Monday, April 29, 2013

My Second Home

I had the most wonderful, but entirely too short week in Antwerp. I spent my days wandering, visiting my favorite places in the city, and enjoying meals with friends. I knew my way around, visualizing in my mind where things were with no need for maps. I loved being there. It was fantastic to see all my favorite things again and to spend time with my Belgian people. It was also interesting to see how things have changed since the summer. What a luxury to revisit!

I saw some incredible jewelry and fashion: I attended the opening reception and artist talk of Karin Roy Andersson at Beyond Fashion, got to see the work of BegoƱa Prats in person, and went to Mode Museum to see an exhibition of couture textiles. I visited Carolus BoromeusConscienceplein, and Vlaeykensgang. I found more graffiti, danced to techno till 4am with my Belgian brother and sister, and got a new tattoo.

It went by too fast.

 Balenciaga at the Mode Museum

 graffiti at Park Spoor Noord

 an icon at Carolus Borromeus, my favorite church

student work at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts
I spent the day at the school with my friend, Jorge Manilla, an instructor there

at the artist talk of Karin Roy Andersson with some of my favorite people, Karen Vanmol, Linda Savineau, and Karin De Buysere

I loved being able to see how things have changed since I left...
I made a brooch about this piece for my Belgian show. It is quite different now.

More images on Flickr.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Guest Star Friday #117...Karin Roy Andersson


Last night I attended the opening reception for "Catching Big Fish," a new solo exhibition at Beyond Fashion in Antwerp by today's Guest Star, Karin Roy Andersson. The work is inspired by fish and the ocean. Each piece is made with recycled plastic, sterling silver, and/or gold that is layered and sewn together to reference scales. The forms also resemble fish themselves--new species, just identified. The pieces are incredibly lightweight as well as lush, with wonderful, subtle texture and detail.


Karin also gave a talk the night before, briefly telling the story of her background and describing this new body of work. I am so happy I was there to enjoy both events and to meet and talk with Karin in person!



(that's Karin in the middle at the opening)

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Final Days in Certaldo

My time in Italy was serendipitously booked-ended with Certaldo. As you know I spent a few days there in the beginning and taught the advanced jewelry students. Then after nearly a week away in Florence and Venice, I returned to Certaldo. It was so nice to have some quiet moments there again after the crowds in the cities. I spent more time with the advanced students and gave a lecture. Then I was able to attend the student exhibition that served as the culmination of their semester abroad. A big thanks to the Italy Intensives program, Linda Darty, and Marissa Saneholtz for generously hosting me!

I also went on a few long walks: one to seek out graffiti in Certaldo Basso and the other to wander in the countryside. Both were wonderful in very different ways. The graffiti was inspiring, some of the best I've seen, while Tuscan landscape made me want to move there and live in a stone house at the end of a Cyprus-lined road. Here are some final pictures...

More pictures on Facebook and Flickr.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Lost in Venice, Part 3: Burano

I went to the island of Burano on my last day in Venice. It took nearly two hours to get there (two boats and a wait in between them), but I loved the chance to be on the water for such a long time. Then once I arrived the time felt totally worth it. The island is lovely: rows of colorful houses, fresh laundry on clothesline after clothesline, a relaxed feel and relative quiet considering the number of people that piled out of that ferry with me. I enjoyed a picnic lunch sitting next to the water and then made my way to the Museo del Merletto, the lace museum. The museum is a small but filled with incredible examples of Venetian antique lace and traces the history of lace from its origins. (I have posted examples from the 17th century.) There are also a number of cute, white-haired ladies working away on lace in the last room of the museum. Afterward, I wandered around as per usual and took lots of pictures and easily managed a visit to a church, of course.

More images on Facebook and Flickr.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Lost in Venice, Part 2

On one of my wandering days in Venice I did make a special trip to "Oh My Blue," a contemporary jewelry, accessories, and objects gallery owned by Elena Rizzi. It is a gorgeous space - minimal and modern with great displays set in an old building with huge original beams in the low ceiling. I had a lovely time talking with Elena and looking at all the great work. She will even start carrying my jewelry soon!

