Monday, August 12, 2013

On the Road - Creative Adventures in Providence and Worcester

One of my favorite parts of selling jewelry on the road is the opportunity to meet new people and explore new places. Prior to the Greenway Open Market several weeks ago, I had a chance to visit with some pretty amazing folks and do some digging for treasures. My trip started in Providence with lunch with a new friend. I met Wendy Brusick through my Etsy shop. Her daughter ordered a blinking doll eye necklace for her as a gift. And when her daughter's birthday came around Wendy and I collaborated on a custom necklace for her. Through our exchanges, we got to know each other and discovered that we are inspired by and drawn to many of the same things. 
Wendy Brusick with a mixed media piece "Serious Moonlight"
A double sided necklace for Wendy's daughter made out of a vintage magnifying glass and a new Dr. Who pin.
The other side of the magnifying glass reveals an antique image of two women from 1865 (provided by Wendy).
Wendy is a storyteller at heart who expresses herself in paintings, drawings, assemblages, and in words. Her surrealistic works are breathtakingly beautiful and strong with emotion. I remember the day she sent me a link to her website. I was instantly taken aback by the vivid tentacle-like purple petals  and stoic body of the mysterious Lady in Waiting. The deeper I dove into Wendy's work, the more intrigued I was by Flowertopian Imagery. It's incredible how she captures the personalities of her floral women through subtleties in body language, and by playing with light and color in her settings. Wendy often uses vintage photographs as a starting point for her surrealistic work, which makes her pieces feel very familiar, yet other-worldly.
Lady in Waiting
Ars Moriendi - mixed media
During our lunch I got to hear about Wendy's studies at Valparaiso University and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. While getting her four-year certificate in painting, she received the prestigious Schiedt Memorial Traveling Scholarship. This enabled her to visit art museums in ten European countries. Wendy currently resides in Cranston, Rhode Island where she not only paints, but also writes non-fiction. I highly recommend visiting her website and Facebook page to view her stunning work and learn more about her background. Before we parted ways, Wendy shared with me some old photos that she'll be referencing for future work and proposed that we collaborate together on a special project. I couldn't have been more thrilled with the idea. Stay tuned...something fabulous is in the works!
vintage inspirations - paintings to be
After my get together with Wendy, I headed out to some of my favorite treasure troves in Providence. I spent several hours  sorting, sifting, and picking through vintage beads, findings, and embellishments. It's really hard to contain my excitement when I'm in these magical spaces. I loaded up my car with boxes and bags filled with supplies galore and headed to another friend's home.
Can you dig it?
drawers and drawers and drawers
That night I visited and stayed with Anh and Phillip Sawyer in Providence. I met this creative couple through the Greenway Open Market last year. Anh is the Executive Director of the Southeast Asian Coalition of Central MA (SEACMA) and author of Song of Saigon.   Philip is the creative force behind Philip Sawyer Designs and a continuing education professor at RISD. I had the opportunity to visit their design studio/home last year and enjoyed learning and blogging about them. Recently, Anh invited me to teach an upcycled jewelry making class at SEACMA and I couldn't wait to visit their headquarters in Worcester. I brought with me crates filled with game pieces, toys, and doodads. The participants made a variety of colorful bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. It was a real pleasure creating with the members of SEACMA and hearing about their recent Asian Festival. The afternoon ended with a delicious bowl of Vietnamese pho with Anh. With a full belly, I headed back to Providence for the evening.
stuff for making stuff
Twitch and Whiskers upcycled jewelry workshop at SEACMA
Manyu sporting her new bracelet.
The night ended with a visit and stay with my favorite Providence artist and friend Carrie Wagner of SepiaLepus. The last time I saw her I was looking for a new pair of glasses. I adored her dark purple frames and ordered the same pair. It was fun reuniting with my 'spectacle sister.' I'm so proud of Carrie because she recently quit her day job to go full time with her art.  She has been keeping busy with shows at the Providence Flea, SoWa and Waterfire. Carrie has also been setting up a new studio space in her home and will soon be wowing the world with new SepiaLepus masterpieces. The evening ended with my first gut-busting experience with all-you-can-eat Korean Barbeque. Carrie, her husband Jim, and I ate all that we could (and then some) and finished off the night with some gore for dessert ala Evil Dead on TV.
Wonder Twin Powers...ACTIVATE! Form of a Corgie!
Korean barbeque eating frenzy
With two full days of feasting, friends, and creativity under my belt, I was definitely ready for my Saturday at the Greenway Open Market. To be continued...

1 comment:

  1. what restaurant is this... and why was i not invited : }