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!

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A Goddess Gift

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Last Saturday at my polymer clay guild meeting, I created a little goddess for my Mom’s birthday. I used the spliced cane technique for her body and a mold for her face. She seems to be gazing heavenward doing some deep thinking, doesn’t she?

I learned how to create this cane last month at Klay Karma 2007. Diane from the CT guild generously shared this technique in a demo. I absolutely love the look and have many ideas swirling around in my imagination. My S.O. said it looks like she has flames on her. I’m thinking about making the Hawaiian Volcano Goddess, Pele, as my next project with this cane.

Back from the Workshops

In my last post, I was very excited because I was leaving soon for 2 workshops with Dayle Doroshow, “Messengers and Storytellers” and “The Unfolding Pyramid”. Well, I am back and am happy to share with you that it was an absolutely amazing experience. I have spent the last 2 weeks processing and integrating my experience and the many things that I have learned and am still learning.

Dayle is a multi-talented, inspirational teacher who enthusiastically shares techniques and stories about her journeys and her creations. In both workshops, I felt like I was part of a tribe and Dayle was our “wise woman”, as we all gathered in a circle and leaned forward to listen closely to her teachings.

The first day we created our “Messengers and Storytellers”. I named my first creation “Queen Goldie”. She is a proud and regal queen who symbolizes the strength and courage of a woman. She wears a formal robe richly patterned with polymer clay canework, a bead and copper coil necklace and a gold crown atop her brown and black chenille and copper metallic yarn hairtwist. Very formal queenly attire which she wears with dignity and grace. However, if you look closely, you can see a hint of her playful side – a gold toe ring that she is wearing on her left foot – a reminder of the importance of making time for “play” amidst the responsibilities of our daily lives. She is free standing on top of a gold platform.

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My second creation is named “Beady-Eyed Birtwistle”. His orange body is decorated with a variety of flower, leaf and jellyroll canes. He is holding a painted copper book in his heart area. The cover reads “True Beauty Lies Within” and the inside pages are painted in a delicate rainbow of watercolors and stamped with “Express your Inner Beauty, Create Art” and “Do What you Love and you will Blossom!” A few curvy beaded strands sprout from his otherwise bald head and a simple copper beaded necklace in the shape of a flower adorns his neck. Rather a homely guy at first look, he represents the beauty in our souls. He encourages us that if we are true to ourselves and follow our passions, our inner beauty will blossom forth as we create the story of our life.

As I made each doll, it brought me back to a time when I used to create my “Goddess Doll” pins. Based on my research into ancient Goddess mythology and teachings, each fabric Goddess body was lovingly beaded with the theme of a different Goddess archetype and came with a little story card about that particular Goddess and her qualities. Most of the pins have been sold or given away as gifts but I do still have a couple of my very first special creations.

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As a child, I loved to read mythology stories, especially those of the Roman and Greek Goddesses and Gods. That interest was rekindled as an adult when I read “Women Who Run with the Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. That led me to read books by Joseph Campbell and Marija Gimbutas. As I read more and more into this fascinating subject, I expressed my discoveries in creating my Goddess pins. My jewelry has since evolved into different areas but I find myself being drawn back to these themes of myth and Goddesses.

What types of stories and myths do you enjoy reading?