Diane Burrell, Writer

A portfolio of my professional work

California Folk Art Museum Submissions

The California Folk Art Museum is a wonderful museum on the Miracle Mile in Los Angeles. It has a fantastic collection, and is dedicated to the preservation of the creativity and techniques behind ethnic and handmade arts and crafts. They have visiting exhibits, lectures, workshops, and classes in everything from printing to knitting to wood carving to gilding.

These are submitted descriptions for some products from their gift shop:

Wooden Pigs

Oaxacan Animal, carved wood/ hand painted, 3”h x 4.5” w $29.50

This charming, brightly-colored little pig with an expression of stunned surprise was produced by the Zapotec Indian artists from the Oaxacan Valley in Southern Mexico, where it was hand-carved from copal, a hardwood which grows in the hills surrounding the valley.  Oaxacan animals – also affectionately known as alebrijes and animalitos – are fanciful, cheerful carvings, and are a tradition of the villages in the valley.  Sometimes the statues are the work of an entire family of artisans, from the carving of the wood by the husband to the colorful and detailed hand-painting by the wife and children.

No two pieces will ever be exactly alike.  While the majority are small and whimsical, others can be quite large, time-consuming and incredibly detailed.  Finished carvings may even be adorned with natural materials like cactus spines to represent teeth and horns, or goat hair for the mane and tail of a horse.  Every family takes great pride in their sculptures, and there will often be a place in the home dedicated to displaying their work.

Each of the approximately fifty Zapotec Indian villages in the Oaxacan Valley specializes in their own animals, so every sculpture will be unique to its own part of the world.   From his little snub nose to the stripes on his tail, there’s no other charming little pig quite like this one.

Cloisonne Plates

Cloisonné Jewelry Dish, 5” dia. $45.00

A dish to hold your favorite rings and bracelets that’s as pretty as the jewelry itself, this cloisonné plate will bring color and a bit of exotic detail wherever you use it.

An ancient metalworking technique that originated in the Near East, cloisonne uses thin gold, silver or copper wires as partitions to form small cells, which are then carefully filled with enamel, and fired to create smooth layers of color.   Usually consisting of many layers for depth and detail, the final result is carefully ground down and polished and the exposed wire electroplated with gold.  Cloisonne is most often used in jewelry and decorative items like vases and plates, but it can also be found on beads, pens, buttons, badges, watch faces and just about any surface that can be decorated.

Originating from _________, this dish is a classic example of cloisonné created with copper wire, with a traditional decorative pattern in white, red and pink with black detail on the front, and a rich swirl of blue-on-blue on the back.  Besides being useful, it can also be displayed in your home as a beautiful accent piece.  Cloisonne should not be used for food, and should not be immersed in water for cleaning.  Wipe gently with a soft, dry cloth, and avoid abrasives and anti-tarnish cleaners.

Filigree Earrings

14KGold filled with Swarovski crystals earring- Made in France, 2” dia. $65.00

The warm golden color of old gold, these beautiful 14K gold-filled earrings studded with Swarovski crystals are large and ornate enough to be eye-catching, but with a filigree detailing that affords them a delicate, lacy look that is classically feminine.

Created by twisting wire or pressing metal with artfully carved metal stamps, filigree has been used for centuries to create openwork jewelry, fabric textures and illustrations of delicate and lacy designs, often resembling spun sugar, paisley and arabesques.  Filigree was especially popular in Edwardian England, and during the Art Nouveau period in the United States, where the elaborate openwork of the filigree technique allowed for the detailed recreation of vines, flowers, leaves and flowing hair.

Swarovski of Austria is world-renowned for the quality and elegance of their cut crystal glass – considered the finest in the world – and the light-catching sparkle of their gems and jewelry can rival that of diamonds.

Together they create these lovely and versatile earrings from France, perfect for dressing up a casual look, but also elegant enough for evening wear.

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This entry was posted on March 26, 2013 by in CAFAM, Project Submissions and tagged , , .

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