Utica Uptown Downtown Art Fair 2015

I can’t believe it has almost been a year, since I wrote my last post. Of course there has been a lot going on and there has been some progress in the studio but things have slowed down due to a little addition to the family.

However, it’s that time of the year again… the time of the Third Utica Uptown Downtown Art Fair. Just like last year, I will be showing alongside some amazing makers from the Utica area and I am very excited to participate again. This time around, ProonK will be showing at the 4 Elements Studio, an awesome artist space that is run by ceramicist Vartan Poghosian. 4 Elements Studio is located on the top floor of a prior school building on Washington Street and Vartan rents out additional rooms to other artists that also love the fresh artistic breeze that is blowing trough a revitalized Downtown Utica. If my studio was not downtown already, the ProonK Studio just recently moved to Elizabeth Street, I would have loved to be part of Vartan’s artist collective. The space is truly special with it’s old school vibe and cute little studios.

Next to 4 Elements Studio, more than 15 artists are going to show in three additional spaces: The Other Side Gallery, Sculpture Space and Oneida Square Project Public Art & Design.

Participating artists are:

@Sculpture Space:
Kim Carr-Valdez
Paul Valdez

@ 4 Elements Studio:
Vartan Poghosian
Victor Lenuzza
Celeste Friend
Art Baird
Cynthia Baird
Shannon Stockbridge
Rosette Schureman
Kathy Donovan
Steve Nyland
Marc Tucci
Betty Murtagh
Proonk Jewellery

The Other Side Gallery and the Oneida Square Project Public Art & Design will show a wide selection of local artists featuring ceramics, photography, paintings, prints, drawings and mosaic products for business and home.

Here is the official poster with directions and all the fabulous artists:

utica uptown downtown art fair 2015

I would very much like to encourage everyone who is interested in going to try to make it to all four locations, since there is a great chance to win a raffle prize made by the artists.

The show will be held on November 28th and 29th from 10am-5pmwww.uticaartfair.com

Thank you for reading.

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

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New ProonK ‘Lace’ Collection on Etsy

Great news! The new ProonK ‘Lace’ Collection is now available on Etsy.

The pieces are made from hand-crocheted fine silver wire and kiln-fired enamel. All jewellery is entirely hand made by myself from beginning to finish in the Utica, NY studio.

Due to the nature of the crochet and the enamel, every piece looks slightly different, a fact that I am very happy about. I like to believe that this ensures individuality in the pieces. They all have their own little character.

The actual collection contains earrings, necklaces, rings, cufflinks and I am constantly working to enlarge the range. Inspiration comes from organic natural shapes, like chilis, mushrooms and buds but also from architectural elements and insects.

My latest prototypes took me back to my fascination with bugs and flies. This time, I wanted to create shapes that resembled their idols but would not have a ‘creepy’ character to them. It is also important to me to experiment with the crocheted mesh and the enamel. I find that once the crochet-structure is enameled, it resembles window enamel, almost like a modern take to the Jugendstil jewellery of the early 1900’s. I have always been a great admirer of René Lalique. So, for my insect inspiration, I wanted to find a way to connect the crochet-mesh and the enamel with a frame. I am very happy with the results of my experimentation, since the ‘wings’ of the insects really look like little windows that create amazing shadows and new colours once they overlap. There will be more experiments to come soon. I have quite a few more ideas I would like to try.

If you are interested in purchasing pieces from the new ProonK ‘Lace’ Collection please have a look at my Etsy ProonK Shop.

I very much hope you enjoy my new designs!Commissions are always welcome.

water blue light blue button earrings‘Lace Button’ Earrings in Water Blue and Light Blue Enamel.

white dark blue ring‘Lace Button’ Ring in White and Dark Blue Enamel.

water blue light blue box earring‘Lace Box’ Earrrings in Water Blue Enamel.

chili necklace waterblue2‘Lace Chili’ Necklace in Water Blue Enamel.

bell lace earrings2‘Lace Bell’ Earrings in Water Blue Enamel.

chili button lace earrings peppermint orange‘Lace Button Chili’ Earrings in Peppermint and Orange Enamel.

bud button lace earrings light blue white2‘Lace Button Bud’ Earrings in Light Blue and White Enamel.

bell button lace earrings waterblue lime2‘Lace Button Bell’ Earrings in Water Blue and Lime Green Enamel.

water blue dragonbug earrings‘Lace DragonBug’ Earrings in Water Blue Enamel.

dragonfly light blue yellow2‘Lace DragonFly’ Earrings with Light blue and Lime Green Enamel.

