Friday, May 28, 2010

Fairytale lamp – two versions

My studio is slowly coming together and apart from the many obvious tasks (build a good table for instance), I am working on the many small details that will make this room amazing. One of them is the central lamp, which will provide light over the “counter”-end of my table.  Very quickly I had created an idea in my head: find a second hand cone-shaped lamp on a flea market and provide it with some kind of curly hood in copper.
Together with my daughter and my friend Michael I went through a number of flea markets, where he spotted a suitable lamp, even reasonably cheap. Then I created this decoration, turning a simple piece into something altogether more fairytalish.

Most of it is copper, but given the fact that we are in a jewelry studio, I adorned the flower with a moonstone in a fine silver bezel and finally made the flower pop by gilding it with 24 carat gold leaf.

I was very satisfied with the end result – so much that I’m considering if I should make a few for sale as well, and showed it to my boyfriend and pre-school daughter. She completely fell in love with it and begged me to create one for her too. “I’d love to” I said “but I don’t have time at the moment” So, what does a creative and resourceful little girl do, when met with that kind of answer? Why of cause create one herself! So she took a look at her own bedside lamp, which also happened to be cone-shaped and adorned it with what she had at hand: strands of wooden beads and stickers:
I’d say she managed to get a fairly good impersonation, kid-style and am of cause an immensely proud mum :-)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Green is good for your eyes

Or so my mother always used to say, and she's right about many things. In any case: I love green. Most who know me are very aware and so I grabbed the opportunity now that I had to do something about that impossible floor in my new studio.

Had the floor been in a better shape (some of the wooden planks are damaged by moisture and somewhat rotten) I would have sanded it down and laquered it. However, then I'd have to completely exchange some of the boards and that was way too much work (and money). And yes, one might say that a multi-color-splattered wooden floor is very artistic and all, but I needed some calm and control - in order to create my own creative chaos.

Some have asked me why I put so much work and money into this rented room and I have pondered on that for a while and come to realize, that I have been working in  four different workshops and have never had the opportunity to influence my immediate surroundings. I have had to put up with colors, light and working conditions that were less than ideal in order to be able to work and always yearned to create my own haven. By all means: when I work, only the closest 50 cm are important, since I'm usually very concentrated, but I would so love to be able to use my studio (that's what I'm calling it from now on) as an inspirational heaven - a room of ones own as Virginia Wolfe calls it.

And so we're back to the green floor: I've always wanted a green floor and never had the possibility. Now that I'm dealing with a floor that needs to be covered with something I'm jumping at the opportunity and set out to paint it.

But... the color wasn't completely right. This is the first coat, and so the color isn't entirely conclusive, but it was too cold.

So I mixed a bit of yellow into it when applying the second layer and was much more satisfied.

Today I tested if it worked with the fabric I had bought for the seat etc. and it did (phew)

My childhood friend Hege came by today and helped me and my friend Michael building the glazed cabinets (mmmm.... power tools!) Thank you very much both of you! We didn't get that far, but we had fun (and pizza, thanks to my boyfriend, who catered for us).

And here she test-sits the window seat sans padding. It looks exactly like I have been picturing it! Note how she was so courteous as to wearing a green and matching scarf! You are a peach Hege and you can come sit in that window seat any time :-)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Two men in leather harnesses

That's right! I rented two men who dressed up in leather harnesses for me. Sounds seriously kinky, but actually it was "just" because they were designated to deliver my new safe. Well, I have to admit that I was extremely excited, though not in that way ;-)

I have managed to find an amazing antique safe created at a time when things were made to last. It isn't particularly big, but none the less, my new baby brings a whooping 400 kilos + on the scale! Due to the fact that my workshop is situated in a tall basement, there was a flight of four stairs to conquer in order to reach its final destination. Try moving over 400 compact kilos securely down four stairs! Hence the harnesses...

Getting it out of the van and the last meters to the door was the easy part. Then the two guys spent the next 20 minutes adjusting the straps of their harnesses in order to be damned sure that all was right before going down. I was so nervous, I couldn't look!

And all of a sudden it was in place and I was both relieved and happy.

I realized, that renting my new studioshop wasn't the biggest step. That was buying and installing the safe. It will cost half of the price of it to move it again and hence now I'm almost literally stuck. This is it. Now I'm dagnamit doing it! I guess it should freak me out, but I'm calm and happy and am in a hurry to get it all up and working: I have no less than 10 commissions waiting!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A dream come true: my own studio!

For years I have been working in the boiler basement of our building when creating my jewelry. Not ideal, but a lot better than Nothing!

Then the brilliant jeweler Ossip Frolov gave me the opportunity to work for and with him for one month in his lovely shop in central Copenhagen.

What a change! I have enjoyed it a lot and learned more. Now that my internship ends, I don’t feel I can go back to my basement-boiler-workshop. I need to move on! With a new company, homepage and brand identity, I need to move forward, and so I searched for new premises to work and sell my art.

And I found it!

Between the Kings Garden, encircling the castle Rosenburg, and Nyboder – the low and very cute housings build by the king for his seamen in the 1600, you find a very nice and calm area of Copenhagen. Surrounded by the National museum of art and the royal castle Amalienburg, this is a living area for those who like to live in the historical part of the city – in walking distance of the bustling shopping life.

In Sankt Pauls Gade 72 I have obtained a studio within a workshop commune of four other women – a ceramic artist, a sculptor and two other jewelers. It’s an old basement shop and I have two windows, flanking a mailbox. Considering that this is not a shopping street, that mailbox might end up giving my jewelry quite a bit of attention – or so I hope.

I have great plans for this place, which will be a combined studio and shop. However, as the before pictures show, it takes a lot of work! The room was formerly inhibited by a painter who painted large pictures leaning against the walls – and it surely shows!


(The lovely lady with the impressive curly hair is Hanne Bertelsen, who is the ceramics artist owning the shop) But I’m not intimidated and with the help of my good friend Michael, I ventured into turning the rainbow-room into a calm, white base for my own colors.

And here we are, halfway through the painting process with the walls more or less white (another coat is definitely coming up!) I’m not meticulous, not aiming for smooth perfect results. Actually I like the coarseness of the surfaces, but I want at least the color to be uniform.

The floors are splattered with colors too, so I need to do something. I’ll probably end up painting them green (yup – still my fav color!)

Lots of work still to be done, but once that is over, I hope for the room to look something like this:

One large table will function as both my working surface and counter. The closed door at the end of the room will be turned into a vitrine with build-in lights and the wall next to the door will hold another set of vitrines. I have inherited an anvil from my grand father who was a black smith and will of cause use it in my studio. Also my friend Rikke lets me borrow a beautiful old mannequin and it will look stunning!

La piece de resistance is one of the windowsills opposite my bench, where I’m planning a cushioned seat for my visitors.

Imagine working and cosily chatting with your customer or friends! This is what I do as I search for vendors to sell me glass shelves, vitrine doors and thick wooden tabletops. It's a thrilling experience and I’ll keep you posted on the development!