Monday, September 19, 2011

TADA's First Online Exhibit!!

The Show is Open!!!

Letters of Adornment :

An Online Exhibition of Artful Adornments

from the Flickr TADA365 Art Jewelry Group

Using the English language to communicate, an international group of jewelry artists share their work each day. They upload pictures in their Flickr group, TADA365, of their inspirations, works in progress, celebrations and also frustrations.  They support each other with comments, challenge each other when one learns a new technique, teach each other with works in progress and inspire each other with their completed pieces.
Here, within the same parameters of A through Z, they share their work with you.  Each artist has been given one or more letters of the English alphabet. The interpretation of the letter and what it stands for is their individual vision.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Interview as Art - Thomasin Durgin - aka MetalRiot - aka Tomi

1. What was your first work of art and how old were you?

I imagine it was something made out of play-doh but I can't remember. I started sketching a lot in second grade and in third grade I made this wood burning of my grandmother's siamese in shop class. My mom treasures it and I think it looks like a hot pepper.

2. What did you do for fun when you were a teenager?
Mainly inappropriate things, and I was very involved in art.

3. What and when was your first job?

My first job was babysitting when I was 13, I got my work permit at 15 and got a job at a local Dry Cleaner.

4. What was your first work that really pleased you as an artist?

I sketched all the time as a kid, I lived on a college campus with my mom and when I was in in 5th grade she showed one of the art professors my sketchbook. He thought I had talent and gave me a few instructional books. I was so proud of my sketchbook after that, I carried it everwhere - I wish I knew what happened to it.

Ring a Week 6/52
Ring A Week #6
5. Who was the first artist to influence you?


6. Who were your favorite movie stars growing up?

The "brat pack" - Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, and Ally Sheedy. Yes, really. I loved Matt Dillon, too.

7. What were your favorite TV shows growing up?

Super Friends, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Mighty Mouse, Tom and Jerry, the Cosby Show, anything on MTV (we didn't have cable so I watched with friends), Saturday Night Live

8. Has your work gone up in price compared to when you first started?

Yes, if for no other reason that the cost of living has gone up in the last 20 years.

9. Where do you get your ideas?

I keep sketchbooks all over the house and jot things down, I have far more ideas that I can execute in one lifetime.

RAW 16-19
Rings A Week
10. Who do you think is the best business artist in the world?

Thomas Kinkade. He's America's most collected living artist and that scares the hell out of me.

11. Do you think that there are any art movements now?

Absolutely. Guerilla art is still quite strong, extreme performance art is alive and well, and what folks are doing with CAD design and 3d printing these days is just amazing and incredibly innovative.

12. Do you think kids should get grants to decorate subways?

Yes, I'm a big proponent of public art.

13. Have you or anyone you know been involved in street art?

Yes, several of my friends work that way, as did some of my instructors in graduate school. I'm very drawn to Dadaism and the concept of "happenings". Lat month I met a recent MFA graduate student who walked up and down the steps of the Memphis College of Art to the distance of the top of Mt. Everest in a 24 hour period. Wow.

Ring a Day 209/365
Ring A Day #209
14. Do you ever think about politics?

Yes, much of my work is political in nature.

15. What is your favorite color?

That depends entirely on my mood, I love them all.

16. Do you do all your own work, or do you have people working for you?

I make my work myself.

17. Do you have an interest in films or video?

I like to watch films, and I make fun little videos from time to time. I made a few vids as rigs for Ring a Day last year and I've been working with some teens doing stop-motion video this summer.

18. What kind of toys do you have?

silly putty, yo-yo's, and this great block set from the Guggenheim:

19. Do you have any habits you’d like to kick?

Carbs and cussing.

20. What do you do when you’re not working?

Juggle, play guitar, avoid cleaning the house, internet, reading, and a little tv.
juggling vid on YouTube

21. Do you play any games?

I like playing cards and dominoes and I hope to get back to playing tennis this year.

22. How old were you when you got your driver’s license and is there a story attached to it?

I was 19. I took driver's ed in high school and my mom said if I got my license I'd have to pay for the increase in her car insurance myself. She went on to say that if I ever used her car I would have to have it home by 11pm, and my curfew at the time was 1am. Needless to say I didn't go for that deal. Basically I was a hellion and she figured I'd be a worse hellion behind the wheel. She may have been right but I still hold a small grudge over all of it.

Ring a Day 31/365
"Crown of Thorns Celice Ring"
23. What time do you go to bed and what time do you get up (most of the time.)

