Thursday, March 05, 2015

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Take a Look at Pretty Penny Artisan Jewelry

Hammered copper, handmade glass beads.
 I invite you to take a look at the new Pretty Penny Artisan Jewelry page on Facebook. There you will see all the latest designs. I started making jewelry again, after a several-decade hiatus.  In the winter of 2014, I came across some beautiful sheet copper that was left over from the construction of our house. I decided to try my hand at making distinctive, yet rustic jewelry that could be worn with jeans or gems.  I started with the repurposed copper, hammering it and resurrecting some beautiful vintage beads left from my hippy days. Then I got into making chain maille with a vengeance. Now, after selling my art gallery, I am launching into a whole new arena. 
Handmade copper box chain bracelet - $95
Making the decision early on that I wanted to keep production simple, no power tools, I began an odyssey to create small pieces of art in each pair of earrings, often giving them titles, because each handmade pair of earrings is a work unto its own.  Then I branched out to bracelets and necklaces.  People kept buying jewelry I made and I became more and more absorbed in the process.

Please visit our Facebook page, and if you like what you see please like our page. We do ship anywhere and would love to be your source for distinctive and unique jewelry items.
(c) 2014 - Ruth Mitchell - all rights reserved

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Inspiration --Go After it with a Club

16" byzantine sterling silver chain
When I was a little girl, my older brother Pete Peterson gave me the "Call of the Wild" by Jack London. It's the only present I remember him ever giving me, and it had a distinct impact on my life. I was probably 9 years old or so. I'm pretty sure my brother picked out the book himself and not my mom as it is a very boyish title.

I may have never been introduced to London until high school when it might not have had the impact it had on me as a little girl, if it weren't for this unexpected birthday gift.

I've been hooked on adventure ever since. So I'm unpacking some jewelry making supplies this morning and a little slip of paper falls out. It's one of those cutesy things store owners do to be memorable so you will want to go back there.

So what should be on the paper but this quote from Jack London: "You can't wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club." Hello, I've been doing this all my life. Following a creative career path, I have been a journalist, editor, magazine owner, travel writer, website developer, gallery owner, and now I'm into handcrafting jewelry. The creative lifestyle may not always be a lucrative one, but by jeepers, you are going to have fun, learn a lot and meet interesting people.

I just completed a byzantine sterling silver neck chain. A friend of mine said I must have a lot of patience, "no, that's not me, I have no patience."

Then she replied, "Determination."

"Yes, that's it, determination."

Installation Dance Party

Installation Dance Party

(c) 2012 - Ruth Mitchell - all rights reserved

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Beautiful Guggenheim

Erin Mitchell at the Guggenheim
In true New Yorker style my daughter Erin Mitchell took us to the Guggenheim Museum the day before she gave birth to our grandson, Elliot Mitchell Koll. This happened last March 9th, and thoughts of the Guggenheim whispered through my brain just this morning.
Being a journalist who specializes in art, and owning a small gallery of my own, I'm somewhat credible when I say, and this is my opinion only, that it is difficult to exhibit art in this incredible building that can compete with the grace of the architectural masterpiece itself.

It took architect Frank Lloyd Wright 15 years, 700 sketches, and six sets of working drawings to create the final design for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. In 1992, the building underwent extensive renovations and a rectangular tower was added.The new tower was designed by the architectural firm of Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects, who analyzed Wright's original sketches when they designed the 10-story limestone tower, which replaced a much smaller structure.

It wasn't my first time to visit this wonderful structure, nor will it be my last, and while the exhibits were world class, I especially enjoyed Carrie Mae Weems photographic exhibit,

I couldn't keep my eyes off the building as it pulsed with people from all over the world. I can't wait for my next visit, and this time I'll have to take some video shots of the motion of the building.

No exaggeration aside, my daughter loaded up the red-headed Elliot three days after he was born and we trekked across the Brooklyn Bridge. Not only is that kid going places, he has already been to some too!

