Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday Musings: Contemporary Jewelry

Since we have been working very hard to turn the garage into my studio, I haven't had much time or a place to get creative so I am living vicariously through these amazing artists at the moment! Today I will be taking some photos of the studio in progress, it's a big mess but it will be fun to document it and show you the before and afters. For now enjoy these amazing pieces. Can't wait to get my hands dirty!


Denise Julia Reytan


Wenhui Li


Belles Bejewelled Multiple loops of black bounded leather
Marie-André Côté (ceramic)



Jasmin Winter



Janna Syvanoja

Noritami Jewery





Elfrun Lach



Barbara Stutman


Jasmin Winter



Lucy Sarneel

Frida Gustavsson | Neiman Marcus Spring 2013



Natalya Pinchuk



Radà


Ana Hagopian


Sarah Hood


Peter Chang


Doris Maninger and Lucia Massei


gemma redux


Casa Kiro Joyas

Anke Hennig - textile jewelry


 ANGELA O'KELLY

Friday, February 22, 2013

Contemporary Florence: An interview with Claudia Tulifero


illuminated letter on parchment, egg tempera, pure pigments,
genuine lapislazzuli and gold leaf 23 3/4
As an artist and designer one of the most important influences for me are other artists and designers. I believe that having a community of like-minded people who share  the same ideas and passions is essential to creativity. Art in its many forms is a language and I am continually fascinated by the message that other artists aim to communicate though their work
The ideas of the Renaissance masters was not to continue repeating the same ideas and methods but rather to continue pushing forward and create the new and unexpected and to challenge the perception of what art is while paying tribute to those that came before them.  Contemporary art aims to push the boundaries of these accepted ideas and move away from the past to create the present.  With this in mind,  I will be conducting a series of interviews here on my blog to highlight the artists, designers and creative minds of present day Florence
In conjunction with our facebook group Creative People in Florence, I will be conducting these interviews with our group members. In the coming months I hope to be able to interview each member who is currently living in Florence as a way of highlighting their wide range of talents. The questions will be exactly the same for each artist/designer and creative person, what is fascinating are the similarities as well as the differences in the answers.

Welcome back to another Friday interview! This week I have a wonderful Q and A from one of the artists who keeps the city alive by passionately restoring historic works and creating new ones with traditional techniques and materials. The incredibly talented Claudia Tulifero can be found working in her studio on Borgo San Jacapo 11, so if you are in Florence be sure to stop by and have a look at her work in person. You can also find her work online in her Etsy shop or you can stop by her blog to see what she's up to! Claudia's work was also recently sold in the Getty Musuem gift shop in Los Angeles during the Dawn of the Renaissance exhibit.
Since Claudia gave her answers in Italian, I decided to leave her original response in the interview. Enjoy! 

Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I was born in Cagliari in Sardegna where I lived until I graduated high school. In 1193 I moved to Florence to study restauration of  historic art works and I graduated from the University of International Art with a degree in Museumology and restuaration of painted works on wood and canvas, sculpture in both wood and stone. After I graduated I began working in various studios and eventually began a long collaboration in the study of the Sinopia technique with Stefania Bracci and Enrico Remori where I began to work in the field of traditional decoration. In 2003 I opened my own alelier in the historic center of Florence where along with my restoration work I also create my own new work using exclusively  traditional techniques such as freso, gold leaf and miniatures.
Sono nata a Cagliari in Sardegna dove ho vissuto fino al diploma del liceo. Nel 1993 mi sono trasferita a Firenze per studiare restauro di opere d'arte e mi sono diplomata nel 1995 all' Università Internazionale d'Arte in Museologia e Restauro dipinti su tavola e tela, scultura lignea e lapidea. Dopo il diploma ho incominciato la pratica in vari studi fino alla lunga collaborazione con lo studio di restauro Sinopia di Stefania Bracci e Enrico Remori dove ho cominciato a lavorare anche nel campo della decorazione tradizionale. Nel 2003 ho aperto il mio atelier nel centro storico di Firenze dove affianco la mi attività di restauro alla creazione di opere moderne realizzate escusivamente con tecniche tradizionali come l'affresco, la doratura e la miniatura.