I have a very inconsistent sleep schedule, I often get into what I call "vampire mode" and find myself falling asleep around 4-5am and getting up at between 11am and noon.

24. How much time do you spend on the computer?

Far, far too much.

25. Do you watch TV, (if so, what are your favorites?)

Only late at night and I don't have cable so it's generally Two and a Half Men (sorry), Family Guy (sorry), King of the Hill, and The Office.

26. What do you eat?

I'm a vegetarian who loves carbs and cheese.

27. Do you believe in flying saucers?

In an Ed Wood sort of way.

28. Do you believe in magic?


Ring a Week 7/52
Pearl Ring plus Carnelian Pendant
29. Do you think Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone?

No, I'm not sure he acted at all.

30. Do you look in the mirror when you get up?

Good grief, no.

31. Do you think the world can be saved?

Saved from what? War? No. Poverty? No. Violent Crime? No. This is depressing.

32. Do you think there should be censorship?

Hell to the Mother Fucking no.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Jewels of Nature

I think those textures and colors would be great inspiration for any material... metal, polymer, textile... beautiful enameling... click on the image to see some details....hope you get inspired by those, because I certainly am. Have a beautiful day!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Jewels of Nature


Just couldn't resist to share these photos with you. There are so many beautiful details I keep photographing I decided to name each Monday post Jewels of Nature and share images of textures, shapes and colors found in nature that move our artistic juices flowing to give birth to many of our new creations. I hope you like the idea... and hope you get inspired together with me.

Monday, August 8, 2011

ABC, Work in Progress

First of all I thank you in advance for excusing my very basic English in jewelry and design,
I am more used to use it for the cooking and the animals than to describe what I have in the head!

ABC Challenge, letters R and C

The first letter is "R" for Ribbon.
I had an order for a red bracelet. The inspiration for this customer is a leather cuff with a big knot.
I had several experiments on bangles in polymerclay and I know I must take time to find a new way to "make" it. First I've tried to "see" the "pattern" I prefer with paper strips.
Finding inspiration is exciting...but...

What I learned of my experience of selling... it is that the customers wait for more solidity of my part than the jewelry which they're used to buying "cheap" even if it is metallic and if I work only polymerclay...
So solidity is the most important challenge, and building is important in the work of design.

Thickness pairs with solidity in polymerclay, so "R" for Ribbon is a challenge!

The first drawing was made to list meanings for me about ribbon and knots...I'm very interested in the "link" and "couture" inspiration...the ribbon around the wrist, tightened enough... I do not like the soft forms and always look for tense lines, rest of my time in Architecture Studio, but I like the forms in live models!!! ;-)))
As I was sure to keep the idea of "tightened " I drew some ideas of how to make it so...Bangles are to be forgotten and hinged bracelets are too expensive in time and then to be sold...
My order was to not be too expensive...
Second drawing is listing of some ribbon signs, sure there are others, and at the end was the result of the interview I made at home...;-)))

After I made all this work I refused the order...;-)) but I will make it for The ABC Challenge.

PolyPediaOnline "Mosquito Pack" Tutorials - How to create thin, strong, flexible and durable polymer clay pieces

Nevertheless I think that the solution for a cheap way may be in the mosquito technique by Iris, maybe someone would like to try it , but this is not my idea of the ribbon...tightened around wrist.
Iris's picture, I think, is the nearest idea of the ribbon, I'm not promoting advertising for the tutorial, only showing inspirational pictures...

Beside, some googled inspiration...Splendors of Court, portrait of Marie Antoinette and close-up of another lady, Chanel model with ribbon around the neck, and High jewelry by Chanel... I love the watch with long bracelet, it is very trendy since some seasons...

Second letter is "C" for Camélia

I've experimented for the first time a technique of "casting" polymerclay for my Project "Eau dynamique" and I'd like to improve it with this idea of "Lace" and "Couture" I used for the first time. The lace I made was like a Low neck from some century before...

This time I would like to make a Lace flower like Chanel's fabric flowers in her time.
And Camélia was her flower.

Not sure I will be successful!!!

Some more thoughts if you like:
Of course I would like to work more with metal, and I think my way to design is really biased for some of you... that's polymerclay...
It is a point of view that can easily be discussed and deformed as people are working this material with an experimental sight for most of them.
I used the word "experiment" several times but in fact I'm making things, and I hate when it doesn't work as I thought it was going to work and don't take any education from these failures except sadness and feeling of wasting, so I don't begin if I'm not sure of what is going to happen and how strong it will be when finished.
I'm learning before making, and I do love that. ;-))

Monday, August 1, 2011

the ABC progress: L and M

When I got the letter M (alongwith L), it didnt take me long to figure out what I wanted to do with it. The days were hot and humid, and like every Indian, my heart desired just one thing...for the onset of the Monsoons.

