Creating beauty, creating change

Holiday gift giving? We know the joy receiving jewelry can bring so we certainly hope bloomstudio jewelry might be something you are considering. Gift giving is a very personal decision and selecting something can be challenging, we are here to help if you feel like you could use some assistance, give us a call. We are available for last minute shoppers too.

Thank you to all who came out for my shows at MECA and at Breakwater, your support means a lot to me! Thank you and happy holidays!

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BloomStudio Jewelry will have a POP UP SHOP at Speedwell Projects Gallery on Munjoy Hill

Tuesday December 20- 2-7 PM

Speedwell Gallery is at 1 North Street just across from the fire station, come see me, a couple other artisans and the work of Juliet Karelson now on view.

 

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Featuring newly designed “Geo” bracelet in oxidized sterling silver.

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Iris, living fully in every sense of the word

I just watched the documentary film, Iris on Netflix. It was so wonderful, I just have to share my enthusiasm, and wonder how I missed the exhibition a few years ago while it was at the Peabody Essex Museum. “Meeting” Iris via this film’s presentation was eye opening. I cannot remember the last time I laid down my hard earned cash to buy a fashion magazine. Yet I find that  I have recently become more aware of a few hidden gems in the fashion world; like Alexander McQueen and a hat maker he worked closely with, Philip Treacy. The existence of these makers seems more interesting to me than the art jewelry world I used to aspire to belong to.

After all, this style maven, Iris,  has been around since well, practically a century!

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Iris, looking much more restrained that her trademark self, but gorgeous just the same.

I loved the film and Iris for several reasons. First and foremost, this woman is not afraid to look different. How many people can you say that about? Secondly, I love her because she loves accessories, much like myself only with no restraint, which I cannot say about myself. But most importantly I love that Iris was a late bloomer. She really came to be everything she is now famous for in her 90s! She and her husband seemed to have had an endearing relationship and she thrived with his support.

The other reason why I wanted to share this film with others, is her comments in the dialog about her choosing to look her age and not being afraid of the aging process.

I recently had several conversations with my friends as I photographed them wearing my work for this website, and so many of us are apologetic about our very human selves. Our hands, our ears, our skin’s wrinkles, our skins colors and age markings, none of it seems “right” or “photogenic”. But if we can all just remember that we are all human before we are any kind of reproduced version of our selves, aren’t we all sort of miraculous and unique? Let’s just run with that idea.

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Plant forms, seeds (plant ovaries), flower forms and more!

Botanical forms and imagery have long been a part of my work, and landscape has been at its roots.

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Studio as laboratory

Given the chance, I can wax poetic about the role of plants on this blue marble we call Earth. We cannot exist without them, which is the simplest reason to revere them.

Being an artist, it is of course the beauty and grace of form that gets to my core. My curiosity and quest when I go out into the world is unceasing. Numerous threads of inspiration began this summer, as I adventured and explored some enamel techniques I had only admired from afar.

 

 

 

Penland experiments in progress
Penland experiments in progress

Enamel is a pathway back to using color in my metalwork. I do not want to reveal too much as this work is really in its embryonic stages, slowly forming in my mind as I do not have the kind of time I will once I am back at the bench full time. Soon. In the meantime I am following threads finishing pieces that have long been in process or have been in my psyche. I am engaged and happy at the bench with small breaks of walking observing nature moving into quiescence.

Bear in mind while you wander and observe along your paths, that plants, in addition to giving us food, energy, shelter, beauty, also hold secrets, secrets we may not even know.

I am in love with the fact that new scientific discoveries are still made every day! This is fantastic news because it gives me hope that someone is going to discover something that will finally change the destructive course we are currently on. Buckminster Fuller said that he believed there are invisible structures that we cannot perceive. I feel I have observed some of nature’s notations on structure and it relates to sound and form. As artistic inspiration it is a wonderful thing when something can capture your curiosity and take you down a path. I am following a path, curious to discover where it leads. Wonder.

I may come back and add some links to this post and embellish it further but in the mean time I will just add a few images of plant forms I find fascinating, enjoy.

sundew at HVNC bog
sundew at HVNC bog

SALE October 21-23 !!! 17% off entire shop

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Happy 17th birthday to my little person Alex!

