Monday, October 29, 2018

October Theme Challenge – Petroglyphs

photo by KLindemer of BayMoonDesign

October's Art Elements Host is Karen Totten and the theme is Petroglyphs. These are images created by removing part of a rock surface by incising, pecking, carving, and abrading. Petroglyphs are found world-wide, and are often but not always associated with prehistoric peoples. They are one of the three different techniques used in Rock art, the prehistoric precursors to art.  I have always been interested in prehistoric civilizations and enjoy looking at Petroglyphs as an art form in my travels.   One of the first trips my husband and I took in our RV was out west.  One of the magnificent places that we stopped by was Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico.  This challenge reminded me of that trip.
Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico
Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico
We saw multi-story buildings and engineered roads in the high desert of New Mexico that were built by this ancient culture.  Chaco Culture National Historical Park preserves their legacy. It is one of the most visited prehistoric ruins in the United States, and is also a World Heritage Site for its “universal value.”

Visitors can explore stone ruins from a previous millennium, step through T-shaped doorways, go up and down stairs of multi-story buildings, and look out through windows into the endless desert sky.
Chaco was an important ceremonial, trading and administrative center in a sacred landscape, laid out in a network of roads connecting to the great houses. One theory is pilgrims came to Chaco with offerings, and participated in rituals and ceremonies at auspicious times. It’s unlikely large numbers of people lived here year round, despite hundreds of rooms, which may have been used to store objects.

Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico
Chaco photo by KLindemer of BayMoonDesign

It might not look like much, as it is unrestored and stone walls crumbling. When you walk on the one mile trail loop around the site, much of the ruins are sitting underneath your feet, covered by desert sands.
Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico
Chaco photo by KLindemer of BayMoonDesign

The trail through the site goes along the cliffs. This is where you can look for petroglyphs carved in the sandstone. Petroglyphs relate to clan symbols, records of migrations, hunting, and important events. 
Petroglyphs, Chaco Canyon
By Acwassink [CC BY-SA 3.0  (], from Wikimedia Commons

Some of the petroglyphs are carved high up, 15 feet above the ground. Images in the petroglyphs like the one above are birds, spirals, animals, human figures.

polymer clay components by Brooke Bock

 When I thought of petroglyphs and this trip, I thought about the colors of the desert and I was reminded of a component by Brooke Bock.  It looked like petroglyphs and it was beige and brown of the desert.  I also had another of her components in the same colors.  I made a totem of sorts and added some ribbon.  To complete my focal I attached it to a round wire component by Vintaj.   I used some vintage yellow crystal, Czech beads, Vintaj natural brass wire, and chain.  

petroglyphs necklace by BayMoonDesign

I invite you to stop by the other participants and see what they created for this blog hop.

Art Elements Team:
Lesley Watt:
Jenny Davies-Reazor:
Cathy Spivey Mendola:
Sue Kennedy:
Caroline Dewison:
Laney Mead:
Marsha Neal Minutella:
Claire Fabian:

Our Guest Artists:
Jill Egan:
Tammy Adams:
Alison Herrington:
Sarajo Wentling:
Jenny Kyrlach:
Kathy Lindemer: (HERE)

Friday, October 19, 2018

We're All Ears :: October :: Plaid


Did you know the first Friday in October is known around the world as Plaidurday?   It is only fitting that plaid is the theme for this October's  We're All Ears Challenge.

When I think of plaid, I also think of Tartans.  
Tartan is a pattern consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colors. Tartans originated in woven wool, but now they are made in many other materials. Tartan is particularly associated with Scotland.  The Scottish started using their tartans in the 1700s as blankets and kilts. Certain clans of Scots would all get their weaving done by the same weavers which is how the patterns became associated with specific clans. It wasn't until the popular fabric crossed the ocean that the terms became synonymous. Both became associated with lumberjacks... and ultimately hipsters. 
Hipsters Photo by Thomas AE on Unsplash
Hipsters Photo by Thomas AE on Unsplash

When I first read about this challenge, I had to do some thinking to come up with an idea for a plaid pair of earrings. I spent about a week thinking up a plan. I originally thought I would use plaid ribbon or paper to cover the top of a wooden disk or bezel. I did something similar with paper disks in an earlier challenge and I wasn't happy with there being a lack of depth, but I loved how light the earrings were.  I thought I would see how I would like lightweight wood disks.   The wood disks that I located were way too large for me to consider using.

I then considered using bezels.  I wasn't able to find 2 bezels in my collection that were the right size to accommodate a plaid.  I wasn't able to locate any in local stores that I liked so my thoughts then turned to plaid cookie tins. 

Photo of plaid tin by Nonki Azariah on Unsplash
Christmas Plaid Tin by Photo by Nonki Azariah on Unsplash

Surely, there must be some plaid tins somewhere. If I had the spare time, I would have loved to have taken time to poke through some local thrift shops for plaid tins. I needed just one plaid tin to use with my metal disk punch set.  In the meantime, time is marching on.  

I then came up with the perfect plan.  Being sort on creative time this month, I thought that there must be someone who has already done the disk cutting and is selling plaid disks.  I did some searching online and discovered exactly what I was dreaming of.  Perfect except for one thing, the seller was in Ireland.  Being of Irish ancestry, I thought that was really cool and excited for an excuse to buy something from the old country, but I was pretty sure I wouldn't get them in time.  I took a gamble on the postal services and lost.  Ten days for a shipment to make it from Ireland to US is cutting things close even when it isn't holiday time.

Plaid Tin Disks by balancedARTandCRAFT 

I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to find a plaid tin and cut it into disks and then layer on some copper or silver disks with a rivet to make earrings. The earrings would have Vintaj brass earwires.  I found the perfect plaid tin disks at the shop Balanced Art and Craft in Ireland.

They are just perfect and I can't wait to get them.  Tomorrow will probably be the day I get them.  

I can't wait to see what others have created in the meantime.