Why did you choose Florence or did Florence choose you?
I chose Florence for her traditional methods in the field of restauration and craft. I chose to open my atelier on the Oltrearno because this is and always has been the traditional artisans quarters of the city.
Ho scelto Firenze per la sua lunga tradizione nel campo del restauro e dell'artigianato e ho scelto l'Oltrarno come sede del mio atelier perchè era il quartiere artigiano.
 illumination on parchment, egg tempera, pure pigments and gold leaf 23 3/4
What is your favorite thing/place/sight in the city or all of the above?
The Church of Santa Santa Felicità, it’s a very special place.
La chiesa di Santa Felicità, è un luogo speciale.

Was there a defining moment when you knew that you wanted to be an artist? If so when and what was it?
I don’t think there was a precise moment, but I always knew I wanted to be an artist. Maybe it was when I was 10 years old and for Christmas my parents gave me a box of pure pigment to make my own oil color and I created a copy of Rafael’s La Velata on canvas with the colors I had made.
Non so precisamente il momento, ma ho sempre voluto esserlo, forse a 10 anni per Natale quando i miei genitori mi regalarono una scatola di pigmenti puri per fare  i colori a olio e feci una copia della velata di Raffaello su tela con i colori realizzati da me.

copy of Crivelli egg tempera on wood, pure pigments, genuine lapislazzuli and gold leaf 23 3/4
detail of a copy of Crivelli

What or who is your greatest inspiration and why?
My inspiration just by walking through the city and looking up to find the beautifully decorated facades in sgraffiti and freso.
La mia ispirazione viene anche dal solo passeggiare nella città e alzare lo sguardo ai   decori delle facciate a graffito e ad affresco.

What is the best thing about being an artist?
To wake up every morning with a new idea, have the ability to realize that idea and eventually to sell it.
Alzarsi ogni mattina con un'idea nuova. Realizzarla e venderla.

What message do you hope to convey with your art/creative process?
To rediscover the importance traditional techniques and materials, such as how pigment is transformed into color.
La tradizione e la riscoperta delle tecniche antiche, le materie prime come i pigmenti trasformati in colori.

What is art/design to you? How would you define art?
A necessity, and a way to transmit emotion.
Una necessità per trasmettere le proprie emozioni.
giding a frame

fresco painting in a wood tabernacle
Do you listen to music when you work? If so who or what?
Absolutely, I need music to concentrate. I adore Baroque music and Queen.
Certamente si, ma ho bisogno di musica che conosco per essere concentrata, adoro la musica barocca e I Queen.

If you could go back in time 10 years knowing everything that you know now what would you change and why? Or what would you tell yourself?
I wouldn’t want to change anything, but I would dedicate more time to research.
Non vorrei cambiare niente, avrei più tempo per dedicarmi alla ricerca.

How have your two cultures affected your work?
In my work I am very influenced by Medieval and Renaissance culture as well Japanese culture.
Nel mio lavoro sono influenzata tanto dalla cultura del Medioevo e Rinascimento italiano ma anche da altre culture come quella giapponese.

Who is your favorite artist/designer/writer/performer?
Carlo Crivelli

What is your favorite movie?
The Duellists

What is your favorite book?
The count of Montecristo, I have been a big fan of Dumas since childhood.
“Il conte di Montecristo”, sono un'apassionata lettrice di Dumas dall'infanzia.

fresco sgraffito
Describe yourself in five words.
Art restorer, painter of traditional techniques.
Restauratrice d'arte e pittrice di tecniche antiche.

When you’re not being creative what do you do?
I study ancient manuscripts online, read comic books and I like to cook.
Studio manoscritti antichi online, leggo fumetti, cucino.

If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?
France or Japan
Francia e Giappone.

Is there anything else that you want people to know about you?
I am a collector of shoes!.....and more!
Sono collezionista di scarpe...e non solo!




Friday, February 15, 2013

Contemporary Florence: An Interview with Emily Taranto-Kent



As an artist and designer one of the most important influences for me are other artists and designers. I believe that having a community of like-minded people who share  the same ideas and passions is essential to creativity. Art in its many forms is a language and I am continually fascinated by the message that other artists aim to communicate though their work
The ideas of the Renaissance masters was not to continue repeating the same ideas and methods but rather to continue pushing forward and create the new and unexpected and to challenge the perception of what art is while paying tribute to those that came before them.  Contemporary art aims to push the boundaries of these accepted ideas and move away from the past to create the present.  With this in mind,  I will be conducting a series of interviews here on my blog to highlight the artists, designers and creative minds of present day Florence
In conjunction with our facebook group Creative People in Florence, I will be conducting these interviews with our group members. In the coming months I hope to be able to interview each member who is currently living in Florence as a way of highlighting their wide range of talents. The questions will be exactly the same for each artist/designer and creative person, what is fascinating are the similarities as well as the differences in the answers.

