Monday, September 7, 2009

For me it's about the color - Bead Lesson No.2

I don't know if you can say that the beads I make are original, since many people out there can make beaded beads. I can say through years of trial and error, discipline, and perseverance, I have managed to create a practically perfect beaded sphere (or oval, square, barrel, disc) that is, in my opinion, my best vehicle for story-telling; for me the beads are all about the color, bringing them together in an original combination of shades. I imagine in color and associate memories with color, smells with color, ideas with color, feelings with color... you get the idea. In order to get this out of my system I work directly with color everyday, creating my jewelry designs. The beaded rounds I make are a means to an end and the metal work I do is the final touch to a color story about: unrequited love, Frida Kahlo, or the French Rivera. Each of my bead colors are chosen deliberatly as a symbol of something I know to be certain in my life or the world.

The unique and personal memories of me are what I try to convey in the work I make. Each color symbolizes a reaction, a longing, or a comfort. We all have these and convey them in different ways... mine just happens to be with color.

My newest and most popular color story right now titled Oaxaca is featured in my Etsy store: dijon, bronze age, chartreuse, mint, tahiti, tide pool, and charcoal. What story do you know that can be told with color?

- Pink

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Confessions of a circles, dots, rounds, spheres - aholic

I am having the BEST time with this. I have always wanted to learn how to make my own beads and viola! - Thanks to Robin Epstein of Bunny Huggins - I am making all my dreams come true. Really, if you live in Portland you can contact Robin and she will give you some lessons on highly detailed metal-smithing and time saving techniques.

You will see that I have produced a beautiful bead made from my bead caps - and I have created a new simply beautiful earring that I think I'll call "smashed dot". I love making little dots and adding them to links, etc... this is could get way out of hand! Look forward to more of these - hopefully - this holiday season, but I'm not promising anything. My standards are very high and I have to make them to a certain level of quality before I will sell anything in my store. What can I say I'm a perfectionist:)

- Pink

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Leveled to the ground - one of my Favorite Portland Landmarks

The Union Pacific Building always reminded me of home. Yes, on the way to the Peninsula of North Portland. Well - now it's completely leveled and the only landmark left is the big smoke stack. I'm so happy I chose this landmark as one of my photo projects in a photography workshop I took last year... so glad:)

I wonder what "they" did with that big Union Pacific sign and the letters... there was just something about that building - the industrial-ness of it all. It looks so empty there now... what are the plans I wonder, as I watched them disassemble it brick by brick and as one metal sheet after the other came down. Bye-bye.

- Pink

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Thank you JMKAC Midsummer Festival of the Arts

I did find some time to make a few new things for the last show I did. I really wanted to do something unusual with my beads and found a secret stash of disk cores ( I had made these in the past many years ago). I was only able to make one pair of earrings and one pendant - and they were some of the first pieces to go, as was the new pendulum necklace.

So, this was a very successful show for me and as some of you may have heard already, I came away from this show with an Award: based on professionalism, originality, display, and quality of work (see, here I am in my booth) - and my husband did a beautiful job getting it exactly how I envisioned it I think:). Anyway, I have to say I was STUNNED! I wasn't at all expecting to be given an award - which allows me to come back to the show next year without being juried in or paying the fee. I'm excited already for next year... and I hope to get into a few other shows in the Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan area next summer - what a great part of the country! I had a spectacular time, the people were fantastic and I especially loved Milwaukee - it looks like it is in the midst of a resurgence and what an exciting time it must be to live there...

Thank you so much to the Judges at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center - I'm so glad you were able to see my vision of story telling through color and metal - it means so much to me. And thanks to all my loyal supporters out there - your words of encouragement and support are always appreciated and welcomed... really. xo

- Pink

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Remembering what used to be...

Sometimes customers force me out of my comfort zone. I have a fantastic customer that lives in Asia and she really wanted a multi-colored bead woven pair of earrings. Well.... I had been there and done that many, many, many years ago - and just really love making solid color beads. However, because this customer is so super nice and always asks for special requests with much enthusiasm and joy (I can just tell over email that she is smiling while she types) - I relented. And I am so glad I did. I have to say I remembered how much I love making my "dappled" beads, as I used to call them, almost 10 years ago. Just tinges of each color coming together to make a story all their own on one bead.

Thank you so much Cindy - you keep me honest and continue the inspiration in my work. Look for more of these "dappled" beads in the months to come. They will be limited edition - so get them while they are posted:)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mille Souvenirs

Sometimes we are presented with the most inspired sentiments. In my case it was when reading about my favorite opera La Traviata. I have been in love with this art form since I was 17 and first heard this music in one of my favorite movies of all time The Music Teacher, in which the young male singers have a dueling match of voices - amazing! So, in reading about this heart-wrenching and melencholy opera I came across a letter from Alexander Dumas to his lover Marie Plessis. They were very much in love, but during that time money was a big factor in whether or not people could be together... alas, it was not meant to be for Alexander and Marie, but the letter explains it all:

My dear Marie, I am neither sufficiently rich to love you as I would wish nor sufficiently poor to be loved as you would wish. So let us forget, both of us - you a name to which you should be almost indifferent, I a happiness which has become impossible. There is no point in telling you how sad I am because you know already how much I love you. Goodbye, then. You have too much feeling not to understand the reason for my letter and too much intelligence not to forgive me for it. A thousand memories, A.D.

This letter (originally written in French, of course) compelled me to create my newest color story - Mille Souvenirs, in honor of Marie. Now let us all go out and create our own memories!

- Pink

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Wink of things to come...

