation and collaboration. Why not add the power of handmade to your daily routine?