Thursday, December 2, 2010

gems of fashion: Lanvin

Alber Elbaz's accessories for Lavin's 2010-2011 fall/winter collection look like magical viking armor straight out of an epic fantasy. This is some serious jewelry, certainly not for the faint of heart or weak of wrist.

These pieces are totally heavy! I can only imagine how heavy they are literally. Almost as if the person wearing them must earn them and be honored with the task. All of that metal and crystal is so intense and threatening, the elemental cherry-on-top of some fantastic battle gear. Just imagine all the of powers you could wield whilst wearing such decadence.

(all images via StyleBistro)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

artist of interest: Debra Baxter

You have to believe we are all magic, 2010
ceramic, mirror, lab grown bismuth (Germany)

Sculpture created from ceramic, stone, and crystals! What could be more wonderful? Debra Baxter's work is a harmonious marriage of organic forms, sparkling surfaces, and elegant materials. I first came across her work online as I was browsing my tumblr feed. The piece Crystal Brass Knuckles (I am going to realign your chakras motherf*****) (pictured below) seemed to be everywhere in my mineralogical internet world. A powerful and humorous image, it's no wonder it generated attention from the fashionably sarcastic.

Crystal Brass Knuckles (I am going to realign your chakras motherf*****), 2009
quartz crystals, sterling silver

But humor and fashion aside, there is something more that draws me to this object. It looks like a magical weapon from another world, glowing against a blue moon and shooting lightning rays into a starry sky. The science fantasy aspect of Baxter's work is what I find so compelling. Any time a piece lends itself to the viewer's imagination and opens up a window into an original, individual fiction, I consider it successful.

Join (it will stop screaming if you let go of it), 2010
cypress knee, epoxy, laminate, mirror

Baxter's work is so aesthetically pleasing. The juxtaposition of smooth, fleshy alabaster and wood, brilliant crystals, and shining mirrors is so rich and satisfying. The use of these elements in her compositions provides plenty to draw the eye around each piece over and over again.

Not only does the artist create beautiful sculptures, she produces a collection of very wearable jewelry, which you can purchase here. Also check out her tumblr page, which has some great images of her work and inspirational images of crystals in nature, fashion, and art.

Quartz Bomb II
 (all images via

Friday, September 17, 2010


Currently doing some research on the mythology of unicorns. The unicorn has roots in the bible and writings of Greek natural history (apparently the Greeks thought unicorns actually existed). According to Wikipedia, in Medieval times the unicorn horn was believed to stem from the tooth of the narwhal. The narwhal is, of course, a real animal, although it's resemblance to the unicorn does make it seem mystical and more interesting than just a regular whale. Anyway...

The narwhal's horn is not a horn at all, but a tusk stemming from their upper jaw.
What is it that makes unicorns so great? Is it because they are unattainable? Is it because they are beautiful, magical creatures? Do the sparkling .gif animations have something to do with it? Or 1985 Tom Cruise?

I think everything has to do with it. Personally, I find unicorns to be quite dazzling for all of the above reasons. My reason for all this research is because I've suddenly had the urge to begin an installation project involving unicorn horns. Perhaps I'm trying to figure out why I want to use this particular mythological imagery. Perhaps I'm also trying to understand what the imagery means to me. In any case, there are a few things I know for sure: 1. I love mythology and mystical creatures; 2. I love sparkles, glitter, and shiny things; 3. I love a pastel color palette; 4. I love that unicorn horn may translate to sex toy (see below).

(all images via Google.)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

save the date!

Space Rocks is getting a round 2!

I am participating in a group show this coming winter called Close Encounters, which is about science fiction, aliens, and outer space. Get the details here.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

April's Vintage

If you're ever looking for really creative vintage clothing finds, check out April's Vintage. From 70's ballgowns, to 80's sequin jackets, to the most incredible jumpsuits and rompers, April's Vintage literally has something for everyone. She literally hand sifts through endless amounts of vintage garments to find the most unique and stylish pieces. And there's always bound to be something sparkley!

