Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Mark of Great Art

I went to the opening of "The Mark of Great Art" last night at Maker's Mark Distillery. What a show! I was really excited to be part of such an awesome event.

Maker's Mark commissioned pieces from 51 different Kentucky artists, all our individual interpretations of Maker's Mark - its product, the distillery, the creative process... whatever! They chose 2 of my ideas which I created over the course the the last few months, considering throwing one of them against the wall on several occasions. BUT, I'm really happy with the pieces and completely flattered to be the only jewelry artist in the entire exhibit (http://www.themarkofgreatart.com/artists/jama-watts.aspx).

There were some incredible pieces last night from artists that I've seen, know and some that I just discovered. After the show ends at Maker's Mark, the pieces will be split up into smaller shows that will travel to Chicago, New York, Lexington, Louisville, Seattle, San Francisco, London and Madrid. I'd love for one to end up overseas so I have an excuse to go see it! It's great exposure for me and I hope that others will see that jewelry can be wearable art.

Voting opens today on the website (http://www.themarkofgreatart.com) and continues through the 21st. 1st prize is $3,000, 2nd is $2,000 and 3rd is $1,000. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!



The first piece I completed was a cuff comprised of hundreds of 3mm Siam bicone Swarovski that I wove using RAW on Fireline. The beads were woven in the shape of the shutters on the warehouses at Maker's Mark which feature a cutout in the shape of the Maker's bottle. The shutters were then stitched on black leather, placed around a brass cuff, backed with more black leather which I then whipstitched to the top layer. I finished the edges with more Swarovski and a row of 15/0 silver-lined gold seed beads. Talk about shiny!


The second piece is the one that I nearly stopped several times. I created a mold of the Maker's seal and made 17 seals out of silver clay, each featuring a red CZ set in the star. After firing and polishing, I dipped each seal's edges in the Maker's red wax. I then embroidered around each piece, backing them with tan leather the color of the Maker's Mark label. After each seal was done, I brought them all together with more stitching and added Swarovski along the edges for a little more punch.

Like I said, I'm REALLY happy with how they turned out. I got a lot of positive feedback last night and had a lot of friends show up for the opening. What a great night & great event to be part of!

4 comments:

GrandmaMarilyns said...

Really cool, Jama. I hope you win.

Melody said...

Congratulations on getting in, I hope you win!

ClinkscalesArts said...

Whoa, Jama! Those pieces are fabulous! I love the cuff the best. I voted for both, good luck! :)

Jama said...

Thanks so much, everyone! I'm really excited about this show, if you couldn't tell!