I have already posted some of my explorations in this series. Here they are again:
Monsoon is a time of revival..of seeds, pods and flowers...and I love wearing these rings together...its almost as though the story comes together

Monsoon/सावन is also the season of  Lovers..ah yes the other letter...maybe I'll combine the two ; )

Here's a favorite miniature painting..the protagonist is Abhisaarikaa, one of the eight kinds of women in Indian mythology..who braves the stormy night to go out in search of her lover. It is the story of a soul's complete devotion to find God(Krishna), that it leaves all its fears and inhibitions behind

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Twigs & Strings

Sitting in the backyard of my new dwelling place near the top of a not so high a mountain, thinking of all the possible inspirations I could find in words beginning with an "R" or an "S", a sound coming from the top of a tree aroused my dormant attention to the surrounding beauty of nature. Bird song echoed through my heart, breaking rusty chains of my previous city life, opening a forgotten door created only a year ago through RAD (Ring a Day flickr challenge)... FREEDOM in ARTISTIC EXPRESSION.
As soon as my mind got tickled with all the uplifting memories from RAD, eyes wondered in all possible directions trying to capture a form, lost object or an abstract inspiration that could be used for this new collection for TADA.
And there it was right in front of me! That one lonely vine in the backyard, still giving shade during these hot summer days, had something to tell me. I approached slowly looking around that old lady, feeling a hurricane of emotions accumulating inside me for some unknown but still predictable reason.
"Cut some twigs", a thought passed through my mind. I did. One here, one there, one swirly, one crooked... I stopped and took a glance at the shapes and realised there was a ring, a pin, brooch and pendants... I might add some colored strings...

"Peel the bark" another thought passed. There was lots of dry bark hanging from that old vine. I paused, took a deep breath of fresh air and fresh inspiration and felt relieved. When I peeled first piece of that dry bark a shape formed without any effort from my behalf. It was a necklace. Ideas made a stampede through the head so I laid that piece aside and continued to peel some more off that dry bark..... Oh look at the rustic effect... oh how rich the texture and color... it was a bracelet.... I looked above my head where the grapes were ripening and saw some dried out hanging like earrings... Oh my, I thought, this is a complete set.

I shall call it with an S....  Simpli de Vine!

What is next?...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

N and Q

TADA #147/365 5/28/11

First thoughts on what my letters might be for the TADA ABC Jewelry challenge.

Very elementary stage!

But in my quest for words that begin with my letters... I came upon this website called 'List of unusual words beginning with the letter...'
If you are looking for inspiration... this is the place to go!! Ok, a lot of the words I listed here, are really unlikely candidates, but they were such great words, I just couldn't resist!!

From a site of unusual words:
The letter N:

nanism - the condition of being dwarfed or being a dwarf
narcolepsy - patholgical drowsiness
nascent - immature; in process of birth
naturalism - belief that the world can be explained in terms of natural forces
nemorous - wooded
neophobia - fear of novelty
nepheligenous - discharging smoke in clouds
nepionic - of, like or pertaining to the embryonic period of development
nervure - vein of a leaf
nidamental - nest-forming
nieve - hand or fist
numquid - an inquisitive person
nychtemeron - a full night and a day

The letter Q:

quacksalver - one who false pretends to knowledge of medicine
quadragintesimal - forty fold, having 40 parts
quadral - in four parts
quadrifoliate - having four leaves
quadrivium - four branches of mathematics in medieval education
quahog - type of edible clam
quarion - candle
quaternitarian - one who believes god consists of 4 parts
quatrayle - great-great-great grandfather
quatrefoil- 4 petaled flower; design or ornament with 4 flowers or leaves
querl - to twist; to curl
quinary - based on the number 5
quoz - absurd person or thing

Monday, July 4, 2011

Well, I finally got to the place in the Twyla Tharp book where I stopped reading it the last time.

