April 30, 2019

Wearable Art Spring Kick-Off Wrap-up| Celebrating many FIRSTS!

Wearable Art Spring Kick-Off Wrap-up| Celebrating many FIRSTS!

Wearable Art is an ever-evolving genre as is the many ways to show it, share it and own it! Without a doubt, the combinations of clothing and jewelry at this show were simply exquisite.  For many of us, it was the FIRST time we had a chance to mix and match our collections.  For this, Clark Linehan’s amazing photos are truly worth more than 1000 words of this post!  Our Friday night opening

VIP Attendees! Mayor Sefatia, Elizabeth Carey – Discover Gloucester and friends from Boston!

reception was “magical” according to one of our artists.  The elegance of John Hyde’s music with the colorful backdrop of wearable art was a perfect combo.  The attendance was perfect for lingering all night long and trying on beautiful clothes and jewelry.  We even had a “pop up” changing room for our many guests who wanted to shop!  In fact it was a perfect night to mingle under the tent while Mother Nature held back the storm for just the right amount of time.

It was also the FIRST time we held an event to celebrate Spring and our FIRST appearance as part of  ArtWeek, MA.  This gave us the opportunity to combine our beloved fashion marketplace with two truly outstanding speakers – Martha Sutyak and Anne Lee.   On Saturday- Martha provided a long check list of do’s and don’ts to anyone that wants to exhibit their work.   Using a clever “exercise” Martha asked everyone to match up her boot collection (in and of itself a conversation piece) to colorful tiles of fabric to help everyone navigate their own thoughts about what works and what doesn’t in display. Stay tuned for a future post from Martha!

On Sunday, Anne Lee dissected the experience she had in researching the fiber art universe to prepare to write her book Artistry in Fiber- Wearable Art (Schiffer Publishing) . (We were also thrilled to meet her colleague & co-author Ashley Rooney on Saturday!)   This event was held in the intimate dining room setting where the Inn served a scrumptious brunch!  (Put the Castle Manor Inn’s  Sea Glass Restaurant on your restaurant list in the coming weeks!)  Anne provided wonderful advice and guidance to artists and admirers who want to see their work in print some day or are just curious about the curation process.  Expect to see many future books from Anne!

It was also our FIRST time at the Castle Manor Inn and FIRST time under a tent equipped with a lovely “living room” in the middle for just hanging out and taking a shopping break!  Our artists and hosts were creative in dealing with the challenges of the weather and we thank everyone for their patience and help.   Most importantly, as a group we came together in new ways, forging friendships and thinking of how we can continue to grow our relationships and bodies of work.

April 24, 2019

Sustainable, Timeless Fashion & Colorful Fabric | Defining her brand – by Queen Allotey-Pappoe

Timeless Fashion & Colorful Fabric | Defining her brand – by Queen Allotey-Pappoe

Queen  Adeline by Queen Allotey-Pappoe is a fashion design brand focused on sustainability and is  inspired by the colorful culture and art of Africa. Blending clean tailored lines with colorful, printed textiles from her African heritage, rendered in modern timeless silhouettes, Queen creates clothing pieces which are wearable art, fit to adorn the human body, yet practical and functional. How are you being sustainable?

First and foremost I do not follow trends as a designer because I believe that is one of the core reasons for fast fashion, which has resulted in mass producing fashion at the expense of the environment and sometimes the human lives that are involved.

I create modern timeless pieces which are wearable art in themselves, versatile and trans-seasonal, aiming to bring individuality back and keep clothing longer in our closets.   It is my belief that if people slowed down to chose and buy clothing they really needed, and felt connected to in expressing their individuality, then they will enjoy wearing it and keep that piece for a long time thereby reducing waste.

In being sustainable my process involves best practices and innovative design to help reduce my carbon footprint on the environment. There are three main foci in this quest: the impact of my work on the environment, the human lives involved in my business and the preservation of local artistry and craftsmanship. To this effect I often work in collaboration with local textile designers and seamstresses both here in Boston and in Accra, Ghana to create some of my work.

