So, after NH and VT we drove North to Canada!! My first time to Canada so we hit Quebec, visited the Old City and then did some camping and hiking outside the city. Old Quebec feels like Europe, the people speak French but everyone is super friendly and most people (in the city at least) are bilingual. Once we got outside the city my french was put to the test a bit. It's been a while since I've been able to practice so it was lucky we had our lonely plant phrasebook to help us out occasionally. Ordering Thai food in French is not as easy as it may seem! Here's a few of my favorite shots from Quebec. Every time I look through these photos I'm inspired to paint so I may take a break from the jewelry making soon to do some painting.
Lots of fortifications, of course we had to see all the canons.....
One of my favorite areas, the buildings, shops and restaurants are so quaint.
We didn't stay at the Frontenac but we did go inside to check it out.... very impressive.
The little old man approaching us on the bike is about to tell us his life story. In broken English we learned about his cancer, how it's affecting his brain and he only has a short time to live but he was very excited to see his son Pierre again soon. Pierre has been traveling a lot and doing important work but he's finally coming back for a visit. We never did catch his name but he talked to us for about half an hour with us barely getting a word in before riding away on the bike that he isn't supposed to be riding anymore. I wish now that I had taken his portrait but at least I have this shot to remind me of that experience. I hope you enjoyed your visit with your son Pierre little old man on the bike.
I was going to explain this photo, but I think I'll just let you wonder about the pelts hanging from that 2nd floor window....
Had no idea we were hitting Quebec on the biggest party of the year. Famous local band singing in french with irish accents to celtic music...... why not??!!!
Joe LOVES anything military historical so we visited the citadel and were able to catch most of the changing of the guard. Yes.... that's a goat, the citadels symbol and mascot who participates in the changing of the guard.
Playing with public art outside the art museum..... seriously, how could you not?
Our camp site outside Quebec. Roughin' it like I never want to rough it again. Quebec has mosquitos the size of small birds that kept flying toward us even when sprayed directly with Deep Woods Off. And it poured that night, hence the tarp over the tent. You'd think that would have kept the water out, and so did we, but we were wrong. Cold, wet night, shivering, cuddled close together for body warmth, trying to sleep, while water seeped into the tent from the sides. Probably the worst camping experience I've ever had, but it looks like it might have been fun and it built LOTS of character.
The reason we dealt with the camping... Montmorency Falls. We're about to walk over the bridge in the next photo down and then climb down the stairs in the photo below that. Hiking back up that hill to get back to where we started was tough but the falls were gorgeous so the hard work was worth it.
After this we drove on to Montreal.... I'll save those photos for my next installment.
I've spent quite a bit of time traveling this summer and I'm just getting back to the studio so look for more posts about what I'm working on now.... In the meantime, I thought I'd share some photos from my travels! If you have never been to Franconia Notch State Park in NH, GO! The Flume Gorge is breathtaking, like a real live fern gully. I was fascinated by the amount of moss and plant life growing up the rock faces and even trees growing on the tops of boulders, stretching their roots around to reach the ground. It was probably one of the most inspirational hikes I've taken. I took hundreds of photos there but here's just a few to give you the idea.....
After camping outside the park for a night, we headed farther north toward Canada and made a pit stop in Glover, VT to check out Bread and Puppet. If you're a puppetry or performance art fan, it should be on your bucket list. Unfortunately, they weren't doing a performance on the day we came through but we got to see a little bit of a rehearsal for the performances that are happening now and we check out the barn galleries full of all the puppets from past performances. Based on the little bit of the rehearsal we saw, the performance looks like it'll be pretty cool. Here's a few photos from Bread and Puppet to give you an idea of what the galleries are like. That's Joe in the bottom one, it's hard to tell the scale of some of these puppets without a person in there for scale. This is one of the coolest and creepiest places I've visited for looking at art. The photos don't do it justice, it's definitely worth a stop if you're ever in the area. Great recommendation from a great friend! I will also pass on this little tid bit..... if you're in the area, stop at the general store in the center of town, you won't regret a walk around the store. Where else can you see a taxidermy, buy fishing gear, toilet paper and have a sandwich made all in one place!!???
From here we drove up to Canada, but I'll save those photos for my next post!
Another successful Photo Friday!! I added a few new listings to my etsy shop, these are the two new pieces I finished just this week.... More recycled copper tubing and sterling silver designs.
The possibilities are endless with this earring design, I'm playing with more asymmetrical ring arrangements so stay tuned for more of those..... The rings are hand cut from the recycled copper tubing and I hand made jump rings in different sizes to work with the copper tubing. The are extremely light weight and comfortable to wear.
The necklace is put together with 20 hand cut and shaped pieces of the tubing and at the back of the necklace there's about 7" of handmade sterling silver chain. Extremely labor intensive but well worth the effort I think. I really like the way this necklace sits on the collar bone, it has a really nice weight to it and like the other jewelry pieces made from the tubing, the pieces are assembled on beaded wires so the move and spin.
As always, check out my etsy shop for these and even more of my jewelry and sculptures.
So yesterday was Photo Friday and I shot a bunch of my new jewelry pieces and uploaded them to etsy. Check my etsy shop for all the new listings. Here are a few of them....
