Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lola Brooks and Tracy Kendall

A renegade jeweler and a bespoke wallpaper artist.  Inspiration for clay?  You bet.


Lola Brooks, a jewelry artist with more than her fair share of tattoos, (two sleeves full, thank you very much,) has a beautiful, irreverent, tongue-in-cheek approach toward precious materials. 

I love the chunky, candy-like quality of these heart brooches - those pink faceted gems - delish.  And the garnet-studded net of her bleeding heart is at once a little squirmy and a lot rockin'.  I love that she takes these precious objects and turns them into something else - something with wit and soul and life.

Find out more about Lola Brooks at


If Lola Brooks is a rock star of jewelry, then Tracy Kendall is the couturier of wallpaper.  Her three dimensional work is elegant, witty and perfect.  I love her use of words, of repetition, of unorthodox elements.


Why let the gorgeous words of Tennyson and Shakepeare languish in dusty books?  Let the lines from A Midsummer Night's Dream breathe and inspire stitched in a fluid font on your bedroom wall!  I wonder if Tracy Kendall's handwriting actually looks like this? 

See more of Tracy Kendall's work at

Monday, January 18, 2010

Daily Routines

No, not daily GRINDS, daily ROUTINES.  The good, loose order of daily life things. Like: morning coffee and toast, a proper lunch in the early afternoon, times for returning emails, for laundry, for blogging, for cleaning clay tools, for picking kids up from school. Etcetera, etcetera.

My non-negotiable daily routine is a morning walk. Soon as I drop the kids off.  Even in the rain because God knows I'm not made of sugar.  I breathe belly breaths.  Sometimes I take my ipod and sometimes I don't.  I try to clean my brain's house, shake out all the crap.  I leave a trail of detritus behind me - little pieces of mental paper on which are written all my "supposed tos and shoulds and have tos and don't wanna dos". I envision the passing cars ripping right through those little bits.

And then I fill my brain back up, with other things, cleaner things: the dark framework of winter trees against a cold, ceramic blue sky, lacy green lichen on bark, half a pretty walnut, an impossibly red cardinal against a last small pile of snow. 

I return a half hour later, or an hour, maybe even more if there's a considerable amount of crap to shake loose. I empty my pockets.  Here's today's collection:

Check out the piece of wood that looks like a long-billed bird.  And the long twist of vine.  I even love all their shadows.

And then as C.S. Lewis said: "The routine from the walk, and the arrival of tea, should be exactly coincident..."

Read about the daily routines of the likes of painters Gerhard Richter and Jasper Johns at:

They procrastinate and dilly-dally and lolly-gag just like us.