Leaving for World Fantasy
Everything is more or less ready. I have a new group of pendants that include red flecked druzy crystals, Mexican fire opals, moonstones, and a plume agate that looks like a painting.

I'll do the last bits tomorrow. setting some silver spiders with tiny stones.

The pendant is fire opal with orange sapphire and an emerald. It's about 2". From the collection of Nancy Cobb.

This is a photo of Diane Martin wearing her new lapis and pearl pendant.

I'm excited to be going to World Fantasy and seeing everyone I know.  And I'm excited about being in upstate NY.  I lived there a long time ago and it's very beautiful.  I'm going to travel a little after it's over.

African Mask Installation
Laurie says:

My friends Tracy Schmidt and Mano Marks have a beautiful collection of African masks. I did an installation of some of them on walls in their apartment last week. I loved handling them and working with them. There is a textural exquisiteness that you can't appreciate any other way. It was a complex project balancing shapes, colors and shadings and their three dimensional aspects. Vera Sepulveda was a great help in hanging the masks and thinking about the balances.

They purchased some of them individually but the majority came from someone whose aunt had lived in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in the 1930's. Because of the way they acquired them, they don't have much information about them individually.

Quote is from an excellent article in Wikipedia on traditional African masks:

Ritual and ceremonial masks are an essential feature of the traditional culture and art of the peoples of Sub-Saharan Africa. While the specific implications associated to ritual masks widely vary in different cultures, some traits are common to most African cultures. For instance, masks usually have a spiritual and religious meaning and they are used in ritual dances and social and religious events, and a special status is attributed to the artists that create masks and to those that wear them in ceremonies. In most cases, mask-making is an art that is passed on from father to son, along with the knowledge of the symbolic meanings conveyed by such masks.

Most of the masks in her collection come from the Congo, Zaire or Zimbabwe.

masks full wall_0521

This is the full major wall.

mask a_0535

mask c_0533

mask d_0532

mask f_0530

mask g_0525

Hayalite and Opal
I've been working on a complicated design problem for a while. It's a ring with a asymmetrical hyalite triangle and a long narrow brilliant opal with a lot of red flash. Hyalite is a form of opal with a glassy and clear appearance. This one is white and shot with brilliant lights.

The shapes are not naturally compatible and so the design difficulty. But I've solved it with a ring design that creates a balance and harmony with the two stunning stones. I still need to do a fair amount of work and carved textures on it but the essential design problem is solved.

Pendant is sterling "world" with a blue chalcedony satelite crossing it.  From the collectionof River Curtis-Stanley.

I'm ging back to carving.

Royal Hawaiian Featherwork: Nā Hulu Ali‘i
(cross posted on dreamwidth as laurieopal)

I posted this in Body Impolitic a day or so ago. I had seen Hawaiian feather work before and admired it but this show got me high the way great art does. Not sure itf it's a change in my level of understanding and appreciation or if it's just this particular work.. I was never interested in the golden age Dutch 15th century paintings until I became a photographer and then the change in my eye meant that the work looked remarkable...it still does. When I have been in Amsterdam I've spent lots of time in the
I just saw an exhibition of Hawaiian feather art at the De Young Museum here in San Francisco. Every civilization has a characteristic great art; this . This exhibition has both a stunning aesthetic and remarkable and painstaking craft technique. Much of the work is associated with King Kamehameha and his descendants.

The designs are simple and powerful and the feather work is complex and subtle. The combination is riveting. (Be sure to click on the images to see the detail.)

I spent a lot of time going from one magnificent piece to another. I took these photos at the end. I find that taking photographs removes the immediacy of my reaction to work, so I like to wait til I've seen everything as much as I want.


