Friday, March 1, 2013

2nd Annual Musical Challenge Blog Hop

My finished shoulder dusting earring - Perfect to wear for "Dance Macabre"
Welcome everyone to the 2nd Annual Musical Challenge Blog Hop.  I feel blessed to be included in this group hop.  It was created by Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati Jewelry and I’ve found it particularly intriguing and fun.  I love music but sway away from listening to it for an incredible variety of weak excuses.  Erin has brought me back to considering the fact that maybe I ought to have my I-Pod charged and filled with music and turn off the television when I’m working.  Thank You Erin for including me in this group and for a renewed interest in filling my ears with something besides wax, TNT, and Syfy Channel.
I described the process of choosing classical music in another post.  I felt a lot like a baby with a new toy during that process and could have stopped right there and researched musical inspiration for a month.  It probably didn’t hurt any that my fresh new knee was throbbing and listening to the music was lulling me away from obsessing about the pain and into a more enjoyable dimension.

One earring complete and one of just parts - due to the new knee this was as far as I could get but I thought you'd enjoy seeing the parts before they were assembled.

After reviewing countless instrumentals my list contained mostly genre that called “Romantic Era Style”. This caused me to narrow the search to that genre to see what else it would produce.   That brought me to Camille Saint-Saens, and finally to his Danse Macabre (If you click on the Danse Macabre you get a great U-Tube version of the song).
 
It’s no surprise to me that I’d be attracted to that music.  I have collected skulls and bones since I was a child (no it’s not macabre but I had a family interest in biology and all things medical). I’ve created glass sugar skulls since my earliest torching years and have done countless lithographs and drawings of cow skulls my uncle gave me.  It’s just a large part of me and I’ve no morbid curiosity other than in life’s natural cycle and how various cultures deal with their loss.  In particular I love the concept of the Day of the Dead and the honorariums and stories about loved ones past.  What an incredible and happy way to keep them in our thoughts and pass along family history.
Camille Saint-Saens (the composer of this instrumental) sounds like a multi-talented French eccentric.  He wrote music, poetry, did complicated math equations, wrote books, and many other things.  If you’re interested in Saint-Saens you can click here for the Wikipedia biography.  It wasn't Saint-Saens biography that inspired me - it was his music.  He wasn't a "character" like a Picasso would be but maybe his genius was born of his ability to seemingly just be immersed in whatever inspired him at the moment - math or music.
I’ve listened to Danse over and over.  And spent several hours drawing and making decisions as to what kind of piece I wanted to do for the challenge.  Since Erin was kind enough to leave it open to all mediums there were many possibilities.  I decided to go with jewelry but had to abandon some of the first ideas I conceived of as well as completing the matching earring.  I do know I will go back to the original drawings at a later date and I’ve included them for you to see.

The earrings are definitely shoulder dusters and although they are large enough to necessitate the need for a post earring to bare the weight they are still light enough to wear easily because of the choice of materials - small lampwork pieces. ceramics, tin, chain, pewter, and so on.  These are just perfect for the "Danse" and they move easily and just shimmer.

 
I like the idea of a Nicho type piece for the neck.  I can see this first piece hung from a forged neck wire. After my initial surge and searching for parts I had to shut down a few days when the pain out ran the medication and ice packs on my leg.  I knew I had to move on to a smaller piece and a bracelet was born in the drawings - - - - It kind of came and went the same way when I realized I was not able to make it down 16 steps to the studio to do some soldering and torch work (sugar skull lampwork/ bones/and so on).  Regardless, the music was still singing to me and I pared down the piece to the smallest of items I thought I might be able to accomplish.  I went through my stash of metal and beads and went designing again from there.

The Nicho Necklace became a bracelet in this drawing as my physical/ pain limitations became totally evident and began to eat into the time factor of the challenge.  Soldering multiple jump rings or figuring out a cold joined joint to replace them became a stumble I knew I couldn't tackle at the moment.

 
This is the final drawing and notes that I made as I worked my way through it.  It could be a multiple (earrings) or could be changed by the addition of a jump ring or bail at the top into a pendant.
 
