Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Teresa Taylor

 I am still blooming, and I couldn't be happier about it.

I grew up with a very creative mother. We had limited resources, and yet she still seemed to find ways to create unique things. Something as simple as cutting paper star shapes out of magazine pages, and hanging them over our dinner table. The seed of creativity was in my brain, however I never felt a need to explore it.     

Ten years ago I gave birth to my third daughter. During this much wanted pregnancy, I suffered from severe anti-partum depression. Just by chance I started a craft project, and three hours later, realized I had actually been meditating. The creativity took my mind to a different place.  My sadness took a break.

After my beautiful daughter was born, I made my first mosaic project. And I was HOOKED.  Making something beautifully expressive out of tiny pieces of anything and everything, just does something to my heart and psyche.

I have since volunteered on public projects, freelanced, taken some courses and participated in shows abroad in France, as well as local art shows, and every once in awhile show some pieces in our local gallery. I am still blooming, and I couldn't be happier about it. :)

Some links:
Anzy le Duc mosaic project, Anzy le Duc, France

Photo St.lukes mosaic mural, San Francisco

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Amy Kanka-Valadarsky

I can pinpoint, exactly, when the seed was sewn.

I was 47 years at the time, an executive in a hi-tech firm, living a very intensive life centered on work - when i was not sleeping or on the plane - I was never really far from the email...with 2 grown up sons and a hi-tech working husband - there was nothing really to distract me from work.  And one day I decided, that I should consciously introduce something that will force me to stay away from work, make me do something else. Yes, I was practicing Yoga - but the Yoga lesson was too easy to ditch - 'I have a document to read quietly in the morning', and I do love gardening - but this I just crammed on weekends.

So, I went to the Internet to look for something I could learn, something creative. I always loved art, took a few drawing lesson once, even started a long distance interior design course. After some research, found a distance learning course in jewelry design and with a slightly trembling hand (the tuition was not negligible, I am committing here ....) I enrolled.

During the next 8 month, I learned to work with wire, bead, string pearls. Learned what is forging, and how you design a collection, and at the end of the class, even had to open an ETSY store!! Looking back at it now, I know how bad this initial store was, but at the time displaying something I did for the whole world to see was really scary.

So a little bud was formed, but now - I wanted more. So I enrolled to a thorough silversmith year long course in a studio - every Sunday from 1600 to 2200. Needless to say this was in addition to my 'around the clock job', and more than once I returned from the studio, took the briefcase and zoomed to the airport to catch the plane to yet another meeting. Once I amazed my teacher by arriving to the studio with the suitcase, directly from the airport, to an extra lecture!!  This was about a year ago. Since then I started to build my home studio, continued to a 2nd year of studies in the studio, and worked on my jewelry on weekends ( when I was not cooking - as even grown up sons and husband eat !!, or working in the garden.). 

You can see many more pieces at my Etsy store:

About 3 months ago I was told my hi-tech position will disappear and I should look for another position in the company, or after 23 years - to part goodbye.  Was I shocked and depressed? Not really. Looking at this as an incentive to change my life, started to seriously think about living a creative and useful life, doing beautiful pieces of wearable art and starting to finally volunteer (another thing I never had the time for). 
My Facebook fan page (would love to get more likes there :-)