drawing with a sewing machine

Details Icarus Birdman by LMAD2016Once again, I am back and as a start for the 2016 blog series, I have been convinced by my followers to use CAPITAL letters so that my Blog entries are easier to read. It is a bit difficult for me, because the notions that I have in my head, seem to travel faster than minor details, but if I must , I will begin this blog utilizing Capitals at the beginning of each sentence. To explain this curious path that my drawings have taken me. To draw with a sewing machine?  The use of this obsolete device, of sorts, has me trying a new way to draw and sketch with a continuous line or stitch .I begin to transform an idea in my head onto the flat pieces of materials. Next, further transforming them into 3D by padding and filling then further embellishment by the use of embroidering and using several mixed media techniques to further embellish the 3d drawn object, which you can see  in the picture (above).

I am having a blast! needless to say with the needlework, as yet another exploration of using my DRAWING talents in new and un-chartered territories of illustration and design. Yes, a bit crafty, you might think, but it does have its appeal. I made this piece,” Icarus Modern Birdman” for a show at a small gallery where I wanted to tweak my talents by NOT using ceramics and utilizing another medium of the work. Mixed reactions from the show, but ,IT is something that I am seriously considering to explore more in depth. As Artisans, we all need to explore other mediums to better expand our horizons of creativity. I, myself get bored very rapidly and am always searching for ways to spark my interests by learning new ways of artistic expression. I hope that I have succeeded in this endeavor which I find fun and not just another fiber arts project, Hope you enjoy it…..

All for now

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bohemian baubles with a history

mala and trade bead necklaces by marcel artes deolazo 2015

wanted to send show you what i have been working on for an upcoming holiday sale this coming weekend, see link   http://calendar.thedelrayartisans.org/view_entry.php?id=2086 ) and wanted to give you a glimpse into the style that i am presenting. “boho-globetrotter” a fusion of ethnic and antique trade beads bought on my travels and made for the bohemian traveler in all of us. a different direction from the mass market of the jewelry in most stores and online, i am trying to put a bit of my travels and their inspirations into my designs.  for example, i have made some new versions of  mala : prayer beads with usually 108 beads divided into 1,2,4,6 0r 8 groups of 27 beads used in meditation. some refer to them as “worry beads” which you roll around in your hand  as you meditate. i have used a mixture of antique trade beads acquired in my travels and mixed them with hill tribe silver and hand knot each bead so that it stays in place. a newer version of bohemian and ethnic influences… i made them because my thought that everyone need to believe in something,  and think that it is appropriate for my view on style. trade beads were used as an exchange for good and services and a sort of monetary  means for payment. i have encounter them in asia, africa and europe . i continue to search for  places  that deal in trade beads and have the same passion. it isn’t the easiest thing to find and they can and continue to be increasingly pricey. but the attraction of the history and voyages that these beads have traveled and will continue to travel is what it is all about. hope my holiday clients are into this point of view of embellishment…..

http://calendar.thedelrayartisans.org/view_entry.php?id=2086

 

 

OCD: obsessive compulsive drawing

gecko teapot detailssometimes when decorating a piece and not really in the mood , or the hand just isn’t right i sit back and imagine if the piece i am making is something that i would keep and not sell and this gets me into my o.c.d. mode of obsessive compulsive drawing and decorating on pieces which i would otherwise put aside. i imagine that  it is better to over work and decorate a pieces with details, that i can only see that maybe others might not notice. details sometime, so minute and meticulous , that my eyes get tired and i have to take a walk away from the piece to re-focus and rest for a few minutes.

case in point, is the photo of the teapot which i am working on (above).

my main intent was to create a show stopper and make patrons and potters alike, look at it and be in awe of the amount of detail work going into this piece. my creative O.C.D.-ing helps me bring out the best of efforts for my creative endeavors and make my followers realize that yes, i actually paint these piece one by one and no, i do not make many of them,  by the standards of other potters, but my aim is to give a higher quality of works of illustration and handmade ceramics fusion of creative energies that sets my work apart from the rest. i often find myself asking a price per minute of how many minutes did this take me to do? and is the money enough for these endeavors to continue to maintain my livelihood as a creative spirit?   this is a continual mind game we all play when pricing our work and is always on the minds of creative souls.

what is all this work worth? and does the price point of a piece constitute the mores of working and maintaining ourselves from our art…… profound thought on ideals, and where we see ourselves in the niche of creatives  at home, online, in galleries, here and abroad…..questions that i still ponder and cannot answer….. i know that there is a magnitude of mediocre everywhere and that the local artisans strive to make an imprint on the market by differentiating from many brands produced abroad mostly (PRC) which now seem all the same and undistinguished or ordinary for the mass market.

