Monday, June 30, 2014

Lola Rose Thompson at Dilettante

Future Delegates will feature new works by Lola Rose Thompson and Morgan Gillio with an opening reception tomorrow, Tuesday July 1st at 7pm at the Dilettante in Los Angeles. The reception will include a performance by Jena Malone and an "unmissable death-defying action stunt" by Gillio (!?)

Lola has shown previously at the same gallery as part of The Mothership Show earlier this year, curated by Carly Jo Morgan. (opening reception pics here)

Lola Rose Thompson in the studio. photo by Emma Elizabeth Tillman

Some previews of the upcoming show and some previous works by Lola. A lovely interview here of her show at Ten Over Six this past April.

The future is unknown, but only to those who aren't there. Is it possible to know everything that has happened, at once, right now? Or do we need dimensional representation as we cross the threshold of time? The ambassadors of the future are not as distant as they seem. They are waiting to meet us, if only we heed their call, and move into their hallucinatory democracy. 

In FUTURE DELEGATES, Lola Rose Thompson and Morgan Gillio attempt to make visual treaties with these forces and entities. New sculptures, paintings, and installations invite viewers to frolic in the exotic and whimsical landscape they inhabit, and become citizens in the united front of the fantastic.

Future Delegates : Lola Rose Thompson & Morgan Gillio
Opening Reception Tue July 1st, 7pm / Action Stunt 9pm
Dilettante  |  120 N. Santa Fe Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012

Friday, June 13, 2014

Morgan Peck at Jancar Jones

The first solo exhibition of ceramicist Morgan Peck will open this Saturday with an evening reception at Jancar Jones Gallery in Chinatown, Los Angeles. New works will be featured including a variety of large and small-scale sculptures, some functional and some not.

"Peck's whimsical and engaging sculptures are the result of a process that is oriented heavily toward play and experimentation. Built as though with blocks, Peck allows her works to evolve as they take form. In some cases, her sculptures are a result of a stream of consciousness, while in others Peck utilizes a more premeditated, modular approach. She suspends hard-edged shapes and planes in space, using architectonic forms – the column, the I-beam, the tilt-slab – to imply the monumental while allowing the works to ruffle, teeter and flex. She balances heavy construction with an adept use of negative space and a subtle almost fragile surface texture."

Peck's work gives nods to Memphis, Bauhaus, Art Deco and more obviously the "forms of Venetian glass and the splotchy surfaces of 19th century sponge-ware. She moves through these references with a modest, considered and decidedly modern touch."

Above is a sneak peek from my studio visit this week to Morgan's lovely Los Angeles studio – surrounded by a well-tended vegetable garden, cacti and wispy lavender.

Morgan Peck : New Works
opening reception Sat June 19th 6-9pm
on view through July 19, 2014
Jancar Jones Gallery  |  1031 N. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Herbal Medicine & Then Some Fair in Temescal Alley

Hey San Francisco Bay Area! This Saturday, June 14th in Temescal Alley, join Homestead Apothecary for the 2nd Annual Herbal Medicine and Then Some Fair. This local herbal community celebration will showcase practitioners, musicians, beekeepers, makers, herbalists, artists, chefs and many other crafts folk from Oakland and the Bay Area. For the full list of participants, see here.

One of my personal favorites will be Builders of the New Dawn, above right. Andrea carries a well-curated selection of vintage books and ephemera, specializing in Countercultural and Subcultural movements of the 20th Century but also including Classic & Avant Garde Literature and the quirky & offbeat. (perfect!)

Some of the goodies carried in the Homestead Apothecary shop

 Tinctures made by Nicholas Weinstein, owner of Homestead Apothecary

photos of Homestead Apothecary from my visit last fall

I wish I could be in town for the Fair, but wow, Saturday has A LOT going on here in LA!

