#ineednature

Tapantí enero 16 (8)

#ineednature

You may have seen this hashtag if you follow my Instagram account, I use it every now and then but especially when it’s been a while since I got out properly. It’s as if I sometimes forget to make sure I do one of the things most important in my life. The older I get the more I realise (the more I get to know myself) what I need to feel good and the biggest thing for me is to regularly get out into nature, properly, not just a park. I need the forest, a proper hike, the ocean, a river. This is where I find my calm and inspiration, energy and smiles.

I’d like to think that this comes out in my creative practice, that I can somehow transform a little of that feeling through my art. I want to share the small wonders in the details or shed light on the patterns that are found everywhere. The cycles and repetitions but also the asymmetrical, perfect imperfect. Many times the things we see as imperfections are actually a clever solution to a problem or an obstacle or an adaptation to ever changing surroundings.

Luckily this country is full of nature and as long as I remember to make sure it happens, it’s not that difficult to escape into the wild every so often!

Here are some photos from Parque Nacional Tapantí that we visited on Sunday. I only had my phone and the light wasn’t great but you’ll  hopefully get the feel of it anyway 🙂

Tapantí enero 16 (5) Tapantí enero 16 (4) Tapantí enero 16 (7) Tapantí enero 16 (1) Tapantí enero 16 (10) Tapantí enero 16 (12) Tapantí enero 16 (6)Tapantí enero 16 (9)

Laughing at myself trying to pull off a “latina pose”…will have to work on that one 😉

Learning every day

A new year often comes with lots of ideas of a new start and new projects and I’m learning every day how to make my creative practice better.

Similarly to a lot of creative minds, as I’ve come to understand, I have a busy brain. New ideas pop up all the time and something is always spinning in my mind. So many ideas about projects, exhibitions, new collections, new designs, new techniques… The challenge is to manage all those ideas in my head and figure out how to make some of them happen and move forward.

So for this month I’m experimenting with different ways of working on several projects simultaneously. I started the week with doing different projects in 1-2 hour time slots, thinking that this used to work fine back in school when a day was filled with different classes and subjects of 1-2 hours. But it turns out it’s not a good way for me at all. I’ve always been a slow starter and it takes me a while to get into a new task or project but once I get into it I often find a flow that is both difficult and a pity to stop or interrupt. So allowing myself to work on the same project for longer is going to be key to finding focus. Yesterday I spent most of the morning making wax originals for my Fingerprint Pods series, and I really enjoyed it and got a few rings done that I hope to cast soon.

Safira Blom wax process

Fingerprint pods waxes waiting to be cast

Something I’ve learnt works really well for me is listening to podcasts (or documentaries) while I work with my hands. For years (wow it really has been years) I had been saving up the newsletters from this particular blog in a folder in my mailbox with the thought that one day I’ll find (make) the time to go through and read these. It’s a blog called Create & Thrive by Jess Van Den with the objective to help people turn a creative practice or hobby into a sustainable business, so really useful for me but still somehow I never managed to make time to read it. Luckily a while ago Jess started a podcast with similar content to the blog and this has turned out to be the perfect solution for me! I can listen and learn about all these things while I’m also making a collection or piece of jewellery move forward at the same time! This is really one of the things I love about working with my hands; that it somehow frees up space in my brain (the other half I guess) that I can use to learn things by listening or to just think. That space for thinking however can sometimes be a little problematic as is often turns out with more ideas and projects that I want to get into…haha but then I try to have a notepad handy by the side so I can jot them down for future processing.

What are your best tips for getting things done and managing various projects at once?

Do you listen to anything while you work? Which are your favourite podcasts?

Safira Blom fingerprint pod ring

Safira Blom, Fingerprint Pods Ring, 925 silver

Updating

Recently I’ve spent most of my time updating information on my growing number of pages online and on social media. For example my about pages were all quite old and outdated (e.g. “ I just finished Uni”…) and since I now live in a new place again I figured it was a good idea to let people know where my work is made and sent from. All this admin work is of course very important and necessary but as most creative people I wish I could skip it and just make all the time. Hopefully one day in the future I can get someone to help me do the admin and marketing and I can focus on the making but in order to get to that point I need to do it for now.

