Lucky 13: Michelle Jane Lee

michelle

michelle2

photo-29

IDontWantToStareAtYourFeet

“I Don’t Want To Stare At Your Feet All Night” ​

 

youllneverguess2

“Dear, You’ll Never Guess”

YOURELIKESOPRETTY_2

“I Wish I’d Never Seen Your Face”

When I first found Michelle Jane Lee on instagram I was captivated by her simple wooden bowls and the quiet artistry of her photos.  Then I saw her painting series in which she uses a color alphabet to transform personal letters into abstract beauty and I was sold.  Sarah and I couldn’t stop looking at her paintings trying to crack the secret code all the while marveling at the refined artistry.  Her Lucky 13 interview is a reflection of her work.  You can tell this girl is brilliant, that she has a million things rolling around in her mind at once, yet she somehow manages to produce a thoughtful, eloquent and simple answer.  As her artist statement says “There is a complexity, density; to put it simply, there is a lot of heart in the often times sparse drawings and paintings.”

And I’m just going to say it- Best titles of paintings and drawings EVER.

 

1.What are you working on at the moment?

I keep a full time studio practice with a focus on my paintings and drawings. Currently I’m in the middle of a series called “But Now You’re Just Los Angeles And, Everybody Lies” that’s about two years old, exploring and developing within certain set of boundaries pertaining to experiences I’ve had with people I’ve met since living in LA for the past 4 1/2 years. I’ve also begun creating my own line of functional objects, right now in wood and concrete but I would love to expand my materials as I become familiar with others. I also have an on-going collaboration with an incredible dancer/choreographer – trying to bridge the gab between the ephemeral experience of dance/theatre with the permanence of visual art (at least in the case of drawings, paintings, etc.) These are some of the main projects but there are another few handful of ideas and projects going. Every single moment of my life is filled with some sort of creation and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

2.What drives you to do what you do?

Love and feeling (too much.) And a relentless devotion to and faith in, Beauty.

3.What is it like to be a woman in your line of work?

Being an artist isn’t easy for anyone, but I do think there are still disadvantages to being a female artist. There’s no hiding the fact female artists are grossly under represented in museums and in galleries. I get excited if I see a list of names for a group show of 8 artists and if there are even two women among them. How sad the expectation is set this low? Women are no less talented than men, so this lack of opportunity and representation has to reflect something far more, sinister? But it is getting much better. People are speaking up and fighting for it, both men and women. I have a beautiful and supportive family of artists that see no gender in art and I’m hopeful little by little this gap will lessen and will one day disappear completely.

4.Do you have any regrets?

I have so many of them. But to me ‘regret’ is not a dirty word and I hate the shame behind it. It’s a reminder of mine and all of our imperfections. It keeps me growing, learning and maybe mostly importantly, humble. I’m still evolving but I’m happy to be who I am with big thanks to mistakes and regrets and lessons learned from them.

5.Do you have any scars?

Most memorable ones would be my tattoos and a tiny graphite dot embedded on the palm of my left hand from accidentally stabbing myself with a pencil while working. I like to think it gives me super drawing powers. Kind of like Spider Man after his spider bite.

6.What do you believe in?
Love, beauty, sincerity, compassion and devotion.

7.What is your best dream?
Twice I dreamt the exact same dream where I helped the smurfs fight Gargamel. We built this incredible contraption – frames built around my body with compartments for the smurfs to be positioned in with various weapons. I heard somewhere if you have the same exact dream three times, it becomes real. Sometimes I wonder if I’m just living my life waiting for that third smurf dream and finally be a hero.

Sometimes I also wonder how I have friends.

8.What could you not live without as an artist?
Working set of hands, a curious and insatiable hunger deep in my heart and in my gut.

9.What is your guiltiest pleasure?
I personally don’t feel guilty about any of these but some may say it’s my love of terrible Korean pop music, craving and having cheeseburgers and chocolate sprinkled donuts for breakfast.

10.Who is your Woman Crush Wenesday?
Rashida Jones is my woman crush every day.

 

11.Which woman artist out there today would you love to shine the spotlight on?
I’m going to go close to my heart and choose my bestfriend of 14 years, Emily White.  She’s a singer-songwriter. We’ve talked about this “crazy dream” of ours – being a musician and an artist, since we were teenagers together. We’ve gone through so many ups and downs, and it’s hard to say how well we’re doing now or how far we will go, but the fact we are still doing it makes me so happy and proud.

