I bought a few postcards by Piu many years ago, as souvenirs. I was walking nearby the Cathedral of Strasbourg when I saw them. It's not my kind of thing, I'm a very shy tourist, but I purchased them with a certain enthusiasm. They were part of a series of smart cards which mainly make fun of well known brands' commercials and create new, very enjoyable fake advertisements.
Since they are still my favorite view entering our place in Dublin, yesterday I decided to look for other works of hers. I discovered that Amandine Piu, aka Piu Piu, was born in 1982. From Sardinia she first came to France to study visual communication in Lyon, then moved to Strasbourg, where she graduated in Decorative Arts. And that she still live and work in the Alsatian capital.
Anyway, I love her sense of humor, the plays on words, the "roundness" of her work. I think she's a very talented, and complete artist! By the way, I found out after many collaborations, prizes etc, she's now publishing children literature as illustrator (this), as illustrator and coauthor (that), as both illustrator and author (here).
I decided to use some old garnet and bluish black beads to create a very elegant choker...I know, it's not that original, but at least is well done! Moreover, I recently decided I should just make stuff I'd wear myself.
So here it is, my beloved short necklace: sophisticated, but easy wearable :D
The idea is that the necklace prefers dark atmospheres and minimal outfits, but can be used also to make more refined a cotton cloth during summertime or to cheer up a black t-shirt...and so on. Keyword: versatile. Anyway, it is made of six strands and approximately measures 16 inches. It closes up with a magnificent silver plated squared fastener, lovely decorated with a filigree floral fantasy (never give up on fancy details).
The ring above is my latest experiment! Although it seems very easy to make, it is not! Or, at least, it was not easy for me...It turns out that changing supplies brings just troubles. It's kind of a chain. For instance, I changed the glue. Never change the glue. I wanted an extra strong, transparent glue, but I especially wanted a hardening glue. I couldn't find any of the ones I already knew, even if I browsed almost everywhere (and on the internet too). So, after many comparisons, I decided to purchase this one. It works pretty well, but smells terrible.
Anyway, each glue works differently, and that one pushed me to change the way I work...changing technique brings mistakes, and so on and on...As I said, it's a chain.
Fortunately, I had ten bases, otherwise I 'd have eaten my hands :D
As a result, an adjustable antique copper ring, framing 1 inch round scrap of handmade paper set under a round, transparent glass dome. Magnificent!
D I Y T I P S
I purchased the ring trays and their own glass inserts from the Etsy shop Sun and Moon Craft Kits, where I could find exactly what I was looking for. In fact, generally suppliers on etsy sell trays and domes separately and I go crazy browsing their shops to find the right dome for the right tray and the right quantity of both (for a fair price)...And then, checking out, I find out they don't trade with Europe or they post from China and it takes an eternity for the packet to arrive (three weeks are a standard time). That shop was a great solution to me.
The awesome paper under the dome comes from Daintree Paper, an "exclusive, ethical, and inspiring" paper shop here in Dublin, Ireland. It's the best shop ever. I just adore it, plus it has an amazing history you can read on their website.
This time my strategy has been: I buy it, then I'll think about it. I researched for beautiful thing and waited for inspiration. I just wanted to create something unique, but easy reproducible and that is one of the main output, let's say the first.
In fact, I took the occasion for experimenting with glass and papers, and here "experimenting" means: I really don't know what I'm doing. Pleasant experience.
I just love this pattern so after I sold the Pierrot Necklace I decided to reuse it for a pinch of lilac czech seed beads I recently bought. This time I really esagerated with, well, seven strands... just one more and I should have used a spacer bar (which I personally don't like).
The czech beads' colored mix is not original as usual, I bought it that way. I fell in love with the shining shades of pink, lilac, purple, iridescent blue and petrol green. I found it delicate and strong at the meantime, and recalling onions. Oh yes, you got it, this is clearly the color of onions - although "dusty lavender gray" maybe sounds better :D
I've made the necklace semirigid, using nylon coated stainless steel wire and crimp beads. That technique makes the necklace wear differently from the others and the result is much more elegant.
The beaded strands are scaled in length, the shorter being 16.5 inches and the longer 18.1 inches. Due to the nylon coated metal soul and the scaling length, they gorgeously overlap remaining distinguished.
In Florence, Italy, the battle of the Battle of Anghiari, Leonardo's lost masterpiece, goes on.
Summary: Once upon a time, Leonardo da Vinci tried to realize a great fresco of the Battle of Anghiari using an experimental technique inspired by Plinio. Unfortunately, after he had applied the colours, the paint began to drip. In 1503 Leonardo eventually abandoned the project. Although partially ruined the fresco remained exposed in the Hall of the Five Hundreds many years (see the magnificent copies left by Rubens), until Cosimo de' Medici decided to restructure the hall, and the unfinished work went lost, probably covered with the new frescos by Giorgio Vasari. From the end of november 2011, Seracini's team is working hard to uncover the truth: is the Battle of Anghiari still there?
The first and more important find is coherent with the pigment Leonardo used for painting theGioconda and the San Giovanni Battista. The second would strengthen the idea of a fresco since lacquer wouldn't have sense on a plain wall. The third element is identically meaningful, since there should be just plaster.
The samples have been double checked by the American team directed by Seracini and the Opificio delle Pietre Dure.
Anyway, Cristina Acidini, chief of the Soprintendenza, stated: "We're now going to face with a complicated, long path. And maybe someone will be bitterly disappointed in the end".
Last character entering the scene is Monsignor Timothy Verdon, Director of the Office of Religious Art and Cultural Heritage of Ecclesiastical Diocese of Florence, who explained to Vatican Radio:
"It may well be that beneath the layer of the work of Vasari there is some remnant of a Leonardo’s work, but what you might find today is certainly not the concept of Leonardo in its original form. Indeed, we can assume that the effects of degradation that occurred immediately after the execution have worsened with the passage of time. Is it otherwise worth it to remove a magnificent fresco by Vasari which is part of a great decorative program? I have doubts that it can be worth it."
The battle goes on! Who is going to win? Curators or pioners?