Monday, November 30, 2009

Flourish in Tacoma

Carol's shop around the corner in the Proctor District of Tacoma is a delightful little bandbox lined in French provincial printed fabric, with a fine array of artisan jewelry pinned to the walls.  Stepping through her door is like opening a gift.  And, because Carol herself is a fine designer, and because she represents other fine designers, I was absolutely delighted when she consigned some of my work, too.  Lucky me!

When you happen to be in Tacoma, look for this special place on the ridge above Old Towne, at the intersection of Proctor and North 27th Street, at 1901 North 27th.  It's near some interesting historical buildings, including a firehouse from the days of horse-drawn fire wagons.  On weekends, there's a farmers' market on 27th and it is roped off, but that would make a nice shopping situation; you could drop in to Flourish while you're checking the local produce.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Okay, Time to Put Up the Dollies

Bottle Caps of Ancient Times, Unlikely Jewels -- I have been carefully searching the parking lots where the climbers return from their victories and celebrate (Snow Creek Parking Lot is especially fertile) for smooshed and finely weathered bottle caps. Not sure why, but I love them.  For one thing they are a challenge -- no two alike, unpredictable symmetries, gunk, rust and dents, and remnants of logos. 

What I like most to do with these treasures is to do a multi-layered resin inlay using bits of this and that, glass beads, rhinestones, shell, old-old faces from 19th C. encyclopedias, text, paint, crackling schmootz, embossing powders, all to create a jewel from the object the rest of you would think quite humble, but which I consider noble.  Just imagine if you lived in the bronze age and found one of these babies stuck in the dirt.  You would really be ahead of the curve with something more valuable than Scythian gold.  That was then.  Now, you will be behind the curve, as it were! 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Finished Frida

At last, Frida has been dressed and is ready to debut on Etsy. 

I settled on a rough weave, slubby cotton blue plaid that has a Guatemalan feel for her skirt.  And of course, her tap pants are edged with crocheted lace and embroidered with her monogram in that color of magenta pink she liked for her lips.  The skirt has a hand crocheted lace ruffle salvaged from a pillowcase.  I finished off her huipil with a geometric pattern that I feel is sympathetic, if not authentic. 

This has been quite a little journey to her world, after two biographies, Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo, by Hayden Herrera, and Frida Kahlo, an Open Life, by Raquel Tibol, and  the delightful Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress, Frida's Wardrobe.   I believe I may have captured her likeness and something of her presence much more than before; this one is my third Frida doll, and by far my favorite.  She expresses my sense of gratitude to this great woman and her allegria in the face of immense suffering; I found myself hugging her and expressing a wish to soften her losses.

I have turned her head to a 3/4 view as she poses in her self portraits, making for a rather challenging silhouette in such a doll, but I like that little bit of provocation.  She measures 31-1/2 inches, head to toe.

My next read is Dreaming With His Eyes Open, a Life of Diego Rivera, which, from the little peek I have had so far, will round out my view of both Frida and her Dieguito, two magnificent revolutionary artists.  Who knows, I may even be moved to make a Diego bed doll.  Eventually.  I am already thinking of the next Frida.