'Ahu 'ula (cloak) - 19th century associated with Kamehameha

Quotes are from the Museum exhibit labels:
Handcrafted of plant fiber and rare feathers from endemic birds of the islands, the cloaks (‘ahu‘ula) and capes provided spiritual protection to Hawaiian chiefs, proclaiming their identity and status. The abstract patterns and compositions of royal feathers (nā hulu ali‘i) are both beautiful and full of cultural meaning. While the arrangements of their forms—crescents, triangles, circles, quadrilaterals, and lines—and fields of color appear contemporary, they are ancient. Symbols of the power and status of Hawai‘i’s monarchs at home and abroad, these vibrantly colored treasures of the Hawaiian people endure today as masterpieces of unparalleled artistry, technical skill, and cultural pride.


lei0482Lei - 19th century

...the exhibition will features approximately 75 rare and stunning examples of the finest featherwork capes and cloaks in existence, as well as royal staffs of feathers (kāhili), feather lei (lei hulu manu), helmets (mahiole), feathered god images (akua hulu manu), and related eighteenth- and nineteenth-century paintings and works on paper.



'Ahu 'ula (cloak) 18th century

The feathers in this exquisite work come from local island birds, several species of which are now either extinct or endangered because of the collection for the art. The exhibition includes some specimens of the birds from the Natural History Museum. They did not photograph well.

These photographs show some beautiful detail work from a more modern cape.


feather close_0498

Red 'i'iwi feathers and yellow 'o'o feathers (should be -'s over the o's)

Hawaiian feather capes and cloaks were constructed by tying bundles of small feathers, usually 6-10 per bundle, to a foundation of netting. This netting was made from an endemic plant that produced one of the strongest fibers in the world, olonā (Touchardia latifolia). This olonā foundation could range from a very fine netting to a more coarsely woven foundation that would hold the feathers. Tens of thousands of feather bundles were connected, creating a visually striking garment. These capes and cloaks were important signifiers of rank, and as noble regalia, they were to be worn only by the ali‘i nui. Red, as a traditional color of royalty in Polynesia, was a dominant color. Yellow, made valuable by its scarcity, was also oft used.

The exhibition runs til February 28, 2016. If you're in the Bay Area go - the work is rarely shown outside of Hawaii.

New Designs for World Fantasy
I finished some new designs in wax today.

A moonstone ring, fire opal ring, and pendant that will be set with a druse stone with a scattering of dark red crystals and a vivid Ethiopian opal. They opal circles the major stone. They'll be finished in time for World Fantasy in November.

And I also put the the final touches on a very special Dugway flower stone. The crystal flower looks like it was sculpted rather then naturally formed, The design for it is leaves and a largish flower with a diamond center.

Ill be making work for World Fantasy, among other things, for all of October.

I used to live in a really beautiful part to upstate NY, so I'm looking forward to being there.

Swan is from the collection of River Curtis-Stanley.  It's another photo I took under less then perfect conditions at Worldcon but I think it gives a good sense of the design.  Silver is much brighter,  There were overhead florescents that meant I had to shoot away from them in lower light then I would prefer.

Photos of the National Museum of Modern Art Exhibition In Tokyo
This is from a post I did on Body Impolitic and I wanted my live journal folks to see the exhibition news and photos as well. It's pretty amazing.

I'm really excited that 41,550 people went to the exhibition in Tokyo

Tomohiro Masuda, who co-curated the "No Museum, No Life?" exhibition, was kind enough to send me photographs of the Nude/Naked section of the exhibition that that included 4 of my photographs. He wrote about me in the catalogue.



This is a view of the Nude/Naked section. Paintings on the wall include a Picasso and a Courbet.




This is the wall of photographs. It's contexted by quotes from Women En Large and Familiar Men. If you click on it you can see the individual photos better, but the focus isn't ideal. Some of my photos can be seen here when I wrote about this earlier.


philliphuangand text


If you click on the picture above you can read Jonathan Katz's text from Familiar Men.


DebandTracytext close


If you click on this one you can read Debbie Notkin's text from Women En Large.

And finally this is a view of the whole section.


