Saturday, November 22, 2014

Next Week!!



Next week, I will be participating in OCAC's Annual Holiday Sale!!

All proceeds go towards student scholarships. Come on out, get your shopping done, and support our students! I was one of those scholarship students, and I can attest that I would not have finished my degree if not for the assistance I was given.

There's always amazing art for sale made by OCAC's Students and Alumni. Hope to see you there!!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Catch & Release

Artists are notoriously attached to their work. I think it is really only with practice that we learn to detach. I realized the other day, as I was finishing up some orders from my clearance sale, that I had finally reached a place of truly saying goodbye to old designs.

In the past, I've always wanted to leave some of them behind, but I loved them so much that it was hard to.

I still love them. They are part of me! These designs, much like friends, have made me into the person/artist I am today.


For instance, my Flower Earrings are actually the very first earrings I ever designed. I worked diligently on them in my first year of Jewellery & Metalsmithing in Australia, taking on feedback, and improving them.


Similarly, my Seed Pod Earrings have always been a staple. These were made with the first matrix die I ever made during my production class at UniSA. I have always loved the design of the hook and the movement it lends to the earrings. Honestly, I wear my own pair of these most days of the week.

These, and other designs, have a huge place in my heart.

But as I was standing there in my studio, packing things up, I finally felt this sense of relief at letting them go. I am ready to move forward. It is a difficult step to take--I see artists and musicians go through this often. They get stuck in a certain format and can't truly move forward. I never want to be stagnant. I think it takes serious guts to move out of what you and others know of your work--to break boundaries. And I cannot truly express how infinitely rewarding it is to give yourself permission to do so.


New things are in the works. This is a shot with a mix of old and new work on my desk last week. I am striving for cleaner lines, focusing on shapes, form, and a few one-of-a-kind pieces along the way. New things are on the horizon and I couldn't be more excited!

I am looking at colors, fibers, metal, forms. I am seeing things in a new light. The last three years of being in school and finishing my (2nd) BFA have definitely changed my view of things--my love of fashion and couture was reignited during my thesis year, as was my passion for indigenous adornment from across the globe. I can't wait to show you what's next.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Two days left.....

https://www.etsy.com/shop/catherinechandler

.....to get gorgeous goodies and gifts for 50% OFF!

Head on over to my Etsy Shop to see what's on sale through Friday!


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Out With The Old!!


You may have noticed a few new things happening lately.

New shapes.

New inspirations.

New goals.

Over the past three years, my little Etsy Shop has puttered along, kind of in stasis. Now that I have graduated, I find that the more time I spend with old work, the more I realize I have changed. A lot. It's a good thing! I'm excited for all these changes.

And changes generally mean....out with the old, and in with the new.

So, I am having a clearance sale! Starting midnight tonight (Friday a.m.), everything in my Etsy Shop is 50% OFF for one week. It's time to shake off the dust and begin anew!


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

New Beginnings


This week, I embark on a new journey. Rather, a new leaf in a continued journey--because what else is life? My work schedule as Studio Manager at OCAC has changed, which now allows me a lot more time to work in my own studio!

This means new beginnings in a whole host of ways--new routine, new studio, new designs, new business identity, new contacts--the list goes on. Over the past 3 years of finishing my Bachelor's degree, my little business has floated around, rather static, with little ups and downs. Now, when I see things like my stone collection, or old designs, I realize how much I have changed. I have been transformed.

Everything feels so fresh and lively, so full of hope. I have much more confidence in myself and my abilities. I know that if I want to source and use a ton of fiber in my designs, I will figure out a way, and they will be beautiful. I have faith in my own aesthetic.

I know that if I want to create a conceptual series relating to salt, that I can. Nothing can stop me.

I am open to new ideas, more determined to make things work, and I have a better grasp on just what it takes to do that. The future holds so much possibility, and I cannot wait to show you what's next.

Scenes from the bench







Tuesday, October 28, 2014

In Honour



A month ago today, my dear friend Sonya Scott unexpectedly took leave of this world. She had only been in my life for a handful of years, but she had an enormous impact. Not only that, but she was one of the only women I have met who I have instantly connected with and felt immediately close to. Being with her felt like being at home.

