Thursday, May 22, 2008

Inspiring pictures of the Kalash Tride

The Kalash tribe is an indigenous tribe of Pakistan that has kept their old ways and their polytheistic religion. I came across some amazing pictures of them and find the colors they use, their adornment - especially the women's jewelry and dresses - were inspiring. Here is a link to information regarding them The pictures came from a blog on citizen sugar but I saw no citation or acknowledgement of the photographer. I will continue to look for whose pictures they are and note that here when I do.

I am thinking that creating necklaces inspired by these amazing beaded necklaces - albeit with a Cape Cod twist to them - is a great way to go. With some of the new things I have learned from my PMC class I think that this all can be combined into something very unique and wonderful. I love the layer upon layer of twisted beads that end up looking almost like a collar. The colors used in the trims of their skirts, tops and hats are so vibrant. They remind me of the colors of a Cape sunset. I will show you what I come up with when they are ready.

In the mean time - enjoy some of these pictures and see what they inspire in you!
- Gale

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

PMC Certificaion (or OH the Wonderful People You Meet Doing Metal Clay)

I delayed my posting here because I took a 3 day class up at Metalwerx in Waltham, MA to get my Rio Grande PMC Certification. The class was taught by Chris Darway ( who is one of the "ground floor" people using PMC and is an well known jewelry instructor in his own right. The course requires the students to complete 7 specific projects as well as do some additional add-on work (soldering and patina work for example). The projects had us working on everything from carving and molding, to creating a very traditional geometric design to creating a pen with a screw-on element (picture above right).
While I loved all the learning that went on and have some new tricks up my sleeve now (expect a change in some of my work), it was my fellow students that I enjoyed the most.

I got to reconnect with two people I met in my initial Intro to PMC class with Cece Wire. Dan and Erin were the two people I thought were the most connected with the clay during the first class and seeing them this weekend proved my instincts were right. Dan does a lot of traditional metalsmithing work and has a lot of knowledge to draw on. Erin has her own jewelry business which she has decided to do full time ( She has been a regular for the last few summers at the farmers market over on Martha's Vineyard. She is now going full tilt with the arts and crafts shows. Her wire work is very lovely and mixing PMC with what she currently does will really be exciting to see.

The new faces were interesting to get to know. I think Amy has turned out to be the most interesting. I knew she had studied pottery and art but she bills herself as a stay at home mom. THEN I checked out her web site that she very meekly said something about when we were all sharing emails and web sites on the last day. Amy designs the most amazing handbags for her business Brown Bags Couture ( Christine and Ellen were two friends from the western part of the state and who are already planning to take more classes! Lori has her own jewelry business ( and does a lot of wedding jewelry - but her "other life" has her in marketing which made me think that when she tires of the traditional rat race she should go into marketing consulting for artists and artisans.

I always feel like I grow so much when I get to be with other artists. Its why I like visiting with Anne, another metal clay artist who lives near me that I met through the yahoo group Metal Clay Gallery and why hanging out with Betsy always helps get my creative juices flowing. What do you do to get your creative energy recharged? Please share your comments.