Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mu-Yin Jewelry: Featured Artfire Artisan

I was browsing through Artfire yesterday and came upon these amazing Rainbow earrings by Artfire Artisan Mu-Yin Jewelry.   I love the way she's used tiny 4 mm faceted gemstones (including garnet, citrine, peridot and amethyst) to represent the colours of the rainbow, and I love the hammered sterling silver setting.  Really stunning work.  She makes other pieces (bracelet, ring and necklace) with the same theme.

The bio of this South Carolina artisan says:  
Mu-Yin Jewelry specializes in custom wire wrapped jewelry made with high quality colorful freshwater pearls and natural gemstones. All items are made to order to fit customers' size, be it a ring, necklace, or bracelet. While Designer Mu-Yin Mollie Chen received professional training in various art areas including literature, fine art and classical music, her wire wrapping skills are completely self-taught. A huge fan of handcrafted jewelry herself, one of Mu-Yin's goals is to provide the general public trendy and well-made handcrafted jewelry without the high price tag. Many designs are limited editions featuring rare colored freshwater pearls and natural gemstones collected by the designer from all over the world.Mu-Yin's Designs are noted for their vibrant colors, often simple yet meticulous construction and the delicate balance between the wire and pearls/gemstones. They are girly, sweet, sexy and easy to wear. Mu-Yin's Designs are never overwhelming -- they are simply addictive as that chocolate which makes you want to have one after another!

Here's an example of her work with pearls.  Mu-Yin does a few gorgeous peas in a pod pieces like the Necklace shown above.  Colourful freshwater pearls and sterling silver -- yum!

And here's another example of her work with tiny faceted gemstones.  I love this fresh, pretty aquamarine ring, which is also available in a number of different stones/colours.  It's pretty but not too sweet -- the rusticity of the hammered sterling silver plays well with the faceted gems and keeps it from being too calculated :)

Mu-Yin's Artfire store is muyinmolly.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Red -- curated collection at Artfire

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Faces of the Artfire Visuals Arts Guild -- Collection

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Frosty Night Curated Collection at Artfire

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kenneth Rougeau: Featured Artfire Artist

I'm pleased to feature the digital collages of artist Kenneth Rougeau today.  Kenneth Rougeau is a 34 year old digital artist who currently resides in Portland, Oregon. He has created numerous surrealistic fantasy images and has also created collages to illustrate Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland  and Through The Looking Glass.

I find these collages satisfying on many levels, but particularly because each image mines a rich and often elegantly grotesque vein of visual reference and art history.

This is Metamorphosis, a beautifully-composed piece which manages to combine references to traditional iconography of St Bartholemew, a Victorian-era naturalist's notebook and, perhaps, The Silence of the Lambs into a very pleasing whole :)

Here's one of Rougeau's extraordinary series of illustrations for both Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.  This is Wool and Water,  the scene in Looking Glass with Alice in the shop with the Sheep (the Sheep always used to bother me, well, all of Tenniel's illustrations are rather unsettling :)  While clearly influenced by Tenniel in terms of the composition, this illustration delights me with the richness of its colouring and references.  And I love how very specific the breed and markings of the Sheep is!

I love the terrifying chaos of this one, Pig and Pepper, showing the Duchess, her Cook, the Baby (who later turns into a pig) and the Cheshire Cat from Wonderland.   I particularly adore the backwards reference to Quinten Matsijs' famous 16th century grotesque of an ugly old woman, which was Tenniel's original inspiration for his own illustration of the Duchess and her pointy little chin :)  I don't know the reference used for the Cook -- she looks very Blakeian to me -- so would someone else let me know the source?  She's fabulous -- I love the fact that she's on fire, herself!

And here's the surreal Desert Passage.  The lighting in this one is just extraordinary.

Actually, I think I may love every single piece in Kenneth's studio --- so instead of going on and on about it, I'll just send you his way:

krougeau's studio on Artfire

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gaelic Forge: Featured Artfire Artisan

Gaelic Forge is a new Artfire shop that I found when I was searching for items for a recent collection.  They are a small family run jewellery business "located up against the foothills of the great Sierra Nevada Mountains" and their work is evocative, textured and stunning!

The piece at the top of this feature is a copper brooch.  I love the sinuous lines and combination of patinas.

There's a wonderful mix of simple and more complex pieces in Gaelic Forge's studio.  These Celtic Copper earrings are very simple, and very beautiful:

GaelicForge says of themselves:
GaelicForge offers Celtic inspired handcrafted jewelry. Unique and artistic copper pendants. Celtic treasures of organic and earthy earrings. Artisan designed brooches and charms. Bits of metal designed to wear to Renaissance faires. Ancient and Bohemian. Tribal style hammered copper and hammered nickel. All jewelry designed, hand forged and created one of a kind originals made in old world style.

Here's a hammered and forged copper pendant that I'm particularly fond of :)  There's something so rustic and romantic about this piece -- it's elegant without being polished.

Do check out GaelicForge's Artfire shop to see the rest of the gorgeous pieces in their studio!