I used to teach childbirth classes. I sometimes worked with a hypnotherapist doing the relaxation exercises in class and have taken a workshop on hypnotherapy to see how it works. One of the techniques was that you start off with something the person already believes, like in childbirth-class-relaxations it would be to pay attention to your breathing. With every breath in you bring oxygen to your baby and with every breath out you release toxins like carbon dioxide.' This is a fact that they can't deny. Next you add 'along with the toxins you are also releasing anything else you don't need, tension, negativity, etc.' Not a fact, but because you gave them a fact first, they are more likely to believe these other suggestions. Another really good example of this technique is the book 'Coyote Medicine' by Lewis Mehl-Madrona (who incidentally is the ex-husband of the person that I took the hypnotherapy workshop from.) He starts off the book as an intern in medical school that becomes a doctor. Gives a lot of interesting factual info and stories, but by the end of the book you are in sweat lodges, experiencing stories of alternative healing, native medicine, etc. and you are believing every single word of it. This technique is a skill.

I think that Twyla Tharp tries using this technique, but isn't quite as successful in her book.
She takes a huge leap in believability in the chapter called 'your creative DNA.' She gives some examples of how Jerome Robbins grew up wanting to be a puppeteer and how this relates to how he sees things, from a distance. Then she talks about Raymond Chandler and how he sees things 'close up' with lots and lots of detail.

Ok, so I'm still listening, waiting to see where she's going.

She bases art on how people see the world and that we don't consciously make that choice, it is decided by our DNA.  She begins to talk about how she is pulled between involvement and detachment. She needs detachment in order to understand her work. How she lived in one end of her house growing up so she could maintain her rigorous schedule and the rest of her family lived at the other end of the house.

Then I get to the place where I stopped reading the book the last time.
       ... my mother told me that at birth I was a noisy, ill-mannered baby in the hospital. The only way the
      nurses could shut me up was to put me out in the hallway by myself where I could see everything
      going on around me. I quieted down instantly. Even then, I didn't want to be on the inside, crowded
      with other people. I wanted to be on the outside, watching (p. 41).

For me this is a huge leap. Maybe it was all those years of teaching childbirth and parenting classes. I just don't believe that a newborn baby's DNA wants them to be detached. If anything their DNA wants them to be ATtached in order to survive.  It pains me to see the language she uses regarding a newborn... "noisy, ill-mannered baby"  "put me out in the hallway by myself" "shut me up" and to relate this as being 'DNA.' This is more of a rationalization than anything really useful and it's where I stopped believing in what she was saying. She lost credibility for me here.

TADA #164 6/19/11But had I gone on to read the rest of the chapter (Because I am going to finish reading the book this time. There are things in it that are good.) I would have found out about zoe and bios, which is something I totally can relate to. "Zoe and bios both mean life in Greek, but they are not synonyous" (p.42). Zoe is more about life in general, without being specific, bios distinguishes one living thing from another. The way that I think and do art is totally zoe, more "...the essence of life, not the details of living" (p. 43). This was really huge for me to understand. I have always admired people who tell a story with their art, but whenever I've tried to do it, the piece always seemed contrived. Understanding this distinction helps me see more of the story that I am personally trying to tell, that I'm in the right place and going in the right direction.

"Robert Benchley wrote that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who divide the world into two kinds of people, and those who don't... I have issues with ambiguity, preferring my distinctions to be black or white" (p. 40). I guess out of those 2 classifications I find that I am also one of those people who sees things in black and white. I found something I didn't like in the book, so I quit reading it. (I won't bore you with all the other times in my life I have done this!!) DNA or not, I don't think that we always have to be locked into a certain way of thinking, it might be hard for us to adjust, but it is possible and I am going to finish reading this book. I will keep you updated on the good parts.

Work cited:
Tharp, Twyla. The Creative Habit Learn It and Use It for Life. Simon & Schuster, 2003. Print.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Ok, I'm just going to quote here, because maybe I'll remember it more if I write it:

"In order to be creative you have to know how to prepare to be creative... ...there's a process that generates creativity--and you can learn it. And you can make it habitual. There's a paradox in the notion that creativity should be a habit. We think of creativity as a way of keeping everything fresh and new, while habit implies routine and repetition. That paradox intrigues me because it occupies the place where creativity and skill rub up against each other.
Turning something into a ritual eliminates the question, Why am I doing this?... The ritual erases the question of whether or not I like it. It's also a friendly reminder that I'm doing the right thing, (I've done it before. It was good. I'll do it again.)"

I just started reading this book again, well, actually I never finished reading it before, hmmm guess I didn't get into the ritual of reading it!! It seems pretty good though. 

