Monday, June 17, 2013

A Peek Inside the Diary of an Artist

With the snow forecast I hope to have a day or two up my sleeve to work on pieces for my show.

I thought I'd share some pages from my visual diary. I almost never draw a design. I find the end result is stiff and prefer the spontaneity of composing with materials on the studio table. I use my diary as a means of working out technical problems and recording ideas for altering and manipulating parts.

I tend to draw small, to fit in a lot per page so I don't have to keep flipping over to find the note I'm looking for. These are stream of consciousness thoughts, quick sketches that give me a list of techniques to draw on as I compose the medals. 

A glimpse into the creative process.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Decorated - Exhibition by Marisa Cappetta

I'm pleased to announce the details of my exhibition, 'Decorated', opening 6pm,  22 October 2013, St Andrew's College. The show is curated by Pip Dinsenbacher.

When I showed Pip the new jewellery (pictured in my previous post) she got very excited and after a bit of conversation about how the pieces are made and the overall concept, she offered me the show. The title is a word play, it means to confer an honor and is also a reference to the decorative arts.

I'll be working pretty hard over the course of the next 5 months, preparing 50 - 60 new pieces for the show.  I already have 10 laid out on the bench, ready for fabrication. The medal theme is rich with symbolism and open to interpretation, from fairly sober  to parody and humour.

An exhibition is a special time in an artist's life. It's a chance to tell an entire story and fully develop and realise a concept. Looking forward to the months ahead!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Medals for Extraordinay Yet Overlooked Achievement

Vintage teaspoon stamped, watch gears, coffee pot charm, pearls.
This new work came about through an exploration to find a framework for mixed media jewellery. I strenuously deny that it was birthed in order to legitimize my love for rummaging in flea markets. Well, maybe a little. For years I've collected all sorts of small treasures and at times have tentatively included a few in my bead work. A short while ago, I sat down with pencil, visual diary and lots of inspiration in the form of journals.

Copper, bee charm, watch gears, Victorian button, beads, old necklace.
I can't say when the moment happened, I wasn't looking at medals or jewellery. I don't believe in muses. I think the process is about allowing  time and  focus for a free flowing set of images to occur. I usually get caught up in the urgency to make something, I don't allow time for something new to percolate. It's a valuable lesson: give time to start of the creative process, the germination of an idea.

Copper, hare charm, part of a chandelier, brass thingie stamped.
The concept I've chosen is medals. Within that framework there are infinite possibilities for composition, which suits me. I prefer making one off works of art rather than churning out duplicates of the same design.

Using my metal work skills, I alter and modify components to fit my design as well as fabricate the findings to suit.The images, words I've stamped and the components lend each other meaning, a narrative in some cases.

At last I have a chance to use my treasures and hunt for more (in spite of my denial).
Best of all, they are fun to make, affording me an opportunity to play.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Return to Repoussé

This is an example of my repoussé work, a process of forming  flat sheet metal by supporting it on a bed of pitch and working it with small punches. This piece is hollow, worked from the back and front, through many stages of annealing and hammering.

I gave it up for a while, because the black pitch I used produces noxious fumes when burned off. With some good alternatives to black pitch on the market, I'm keen to return to it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Returning to Bead

After a long absence from any serious beading while I finish my folio for The Hagley Writers Institute, I finally returned to the table to create. I made this necklace, a simple embellished band in Patawatomi Stitch. The dip of my needle into the bead dish and sparkle of crystal gave me great joy! I collect all sorts of things that eventually find a place in a finished piece of art or jewelry. I knew I was missing my stash of pretty things when I wrote a poem about them.

Unruly Collections

I’ve got a brass tap
that has a plump breast.
it’s sudden breath
a bird in my hand.  

Webster’s glasses
slips down its nose.
It illustrates croziers and comets,
mushrooms and mustard
on pages of dictionary-amber. 
Pulp fiction postcards
and vintage erotica pinups,
is where I sin.
A shrine of Singer sewing parts
is where I pray. 

Creatures of hinges and cogs
pulleys and keys
collect in corners,
mumble and peer,
watchful for fallen beads
they dart out and eat. 

Cigarette card butterflies
stir when I rattle
my sewing machine.
They collect pollen
from the poetry
stitched to my walls.

Marisa Cappetta






Sunday, February 5, 2012

My Palette

I'm often asked how I come up with the colours I do. The answer is I have a vast collection of beads and vintage elements, collected over many years. I can't mix my colours from a tube in order to create subtle tones and unusual colour mixes, so a lot of beads are needed. Essentially, my bead collection is my artist's palette. Here's a small-ish selection of the things I'm currently working with. These boxes of treasure were used to create my latest  asymmetric earrings with vintage jewelry elements.

You can see them in my store by clicking here.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Flowers After the Quake

On a corner of our inner city where several buildings have been demolished, where once there was only the small detritus from the demolition, someone has seeded the entire block with flowers.
I’m amazed by the human capacity to celebrate life in the midst of chaos.  I finally have my earthquake project, I haven’t been able to write about it, but maybe I can design something.

I like the rough edges contrasted with the delicate flowers. I have a ton of broken china, maybe I can incorporate that, other found objects, metal.  There are so many demolition sites for inspiration for the broken stuff. The flowers give me hope for the future.