The world and life are magical, need we say more. We grow, we learn, we live and love.

And our businesses grow and shrink with events like a birth, a move or a world in crisis (2001, just as my business was about to take off). But with all the ups and downs we continue to create and make and give birth to second children, new ideas, new career paths and more art.

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To celebrate all of this and to make way for more work that has been germinating for some time. I am clearing out the shop over the next three days to make way for new work in a new shop in November, just in time for holiday gift giving.

So hopefully you can find something you might have found was a little to expensive before, is now just doable. So let me know if you have any questions- otherwise off to the refiner it goes!

Happy Birthday Alex and happy Autumn to everyone.

Coupon code:

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Staying original

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My reluctance to repeat designs is a tenacious way of staying original, right?

One of the best aspects of opening your studio for customers to visit, look and shop is that it is a lovely conversation. The best feeling as a designer and a maker is realizing that what you make often resonates with others, the common thread becomes alive. I have the distinct pleasure of having some wonderful artists and designers as my customers. One has been buying my work since my very first retail show back in 1995 or 1996, the first Portland Craft Show. And not just that they bought a piece of my work, but it was a “signature” piece, one that had been published in books and in American Craft. That transaction has also blossomed into a wonderful friendship between the four of us (spouses included). This particular customer was even very forgiving and supportive as I morphed out of being a jeweler, rode random career waves etc. Through thick and thin, they would inquire, what I have been making and when could they take a look.

This has been profoundly meaningful to me because it has allowed me to resurface and begin again, which is no easy feat (and I will leave it at that).

But Lynda was not alone, there others who visited I was so grateful to see, who may have known me in various capacities, but were all excited to be here as much as I was. Seeing my tools and set up in my little perch of a studio that is propped on the edge of my house, dovetailing with the plants and animals out of the windows, which give my eyes a rest from time to time.

Some friends and customers came wearing my work, many of the pieces I may have forgotten, but remembered once again as I see them come alive being worn. I realize that sometimes my best work, are things I should “put into production” because they would “sell well”. Here is where I either go right or wrong, for some reason I have a hard time repeating myself. I am easily bored, so I have to keep dreaming up new ideas and playing. Perhaps it is a stubborn inner child (or too much art school -thinking money poisons everything- and it can). But lets face it, I do need to strike a balance, we all do. But I refuse to stop playing, in fact now I am going to “play harder” if that makes any sense.

Amy wears my slanted "cluster" bubbles in sterling.
Amy wears my slanted “cluster” bubbles in sterling.

I suppose I just want my customers to know that for better or for worse, when you buy my work you are getting an original, and most likely there is only one, or possibly two, or three similar items you could ever cross paths with. While I do cast some elements and I occasionally make multiples, but after that first batch of items I am likely to have moved on. All my old molds aged out (cracked/stick together/died), and I am debating whether to go back to repeat and rebuild or tweak designs, or forego casting altogether, as it is costly.

I am no shrinking violet when it comes to using materials, when I was a painter I loved thick and juicy brushstrokes, non of that dry brush on canvas look for me, I am more of a Rembrandt (I love looking at his paintings up close), hot juicy strokes of red and yellow sitting right up off the surface. So with metal (really with wax, which is what I carve), I love it feeling solid, not wishy washy or weak. But with metal prices high I may begin studying the value of lightness, and for that study I look to Calvino, in his Six Memos for the Next Millennium;

 

“Whenever humanity seems condemned to heaviness, I think I should fly like Perseus into a different space. I don’t mean escaping into dreams or into the irrational. I mean that I have to change my approach, look at the world from a different perspective, with a different logic and with fresh methods of cognition {for me – making} and verification. The images of lightness that I seek should not fade away like dreams dissolved by the realities of present and future…”

 

So we will see what 2016 brings as I enter into a year trying to juggle fewer responsibilities, and with that I hope comes lightness. But certainly I hope to evade the trap of becoming known for one thing, I am too much of a polymath. I also hope to evade the feeling of heaviness in life.

Thank you friends and others

Well this post meandered a bit, but it was also to say a very special thank you to friends and others who took the time out of your busy weekend to come by to say hi and to shop for yourself or with others, it was so nice to end 2015 this way.

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Danuta and her two rings purchased in previous years.