I know it's easy to make a habit of anything. I could easily get in the habit of eating potato chips every night, but it's just as easy to get into the habit of doing something healthy or beneficial. I used to go to bed and read. One night, I had an apple while I was reading, and started having an apple each night I would read. After about a week, I couldn't start reading unless I had an apple with me. I started to crave apples in bed while reading. 

So I guess the idea is to create some ritual that becomes a habit and keeps you moving and working. Sometimes I freeze up... I don't know what I want to work on, I can't decide which is more important, I can't think of anything... So if I can create that ritual which leads to habit, I will go in and work on anything, it doesn't matter what it is, as long as I'm working on something. It doesn't have to be the most creative thing I've ever done. It doesn't have to be the Nobel prize winning piece. Actually, most of the nice pieces that I've done, came from an ordinary idea that I just kept working on and developed. It's hard for me to remember that.

TADA is a ritual as is RAW

Do you have any rituals that get you into the studio to work?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Letters of Adornment: a progress report

Hello everyone! This is Maria Apostolou and today I thought I'd share what I've done so far with my letters.

As soon as Evelyn assigned the letters, I got very excited and started researching various words starting with J and K. Then I decided to narrow it down and search for plants starting with these letters. I thought that this way, I could also incorporate the finished pieces in my botanical series.

As it turns out there are not many plants starting with J and there 're even fewer options starting with K. In the end, I decided to go with Jasmine for J and Kalanchoe for K.

I like jasmine because it's so delicate and fragrant. I also have so many childhood memories of summer nights, where the smell of the jasmine vine was an integral part of the scene.

Kalanchoe is a whole other story. It's a sturdy flowering succulent plant, it doesn't need much care or attention and it does very well on its own. The leaves are thick, shiny and they have these nice scalloped edges.

First, I made a few drawings for a neckpiece, reminiscent of the jasmine vine. I also plan to make a ring, inspired by the kalanchoe. For the actual flower, I will try a form that I haven't done before and hope that it will work out.

The jasmine neckpiece came together fast and it's almost finished. I have a bit more sanding to do and I'm also making a hook clasp and end tubes to secure the red silk cord.

For the kalanchoe ring, I will experiment with polymer clay and make a few samples, before I fabricate it in silver.

I'd love to hear what you think so far and also read how you plan to work with your letters! So exciting!

Friday, June 17, 2011

A is for...

Letters of Adornment : 
An Online Exhibit of Artful Adornments 

from the Flickr TADA365 Art Jewelry Group

Ok, it's on! 12 people from the TADA group are participating in a
 metal/jewelry abcedarium:

From Wikipedia: An abecedarium (or abecedary) is an inscription consisting of the letters of the an alphabet, almost always listed in order. Typically, abecdaria (or abecedaries) are practice exercises. 

Some abecedaria found in the Athenian Agora appear to be deliberately incomplete, consisting of only the first three to six letters of the Greek alphabet, and these may have had a magical or ritual significance. A deliberately incomplete abecedarium found at Hymettos in Attica may have been a votive offering.

We have divided up the alphabet and we are ready to see where the letters will take us. 

They will be done by September 5 and Mary Lu is creating a website for the show. 

The exhibit page will have one thumbnail of each piece. The thumbnail will link to a page with the two photos enlarged and the artist name, etc. 

There will also be a comments or guestbook section.

Please check the blog for progress reports

, thoughts, & experiments, 

on how the project is going.

TADA #133 5/15/11 1. Evelyn (Markasky) N Q

the elves2 2. Kest {(Vagabond Jewelry (Kest)} 

What a Ship Is...Pendant 123/365 3. Mary Lu (Mary Lu Wason) 

marigold 4. Pallavi(Pallavi Gandhi) 

Turquoise bracelet 5. Maria (Maria Apostolou) 


photo   6. Kevin (a blackbird) C T

RAW52 kinetic "Draw-a-Face" &TADA365 7. Sandra (micicart) 

The Leaf Princess (face) 8. Marian (Ms Place)
 F G

Strata veneer on hollow bead 9. Lee Ann {(mustardseedcreations (Lee Ann)} 

TADA365 10. Ponsawon (polymerclaybeads) 

9/5/11 The T-Fold Opened - the back TADA365 No:239 11. Helen Derici 

RAD 356/365 12. Lesley Tinnaro 
I O D 

And some info for the players:
Photos No more than 2 jpegs for each letter.
Method of fabrication:
Artist Statement (about this piece):

Artist Name:
Artist Info (like a bio, but super short - one paragraph):
Artist website/contact info: