Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Older doll heads

I think this was one of the first dolls I sculpted using glass eyes that I had flameworked. I didn't realize at the time that the clay had to be a certain minimum (and consistent) thickness to not crack. The chest cracked at the neck because the clay was too thin where the head pressed down into the torso.

I really like using fine wool for hair. I can't think of another material that has strands that are more accurately to scale.

There was a contest to make a music video for Bjork when Volta was released. I sculpted this Bjork head for a doll that I used in my entry. The video is below (December 16th's post,) or you can find it on my Youtube channel.

All of these heads have faces that are about one inch long.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

More finishing

I finished decorating the other doll head pendant that I sculpted in Cernit. The hair is wool, the jewelry is sterling silver, and the face was painted with acrylics. I also flameworked the glass eyes.

Monday, December 28, 2009

New doll head pendants

Freshly baked Cernit heads with handmade glass eyes

This is what the head on the left looked like before decorating.

I glued shells to the scalp as hair. The face was painted with acrylics and I made her jewelry from sterling silver and pearls.

The necklace is waiting for a pendant.

This head will be the pendant for a necklace made of larger shells that I got in Cebu.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sculpting a head

First, I create some kind of skull from aluminum foil and set the eyes that I made out of glass. Loops of stainless steel wire are inserted where I will later hang earrings.

Next I add a few pieces of clay (here I used Cernit) to create a skin that holds everything together.

I add more clay to create mass where the features will be.

The surface of the head with is smoothed out with my fingers. Then I pinch bits of clay off the face to define the contours.

I finish sculpting the features carefully with my fingertips, and with sewing needles.

Here is a little bust that I have yet to paint, wig, and adorn with tiny jewelry.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Glass knobs

One day I will build a kitchen, and I will make glass knobs for all of the drawers and cabinets, doorknobs and light pulls.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

One more craft sale

I'm in the process of preparing for my next sale, the biggest show I have yet done, January 14-17 in LA.

After this I hope to phase out of production jewelry work, except for custom orders and bigger pieces. (Email or call if you want anything. I love doing custom work at no extra cost!)
It's disappointing to work so hard and sleep so little and then stand all day at a sale. I spend hours explaining myself-- mostly to people who don't listen, or who don't believe that I actually use torches to melt glass, and that I make everything myself, by hand, and without molds.

I've enjoyed doing this for 12 years, but I feel too exhausted and unrewarded for the amount of time and energy I put into doing craft sales, and I am still unable to sell through stores because I cannot produce that much work by myself. (Also, my prices are ridiculously cheap and there are still people who ask if my prices are in cents instead of dollars.)

I've decided that there are more sustainable ways to spend my time. Being in the Fab Academy has been a terrific impetus and avenue to learn new things as well as revisit a lot of project ideas (now that I know how to actualize them!)
I hope to finish a lot of the projects that I've been thinking about and working towards for years- glass plant chandeliers, a wearable jointed glass dress, elaborate electro- mechanical dioramas, children's books, music videos (including music, sets, and costumes) and building a carousel.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I used to have a blog

Here are some older writings that I like:

Friday, August 11, 2006

Beaches in Rhode Island are different in these ways from the beach I grew up going to in Queens. You don't have to be afraid of stepping on broken glass or needles or shards of aluminum. In Rhode Island, if you try to pick up the foam of breaking waves, you'll find that it's only bubbles in water and it runs away through your fingers! In New York it's a foam that you can pick up, and it dries solid.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I was walking through my neighborhood tonight, and the sky was so clear. Looking at the massive golden moon I was reminded of: one night seven years ago I was sitting on a dock in Maine, and the moon felt closer than it ever had. I then wondered why people waste their time rendering landscapes when no experience of viewing a representation could ever approach the grandness of being in the presence of everything that has naturally occurred on a scale greater than what might be convenient for a human animal.
I think the irreverence of city-dwellers has to do with our distance from things wild. People here are so accustomed to surroundings made and changed by people, like we're really powerful in the scheme of the world. What hubris! Human animals are really powerful in making a terrible mess of beautiful things.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

In an effort to calibrate my Circadian clock, I went for a walk in the park. The sun was still white and the grass was dry and yellow, riddled with desiccated goose shit. The tide was low so I walked gingerly on shallow patches of quicksand. The water here reminded me that I should explore the rivers at home. The wind made the reeds buzz like hornets, and I liked the fake danger in the noise.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Yesterday morning I walked to the park again. The tide was low and smelled like it. The water was busy with Canada Geese and the applause of flocks launching off the surface was like a new type of quiet firework.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The unpredictability of life reminds me of when Ivy and I lived next door to that fortune teller who always bugged us to come in for a reading.
One day Ivy said to her, "You know what I do when I want to know the future? I wait!"

Thursday, December 17, 2009


This is what the back of my head looks like right now.

I put plastic eyes in the centers of some lasercut anemones.

If you think this is creepy, why does it make you uncomfortable?
It's strange to me why people are afraid of dolls or masks.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Björk video

I guess I haven't put this up here yet. Bjork had a contest to make a music video for "Innocence," but, for whatever reason, a month was subtracted from the end date of the competition. I taped all of these things that I made (having never done anything like this before) and Arley Rose Torsone edited everything (we spent about 13 hours editing an hour into a minute.) Because we had a month less to make the video we weren't able to address the entire song. We didn't win, and I still don't know how to adjust the light settings on Mikey's video camera.