This weekend I got to do some guest modeling for April. Of course, this was my favorite outfit...

A few of my favorite pieces up for auction right now are a 70s beige terry cloth praire dress, a 70s/80s new wave sailor dress, and a 70s kimono-sleeve wide-leg jumpsuit.

Become a fan on Facebook or follow April's Vintage on Twitter.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Today's Gems: Amethyst & Quartz

The most common mineral associated with the word crystal is Clear Quartz. It is the most popular crystal for healing and is very easily obtained, often found in granite deposits or sedimentary rock. It comes in many formations, from large six-sided crystals to tiny clusters of needle-like points. Rose quartz, amethyst, and citrine are all quartz crystals that have been colored by impurities.

Clear quartz is typically used to cleanse and focus energy levels in the body, clearing impurities and psychic debris. In some ancient civilizations it was referred to as "holy ice," incorporated in jewelry, and used in religious rituals in the form of crystal skulls. Quartz increases concentration and refocuses the body, mind, and spirit toward clear goals. The powerful energies of quartz are essential for protecting oneself during astral travel, or out-of-body experiences. It can also be programed to cleanse or amplify specific energy levels, or cleanse other stones of impurities.

Amethyst, a crystal which varies from dark purple to pale lilac, is a form of quartz. The difference between amethyst and other quartz varieties is the oxidation state of impurities in the crystal. Amethysts can be found in geodes or in crystal form. The word amethyst comes from the Greek amethystus which means "not intoxicated." In Greek mythology, the amethyst represents wisdom. During the Middle Ages, it was associated with celibacy and prominent in decoration of churches.

The stone is also associated with the crown chakra, the highest level of enlightenment, and is said to open the third eye to enhance spiritual awareness. Amethyst calms the nervous system and creates a healing effect on ailments such as fibromyalgia, sciatica, headaches, anxiety, depression, and fatigue. Placing an amethyst under the pillow is said to help cure insomnia. Wearing the crystal helps to calm mental stress and ward off negative influences. Amethyst is commonly used in crystal meditation and psychic practices to put oneself in touch with their own inner knowledge. Leonardo da Vinci wrote that amethyst could dissipate evil thoughts and quicken the intelligence.

(sources: Gems of Wisdom, Gems of Power by Teresa Kennedy; Crystals by Jennie Harding)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

artist of interest: Kyle Field

Last weekend before seeing Whispering Pines 10, I checked out Thirty Days NY. It was very cool. Shana Moulton is actually performing there in May, and I will do my best to make it there to see her. Anyway, Kyle Field had this work on display there. I really like his stuff! I think I'm drawn to the messy weirdness of the characters, the colors, and the humor. I don't know if all the text is readable here, but I actually laughed out loud in the gallery while reading this illustration.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Today's Gems: Agate & Moonstone

I collect a lot of jewelry that contains crystals & gems, and I thought it would be a cool idea to write a post about the different crystals I wear day-to-day. So without further or due, here's what I'm wearing today:

Botswana Agate is a common agate found in Botswana, Africa. The stone varies in the color of Gray, Pink, or Apricot with fine white patterns of circles or ovoids. Usually, it is found in the form of nodules, similar to a geode. Botswana Agate is of the trigonal crystal system and it's chemical composition is silicon dioxide (SiO2).

Botswana Agate can be used to stimulate the exploration of the unknown and to further one's quest towards the enlightened state. Many feel that it has an anti-depressant quality. It can be helpful for those who are struggling to be genuine in their lifestyle, as it promotes an understanding of the need for deeper meaning. Carry Botswana Agate to promote creative ability in any project or goal. It encourages one to find solutions rather than focusing on negative aspects of daily challenges. Botswana Agate is also said to stimulate the crown chakra, encouraging eternal love and allowing for the recognition that eternal love is a constant in the ever-changing universe. (Reference: Healing Crystals)

Moonstone is a type of feldspar made up of potassium aluminum silicate. Moonstone is known for it's beautiful sheen called labradorescence, which is a light effect caused by parallel hairlike fractures within the crytalline structure that bounce light at certain angles, creating different colored effects.

