Saturday, July 24, 2010

Simultaneous Invention

From an article by Malcolm Gladwell in the New Yorker: 

"One of the first comprehensive lists of simultaneous invention was put together by William Ogburn and Dorothy Thomas, in 1922, and they found a hundred and forty-eight major scientific discoveries that fit the multiple pattern. Newton and Leibniz both discovered calculus. Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace both discovered evolution. Three mathematicians “invented” decimal fractions. Oxygen was discovered by Joseph Priestley, in Wiltshire, in 1774, and by Carl Wilhelm Scheele, in Uppsala, a year earlier. Color photography was invented at the same time by Charles Cros and by Louis Ducos du Hauron, in France. Logarithms were invented by John Napier and Henry Briggs in Britain, and by Joost B├╝rgi in Switzerland.  There were four independent discoveries of sunspots, all in 1611; namely, by Galileo in Italy, Scheiner in Germany, Fabricius in Holland and Harriott in England,” Ogburn and Thomas note, and they continue:"

"The law of the conservation of energy, so significant in science and philosophy, was formulated four times independently in 1847, by Joule, Thomson, Colding and Helmholz. They had been anticipated by Robert Mayer in 1842. There seem to have been at least six different inventors of the thermometer and no less than nine claimants of the invention of the telescope. Typewriting machines were invented simultaneously in England and in America by several individuals in these countries. The steamboat is claimed as the “exclusive” discovery of Fulton, Jouffroy, Rumsey, Stevens and Symmington."

Is there such a thing as an "original" idea?  Is Priestly's discovery of oxygen any less original because Scheele had discovered it a year earlier?  These simultaneous inventions occured at a time there was no mass communication to spread news, trends, and ideas around the world.  The inventors were working in a vacuum and yet multiple people still came up with the same ideas.

Over two years ago I decided to work in a vacuum....as much as you can in this day and age.  I still took classes, but only read blogs of friends and ignored the rest.  I looked at ancient art both in museums and in books.  I took pictures, wrote ideas down and sketched.  Working full time doesn't allow me to make every idea that I have right away.  I pick and choose as my mood dictates.  So I've kept an idea book for the last 7 years.  I look at it periodically for inspiration. 

About a year into my self induced vacuum, I stuck my head up for air....like a stupid whack a mole.  What I discovered was that a some of my favorite ideas...some made...some still in my book...had been made by other people.  Does that make my ideas any less original???  Does is make theirs any less original???

The unfortunate consequence is that this has kept me from making some my ideas.  Because we live in an "I made it first" society, I put a lid on creativity.  But art cannot grow, work cannot evolve with a lid on it. 

Where would art be if that attitude was pervasive, if only one person could be an impresionist and only one person could be a neoclassist, and only one person could be a cubist....I think you get the idea.  Luckily the great artists didn't and don't hold back.  Movements happen because many people work in the same techniques, have the same style. 

And if they didn't there would be a lot of frustrated, angry artists.   Which is what I am at the moment.  I'm angry with myself for holding back.  I'm angry for not believeing in myself.  And I'm angry for letting what others might think stop me from implementing my original ideas.

The anger stops.  The lid comes off.  Creativity flows.  Art Evolves.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Jewelleryscape Exhibition

I was pleasently surprised and very pleased to have a pair of earrings featured in Jewelleryscape, an on-line exhibition of over 250 works made by goldsmiths and designers from all over the world.  In fact the more I look at the items that are included...I'm stunned.  Check it out.  There is some great jewelry (or jewellery...in Italy). 

The exhibition is curated by Alba Cappellieri, Professor of Jewellery Design at Politecnico of Milan and Laura Santosuosso, Federico Stanzani, Livia Tenuta, Fashion Design' students at Politecnico of Milan.
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Women's work and STUFF

Did you ever have so much to do you didn't know where to start?  That's where I'm at right now.  For 6 weeks...everything was ignored while I worked in the studio.  Now that my summer show is over, I have to address all those things that got neglected....the house, the bills (yeah...a whole batch of bills went in late), the landscaping.  Over the weekend I  had a chance to really clean the kitchen and mop the floor, cleaned the living room, and cleaned the studio...reorganzing about half of it.  I hung up clothes that have been sitting in piles on the bedroom floor for a long time.  I still have bins of show supplies to be put away and other rooms that should be cleaned from top to bottom. 

There's an old rhyme...."Man may work from sun to sun, but women's work is never done."  Lou always tries to yank my chain by referring to certain things as "women's work".   But "women's work" for me means having a full time job, keeping a household, taking care of the cats and finding time to be a jewelry artist.  Needless to say...it doesn't all get done.  I have good intentions when I get home.  I try to make a dent into the things that need to be done....but at some point every evening I give up...I'm drained.