The weeks are flying by! I can hardly believe it! Friday again! I have a very interesting interview for you this week from Emily Taranto-Kent. I hope you enjoy getting to know a little bit about her and her work.  You can find more of Emily's work on her web site. She has also just opened a new Atelier here in the center of Florence, where she makes both alterations and new creations! 











Tell us a little bit about yourself:
"I was born in Boston, and my parents moved our family to a small town south of the city when I was a child. I grew up there, in an idyllic setting, and went back to Boston for college. I had the opportunity to spend extended periods in Italy, Israel, and Mexico during those years. After graduating, I moved around a bit, living in some of the most exciting cities in the USA as a freelancer. It was worthwhile. I have friends and family around the world, and enjoy keeping in touch with them. I have been really fortunate to have lived, worked, and studied in different countries. Now I live in Florence, and operate an atelier here. I am an artist and designer. I started fashion work at a very early age, and made almost all my own clothing as a teen. Also, art work has always been very important to me. I have done a lot of work in printmaking, for example. I’d like to combine print with fashion someday. There are many things I would like to do."


Why did you choose Florence or did Florence choose you? “Florence and I chose each other. Back in 2003, when I first I set foot in Italy, I was overwhelmed with a positive feeling, like being embraced by mother. I visited Milan, Florence, Naples, and the Aeolian Islands, where I have family. I discovered that I was an Italian citizen by birthright. In 2007, I began to document this so that I could have dual citizenship and live in Italy. My application sat untouched in the vital records office on the island of Lipari for four years. In 2011, I was offered the opportunity to attend a master’s program in fashion design here in Florence fully paid. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse. The school also had campuses in Milan and Rome, but I took the original suggestion to come to Florence, because I am an artist. After I made my decision to study in Florence, I discovered that my own mother had studied art in Florence! When the vital records office in Lipari got wind of my plans to relocate for school, they processed my paperwork immediately and I was granted dual citizenship! In one crazy daytrip in my father’s Buick from Montreal to Manhattan, we made it to the Consulate General’s office just in time to get my passport before the office closed, and I would have to leave the country.”


What is your favorite thing/place/sight in the city or all of the above? “I particularly like the Piazza Santa TrinitaIt is the first thing that comes to mind. I have really liked the feel of that piazza since I’ve been here, even when it was under construction. I love to go to Isabelle for coffee or lunch too.”

Was there a defining moment when you knew that you wanted to be an artist? If so when and what was it? “No. It’s not a choice. I can tell you that there have been many moments in my life when I did not want to be an artist – to be anything but an artist. But, I didn’t get a choice in the matter. It’s just what I am. I do remember when I first began to realize it: I was about twenty-two (in very sunny room in Boston, reclining under a fishtail palm tree).”

What or who is your greatest inspiration and why? “I’m uninspired (laughing). Just kidding… The love in my life: others inspire me, nature, the possibility of a better world…”

What is the best thing about being an artist? What is the most difficult part? “You get to make art. You have to sell it.”

What message do you hope to convey with your art/creative process? “Love and peace, of course.”

What is art/design to you? How would you define art? “To me, art is something to be observed; the products of design are to be used. They are very different, and require different skills. However, there is some overlap in the creative process. For example, I draw preliminary sketches to create clothing and also to create paintings. But, the drawings are very different. They require different techniques to create. Not only that. The products are very different. The paintings are meant to last a long time, and only to be looked-at, while the clothing is meant to be used for a much shorter period time and then replaced. Generally, I think of designed objects as things that are meant to be handled with some purpose in mind. Art one does not touch much, if at all, and serves its purpose in being. That’s a wonderful concept to me – a made object that serves its purpose just by existing. It has already done its job the moment it reaches completion. Many designed objects are shown, like art, however they are also used. Anything can be called art. But in the end, it’s all a matter of semantics.”


Do you listen to music when you work? If so who or what? “Sometimes. I try to choose carefully because music has an effect on my work. I used to listen to a lot of the late Ravi Shankar’s music. I like western classical music too, and many more popular genres. But, I prefer to work in silence.”

If you could go back in time 10 years knowing everything that you know now what would you change and why? Or what would you tell yourself? “I would tell myself to believe in myself.”

