Wednesday, January 11, 2012

guest post - jeannie ortiz

Hi!  My name is Jeannie Ortiz, I am happy to be a guest blogger...and I can’t stop making things! Right now I am all wrapped up with fiber arts - spinning, weaving, macrame and playing with all modes of adornment - sacred, beautiful, playful and practical.  For the past five years, I have been living nomadically in the American West, India, Nepal and Mexico.  I’ve spent countless hours meandering through the mountains or near the ocean where I find natural treasures to incorporate into my art.  It is impossible for me to come back from a hike without pockets full of rocks and other treasures from the earth. These crystals, stones, bones, seeds and wood meld together in an amazing puzzle with string or yarn to create something new, which carries an essence as ancient as the stones themselves.






I create adornment that intersects every day life with the sacred and have always found it very important to draw from tribal cultures.  In these cultures jewelry is worn not solely because it is beautiful,  but because it connects them with their lands, people and history.  In my work I want to create bonds from our primal humanity to our modern world by creating treasures that anyone can connect with.    




Macrame baskets feel like a natural form to carry the tiny treasure I find.   The making of baskets is a personal way to incorporate all the cultural history of basket making - carrying food, belongings, ashes, sacred things - into a simple and beautiful object to be worn and treasured.  Experimental macrame has become an amazing mode of working for me because of its sculptural possibilities and ability to marry many materials into one piece.



At a certain point it is equally as important what is physically within the basket as the thoughts and ideas have been put into it by both creator and wearer. I like the idea that these stones I find move around in the world of people, bringing the energy of the place they were found to the wearer, whether it be from a mountain top in New Mexico, a stream in the Himalayas or the beach in Mexico.   As they are worn and loved, I hope the pieces take on a new life with new stories becoming entwined within their knots.



I love to make things that make you want to look closer, pieces that have a strong visual weight, although their physical weight may not be much.  Wearing a piece of jewelry should be a sensual experience that engages more than just your eyes.  Its like going to a museum and being able to touch the art, to feel it out, and see what it is all about.  For many of the pieces, the stones are permanently knotted within, and are only visible upon close inspection, or when the sun hits just right to reveal the crystal, or turquoise nugget hidden inside.  





I also have a bit of an obsession with the need to make jewelry both extremely strong and comfortable, something that can be worn for weeks or years, and not be taken off.  This comes from my own habit of breaking and loosing jewelry while swimming in a river, camping or dancing.  It is important to find the balance between a visual delicacy and simplicity, and inner strength.  Most of my necklaces are made of a supple waxed nylon which is extremely strong and lends itself very well to the tubular forms of macrame.



When I physically begin a piece, it’s all about the central point.  For the baskets I begin at the bottom of the basket and work up.  For the pieces with a focal point, I begin with the stone, and watch it grow.   The beads are also an amalgamation of collected treasures.   In the formation of a necklace, the beads throughout become just as important as the center-piece.  



It all starts, and ends, from the need to create, to take the materials I have, or have found, and turn them into something new, something like I have never seen before.  A constant evolution through experimentation is what it is all about...to truly make something new each time, with love.

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learn more about jeannie and new tribe textiles at these places:



thank you so very much jeannie for sharing your beautiful and inspiring work... 








10 comments:

Kristi Bowman said...

Beautiful work, love the little baskets and that necklace is gorgeous!!!

Mª Reyes said...

Es precioso. Besos

Izzy said...

Your work is absolutely amazing!

stacilouise said...

So nice to meet you! I am facinated by your style- I love the connections to traditional jewelry and mostly, the earth and its beautiful found objects. Thanks for sharing your creative process with us:)

In the Light of the Moon said...

Wow,gorgeous work..thank you for sharing this with us...Im off to check out your blog!!Hugs,Cat

Juliette Williams said...

Your work is absolutely beautiful! It's great to meet you :)

Barbara said...

Thank you for sharing your thought process with us Jeannie! I can see all of the elements you describe in your work! This ties in perfectly with what I'm posting about today!

Artisan Beads Plus said...

It is great to get to know you,Jeannie! One of the first mediums I used to create with as a young adult (18 yrs..... real young), was macrame. I still have a love for it. I stopped when I was still in the following a pattern stage to go to school full time. Back then, the big thing was hanging plants and everyone I knew had a plant hanger ;o) I remember my creations kept getting bigger and more involved. This post really brought back those memories and also a new fascination for macrame in a small form. I also want to add that collecting from nature is also something I love. I would have hard time returning from hikes!
MaryAnn

mairedodd said...

jeannie, thank you so very much for sharing yourself and your work... both are beautiful... you took the macarame of my childhood and turned it into an art form... the intention with which you give each piece is so pleasing and peaceful... will be watching your shop and site to see what you are up to!

Kelli said...

WOW!!! I love the big chunky, thick choker!!! Incredible work. Love it! THanks for sharing with us!

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