Friday, June 26, 2009

25 Things That Inspire Me To Create Jewelry #24 Pre-Columbian Art + Architecture

#24 Pre-Columbian Art + Architecture

My 6th grade history teacher presented the history of Latin America to me in a way that made me fall madly in love with the art and architecture of that part of the world. I fell so hard that I swore that some day I would visit Machu Picchu in Peru. Well, in 2000 the dream came true and I did visit that incredible place. I have yet to visit the Mayan sites of Guatemala, but there is still time.

The spirituality of the people, the amazingly intricate carvings on their buildings and sculptures, their dedication to the sun and the moon in relationship to their built environment so that buildings create shadow play at the equinoxes is just mind-blowingly beautiful to me. There is so much meaning, creativity and celebration in everything the Aztecs, Mayans and Inca did at the height of their civilization. Although may of these countries are now in much more poverty they hold traditions from their history that still makes them very rich in spirituality, respecting nature as their ancestors did.

These are two of my favourite books in my collection about Pre-Columbian art and architecture. The 1st is an amazing book of photographs of the Pre-Columbian architecture called, "Silent Cities of Mexico and The Maya", by Norman F Carver, Jr. The 2nd is called, "Design Motifs of Ancient Mexico" by Jorge Enciso which is a collection of pottery stamps found throughout Mexico. I have taken a few of these motifs for my tattoos, one of the rain god, the fire god and the third a geometric flower motif.

If you haven't seen my 'La Joyeria de La Luna' piece made in honor of the Mayan Moon Goddess visit my website. I loved making the nose ornament and have worn it to a few events. As the Maya intended the wearing of such a nose ornament, it certainly demands people's attention!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Inspired Jewelry from the Museum of Arts and Design NYC

25 Things that Inspire Me to Make Jewelry:

#23 Other Art Jewelers

Hurray, finally this fabulous book has arrived on my doorstep!!! Last autumn my good friend and jeweler Sarah Nelson and I took a day trip down to NYC to see the Art Smith jewelry show at the Brooklyn Museum as well as visit the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) to see their incredible collection of art jewelry.

I have always big a huge fan of Art Smith's jewelry and it was such a pleasure to see see so many of his sculptural jewelry works right under my nose! As was the opportunity to see MAD's vast collection of art/studio jewelry that spans work made from the 1940s to the present. MAD's collection was like visiting my artist family tree. All the heroic artists that have laid down the foundation and paved the way for those of us who are making art jewelry today. It is truly a breathtaking collection that everyone should make a pilgrimage to see. At the time of our visit to the museum this book was not available so I jumped on a e-list to be informed when the book would be ready. I got the email that is was in last Tuesday placed my order that same day and it arrived the very next day, postage paid! Thank you Museum of Arts and Design! And thank you to all the art jewelers out there continuing to make jewelry and inspire us all!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

25 Things That Inspire Me To Create Jewelry #22 Music

#22 Music

I need music like I need air. My studio is always filled with music of all kinds of music while I work, from Gotan Project, Bessie Smith, Tom Waits, Lupe Fiasco, Johnny Cash, The Cure, Elliot Smith, Alabama 3, Bonobo to Aphex Twin, Asian Dub Foundation, Mogwai, N.W. A. + many many more. Music keeps the blood flowin'!

This is from one of my favourite Manchester bands New Order:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

25 Things That Inspire Me To Create Jewelry #21 Graphic Patterns

#21 Graphic Patterns

I've always loved graphic designs, something about sharp lines + minimalistic patterns just really do it for me. This was taken in from my friend's balcony in Manchester. It's a little freaky how computer generated some of our landscape has become but I love this shot regardless.