Sonya and I met over facebook--she contacted me in early 2010 to invite me to be in a group exhibition in Sydney, Australia (she was from Australia, which definitely factored into our connection). The exhibition was titled Reality Vs. Illusion and challenged me to flex my conceptual muscles and work with something I'd been wanting to explore for a while--my dreams. Over the months from invitation to the opening of the exhibition, we corresponded regularly, and continued to do so after the exhibition was over. I believe in the package that I sent over with my pieces, I included a pair of my Flower Earrings, as a little "thank you." Months later, I received a package from Sonya containing a gorgeous neckpiece from her Marked exhibition at Gaffa--I was stunned! Not only by the beauty of this piece, but because she had made interconnected links out of chalk. Woah.


That was the thing about Sonya. She was this beautiful, fiery little redhead who was never afraid to try something new, and always did so with this forward momentum. She was a force to be reckoned with, truly. She was proud of her Sydney roots and held on to the edginess that she loved about that place. She was a woman of vision, filling her life with creative people and projects. In Sydney, she joined up with &Company, as well as Gaffa Gallery. She taught, helped create collaborative maker spaces, and created exquisite work of her own that always left you in wonder at how it was made and the beauty and perfection of each detail.



When Sonya emailed me a while ago to say that she would be coming to the States, I was ecstatic. I couldn't wait to finally meet this girl in person! And when we finally did meet, my heart filled with even more love for her than before. We would skype while she was in Seattle, meet up when we could (us visiting there, or she and her partner visiting here), and then skype more when she was in Australia. I was doubly excited when she fell in love with her long-time friend Gabe, who she had been staying with in Seattle, and decided to move to the States. Gabe and my husband got along wildly and I was so excited to have this beautiful person in my life for longer.


The last time I saw Sonya was a few days before she took her own life. She and her husband came to Portland for the day--he worked and she and I spent the day together. We met up for coffee, chatted and schemed. We were working on a collaboration for an exhibition called Co:operation Garnish and had been sharing a notebook of ideas--I would do some ideation, then send it to her, and vice versa. So we were finally able to brainstorm together--about salt, roman influences, trade, neckpieces, etc. We perused Powell's Books and bought matching books on salt, and explored the art area as well. Then had a wonderful lunch at Dick's Kitchen, where she laughed at the "American" portion of gluten-free carrot cake. "I thought I was going to get a Sydney portion!"


We walked up to The Meadow on NW 23rd while talking about the differences between Australian and American architecture. "What's with all the wood houses? You guys are insane! They'll just burn up!" I joked that all the brick houses in Australia look alike (well, in Adelaide at least). At The Meadow we explored the different salts, investigating their structure, crystal size, location, and how they were colored. We tasted vanilla salt, which had many layers of flavor, and gawked at all the labels on the wall of chocolate. Then, we hopped next door to Barista, ordered some tea (chai for her, jasmine for me), and sat outside for more brainstorming. It started raining at one point, which neither of us were prepared for clothing-wise, but we stayed. There was enough tree cover to shield us from too much rain, allowing us to just watch and listen and laugh a bit at how we managed to stay dry.

I will always cherish that day. There are stories from it that catch me off guard now. I'll see something in passing and be transported back to those conversations. As much as my heart has been absolutely shattered by losing Sonya, I try to remember the gifts she gave me. The gift of more critical thought in my work and in my practice. The gift of running (she roped us into a 5K earlier this summer, which pushed me to train like never before). A wonderful friendship with her husband, Gabe. The gift of abundant connections, new perspectives, and focus.



I will be continuing with our project. I am working through the research, which is fascinating and painful at the same time. The notebook has gone missing, so I have written down every little detail I can remember of those conversations. My hope is to live up to her standards, her expectations--her drive and innovation.

There are so many more words I could say, and yet at times it feels there will never be enough.
To lose someone as incredible as Sonya is a hard loss to navigate. And yet, it is all one can do.

I pray that somewhere, she knew how much she was loved, and find peace knowing that now she is finally free from the pain she was in. And each day, I tell me husband how much I love him, and hold him a little closer. I hug my friends a little tighter. And I reach out a little more.

Peace be with you, dear friend. You are always in my heart.