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Beauty is Healing

24 x 18″, acrylic, auto paint, acetone finish on canvas
I was talking with artist Keith Kimmel the other day and something he said struck me, he described beauty as "healing." Well, how obvious, and yet I had never quite put these two words together like that.  Keith is passionate about creating narrative art. This makes his images complex and exciting, edgy and entertaining. The viewer is invited into the image to explore their own perspective. I really like this image above. For me, this sensual image brings forth sounds and smells, as well as visual delight. What are your thoughts on this painting? To view more of Keith's wonderful work click here.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Pretty Penny Earrings

(c) 2012 - Ruth Mitchell - all rights reserved
I have really gotten into creating "Pretty Penny" earring designs. It started last year when I discovered some wonderful sheet copper left over from building our house. I started experimenting with the rich metal, then I discovered beads!

These three pairs feature handmade beads by my friend Grace Hobbs, who also makes beautiful chain mail bracelets.

The name "Pretty Penny" comes of course from the copper elements in the earrings. I started out using surgical steel hoops as they are the most hypoallergenic solution, but then I started using some silver findings as well. Findings are what the "hardware" part of the jewelry construction is. I have recently discovered that I can construct my own findings, which gives a whole other design element to the earrings. Please visit our Facebook page, either Buyoutsidethebox or Bottle Tree Gallery if you are interested in seeing more of these creative designs. And yes, of course all items are for sale.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Twins

"TheTwins" - Sondra Seaton
Artist Sondra Seaton recently brought this beautiful original watercolor painting of two fawns into the Bottle Tree Gallery. Not only is it a beautiful painting, but it has a wonderful story to it. These two innocent animals were orphaned and a neighbor of Sondra's bottle fed them until they grew large enough to be taken to a wildlife sanctuary. "They were such innocent creatures," Sondra says. This extraordinary watercolor is available for just $350. Follow us on Facebook for this and other offers on all kinds of wonderful art
(c) 2012 - Ruth Mitchell - all rights reserved

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Beautiful Batik

"Magical Music" $1,200 - 29x35 framed

Terri Haugen is an award winning self-taught Artist, who is best known for her Batik paintings. Batik is an ancient cloth art traditionally made using a manual wax-resistant dyeing technique. Terri is considered to be one of Americas foremost Batik Artists, and her work has been featured on the covers of National Magazines such as Yankee and Readers Digest.

Terri's work is collected worldwide; her strong sense of design along with her romantic nature and painterly qualities has brought international recognition, for her Batiks. Each of Terri's Batik paintings reveals a command of materials and techniques. She has mastered the traditional method of overdying and combines that with more modern techniques. Her work features a wide range of colors and subtlety of hues, to complicated bright color combinations difficult to achieve in Batik. Her experimental work is fun and unusual.

Batik, is an ancient art form. It has been known to exist in the 4th century BC, in Egypt where it was used to wrap mummies. It was also used in early times in  Asia, China, India and Africa.
(c) 2013 - Ruth Mitchell - all rights reserved

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Wonderful Walk Ins

"Desert Moon"
Occasionally we have a what I call a walk in. Someone will walk into the Bottle Tree Gallery with something they have created and say, would you like to sell this? I love that when that happens. Now in a mere 1,000 Square Feet, you are careful what you select.

Artist Karen E. Johnson came in one day and said, "are you interested Western art? Well, I love Western art, but wasn't sure if it would be compatible with what we have going on here in the store.

"Let's see what you've got," I told her. Turns out she spends a lot of time traveling out West with her husband, and has a plethora of small but ravishingly beautiful images. This is one of them. One of the cool things Karen does is to carry the detailing of the painting around the side of the canvas.

Karen's small but impactful images are a great value at $30-$40 plus shipping. Go to the Bottle Tree's Facebook page to view them all.
(c) 2012 - Ruth Mitchell - all rights reserved