How have your two cultures affected your work? “It’s really hard to say. The cultures are so intertwined... I have more than two cultures. I assume that question refers to Italian and American cultures: Italian culture has helped me to enrich the quality of my work, while American culture has inspired me with the ambition to create it in the first place.”

Who is your favorite artist/designer/writer/performer? Me!

What is your favorite movie? Love and Other Disasters.


What is your favorite book? Moby Dick. But, the reason is not the advanced writing, the fact that I’m from New England, nor the wonderful first line ‘Call me Ishmael.’ (Who could beat that? Not me.) It’s because when my high school class read this together, I answered a question about it so well, from the back of the class, that the teacher (an Italian-American) made a big emotional fuss and moved me up to the front and center desk, displacing one of the head cheerleaders. It was absolutely awesome.”

Describe yourself in five words. I am not an idiot.

When you’re not being creative what do you do? I’m always being creative! …Well, I can be found walking my dogs around Florence, eating, sleeping, poking around facebook; I like to practice insight meditation and yoga, go to the gym, travel, go to the movies, listen to music, nice stuff like that.”

If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? I can go anywhere in the world that I would want to go.




Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ho Paura


For the past 6 years all I have ever wanted was an art studio of my own, in fact, for as long as I can remember, all I have ever wanted was an art studio. And now the time has finally come. It's almost here. I am currently in the process of choosing a paint color for the walls and all of a sudden I'm terrified. Scared to death, paralyzed in fact. I should be excited, I should be bouncing off of those soon to be painted walls and planning the decor. Instead, I'm filled with anxiety and what almost feels like depression, I've even been a bit snappy with the hubby lately and mind you he's the one doing all the work! (God bless him). 

All of the creativity and passion that once seemed so natural and flowing to me is gone. I can't think of one new thing that I want to make when I finally get that table set up and my paints and clay organized. Nothing. Nulla. Niente.

Could it be that this is not what I really want?....

…Of course it is but as it turns out, I'm scared. What if I'm terrible at it? What if no one likes my work? What if no one understands me? Then what? What will I do? What if I am attacked by angry, jealous vultures, or eaten by cannibals? 

I don’t believe in coincidence. In fact I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason, no matter how big or how small.

Yesterday afternoon I sat down at my still - safe - inside my apartment - behind closed doors – worktable for the first time this year. I was trying desperately to force myself to create something new and exciting. Trying to understand why I wasn’t feeling inspired these days, thinking that it must be this weather, it’s cold and grey and I haven’t gotten out much lately. I didn’t feel like listening to music, which is strange because I always listen to music when I work, so decided to turn on TED talks instead. I listened to a few that I had bookmarked and then I began to scroll through and search for others and that’s when I came across one titled ‘What fear can teach us’, and as I sat there kneading some clay with my fingers, not knowing what to do with it, somehow I was not relating to it. I just simply sat there listening the story and chuckling to myself at its irony, again never thinking for one minute that it had anything to do with me.

I mean, I’ve never been afraid of anything in my life. Well, not really afraid anyway. Why would I be now? I packed up everything I owned in two suitcases and moved to a foreign country by myself, what could I possibly be afraid of? At least that's what I tried to tell myself anyway. 

I went about my evening and eventually shaped the clay into a few simple pieces, nothing exciting or new and then went and made some dinner.

And then this morning when checked my facebook newsfeed I saw this great post from Artists not Armies. It was as if they were talking right to me. 


And that is when I finally realized what this is all about. I’m afraid. And that’s okay. What’s important is what I do with that fear.

Right now I cannot say what I will do. Fear is a strange emotion. As Karen Thompson Walker says we generally think of it as negative or hurtful, but I am now beginning to understand that it can disguise itself in many ways without us ever realizing that it's there.

I don’t really know how else to end this other than to say that I feel a sudden lightness, as if a weight as been lifted off my shoulders. Not because I am no longer afraid, but simply because I am finally able to identify this plaguing emotion. I can now see why I have been trying to distract myself and focus on things other then my own work.  And hopefully by identifying it I will also be able to let it go. I will instead sail for the nearest island and face the cannibals. 