In crystal healing, Moonstone is considered symbolic for enhancing feminine energy, bringing inner peace and calm. Helping one to fully relax and enjoy the moment, it is often used to alleviate sexual anxiety, in addition to helping one fully love and appreciate others. Although it is traditionally known for having female qualities, it is good for anyone seeking to strengthen their intuition, especially with regard to potential love interests. Moonstone energy can be of great use in ridding oneself of toxic relationships or people. It encourages growth and the abilitiy to "go with the flow," as well as acts as a guide to new love. (References: Gems of Wisdom, Gems of Power by Teresa Kennedy; Crystals by Jennie Harding)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

do you really think he'll pull through?

I’ll be moving into my new apartment within the next two weeks. I just bought the most comfortable bed that you just sink into and some velvety, ruby red slip covers for my couches. I have a huge empty wall space above my couch which I’ve decided is the perfect place for a new painting. I don’t know why, but I really want to paint a walrus. I haven’t made a painting in quite a while, but I’m pretty confident I can churn out a giant walrus in a few weeks.

And I have the strangest desire to title it “Walrus in a Coma.” And maybe he’ll have rubies for eyes.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Imajica is Majical

I just felt like sharing a wonderful chapter from a really wonderful book.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

girly pearls

I've had this obsession with pearls, lately. Not only because they are beautiful, but I love that they are considered a "gemstone," yet they grow from within a shellfish! It's literally the hardened secreation of a slimely little mollusc!

I've also been obsessed with looking up the healing and emotional uses for gemstones. Pearls emit peace and tranquility. They are symbolic of the moon and it's effect on the human body, balancing the hormones. Pearls also represent fertility and purity, as well as influence the wearer to more openly accept love (for themselves and others). I believe the pearl is also a great symbol of femininity and womanhood.

I had used pearls, or the idea of pearls, in my work in the past (see here and here). I recently felt the urge to continuing exploring pearls and femininity in my work. Out of nowhere I had this idea for a stop-motion video. I've never done stop motion before, nor have I ever wanted to.

Images of baby oysters on a beach, the birthing of a stream of fluid and pearls from a human womb, and a bird warming a pearl in it's gooey nest were flowing through my mind.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Do you have an exact, personalized definition of 'success' when it comes to your artwork? by godownmatthew

No, not really. I don't have a formula or a checklist. If I am successful with a piece of my work I have: faced and completed challenges I have given myself; solved unforeseen problems that may have occurred to the best of my ability; and have completed or went beyond my own expectations of myself or the work.

I'm pretty easy to please and I don't place too much pressure on most things I do. When I work I usually have an initial idea or goal, but the fleshing out comes during the process of creating the work. I go with the flow and try to make what I have work. And if it doesn't work, it gets placed to the side and I keep going.

Some pieces are more successful than others not because they are better crafted or more aesthetically pleasing, but because in the end I translated my thoughts more clearly.

This sounds conceited, but I usually like most things I make. I think because I start to actually love them like my own babies.

Ask me anything

Monday, January 25, 2010

Space Rocks, mission complete

My installation of Space Rocks: A Look at Far-Out Minerals has come and gone. I really enjoyed this project, from start to finish. In total, it makes so much sense to me and represents me as a creator and a human being. I'm really sad that it's over, but I'm extremely proud of myself. Everything worked out beyond my expectations and I couldn't have been happier with the outcome. Of course, a lot of thanks to friends and collaborators, who brought wonder, skills, and a lot of personality to the project.

The video is finally up!

Space Rocks: A Look at Far-Out Minerals from Madeleine Bliss on Vimeo.

If you'd like to buy a DVD, email me at

New challenges await me, and I'm excited for what the future brings... in other words, "what the hell to do next?"