Next weekend, Aug 19-21, come and see what I have been up to in the Felt + Ceramics Studio at 109 North Beach Road, in the heart of Eastsound! The annual Orcas Island Artists’ Open Studio Tour 2016 is an incredible way to catch up with 29 of the many artists on Orcas Island, and treat yourself to a visual and sensual creative feast.
Meanwhile, here is a sneak peek at my recent work that I am collectively calling ‘Surface Stories‘. Click the link for more pictures and the full story. See you soon!
I still say Happy New Year to people at this time of January to stoke a little of that fire of good intent that, I believe, most of us begin every new year with, even those among you who have sworn off resolutions. In the shop, the front table and the window display has been refreshed. I’ve started on a series of black clay vessels and a line of photo cards I’ve been working on are in print as I write this. Come visit soon and wish me a happy New Year in return.
These turtle dishes put a smile on my face, and I hope it brings a smile to you too. Maybe it is the colour in bloom all around me that’s inspired me to explore tones that are not in my usual glaze selections. Fun to be out on a limb and hanging on for a bit. Enjoy the sunshine everyone!
Hello! From two summers ago, a memory of a tangled seaweed necklace studded with rocks inspired this recent work. I named this ‘Walk with me’ because I think of the person wearing it as a collector who picks up bits and pieces on long meanders on the beach or in the woods and strings them in her memory.
This is one of the artworks featured at the annual Edge Arts Collective show at the Orcas Centre Gallery on Orcas Island. The show is one of the most anticipated of the year among island artists and collectors, not least because of its swinging opening night party. It opens this Friday October 4th, party starts at 5.30pm. All invited.
I’ve had a long busy summer, and Fall (my favourite time of year! featuring my favourite colours!) signals my time to hunker down in the studio and translate my summer’s travels and inspirations in new work. Off I go. Won’t you walk with me?
Go ahead, be a stick-in-the-mud potter (pun intended) and cringe, but polymer clay offers incredible elasticity, negligible shrinkage and versatility. Case in point: Orcas Island artist Maria Papademetriou uses it to create ethereal sinuous ‘veins’ around driftwood branches as part of her assemblages.
I found this out first hand at an Introduction to Polymer Clay workshop by the very gracious Maria herself, whose intriguing artwork reference shrines, amulets and talismans from her Greek Orthodox childhood. The class was held at Monkey Puzzle Workshop – a cosy, new art-discovery space at Eastsound Square launched by the inimitably bedecked Ms. Sallie Bell, as an extension of her stone bead and metal jewelry shop, Monkey Puzzle, a few doors down. In fact Sallie joined the class and together with Charlotte Sumrall, a textile artist, we three had a great time watching Maria’s demos, and getting our hands dirty with rolling and cutting the polymer clay (a hand-cranked pasta maker is involved), stamping with ink, and even applying gold leaf. It is just the most agreeable and approachable medium! To my delight, the material fees included some bead shopping at Sallie’s shop for embellishments to add to our ‘masterpiece’.
Maria has over 35 years of experience working with ceramics, but she is infectiously enthusiastic about polymer clay as a medium. Her enthusiasm alone made the class really interesting. She is an engaging speaker and generously opened the window to precious little tips from years of art practice. Oh, and she also brought a mean plate of homemade chocolate brownies. It was a Sunday well spent. I am still too much in love with ceramic clay but I AM already thinking of using polymer clay elements to incorporate into my own mixed media work.
There’s another class this Sunday. Check it out.
Sunday January 27th 10am-12pm 1pm-4pm
Location: Monkey Puzzle Workshop, Eastsound Square, Orcas Island
Fee is $50, plus a $20 materials fee.
PREREGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. Please contact 317-5522 or email monkey@rockisland or information/registration.
P.S. Did you know there is a Northwest Polymer Clay Guild? Check out their site to see the work of artists already using this medium.
When I design something, I do think about how it can be used, but this little piece surprised me. Can you tell what this pendant was originally designed for?
Not so successful in its original purpose, I strung it on three waxed cords on a whim, the night before a sale, and sold four of these the next day. Something about the shape, the way it sits on the neckline or where it leads the eye, flatters the wearer. Dare I say sexy? Someone said it had a retro reference, well, an added bonus. It looked good with the bare shoulder styles in tropical Singapore. I left it at that.
On Orcas, where the pacific Northwest summer breeze is more unpredictable, I strung the last pendant in this style on a necklace that I had made using curly knitting wool that I had woven like a ‘friendship band’ in some sections, and it changed the look of the pendant immediately. It can be worn lower on the front, over turtlenecks and sweaters, almost like a long, loose scarf, warm and fuzzy around the neck. Neat. Now I have a versatile accessory that adapts to the seasons. It would be fun to wrap around the waist as a belt buckle too. To think it started life as a napkin ring.