Entries by tag: wiscon

Wiscon Panel: Time, Contingency, Memory: As Elements of Art
opal
laurieopal
(cross posted on Dreamwidth as laurieopal)

I suggested this panel because my new work involves these elements, and I'm delighted to have remarkable women on the panel with whom I've had conversations about this.  Panelist are editor Debbie Notkin, and writers Nisi Shawl and Pat Murphy.

Time, Memory and Contingency are part of everyone's work.  I'm working with them in visual art, writers work with language and this is what I'm hoping we'll have an exciting conversation about. We'll be discussing, among other things, how these elements come up in their work and thoughts?

My new project is  Memory Landscapes: A Visual Memoir.  I want to travel through time, the person I am now visiting the persons I used to be.  But memory isn't linear, so the trip is layered and interwoven, because  inside the head everything happens at once. I want to make an autobiographical visual memoir of my personal life and the larger history I've lived in.

Most people have photographs and memory objects that evoke their interwoven memories.  In my images many objects are fragments of my past that I've carried with me into the present. The compositions of the images make a piece of my layered memories.  

Life as lived is incoherent, we impose narratives on the telling of our lives.  This should make for interesting discussion.

I had already been thinking about iPad art, separately from any project.  With an iPad, for the first time one can make work where viewers everywhere see the original art, not reproductions or recreations.  iPad art is also illuminated from within, presenting the opportunity to express the layering of memory.  In a sense, I am creating memory landscapes that are iPad still lifes.  They are created completely for the camera, except for cropping there is no photoshop.

I'll be showing the work I've done so far.

I'm excited about being part of this and am expecting to learn a lot from Debbie, Nisi, Pat and the audience.

Stones for Wiscon and Covalite
opal
laurieopal
My brain is seriously burned right now. I just finished packing the stones for Wiscon including the one's that just arrived from my lapidary.

It's all very meticulous work and while I love looking at all the new and now so new stones the concentration is fierce. Stones include druze crystals in a variety of minerals including a stunning large gem silica, pink opal from Peru, prenite (golden and new to me), and some stunning small Ethiopian opals.

(As I write,I am pretending not to see my cat, George, steal a pen, roll it across the floor and bury it under the rug. It seems a shame to deprive him of the pleasure.)

This is a beautiful covalite (They are found in conjunction with silver ore.) that I set for an antique Russian chain.  The stone is a deep reflective, somewhat chatoyant dark blue that doesn't photograph well so you'll have to use some imagination. It's in a shade of gold made to harmonize with the deep gold of the chain.  Pendant is about 1.75 inches.  From the collection of  Wendy Czarnecki.


wendy covaliteadjweb2_0516
Looking forward being less burned and being at Wiscon.

Work for Wiscon, Jade Pendant Etc.
opal
laurieopal
I've got the jewelry mostly finished for Wiscon. Tomorrow I'm doing the final polishing on the Heyiya-if Kesh symbol from Le Guin's "Always Coming Home" . As I said earlier, it's the first of the Wiscon designs from books by the guests of honor. They cast beautifully and I'm very happy with them.

The engraving on the Charley's wood pendant from Tanya Huff's the "Wild Ways" worked out even better then I hoped. I have a feeling that it's unphotographable but I'm going to try. I have 2 other rutilated quartz cabuchons layed out to think about. This kind of wax engraving is new to me and very exciting. The effects of the quartz in front of it create a whole extra dimension.

The photo is of the Lloyd Eshbach cut jade pendant in gold that I've been writing about. The design reflects 18th century
Chinese paintings. (I've seen number of them in museums and the best of them are exquisite.) The other influence is Chinese white mutton fat jade handing pieces, but they have influenced almost all my jewelry work over the years.

The pendant  includes the classic elements, a cliff, a waterfall and a small pine tree.  I think the work and the jade really speak to each other.


chinese design jadeweb_0512

It's about 2" high.  From the collection of Rebecca Burgess.

Le Guin's Hayiya-if Symbol For Wiscon
opal
laurieopal
I decided a while ago that I wanted to make a special pendant for Wiscon every year, starting now. I spent a long time trying to think about what would be wonderful to make and feeling blank. Then I realized what I wanted to do and went "of course".

I'm going to make pendants inspired by books written by Wiscon Guests of Honor.

The first one will be a Heyiya-if pendant, a holy symbol for the Kesh, from Ursula Leguin's "Always Coming Home". It took very long time to carve, but it's done and I will be making the black silver pendants in the next 2 weeks before Wiscon. I'm so pleased that the wax is done and that I'm _very_ happy with it, that I'm not being superstitious and I'm writing about it before they are actually cast.

I am very done for the day and looking forward to Wiscon.

The picture is from Wikipedia
220px-Double_spirale.svg

Sea Shaped Baltic Amber And Wiscon Rings
opal
laurieopal
(crossposted on dreamwidth as laurieopal)

Just finished carving the waxes of new rings for Wiscon. Including a gorgeous large gold flecked lapis, a glowing orange sun stone and a delicate moonstone.

This is a photo of a pendant created with a Baltic amber shaped by the sea and then polished. I was lucky enough to find a very small group of these when I was in Helsinki last June. I looked through a couple of hundred stones to find them. The black amber is quite rare.


tracy amber_0502

It's silver and the small stone is a black sapphire. (So dark a blue as to appear black but with a deep sparkle.)  Actual size is about 1.75" From the collection of Tracy Schmidt.

