Tuesday, November 29, 2011

An Autumn Sampler

I feel like I've been rushing around collecting little bits of colour before winter pulls the plug and drains all the tint and hue from everything.

Sampler, Cari-Jane Hakes, November 2011
I think that should be about enough to last me till spring!

Elsewhere today, a concentrated focus on some exciting new pieces for the Hybrid Handmade shop and a little bit of dreaming about some of the other pieces I have yet to make.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Musings on a Monday - The Sketchbook Project 2012

I am officially caught up with transferring all my previous 'test' pages into this new Sketchbook for the 2012 Art House Co-op tour.

The first time I attempted this page was back in May of this year.  This time round I opted to hand write the text.

Pages 17 and 18, The Sketchbook Project 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes, November 2011
Lines of circumnavigating quartz spread out on silica.  A path starting somewhere and ending elsewhere.

Pages 19 and 20, The Sketchbook Project 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes, November 2011
She could hear the chattering sound of the pebbles as they tumbled at the edge of the waves.  Did they ever get tired of this incessant motion?  Or was it essential to make them into the beauty of smoothness that she was able to grasp in the palm of her hand?  Sharp edges rounded, whole characters with even, wise temperaments.

I'm aware as I write some of this prose that the sentences are not in fact sentences.  I wonder it this is acceptable only because I know that they aren't sentences!  A deliberate attempt to create something by breaking some rules.  In trying to create a story that is just out of reach, just on the edge of the girl's consciousness, there is a brokenness in the language.

In any case, I like this metaphor for life.  As I sit and write I can recall many encounters with people who have had the quality I'm trying to describe above.  They have (or had) a softness of character, a wiseness that was developed through a life of hard knocks.  A life of struggle, hardships and overcoming adversity really does MAKE a person.  The real trick is realising this whilst your in the middle of 'it' and in some way trying to understand and appreciate the better person the experience will make you.

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Fabulous Friday Feeling

An entire mini-collection has been gradually surfacing on my workbench this week.  It has been bourn out of small flickering sun-struck pools with shallow depths.  Diving in and swimming around there are a few tiny fish hiding in the seaweed, timid, reserved and waiting for the high tide to give them their freedom.  There is a fair smattering of barnacles, a marine lichen, quietly sampling the microscopic flotsam and jetsam.  And there are a few surf tossed pebbles - showing off their jewel like colours, colours that magically disappear when they surface for air.

A surf splashed 'pebble'
As always, an extra texture on the back.  Some would say this is an unnecessary detail, an extra process that isn't seen.  For me it is an essential detail that is seen by the owner when she takes the necklace off.  It is an essential detail because it makes the piece unique. It speaks of care and it speaks of thoughtfulness - two qualities that allow this piece to become elevated to studio jewellery.

Sea Holly texture on flat back face of 'pebble'
detail of Sea Holly texture
By way of explanation - the little hole - another VERY necessary detail.  It allows the air to escape from the hollow form - if it was not there the whole 'pebble' would explode in my face when soldering the last joint!

I made a second 'pebble' and placed a timid, seaweed hidden fish on the back!

silvered fish detail on back of 'pebble'
As if all this 'unneccessary' detail wasn't enough - I added another one!

signature leaf detail to back
A tiny silver leaf with my London Assay Office makers mark on the back.  I have a steel punch with my initials.  It is an official punch that is registered in London.  It makes all the pieces I make traceable.  No-one else has this punch.  It is my silver signature so to speak.

Elsewhere, another Ancestor's necklace.  Inspired by silvered glistening light.  A simple string of glass and light.  A shimmering simple line.

Ancestor's necklace, Cari-Jane Hakes, November 2011
I love these simple little necklaces.  They are an exercise in restraint, in minimalism - although that said, I would layer these up with at least 2 other necklaces from my salubrious jewellery drawer!  Threading the beads is a very lovely thing to do.  I don't have to worry about hollow forms exploding, solder not running or anything (other than dropping the end of the thread and scrabbling frantically as 20 beads slip off and scatter all over the floor!).