my creative o.c.d.-ing will set apart from the pack of mediocre and strive to attain the main point of my ceramics and illustrations: work that is well made by my hands and o.c.d.-ed by my decorating skills to leave a strong  reminder that yes , there are some of us out there can stand by the quality of our work and command the prices we want in order to continue to re- create…..what’s you view on this topic? and where do you see yourself fitting in?

holiday market at del ray artisans

2015 Holiday Market front

once again, it is that time of year, where the holiday shows,craft fairs and all the holiday sales come around. i wanted to promote the digital postcard of the del ray artisans holiday show and sale on the three weekends cited above in december from fridays to sundays of december 2015. an assortment of artisan of handmade items and gifts for the holiday season. i am slotted to take part the 3rd weekend of december from december 18th- 20th before christmas. i try to make an effort to buy local and support the artists community in and around the places where i work and live and believe it gives our patrons a chance to look and touch the things that we have made and to sometimes get good input and feedback  from those that appreciate our creative energies.  for more info check out the website for address and times of the artisans and weekends they will have there time in the gallery: www.thedelrayartisans.org.

hope all my followers and friends will come and see the new artistic endeavors that i have been preparing for this show.

remember december 18th-20th del ray artisans gallery:

2704 Mt Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA 22301 telephone (703) 838-4827

collaborations with others

UG dogtags

hello again,wanted to post a artistic collaboration with another artist, kim joy,stain glass artist  and i have been collaborating together for some time now by trying to bring the expertise of two disciplines together to create new and exciting projects and products for our upcoming holiday show in december 2015. i wanted to create a line of unisex collection of jewelry with the use of ceramics while mixing it with another element that would continue with my line of bo-ho chic accessories that were sort of carefree and reminded me of military dog tags with a twist. (above) i snapped a pic of the initial pieces put together in collaboration with kim, and have yet to finish them completely. i need to add some element of antique trade beads or ethnic charms to give them that peculiar boho vibe. they will be on sale at the del ray artisans holiday market during a particular weekend in december. stay tuned in for more info on exact place n time. my aim is to make a series of well made, but affordable gifts for the holidays that are geared to the unisex side of accessories. great for guys and girls alike. to mix and switch out for a unique handmade  present for the holidays. next blog, will be talk about the line of antique trade beads that i have been making while watching the sports channel working late into the night . boho still, but with a higher price point……stay tuned 4 more

from ceramics to sewing

working on the second sail project 1

every now and then, when I feel a lack of inspiration with the things that i do with my ceramics, i shift mediums and concentrate on a different direction : sewing , which has a whole different set of restrictions and rules to follow and  continue on a project that is a never ending, ongoing adventure that I started on a whim.  an italian friend and skipper asked me to come up with an idea for the sails of his sailboat when they were changed and in state of dis-use. the” second sail project” was born . a little over 3 years ago, and has been continuing ever since. (above) is a picture of a new sail acquired from a fellow artist that i unwrapped and slowly started to cut up and make a new series of useful up-cycled materials, sails ,tarps and other nylons and straps used on boats and in shipping. the concept was a series of guy-inspired accessories that were durable and handmade . i have started a series of tote bags and shoppers and some new smaller accessories with a maritime style with the use of these nautical materials.  this project is very close to my heart trying to reduce my carbon footprint and up-cycle as much as possible to make new products that can sustain the wind, rain and wear and tear of my hauling around everything from artist materials to my weekly groceries.  art does not always have to be creative but sometimes can be  functional. products used everyday making me feel good about myself by sharing a concept of up-cycling products that are no longer used for their primary purposes. by re-inventing new ways to use all the materials and make them into new still-useful things for our common day to day existence. my aim is to make a small production for an upcoming show that i will doing in December 2015 with the Del Ray Artisans holiday market.  i will plan to launch these accessories. moderately priced under $60 durable products made by hand and well-made.  i hope this inspires other creative people to learn to search the web for new up-cycled materials to used for the creative re-purposing. (below) is a picture of the 35ft sail that i cut apart on the floor which had the biggest amount of space to lay out and decide the piece of choice material to utilize.

2nd sail pro 2

stay tuned for more posts on the new products i am making for the upcoming del ray artisans  show.