12.Where can we stalk you? (websites, blogs, social media info)

http://michellejanelee.com

http://instagram.com/squirreljtree/

You can also follow http://www.homelahello.com for a dance project I’m hosting/participating in during the month of August.

13.Anything else you’d like to (over)share?
Rashida Jones

rashida-jones-hot-1141x960

In the Werkshop: Sold!

In the Werkshop: Sold!

We sold our first piece today! It was for a wonderful couple who are hosting a memorial this weekend and are using the experience as a motivation to complete their home projects. We feel so honored to add a little ray of happiness to their process. What made it even more special is that they spotted the first piece Sarah ever made behind some other boards and fell instantly in love. We will make sure to post pics of the first Miss Morningwood in her new home soon!

Lucky 13: Dancing with Ghosts

129

GDHR3 GDLR2

GDHR13 GDLR16

IMG_3026

I first stumbled on Ghost Dancer while looking for divine feminine inspiration on Instagram.  She had posted beautiful pictures of Georgia O’Keefe along with the caption “Use your hands.  Use your hands to create that which has no word, use your hands to love, use your hands to heal, to redefine your perception. Use your hands to leave your legacy and use your hands to bring out the good in humanity.  Bring on the hand woven, hand blessed, heart in hand felt and hand made revolution.”  It was exactly what I was seeking at the moment.  The beautiful words matched her incredibly intricate weavings and jewelry.  But what I admired most about Rhiannon was her respect for the women who have come before and her ability to incorporate their stories into her art.  Her Lucky 13 interview is as eloquent and insightful as the caption that first captured my attention.

1.What are you working on at the moment? Presently, all of my attention is devoted to prototyping the fall/winter 2014/2015 collection of woven textile jewelry. I released my first collection of tapestries this past April full moon and it was a new exciting endeavor for Ghost Dancer. Switching mediums from bead work to woven art begs for full attention and experimentation.

2.What drives you to do what you do? That is the ineffable force that is the heartbeat of the universe, that which I like to think of as the cosmic fuel in every living thing. Creating anything just feels like the wind blown down some starlit tunnel channeling into me and it pours out of me. I believe it’s an obligation to share a gift that lifts people with joy, inspiration and beauty so creating what I do and knowing it touches the hearts of the wide open world makes me feel good.

3.What is it like to be a woman in your line of work? Awesome. The art of adornment has been carried both by men and women around the world through the ages so this path seems quite natural.  I’m a woman and I’ve got sensibilities that strengthen me to hack my way through a male driven world and walk my path confidently. When it comes to designing jewelry, as a woman, I’m designing for a woman and I can say twisting my perception to cater to men has been a challenge I haven’t overcome yet. I hope to do so with the alliance of men who have a hawk eye for detail.

4.Do you have any regrets? Taking life too seriously at times. I’d like to say that whenever faced with self doubt, I’d say I gracefully encourage myself to trust in the larger picture and that seed of truth replaces any dark seed of regret or doubt.

5.Do you have any scars? I have a heart shaped scar on my left hip from flying off of a scooter on a bridge in Greece years ago. After landing on dry gravel, the wound formed a little misformed heart. Any emotional scarring finds resolve and strength with time..and the willingness to heal.

6.What do you believe in? Just be.

7.What is your best dream? Impossible to share one but I frequently imagine myself with a ranch in New Mexico, raising rabbits and using their hair to spin and weave with.  I imagine my ranch fully sustainable with a wood working studio, ceramic studio, weaving, and casting foundry for jewelry/home furnishings. Arabian horses, a black Frisian, a Palomino,and 25 miniature horses are absolutely necessary along with wonderful friends and a good community.

8.What could you not live without as an artist? The reflection of those dearest to me.

9.What is your guiltiest pleasure? A full bag of salt and vinegar chips and devouring before anyone else gets a hand near.

10.Who is your Woman Crush Wenesday? Petecia Le Fawnhawk. She is the ethereal fawn from a different realm, somewhere between elvin forests and dust bowl prairies. I really love her voice and the artist splendor that emanates from her.  Very dreamy.

11.Which woman artist out there today would you love to shine the spotlight on? I would happily say Le Fawn Hawk. www.lefawnhawk.com

12.Where can we stalk you?  www.ghostdancercollection.com is my personal website, pardon the need for a site update. My tumblr blog is connected to my website too.  My instagram is : TheGhostDancer where I share musings, recent work and beauty.Ghost Dancer on pinterest as well.

13.Anything else you’d like to (over)share? I love meeting like minded artists and muses in the area so I always welcome new friends.

