Tuesday, February 17, 2009

1938/2008 flowers

As a continuation of the gelatin technique, my mind already has moved on to other things that have been simmering in the backburners. I collect magazine tears and images that move and inspire me, and will tack pictures on my giant inspiration board in my kitchen. Sometimes they wait there for months, and over many days staring at them while working, hope that they bring some new idea...So it made me so happy to finally find a home for pictures that have been up on the board for a long time.

An image from the Marni 2008 fashion show, of women wearing bright, colorful flower necklaces has brought so much excitement and inspiration to me. As a jewelry designer, the technical feat of using such a hard, unpredictable material and making it so soft and feminine is astonishing. These pieces are feats of design, small wearable sculptures that border art and fashion.

When the Alexander Calder show opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the spark finally did ignite: 70 years ago, (yes 1938!) Calder welded hard, cold metal (a material as difficult to use as resin) into a delicate, feminine, and bright necklace. Small bits of colored glass caged by simple, giant prongs form the essence of the flower, but it feels modern, edgy, and sculptural.

I tried recreating the multilayered effect of the Marni flowers; loading a brush with warm brown gelatin, and leaving the centers open for different colors.
As you can see in my attempts, I drew in the colors for the centers. In my hurry of being so excited, I didnt prepare enough striking color combinations.
I think neon orange or a bright, unexpected color would be perfect.

Its hard to believe that Calder made his necklace in 1938, and 70 years later Marni captured the spirit of it in a totally new feeling. My edible version is an homage to using new materials in unexpected ways.
I really love these flowers and am looking forward to using them soon.

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