I try to incorporate minimum to zero waste concept in my design process, so that I efficiently use the least resources possible in creating my designs. To that effect, I use minimal fabric, notions and trimmings and upcycle fabric from old collection in my design.

I grew up in Accra, Ghana where the most common textile I wore was a hundred percent wax printed cotton. This is my choice of fabric in creating my designs. I chose cotton because I like to know that it is a natural fiber and it is degradable. I joke with my clients and say “once you find a Queen Adeline design that speaks to you, do me a favor, buy it and wear the fiber out of it!. When it is all done, I know if it should find itself in the ground for lack of proper disposal, I am at peace knowing the piece of clothing is biodegradable”. Most of my customers  like that it comfortable on the skin, easy to care for, wears well with time and ultimately biodegradable.  It is my goal to use 100% Organic cotton/ natural fibers in the next  few years.

Fashion as Wearable art

The use of clothing as a means of expression is an art form from my West African Heritage passed down from generation to generation. This is vital to my design process. Traditionally Ghanaian block printed fabrics had symbols which were called “adinkra”. These symbols on the fabric and their color will convey the message and the mood of the wearer to you without uttering a word. Fast forward to today, most African print textiles found on the market today including both traditional and digitally designed textiles still carry the art form of expression through the prints on the fabric. For me the fabric tells me what it should be made into and I respect and follow that process. In effect every design I make is in collaboration with the textile and subsequently dictates the silhouette, form and function of that piece.

My mission is to inspire confidence in people, to empower them to express their ultimate selves whether at work or play whilst respecting and caring for the environment. Sustainable Fashion Design is one way I do that!

Queen received the Student Innovation Award at the 2017 Celebrate Wearable Art Event and will be here on Cape Ann with her full collection for the first time on April 26th!  Grab a ticket now here!

April 22, 2019

Overcoming Obstacles | Opening up new paths for jewelry-making by Kiki Taron-Kinney

Overcoming Obstacles| Opening up new paths for jewelry making

By Kiki Taron-Kinney

I have been a metalsmith for close to twenty years. I love everything about fabricating jewelry…. well almost anything.  I have not set a stone in a handmade bezel for over a decade. I am not fond of making them mostly because I am not good at it. I also struggle with making rings, I could never get the sizing correct.

In early winter I received the course listing for the Spring session at Metalwerx in Waltham. There in black and white was a course listing for making carved heavy bezels, and in the class students would make a bezel-set ring. Was this the time to face my ring/bezel fears? I did it. I signed up for the course and paid for it right away, not over thinking it and perhaps changing my mind.

The class was a three-day weekend workshop taught by master metalsmith, Pauline Warg. As I drove to class, I kept thinking, what am I doing? I was sure I was going to make a fool of myself. When I met the instructor, I quietly told her my fears.

The first day of class flew by and everything I did went smoothly. I formed the heavy gauge silver around a beautiful Chalcedony cabochon, and I soldered it together on the first try, and then successfully soldered it to the backplate. I went home thinking I can do this.

Day two of the workshop we worked on making a very heavy ring shank to solder the backplate onto. It took most of the day. It was wonderful seeing the progress. I soldered the shank to the backplate flawlessly and the ring fit my finger as planned. I knew last day of the workshop would be fun and I had accomplished my goal of getting past my fears.

The last day of the workshop entailed setting the stone and polishing our rings on the polishing lathe. Oh no, one more fear to overcome! I was terribly afraid of the lathe. The instructor walked us through the proper and safe steps in using the lathe. I was very nervous but slowly I got the hang of it. The feeling of accomplishment was incredible.

Reflecting on the class, I realize that part of why the class went so well for me is that I am not the same metalsmith I was 10 years ago. My skills and techniques are much more refined making each task much easier. I am so glad that I chose to try and overcome my fears. I see a lot of heavy carved bezel wires and rings in my future!

You can find me at the upcoming seARTS Wearable Art event on April 26-28 at the Castle Manor Inn or via any of my social media channels!

QuitsaKiki Designs. via email.

