Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Inspired by Reading October Blog Hop...

Today is the Reveal for October's selection of the Inspired by Reading Book Club!  We read, "My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me" edited by Kate Bernheimer.  All of the participants agreed that the book was rich with imagery to pull from and was an excellent choice for our purposes.  I really enjoyed the book.  Some of contemporary literature's seminal giants retold classic fairy tales from around the world, breathing new life into the genre.  The anthology of forty stories offered a selection of diverse voices, discovering fresh insight in familiar territory.  It's kind of like discovering a tiny secret door to another world tucked in the roots of tree one passes every day.

Since we're in the midst of the Halloween season, we decided to dress up to make the in-person meet-up more festive!  Above is a picture of Alison to the left as a Russian Snow Maiden, me in the middle as Hansel, and Laurel to the right as a bearded lady.

To the left is Amy as flamingo in a mask her daughter made.  (She tried Laurel's wig on for the photo.)  To the right is Terri as a Ukrainian Babushka.

Every month I look forward to book club!  It's a lot of fun to get together with other creative people and share the things we've made and talk about the books we've read.  For this meet-up, everyone brought something to share.  Terri brought homemade chocolate chip cookies, Alison brought "Seven Deadly Sin Chocolate Cake" with seven different types of chocolate, Amy brought pumpkin gobs, Laurel brought handmade cards, and I provided an assortment of cookies, candy, cupcakes and of course, wine.  No tricks... just lots of treats!

And without further ado.... here's the REVEAL:

This necklace was made by Laurel.  She softened the macabre element with accents of pink.  Instead of picking one story to focus on, Laurel said she wanted to capture the essence of the fairy tales; while there's magic and wonder, there's also lots of death.  The necklace is made of a resin skull and cross bones pendant, carved blackstone spindle beads, quartz, mother of pearl, and pink seed beads.

Here is another necklace that Laurel created.  Again, the necklace was inspired by the fantastical stories in general.  She included lots of circular links, referencing the hero's journey, and lots of skulls, representing the peril the protagonist of the story faces.  This necklace includes glass links by Stephanie Dieleman, Susan Hanson of Heartsong Beads, and Cathy Collison of Trinket Foundry, wood burnt beads by Heather Trudeau, freshwater pearls, magnesite, dyed chalk turquoise, and Chinese crystal.

Although most people make jewelry pieces for the book club, it's actually open to any creation made in response to the what is read.  Above are handmade cards by Laurel.  She stuck with the skull theme and created these fun stamped cards!

This very modern piece was created by Alison.  She made it in response to "First Day of Snow" by Naoko Awa.  She used a blend of cool silver and icy whites for a frosty effect.  It's so elegant and the chain just feels good to the touch.

Here is a close-up of the focal.  In the stories, the bunnies chant, "One foot, two feet, hop, hop, hop."  She wired the quartz in the links to create a stylized hopscotch grid.  (Warning!  If you say the bunnies' chant, you'll be saying it all day long!  Hop, hop, hop!)

Alison found inspiration again in "A Case Study of Emergency Room Procedure and Risk Management by Hospital Staff Members in the Urban Facility" by Stacy Richter.  In honor of the modernized Prince Charming, she made this bracelet in Harley Davidson colors and included two Nina Design charms: one crown and one skull.  Like the story, this bracelet is fun!  It's playfully tongue-in-cheek.

Alison was really on a roll this month and created this really cool scarf necklace that was inspired by "Ardour" by Jonathon Keats.  Alison used a palette of white, silver and pale blue to produce as chilly feel to embody the main character in the story.  She also wore this as part of her costume, draping the scarf over her head.  It's really cool!

Alison said that this book could be a year long project in itself.  The stories are so rich with imagery, one could easily create hundreds and hundreds of projects inspired by the pages.  For her fourth project, she made a piece inspired by "Catskin" by Kelly Link. It's a cat toy!  She designed the toy after the five-tailed tail of the cat-skin suit with ivory buttons.  It's a clever interpretation!

This necklace is one of Amy's pieces.  It's simple, but has great significance.  The leaf pendant is supposed to represent the mugwort leaf in "First Day of Snow" by Naoko Awa.  It was created (along with the two accompanying beads) by one of her students who was given a rare opportunity to go to an arts-based retreat to learn how to make lampwork glass beads.

This piece represents Amy's second creation.  She didn't make the necklace, but brought it in as a "show and tell" item.  She told us a story about the necklace that was related to "The Color Master" by Aimee Bender.  It's a more conceptual approach, but it's interesting how she used an object as a touchstone for something that you couldn't see and could only hear.  I imagine that it links back to the history of fairy tales as an oral tradition and how storytellers would use mnemonic devices or would bring staffs or beaded necklaces as "place keepers" in telling epic stories.

This necklace was created by Terri.  She calls it, "Rechenka's Doll".  This piece was inspired by two stories in the book, "Baba Iaga and The Pelican Child" by Joy Williams and "I'm Here" by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya.  In creating this necklace, she was also influenced by a children's book called, "Rechenka's Eggs" by Patricia Polacco.  This necklace features an assortment of glass and wood beads, art beads by Golem Studios and Jenny Davies-Reazor, leaf chain, Czech glass, and a floral toggle.

Here's a close-up of the focal piece by Jenny Davies-Reazor.  Isn't it charming?  Terri said that when she saw this piece at BeadFest (back in August), she snapped it up because she knew it would be perfect for this project!