Then I continued my wandering and found some interesting graffiti with much of it in the form of stencils. Here are a few favorites:

More graffiti photos on Facebook and Flickr. final Venice post on the island of Burano.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Lost in Venice, Part 1

Venice is now on my list of favorite cities. If you leave the crowds in the touristy areas behind you can spend hours in the labyrinth of narrow streets and canals and see some pretty remarkable sights. You will also enjoy the quiet atmosphere of small neighborhoods and the calming effects of being so close to water. This is how I spent the majority of my time in Venice with a few visits to big attractions like the Basilica San Marco and the Palazzo Ducale. I also wandered into several churches, including Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari.

My favorite of all the churches I visited, Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, is where you will see Titian's masterpiece, "Assumption of the Virgin," which hangs above the high alter.

 The Pala d'Oro at the Basilica San Marco is an altarpiece dating from 976 in gold, enamel, and jewels. I only read a little about this astonishing piece before my visit to the basilica and upon seeing it I gasped out loud. Then I stayed there for at least 20 minutes just staring with my jaw dropped. My pictures do not come even close to conveying how incredible it is.

Also inside the basilica, I recommend paying 3 Euro to visit the Treasury where you can see a wonderful collection of reliquaries and other incredible objects in silver and gold. Finally, I was also impressed with the tomb of St. Mark:

The Palazzo Ducale is composed of many massive rooms that are almost completely covered wall-to-wall with paintings by Italy's great artists, like Tiepolo and Tintoretto.  I definitely checked ceiling painting off my list of top things to see on this trip with just this one visit. The Palazzo even boosts one of the world's largest oil paintings, Paradise by Tintoretto, which is 74 feet long and 30 feet high:

Tomorrow...Venice graffiti and some contemporary jewelry.

Please visit Facebook and Flickr to see more pictures.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Three Days in Florence: Art, Architecture, and Graffiti


In addition to beautiful jewelry and clothing, I also took in much art and architecture and a little bit of graffiti. My visit to the Uffizi Gallery proved inspiring. The fact that it took a mere 30 minutes to get in (I was told to be prepared for a long line) and the crowd inside was at what seemed a minimum (I was also told it can be mobbed inside) set the tone. I spent the most time with Botticelli (Birth of Venus and Primavera...huge sigh.) but also visited, Madonna with the Long Neck by Parmigianino twice. It is one of my all-time favorites! The Mannerist style really made an impression on me years ago in my survey of art history class and I have never forgotten this piece. I did not remember that it lives at the Uffizi, though, and was a very happily surprised when it greeted me as I walked into the room.

religious icons get me again and again, especially images of Mary, like this one at Santa Croce
When I visit a new place I tend to go inside as many churches as I can. The Basilica di Santa Croce, completed in 1385, is pretty incredible. It is vast and extravagant and has beautiful streaming light. It is also the home of the tombs of Michelangelo and Galileo, among other Italian greats. Although, I chose to not go inside the famous Duomo, I did spend a lot of time studying the exterior and the dome (top picture).

from Murder Mystery Series by Cindy Sherman

Also on display at the Gucci Museum, which I wrote about yesterday, was an exhibition of early works by Cindy Sherman in the museum's contemporary art space. I have seen very little of her photography in person, especially her earlier pieces, so it was wonderful to spend time with her work. She is truly a master of gesture and detail.

Unfortunately, I did not find a whole lot of graffiti or street art on my long walks around Florence, but I did find this wheatpaste that I really like.

David at Accademia Gallery

Finally, I got to see David which was simply awesome. He is so life-like (there are veins in his arms and legs!) and I expected him to started breathing or just walk away. Incredible. Enough said.

More photos on Facebook and Flickr.

Thanks for reading.