#3 Work in Progress: Relief

The new silver wire has arrived and boy… I can’t tell you how relieved I felt when I took the new enameled constructs out of the kiln yesterday and found that all previous issues had vanished! Just one little mistake, like buying the wrong type of silver wire, can cause quite a big headache. Still, after a few days of waiting, hoping and slowly turning crazy over the idea that I might not be able to finish in time for the show in Munich, I have to admit that (as usual) it was good that things did not turn out as planned. The delay gave me more time to reflect about the pieces: their origins, their shapes, their compositions, their characters. I was and I still am so happy to be back in the studio that my intuitive making took over. My body needed to see results. Now, my mind is slowly kicking in, asking for the sense of it all.

Mainly, I thought about the roots and what they mean to me. Anchors, yes, supplying organs, yes, but there is more:

  • origin
  • home (Heimat, Heim, zuhause)
  • arrive
  • hold
  • ooze out (herausquellen)
  • find one’s way
  • skirt hurdles
  • safety
  • overgrow, take possession

Here are the beginnings of the new pieces…

Screen Shot 2013-01-31 at 11.11.37 AM

Work in progress: I tried to link the single ‘finger’-elements of the roots more, so that they give the impression of being ‘rooted’. I also wanted to show the force of the roots by having them ‘move’ the floor tiles from their ‘original’ flat position.

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The finished enameled look. Although green, I think the fork-like character of the root takes away from the idea of a snake. The roots are not lying loosely on top of the composition anymore. They are open to the back and connected to the wearer.

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I like to give the wearer the option of choosing how to wear a piece. The first picture shows the piece as a brooch, the second one shows it as a neckpiece. The chain-part can be detached.

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Work in progress: Overgrow, take possession. Brooch and neckpiece.

More silver wire is on the way for more experiments to come. Now, it’s time to work on the construction of the pieces, of course made from lasercut stainless steel. I will keep you posted…

Thank you for reading.

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#2 Work in Progress: Enameling Accident – Disaster or Blessing?

In my last post, I showed you a pic of an enameled root next to a porcelain cicada and some other pictures with roots that still had to be enameled.

Today, I had another enameling day. Unfortunately, things went slower than planned and not the way they were supposed to. The roots really ‘eat’ a lot of enamel and it takes a long time to apply it but I managed to enamel all of them. When they came out of the kiln though, I noticed that the silver wire was more oxidized than the one of the roots that I had enameled before. The wire from the first roots is not the same as the one I used for the new ones. I was and I still am bummed about this… silly me, it looks like I ordered the wrong type of wire with my last big silver order.

Anyway… since they looked different from what I had expected, I thought it would not hurt to experiment a little and I managed to make them look really old. The complete opposite of the first ones.

Now, my head is still spinning from a super long day in the studio and I think I don’t have the necessary distance yet to make a proper decision but what do you think? Does it work?

ImageThe roots in this pic look the ‘oldest’. The light grey enamel even partly changed color and it looks yellowed. As you can see, the silver wire is not as shiny as the one in the ‘Cicada’ piece. Since the lamp part looks old and dusty too, I kind of think that the two might work together but still, I am not sure.

ImageThis piece is definitely off. I will try to re-enamel it tomorrow and see what will happen then. Not sure about the color or the shine.

ImageAlso this one. Not sure about it at all.

I ordered new wire and new enamel… let’s hope the post-man will ring my doorbell soon.

Please let me know what you think. Any opinion will be highly appreciated.

Thank you for reading.
Please have a look at my websites www.lisa-juen.com and www.proonk.com.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @LisaJuenProonK and like my FB ProonK page.

#1 Work in Progress: Cicada, Tiles & Lamp

As mentioned before, I am intrigued by the idea of the roots and I decided to make quite a few from silver wire and see what I can do with them. I enameled some and started to combine them with some of my found objects from Shanghai.

Again, I am interested in the contrast that is being created by the combination of different materials, their characteristics and their meanings. I am also intrigued by juxtaposing found objects and components that I can create myself.

It seems like my mind is still preoccupied with Shanghai. So many things still need to be said, realized and dealt with. But now, with me having my roots in Utica, I can see that the new American influences also find a way to enter and live in my new work. There is a change. It makes me feel relieved and really happy.

I am taking myself on a trip through the past, present and future.

ImageWork in progress Piece #1: Porcelain cicada from Shanghai, enameled silver wire roots, lasercut stainless steel hydrangea, CZ. Brooch/Neckpiece.

ImageWork in progress Piece #2: Tiles from a demolition site in Shanghai (residential house in the Former French Concession), silver wire roots (possibly to be enameled in shades of pink), possibly some sort of lasercut stainless steel plant, CZ. Brooch/Neckpiece.

ImageWork in progress Piece #3: Plastic ornament from Chen Hang Feng‘s studio in Shanghai with years of the city’s dirt on it, silver wire roots (possibly to be enameled in shades of grey), CZ, glass, lasercut stainless steel. Brooch/Neckpiece. 

All pieces are obviously still in progress. Changes might happen. Let me know what you think, please. I appreciate all sorts of input. Thank you.

Thank you for reading.
Please have a look at my websites www.lisa-juen.com and www.proonk.com.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @LisaJuenProonK and like my FB ProonK page.