This is a necklace that I made.  I was inspired by "First Day of Snow" by Naoko Awa.  It features a base-metal rabbit pendant with white calcite, antique brass chain, a ceramic bead by Gaea, hand-stamped charms that I made that say, "hop" and one Czech glass leaf for a pop of color and to symbolize the mugwort leaf.  I picked through dozens of them to find just the right one that was lighter on the back, just like the story.

I could have easily made a piece of every story.  I probably could have made half a dozen pieces for every story.  When I read, "Bab Iaga and the Pelican Child" by Joy Williams, I had so many ideas, but was a smitten kitten with the imagery of the house with chicken legs.  I made this necklace with aged striped Czech glass beads, dotted ceramic rounds from Elaine Ray, a speckled ceramic round from Gaea, and a bumpy lampwork glass bead.  I also used leafy chain and created the focal.

Here is a close-up of the focal.  I made the polymer clay hut (and painted and patinated it) and used bird legs made by Penny Michelle by way of Joan Miller, who uses them in her ceramic birds.

This bracelet was made by me and inspired by "Ardour" by Jonathon Keats.  For an icy palette, I used cool silver, chilly whites, and sparkly clear crystal.  The white beads are leftovers from my "First Day of Snow" piece and the crystals are Swarovski crystals.  The lovely ceramic heart component, representing Ardour's wintry heart was made by Gaea.  I love using her pieces!  I particularly love using them in these fairy tale-inspired creations.  Her pieces are so whimsical.

But wait... there's more!  The fun isn't over yet!  Take a look at what these Inspired by Reading Book Club members made with the "My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me" in mind for this month's blog hop:

In another piece of news, an advance copy of the January/February issue of  Beadwork magazine arrived!  In it, there is a nice little blurb about the group in the Bead Buzz column by Kate Wilson.  If you get a chance, pick up a copy to show your support of them spotlighting groups like our's!
The next book for the book club is, "Bridge of Birds" by Barry Hughart.  For the remainder of this year's full list, CLICK HERE.  See the end of this post for a sneak peek at the book selections for next year.  The in-person meet-up at Allegory Gallery is scheduled for Tuesday, December 3rd!  The next blog hop is Wednesday, December 4th!  If you're interested in keeping up with what we're doing, CLICK HERE to visit our Facebook group page.  CLICK HERE to view our Pinterest page with supplemental inspiration.

After careful consideration, these were the book titles that were selected for our next year of reading.  It's hard to believe that we've almost completed a full cycle of the book club!  In finding books for next year, I had to make sure that none of them were out of print and that they were all available in paperback or relatively inexpensive to pick up.  (The first attempt resulted in a few titles that were nigh impossible to locate!)  I still have to assign months and will post the official list soon.  When deciding which book goes with which month, I try to assign thematic likeness based on the titles and summaries and balance that with major holidays and page counts.  It's a big shuffling game played out on my living room floor.

If you're looking for a little creative challenge, I hope that you'll join us and be Inspired by Reading.


Sarajo Wentling said...

It's so interesting to see what stories people responded to... and how many folks chose "First Day of Snow." So much great eye candy here and so many different styles! Oh, and I have to say that I love the costumes! Happy Halloween, all!

Diana P. said...

Thanks for inviting me to join! I had a fun time with this challenge. I also now have a pair of earrings that I love!

Sharon said...

Each art piece is beautiful and evocative of each story. I had fun reading and creating from the anthology. Love seeing those creative costumes too!

Lotus said...

A HUGE thanks to Andrew for hosting the meet up, but especially for his epoch seven hours of work on the blog post. I do SO look forward to the book club reveal every month! The work here and on the hop is awe inspiring AGAIN this month. I have seen most of the blog posts and commented on a few. I'll be getting back to commenting on the rest soon!

Mary Harding said...

This was a wonderful book choice Andrew and I see how creatively everyone responded. All of the pieces pictured in this post are so unique and visually delightful. Laurel, Your skull necklace is super--great combo of the ghoulish with those pink beads.
Alison- I love your chain of circles and the interesting wire wrapping you did with the pink beads--a beauty. I noticed your scarf necklace on your costume and it is amazing!!
Any your necklace with the Mugwort leave is lovely. I like the simplicity of it and the thin chain which go so well with the glass leaf.
Terri Your Rechenka's Doll necklace captures the feel of the folk tales perfectly. Love Jenny's focal which sets the stage for the whole necklace and your tassel and beadwork throughout.

Andrew love your Baba Iaga's house--that is such a strong image in the story and I wondered how it could be conceived in a necklace. You did it perfectly. and what a great story, right?
Thanks again for another wonderful blog hop. Love the list for next year!! Super that Beadwork wrote up the the book club.

SummersStudio said...

Amazingly creative interpretations! Awe struck. I've been quietly following along (it's been a quiet year for me) I have to say, you have chosen well in your selection books. I'm looking forward to next year!

TesoriTrovati said...

Thank you for inviting me to play along with you on this great challenge! I enjoyed the stories and the rich imagery they provided. I hope to keep reading more of the stores! I love seeing all the costumes you wore and the great variety in the pieces created. Such cleverness and creativity! As for a future... I don't get much chance to read, but I see at least one book that I have actually read in your list, the one by Steve Martin. Maybe I will have to dig that book out again and see if I can join in. Enjoy the day! Erin