Hello all - Happy September. As one who used to head back to the classroom at this time of year, I feel renewed appreciation that I am now heading back to my studio after Beadfest.
Although a field trip is always welcome! Lesley Watt was here for a bit before heading home and I took the opportunity to show her a few select sites in DC. Its hard to narrow the choices down to one day - and it was a sweltering, insanely hot day at that. We opted for a bus tour to see the monuments and a museum. Fellow AJE member Melissa Meman met us in town...
Knowing I had a post coming up I was on alert for inspiration. Well, that was foolish. It was everywhere, at every corner, textures, colors, forms... and to be touring with 2 fellow artists? So awesome. I wanted to share the highlights and some of the inspiration with you...
We started at the Castle, the original Smithsonian building. ( Can I just say it was nice to be "home" - having lived just outside DC for 10+ years?!)
|The Smithsonian "Castle", mosaic floor design, intense floral displays.|
|The National Museum of the American Indian silhouetted by blue sky, petroglyph designs in the glass entry doors. These designs alone sparked ideas popping into my head - clay, polymer... carving stamps.|
|Feathered faces: 1 Raven carving. Totem pole. 2.Niska eagle headdress, carved wood/shell c. 1880 3. Tlingit octopus/owl mask. cedar 4. Ceramic owl vessel, Central Caribbean/Costa Rica c. 500-800 AD.|
|Beaded cradle board, detail, and sample glass bead card, c. 1850's. While AI arts are renown for their beadwork, it is interesting to place it in history... that seed beads were a trade item introduced by settlers, colonists and the like. ..|
|1. Sample bead card 2. Tlingit dance collar. c. 1900 3. Lakota doctor's bag. c. 1890|
|1. Kahnawake Mohawk beaded wall hanging depicting Kateri Tekakwitha. c. 1965 2. Beading kit c. 1960 3. Sample Czech glass bead card.|
|Black on black Pueblo pottery has long been an interest of mine. The techniques were rediscovered from pottery shards by Maria Martinez and her husband. The style re-emerged in the area and flourished; artists using traditional and modern motifs. 1. Carved and burnished plate, butterfly design. Rose Gonzales. San Ildefonso Pueblo, 1979 2. Burnished and painted plate, feather design. Maria Martinez. San Ildefonso Pueblo, 1965. |
The feather motif was especially symbolic to us as we had just completed the CoM with Rebekah;s leather feather the day prior!
|Wonderful polychrome pottery from Central America. The website for this special exhibit has wonderful resources.|
1. Greater Cochle plate, human crocodile design. c. 850-950 AD 2. polychrome plate, bird design. 3. Greater Cochle plate with crocodile design. AD 850-950.
Honestly - my head is still spinning a bit looking back over these images. The NMAI is an amazing museum, and one I recommend to anyone in the area. We were filling up with ideas for designs, materials, forms... content, motifs... you name it. I predict there will be more posts in the near future that started with a spark from this day's trip.
Until then - their website! wow. I was searching info to tag my images, and I got lost in a sea of pottery, ivory carvings, silver and turquoise. I want a day just to surf their online site!