Tokyomusuemexhibit room1


I really wish I could have seen the exhibition, but it was great to get these photos.

Gargoyles Finished!
I've been working for a long time on a gold pendant with gargoyles. I just finished the final one tonight. Having done 2 previous carvings of this one that weren't quite what I wanted. I did a third version that I love and the design with multiple gargoyles is done tonight. (The research was really fun.) There are also snakes. And yes there will be a photo.

It's a design for an old Wedgwood like cabochon the has a raised figure of what looks like a classic female figure - except that she has a demon's tail.

Rebecca who commissioned it, has been very patient in waiting for the design to be finished. I'll be casting it this week.

And I am done for the night.

I'm Back in My Studio
Everything is fine, but some things came up that made it wiser to postpone my trip to Japan. I’m very disappointed to miss the exhibition. But after working so hard for so long, I’ve also been  enjoying some quiet and easy time.
Sasquan was wonderful and I have a number of commissions with very special stones.  (There will be photos.)  And I had a chance to photograph earlier work that folks brought with them.  These will be going up soon.

Photograph is of a moldavite and Ethiopian opal astronomical in silver that I brought with me.  Size is approximately 2.5". Moldavite is a somewhat luminous dark green. Now from the collection of Pierce and David Ludke

Moldavites were formed about 14,700,000 years ago during the impact of a giant meteorite in present-day Nördlinger Ries. Splatters of material that was melted by the impact cooled while they were actually airborne and most fell in Bohemia. It's very limited in locality, 99% of it is in Bohemia.  And obviously it was only formed once.  It's the kind of material I love to work with.

Memory Landscape Panel at Worldcon
I'm excited about having my Memory Landscapes panel at Worldcon.  It's my new work in progress and it's really expanding my art both conceptually and aesthetically. I'm delighted that Eileen Gunn and Brenda Clough will be on the panel.
So far I've done the panel three times.  The conversations with the audience and the panelists about time, memory, and our lives and work have been intensely good for developing the art.  And it feels like it has been rewarding for the participants.

Memory Landscapes

Friday 12:00 - 12:45, 302AB (CC)

Photographer Laurie Toby Edison is working on a new digital project called Memory Landscapes, a feminist visual memoir. Memory is a form of time travel through your own time line.  A visual memoir takes you into the artist's time line and lets you choose your paths through their lives. 

Laurie says, "I started thinking about memory, and how what is remarkable is not how much we forget, but how much we remember. My memories are not linear because, as Penelope Lively observed,
'Inside the head everything happens at once.' Linear narrative is a useful construct, but it's not how we actually remember.  I want to re-engage with the memories of my life, to create an autobiographical visual memoir, to express the poetics of non-linear time. Memories are filtered, by who we are now, who we were then, and what has happened in between. We view our past through layers of memories, and the past is everything that happened except this moment. It will eventually be an IPad app that creates an aesthetic of memory."

During the panel, we will look at some of Laurie's work in progress, and discuss the ways panelists and audience re-engage with memories of our own lives.

Panelists: Laurie Toby Edison, Eileen Gunn, Brenda Clough

Almost Done - Worldcon
I'm going over the gorgeous collection of stones my lapidaries sent me for Worldcon.  Made me feel very dragonish, includes some remarkable Turkish stick agate (looks like stunning abstract expressionist paintings) among many others.

The jewelry is finished, finally, and packed.  Tonight I'll have most of the stones in proper papers and labels.  Will do the precious stones tomorrow when I have more brains. Packing stones can go a little slow as I admire.

Photo, as requested, and only fair of the dreamsnake is below.  Delicately textured work just doesn't photograph well without more time then I'm willing to spend.  Bright sterling silver and height is 2".

And from the collection of Nancy Cobb, an exceptional opal in sterling.  The stone has many colors but the photo gives a sense of their vividness.

I'm going back to pack the last of the largest stones in papers I made right before I started writing.

See everyone at Worldcon.


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