"Those who have experienced Paris have advantage over those who have not. We are the ones who have glimpsed a little bit of heaven, down here on earth." - Deirdre Kelly

Friday, November 04, 2011

Show & Tell Friday: La Muse Parisian

"Often the Muse will not respond to direct and logical requests.
She must be lured in with the playful and gentle."
- Jill Badonsky

In Greek mythology the muses were/are goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. But that's the clinical definition. Muses are the embodiment of je nais se quoi that indefinable, intangible...something that inspires our creative selves. She can take human form: think of Burt Bacharach and Dionne Warwick; or Degas and Ballet. But whatever form she takes, she exists for artists of every type.

As for me, I have several Muses: for my academic work, my Muse is my beloved mother (Dorothy); when I was a Jazz singer (singing my way through university), my Muse was Ella Fitzgerald; my photography Muse is (not surprisingly) Paris. Four years ago, when I began to make my jewelry, I stumbled across my newest Muse. For this Show & Tell Friday I offer La Muse Parisian...

As with every artist, you develop your 'art' through study, experimentation, and doing. In the months before I perfected my jewelry making process, I must have created 200 tiles. Even though they were not quite right (even though I didn't know what right was!) I didn't throw away my first attempts; I kept them in an antique crystal ice bucket on my desk - I guess you could say that that little bowl was my first Muse ;-)

I'm not ashamed to admit that I became obsessed. All I had was an idea - Paris inspired bracelets. That's it! I knew absolutely not a thing about designing or creating jewelry. I was literally and figuratively starting from scratch. So, not only was I creating hundreds of experimental tiles, I did what I know how to do best - research. In that endeavor, I began to collect vintage and new charms, coins, beads, clasps, wire, etc. Soon, they too joined my early attempts in 'the bucket.'

One afternoon, as I was cruising the aisles of my local arts and crafts store, I came across these magnificant paper mache dress forms - inspiration struck. Once I got my find(s) home, I painted the 8.5" x 4" dressform a brilliant metallic gold; strung my collection of beads; put lobster clasps on all of my charms and coins; put them on two silver charm bracelets; and draped them around the dressform - et voila!

My Muse Parisian sits on my desk, where she's provided endless inspiration ever since.

And what has my Muse inspired? Well for one, I created my vision of the perfect Paris bracelet:

"Goddess," inspired by Gustav Klimt (you can check her out here)


"Marie Antoinette" earrings (you can check these out here

If you'd like a muse of your own, go here. I'd love to hear about your Muse...

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!

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