At the beginning of 2016 I started to plan the new work that I would make for Hammer, Cut, Stitch, Repeat. I decided to look to part of my heritage, my Slovakian side for some inspiration. I researched Slovakian embroidery patterns. I went to the library and took out some beautiful books and I became infatuated with this tiny Slovakian town called Cicmany, where they have painted decorative stitches on all of their houses. I found patterns I loved, I burned them into a new silk screen, and I sketched a handful of new neckpieces.
Then life took over, and I went to Europe for a two-week adventure. I rekindled my heart connection to the Netherlands and met my new great love, Paris. I meandered around canals, ate pannekoeken, admired colourful flower displays in windows, and was charmed by the white and blue of Delft. I drove through old medieval villages in Belgium, waltzed through the streets of Paris, and joyfully exclaimed that I was getting boozy in Bouzy while in the Champagne region.
I returned to Vancouver filled with new inspiration that I thought I could shelf while I got back to work on my original plan. I like to follow a plan. I started enameling and silk-screening these lovely gridded cross stitch patterns on metal and I liked the results...but i wasn't sure about them. I kept going...and I got a little stuck. I continued again...and I became more stuck. I pushed and then I hit a wall. I wasn't happy with the pieces I was making and I wasn't sure where to go.
At the same time I was getting stuck creatively I was in the middle of moving to a new home after living in the same space for 12 years. A big move for me, so it makes sense that my creative process was also moving. The move meant many trips to Home Depot and being someone who is obsessed with tools and trinkets, trips to Home Depot mean that I wander through aisles touching things and wondering how they would look turned into jewelry. There were a few pieces I found that I couldn't leave behind.
I decided that instead of shelfing my new inspiration, I needed to shelf my original plan. My world had been so swirled around in the last few months that I needed to listen to where the pieces were landing in me. I opened my sketchbook to start drawing and a postcard that i've been carrying around with me for two years fell out. The Guggenheim Museum covered in random patterns by artist Mukai Shüji. This image and and the lovely curves of the building have been in my heart since visiting the Museum in 2014. I have been sketching various pieces inspired by these shapes for the past two years, but hadn't realized them in jewelry yet.
I sat in my studio one morning with my Guggenheim postcard, my Home Depot trinkets, and my images from my Europe trip in front of me and I started sketching. I spent the next month in my studio enameling and soldering teeny tiny wires, figuring out how to get the shapes i wanted, the textures i wanted, and how to make these industrial materials work in wearable pieces.
I'm excited by the results and happy I shifted direction. The pieces pictured below and a few more new ones will be on display and for sale at Circle Craft Gallery September 8th 2016 - October 11th 2016 for the exhibition, "Hammer, Cut, Stitch, Repeat".