Lolly Pop-up!

In less than a week aarghh is coming back to Antwerp for the Lolly Pop-up! I’m showing pins and note cards and earrings, but there’s so much more -all wonderful Belgian Etsy designers and creators.

I’ve got to get back to my rendez-vous with Mr Schopenhauer *sigh* but I’ll try to be there on the 21st. See you then! 😉

Here’s a litte sneak preview:

DSC_7474
it IS almost Valentine, after all.

DSC_7477
red blood cells on a blue china dish

puntjepuntjepuntje
a new release! what could it be…? dot dot dot…

notecards glass garden
note cards!

De Napjesdrager: inspired by trees

(also check the work-in-progress @ flickr)


Ingredients for a fused glass panel of a face made of leaves:

++ tree leaves drenched in sunlight

Napjesdragers

Napjesdragers

Napjesdragers

Napjesdragers

++ my mother’s well-used and worn 1960 ed. Geïllustreerde flora van Nederland, an extensive field guide to recognizing plants and trees. Her book has dried leaves and strings as bookmarks and when I was young we used it to press leaves and flowers!

Napjesdrager

DBNL has the 2nd edition of 1909 online! The b/w illustrations are the same of the 19th ed. I love those drawings, although they’re very clear, they’re not technically perfect. It makes me yearn for a time without internets and computers and easy digital photography where everyone had to be able to draw to a certain extent…

This edition speaks of the Cupuliferae, de Napjesdragersfamilie. A tree family that included oaks, beeches, chestnuts, birches, hazels and alders. It’s an obsolete term, nowadays this family is split up in Fagaceae (Beech, oak, chestnut) and the Betulaceae (birch, hazel, alder,…). Napjedragersfamilie is still used to describe the Fagaceae and the cups that hold the seeds of these trees, and I fell in love with the word napje. It’s also rather archaic. I remember it mostly from fairy tales and Breughel paintings and the nursery rhyme of the Bibelebontse Berg, where people (and bears) ate from wooden bowls.

++ Tree lore, green men and Tales of the mythic forest

sint-baafabdij

While this fellow is not exactly a green man, heads covered in foliage can be found on medieval cathedrals and churches, much like this Mr. crankyface in the Sint-Baafsabdij in Gent. They’re said to be remnants of pagan, Celtic lore and are among others connected with tale the Robin Hood.

++ gorgeous transparent & translucent glass colors:

pencil box

I took this picture when I started to prepare this project months ago, in the meantime a couple more colors joined the palette, like Vetrofond Tapenade and Cosmic Storm and some ambers and browns.

red + green

The effetre dark and light grass green (I tend to call them glass green 😉 ) are my favorite colors. Just as plain and simple as they are, they remind me of summer and of the sun shining through trees and that just makes me happy. Years ago a friend gave me a gorgeous Henry Dean vase in this color. I also used it a lot on Nur der Mensch:

Nur der Mensch...

So now you know a little bit more… are you ready to meet the Napjesdrager? 😉

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edit: whoops, typo. There’s a beech on the beach. Silly me!

of rings, sketches and a zazzle

I’m getting increasingly busy again with the new semester at library school (and a short but exciting internship at the Sint Lucasbibliotheek in Gent! I’ve already raided the glass section…), and as a result my blog and art projects suffer a bit (thank goodness for little sketchbooks that I can carry around everywhere!).

Last week I participated in the Dag van de Ambachten, like last year at the awesome Glassworks studio, and was so busy melting glass and interacting with artists & visitors that I totally forgot taking pictures!

Luckily I can sneak some studio days this week in which I hope to finish some of my current projects before it’s half a year later again. All jewelry: the purple sister to my earth goddess pendant for my dear friend Vocisconnesse, the coral pendant (or brooch?), murrini ring, drop pendant and more which  I’ve baptised the specimen series (the organic shapes go back to my fascination with nature when I was 11-12 and collected treasures in boxes and filled notebooks with my “scientific” observations…back then I wanted to become a paleonto-bio-geologist and took it very seriously, LOL)

Meanwhile I’m also working on my first project in pâte de verre (wikipedia), although it may take until summer before I can start. Well, until then I can do some sketches and make some preparations… Moldmaking being one of them. Oh dear. In April I’m attending a demo of a bronze casting, hoping to get some insight there…

Oh! I almost forgot: people inquired if I made prints from the glass gardens, the fused squares from Nur der Mensch, the glass/copper panel I made last summer. Well, here you go! I opened a Zazzle store which has just that (and mugs!).

The (blank) posters, note- and postcards sell per 1, but the (also blank) “invitation cards” are per 10. I included them because there you have different sizes and paper options (from recycled to pretty linen textured), and you can customize it all. If you have suggestions for prints or items you’d like to see in the store (the dog T-shirt for sure… :-p ), let me know.

Also, any tips on photographing transparent but textured glass panels?

glass + copper. No more, no less.


Two materials I’ve been wanting to combine for a long time. They go together so well, and I was eager to work on a project in which I could combine the techniques I had learned for each medium. Sawing out the forms in copper, sanding them, designing the murrini at the torch, arranging them and firing the little squares (the “gardens”) in the kiln, and finally setting them in the panel. It took me about a month.

The grass green glass was my red thread. It’s one of my favorite transparant shades -it reminds me of summer and the sun shining through leaves…it just makes me happy. So I used that in all the green murrini, but mixed the shades with other colors.

When seen from afar you can just make out the colors of the glass squares and read the quote, but as you come closer you see more colors and finally all the murrini. It is quite detailed, the squares are each 5 x 5 cm, the murrini between 1 and 7 mm each. The whole piece measures 15 x 78 cm (without the bar and the chains).

“Nur der Mensch schafft einen Garten, niemals die Natur. Sie sehen also, wie unsere Entwicklung vor der Intervention des Bewusstseins abhängt. Es gibt zwar den Faktor der Entwicklung, der Evolution in der Natur, aber sie vollzieht sich langsam, sie benötigt Millionen von Jahren.”

C. G. Jung, Traumanalyse

The garden is a metaphor for our own creative process. A garden doesn’t occur naturally, we create them consciously. But a garden is also a reflection of nature, so by creating one we tap into the same creative process as nature uses and connect with her within ourselves. And that brings balance.

That’s why creating is so vital to us…

work in progress pictures:

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meanwhile, at the studio:

(click for full size)

My creativity is slowly but certainly accelerating to full speed and not a moment too soon, because there’s much work to be done! My little notebook (on the bottom right side) is bursting with scribbles and sketches and the to-do lists I’ve made make me slightly panicky…but I’m equally happy I can finally devote my time to my art, at least for the summer vacation.

The picture shows part of the microcosmos project. I’ve been lampworking some glass test “nods” and making some more green cell murrini that are going to be fused on those glass squares, and I’ve been searching for a neat stencil font for the text on the copper plates. Of course you all know what I’m talking about. 😉 Just bear with me, it will become clear soon…

Also, I’m about 1/4 librarian now. I would be excited if it weren’t for the fact that the certificate we’ll get at the end of the ride isn’t enough to land a job. Due to our silly Belgian education system, adult education and evening classes don’t equal regular education even if it’s the same level. So in fact I should get a bachelor from somewhere else…and while I love studying, I really just want to do the glass (& metal) thing. I feel like I have plenty more to tell in those media and I’m not sure if I can put my creativity on hold for some more years of full time studying…What to do?

Well, to be continued…