Posts Tagged ‘Art’

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Thanksgiving and the recent uncovering of a bird’s nest in my garden made me think of a talisman I made almost 10 years ago. Talismans are objects which are believed to have magical powers. Unlike Amulets, which are for generic purpose, talismans bring good luck for a specific purpose. They also need to be charged with energy by a person who makes them.

Mine was a bird's nest made out of fine silver. I rolled each little twig out of precious metal clay and little by little formed a nest. It was then sintered in kiln which burned off the binding materials and after polishing, a tiny brilliant nest emerged. For eggs, I added two shiny oval shaped freshwater pearls. It could have been used as a pendant, but I just wanted to look and hold it.

At the time, we had already had several painful years of  trying to get  pregnant. It was probably on an unconscious level, that I made this symbolic nest in lieu of building a nest for a human baby. In any case, my thoughts were mostly (as they had been for ages) focused on the void in our lives. When I was concentrating on rolling out those tiny twigs,  I was charging each one of them with lots of hope. As it often happens, once you direct your energy somewhere else, the unimaginable happens. I got pregnant with our gorgeous son.

I got pre-occupied with my rounding belly and the hectic life in Manhattan. The little talisman was forgotten for years until we moved to suburbs and I learned that a dear friend of mine was struggling with the same issues I had. The cynic in me says it was our persistence, modern medicine and our skilled reproductive endocrinologist that deserve all the credit for the success. However,  I would like to live in a world where it’s ok to believe in magic, at least a little bit. So, I handed the bird's nest to my friend in a little box and told her the story about making it. Her son was born less than a year after that.

We decided that it would be great to create a pay-it-forward talisman. So, she gave the nest to her friend S who gave it to her friend K. So, far we have four silver nest babies, all boys by the way.

Oh, and what happened to the talisman next? S has it back on her bed side radiating hope, happy thoughts and energy for number two.

 

When it comes to their own identity, graphic designers are their own worst client. Never happy, always tinkering and rarely have time to sit down and brainstorm. In my own case, I am not only one but two whiny un-paying clients. In addition to the start-up jewelry business, I also have the established graphic and web design studio. Both require different identity and cater to very different people. To make things more difficult, both really ride on my own name and are part of the same company; Annamari Mikkola Creative.

While researching custom packaging options for my jewelry, I decided the old (or not so old, actually) Annamari Mikkola Creative logo will not work as monochromatic option. Paying for two color foil stamping for boxes was not an option either. At the price point I am selling the jewelry, packaging then would have been disproportionately expensive. Since the jewelry business really needed a separate identity anyway, I had to sit down with my sketch book again. Here’s the result:

AM-adornments

A lot happier, a bit cutesy and definitely will work as one color option as well. It will also cover possible new accessory lines, such as scarves. Or what do you think? Comments welcome.

The old logo will mainly liveon the long neglected and soon to be redesigned Mikkola.net site. That will have a portfolio of my 2D graphic design, advertising and web work. The new logo will show up first on the Etsy Store (yes, it’s kind of open and will have more items soon!). Once I get around opening my actual web store, it’ll be seen there as well.

Confused yet? So am I, but it will all be more clear soon. I promise. Just need to sit down with a difficult client first.

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Click the picture above to explore the wonderful otherworldly kinetic mind of Anthony Howe. "A Kinetic Mind" movie by Elizabeth Rudge

The refreshingly simple artist’s statement that is the headline for this blog entry comes from the amazing sculptor Anthony Howe. His mesmerizing kinetic sculptures are made of sheet metal. Somehow  the movement caused by the gentle wind makes them also really organic. Some resemble a flower opening from the bud, some are like an ever moving ocean floor. Some reflect the nature around them from dozens of tiny mirrors.

Howe builds the pieces using traditional metalworking techniques, but the elements are first  conceived with different CAD programs which command a laser cutter.

Mr. Howe worked first as a painter, but then got “bored with everything being static in my visual world”. I’m so glad for that boredom.

Here's a link to another  Anthony Howe interview.

 

Aaaahhh...spring - it never fails. Birds are back, daffodils are sprouting and every piece of furniture in my house looks tired. It's time to either redecorate or maybe buy a new house to decorate. Either case, I'm definitely drooling over  interior design magazines and blogs. Like everything, this too will pass and I'll settle into comforts of outdoor living during summer months and lazy hibernation beginning November. Every year, some items may carve a permanent tiny nest into my heart. The new flat pack furniture from Wintec and custom designed fair trade rugs from node definitely made a lasting impression.

Form and function in  flat pack beauties

STRATFLEX Skin – Single, two or three seater.

STRATFLEX Skin – Single, two or three seater.

While I think of flat pack furniture, I can't help but to think of a certain Swedish discount giant. Fortunately, Wintec has now diversified my thought process. These beauties from the new Skin line are made to be loved. I can see them easily fit into both traditional and modern homes.According to Wintec, they  are made from imported Finnish ply over a locally sourced and sustainable Saligna frame. The result a sculptural, organic and comfortable armchair. Finland has a long tradition in producing beautiful plywood which has, of course, been also used by such legends as Alvar Aalto in their designs.

Just add plywood

Traditional Methods - New Designs

 

Chris Haughton's Owl Rug

Chris Haughton's Owl Rug

Node aims to connect a worldwide network of designers and artists with traditional Nepalese carpet makers to create beautiful handmade rugs.Their rug makers, Kumbeshwar are a founder member of Fair Trade Nepal. Employees are taught literacy and skills. In addition to fair wages their work supports a school of 260 children and an orphanage of nineteen. Node's mission statement sounds idealistic, but the rugs are stunning and priced well.

Node produces their carpets entirely by hand using age old and natural Tibetan carpet making techniques. All their carpets are made from bales of pure Tibetan wool. It is hand spun into thread, hand dyed with natural and non-polluting dyes, and then hand-knotted on our looms into carpet. While the rugs have the traditional lustrous feel of a traditional wool rug, they look fresh and completely new, thanks to the great designers and illustrators, node is working with. More importantly, you can send in your won custom design which they will reproduce. So, watch out world, you may see some rugs designed by me soon.

 

Node carpets start with pure Tibetan wool.

Node carpets start with pure Tibetan wool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The lightness and texture of these thread installations by Gabriel Dawe are just amazing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These artifacts are simply stunning and so inspiring!

From Their Graves, Ancient Nomads Speak - NYTimes.com.