Friday, January 28, 2011

Sorry for the "V" word...

I’m sure to any Americans reading my blog the mention of Valentine’s Day by now is, well, nauseating. I always hated the holiday when I lived in the states way back when (jesus, it really HAS been way back when…) They don’t really celebrate it in Germany so I haven’t been bombarded with hearts and pink and reminders to make reservations, etc. which makes the hating far less strong. Actually, I think they do call it Valentin’s Tag or something but that was just some desperate marketing ploy from a card company or candy factory or something and marketing just doesn’t have the same clout with pragmatic Germans as it does in the U.S.

Still, I do love the rather timely romantic longing in the two photographs here. I took them of a much larger painting at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. The man in the woman are in the same room in the original painting, but I like that I photographed them separately like they are thinking about each other desperately, wondering all along if the other one is doing the same. I have the pair for sale right now in Augenblick Photo under the title Is He Thinking About Me As Much As I’m Thinking About Him? Also made a wood block set with the photographs that I will be posting soon. So far the wood blocks seem to be something people love to heart but never buy, but what the hay? They’re fun to make. Many more to come. :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Blame it on Knete

As you might have noticed, I haven’t been around for a while. Partly it is my computer’s fault as it still is having problems and really, really hates blogger and facebook for some reason. But the main reason for my absence is Knete.

Knete is the German word for Playdoh, although the German version is much harder and doesn’t have that Playdoh smell. The girls got some from Santa (ok, Uncle Uli. Shhh! Don’t tell!) which means bits and pieces of it are all over the house. We had some good days making snails and the cobras Nag and Nagina from Riki Tiki Tavi. I think there is still a hunk somewhere, part of a now dilapidated princess castle, in a corner somewhere gathering dust.

Anyway, what I found out pretty fast was that I LOVED playing with Knete, maybe even more than M. and L. I even kept a piece in my pocket to play with absentmindedly while picking up some fruit at the Markthalle. One thing led to another (i.e. I did lots and lots of internet surfing) and I stumbled onto polymer clay.

For those of you who don’t know, polymer clay is a clay-like-substance that you can mold and then bake in a conventional oven. I was excited about the idea until I saw the brand and a shudder went down my spine: Fimo. In the late 80s Fimo beads that looked like this were all the rage.

I found them very cool and tried to make my own, but they just ended up looking like ugly lumps which made me very, very angry. Fimo. How could I be into some old junk like that? I put my late adolescent hatred aside and bought a few packs and found, indeed, that I love working with it. In fact, I love it so much that I’ve started making a whole new series of jewelry based loosely on the material. Here are some photographs of one of my recent pieces.

I know it may sound crazy, but I’m thinking of opening a new etsy shop for these pieces (crazy because I already run 3 shops) but actually I’ve found it suits me to spread myself around. If I’m in the mood for some vintage Trachten and playful jewelry I spend time in Curious Knopf. If I’m in the mood for spooky images and natural history I mosey on over to Augenblick Photo. If I need to get my kitsch fix and check out some vintage oddities that I had to buy for some inexplicable reason, then I saunter on down to Schaufensterbabe. I’ve never been a one trick pony though I tried for years to make myself into one. So much freedom came when I realized it was never going to happen. The key is doing whatever I happen to be into at that minute one hundred percent

My new shop will (most likely) be called Dear Dante and will be a home for minimalist modern jewelry that mixes metals, polymer clay with a dash of natural history. The pieces are also going to be of higher quality, probably mostly sterling silver. I’ve ordered some supplies and will be oxidizing them myself (thank for the info internet!) with something called Liver of Sulphur. Stinky I’m sure, but also lots of fun. In the words of Eloise, Mia’s new-old obsession, boredom is not allowed. ;)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Modest Photographer

Let’s face it: I’m the girl of a thousand hobbies. I think it all started at an early age when I got into cross-stitch (I could stitch a mean teddy bear, I tell you…) From there I moved to collecting rocks, painting rocks, paint by number, collecting bird’s eggs from their nests and then trying to hatch them on a heating pad turned up on high (this particular hobby I’m not all that proud of.) Even at six or seven I was interested in the vintage photographs my grandmother kept in a drawer in the den of her house in Phoenix. This later turned into collecting vintage d├ęcor and housewares and wearing vintage clothing.

Besides running three shops on etsy I also write fiction (mainly short stories, though I would like to take a stab at a novel), sing in a duo with an acoustic guitar, make jewelry (and am interested in learning more about metal smithing) and, of course, also am an avid photographer. Although I don’t really like the word “hobby” I guess that is what they all are, though I do pour my heart into all of them.

Jasper, on the other hand, has only one hobby: Photography. I love his photographs. They are more cool and aesthetic then mine, but really create a mood. But he’s very modest. He doesn’t think he’s good at anything other than taking portraits of the children.

In defense of his work, I am posting some of his photographs (the ones seen here) in my photography shop, Augenblickphoto. Most likely they will sell as well as my own photographs, i.e. not at all, but it will be swell to have them all together. I’m also planning on making jewelry with our photographs similar to the ones I made with vintage photographs at Curious Knopf. But who knows. Maybe I’ll wait until I’ve thrown myself into metal smithing. ;)


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