Via my Website.  On Facebook: FB QuitsaKiki Designs or Instagram quitsakiki

April 16, 2019

Krista Duhaime | Creates work through a unique lens

Focal Jewelry Designs started with a small curiosity of the inner workings of old film cameras and has evolved into a full jewelry business. After an unfortunate fall on my camera lens while hiking with friends, I took it apart to see what was inside. The parts were more beautiful than I could have imagined and I thought it would make interesting jewelry. After many unsatisfying attempts of making jewelry without any training, I sought out a soldering course through a local community arts organization (Sharon Arts Center). This provided the tools to bring the designs I had in my mind to life. My method of designing the jewelry is to strip each camera part down into its most simple form and then design from that point. This creates a truly unique design and does not rely on the complexity of the camera for the beauty. I love the challenge of each piece and how the project had evolved over time.

Krista is showing her work with the seARTS Wearable Art Group for the first time!  Join us in welcoming her the weekend of April 26-28th.   Tickets for opening night are available in advance. Register here.

April 15, 2019

The Road to Vegas….T *plus* 7 days and counting| Beth Williams shares her new inspiration!

The Road to Vegas….T minus 7 days and counting| Beth Williams shares her new inspiration!

I originally wrote and published  this a couple of weeks ago, and now have added a paragraph and photos at the end to reflect how the presentation went….so this is T *plus* 7 days!

Full Spectrum Gradient Necklace in progress…

Next Sunday I will present my newest work to the International Society of Glass Beadmakers at our annual conference, “The Gathering”, in Las Vegas. This will be the second time I’ve presented, aside from being on a couple of panel discussions over the years, and it all came about at  last year’s Gathering when a few of us (long-time) members were discussing who we’d like to see as presenters in the future and what we felt was missing from the current speakers lineup.

Those of us having the discussion have all been glassworkers and beadmakers for well over a decade, some of us more than twice that; we were feeling a bit frustrated that there wasn’t much in the lineup directed towards us working in glass full-time – making a living. Granted, there are a lot of hobbyists and part-timers in the organization, so there is a real need to keep them engaged as well. And as in most volunteer-driven organizations, if you are going to offer suggestions on something you’d better be ready to jump in and participate. Hence, I submitted a proposal to speak – and it was accepted.

In a perfect world I would like to see a conversation started that would develop a strategy aimed specifically at keeping our established members more engaged and involved at a higher level that takes advantage of their knowledge and experience. I think it’s something all organizations run into at some point…balancing limited resources between attracting new members and keeping the long-term members happy. My presentation grew out of this dilemma…. what could I talk about that could be of interest to both groups?

Overlapping Squares Pendant

An idea that really resonated with me (and had for a while) came from seeing some beautifully executed metalwork that also incorporates lots of texture and layers of color, using colored pencils as the coloring agents. I’ve been aware of the technique for years and had wondered if it could translate to glass….so decided to take a workshop to test my theory. I found a class in February, signed up and was off to the races!

This new work has been fun, eye-opening and exciting to see develop! I find that when I’m the busiest is exactly the time “Creativity” takes over….and sometimes you just have to go with it and enjoy the ride.


Funghi Inspiration

Updated 4-14-19….The ISGB Gathering was a blast! All of the presentations were terrific, and mine was so well received that I will be uploading it to my website as soon as I finish making a few revisions. People in the audience were very excited – I challenged them to take the technique home, play with it, and then bring their samples to the next Gathering. Some of them have made pieces already and sent me photos; and we are planning to have a recap at the next Gathering as well as a drawing for everyone who brings a piece to show. If you’d like to follow along on Facebook or Instagram, search for the hashtags #coloredpencilonglass and/or #cpgisgb or follow me @bwstudio17 on Instagram or Beth Williams . Art Glass Beads & Jewelry on Facebook. I ended the presentation with an image similar to these, as inspiration and reminder to look around at everything, with new eyes and fresh vision.

Funghi Inspiration

Hope you enjoy seeing a few of the new pieces, and stay tuned for more to come!  Please visit with me at the upcoming seARTS Spring Kick-Off Event to find out more!  Registration or all days including opening night are available here on Eventbrite.