There has to be an easier way.  As I tried to put away everything that I dragged out during the last 6 weeks I realized that there is just too much STUFF in this little hobbit hut that we live in.  We've been here for 20+ years and some of the STUFF has been here that long.  It's time to de-clutter. I'm going to make a concerted effort to go through every inch of this house and throw out STUFF that hasn't been used in the last year.  I'm hoping less STUFF means less maintenance.  At a minimum it may make the hobbit hut feel bigger....let's hope. 

I'll leave you with George Carlin on STUFF

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Fairy Tale....from my sister

Nancy sent this e-mail to me....This is a fairy tale that should have been read to us when we were little.

Once upon a time in a land far away, a beautiful, independant, self-assured princess happened upon a frog as she sat contemplating ecological issues on the shores of an unpolluted pond in a verdant meadow near her castle.

The frog hopped into the princess' lap and said, "Elegant lady, I was once a handsome prince, until an evil witch cast a spell upon me. One kiss from you, however, and I will turn back into the dapper young prince that I am and then, my sweet, we can marry, and set up housekeeping in your castle, with my mother, where you can prepare my meals, clean my clothes, bear my children, and forever feel grateful and happy doing so."

That night, as the princess dined sumptuously on lightly sauteed frog legs seasoned in a white wine and onion cream sauce she chuckled to her self and thought.........




I DON'T FUCKIN' THINK SO !!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Happy Bastille Day!!

Bastille Day celebrates the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789.  This marked the end of the monarchy and the beginning of the French republic. 

And what would Bastille Day be without fireworks...


and half naked French firemen.....



What more can I say (sigh).   VIVE LA FRANCE!!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Best Comment Overheard at the Arts Festival.......

"I wonder how much a booth cost....I want to sell my old shirts." 

Luckily he was walking by my booth and not in it.  My mouth fell open and then I started laughing.  Yeah...thanks dude.  Like we all want our work compared to your old sweat stained shirts. 

It was a great show!!!  Friday it rained during set-up but stopped by showtime.  The only problem was the rain brought out the smell of dog in the park.  I brought Oust spray with me on Saturday but once everything dried out the smell went away.  Saturday and Sunday were roasting.  The tent was under full sun and it turned it into a hot house.  That was miserable.  The guys on either side of me had battery operated Ryobi fans.  I have to get a couple of these before the next summer show. 

But I can't complain too much.....jewelry was flying out the door.  I went home Friday and Saturday night and worked in the studio to make more necklaces.  That was the big seller at this show.  Usually it's earrings.

I also had two gallery owners talk to me about putting work in their shops.  This is something I want to explore.  Anybody got any experience with this??  I don't know the first thing about consignment....which is probably why I haven't done it before now.

I don't do another show until November.  I have 5 months to play in the studio!!!!  But first I have to clean it...LOL....I can barely walk into it right now.

Bonne Nuit, Mes Amis

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Kitty in a Basket


My cuddly kitty, Sophie.  I was in Lou's Cave and heard noises behind me and turned around to find her in the basket.  She is so sweet. 

I was in the studio tonight and she jumped up on the desk and sat down on top of everything that I was working on.  She isn't happy with just sitting nearby....she has to sit on top of everything.  Eventually she ended up under the desk by my feet. 

I partially loaded up the car tonight.  Lou think's I'm nuts carrying this stuff around for two days but I wanted to get all the tent related stuff loaded so I dont have to think about it anymore.  I wll spend tomorrow and Thursday night getting last minute pieces made.

The weather is stiffling but is suppose to break late Thursday or Friday morning.  But then there will be storms on Friday.  Hopefully they will not be a problem for the show.  It's starts at 3PM on Friday. 

So anyone in Cleveland stop on down to the Cain Park Arts Festival.  It is a great show!! 150 artists over three days.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Does this couch make my butt look big???

Benny is big but I cracked up when I saw him sprawled out on the couch.  When it's hot he spreads out as far as possible to stay cool...as we all do.  I've since turned the air on.  It's going to be in the 90s for a least the next week.

I've been busy.  I went from 20 pairs of earrings to 80.  I also have 50 plus necklaces and will pump out a few more before next weekend.  After Thursday....it is what it is because I have to set up the tent Friday morning and the show starts Friday afternoon. 

Hope everyone has a good Holiday.  We are off to the annual July 4th party at my brohers' house  ....  food and fireworks.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Be still my beating heart.....

Did you ever have one of those moments when you make something and it makes your heart beat faster, your head spin, and your eyes roll back in your head.  I cut apart the strand of ancient quartz I bought at B&B.  This stuff is lickable....yes lickable.  Pretty beads and gemstones are all lickable in my opinion.  Here is the original strand.


See what I mean about lickable.  Don't you just want to touch them?  I decided to make a pendant with a few and that was the heart palpitation moment....at least for me...my eye and what I like.



I mixed in a few of my little bronze pieces and some very old, wonderfully patinaed brass beads from Africa.  I'm loving these...obviously.

I used up all my earring pieces parts and now have a big pile of earrings to place on cards and price.  Back to work!!