I've been playing around with this recycled copper tubing, cutting into sections and creating jewelry components from them. I love the geometry! So different from my organic pieces I know, but I love the warmth of copper and this tubing is speaking to me right now. I'm combining it with sterling silver, hanging the cut tubing pieces on beaded wire so there's movement to them. (Here's where the organic part comes in...) These necklaces change as they move, the pieces spin and it looks completely different. I'm also playing with asymmetry as you can see above, sometimes symmetry is too expected and I think it really makes this necklace into a statement piece.
And then of course, my usual organic pieces, the fiddlehead and seed pod forms I've been playing with for a while in mini pendant versions and post earrings......
I have plenty more copper tubing so expect to see more of that in the next jewelry pieces......
I already have a pretty good pile going that are just screaming "Make jewelry out of me!"
I started a new jewelry series of pieces based on seed pods. The form is a simple round cup form, I'm using my new dapping block to dome the circles. I've been using hand made silver beads for a few years now, melting them down from the scrap silver pieces left from making other things so nothing goes to waste. In this first set of dangle earrings I gathered the silver beads in the center of the cup but I never work on just one piece at a time, so..... I have several more pieces going that all have that same cup form with silver beads and/or beaded wire to add a little more depth. I'm working on making charms for bracelets with this design, post earrings, complete bracelets and rings that are a little more dramatic. The sculptor in me can't help but to make something that is just on the edge of still being wearable but I know there's someone out there that will be able to pull it off. If you like the dangle earrings, they're for sale on my Etsy shop and there will be more coming VERY soon so stay tuned!!
Fun Fact..... I have a new jewelry model!!! I've been struggling with getting a live model to pose for me recently and she's just been lying around the studio for years now just waiting for a purpose until my brilliant husband made the suggestion I use her as a model. She even has her ears pierced!!!! Who knew!? Expect to see lots more of her because she's life sized, does whatever I want and she's available 24/7.
I don't specialize in stained glass restoration but now and then, possibly a family member or friend of a friend convinces me to tackle a project like this. I have done much more of my own stained glass work than restorations but this is by far the biggest restoration project I've tackled. Here are some of the before pictures for the stained glass restoration project that occupied most of my studio time this spring. There were two panels, both the same shape and similar styles and colors. As you can see from the photos, there were quite a few cracked glass pieces that needed to be removed, the cement around the edges of the panels was crumbling, as was the lead came underneath. A lot of the leads needed to be replaced around the outside of both panels and some of the interior cames as well. You may not be able to tell from the photos below but the window in the large image was buckled and pressed out in the middle, the leads broken. I posted the after photos below showing how the restored windows were installed.
For the past couple weeks I've been working hard on a deadline for restoring an antique stained glass window. Not something I do often or for just anyone because it's delicate and tedious work but I made an exception this time. Now that it's finished and been delivered I am back to working on my jewelry pieces!! I promise to post some before and afters of the restoration project soon.
So, about those new listings...... You may recognize the earrings below, I posted photos of them on my work bench in progress a couple weeks back. Here they are, all finished and photographed for Etsy!! Check out my Etsy shop for more photos and a description.
I also added a listing for the Chemists Secret Weapon Belt Buckle I made for the Steampunk show a few years ago.
I even updated a few old listings with some new photos, descriptions and altered my pricing a bit. Click on the Etsy shop link to check out the new listings described above and the updated listings.
Hit a couple Galleries in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn, NY this weekend with Joe Dinunzio and thought I'd share some photos of the mural outside Bunny Cutlet. The gallery itself is probably smaller than the mural, but good things come in small packages, right? The exhibit titled, Chasing Rainbows, of Kelly Denato's work was pretty awesome. Her paintings have a very ethereal quality to them. I love the way she uses acrylics.
We also checked out the Cotton Candy Machine around the corner which has a boutique gift shop feel to it and has a show up of work by Daniel Danger right now whose work has a slightly creepy but surprisingly intriguing narrative vibe to it.
And to top it off we stopped by the Brooklyn Art Library to check out a few sketchbooks. I highly recommend checking out their site, participating in their projects is pretty cool but sitting in the library and flipping through the sketchbooks is really cool even if you didn't make one.
I've been working on a pair of silver and hammered copper earrings. The design again inspired by the fiddlehead that appears so much in my work. Here they are on the work bench in my studio. They need some finishing touches but look for them soon on my etsy shop!
It's amazing how you can find creativity and inspiration in places you least expect it! Went hiking today at the Rocky Hill quarry and thought I'd share some of my photos from the hike. I love finding creativity in the woods, the contrast between the graffiti at the quarry and the natural surroundings I find really interesting. This spot is even MORE interesting because it has these great structures that continue to show wear. Nature is slowly taking back the spaces these structures occupy, always cool to watch. I hope you enjoy......
It's been a while since I've posted any of my art work so I thought I'd start back up with this little guy. I altered a blank Munny for a local Munny Madness exhibit a few months ago. Since this is my most recent piece I thought I'd share him...... His name is Sprout.
He's a mini munny about 5" tall, 3" wide and 5" front to back including
the wires. I hammered a piece of copper for his belly and nose.
Sculpted additions are done with Super Sculpey and Apoxie and then I
painted it with Acrylics and added the copper wire and flocking material. If you love him, he's for sale on my etsy site, Onoclea Studios!