John Matthews at South Gallery, Stanley Center for the Arts

Last Thursday, Barry and I were invited to see the John Matthews‘ photography exhibit at South Gallery at the Stanley Center for the Arts.

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We went right when the doors opened, since we wanted to participate in BJJ training that night after the event (Dojo1 Martial Arts). Even though we were super early, there was already quite a big crowd and by the time we left, the place was packed with people. I was positively surprised by the number of visitors that showed their interest and support. It is great to know that there are so many people living in Utica who are interested in art and like to support local artists.

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The exhibition turned around the use of the iPhone 4S as the main photography tool. Most pictures in the exhibition, apart from three, were taken with a camera phone and digitally enhanced with iPhone apps. John Matthews’ main ‘goal’ of the exhibition was to show the viewer the endless possibilities in photography that await an iPhone user. He said for him, it is very interesting to see how much digital photography, especially in camera phones, has enhanced over the years, up to a point where one can compare phone pics to SLR camera pics without really being able to tell a big difference in quality.

The photographs in the show look like every-day snapshots that shed a very positive and interesting light on Utica and the New York State area. They show beauty in an area that is sadly misjudged so often. They show the pretty moments in life, sometimes simple, sometimes more intricate, but the ones we should all really concentrate on, rather than all the negative stuff. The easiness and lightness of the pictures was very well supported by the use of the smart phone camera. One can see John having fun with his device, while capturing those precious little moments with a touch of his finger.

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My favourite picture was called ‘Angles, Reflections and Conversations’. I loved the diagonal set-up of the picture, along with the contrast of the group of people to the single biker and the amazing play of light that resulted from the sun being mirrored in parked car windows. For me, it is a very strong and dynamic picture with an incredibly romantic touch to it!

Image‘Angles, Reflections and Conversations’, John Matthews, iPhone 4S, 2012

I am very much looking forward to John’s future shows in Utica. Come and join us then!

Thank you for reading.
Please have a look at my websites www.lisa-juen.com and www.proonk.com.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @LisaJuenProonK and like my FB ProonK page.

Sweet Sweet Studio

So… after a good seven month without making any ‘serious’ jewellery, due to moving countries and some personal procrastinating issues, I am sitting in my brand-new studio and I am MAKING. Finally!

It really is about high-time, given that 2013 started off on a really good foot. I just realized the other day that my work is going to be on show in five exhibitions until April alone. The rest of the year is yet to come! I very much hope for the chance to have a solo show some time soon and I am going to work hard towards that goal.

Until then, my work can be seen in the following exhibitions:

‘The Beauty Chase’, Espace Le Carré Gallery, Lille, France, until Jan 14.
‘Con Decorados’, Klimt Gallery, Barcelona, Spain, opening in February.
‘Ferrous’, Velvet Da Vinci Gallery, San Francisco, USA, March 1 – April 14.
‘Guck ins Schmuckloch, Schmuck im Guckloch’, Galerie im Raum, Munich, Germany, March 7 – March 10.
‘Stories & Symbols’, Facèré Gallery, Seattle, USA, opening in April.

With ‘Guck ins Schmuckloch, Schmuck im Guckloch’ coming up during ‘Schmuck’-time in Munich, I really have to focus and make new pieces. So, yesterday, I had a big enameling day and I experimented with techniques, objects and compositions.

It was fabulous, after a long time of simply knitting socks, to design and make jewellery again. I came up with three ideas for future pieces and I can’t wait to hold the finished works in my hands soon. Let’s hope for many more to come!

With my move to America, I realized that my origin is really important to me, alongside my traveling experience. ‘Heimat’ (birth place/home) is what shapes us first, traveling cuts our facets. I would like to play with both of those influences, showing the ‘product’ of them until this point in time. So, I think Germany, UK, China and America will play a big factor in my future pieces.

When still in China, I started to collect ‘found objects’. This was something very new to me, as I usually don’t like to collect stuff. I am used to work with an idea in my head and I go and find the materials. For some reason, maybe some melancholic reasons when knowing that I would leave Shanghai, I collected some objects that looked intriguing to me. Now, they are lying on a table in my studio waiting for me to work with them… and I did start with some. Another first.

Screen Shot 2013-01-09 at 1.44.43 PMFound objects on my studio table

Screen Shot 2013-01-09 at 1.45.01 PMThe Yellow Studio Room

Screen Shot 2013-01-09 at 3.49.18 PMThe Blue Studio Room

Another thing that I realized when arriving in America was that my creative process is going in a ‘looped line’. I am not thinking from A to B to C. In the process of shaping new influences and ideas, I like to reflect on earlier work and sometimes, old influences peek through in new ways. At the moment, I find that I am interested in some things again that intrigued me during my MA days in 2007. It will not be the same as the work from that time. The new work will represent my experiences from then to now through the choice of known but also new materials and techniques. My mind is going in circles and yet, it arrives at new places.

Accordingly, the new body of work will be called ‘Circle Spirit’.

Screen Shot 2013-01-09 at 1.44.30 PMThe beginnings of the first piece. The cicada came from a small street shop in Shanghai. I made the ‘roots’ from silver wire and enamel. Roots: home, growth, basis, knowledge, past & present. I think the roots will have a strong presence in the pieces of the ‘Circle Spirit’ series.

More to come soon…

Thank you for reading.
Please have a look at my websites www.lisa-juen.com and www.proonk.com.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @LisaJuenProonK and like my FB ProonK page.