Almost Back Again
opal
laurieopal
(crossposted on dreamwidth as laurieopal)

I'm back from very relaxing down time. Unfortunately, my new cat George did not do well, in spite of excellent cat sitting. Her really pined. I'm going to have to figure this out before I go away again.

And I'm thinking about designs - can't seem to help it. Did not come back with new stones which is probably just as well since I have a magnificent group from my lapidary to look through.

And I'm delighted Nisi Shawl is the fourth panelist on my proposed Wiscon panel, Time, Contingency, Memory – As Elements of Art, along with Pat Murphy and Debbie Notkin. . If you're a member of WisCon, you can check "I would like to attend this panel" on the programming web site the panel is the very last one in the "Feminism and Other Social Change Movements" category. I posted about it right before I left. I think Monday is the last day.

Will take one more day to reenter and do some garden work then Monday I'm fully back in the world.

Memory Landscapes: A Life in Time
opal
laurieopal
(cross-posted on dreamwidth as laurieopal)

I wrote about my new project a for the first time as part of a post  on Body Impolitic about a photo Choice exhibition catalogue called High Stakes.  I've proposed a panel
at Wiscon  Time, Contingency, Memory – As Elements of Art. The new project is tentatively called Memory Landscapes: A Life in Time.  If you're a member of WisCon, you can check "I would like to attend this panel" on the programming web site the panel is the very last one in the "Feminism and Other Social Change Movements" category.

I’ve been thinking through the complexities in fascinating conversations with literary friends, especially Debbie Notkin and Pat Murphy, who are on the panel.  I want it to be the basis of larger conversations with them  and the audience.  About how our concepts and narratives of time are expressed in our work and how we see our lives in time.

As many of you know, I've been a photographer for 25 years, doing black & white fine-art darkroom social change portraits. I realized at the end of my 25-year series of portrait projects that I wanted to do something completely new and different.
I wanted to create a memoir.  I'm 72, and have had a long and complicated life.  I started thinking about memory, and how what is remarkable is not how much we forget, but rather how much we remember.

After a lot of time, thought, and less-than-successful experiments, I realized that my memories are not linear - because "inside the head everything happens at once." (Penelope Lively)  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 memory, and the past is everything that happened except this moment.

Photographing my memories is a way of capturing moments in time.  Not mythic moments, but images constructed from carefully chosen real objects, some only for aesthetics, many relics from my life through time.  Objects are arranged and contexted to express narratives that are autobiographical slices of my life.

I had already been thinking about iPad art, separately from any project.  With an iPad, for the first time one can make work where viewers everywhere see the original art, not reproductions or recreations.  iPad art is also illuminated from within, presenting the opportunity to express the layering of memory.  In a sense, I am creating memory landscapes that are iPad still lifes.

The project's first three photographs (of a projected 25) are included as work samples.  One, "My Father and I," includes:  photobooth pictures of my father (1932); a hundred-dollar bill; fragments of a shot glass; a black hacksaw blade; razor blades with our mutual initials; his cremation tags; and marigolds for mourning - all on an illuminated background of gray silk.

Making the images starts with thinking about the memories, the histories, and what initial objects will express them.  Then the objects are arranged, rearranged, remade, contextualized, often replaced.  The image evolves, is demolished, rebuilt, until the final memory landscape emerges.

I'm looking forward to many conversations that explore and enlarge on what I've been thinking.

Back from Wiscon
opal
laurieopal
Wiscon was great.  Saw lots of people I like.  Had some fascinating conversations and some equally fascinating commissions.

I'll be writing more about them later.

I'm taking some down time so I won't be posting again til July.

Have a great June.

Off to Wiscon
opal
laurieopal
Off to Wiscon in the morning.  Really looking forward to seeing everyone.  Lucky that my friend Julissa is taking care of my studio.

Will have an archival print of the cover I made for Bloodchildren - Stories by Octavia Butler Scholars edited by Nisi Shawl in the Tiptree Auction.

New Designs for Wiscon!
opal
laurieopal
I haven't been posting as much as I like this month because I've been so focused on finishing my new work for Wiscon.
When I make a lot of new work my time for everything else tends to shrink.

I've been working on this collection for along time.  I didn't realize how many new one of a kind pendants, I'd made until I had them all layed out together today when I was packing the jewelry.

The work includes:

A fossilized opal clam shell from when Australia was a sea, designed with coral silver branches and set  a ruby and an emerald.  I've had the shell in my collection for years and finally decided that I wanted to work with it in a design.  It's stunning.

A large Ethiopian mountain opal that's deep brown shot with green and vivid red.  The pendant design includes cinnamon diamonds.

A brilliant striped opal in a silver design that reflects it's inner patterns.

An astronomical with a Mexican opal as the planet and a cinnamon opal as its rotating body.  The opal matrix is brownish with a vivid center.

A fossilized coral that is black with leaf like golden patters in a silver coral setting with hematite with pyrite lodged in the coral.

A 19th century Venetian glass cabochon designed with a rose tourmaline and a pearl.   I've also had the antique Venetian glass cabuchon for a long time before designing for it.

A vivid orange and green Volga river chalcapyrite designed in black silver

A lace patterned lapis and azurite in a silver lace design.

And more.   I've really been working hard.

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