2nd Annual Herbal Medicine and Then Some Fair
hosted by Homestead Apothecary
Saturday, June 14th 11am - 3pm
free and open to the public

additional photos courtesy of Homestead Apothecary

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Midnight Swim : Lookout & Wonderland x Roxy Swim Collaboration

This Saturday, Niki Livingston of Lookout & Wonderland with Roxy will introduce Midnight Swim, a collaboration bringing together iconic swim silhouettes and indigo dyeing techniques. 

"The Midnight Swim collection blends shades of shadowy indigo referencing endless hot summer nights."  

Niki of Lookout & Wonderland has been studying traditional Japanese indigo since 2005 and works out of her Los Angeles studio – where I attended an indigo dyeing and Shibori class earlier this spring (yes! it will be on the blog soon!).

Shelter Half is a rotating pop up shop that brings together artists, companies and craftsman that create product made in the United States. 

And Roxy, is a brand of Quiksilver that started in 1990 seeing a lack of women's surf wear available. As most of us know, it's huge by now. And that's rad. What began as a women's swim line, soon turned into the sports wear go-to for girls and now is a household name lifestyle brand.

Walking the line between authentic and commercial is tough. And for Roxy going back to their roots with 4 classic swim silhouettes specifically designed for Niki to create magic with is pretty awesome. Her process is one of love and deep respect for the history of natural Indigo dye and the art of Shibori technique. (definitely more on that in that aforementioned post!)

The collection of 100 one-of-a-kind pieces will be exclusively available at Shelter Half in Los Angeles. After the twilight fashion presentation, you will be able to make your own unique indigo mobiles (!) to tunes spun by DJ Love finger along with cocktails and snacks. 

opening reception Saturday, June 14th 7-10pm
collection available throughout the summer season

images courtesy of Lookout & Wonderland and Roxy

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Art of Geometry : Mashup Dance + Tanya Aguiñiga

Together, Tanya Aguiñiga and MashUp Contemporary Dance will present a stunning visual show that pushes the boundaries of dance by examining the art of problem solving and the beauty of geometry by incorporating a large scale interactive set. The installation was designed by Tanya specifically for this performance.

Above is a scene from a super cool preview here. It is so captivating and beautiful to watch, no doubt the performance will be amazing.

It debuts this Saturday in Los Angeles and then travels to New York.

I had a really inspiring studio visit with Tanya a few weeks ago. I'll be posting that soon and that will include her making of this set.

MashUp Dance + Tanya Aguiñiga present : The Art of Geometry

Saturday June 14th at 8pm
El Portal Theatre  |  5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601
tickets available here

Saturday July 12th at 8pm
Manhattan Movement Theatre  |  248 W. 60th Street., New York, NY 10023
tickets available here

all images courtesy of Tanya Aguiñiga and MashUp

Friday, June 6, 2014

Studio Visit : Odette New York / Jennifer Sarkilahti

Founded in 2006 and based out of The Dobbin Mews Studios in Green Point, Brooklyn, Jennifer Sarkilahti is the master craftswoman who creates the stunning jewelry line, Odette New York Her designs are inspired by organic and industrial shapes, natural specimens, artifacts and primitive forms; made using ancient and modern wax carving techniques and hand fabrication. Each piece is a small scale sculpture in various materials such as recycled sterling silver, brass, bronze, diamonds and 14K gold.

Being a new mother, she was so awesome to take time out of her schedule to share her process, inspiration and studio photos. Also included, are sneak peeks of her Pre-Fall Collection, Portal Moon available in shops at the end of this month. (!)

Jennifer's journey into jewelry began as a hobby of sorts . . .

As a recent Fine Arts graduate, I moved to New York City and set up a painting studio. After a year, I struggled with whether or not I really wanted to continue painting and I decided to give up the studio. I began making jewelry as a side project out of my small city apartment to keep my hands busy. I found that it was something I really enjoyed so I kept at it. Eventually, one thing led to another and years later, I’m still at it. I really fell in love with the wax carving process itself.

What is your creative process from inspiration to realization?