 

In the WerkShop

Last week Sarah designed her first wood panel in our new GingerPino WerkShop (aka our newly cleaned garage.)  It happened to land right on our 2 year anniversary making it a perfect gift for one lucky Ginger.  Swoon. I guess that’s why Sarah is the only magic man in my life.  I must be a pretty good Ginger Muse too, because the magic kept on flowing this week with several gorgeous reclaimed lathe panels.

wood panel 1

photo 3 (1)

woodpanel2 (1)

photo 5

Lucky 13: Flux of Fierceness

550972_468577723161809_1014504532_n

icm_fullxfull.39884645_8iohvm4in0w8wcw0kwg0

 

icm_fullxfull.39884425_mob764om0u840kckswww

As soon as Sarah and I booked our tickets to Stage Coach, I went on the search for my perfect summer adventure necklace.  That’s how I found Flux of Feathers, aka Arieana Michelle Grills, and her fiercely beautiful handcrafted jewelry. Her pieces are made of  bones, feathers, claws, taxidermy and stones and like Sarah, she is committed to breathing new life into the broken and dead.  You can check out the flux of feathers necklace I scored on our GingerPino Trippin page.

1.What are you working on at the moment?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         At the moment I am really trying to work on my social networking and media. Taking pictures of all the pieces that I make and getting them out there for the world to see. It doesn’t help that Im not that tech savvy but Im getting better! Im also currently working on two collections for different online shops and a handful of custom orders.

2.What drives you to do what you do?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 What drives me most is the excitement I see in customer’s faces when they find the right piece of jewelry thats unique just like them. Its a lot of fun to uncover that bit of shining handmade underground that most people don’t get a chance to see.

3.What is it like to be a woman in your line of work?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Two major portions that make up my life are cooking and making jewelry. Being a women and a chef is a lot harder than you’d think. Ive been in positions where Ive had to work twice as hard as everyone else just to prove that I can cook with the big dogs when I was such a young girl. This gave me an extraordinary amount of confidence, once I was able to prove myself. Making jewelry is a bit easier in a sense but I really think I feel that way because Ive gained so much confidence working so hard in the kitchen industry. Making it in this world you really have to be 100% secure with yourself and what you’re putting out in the world.

4.Do you have any regrets?
As a young adult I had to choose between going to school for art or going to culinary school. I figured that if I went to culinary school Id at least never be a starving artist haha. Sometimes I do think about how my life would be if I chose to go to school for Jewelry design and Metal Smithing but then I realize I can use both outlets, I don’t have to choose just one. Working in kitchens full time and trying to start your own small business is very hard and Ive just recently made the switch to working 2 to 3 days and creating jewelry the rest of the week. I feel that Ive worked hard and deserve to excel in my dream of making jewelry

5.Do you have any scars?
Too many to count, Im quite the clumsy lady. Working in kitchens didn’t help my case much either. If you looked at my hands you could tell they’ve done a lot of hard work

6.What do you believe in?
I believe that people can be anything and do anything they want in life. Its just up to them to acquire the tools to build their dreams

7.What is your best dream?
Ive been wanting to move to Austin for a few years now. Ive only been there about 5 or 6 times but often dream about being out there. At the end of the year my boyfriend and I are making the move and I couldn’t be happier to see what a new city will have to offer for Flux Of Feathers

8.What could you not live without as an artist?
Music! Its such a huge part of my life. Punk Rock and Rock n Roll were my saviors as a confused little girl. The first place I felt I fit in. It opened up a whole new world for me as a kid and I don’t think Id be the person I am today if it wasn’t for music

9.What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Stance and Huff socks. I can’t get enough of them! Ive never been one to buy fancy pricey socks but after I got a pair as a gift I couldn’t help but buy all the pretty colors and patterns. Not to mention they’re made so well!

10.Who is your Woman Crush Wednesday?
Chelsea Wolfe. Newest music crush and she’s a total babe! I love the songs she does with her brother King Dude. She’s got such haunting voice and great lyrics

11.Which woman artist out there today would you love to shine the spotlight on?
My dear friend Alexz Sandoval of Bird Trouble. Ive always looked up to her for what she made out of her small business. She makes purses, clutches and bags from repurposed fabrics and also does a lot of custom work. Most of the work she does ends up being one of a kind and I absolutely love that. Recently she moved from Chicago to Mexico to further her dream and has been flourishing. Its wonderful to follow her blogs and Instagram and see all the fun and colorful things she gets into so I highly suggest you follow her too!
IG: @birdtrouble
Shop: http://www.BirdTrouble.com

12.Where can we stalk you?
I post most often to Instagram @fluxofeathers
http://www.Facebook.com/FLUX787
http://www.Etsy.com/people/FluxOfFeathers
And you can find a video interview at http://www.RawArtists.org/Flux787

13.Anything else you’d like to (over)share?
If you’ve got a dream, follow it! Sometimes its so crazy to me that Ive made this small business out of absolutely nothing. Hard work does pay off if you have good intentions. My one and only intention with making jewelry is that I want to be able to give the dead and broken new life.

