Thursday, September 25, 2014

Inspired by Reading August/September Blog Hop...

The summer has been zooming by!  Today is the Reveal for the August and September selections of the Inspired by Reading Book Club!  For August, we read, "Stiff" by Mary Roach.  For September, we read, "Lavinia" by Ursula K. LeGuin.  We decided to combine the two most recent reveals.  Both books were met with positive reviews.

"Stiff" is a book about the second "lives" of cadavers.  While it's a macabre topic, the author uses wit and humor to soften the gruesomeness.

Fans of The Wizard of Earthsea books will recognize Ursula K. LeGuin's lyrical prose that boards on poetry.  The focus of our selection features a minor character from the Aeneid, based in ancient Italy before the rise of the Rome, giving voice and life to a female character that is marginalized in the original.  The book not only gives background and depth to the title character, but furthers her story and gives conclusion to the unfinished epic poem by Virgil.

The meet-up was a lot of fun!  Isn't it always though?  Not only do we talk about the books, but we share our lives and take a night off to celebrate creativity.  Since Lavinia was set in ancient Italy, Alison brought pizza!  Laurel brought cake and sweets to celebrate my birthday and we had wine as well!

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

Alison made this necklace for the August selection.  Here's what she had to say about it:  "I call this piece, "Heart and Soul".  It is inspired by the ethics and morals underlaying the practice of using cadavers.  I was inspired by this quote:  "H is unique in that she is both a dead person and a patient on the way to surgery.  She is what's known as a "beading-heart cadaver", alive and well everywhere but her brain, a body will not breathe on its own.  But hook it up to a respirator and its heart will beat..."  "... these afford her an opportunity most corpses do not have:  that of extending the lives of two or three dying strangers."  The necklace is made up of leather, a bronze toggle from Saki Silver, peanut beads, artisan lampwork glass, Swarovski crystal, and an enamel focal from C-Koop."

Laurel made this necklace inspired by the August selection.  Here's what she had to say about it:  "One of the funniest stories in the book is about a mixup in the postal service, when a box of groceries was received instead of the expected human remains!  Imagine the surprise of the people who got the cadaver instead of their ham!  I made the polymer clay components, marking the focal with the words: "contents unknown".  The beads are supposed to represent the wooden boxes the parcels were shipped in.  I strung the polymer clay beads on waxed Irish linen, to replicate the look of packing twine."

This is the necklace that I made for "Stiff".  I dug out my copy of Gray's Anatomy and scanned in some anatomical illustrations.  I printed the images on shrink film and popped them in the oven.  I used the shrink plastic components with milagros of body parts like feet, ears, arms, heads, and lungs.  All the pieces were attached to a silver chain with jump rings.

This necklace was made for the September selection by Alison.  Here's what she had to say about it:  "As promised, Lavinia never dies as she lives along with her poem.  At the end of her human life, she is transformed into an owl.  I was particularly inspired by this quote, "I fly among the trees on soft wings that make no sound.  Sometimes I call out, but not in a human voice.  My cry is soft and quavering: I, I, I cry: Go on, go.  Only sometimes my soul wakes as a woman again, and then when I listen I can hear silence, and in the silence his voice."  To make the necklace, I used one of Andrew's porcelain pendants featuring an owl, Czech glass, and leafy chain."

This necklace was made by Laurel.  Here's what she had to say about it:  "The book features several battle scenes.  I thought about chain maille armor and battle gear.  I had this necklace made of these funky "O" rings and took it apart to make this new bib-style piece.  I used silk ribbon with metallic stitching (in a leaf pattern) for the back of the necklace.  To me, the leaves represent Lavinia's connection to nature."

This necklace was made by me for the September book.  For the base of the necklace, I used a kumihimo technique with hemp cord.  From that, I hung an articulated mechanical owl from my family at Green Girl Studios.  Cynthia gave it to me years ago as a birthday present and I held on to it for just the right project.  At the bottom of the owl, I attached a bronze ring that I hung an acorn, an ancient coin replica, and shibuichi oak leaves.  In the book, Lavinia goes into an old oak grove to pray and receive visions.

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 "Stiff" and "Lavinia" in mind for the blog hop:

The next book for the book club is "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" by Neil Gaiman.  For this year's book list, CLICK HERE.  The in-person meet up at Allegory Gallery is scheduled for Tuesday, October 28th!  The next blog hop is planned for Wednesday, October 29th.  If you're interested in keeping up with what we're doing, CLICK HERE to visit our Facebook page.  We also have a Pinterest board with supplemental inspiration.  CLICK HERE to visit that.


Jeanne @ Gems By Jeanne Marie said...

I love that everyone drew inspiration from different parts of each book.Each piece is unique and interesting.

Sarajo Wentling said...

Yay! I'm glad to finally get to see what folks made for the past two months! So fun to see the different points of departure for our creations. I have to say that my favorite piece here is probably Andrew's Lavinia piece... that owl is amazing! I like the relatively simplicity of the design (although I imagine that the braiding technique is not simple to do!).

Unknown said...

These creations are all wonderful! I am blown away by Andrew's body parts necklace! Interestingly, Laurel's piece makes me want to read the book Stiff! Every one of these pieces is beautiful and something I would wear.