However, a few times I’ve had to get off the computer and transform our dinner table into a workbench for the sake of sanity.

makeshift work bench

I have a box full of half finished project with me and as I’ve gone through and updated collections online I also notice I need to complement with new pieces here and there. Please let me know if there is a particular collection you like but missing your favourite type of jewellery. It’s easy to get stuck making the things that I usually wear (earrings) or I know tend to sell which of course is all good, but I noticed the other day that I’ve hardly made any bracelets at all and it’s been quite a while since I made a brooch (oh that centre piece of contemporary jewellery….).

Here are some new geometric pieces that will soon (next dinner table transformation) become more earrings (…I know…) and rings, and I will also make sure to make some cufflinks in that pattern as I just today received a question if I had any.

geometric process

Rearranging shapes and half finished work, putting bits and pieces together and photographing different arrangements is very typical of me and it is often how I develop new work, by playing around on my bench. I really like the constellation of these together and perhaps I will make something bigger with this in mind at some point…

Yesterday I also gathered enough courage to go around to a few local design shops and ask about the process to retail with them, hopefully by next year (as most places are on their last week before holidays now) there will be an opportunity to get in somewhere! Of course if you know of any shops or galleries where you think my work would be well suited, worldwide, don’t hesitate to give me some tips!

So if you don’t already follow me on instagram, like my page on facebook and have checked out my etsy shop and website, go do it now! And if you haven’t visited in a while there should be some new stuff up there, at the very least the about pages should be updated 😉

New place, new context

It amazes me how good I am at forgetting just how challenging it can be to move to a new place and all of a sudden find yourself in a completely new and unfamiliar context…but here I am again hehe.

So every day is a learning process and a new adventure. Since I got here two weeks ago I have been trying to find out a bit more about how the handmade/contemporary design/jewellery scene works here and fortunately after some internet stalking I have already managed to find some really interesting places and people.

I was so lucky that the first person I got in touch with happened to be super nice and friendly! Her name is Daniella and she is a local jewellery designer/maker here in San José, Costa Rica. Her brand name is elha and you can find out more about her and her work here, she makes some really nice things and my personal favourites are her pieces with natural stones. Daniella has already helped me heaps both by answering my many questions and being so kind to take me to the wonderful workshop/studio/jewellery school where she works: Escuela Crisol.

Crisol is the house and work of Jordi Costa, he is from Spain but has lived in Costa Rica for almost 20 years and runs part of his beautiful house as an artistic jewellery school and studio space. I was so impressed by the main bench space with beautiful natural light and a fantastic view.

I really hope I can go back soon and it would be amazing to have this as a work space and even pick up some new techniques but first focus is getting back into business and try to find some local retailers.

Here is a snap shot from the main studio space at Escuela Crisol with students and Jordi busy at work:

Snapshot Escuela Crisol

Let’s try again

It seems I abandoned my blog about a year ago and since my last post I have both finished my website/webshop, made some new work, moved out of the then new studio, taken a break from jewellery making and moved to a new country.

But since moving to Costa Rica this week I have made the decision to bring my jewellery practice out of pause mode. This involves more activity on all platforms online and hopefully some new and exciting experiences to share from a completely new context!

So please join me and let’s try again!

071 redigerad webSafira Blom, Underwater World: Neckpiece Blue, 2015
925 silver, PVC: hand cut and dyed, fabricated

New website/webshop on its’ way…

For quite some time now I have been working hard on getting a new website/webshop up where I can also sell my work. It is only days away from being published so stay tuned for it; I will link from here as soon as it’s up.

In the meantime make sure to check out my updated gallery page here for an overview of my work and if you can’t wait for the webshop just contact me on my e-mail (safira_blom@hotmail.com) if there is a particular piece you might be interested in 🙂

walk to studio

Also after a longer break from making over the summer I have recently moved in to a new studio/workshop in Stockholm. I decided I needed some company and was lucky to find a studio with some cool people. These are my new studio mates:

Tandi Agrell
Maria Sköldin
Tove Knuts
Åsa Elmstam
Hanna Hedman

The studio is called “Daughters” and is situated in the part of Stockholm called Södermalm, the image above I snapped a sunny autumn day on my way to the studio from the metro station. I’m still getting to know the place but so far it has been great to have people around who have similar experiences.