Despite the fact this challenge piece went through many incarnations I like where it went.  The music, the challenge of really listening to the piece I selected, the challenge of working in between the knee limitations and yet still being able to come up with a viable piece of jewelry that is true to my materials and vision - well, it was important.  I think the challenge was the best medicine I could have ordered.  It kept me thinking, creating, and moving forward - again - thanks Erin,
 
This is the list of all of the blog hop participants.  I’ve got to get moving along so I can visit everyone myself and see what music moved their souls – I can’t wait!  Thank You, Erin.  Everyone enjoy the hop and I hope you enjoyed my process and creation for this challenge.
2nd Annual Musical Challenge Blog Hop Participants

19 comments:

Cynthia said...

Wow, your earring is fantastic. I hope you'll finish the other one, in time. I loved seeing your sketches along the way too!

Monique said...

Awesome work, Sharon... I have been looking forward to seeing your creation since reading your last post (I didn't guess it!) Saint-Saëns was an amazing dude, I didn't realize he was talented in other areas besides music.

I am not always comfortable around art that features themes of death, but I do love your skull design with all his Mexican paraphernalia surrounding him. The gemstone chain is very cool... the rattling bones?

Amy said...

I am not a skulls kind of gal - but I think your earring is so neat, and yes, it is perfect for your music selection! I really enjoyed the sketches showing your process.

The Cabby Crafter said...

Wow... I loved seeing the process that you went through to come up with the earring. Love your sketches and the finished piece. Very creative. - michelle

rosebud101 said...

Sharon, I love your work, you know that!!! I love what you did with your pieces. Wow!! And, thank you, I copied your links, and they finally worked!!!! I don't know what I did wrong!!! :)

Maneki said...

Cool earrings! Day of the Dead offers so much colours and festivities, so very different from, say, a Swedish allhelgona. So very different ways to approach the same basic idea, to remember the dead.

I liked reading your post and seeing how your designed developed and changed during the process.

Jean A. Wells said...

Love your earrings. Your drawings are fascinating to me. I would love to be able to design that way, but I usually just start putting stuff together and see where it takes me.

Michelle Mach said...

I love that you included your sketches. Your story about appreciating things from a biology/medical perspective was fascinating, too. Your earrings are off to a great start!

Cece Cormier said...

Oh so fun. Like looking at your sketches too. The earrings would be great for Day of the Dead too.

Molly Alexander said...

Wow - SOOOOO cool! I love the sense of whimsy and creativity you put into your design. The colors and movement make me smile, as does the story behind the design. Beautiful job - I can't wait to see the finished pair!

:) Molly

A Polymer Penchant said...

I love how you crafted this post, with all the sketches and the photo of the whole and parts, I imagine you just like a composer. Unfortunately fuelled by some pain, I hope you are getting some relief. That pair of earrings will be stunning, I'd love to see them (when there is a them) on.

EB Bead and Metal Works, LLC said...

Oh wow - I love your piece and the steps you took to get where you did. I love sugar skulls, so this is perfect!

EmandaJ said...

I Love the way your piece dances like a puppet on your shoulder. Saint-Saëns music is so evocative. Great job -- and soon you will be able to dance with your new knee too.

Jennifer said...

Sharon - I am sorry your knee is problematic! I think you made a fab piece! I can see it worn choker length on a black ribbon ( whether it gets an earring partner or not...)
THe music is wonderful - I know very little about Classical - but I actually recognized tht piece.

I too am a Dia de Los Muertos aficionado. Maybe we should have a Muerto hop this fall?!

Lela said...

Hey Hey...those turned out really cool!

Lela said...

Hey Hey...those turned out really cool!

kmorgan said...

I love this earring! It would be so cool to do the other one slightly different but still in line with the theme you captured so well!

Lola said...

What a colorful and whimsical interpretation of your chosen music! Those earrings look like they would not only be fun to wear, but would offer up a bit of music of their own while swaying from your lobes. =)

TesoriTrovati said...

I find it immensely satisfying to read of the process of artists. I love seeing all your sketches, that will surely mean you will come back to those and make them another time! For never playing music in your studio, you certainly picked a weighty piece! It has such an intense feel. Your piece feels more like the playful aspects of this music. Like a party at Mardi Gras! I am so happy that you were able to join me in the Challenge and your comment about this being good medicine is my 'something good' today! Thank you for sharing your music and art with the world! Enjoy the day! Erin