Friday, April 30, 2010

When I grow up...

I'd like to be Coco Chanel please! Minus the cigarette of course, all all the tragedy and heartbreak. Just the business and creative success...

I've been reading a great biography of Chanel recently after watching the new movie with the lovely Audrey Tatou about her early life.. I'm much more interested in the paths she took to set up her business and all the ups and downs along the way.

Some things I've really taken to heart are how she opened several branches in resort towns. Once I had a dream so vivid of having a second shop in Carrboro that I woke up in a panic because I hadn't scheduled anyone to work at the second shop that day! So, while I'm in absolutely no position to open another shop, I did just manage to rent a lovely little studio space in the Blair Hotel where I will have all my jewelry operations--metalsmithing and beadwork. I got my key today and I can hardly stand all the excitement and possibilities this will entail.

The main trick to Coco's success (I think) is that she had very capable sales ladies (vendeuses) and models who manned the front of the shop while she was in the back designing dresses and torturing her mannequins (live models who wore the clothes while she pinned all the bits together). This is another dream I hope to see become a reality in the next five years.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

a little story about my parents

this photo and story is just a little ode to the unusual and incredible and insane people who are my parents. we built our house and it is my mother's most cherished thing. i don't know how many times i've waited 10 minutes for toast to toast only to then realize she'd unplugged the toaster oven for a drive to the grocery store.. but i digress..

this spring (and last spring, and the spring before that) a family of little squirrels gnawed their way into the peak of one end of the house.. my parents have tried many things to get them to stop, and have put up all sorts of metal,etc.. but those squirrels are amazing. they have chewed some holes in the poplar logs that are incredible.

on Monday my mother was having a hard morning already, and she was sitting on the couch with her dog trying to compose herself when she looked up and saw daylight streaming in the roof/ceiling of the living room. following a major meltdown and my arrival, my father realized that he had to go get the squirrels out but his scaffolding wouldn't reach that high and our roofing friend was in CT... over lunch he had the idea to lift a ladder up on his forklift that would reach the ridge of the house. (somewhere there is also a photo of my grandfather up a ladder that is raised in the bucket of his tractor, and propped by the other side on a rotten wooden flagpole)

this photo was taken at the moment my father realized that if he stepped to the right or left to put the second ladder up he'd fall off the pallet, the ladder could only go right where he was standing. i narrated from below "and this is the point at which Bob realized he didn't want to go any higher".

so, on to plan c...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

blue bird of happiness

something light today: a little blue bird of happiness!

recently i got a tattoo on my forearm of a barn swallow holding a love letter in its' mouth... it is in shades of teal and turquoise (with a red heart on the letter of course). more often than not, when people see it, they ask, "is that a Bluebird of Happiness"? i love the thought, but as i am a stickler for details i often end up saying "well, no, it has a forked tail, this is a swallow.."

so, when i made this recent batch of little birds, i knew exactly what i wanted to call them.. of course, i don't think they are Bluebirds either.. but they are blue birds.. and i think they are happy.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

open kiln with new techniques!

(how do you like this photo? every time i would try to photograph these plates the light would reflect, and if i tried somewhere else it was too dark.. so i just tried to make this look like the most recent anthropologie catologue i got)

it's so hard to find time to go out to the ceramics studio..let alone make the most of my time when i am there.. when i was out there recently i must have had something in my coffee because i ended up having an extremely productive day. i tried something new that i have been longing to experiment with for some time~ slip trailing!

i made a batch of lotus leaf plates--porcelain pressed onto a plaster mold i made of a lotus leaf, and then made a batch of porcelain slip (which was kinda like melting chocolate..but with a sieve) and then carefully drew vines and patterns on the leaves with the slip. i am so very pleased with the results, and especially the way my floating blue glaze pools and breaks over the raised areas!