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Category: Visual Inspiraton

Arches Brooch. Polymer clay, ink toner. Jane Pellicciotto

A Brooch of Then and Now

You might have seen my black and white letterform collages on polymer clay using an image transfer technique. These abstract letterforms highlight not just the shapes of the letters but their negative spaces as well. What’s not there is often more interesting than what is there. When I was a graphic design instructor, I’d assign a project similar to these pieces to my typography students. It taught them to become intimate with the shapes of letters without the distraction of meaning.

So I was happy to come across a call for entry for an exhibition with typography as the subject matter. The only problem was that the deadline was right around the corner. There wasn’t much time to create entirely new pieces. Read more

Creative Coping

I’ve been trying to cull stories of what I call Creative Coping—businesses or people using creative solutions or workarounds during the pandemic. Sometimes they’re business strategies, often they’re just ways of adding delight in a dark time. In my pandemic fog, I often forget to write them down when one crosses my path.

Here are just a few. Read more

Lemonade from Lemons

I wrote this a few days before the election, then headed off to a fellow jeweler friend’s for a little distraction. My intention was to post this before the election but realized soon enough that the delivery date didn’t matter. It didn’t matter who won the election. It just matters that you follow where the path leads and make lemonade from lemons.

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Four years ago, a few days after the election, I got shingles. I won’t say where.

I also started a monotype printing class the day after election day. I recall walking through the parking lot, my brain in a fog, and, admittedly, hungover. I felt a lot of things, but creative was not one of them. Read more

The Land Is the Muse

“My art is fed by every emotion.” 

—Andy Goldsworthy

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Andy Goldsworthy leaf and twig land art

When I first saw the work of land artist Andy Goldsworthy, I was blown away. This was followed by envy that someone wasn’t paying me to prance around in the woods collecting and assembling leaves and twigs. Then I realized I was being an idiot. You do what you love because you must, just as I do when I scour a beach or the forest floor, not for anything particular, just for a thing of beauty that captures my attention. Only no one is paying me for it.

But I do use these things, not only as inspiration for artwork and jewelry, but as an essential clearing of the head. Nothing like a humbling dose of nature to remind you of your relative insignificance. I often gawk at what’s before me wondering why I bother making art or objects when nature has already done it. But then I soldier on and tuck these inspirations away for later. Read more