What are your greatest fears? Tell me in the comments below. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Contemporary Florence: An interview with Julie Lombardi


As an artist and designer one of the most important influences for me are other artists and designers. I believe that having a community of like-minded people who share  the same ideas and passions is essential to creativity. Art in its many forms is a language and I am continually fascinated by the message that other artists aim to communicate though their work
The ideas of the Renaissance masters was not to continue repeating the same ideas and methods but rather to continue pushing forward and create the new and unexpected and to challenge the perception of what art is while paying tribute to those that came before them.  Contemporary art aims to push the boundaries of these accepted ideas and move away from the past to create the present.  With this in mind,  I will be conducting a series of interviews here on my blog to highlight the artists, designers and creative minds of present day Florence
In conjunction with our facebook group Creative People in Florence, I will be conducting these interviews with our group members. In the coming months I hope to be able to interview each member who is currently living in Florence as a way of highlighting their wide range of talents. The questions will be exactly the same for each artist/designer and creative person, what is fascinating are the similarities as well as the differences in the answers.

I can hardly believe that its Friday again! Of course that means I have another great interview for you with the lovely Julie Lombardi. Her new line of women's shoes are absolutely fabulous! I want every pair. Have a look at her designs and learn a little bit about what inspires her to create! 

Tell us a little bit about yourself:
After graduating from Parsons School of Design in 2000 I ventured on to work within the fashion business in New York and later on to Italy.  I always knew that I innately was drawn to bring beauty to the things that I created. Growing up, I loved learning new crafts and discovering new mediums to create with, I then started to focus in and wanted to create what I really loved. I appreciated my Mother’s and Aunt’s closets to understand what was elegant and timeless worn again by me only to confirm the style I had inherited. I began to break down the boundaries that were how fashion was commercially viewed and thereafter decided to follow what I thought was right. I started my footwear career with Vince Camuto and I am grateful for the education that he and other mentors continue to offer me.
I am now starting my first solo collection For The Love of Jules with this idea that I have gathered to always push the envelope, educating the customer by offering a craft of Made in Italy shoes, never compromising style and comfort for the modern woman.
 I believe success is achieved by following your heart and therefore always making room for great vision.
Why did you choose Florence or did Florence choose you?
 I started my fascination with Florence when I decided to study here in 1998 only to return in 2002 for a few years and then again in 2009 when I returned again from New York  to work with a fashion house. I kept getting pulled back each time with a  different intention but the last time purely chose me which I happily accepted and soon  will continue to admire it from afar.
Seriously? How great is this shoe?!
What is your favorite thing/place/sight in the city or all of the above?
I am still taken back when I glance up at the duomo.
I love the rose garden just below Piazzale Michelangelo and taking walks through the boboli gardens which are just a few steps from my home.

Was there a defining moment when you knew that you wanted to be an artist? If so when and what was it?
Creating has always been part of my process, shoes happen to be one of the things  that  I enjoy working on..

What or who is your greatest inspiration and why?
My grandmother is my greatest inspiration.
She is a pinnacle example of strength, femininity and a pure demonstration of love for me.

What is the best thing about being an artist? What is the most difficult part?
The freedom to start with a blank canvas and the most difficult part would be self-discipline

What message do you hope to convey with your art/creative process?
trusting my vision to stay focused on what is authentic

What is art/design to you? How would you define art?
Art is: Transmitting your genius.
How I define it: Art is how one transmits what is inside to the outside
I want both pair of these sandals for summer! 

Do you listen to music when you work? If so who or what?
It’s vital.. The xx, James Morrison, Ray LaMontagne and Lana del Rey
I also love John Leggend and Common

If you could go back in time 10 years knowing everything that you know now what would you change and why? Or what would you tell yourself?
I don’t live with regrets, but if I needed to pick something I would have studied design in Paris.

How have your two cultures affected your work?
 It has given me more clarity and allowed my to deepen my understanding of myself  and my craft.

Who is your favorite artist/designer/writer/performer?
Martin Margiela, YSL, and Halston

What is your favorite movie?
Sense and Sensibility

What is your favorite book?
Proof of heaven by Eben Alexander

Describe yourself in five words.
A seeker of truth, loving, strong, feminine, with a trademark laugh

When you’re not being creative what do you do?
Getting inspired.
Living in Italy has allowed me to travel much more because of how easy it is to travel in Europe. I am very intrigued by the different cultures that are geographically so close to each other yet so different especially in Europe.
I love learning, meeting new friends and good wine.

If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?
I love, love the South of France but I would love to discover Israel, India and more of Spain.

Is there anything else that you want people to know about you?
Stay true to your heart and be humble.


*I also would like to wish Julie a very Happy Birthday today!! Auguri Jules! Julie will also be returning to New York City next week where she will develop her line. She will however, come visit us here in Florence often. Good Luck with your new adventure Julie!





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