Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Pearl Piece Update #6

When I got back from Seattle a pile of packages was waiting for me and now my list is nearing 100 pearl contributors. Very exciting, very humbling. Thanks to everyone who has sent pearls; each one has been unique and I am so grateful! I'm still accepting pearls, too, so please send away if you're thinking about it. There is no longer a deadline, except to say I need them by October when the show opens... I will add your pearl, or pearls, as they arrive and will add them right up to the last moment. You can continue to mail them to me at the following address:

Amy Tavern
PO Box 1895
Richfield Springs, NY 13439

(Yes, I am moving but this address will continue to work. Once I am settled in CA I will post a new address. )

I've been thinking very deeply about how I will make this work and why I feel compelled to make it. I have come to some thrilling conclusions and feel really good about taking so much time to consider all the details. I still have things to work out and for now I want to keep this to myself. In the meantime, I thought I would share a few of the contributions:

Jowita Allen, Washington, DC

Kathy Clark, Reykjavik, Iceland

Raissa Bump, San Francisco, CA

Thanks for reading. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

I'm Moving...And, a Sale!

"So How's This Going to Work?" is a question I keep asking myself. I'm moving to California in just a few very short weeks; June 8, to be exact. Right now, I'm in the midst of finishing some new work for my galleries, filling a few Etsy orders, and making a couple of custom pieces. Once I'm done at the bench, I can start to pack. I will take my hand tools and my favorite books, and that's probably it. I'm not going to move my entire studio across the country because I will have access to all sorts of tools at school, but I won't have a studio over the summer. So, this brings me to begin to answer this question of "how":

1. I have reduced the number of galleries and shops I'm working with. Please visit Facebook to view a complete list. I will try to keep making work for these places while I'm in school, but I have no idea how demanding school will be. I'll see what's realistic as my schedule unfolds in the fall...more changes may have to be made.

2. And what about Etsy? I've been rolling this over and over in my mind and I have yet to come to a definitive conclusion. My plan for now is to keep the shop "as is" for the following week and everything will be 25% off as a last hurrah before I go. To take advantage of the sale please use the following coupon code - MOVING2015. This will be your last chance to order most of what is currently available, at least for the summer. I will remove everything from the shop when I move, except the pieces I still have in stock. These will be available all summer long, ready to ship within a day of ordering. Once I start school after Labor Day, well, I'm still trying to figure that out... Again, I think I need to see what happens at school first, see what I can realistically handle before making any concrete decisions. I would love to keep the shop open, but I just don't know if that's possible...again, more changes may come. 

So things are pretty hectic around here as I prepare to move. I will keep you posted on my plans and thank you in advance for your patience and support. You are always so good to me! Thank you!

Thanks for reading.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Guest Star Friday #144... Jasper Johns

Regrets, 2013

In 2014 just before I left for my second trip to Iceland, I visited MOMA to see Jasper Johns' Regrets, an exhibition I had been reading about for weeks. Johns' new work was compelling and I knew I had to see it in person. I was moved by the exhibition. It felt heavy; the weight of the subject, the underlying emotion, the visual elements, and the signs of his methods bared down on me intensely. Since then I've been steadily taking in Johns' work and life and continue to come back to several articles I read before my Regrets visit. I'm very interested in how he works and his process is apparent when you see the paintings and prints up close. Johns is obviously committed to his work, he is unapologetic, uncompromising. I love this quote from A Lens Catches; a Painter Converts in The New York Times:

"As always, in developing a series, he juggles several media, including oil paint, acrylic, watercolor, charcoal, graphite, colored pencil, ink on paper, ink on plastic, printing ink and photocopying. And his idea of doing variations on a theme is close to dissection: cutting an image open, picking apart its essence, moving bits around, throwing some out, squeezing others into new shapes, in the end restoring wholeness, but not in its initial form."

In another favorite article in the Financial TimesJohns talks about the show, his process, and his life. One of the quotes that continues to echo in my head regarding his process is: 

“Somehow what you end up with seems to be something you should have known was there to begin with, even though you had to work so hard to find it.”

How true. 

The day I visited Regrets I went early to beat the crowd and got to spend most of my visit nearly alone in the gallery. For the last twenty minutes I sat in front of the painting I have pictured at the top and just stared at it. I took it in as a whole and in minute detail, studying the composition and Johns' individual marks, and trying to think about what he must have been thinking about. It is indeed a heavy painting.