At the moment in the studio I’m, besides replacing some sold work at my Sydney galleries, figuring out what to do next. I’m itching to start a new project and further develop some previous series and ideas, but not before the new website is up…

Chrysalis group exhibition

I’m part of a group exhibition on now at Gaffa gallery in Sydney.

Chrysalis is a show with works from 24 artists all current or former students of Sydney College of the Arts’ Jewellery and Object studio. It is curated by Clare Hooper and Angela Porritt who have done an amazing job putting this show together! A special thanks to both of them and everyone else who helped get my work on the wall as I could only take them as far as the post office in Sweden (ok in this case hand it to the UPS-guy as it was a bit last minute). I wish I could have been in Sydney to see the show in person, but from what I’ve seen and heard through the Internet it is looking great. If you’re closer to Sydney than I am, do check it out it’s on until the 20th of January.

There is also an excellent website for the exhibition where you can find more information about each artist and the concept behind the show.

I sent three pieces; one from my graduating semester at SCA (see earlier post) and two new pieces also exploring the theme of proliferating patterns.

Safira Blom, Self Proliferating Patterns: Organic Partial Ring, 2013
Titanium, 925 silver: hydraulic pressed, hand pierced, torch coloured and constructed

Safira Blom, Self Proliferating Patterns: Organic Overlap Neckpiece (images 2-5), 2013
Titanium, 925 silver: hydraulic pressed, hand pierced, torch coloured and constructed

The Organic Overlap Neckpiece can be worn in many ways, some shown in the images above. It is two sided with the blue showing on one and yellow/purple on the other.

New work for Studio 20/17

Studio 20/17, another great Sydney gallery where I am proud to be represented, is doing a New Collections Showcase for the holiday season and I recently sent some new work their way. My new collection is the one I developed after our ”Scmucktrip” earlier in the year (shown here) with a few additions:


Safira Blom, Four, 2013
Neckpiece; 925 silver, hand cut and dyed PET plastic from fruit containers


Safira Blom, Five, 2013
Earrings; 925 silver, hand cut and dyed PET plastic from fruit containers

The New Collections Showcase is on display from the 3rd to the 24th of December at Studio 20/17, 2 Danks Street, Waterloo (Sydney), Australia

A recent commission

I recently finished some work I had been commissioned. My friend Maria really liked one of my pieces from my graduation work and wanted something similar but a little smaller for herself. She also wanted a matching pair of earrings.

I am really happy especially with the earrings and am thinking they might develop further into a small production series.


Safira Blom, Untitled (Neckpiece), 2013.
Approx. 6 x 5 x 1.5 cm (pendant)
Hand pierced titanium with heat patina and 925 silver.

 

 


Safira Blom, Untitled (Neckpiece, detail), 2013.
Approx. 6 x 5 x 1.5 cm (pendant)
Hand pierced titanium with heat patina and 925 silver.

 

 


Safira Blom, Untitled (Earrings), 2013.
Approx. 2 x 1.5 cm
925 silver, titanium with heat patina.

On another note, adding to my general photography frustration is the lack of light in wintertime Sweden. With only about 6 hours of daylight and the sun never reaching full height it is becoming very difficult to take decent photos with only natural lighting, especially on a white background. I almost think the snap shot I took with my phone (admittedly quite a good phone camera) in the studio shows the earrings better. Someday I will invest some time into making a better photo set up with proper lighting…

Here’s the snap shot:


Safira Blom, Untitled (Earrings), 2013.
Approx. 2 x 1.5 cm
925 silver, titanium with heat patina.

Follow me on Instagram

Instagram is where I share both what’s happening in the studio and what ispires me in my day to day. Pop by and have a look, you’ll find me by my name: safirablom

A selection of my photos: