i have been refraining from blogging about one of the big projects i'm working on this summer. it is just one phase of a multi-level "action-plan" that i have set-out for myself/my business - but is certainly the most fun & exciting. i've been working with my photographer friend, paige, on a project that will culminate in a new catalog for my jewelry. we have completed three of the four photo-shoots we've committed to. the last one is scheduled for this thursday. we've reached the point of no return, so i figured i could at least talk about it now.
i have never collaborated with someone in this way before. i met paige late last year through a mutual friend and on our 3rd meeting, back in early may, i invited her over for lunch in the airstream to propose working on a project together. i tend to be a bit of a control-freak, so the fact that i initiated handing over such a huge portion of the "vision" for something that will ultimately represent my work, was HUGE. i can't explain why, but i felt compelled and entirely confident in asking Paige to collaborate with me and i have come to trust her, admire her and am quite in awe of her ability to pull magic into the frame of her lens.
i think that we both have grown and learned an immense amount in the past months. there are many decisions that we've made (or not made) that have molded the scope & content of the work and with each shoot we have mastered a new element. i have to say that i could not be happier with the work that we have produced so far. i cannot wait to share it with you, but really want to wait to share the complete project -- as a complete vision... (for those in the minneapolis/st. paul area, put september 12th on your calendars! i'll be having a trunk show & catalog release party at Danish Teak Classics in the Northrup King Building from 11-5 that day!)
this week i had a couple great conversations with my friend paige about inspiration & in particular, the act of drawing inspiration from outside sources. i find myself going in waves, like seasons, of looking outward - almost searching for a collective read on what "everyone else" is doing. and then there are times (like now, when i am knee deep in a big project) when i need to minimize my exposure to "everyone else" because it clouds my judgement or impedes upon my own clarity of vision for what i am working on. it is during these times that signs of confirmation reveal themselves and i find connections to things i've already done. i begin to recognize my work in the context of a bigger picture - a larger pool of ideas that transfer through all of us. i really believe that the same ideas are revisited, reworked, renewed throughout the world and they have been throughout time... ideas that help define us, reflect us, and help us relate to each other.
i have been inspired by maya lin's work for many years, and this morning i opened the july issue of Architectural Record and discovered her third Wavefield. the image immediately resonated with me, as if i was looking inside my own brain at my own vision of a contrived landscape = contrived topography ... the TOPO around your neck or hanging on your arm. this Wavefield project (particularly in contrast to the first and second wavefields which exist in rigidly-defined environments) is fantastic and involved and much more complicated than a bracelet. but i also feel that there is an underlying thread - like wearing a necklace or bracelet could make one feel more connected to nature and constructing a natural environment allows one to really see (and thus feel more connected to) its environment that naturally exists.
the video (below) that architectural record features on the project contains some great still-shots of the rolling hills in the context of the natural rolling hills and is essentially a video version of the article that is printed. this video by The New York Times is a nice bit about maya herself. there is much that i admire about her and her work, but perhaps the thing i relate to most is that she works in different scales and scopes - within one project/thought process as well as between the larger worlds of architecture and art. and i love that she says it is hard to exist between the two. "making architecture is like writing a novel. making a work of art is like writing a poem."