White Target, 1957

Near the Lagoon, 2002-03

Untitled, 1964-65

Fool's House, 1962

See more of my favorite Jasper Johns' pieces on Pinterest.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Seattle for Two Weeks, Part 2

above and below: a few favorites from 

And as always, I took in lots of jewelry while in Seattle: Jana Brevick's wonderful and impressive solo exhibition, Madeleine Albright's extensive brooch collection, and the delicate, beautifully designed work of Curtis Steiner (not to mention his incredible eye for artifacts and arrangements). Each visit was inspiring and reminded me why I love jewelry as much as I do. 

elegant, refined, minimal, and modern necklace by Curtis Steiner 
(special thanks to Curtis for the images)

gorgeous layered necklace display, Curtis Steiner

fascinating objects and arrangement, Curtis Steiner

and statement I agree with 100%: 

"jewelry's greatest value comes...from the emotions 
we invest in them"

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Seattle for Two Weeks, Part 1

first time seeing this, love the powerful visual illusion at work here

I spent two wonderful weeks in my old haunt, Seattle, spending time with friends, visiting favorite places, and eating really good food. The weather was killer: bright sun, blue sky, light breeze. It was cloudy only a few days and rained once, and even those days were lovely. The city looked more beautiful than ever in full bloom of spring. Here are some of my daily observations from favorite places and artists:

Something Like This Design, another unexpected new favorite

an "old" favorite I never tire of spending time with

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Trunk Show Happiness

My trunk show at Velouria was such a good one... A big table right in front was all ready for me when I arrived and I displayed my 100+ pieces atop black tiles and alongside a beautiful, leggy succulent. I blended all three collections together and was surprised by how good everything looked all mixed up. I usually keep the collections separate, but mixing them just made sense this time. Then over the course of the show lots of friends, colleagues, and fans stopped by to peruse and chat. It was great to catch up with friends I hadn't seen yet and to get to know some admirers. Those three hours were fantastic and they went by in a blink. Thanks to Cat, Chika, and Amanda for a lovely day!

Thanks for reading. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Trunk Show Reflection and Some Favorites

Badges in my Iceland Palette, $52 each

A few years ago I did several trunk shows a year in places like Seattle, New York, Portland, and Los Angeles. I would often combine a show with travel and loved these events to connect with both my customers and with shop owners and staff. Trunk shows tend to be low-key and casual, you can take your time with the work, and try things on. I always enjoy meeting attendees and I like the varied conversations I have with each person who stops by. Over the years as my work has changed, trunk shows have happened less and now that I'm switching gears with grad school, they will probably I hope you can join me tomorrow from 1-4pm at Velouria. The pieces you see here are a few of my favorite that I'll have on hand.

The shop is located at 145 S. King Street in Pioneer Square.

Arced Oval Earrings, $66

Little Spoon Necklace, $72

Line Drawing Earrings in Bright Finish, $52-$66/pair

Balance Teardrop Necklace in Glacier from my Iceland Palette, $202

Singular Split Sentiment Earrings, $62

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Trunk Show with Roots

This Saturday, May 16 I will be at Velouria in Seattle for a special trunk show. Velouria and I go way back--I've been selling my work there since the beginning of my career and I love any opportunity to return for one of these shows. The shop is now under new ownership and has moved to a different neighborhood, but it still has beautiful clothing, jewelry, and accessories from independent designers. If you live in the Seattle area, I hope you will stop by to say hello and take a look at my collections, and all the other wonderful things in the store. I have just about every piece from Line DrawingsRegal Graffiti, and History Repeats ready to go and if there's something you would like but don't see it, you can place an order. 

Please join me and the lovely women at Velouria from 1-4. The store is located at 145 S. King Street in Seattle's Pioneer Square. 

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

24 Devoted Hours

my amazing class and all their work

Over the weekend I taught an artist process class at Pratt Fine Arts Center and it was a truly wonderful, rewarding, inspiring experience. The master class was three 8-hour days of thinking, writing, and making exercises devoted to the how and why of art making. On the first day we focused on ideas, followed by how students make their work on day two, and lastly on day three, we looked closely at challenges and blocks. 

We began each day with an exercise to get everyone thinking deeply about their work followed by a 3D "sketching" project using common materials. After lunch we took a walk to observe our surroundings and take pictures of the things we find interesting. Then I asked students to observe what they observed by studying the photos and jotting down quick notes. The afternoon was spent with another focused thinking/writing exercise and then independent work time. Students could use these hours to dive into a project of their own or try any number of process exercises I had suggested. I took this time to meet with each student for 15 minutes to talk about their work. By the end of day three everyone had lots of writing done and made lots of wonderful, exploratory pieces. My students worked so hard in those 24 hours and were so open and fun. I felt just as inspired as they were!

I also gave a lecture the first day to a big crowd. Throughout the course of the talk, I detailed my career, process, individual bodies of work, and travel. I always try to be conversational and enjoy making eye contact with as many people as possible. Everyone seemed really engaged as I spoke and there were great questions and comments at the end. 

detail of some of the fantastic student work

during my lecture
Julie tearing copier paper

Checha fitting a bracelet made of egg cartons 

talking about the "how" on day two

a brooch by Barbara

Satpreet sewing on cardboard 

Thanks to Pratt, Rebbecca Tomas, Jewelry/Metals Manager and instructor at Pratt, and my students for such an incredible weekend! I would also like to thank the National Endowment for the ArtsSeattle Office of Arts & Culture, and 4culture for helping to make the Master Series possible.

See more pictures on Flickr.

Thanks for reading.