Saturday Morning Tea

I’m up before sunrise this morning getting ready for a weekend workshop by mixed media mosaic artist, Laurie Mika. I’ve been gathering bits of this and that all week for the theme of my piece, “The Way of Tea”. I’m thinking of a green, brown, red and silver color palette. I have a small envelope of Matcha tea that I’m going to attempt to make a glaze with.

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I’m sipping a cup of an unusual Assam tea from the Sewpur estate. Unusual in the respect that it’s a green tea instead of the full-bodied, rich black teas I’m accustomed to from this district in India. It’s not like a China or Japanese green because you can still detect the malty thick quality. The aroma is slightly vegetal and the flavor is strong yet smooth.

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I look forward to sharing my mixed media mosaic adventures!

Polymer Goddess

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Ever since I discovered the clips from my light tent kit, I’ve been having fun taking photographs of my necklaces hanging from the clips. It’s a great way to show the front part of the necklace, especially if it has a pendant or dangles. A photo of this type of necklace laying down just doesn’t do it justice. I am experimenting with different ways to display my jewelry and the necklace is telling me, in a way, how it looks best.

As I was naming the file for this photo, I realized that this necklace didn’t have a name. Usually, when I’m creating a piece of jewelry, a story or name will start to be “born” based on what inspired me to create. This necklace was inspired by color and gold leaf, as in “wouldn’t it be way cool to make a rich Skinner blend with gold leaf over it and then cut it into dagger shapes for dangles?” And thus, this necklace fit for a “Polymer Goddess” was born.

Saturday Morning Tea

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On this cool, rainy almost Spring morning, I am sipping a Ceylon (Sri Lanka) black tea from the Tea Bank estate. The tightly twisted leaves in the “spider leg” style are not characteristic Ceylon nor is the flavor. It reminds me more of a China black tea.

Tea growing in Sri Lanka was started in the late 1800s by a Scottish gentleman by the name of James Taylor. Up until that time, coffee was the number one crop until a rust fungus killed the majority of coffee plants. Starting with a basic tea cultivation knowledge learned in Northern India and 19 acres of land, he soon turned a small business into a very successful one, selling his tea for the first time at the London auction by 1873.

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Even after a full 5 minute steep in boiling water, the leaves are still tightly curled. The aroma is darkly sweet, like a winey Keemun. The liquor is very dark, almost like black coffee, with rich notes of vanilla and caramel.

This would be an excellent choice for anyone switching from coffee to tea. Time for another cup!

My February Beaded Journal Page

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My February page is finished. In honoring of relationships and love, my page symbolizes what happens when 2 people love and nourish each other. Their hearts touch and a beautiful silver river flows from one heart to the other and back again in a continuous flow of love, sharing and nurturing.

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Shooting the page in the sun reveals brighter color and texture.

Originally, my plan was to bead the background but I love the pattern of this fabric too much to bead over it. It’s like a fireworks celebration and so colorful. In my Synergy class, “Unconventional Polymer”, Karen Woods suggested looking for inspiration for your polymer art in fabric and textiles. Wouldn’t this fabric pattern make fabulous canes?

ACC Show and Synergy Wrapup

There were over 700 artist vendors participating in the ACC Show at the Baltimore Convention Center a couple of weeks ago. Since we were a little pressed for time because we were meeting friends for dinner, we walked the show in an hour and fifteen minutes. There were so many beautiful art pieces that caught my eye but I could only stop and savor a few.

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Carol Owen creates “Spirit Houses” from all sorts of ephemera and mixed media. “My Spirit Houses are shrines to family memories. They make sacred those shards of the past that have made us what we are.” I found myself so drawn to these little shrines, wanting to open the doors and peer inside. In our dreams, the house can be a symbol for ourselves and each room a different aspect of who we are. So, I think I loved her work so much because it reminded me of my dreams. I love this quote from her website:

“Every spirit builds itself a house, and beyond its house, a world, and beyond its world, a heaven. Know then that a world exists for you.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Karen Smith creates jewelry combining fiber, stones and metal. I found myself very drawn to her work because it reminded me of ancient tribal pieces. It spoke to something very deep within as I gazed upon the rich weavings encasing gorgeous stones. I was so disappointed to see that she doesn’t have a website or a blog because I wanted to read more about her work. I am so intrigued by the idea of incorporating fiber into jewelry pieces.

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Kimberly Willcox makes the most amazing sculptures, as described on her business postcard “A Contemporary Spin on Primitive Form”. She shares with us: “My goal is to create a unique art form that shares a seamless integration between the world and the human spirit.”

I think that she accomplishes her goal quite wonderfully. Her sculptures seems to incorporate all sorts of materials including but not limited to wood and metal. I wonder what she uses to sculpt her faces.

To see the work of more ACC artists, you can read my friend, Amy’s, account here.

So, that concludes my account of all of my experiences at the 2008 Synergy Conference.

A huge thank you to all of the fabulous artists who worked so hard to make this event come true!