Wednesday, October 16, 2013

October - Beyond Pumpkins and Ghosts...by Karen McGovern

October is a great month.  The weather, for most of us, is finally getting interesting.  Trees change color.  The air is crisp, and so are the apples.  Events like hay rides and visits to orchards compete with corn mazes and beer fests--AND my birthday is in October so, yes, the month ROCKS.
 
October's leading lady is, for me, Halloween.  I've always loved Halloween.  The opportunity to dress in costume is an artist's dream.  I also love the history, folklore and mythology surrounding events in October/November.  It's more than just carved pumpkins and bed sheet ghosts, you know.
 
One of my favorite events of this season is Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos.  This traditionally Mexican holiday is celebrated just after our American Halloween, on November first and second.  The holiday is a celebration honoring family and friends that have died.  One of the central figures of the holiday is the sugar skull.  A highly stylized skull decorated with lavish embellishments, flowers and more.  They are beautiful!  I have several artist friends in all media that have created amazing interpretations of the sugar skull theme, one of my favorites is by my good friend Georgette Pressler of Devious Body Art.  Georgette is an amazingly talented body painter.  She turns the human body into stunning works of art.  Her Muertos works are just breathtaking--as you can see here.
 
 
Another favorite artist who specializes in Day of the Dead works is an American gal named Krisztianna.  She creates jaw-dropping sculptural works she calls Muertitas.  She makes them for every season, sculpted from Styrofoam, hand painted, embellished and simply STUNNING!  Check her out and get ready to be amazed.
 
 
For jewelry designers, October is a buffet of inspiration.  Fall colors in glorious peak, so we reach for agates and amber, amethyst and tourmaline.  Copper, brass, all those rich colors--yum.  I have never been one to create "holiday" jewelry, but this year I decided to try my hand at designing a sugar skull inspired series of work.  First, I created a necklace for Nunn Design--I'm part of their Innovation Team--and I used a hand cut skull I created from etched copper, embellished with Nunn's brass floral stampings, crosses, twig connectors, charm and beaded chain.  LOVE IT. 

 
Next I created a matching over-the-top cuff for Plum Gallery in St. Augustine, FL.  I created it from textured aluminum overlayed with a brass dragonfly wing.  In the center is a hand cut skull in etched copper, embellished with brass, sterling silver, steel leaves and more.  I rather like it, in all it's dramatic glory.
 
 
Finally, I wanted to create a more subtle design, so I made a jasper necklace in copper, sterling and aluminum.  A tiny sterling silver skull is held in place with a dimensional brass flower.  I really like this design.  Finally, I've made a bracelet that features a brass cup holding one of MaryAnn Carroll's gorgeous enamel copper discs, the tiny sterling skull and the brass flower, with a white stick pearl accent.  Definitely a favorite.
 
Red creek jasper pendant, brass and enamel copper bracelet with pearl accent. 
These designs are available NOW, so contact me if interested!!
For those of you that do create "holiday" work, what themes have you explored outside the "normal" holiday imagery?  I'm considering expanding on this theme, perhaps to try a winter solstice series.  There are so many wonderful seasonal themes that go artistically beyond snowmen and candy canes...that really interests me.  How about you??? 

2 comments:

Eric Henderson said...

Hmm. Those are pretty unique pieces of jewelry (or body art as some would prefer). I bought something similar at this place and wear it with pride even though it isn't the most conventional lol.

Eric Henderson said...

pretty unique pieces of jewelry (or body art). I bought something similar at this place and wear it with pride, even though it isn't the move conventional piece lol

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