This is probably the most intriguing post I’ve published in some time. After I shoot a client’s work, I’ll often ask if I can post a piece or two to this blog. If it’s okay with the artist, I’ll ask for a little background.
After I shot this woven wire bracelet by good friend Barbara Whitehill, the story she told just floored me. I expected to hear that she learned the technique in a class under the guiding hand of some seriously talented wire guru. Instead, she described a very different scenario. I’ll let Barbara tell it:
“I really love a challenge and wanted to push myself to try wire weaving and combine it with my other love, precious metal clay. So I went to Home Depot, purchased some clamps, read the book Woven Wire Jewelry by Linda Chandler and Christine R. Ritchey and jumped in. Once the weaving was complete, I came across a beautiful vintage button that had a wonderful woven texture. I made the mold and made 4 pieces. I then used an “Oreo cookie” method of sandwiching two pieces on each end with syringe clay. Then my voice said “you could use some practice setting stones”… so in for a penny in for a pound, I set the trillium stones on each end.”
Barbara tells her stories better than I ever could. Here’s the concise history on this wonderful necklace: “The Octopus came about with my second time taking Jonna’s Naturalist’s Cabinet class. It was so liberating to already have done the concept and learned techniques from a past class so I could really jump into the creative aspect. I asked myself what curiosity could I put into my box… What sort of creature intrigued me most… And that is how the octopus was born. I will tell you at one point my creature was fighting me and I had a vision of almost pulling his little clay body out of the box and tossing it onto the table…. Almost like how they throw them onto the ice at hockey games. I have been saving a beautiful Tahitian pearl that I wanted the octopus to hold, so it all came together in the end with Jonna’ s encouragement and expert advice!”
These two pieces were shot in my Escondido studio, with Barbara helping to guide the shoot. And just ’cause I can, here’s the cabinet Barbara created during that first class she mentioned…