Thank you for reading!

Feel free to follow this blog.
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.

‘Nāmanja’ & ‘Solipsistic’

Recently, I wrote about a piece I made for my friend Anja’s birthday. (Read about the beginnings here: Wave Structures & Loudlives.)

At that time, her birthday was yet to come so, I could not post any pics. Now, I am proud to introduce the finished piece called ‘Nāmanja’. The title derives from the Hawaiian sea goddess Nāmaka and my friend’s first name. Since she is a devoted surfer who loves the Hawaiian islands, I thought it would be a nice touch to go with the sea goddess.

The enameled blue and white piece in the center is inspired by a wave photograph that was taken by Hawaii artist Clark Little. The flower and the blue stones are my way of expressing the feelings I have about Anja: Depth, pain, pride and blue are the first words that pop into my mind when I think of her. Also, vulnerability and strength.

Shortly after the completion of ‘Nāmanja’, another very close friend, Rachel Marsden, had her birthday coming up. Rachel and I met in Shanghai through work. Rachel, and also Anja, are two people who are for me what Rachel usually refers to as ‘corner-stone-friends’.

The piece for Rachel is a very personal one. It started off with Rachel’s favourite word ‘Solipsistic’, a word that has a very special meaning for her and that comes with a nice little story that she sometimes tells people. Rachel is a person who is lost in the world of words. She is obsessed with letters and alphabets, typewriters and books. She is a mega-blogger and a workaholic. Wherever she goes, she takes her camera to take millions of pictures of people, art and food. Sometimes she complains though that not enough people take pictures of her. So, I decided to incorporate her image in the piece. The center showing Rachel’s portrait is made of enamel. Other materials are stainless steel, cubic zirkonia and glass.

Front of the brooch.

Back of the brooch.

The designing and making of those two pieces was pretty straight forward for me. I usually spend a lot of time overthinking every little detail of all of my pieces and I tend to overcomplicate them at times. I quite enjoy the process of designing them but I have to admit that I found that working more from the belly (and not just the brain) can be quite rewarding and satisfying too. I think making a series of smaller, faster ‘belly’-pieces will be something that I will have to experiment with, once I have my new studio up and running. Looking forward to it. I hope you too!

Please have a look at my websites www.lisa-juen.com and www.proonk.com to see more jewellery and join my Twitter @LisaJuenProonK and the ProonK FB page. Thank you.

ProonK at DAFF

The time has come to report about ProonK at DAFF, the Design, Art & Fashion Fair in Shanghai that took place at Wharf 1846, Bund Promenade on Cinqo de Mayo last Saturday.

After a couple of VERY busy weeks in the studio, trying to get as much jewellery done as possible (23 Globalorettes, 23 pairs of earrings, 24 Solitaire Rings, 8 Clover Rings, 5 Cluster Rings, 24 ProonK Rings, 4 MeiHua Book Marks and 3 pairs of Solitaire Cufflinks), I was ready to embrace this event. Luckily with the help of two really great people, Rachel Marsden and Barry Sinnott who went far and beyond to help with packing, coordinating, planing, setting-up, chatting, attracting, looking great in their ProonK T-Shirts, feeding me, take-down, schlepping and of course partying… Thank you so much!

I was very nervous at first, since this was the first time I participated in such an event with ProonK but it was super exciting at the same time, not really knowing what to expect.

The Ice Cream Truck-team, the main organizers behind the event, kicked it off with a pre-party at Source, which was a great opportunity to meet other artists and designers participating in the fair. I met Frau Ana, a German fashion designer based in Shanghai for the first time, as well as the product designer Jonas Merian from Jonas Design and my friends Nini and Gregor from Idle Beats. I met the two because of a screen printing workshop in which I participated last Thursday to print my own ProonK T-Shirts. They looked absolutely fabulous and it was such a lot of fun to print them with Gregor, who is a taught Church-Painter (Kirchenmaler), a trade that I wasn’t even aware existed but sounds incredibly exciting! I will blog about the print-making evening in a separate post soon.