 

The muscle behind Miss MorningWood


Image

Sarah Cobillas tells us why she does what she does, proving that she is more than just a pretty face and a strong arm:

 

I believe that women are mentally and physically stronger than the limitations that society has put on us. I believe that women are strong enough to make lives that challenge the status quo. I believe that as a woman, the art that I create can inspire other women to have the confidence to also create. I want to learn about sustainable design and master my craft so that I can teach women how to make things for themselves. I know first hand what a transformative experience it can be to create something from nothing.

 

As a girl who was interested in things that are traditionally dominated by men, I was always told I would never be good enough to compete. Looking back at my career in the military, in a position where women were rarely represented, I proved to myself that not only could I compete with men, I could also surpass them. My life in the military was incredibly challenging, but I am grateful for the wisdom I gained after my experience. It opened my eyes to the limitless possibilities that myself and other women can achieve. At the end of my enlistment I was given a chance to move up the ranks and become an officer. I turned down the offer because I believed that outside of the military I would have a greater chance to impact my community.

 

I am creating my own ideal of what success can mean for me.  I know that creating things and helping people is what fulfills me. My goal is to make sustainable design accessible.  I want to open the doors for the women who never imagined they were strong enough to handle machinery and create quality pieces for themselves.  I want to create beautiful and affordable furniture for people who never thought that they could afford to own a piece of art. I want to be a part of the movement of sustainable design, not only to preserve our environment, but also to sustain our most under-priviledged communities.

 

My art is a process of renewal and transformation. I try to infuse new life into discarded objects whose fates are otherwise limited to decay. In this same way, I want to inspire people to unearth the blessings in their alleged deficits. My dream is that people like me realize that our perspective is necessary in the art world and our lives are worthy of beauty.  I believe that creativity has no limit and by supporting one another, instead of fighting each other, we all have the ability to unlock our full potential.

Why Blog?

 

Honestly? It gives meaning to my insatiable social media desires. As hard as I try, I just can’t stay away from the voyeuristic temptations of Instagram.  I can’t help it, I really want to know who your woman crush wednesday is.  And who likes your woman crush wednesday. But like any good drug, I end up feeling pretty strung out and empty at the end of my creeper binge.  This blog gives (some) purpose to my desires and I now know what it is I am searching for.

Image

Finding Sarah was like finding a best friend when I was 8 and awkward and alone.  From the first week we met we started to create together.  Nothing intentional or noteworthy, but meaningful nonetheless.  Sure, our paintings were of Daria, narwhals and splatter paint jiz. And yea, maybe we built forts and made costumes instead of going out like grown ups.  But I think what we were really doing was finding something we lost in childhood.  That something that let our imaginations run wild.  We forgot about being cool and created a magic interior world where anything was possible.  But just like middle school, I woke up one day and realized all of the other girls my age had moved on to other things and other friends.  I am so grateful to have found my bff and boo boo in one quirky and beautiful girl crush, but I still wonder where all the other weirdos are.  And by weirdos I mean, where are all of the other girls who would rather dress up like mermaids and drive up the coast to collect drift wood for reclaimed furniture?  Not in a hippy way, not in a tripper way and not in a crafty mom way… in a really fashionable, absurd, intelligent, irreverent and possibly even gay kind of way.  Image

I don’t know where exactly these other trouble starter, noise makers are, but I know they are out there.  Making a living making things (especially things made with hammers and nails) has not been so friendly to females.  It can be lonely trying make your way in a world that wasn’t made for you.  So we are trying to forge our own path and find success in our own way.  To us that means collaborating instead of competing with each other.  Women have always been makers, infusing design and beauty into functional items and everyday events.  I see it in the stories we tell, the clothes we wear, the meals we make AND in the art we create, the blogs we write, and the future we design.  Women dominate Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.   We need to use these paths to find our way back to best friends who inspire dreams and fairy godmother who make anything possible.  I am so excited to find, follow, like and share other women makers, movers and shakers.  Who run the world?

Image