These are the necklaces we have been wearing for thousands of years.  The shape and the form of the 'beads' has altered and changed with time but the basic form remains the same.  It's the kind of necklace that makes me wonder about history and heritage.

Some more on this mini collection next week mes amis - until then I wish you a bon weekend.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Treasure and Thankfulness

I bent down and gathered.  I gleaned from the edges, I took from the spaces that were in between here and there.  I found treasure.

Crowns, Cari-Jane Hakes, November 2011
I heard this story once.  It has stayed with me.  I remember it often.  Today seems like the right time to offer it up.  A story that reflects the theme of the season.

Crown, Cari-Jane Hakes, November 2011

Imagine you woke up one morning to find that everything was gone. That you had lost everything.  All your belongings, your things and all those that were close and dear to you were gone.  Imagine how you would feel.  There are in fact no words to describe the depth of such a loss.

Crown, Cari-Jane Hakes, November 2011

And then imagine that you were given everything back!  And imagine then how you would feel.  

I am only too aware that the first part of the story does becomes a reality for some people on a daily basis.  For the majority of us though, we have everything.  It is all close at hand, sitting around our table and held tight in our arms.

Crowns and other treasure, Cari-Jane Hakes, November 2011
The tradition of Thanksgiving is not one that my culture celebrates.  That said, the attitude of thankfulness is one that I need and try to weave into my everyday actions.  I remember that story often and when I do I'm always thankful.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Sketchbook Project 2012 - the second installment

A few more pages of the 'Transaltlantic' themed sketchbook for Art House Co-op's 2012 Sketchbook tour were completed this weekend.

Pages 9 and 10, The Sketchbook Project 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes, November 2011
Pages 11 and 12, The Sketchbook Project 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes, November 2012
Pages 13 and 14, The Sketchbook Project 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes,  November 2012
I've done all the lettering on these pages with 'old school' rub down transfers.  This means that the text takes A-L-O-N-G time!

Pages 15 and 16, The Sketchbook Project 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes, November 2012
You can see the first installment of the 2012 book here and if you want to see where it all began you can see the 2011 Sketchbook over on the Art House Co-op site here.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Musings

Oh well since you ask, yes, the weekend was full of sparkle and sunlight!

Sparkle and Sunshine, November 2011, Cari-Jane Hakes
It was filled with days of big open air where the reflection of the sky in the water and the sparkle of the sunshine in the rock pools made the horizon almost dissolve.  There was an ambiguity as to where one element stopped and the other began.  I think that its in those spaces that the magic happens.  Where a little bit of time dissolves and you become a little lost in the blurring of the boundaries between things.

Sunshine and Seaweed, November 2011, Cari-Jane Hakes
A beautiful constellation of barnacles (or ex-barnacles) caught my eye.  Barnacles are on my 'list of favourite things' along with pebbles and a few other things.

'Vacancy',  November 2011, Cari-Jane Hakes

The barnacles that attach themselves to whales must be the intrepid cousins of these more sedentary rock pool dwelling barnacles.  A kind of 'baggage' of sorts that the whale is perhaps oblivious to. I always think a barnacled whale looks very wise.  They lend a certain gravitas.  I wonder if the number of barnacles on a whale increases as they age.  Do whales accrue barnacles like we acquire wrinkles?

Barnacled Landscape, November 2011, Cari-Jane Hakes

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Things to Inspire, things that resonate.

I had to pull together some images today that would go some way to encapsulate the many sources of design inspiration that influence my work and the work of the hybrid handmade husband.  It is actually a hard thing to do.  To pick AN image or a SET of images that will give someone a clue to how you tick, how you design.  When I design and when my husband designs - we aren't really looking at images.  We aren't engineering our designs to emulate something that has already been done.

Things that resonate, November 2011
And so these images, if anything, are images that resonate.  They are images that when we see them there is a moment of recognition.   A school of though, a way of seeing the world and translating it. There is a moment of 'yes, that's what I'm trying to do too!'.  There is a joy in that.  A feeling of not being alone. A knowledge that the designs we produce are part of a milieu, a shared conversation that is connected with common threads.

