Wednesday, May 29, 2013

New Life

Our New Life exhibition is coming to an end at Jewel Envy.  The exhibition was a part of the Toronto International Jewellery Festival and SNAG 2013 Conference.  Coming this Monday I will be clearing out the cases and replacing them with our regular work.  I feel guilty about letting my blog fall to the wayside... Here are my excuses: In the past year I have moved into a new apartment AND the studio I manage - Jewel Envy has moved into a new location.  I am a creature of habit.  The change of environment hasn't tampered with my creative spurts, but my web presence (what little there is) fell off my radar.  I hope this won't be the case and my next update will not be spaced out so far.

Okay! enough with the excuses and ramblings.  I present to you my work and artist statement from New Life.
HANSEL / Vitreous enamel on copper using cloisonne technique, Sterling silver, steel pinback, flocking

ZSADIST / Vitreous enamel on copper using cloisonne technique, Brass, steel pinback, flocking, various chain
MAXIMUS LEONIDAS / Vitreous enamel on copper using cloisonne technique, leather, seed pearls, sterling silver

I am a proponent of the cult of new domesticity.  I have a feverish DIY spirit that keeps me up some nights to randomly bake a batch of cinnamon buns made from scratch or cut apart a pile of cardboard to create a shoe rack.  On the flip side of things I would hardly say that I have bolted upright before dawn to accomplish a DIY project, but there have been a few rare incidences.  That is until I volunteered to maintain my sister’s farm while she was out of town.  There was no question in my mind how much I wanted to do this.  I had reaped the rewards of her laying hens, ridden on her horses, and helped out in the first couple of days when her goats gave birth to their kids.  Now I would be there every day to care for her brood of animals.  I would have to wake up at the crack of dawn to feed them all.  And not to mention all that horse poop.  Seriously, there are hills behind the barn composed of horse poop.

Of the things I learned:

Having the hose handy while feeding the goats is paramount.  They are more excited and friendly when you are bringing them food and lunging goat hooves don’t feel so nice.

 Zsadist the horse will bend to your will if you offer him a treat, this includes clumsily trying to put a horse blanket on him when it’s something you have never done before.

Never leave anything on the kitchen counter that can be consumed.  This includes and is not limited to used Kleenex and sticks of butter.  Adding to the weight of Maximus means you run the risk of being squished when he is in lap dog mode.

The sense of accomplishment and pride of the daily labour involved is like no other that I have felt.  Neither have I ever slept so well.  My temporary new life has instilled a deeper curiosity and appreciation for the rise in small farming ventures and an examination of how animals are cared for on a larger scale for mass consumption.  However, I am (with a twinge of guilt) grateful that I now have the option to sleep in on the weekend.

List of animals:
Dogs: Maximus Leonidas (Bernese Mountain Dog), Detective Olivia Benson (Miniature Dashchund)
Cats: Death Wish Kitty, Tip, Boo, Bob, Zoob (barn cats), Socket Plug (indoor cat)
Horses: Zsadist, Avalon
Goats: Gert, Hansel, Katinka, Tony, Levi
Sheep: 41, 42
Fowl:  24 ducks, Dindin (sole rooster), 8  chickens, 6 guinea fowl

Check out:

AND I have yet to read, but am going to go ahead and plug: Homeward Bound by Emily Matchar

In her own words:

"An examination of the fascination with reviving “lost” domestic arts like canning, bread-baking, knitting, chicken-raising, etc. Why are women of my generation, the daughters of post-Betty Friedan feminists, embracing the domestic tasks that our mothers and grandmothers so eagerly shrugged off? Why has the image of the blissfully domestic supermom overtaken the Sex & the City-style single urban careerist as the media’s feminine ideal? Where does this movement come from? What does it mean for women? For families? For society?"