Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Something for Me

I've been making and designing jewelry for a long time, but most of what I make ends up at a gallery for sale. Very rarely over the years have I made something for myself. Recently, I designed some pendants just for me. They are sentimental talismans about two important people in my life who are no longer living.
 The pendant shown above is a photograph of my grandmother, Alice Clement Worden, at age 40. My grandmother believed in me and paid for my college education. She loved good clothes, fine leather goods, furs and jewelry. She also traveled by herself at a time when married women didn't do that sort of thing. Below is an image of the back of this pendant, just a touch of mink.

Another pendant is about my sister, Linda Worden Moon. This image is the two of us when I was about 4 and Linda was about 2. We were together all the time then and my mother often dressed us in identical dresses. Since those were the days of hand-me-downs, that meant Linda got stuck wearing both hers and mine.

On the back I put a lock of her hair under plastic. When I wear the pendants, everyone from grocery cashiers to stock brokers comment on them with enthusiasm and they have inspired several commissions.
So how much would it cost for us to make a custom pendant for you? They start at about $1200. depending on how much work we have to put into the photo and the material choices. These two pendants happen to be made in brass, but we are making some in silver too. The original images are scanned and Photoshoped to clean up the image and size it for a pendant. If you are thinking about something special for Christmas, send me an email at wordenjewelry@gmail.com. We need at least three weeks lead time to make a pendant. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

How I spent My Summer Staycation

Last month I took some time off to rest, recharge and be a tourist in my own area. I went to four museums; the new Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, the Future Beauty exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum, Buster Simpson’s retrospective, Surveyor, at the Frye Museum of Art and twice saw Patti Warashina’s retrospective, Wit and Wisdom at Bellevue Arts Museum. 

Baindrdge Island Museum of Art, Winslow, WA

The new Bainbridge Island Museum of Art is really easy to find, just take the ferry to Winslow, drive out of the parking lot and there it is on your left. I went especially to see the work of the late Heikki Seppa, an internationally known silversmith who taught at Washington University in St Louis for many years and retired on Bainbridge Island. Unfortunately, the display of his work is in a cramped hallway and one third of the work was in display cases too high to view properly. The other exhibits are a survey of Northwest art and crafts with no big surprises. In fact, the actual building and grounds are so gorgeous that they kind of upstage the art.  Check it out, I think they have the best museum shop in the region.

Junya Watanabe Comme des Garcons

Future Beauty at the downtown SAM is only up through Sunday Sept. 8th and it is a stunning and thorough selection of Japanese fashion in the 1990’s. Even if you don’t care about fashion, you will love this exhibit as the clothes are more sculpture than wearable. My daughter Avery and I ooohed and ahhhed our way through it and bought the catalogue. Hurry down if you haven’t seen it yet.

Buster Simpson Secured Embrace

Buster Simpson has definitely earned a retrospective at the Frye, but this show isn’t for everyone. The unfortunate reality of much conceptual art is that the documentation of an event or temporary installation rarely does justice to the original experience. What I liked about the show was the memories it brought back of the Belltown neighborhood in the 1970’s and 1980’s before that area of town became gentrified. Buster’s awareness of the challenges in that neighborhood and others are an important historical record, interpreted through his unique voice.

Patti Warashina Bottom Feeder

Patti Warashina’s retrospective Wit and Wisdom is hands-down my favorite museum exhibition of 2013.  I have been through it from start to finish and finish to start two times now and will undoubtedly go again. It encompasses her student work from the 1960’s through to the present day and covers the entire third floor of the museum. It would be hard to name a more prolific artist; the woman raised two kids while teaching full time and has made more art than anyone I know. The ceramic sculptures range from miniature to huge with thoughtful narratives frequently implied. My favorite objects were the sake sets, many with political overtones. Wit and Wisdom continues through October 27, 2013. Do Not Miss This Show!