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Archive for August, 2009

Artist Inspired: Mother and Child Pendant by Dianne Karg Baron

When I joined the Starving (Jewelry) Artists Etsy Street Team last year, one artist that caught my attention right away was Dianne Karg Baron. Her wire work is absolutely perfect: the attention to detail & craftsmanship is second to none & the designs truly inspire me. I knew that I had to have an example of her work featured here for future reference. Although there are several other pieces that are far more intricate, I was totally drawn to this pendant entitled: Mother & Child.

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I chalked up my intense interest in this pendant as the result of being a young mother, having given birth twice in an 18 month period. Then Dianne shared the background on this design, and it was then that  I understood why this particular piece held such a powerful energy:

“…And sometimes, the inspiration for a piece comes from an episode in my own life. In the case of “Mother and Child”, it was a miscarriage. Back in May, I discovered I was pregnant. It was a surprise pregnancy – completely unexpected. On the Monday I took the test, had a positive result. On Wednesday I went to my family doctor to get the process of finding an OB started and to schedule an ultrasound. On Thursday I started bleeding… After a couple of hours of sitting in Emergency, I had some tests and was sent home with the advice to come back if it got heavier. On Saturday, I started cramping severely, went back to Emergency and miscarried while waiting for a second set of test results.

It all happened so fast that I barely had time to wrap my head around the idea. Originally, I had planned on delaying doing the pregnancy test until Thursday, and then got impatient. It occurred to me that if I had followed through on the original plan, I would have never known I was pregnant.

I knew the chances of going full term were slim: I have underlying health issues that would have made for a very difficult pregnancy. So, the miscarriage wasn’t a surprise, but I was still sad. More than anything, it made me wish I’d met my husband 10 years earlier.

I’m of the opinion that every pregnancy is a soul connection between the mother and the child. That connection continues regardless if the pregnancy is terminated, miscarried or goes full term. Part of my grieving process has been to think in terms of still being “Mommy” to an angel who didn’t quite make it to Earth.

The pendant is my expression of that soul connection: it clearly shows the baby growing safe and secure in its mother’s belly. The foetus is abstract, and to my view, also looks a little like an angel wing. So my hope is that it works on both levels: celebrating the ones who join us, and remembering the ones who are growing up on the other side.”

When I received this background on the pendant, I found myself welling up with tears. I wanted it to remain in Dianne’s words rather than edited as I am sure many women will be touched and even comforted by her story. This piece is a true testament of how we can use our creative abilities to heal & inspire others.

Dianne has been making and designing jewelry for almost 15 years. She finds her inspiration from art, from architecture, from nature, from history – and of course, from personal experience. See more of Dianne’s work, including tutorials, at her Etsy Shop & visit her website.

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Artist Inspired: Not-so-delicate Delica Ring – Gold Bling by Maked

I come across the most wonderful handmade work & it pushes me to keep creating and keep evolving. So I thought it would be nice to have a section on my blog just for work that moves me, influences me & speaks to me. I also wanted to get background on certain pieces. How and why were they made, what inspired the particular piece & the artist. This will be a place for me to refer back to especially when I need some extra inspiration, as well as share it with all of you & give these talented artists some recognition!

The first piece I wanted to share is this delica beaded ring by Lisa Brideau of Maked. I have always admired her skill to make such beautiful items out of seed beads (something I have tried my hand at but I just don’t have the patience or the vision!!). These rings not only look great on, but are comfortable to wear!

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Lisa started beading in Jr. High after her mom gave her a cheap plastic bead loom. She took to it instantly, and so started an obsession with seed beads. The beadwork was shelved while Lisa attended university, but soon after she picked up the hobby again, this time discovering delica beads.

“I’ve been making the delica rings in particular since the 2nd year of my graduate program (a few years ago now) – I needed a small, portable project to do during my law class – not because I was bored but because I didn’t have to take notes so my hands were restless. My classmates loved them and they became a staple of my beadwork.”

These rings are great for those of us with busy hands. Says Lisa: “I love the way they feel – when I need something to fiddle with, I can take my ring off and squish it. Weird, but satisfying. There’s something lovely about the texture of woven beads. It’s also very pleasant feeling the perfect delica beads lock into place one by one as I stitch the ring.”

Although the delica rings give her a nice break from the long, involved & intricate work she normally does, larger projects are more to her liking.  Check out her most involved beadwork project to date. She had to build a loom big enough to create it on:

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Rockhound Wannabes in Bancroft

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I was fortunate enough to travel to Ontario Cottage Country in order to attend the 46th Annual Rockhound Gemboree in Bancroft. My husband & I are rock & minerals geeks but are very green when it comes to rockhounding. It’s definitely something we want to make a family activity. We met some wonderful encouraging amateur rockhounds & look forward to getting out to the field once the children are a bit older.

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Bancroft is the Mineral Capital of Canada and the show did not disappoint. Two buildings plus an outdoor area filled with jewelry making supplies, specimens, info on rock hounding & many talented artists from jewelry makers to stone carvers. We did the full show: 4 days and we were never bored. We actually felt a little sad when it drew to the close on the 4th day. We Definitely will be back next year. Staying at a cottage with no electronics was also so clearing for the mind. My cell phone didn’t even work. We were just able to sink in and enjoy the natural beauty the area had to offer despite all the mosquitoes (thanks to a rainy summer!).

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Besides jewelry making goodies we also picked up several wonderful specimens. Our favourite place to buy was from the amateur rockhounds who set up shop in the sweltering heat outside. Not only were they wonderful quality, but it carried so much meaning to us to acquire pieces that were collected by such passionate individuals. We had a collection of a few specimens picked up over the years, mostly from our days in Nova Scotia attending the Parrsboro Gem & Mineral Show. But after the haul of goodies we obtained from Bancroft, it was time to set up a display case so that we could enjoy our finds all in the same place.

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Dare I say – our collection is TOO BIG for the display cabinet!! Next year, we will have to look at acquiring another one…

I would share here some of the jewelry making materials I acquired, but 1) the photos were pretty bad and b) it’s more fun to let the creativity flow & share the treasures through design! Stay tuned!