My friend, Brian, recorded with Bjork for some tracks on Volta, and he gave her a glass necklace that I made. She immediately put it on, and she was already wearing a necklace of human teeth that Matthew Barney made for her. Unfortunately, no photos were taken to document this.
I know it sounds unbelievable, but this actually happened. Ask Brian Chippendale.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

MIT is so cool.

Me in a robotics lab at MIT- photo by Jeremy Radtke
Yesterday the Providence Fab Academy visited The Center for Bits and Atoms at MIT! It was great to see everything-- different robotics labs, Biomechatronics (which focuses on smart prosthetics) and Opera of the Future, as well as the projects of MIT students in the "How to Make Anything" class. This is the course that our AS220 program is based on.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The day after

These are some signs that I made. They say:
"WHAT DO YOU WANT and why?"

"Everything is possible- MAY BE ANYTHING"
"stay OPEN"


I meant to not think about working today because I had a sale yesterday and a sale last Saturday, but I'm always thinking about making things. Today my Dad gave me a book about carving carousel animals! I would very much like to make a carousel!

Here's another wall in my studio.

Hey Jacque, thanks for taking me to the ballet!
Mom, thanks for the cinnamony persimmons. I am full of my favorite foods.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

RISD Alumni Sale

These earrings are off to L.A. to be given (by someone else) as gifts.

Tomorrow is the RISD Alumni Sale at the Rhode Island Convention Center from 10 AM to 5 PM, and this is what my desk looks like right now.

The wall above the desk

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Writing in wire

I was 14, if not younger, when I began writing with wire. I did this in 2001.

I made this necklace in 2007. It says, "You may never understand how much you are loved."
The words are stainless steel and I forged the scissor in sterling silver. The clasp is magnetic.

It's really fun to make these tiny, hinged silver scissors.

These are the tiniest silver scissors I have yet made.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Childhood Jewelry!

My Mom had a jewelry business when I was really little, to help put my Dad through school. She made, repaired, and sold jewelry as well as working full time. She has now been supervising the same blood bank in Brooklyn for forty years. Because of her side business, my mom always had semi-precious stones, Swarovski crystals, and jewelry tools around. I started weaving beads when I was around 9 or 10 years old. Though I mostly used seed beads for weaving, this is a bracelet of crystals I made at that age.

I think I was about 12 years old when I made this aluminum puzzle bracelet. No one else could figure out how to put it on without hurting themselves.

I've been this height since I was 12 and all of this jewelry still fits, even the choker below with the 12.5" circumference.

I made this choker of copper wire. The spikes came from golf cleats. They're so sharp that I had to be very careful when hugging people.

I made the necklace when I was 12, and the pendant grew 7" (to 9") when I was 16. These are old glass marbles in woven copper wire.

I was 14 or 15 when I used copper wires (some insulated) and a button pad from a telephone to make this choker.

This necklace is made of aluminum wire and a Skeletor eraser. Age 14?

I made this necklace of balsa wood beads when I was 15.

This necklace is of silk, pearls, and sterling silver. It always made me think of hair underwater, like mermaids with pearls tangled within their own silky strands. It also made me think of drops of water on fishing nets. I made this when I was 16.

I got these West African wedding beads from a street vendor in New York's Chinatown when I was 16 or 17. I made them into two necklaces and I wore these on the cover of Art New England.

I made this when I was 18, of steel wire and a composition doll hand. Shortly after I made this I started lampworking!

I wish I knew how to document my work when I was little. At least I still have some pieces to do it now.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Persistence of Vision

I'm making a "Persistence of Vision" toy, which will show a programmed message like this in eight red light- emitting diodes.
In the lab we have a roll of copper foil backed with a conductive adhesive. I used a knife to cut out a hand shape. (In this case, I found it faster to work this way than to use the vinyl cutter.) I covered a small metal container with a vinyl sticker to insulate the foil board from the conductive tin. I soldered some surface mount LEDs and resistors onto the copper, and tomorrow I'll finish the rest of it.

Monday, December 7, 2009

I like

I have a lot of fun playing with these forms. I hope to make and illuminate a hundred more of each cluster, in more colors.

This is pretty old, but I love how it berry- like it is. I sculpted the glass and the sterling silver calyx, and the stamens are glass on copper.

This reminds me of Japanese dot beads, but I applied the colors individually instead of making a murrini.

I love making glass bees, especially suspended from plant forms!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

New things

I tried to make a lot of new things for the Bazaar Bizarre. I only slept for one hour before leaving for Boston, and I still didn't feel like I had produced a lot of work for the sale. Aside from one- bead pendants and a few necklaces, I showed a bunch of larger pieces that I spent several months making, but most people aren't looking for fine art jewelry at that particular sale.

These are all things that didn't sell, so I'll have them for sale next Saturday at the RISD Alumni Sale, along with new textile accessories!

Bubblecloud earrings

Encased floral pendants

A rose- breasted bird