Lucky 13: Dancing with Ghosts

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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.

 

Lucky 13: Flux of Fierceness

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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.

 

Miss MorningWood says…


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To fur or not to fur?  For me, the question has the same answer as many other conscious consumer quandaries.  Here is my checklist for feel good shopping:

1. Buy old: A great thrift find, a vintage steal or a refurbished master piece- it’s already made, it’s already taking up space in this ever shrinking world.  The best shopping you can do is the kind that doesn’t create more excess in this consumer culture.  Turning trash into treasure is an essential for our own art and what we look for in other art.    When it comes to fur- yes, I actually think it is more ethical to buy an old fur (like this $40 mink steal from the Alameda Antique Fair) than to purchase a new vegan leather jacket.  Other bonuses: it is often cheaper, nobody else has the same one and we all know rescuing a dog is better than breeding a dog

2. Buy human: There is just something undeniably beautiful about things made by hand.  Maybe it is the minor flaws or the unique nature of each piece.  The quality just doesn’t compare- things made by hand are durable enough to sustain wear and tear.  (Hence, why buying old is another good guideline.) I love the actual connection in small shops and etsy stores that Target doesn’t offer.  There is nothing better than meeting the person who made what you are buying- it also ensures you aren’t wearing something made by little hands or underpaid workers.   Other bonuses: You can often make  a connection to the artist that can lead to promotion of your own work, possible bartering and collaboration on future projects.

3. Buy Woman Made: First of all, we are lesbians- so we kind of have a crush on any woman who makes anything… But more importantly, there is a long and vibrant tradition of women making things (food, clothing, house goods, etc.) and having their art discarded as mere “craft.”  These functional arts have made our daily lives more beautiful and have the ability to empower women to live life on their own terms.  We have all heard that investing in a woman is often more beneficial to a community than investing in a man.  They are more likely to reinvest in the community and more likely to teach someone else their craft.  Other bonuses: We also know first hand how hard it is to break into a male dominated industry,  like upcycled furniture.  We are out there, fund us, support us, buy us (er, our goods.)

4. Buy Local: So much could be said about buying local.  We live in a peak oil world, anything to cut back on the toll shipping takes on the environment is a worthy venture to us. In addition to the eco benefits, you get the same benefits of human made and women made.  You are investing in your community and getting to make actual human connections.  Other bonuses: buying local tends to come in the form of fun events  like art walks, craft fairs, farmers markets and neighborhood exploration.

5. Love above all else:  You can’t always help what (or who!) you love.  I’m not going to lie, sometimes Target is the most practical, affordable place to find a good interview outfit or some cheap heart shaped shades that you know you will lose in a week.  I believe if you practice the prior rules, they will begin to be organic choices that you make more often.  And in the meantime, if you find a dope t-shirt made by a guy in Mexico- GET IT!  We live in troubled times and sometimes piece of mind requires a little less self judgement.  If you are being a conscious consumer most of the time, you are already making a big difference.