StudioAly

I blog about my life as an artist, what I'm creating and thinking about creating, what I'm writing, crafting, sewing, weaving...

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Finals, finals everywhere!


Ah, the joys of finals ;-) I have to finish my 8 page paper (which is a critical analysis of the movie Juno from a feminist perspective) and I have to refine a couple of shorter papers.  Today is my youngest son's fourth birthday, tomorrow is Mothers Day (I work from 10-7, so I won't be able to celebrate with my children AGAIN-worked last year too), two finals on Monday (8:30 & 3:30) and one on tuesday (3:30)-whew! I then have a few days "off' and then I begin my museum internship.  

Aside from my busy schedule I wanted to share my favorite jewelry piece I've created thus far.  It is my untitled pendant in Fine Silver, with reticulated silver and a 14 KY gold bezel.  The stone is  picasso marble.  Boy has this gone through so many design transformations! It began as a completely different idea and transformed.  As much as I understand the principles of design, I also love the principles of inspiration.  In art school, we are given the tools to design, but the designs themselves come from within. There is a certain trust an artist must have and a relationship with the Self that facilitates great work.  

Anyway, the pendant evolved like much of my work does. Because of that, I never really go into working on a piece with any definite goal in mind.  Even during the "final moments" I may be inspired by something else.  At that point I use the idea as inspiration for another direction.  The design process is where the magic happens. The process of designing and re-designing is magic in and of itself. By understanding the "rules" it also gives me the tools to break the rules as I see fit;-)  

The pendant: I usually design to showcase not only the materials but to let them speak for themselves.  In short- I don't over-design.  Sometimes, to make a point, I may, but I usually stay clear of excess.  The back is pierced and, theoretically, could also function as a "front."  I'm happy with it overall, and I enjoy wearing it. I don't intend to sell it, but if the price is right I just may have to part with it ;-)  I do have to pay tuition afterall and my school is 30k a year!  Jewelry fabrication is my new favorite love ("new" for about a year now). I don't have a fully outfitted home studio yet, but I'm working on it! My teacher is AMAZINGLY FANTASTIC and you should check out her website. Its www.dawnbergmaierjewelry.com her name, as you may have guessed, is Dawn Bergmaier and her work is phenomenal! I wish I knew how to make a link... I see a button I will try, let's see if it works. Looks like it worked! Yay, I learned something new. I'm on my way to becoming a professional blogger, too LOL. Now if I could only customize my blogpage...

Friday, May 8, 2009

I finally did something with my website


As you can see, I sorta did something to my website.  I put it together in iWeb (yes, I'm a Mac) so I can have at least something to hold me over until Christina gets paid to develop it :-)  She's a graphic designer who does great work. Christina Peña designed my logo and business identity package and I absolutely LOVE it all.  It's very me, very whimsical yet still has a business feel to it without being too rigid and corporate.  Christina did a great job of capturing my personality, needs and wants in the design and layout.  Her website is www.ChristinaPena.com and I highly recommend her work.  I just need to save up some money so I can hire her to build my super duper website.  So, for now, it's the iWeb site I put together.  I doubt I'll be able to learn HTML, Flash and Dreamweaver all by the end of the summer with such ability that I'll be able to create and design a spectacular website for myself. So, I'll leave it to the professional!  Also, it would be rather pointless to incorporate another design aesthetic into the mix.  Each designer has a completely different approach to the process and I really want this to be a cohesive identity.  

Speaking of identity. MY BOXES ARRIVED TODAY!!!! I'm so excited! Now when someone purchases my jewelry they'll have the option of shipping it in a lovely box.  The photo is from my iPhone and I didn't do a great job of photographing it. I took just a quick snapshot and the lighting was poor, but you get the picture.  The imprint is a metallic purple, and I absolutely LOVE them! I was hesitant about getting the white box with the swirls on it (think classic jewelry boxes) I really wanted a glossy white box, which my supplier doesn't have (they only carry glossy black, which has nothing to do with my identity as a business). My boxes, like everything else, is made from recycled post-consumer materials so I don't feel guilty about purchasing paper products. 

I finally found an affordable place to have my business cards printed too.  Its called Greener Printer and their website is www.greenerprinter.com  I received their sample materials and their print jobs were wonderful, but a while ago I couldn't afford it.  Recently, they added a self-upload option that would make the printing significantly less expensive (and within my budget) so I'm going to place my order next friday when I get paid. I'm very excited to finally have cards.  I vowed not to print them if I didn't find a company that uses recycled paper (or non-paper products) and soy or vegetable based inks AND it had to be affordable.  Search is over! I now have to focus on finding someone who can do the same for my envelopes and letterhead as well. If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment. I also have no idea how to create a hyperlink within the blog, I can only enable the title as a link. If you have info, please share via comments.

That's it for the moment. I have finish my finals. I have several more papers to write so I must be off. Until next time!

Aly

Thursday, May 7, 2009

West African Textiles

So, I changed my mind (to which I'm totally entitled) about my thesis direction.  Instead of traditional Japanese textiles (which I still do LOVE) I'm moving toward West African Textiles.  Africa is definitely a continent, so to begin narrowing things down, I chose West African to begin and then I'll further refine my direction after doing some reading.  I associated a link with the title (above) to a website from the University of Florida's George A. Smathers Libraries Africana Collection to some beautiful textile designs.  I'm excited.  I'm going to intern this summer at the African American Museum of Philadelphia, and I am beyond elated! I'm excited about the opportunity to work with the Curator and Conservator (who will remain nameless because I did not ask permission to put their name on my blog- I respect people's privacy) and I know I will gain a wealth of knowledge. It will also give me much needed fuel in honing in on my thesis topic.  I hope to, by the end of the summer, have an annotated bibliography of about 30-35 resources to begin and then I'll begin more specific topic-related research after I feel comfy with the general info.  Twenty pages doesn't seem like much, but at the same time there is a lot riding on my thesis.  Graduate schools will consider my thesis topic as well as the quality of the thesis itself.  I'm not sure if they'll view the video of me defending it, but this is the beginning of the rest of my life as a future art historian, conservator, curator, scholar, etc.  I definitely think that after this first internship, I'll have a more concrete direction in terms of what I want to study for graduate school.  I'm still very strongly leaning toward textile conservation for my MA, but I'll have to take a two year break before graduate school to fulfill the science requirements- two years is a very long time.  Should I get a first MA in AH while also fulfilling the science requirements and immediately upon completing the first MA, move into the second for conservation? That sounds like a plan. After that I can take a much needed break before applying to a PhD program. Ah, life. So many goals, so little time! For now, I'll finish my finals for this semester, but I still need a plan (however fluid it may be) so I can prepare for the necessary steps.