Now that Spring is nearly over and Summer just on the horizon many of you have been waiting patiently for my newest colors to show up as well as some of the new designs I've been up to. I want to let you all know that I have been working diligently (in between fighting off bronchitis and a series of migraines) on new designs (and some old ones too) showcasing these newest colors. I'm very excited about what I've developed and I hope you are too. It's amazing what you can do with some simple materials and tools: heavy gauge wire, liver-of-sulfer, hole punch, hammer, disc cutter and dapping block. Here's a preview of what I am currently creating.

- Pink

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

TQB Designs at JMKAC - Midsummer Festival

I am happy to say that I was accepted into the Midsummer Festival of the Arts put on my the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. So, if any of you are in the Sheboygan, Milwaukee, Chicago area and would like to see me and my work it looks to be a fabulous show and I would of course love to meet you! Come on over to the JMKAC and check out the show. It runs Saturday and Sunday, July 18th and 19th 2009.

I will have a number of my bigger pieces as well as a new line of Circle jewelry - very much in the same vain as my bead caps - with necklaces and earrings using these textured rounds either in bead cap form or donut shape - can't wait to get started on this...

- Pink

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Lisa Kaser : Inspired Art, Incredible Talent

I consider myself to be a big art collector and when I find an artist's work that I love I become extremely enthusiastic about acquiring some... and boy, have I. I have quite a collection now of one of my very favorite artists ever, Lisa Kaser. My goal one day is to acquire one of her originals!

It doesn't matter how many times I look at one of the many prints I have purchased, I always see something new or become inspired all over again with a project that I am working on (I have my collection hanging in my own studio). Lisa's illustrations are inspired and beautifully crafted right down to the clever titles of each: Image No.1 - Cornmeal Pancakes & Mexican Chocolate, Image No.2 - He Flies Purely for Pleasure, and Image No.3 - Tuesdays Were Reserved for Sharing Recipes.

Lisa Kaser just opened her first Etsy store a few weeks ago and I highly recommend that you head on over to make a purchase! I have posted a few of my favorites here that she currently has in her store and I'm sure over time you will find that you just have to have "that one" and pretty soon your collection will be as large as mine!

- Pink

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Look Ma, No Hard Drive!? ... another lesson...

Many of you may know by now how fond I am of lessons. Well, this time the lesson is: do not procrastinate. I had thousands of photos on my computer, but never made the time to get many of them over to my external hard drive to archive them for safe keeping. As a result, over the last two weeks, I have been dealing with an ailing and failing computer. I took it into my local MAC repair shop and it was too late. The hard drive failed as they were trying to back it all up....

So, remember kids - go and get yourself an external hard drive (or better yet back everything up to a DVD - much less likely of failure if stored correctly) for all those files you want archived. You just never know when your computer's hard drive, mother board, etc... will fail on you. I am very happy to have Mac back - and we are getting along much better - even though we are a little lighter on the interior...

- Pink

Monday, February 16, 2009

Vote Now on JPG - fractional stop

Okay - I have submitted one of my photos for consideration in the JGP Magazine for the 22nd Issue (check out my photography blog for details here: fractionalstop). I know that many of you appreciate this fantastic photographic on-line site and are soooo glad to see it still in action after having heard that it may disappear... but, thankfully it has not!

I hope that you all can take the time to VOTE for the image I have submitted (or any of the other fabulous ones by other photographers) under the "Zen" Theme. I will keep you posted as to the other two: "House" and "Fairy Tale"... they will be submitted shortly. The deadline for voting is March 31st.

Thanks so much for all your support:) xoxo

- Pink

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Arts are Alive and Well... really? It's a Community.

Yes! And don't let anyone tell you different. Now, I preface this statement with some expected caution and diligence on the part of the artist, of course. In these troubled economic times we all have to be smarter, savvier and persistent. I know I do. And I take this very seriously. But, these are all skills any successful artist has any time of year, no matter the economic situation, I have found.

Now, I don't want to come across as gloating, I simply want to relay my own story in hopes that it may motivate and discourage the "nay-sayer" in either yourself (Yes... I can definitely be an "Eyeore", I've been told) OR perhaps those family and friends around you that ask in their melancholy tones "wow... how is it going?..." waiting to hear back from you some corroborating story of your troubled and tourmulant downturn. My best advice (even if it may be true)... don't succumb to them. I have to say that I was busy over the Holiday Season and continue to be very busily working to this day. I attribute this to the fact that I HAVE to stay positive to stay in business. I also find myself wanting to share what ever it is that I have learned over the many years of being a self-employed artist and find when giving freely back to the community I get so much more in return.

I know this may sound cliche - but, really as part of the Arts Community here in Portland, OR I feel it is my duty to stay positive. If not for myself but, for those that may not be busy or successfully/consistantly selling their work right now. I also do this for those artists that are coming into the community. They need to know that it is okay to try and be an artist not matter the trends or economy.

I am very proud to say that I will be speaking to some of these up-and-coming artists at my almamater, St. Mary's Academy in Downtown Portland (yes, I was one of those crazy Catholic School girls...). This school, being one of the very few all-girl high schools left in the US, taught me so many valuable lessons. The best and the one I use most: don't be afraid to take a chance - be yourself. You may be surprised at how strong you are.

I hope that I will be able to convey this to those young, enthusiastic and adventourous minds and spur them on with a sense of excitement to explore the possiblities out there in the Art world that is Portland and beyond.

It is a new time and it is palpable. I hope that everyone takes advantage of this re-newed energy in the air. I know I will... keeping Eyeore at bay.

- Pink