Many people can't understand ferrets, but once they ferret-dance into your life, you never want them to leave. A ferret is like a sweet cat, that stays playful as a kitten, with the affection and loyalty of a good dog and just enough mischief to delight your inner child. I love ferrets; I love their slinky bodies, funny antics and playful personalities.
This ferret portrait is a custom necklace for a lovely lady in Boston, and it was an honor to work with her in memory of Boscoe. I spent more time trying to perfect his unique little, almond-shaped, eyes, than any other part of that adorable face.
Anyone can tell, I am an animal person, in every sense of the word. Growing up, my cats were my best friends as well as family. One day, I met a baby ferret and my heart immediately grew, I took him home and named him Tobi, then rescued two more; Natasha and Trixi. Tobi only lived for 6 years but he has made me smile for a lifetime.
This custom necklace started out as a few heartfelt thoughts; her likes, their family and the adventures they enjoy. Together we worked up three different designs, which I illustrated and sent to him to review. This is the design he chose:
Sea turtles are her favorite animal, and she has a February birthday, so he requested an amethyst stone. I used the stone as the moon, rising over the ocean with palm trees swaying in the breeze. The family, with all thier love and dreams, are carried on the back of her favorite animal; sea turtle. The couple sit fireside, in beach chairs, and watch thier curious little boy explore his world. Their son is now 16, but in a parents eyes, our children will always be our babies. I also included the birth flower for February; violet.
Wishing your family safe journeys and eternal love. Happy Anniversary.
Turtle Folk Lore:
Sea Turtles represent good luck, endurance, perseverance and a long life. Turtles are excellent navigators and will have no trouble find their way home Legends say a green sea turtle lead the first Polynesian peoples to the islands. According to https://www.olukai.com; "In modern times, sea turtles are protected by the Endangered Species act and there are severe penalties just for giving them stink eye."
Native American stories say that a great Sea Turtle dedicated it's shell to the land dwelling animals and North America rests on his back.
Well, I can promise that I won't be giving you the stink eye, Great Honu, because the spiritual penalties far outweigh my concern for the laws of man.
ABOVE: Setting up for the first Goshen Art Walk of the 2017 season.
Here I am, Jennifern Hippely, with my "seriously passionate about art and jewelry" face, as I talk about how I individually make each FoxFern jewelry piece. Above photos courtesy of Jim Sebastian of the Times Herald-Record. You can view more pictures of my "serious face" and more of the amazing art and artists that attended the event in TheRecordOnline.com Gallery:
Doing shows is tough, the set-up process is always stressful and the elements (wind) sometimes try to obliterate your displays, but the rewards are so much greater. Even if I don't have a great sales day, meeting new people is a delight and sharing my work with them is an honor.
Thank you to every single visitor who took the time to come out; you encouraged each one of us to continue doing beautiful things for the love of art and literature.
A special Thank You to all the members of the Goshen Art League, they put a lot of unpaid time, effort and love into this event. (HUG)
I love this photo from Goshen Art League member and photographer Julissie Saltzberg:
"Couple in Deep" is in its final stages.
Subject Notes: These are the moments in time that are excruciatingly personal, but more than likely, we have all shared something similar. Our thoughts may be mostly complete, but constructed in a way that makes deciphering them difficult.
Practice Notes: Painting is a torturous discovery, like a painful hike to the apex; a realization of vision into technique. I wanted an illuminated look, slightly out-of-focus, and layered; reminiscent of neon lights or lights through rainy window. You cannot see the layers until you look closely, and that is exactly how I wanted it. It gets clearer the closer you get to the subjects, like looking through a drop of water.
I made several attempts at the technique I envisioned, but had to scrub it back down to the base line several times. I am so glad I did, because there it is. Glowing, layered, and somehow... focused.
dCustom design is an absolute honor, I love this part of hand making jewelry. When someone comes to me with all the pieces of a puzzle, I get excited; what is the picture going to be?! I plan every detail but taking scraps of someone else's vision and creating something with a complete stranger, is humbling, inspiring and serendipitous.
She asked for "a bat and an opal", the rest was up to me. I chose the "Brown Bat" because they are common in her area and decide to use the opal for the moon. The sapphires represent lighting bugs, a common meal for these little critters. She liked another triangle shape pendant I had done, (See "Trinity" earlier in my Blog) so I used that same style.
I so enjoyed seeing this little brown bat take flight; I think he (she?) is the happiest bat I have ever seen.
Materials; Fine and Sterling Silver, Welo Opal and yellow, natural sapphires with 22k accents on the tiny bead "stars". The bat is suspended on little, hidden platforms within a triangle shaped shadow box. I hand build the two tube bails at the top, and the chain glides through smoothly. The background was painstakingly darkened with sulphur.
The scalloped edges of the walls of the box all are hand cut with a diamond bit. What you can't see is the special texture technique I developed and like to use on the outside walls of my shadowboxes; it lends a wonderful, refined-rustic aesthetic.
This simple request for a custom necklace worked out a wonderful design.
This is the illustration of our ideas together:
Knowing that she lives (and loves) the Hudson Valley, I picked an owl that is common here; the barred owl. I have a mated pair that call for each other as they journey around my property and I just imagine them working as a team to locate food, enjoying a few good swoops for fun and then silently coasting into the shadows just before daybreak. The way barred owls talk, reminds me of a good relationship; communicative and connected even in the darkness.
This area is famous for apple orchards and farmland because the people here still work the earth and hold agriculture close to the heart; hence the tilled fields of the Black Dirt Region and the picturesque apple trees. The Hudson River Valley humbly but gracefully bears rolling mountains, and abrupt rock formations, so I also included two specific mountains local to their town. Lastly, I made sure a few pine trees grew in the forest around a wild, grassy field, underneath a subtle, sapphire moon.
Materials: 999 Fine Silver, Sterling Silver, and natural slate-grey Sapphire.
Spring Makers Market presenting local and Hudson Valley area artisans. The Wickham Works Market features carefully juried examples of exceptional handcraft, skilled artistry, innovative uses of ordinary materials and local agriculture. Live music, maker demonstrations, hands-on activities and baked goods will also be part of this family friendly and interactive event.
The Market will be held alongside the Treecycle 2017 event; an annual collaborative community art project. Seven local artists, partnering with nine local groups and organizations, will lead participants through the making of sculptural trees using upcycled materials.
This project is made possible with funds from the Orange County Arts Council’s Ten Year Anniversary Community Arts Grants program.
As if my creative plate wasn't full enough, I picked up a paintbrush and embarked on my new series. It has been a struggle to overcome some invisible and impermeable barrier between me and the canvas. I planned the paintings, selected color pallets and thought obsessively about the techniques, but couldn't bring myself to touch the blank fabric.
This most recent endeavor will be a 13 canvas series titled "Dialog".
Above is the first in this series that I am willing to share. My careful planning dictates that there should be a delicate and neutralizing wash over the bold color. However, I am drawn into the dynamic between the figures in these colors, and wonder if neutralizing them will also quiet thier thoughts. The piece is more about the interaction, than it is about skin. Such as the creative process; conceive, persue, follow inspiration, divert and arrive at the finale.
I hope you enjoy the beauty of incomplete thoughts, a process of development. This is my Poloroid; I'm sharing it as it changes.
Kindest regards, and wishing you development in your own endeavors.
Our blog author is Jennifern; her thoughts on work, events, adventures and other amazing people.