Sunday, March 06, 2011

Inspired by Calder: Woven Pendants...

We've been gearing up at the Atomic Ranch with Calder-inspired pieces. I've been working in the background on various pieces. My hands are swollen and my ears are ringing as a result!

It's my hope to attend. I've been eyeing a pin-stripe vintage tailcoat and am dreaming of seeing Doriot and Joyce Rooks and Meryl. And... finally meeting Kyle Cassidy. Candice Wakumoto said she'd send one of her runway pieces to be photographed if I agreed to go. Sounds like so much fun – a confection of an event!

(It's only a dream at this point, but... hey, I figure if I put it out here, then it has more likely chance of happening.)

In the meantime, I am participating in the way that I can, creating pieces to be worn, sold, displayed and potentially gifted to the museum if they'll have it. Here is the inspiration, a wire-woven pendant by Calder:

photo from the Calder Jewelry Book

What I love about this piece and why it inspires me, is that there is an inherent rhythmic beauty of woven pieces... in and out... in and out. In Buddhist art, they would sometimes incorporate horizontal lines into the folds of the depiction of Buddha to provide a built in meditation tool for the monks or devotees to focus on. What also appeals to me is that it is a reliquary and holds what looks to be a tooth of a saint or a memento, suspended (quite literally) in time. Not to mention, I love baubles, especially hung on long necklaces.

Here's first my interpretation:

It's made of 16 gauge brass wire and 22 gauge bronze wire. I attempted to combine some the hammered arabesques with the wire-woven basket technique. I wired in a porcelain piece, which seems to glow, from Off Center Productions. I think it was a good first try and I might add dangles to the metal spirals that parallel the shape of the pendant. I am intrigued by the combination of hammered elements and the woven ones and am thinking of ways to use this to the best effect.
Here is my second interpretation:

I thought for this one that I would streamline it a little more, like the inspiration. I hung a beautiful, simple cut, quartz pendant that has the same shape as the bauble. I should have, in hindsight, dangled it more to take full advantage. Perhaps for another one I'll do it. I might also decide to make some filled with pebbles or other items; the basket-weave is surprisingly strong and won't let anything that's appropriately sized fall through the cracks.

I also made a really funky and organic crown. All of it is woven wire. I've still got a bit of work to do on it before it's done. In my mind, I'm going to wire on pieces of Roman glass and add hammered wire details. We'll see how it turns out.


mrs beadsley said...

wow - love that 'first interpretation' piece - something about the shape of the 'pod' and the seeming wings that is arresting to the eye. also love the combination of metals you used.

TesoriTrovati said...

Brilliant! I just got a copy of the Calder Jewelry book. It is dazzling. Each page I turn I ooh and aah some more! I just passed this page in the book coincidentally. I am very intrigued by the weaving and the way Calder would take seemingly incongruous materials and blend them together. I love the found object organic vibe. As if this spiral, that flower, or this tiara sprang directly from his subconscious and leapt to life with his touch. I am going to look into this approach more in the coming months and more specifically in the next few weeks with a special project that I have going on. Thank you for the inspiration. Nice to know that there is someone out there on the same page as me. Literally!
Enjoy the day, Andrew!

Andrew Thornton said...

I'm a big fan of the found objects pieces he creates! I love all the big hammered forms, but my love is for the intricate things and the spirals. While working on the pieces, I had a ton of ideas. And while I may not sell these or show them, they were definitely informative and have gone a long way in inspiring me. So I might create necklace just of these pod forms.

Oh and guess who else is looking at Calder right now? Hint! Can't wait to see what she makes as a response. There is something powerful about these pieces and they do much to encourage.

Anonymous said...

Very nice job with the woven wire. I love some wire weaving! I really like the headpins too. The creative juices are flowing in Tucson I see!

Andrew Thornton said...

That's not even half of it! I made 24 bracelets, a dozen necklaces and a dozen pairs of earrings. All slotted to go to various magazines. So I can't take any pictures of them.

Oh and I made a crown and started on some hairpins and brooches. I'll take pictures of those when they're done.

AND I started on some filigree pieces. Those should, if all things go well, hit the shop on Wednesday or Thursday! (Of course I will blog about them too.)

ladynoble said...

These are so freaking cool. I want one! I may try to make one because I am very inspired!

Thanks for sharing!

Marcia DeCoster said...

Totally love these basketry pieces, stunning.