display simplicity and focus

studio 24 raku display

studio 24 mens accessories

after the end of my visiting artist residency at the torpedo factory art center , i thought that it was important to talk about the importance of display simplicity and design when putting your work into a retail style environment for art and hand made items and products. (above) are two photos of my work  to demonstrate the importance for artists to learn how to properly display their creative products and artistic endeavors for potential clients and customers to be able to focus on the work proposed by a zen style philosophy of “less is more” concept of display. in this fast paced techno world of ‘supply and demand’, there are key factors to consider. let the customer focus on the art and let them visually be able to understand the products before them. small signage helps understand the techniques of construction and explanation of the items on display. the diy eye sometimes is timid to ask prices and  prefers to explore the range of artistic works by themselves and price points of affordability.  it is always up to the consumer to decide what he/she can afford at a certain time and relies sometimes on the advice of the artist to help them decide by explaining the concepts of creation behind the work. it has been my experience in these two months of retail sales of my own work, that customers and admirers sometimes are less willing to spend if feeling pressured and ask what is behind the design or source of inspiration, this helps the customer feel more included in the creative process. life is full of choices especially when buying art and the creator needs to relax and be confident  of their work and observe which pieces attract different target groups of consumers from other artists or tourists on vacation to serious art lovers  to shopaholics….the world of art is sometimes a place where people who do not have that artistic inclination feel closer to understand the ideology behind each artist and feel more like creative consumers and in a small way help support the arts by simply buying pieces created by you or other artists.

think about a range that meets the price points of diverse target groups of consumers and try to provide something for everyone. this helps attract a diverse following of followers and admirers. at least this has been my experience at selling and creating my work at the torpedo factory art center as a visiting artist.

the new t-shirt has arrived

SP great dane

to all my followers ,  the new steam punk great dane t-shirts have finally arrived and wanted to post the pics to let people know  that they are available in studio #24 of the torpedo factory art center. the other rat t-shirt is being re-printed at the moment and will be ready in a couple of weeks. the rat-sters are after me to print more so i need to keep up with the simple rule of supply and demand. using my talents to sometimes focus on more commercial aspects of design while keeping a stricter control on the quality of the products, the printing process and working with other artisans to create something that helps build a stronger artistic identity for my own line of handmade products . as winter approaches , my plan is to do several designs in new colors and bolder prints as great gifts for the holiday season……

variations on a technique

hand knotted black&white raku bead necklace

every now and then the need to diversify your product and step out of the box of my comfort zone to use a ceramic technique of firing to make new products that help attract new customers to my following.  pictured (above) is a client’s necklace which i just finished hand knotting and posted on my blog to give her the heads up that the item in question is ready for pick-up.  potters and artisans alike some times get comfortable into to a certain way of producing wares and sometimes the “focus” can be a bit narrow.

after years of making wares for home accessories, i decided to branch out and try my hand at hand made jewelry.  same clay and materials but a new set of rules to follow and respect when making wearable art. my focus was more minute in detail ,though some of the motifs are the same. but i found that working on small pieces like beads was the same amount of work as decorating a small bowl or square dish.  happily after endless times of trails and errors i have gotten it down to a science where i can produce small amounts of beads to supply myself with a decent amount to mount 3-4 necklaces at a time. in the end we must challenge our capacity and creative endeavor to try and fail in order to master the various techniques of ceramics and explore new markets for wearable art.  sometimes our efforts do not come to the ideal that we have set in our minds, as to what we would like to accomplish. but trying and getting closer to” that “ideal will help each one of us master our craft whatever the medium. too many times artists like to stick with what they know best and i feel that there is no growth in exploration of materials and technique. we as artists need to step it up and learn the craft from classes and workshops and books and the web, then tweak and turn the techniques on their heads so we can see all the possibilities that are out there for  personal satisfaction in what we create. it depends on the personality of an artist…many  prefer to remain  safe in the things that they produce and have no foresight into how to keep repeat customers and art advocates involved and interested with new products that are not only mugs , cups bowls and vases. i prefer to keep my customers and followers guessing ….it is a way to keep you audience engaged  in your creative process.and always has them coming back for more……..

new products to stimulate sales and peek interest

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every now and then to stimulate interest in work and sales it is important to switch out your product with diverse work in different techniques to allow a refreshing view of a point of sale display to keep local clients and admirers to see new things from the same artist in order to continue to create interest and hopefully sales.  pictured above is the change out of my window display with some of my raku* pieces to give a breath of fresh air to a window display which was previously  filled with my illustrated ceramics. there are many ways to be able to show potential clients and art enthusiasts the diverse possibilities  to the gamma of a body of work, in this case “ceramics” by  introducing work in different techniques and style to be able to test you market and its appeal to the public.

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above is an example of a hand drawn illustration of mine which i intentionally put in my display window to show another side of my craft and by using humor as a tool to attract attention to the display window and then the encounter with visitors to investigate the space and the body of work inside the gallery space.  sometimes it is essential to utilize more than one trick of the installation design to attract interest in different groups of consumers and art enthusiasts. we need to step out of the comfort zone sometimes to attract discussion even criticism in order to create interest  in work where the observer is focused on work through wry humor in this case. this illustration has been so popular with the customers and visitors at the torpedo factory art center that i decided to post it for all to see and you commentary on my wry humor to keep strollers out of the gallery, best of all…..it works…