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Friday, May 3, 2013

Inspired by Reading Book Club and "Paris to the Moon"

I recently joined a book club named, "Inspired by Reading," the brain child of Andrew Thornton whose blog can be found at http://andrew-thornton.blogspot.com/.
The book club has a Facebook page, which can be found at
http://www.facebook.com/groups/inspiredbyreading
and of course we have a Pinterest Board, which can be found here:
http://pinterest.com/JDRshrineart/inspired-by-books-group.
The basic idea is that we create artwork inspired by the book we are reading.


Our first book, Paris to the Moon, by Adam Gopnik turned out to be a disappointing read for me. I was excited to begin reading a book about Paris because it's a place I have not been and I hope to visit there someday. However, the author could not have been more dull in his descriptions. I could conjur almost no visual images solely from reading the book, and I found his stories to be largely uninteresting and narcissistic. My guess is that if the author didn't already have a foothold in the publishing industry he would have had a hard time finding someone to publish such a dull tome. It has been a long time since I have been unable to finish a book, as I am an avid and stubborn reader. I wish I could recommend this book, but alas, unless you are having a bout of insomnia for which this book is the perfect cure, any other book with Paris as its theme would probably be better. Having said all this, I did make a couple of things that were inspired by Paris from other sources, such as other reading I have done and from our group's Pinterest Board. It bothered me greatly that I could not be inspired solely from the book. Or more accurately, I was not inspired at all by the book.


Despite what I felt was a disappointing book, I do hope to find time to develop the ideas that are here in their infancy. I was intrigued by a more earthy palette, and the sort of elegance and beauty that only comes with extreme age -- the colors of the past before so many synthetic and modern chemicals. I was also trying to combine these ideas of color with some of the unique attitude of fun, joie de vive, and humor of the French people. This aspect is more challenging and will require more reading and development because the concept is more abstract, but I am looking forward to continuing with the challenge. 

This is why these sorts of self-directed projects are so valuable. They stretch you uncomfortably, and sometimes with much complaint and grumpiness in new directions. Here are a couple more shots of my first attempts:
If you look closely at the top heart pendant, you will see some cracking. Perhaps some of the glass is incompatible, or perhaps I had heat control issues while trying to juggle the new ideas in the torch. The bottom heart pendant turned out fine in that respect, although I will be honing my color scheme in subsequent attempts and tightening up shape and patterning. I like the idea of the plain stainless bails and might try darkening them with some sort of patina. Or coloring them with metal coloring techniques. So off to the next book! Wish me luck. If anything, this club will get me to post in my blog approximately once a month or so...

3 comments:

Andrew Thornton said...

Most of the folks in the group had a similar opinion of the book. It wasn't my favorite either. But I did enjoy reading your review of it. :-)

Anyway, I think the pieces that you created a lovely! The second heart with the little hearts coming off of it is my favorite. I also liked reading about your process as well. It was fascinating. Thank you for sharing!

Oh and I am glad that this is prompting you to blog more! I can't wait to see what make next!

Mary K. McGraw said...

I had similar issues with the book and it is one of the few books I have not finished.

But it does look like the book inspired you in a new direction in your bead making. Really like the colors in the second and the direction you are heading.

Jennifer said...

As I am sure ou have seen in the blogs - if you got a chance to hop - we agree on the book.. .
Your beads are gorgeous, mini marvels of color and pattern. The second one gets me.. the deep merlot, with cream and turquoise. Yum.

I agree that the fun for me is to have a piece to play. Not for a show, just for me. to experiment, or "doodle". Looking forward to the upcoming months!