Links for images:
1. The Fibonacci Series in Architecture from here.
2. Architect Zaha Hadid
3. The London Zoo Penguin Pool by Berthold Lubetkin

4. Pollen under a microscope from here.
5. Ball-Nogues installation for Frank Gehry's jewellery launch.
6. 'Continuum' by Charles O. Perry

7. Palm plant cells under a microscope from here
8.  Barbara Hepworth
9.  Mobius by 3xn

10. Nikolas Weinstein
11. La Chaise, 1948 Ray and Charles Eames
12. Architecture by Morphosis

What images would you choose?  What images would define you, how you design, write, paint, live?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Two lovely things.

Fresh off the bench...

Fly Free Butterfly necklace, Cari-Jane Hakes, November 2011

A silvered butterfly, dipping slightly into a shadowed recesses, strung out on a thread of sparkle and glass all held together by hand knotted pale pink silk.

Elsewhere this week, I've been thinking about simple necklaces.  Strings of colour.  The kind of necklaces that would have been made thousands of years ago.  The kind of necklaces that would have been foraged and carefully assembled, imbued with meaning and ritual.  It makes me wonder when we first started to adorn ourselves with things that were not just functional.  Why did we do it?  Why do we do it now?

Ancestor's Necklace, Cari-Jane Hakes, November 2011

I pondered this and other questions as I carefully threaded hundreds of the most beautiful ruby red glass beads onto stainless steel thread.

I'll be listing these in the Etsy shop tomorrow.  Until then mes amis!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Sketchbook Project 2012

When I sent my sketchbook off to the Art House Co-op in Brooklyn, New York for the 2011 tour I actually began another book (see here).  Filling the little moleskine sketchbook had become a habitual respite from all the hammering and soldering of the workbench in my atelier and I was reluctant to stop just because I had submitted the project.

Now that I am officially signed up for the 2012 tour and I have my barcoded sketchbook I decided to re-create the pages I have 'rehearsed'.  I've changed a few things, edited and simplified some of the pages but the story remains the same.

The Sketchbook Project 2012, cover, Cari-Jane Hakes, November 2011
I chose the theme 'Transatlantic'.  This one popped out of the list of possible themes - after all, I had just sent my 2011 sketchbook off across the Atlantic to New York!  It seemed to make for a very logical, pre-destined perhaps, decision.

The Sketchbook Project 2012, inside cover and title page, Cari-Jane Hakes, November 2011
The text reads:

At the end of The Sketchbook Project 2011, this postcard was stuck on the last page.....

The Alternative 'Thelma & Louise' Ending.

Cedric as a proud film aficionado, was more that a little afraid.  His eyes opened even wider as a mixture of surprise and shock washed over him.  However, he visibly relaxed in the girl's arms as she whispered, "I just meant, maybe we should just keep going."

The Sketchbook Project 2011, page 4, Cari-Jane Hakes, November 2011
And so one day they did just that; they kept going.  They left just as the wintered fingers of the trees had begun to be covered in a pointillist array of rose and green. 

"It's time to go on an adventure" the girl declared as she carefully dragged her Grandfather's suitcase out from under the bed.

The Sketchbook Project 2012, pages 5 and 6, Cari-Jane Hakes, November 2011
This time she took 
1. A jar of pebbles 
2. A sketchbook 
3. A moose 
4. A rubber band ball
5. A box of buttons 
6. A wooden spinning top

The Sketchbook Project 2012, pages 7 and 8, Cari-Jane Hakes, November 2011
She deliberated over which coloured pencils to take.  What colour would the buildings be, the sky, the roofs, the shadows, the leaves on the trees?  She could not decide because she did not know.  So she took them all.

Cedric was not best pleased with the inclusion of the Moose.  He found the tilt of his head a little idiosyncratic and his ease of mobility was frankly annoying.  However, his discomfort eased when he realised that the Moose would be traveling in the hold.

The Sketchbook Project 2012, page 9, Cari-Jane Hakes, November 2011
And there we shall leave her for the time being.  Gazing out of the aeroplane window at the beginning of her transatlantic adventure!
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