The party was big fun, partially because of the free beer and pizza, which were the reason why I had BIG trouble rolling out of bed in the morning at 8am. Somehow we made it to the Wharf around 11am and we managed to set everything up in time. I decided to go with a hanging theme, since it was easy to transport and install and did not look super heavy. I am not a big fan of displays that kill the excitement of entering right on the doorstep. The hanging idea was perfect, since I attached the jewellery to its packaging and it was very easy to wrap them up and send them on their way.

DAFF officially started at 2pm and was meant to run until 12pm. There were several artist and designers participating, as well as food and liquor stands. I had some great sausage from Amelia, the lady in Shanghai who is known for her jam. Recently, she started to sell home-made sausages too, which were a DELIGHT! I had to go back a second time to satisfy my meat-cravings!
Around 4pm, there was a fashion catwalk with Frau Ana and other participating fashion designers. Unfortunately, I could not see it, since a lot of visitors started to show up around that time and we were all super busy talking and introducing ProonK. I think the majority of people visiting really liked what we had to offer and it made me really happy to see that. There were a lot of surprised and astonished faces, especially because of the use of the LED lights in the jewellery.
At some point in the evening, I heard of a street art competition with several graffiti artists taking part but again, I could not make it there. Rachel went to see it though and she was kind enough to give me her pictures, so you can see them now too. I met one of the graffiti artists, Siu Tang, later on. Have a look at his blog here.

For some reason, the event was shut down by the police around 10pm. They just came in at some point and locked the main entrance gates. I am not sure why or what happened. It was a bit of a shame, since the fair was meant to last until midnight but I felt sort of relieved as well, because my feet were killing me from straight 12 hours standing. I did not even make it to the after-party at Strictly Designers United anymore. Instead, I fell asleep on the 15min cab journey home to wrap up the display!

Here are a few more pics of the event, showing you the vibe of the day in 30 degree sunshine and hundreds of visitors. I really enjoyed taking part and I hope there will be a repetition soon! I am very much looking forward to it… I hope you too!


Please follow this blog and visit www.proonk.com, www.lisa-juen.com. Thank you!

Tug of War & DAFF Beginnings

My friend Savinder Bual and I just came back from a rather refreshing lunch break. This feeling of being touched by a breath of fresh air does not only come from the beautiful sunshine kissing Shanghai today but also from its people. Walking the streets of the city showed that the winter melancholia has been put aside and was replaced by a big welcoming party for the summer. 🙂

The highlight of our little tour was a big group of people playing ‘tug-of-war’ next to Shanghai’s smallest Starbucks coffee shop (maybe even the world’s smallest Starbucks coffee shop?) down Nan Jing Lu.

I am not sure how this group came together. I guess it might have been employees from the big restaurants around having fun, but the energy of the people could be felt in the air and for the first time, in a very long time, it made me feel content and happy being in the city. It made me smile …and it still does… making it easier for me to get back to the studio now and keep working on more pieces for the upcoming DAFF fair in Shanghai on the 5th of May. If you are around, please come, have a look and support ProonK! There will be a lot of fancy jewellery to see, as well as freshly printed T-Shirts and for one very lucky person, there is a prize to win from our special ProonK prize-draw for the day.

The guy with the megaphone was awesome… cheering all the time and making sure that everything was ‘in order’. Have a look at the guys bending over on the right. Each side had about 15 people pulling, it was really intense!

Is this the world’s smallest Starbucks? It makes me wonder every time I pass. The ‘shop’ itself is fitted inside a huge pillar holding the roof of the entrance area of the Portman Ritz Carlton hotel. One side of the pillar holds the register desk, the other one is the one where the coffee is brewed. There is a lovely outside seating area to sit and enjoy.

ProonK pieces in progress…

DAFF on the 5th of May at the Bund in Shanghai. Come along! …more info soon.