I usually carry a sketchbook around with me and jot down ideas whenever they come to me or when I’m feeling inspired. When it’s time to design, I use several of these as a point of inspiration and start working with the materials. Sometimes I’ll work directly from a sketch and sometimes I’ll just start working in the wax. After the model has been created in wax, a mold is made to create an exact duplicate of the design in metal.

How was the transition from 2-D to 3-D? Are there parallels in your process between painting and creating jewelry?

There are definitely parallels. It’s very natural for me to work intuitively with the materials as it's something I do in both. When designing jewelry, I may have a rough idea to begin with, but a piece often takes several different forms before it’s completed.

from the Odette Look Books: Torne Valley, Voyager, Eye of Ra

And your Look Books – they are all so breath-taking! I love the photography and the feeling of each series.

One of my favorite parts of what I do is working on the process of a collection from the initial design ideas all the way through to the photo shoot concept. Once we’ve finalized each collection, we come up with a theme for the collection and a mood board for the photo shoot. The look book is really the synthesis of everything coming together.

Portal Moon Collection

For our newest collection Portal Moon, I asked my friend Re Jin Lee of Bailey Doesn’t Bark to style the photo shoot. I’ve always admired the styling she does of her own ceramic work and I was interested in seeing it applied to jewelry.  We decided to construct a mandala out of the pieces using a chalk grid on the concrete floor of her studio.

preview of some of the pieces from The Portal Moon Collection

Is it unusual for you to have a midseason collection?

When I started working with a showroom last year, we added two small midseason collections to the calendar. It’s been nice to create these smaller capsule collections. They’ve allowed me to be a little more experimental without the pressure of creating a large collection.

For your upcoming Fall 2014 collection, could you give any hints to what that will feel like?

FW14 really started from this idea of sentimental jewelry that’s worn in a more modern, slightly subversive way. In the collection, we have stacking signet rings, a neck cuff, hair pin and double finger knot rings.

What are cherished pieces of jewelry that you personally own?

I have some pieces from my late grandmother than are not valuable but are highly sentimental to me. One is a bracelet constructed of Australian coins from the 1950s.

Every artist's work progresses. How do you feel Odette has grown?

Since I’ve been making jewelry under the Odette label since 2006, you can imagine how much it’s changed! I’ve really tried to hone my craft and at the same time be super experimental at times.

What was your very first piece of jewelry you made?

One of the first pieces I made was a necklace in the shape of large jellyfish. It was pretty crude and the edges were a little too sharp but there is definitely something nostalgic about it and how far I’ve come since that design.

Photo from this sweet post by Half Hitched Goods with Jennifer, Anne McClaine of MCMC Fragrances and their babes.

The transition from pregnancy to motherhood is a major one. How has your working life has changed now with Luca. 

I didn’t design while I was out for maternity leave and took a little break. Now that I’m back in the studio, I have a renewed energy and I’m excited to start working on the next collection.

Behind the scenes of Jennifer teaching Brass Jewelry Making from Lena Corwin's book, "Made by Hand" - photo by Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes // video here by Ryan Shimala 

Could you tell me about the community at The Dobbin Mews?

The Dobbin Mews is an incredibly creative and nurturing place. I couldn’t ask for a better work environment. Since Anne (and her sister Katie) and I share a studio, we are constantly bouncing ideas off each other and collaborating on things along with our other studio mate Emily of Talon NYC.

Often jewelry is representative of a feeling and embodies a mood. Are you drawn to certain  iconography or symbols?

Very often I’m drawn to those things but lately I also like the challenge of creating more simplified forms.

Like most people, I am inspired both by influences of-the-moment and a cumulation of past experiences that shape who I am. Could you speak to that a bit?

Creatively, I have to constantly be making new work.  I generally feel compelled to make things that leave my personal mark, which is one reason I love the wax carving process so much. In the final cast piece, you can see every mark that was made in the wax. I would love for people to look at a piece of my jewelry and know that I made it.

Thanks you so very much Jennifer! 

As much as I wish I could be out there in Brooklyn to visit, studio photos were taken by Jennifer and Re Jin.