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

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:

Work in the Curio at Sterling by Gaffa

My work has arrived at Sterling shop and will be in the Curio Collectors Cabinet at Gaffa in Sydney from this week until September 3.

Go check it out (try some on and buy some ;-)) if you’re in Sydney. If you haven’t been to Gaffa yet I highly recommend it! It’s a really cool creative space in the middle of the city (two blocks from QVB so no excuses!) with galleries, workshops and retail spaces. You’ll find it on 281 Clarence Street, Sydney CBD. For more info go to their website www.gaffa.com.au

The Curio is a collector’s cabinet dedicated to featuring one designer/maker for a period of two weeks. Housed in two of Sterling by Gaffa’s retail cabinets, The Curio aims to showcase not only an artists’ production range, but to give the audience an extensive inside look into the makers practice. On display will be a sample of exhibition work, the maker’s production range as well as images/text about their practice.” (text from gaffa’s website)

I’m showing new work from my Underwater World series, a piece from Self Proliferating Patterns and production earrings inspired by it.

Here are some images:

Safira Blom, Underwater World: Neckpiece Redpurple, 2013
925 silver, PVC: hand cut and dyed, fabricated

Safira Blom, Underwater World: Neckpiece Redpurple (detail), 2013
925 silver, PVC: hand cut and dyed, fabricated

Safira Blom Underwater world blue pin

Safira Blom, Underwater World: Electric Blue Coral Pin, 2013
925 silver, PVC: hand cut and dyed, fabricated

Safira Blom Underwater world clustered coral ring orange

Safira Blom, Underwater World: Coral Cluster Ring, 2013
925 silver, PVC: hand cut and dyed, fabricated

Safira Blom Underwater world earstuds light teal

Safira Blom, Undewater World: Teal Coral Earstuds, 2013
925 silver, PVC: hand cut and dyed, fabricated

Safira Blom Underwater world earstuds red stars

Safira Blom, Underwater World: Red Star Earstuds, 2013
925 silver, PVC: hand cut and dyed, fabricated

Safira Blom Self Proliferating Patterns Bubble Earrings

Safira Blom, Self Proliferating Patterns: Bubble Earrings, 2012
Titanium, 925 silver: hydraulic pressed, hand pierced, torch coloured, fabricated

Safira Blom Titanium Bubble Earrings

Safira Blom, Bubble Earrings, 2013
Titanium, 925 silver: hand pierced, torch coloured, fabricated

Past and future exhibitions

Time flies and all of a sudden it’s nearing the end of summer and I’m busy figuring out what I’m doing this autumn. I have my eyes on a few call outs for exhibitions and awards and would like to enter into everything I see! But I’m quickly realising this isn’t possible as there isn’t enough time nor other resources…however, here are some of the call outs I am considering:

Suspended in Green
Beijing International Jewelry Art Biennial
Talente

In the meantime I’ve completely forgotten to mention the exhibitions my work has already attended this year. I say work has attended because they have all been exhibitions in Australia, unfortunately while I have been here in Sweden.

But I am happy and honoured to have been represented by my work in:

Next Generation at Craft NSW

An exhibition organised by the lovely Natalie Fong together with Craft NSW. It was our class from SCA getting together and showing our work outside of the university context, for many for the first time. This is a photo I took just before I sent my work.

Safira Blom, Bells and Baskets, 2013
Brass, cotton thread, 925 silver, driftwood: hand constructed and woven

Safira Blom, Bells and Baskets: Blue Neckpiece, 2013
Brass, cotton thread: hand constructed and woven

The next exhibition was Contemporary Australian Silver & Metalwork Award. The work selected is from my Scar series which I am hoping to develop into a production line/series later this year.

Safira Blom, Scar Series: Frostbite Neckpiece, 2011
Titanium, 925 silver: hand pierced, torch coloured and constructed

And as a part of the JMGA conference Participation + Exchange my work was also shown in Graduate Metal 13.

This is my favourite piece from my graduating work.

Safira Blom, Self Proliferating Patterns: Organic Neckpiece, 2012
Titanium, 925 silver: hydraulic pressed, hand pierced, torch coloured and constructed

All the finalists in Graduate Metal got teamed up with a student taking the curatorship course at Queensland College of Art to write the catalogue statement. The lovely Naomi O’Reilly interviewed my by e-mail and wrote this lovely piece about my work:

Stockholm artist, Safira Blom’s work draws inspiration from the natural environment that surrounds her. She utilises her own photography, as well as sourced images of nature and draws inspiration from scientific drawings by artists like Ernst Haeckel. Blom creates designs which mimic the organic patterns and connate repetition present on all observational layers of the environment. She states:

“I’m interested in the way nature – both on a macro and micro level – uses repetition and pattern to grow and create larger structures. You can often find similar patterns looking at aerial landscape photography as you can looking at cells through a microscope.” (Blom in interview with the author, 2013)

Blom’s practice focuses on elements of pattern, colour, form and repetition. Self-proliferating patterns organic neckpiece brings all these elements together. Constructed from titanium, which is heat treated to create the unique colouring, Blom begins by sketching the pattern. ‘A pattern that grows through each added line and can adapt to any shape’ (Blom, 2013). The desired form is then molded into the titanium using a hydraulic press and completed by painstakingly sawing the organic design by hand. Blom’s attention to detail can be observed in the care she has taken in contracting the chain, which continues the lines and patterns present in the pendants design.

Blom’s work is a beautifully constructed juxtaposition between the natural world and the hard industrial material intrinsic to metalsmithing. Her pieces combine elements of delicacy and strength as she carves these fragile patterns from solid metals. Blom has been working with the medium of jewellery for the past 5 years and is a recent graduate from the Sydney College of Arts.

Naomi O’Reilly

QCA Art Theory Elective Curatorship 2013

Safira Blom, Self Proliferating Patterns: Organic Neckpiece (detail), 2012
Titanium, 925 silver: hydraulic pressed, hand pierced, torch coloured and constructed

From what I’ve heard the exhibitions have been great and I’m eagerly awating some catalogues!

Results from a Schmucktrip

Safira Blom, One (detail), 2013
Neckpiece; 925 silver, hand cut and dyed PET plastic from fruit containers

Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to join a group from my university (Sydney College of the Arts) on a Contemporary Jewellery Trip to Amsterdam and Munich to indulge in all things contemporary jewellery with one of the main objectives being to experience Schmuck. Schmuck (meaning jewellery in German) is one of the most important events for contemporary jewellery held in Munich early each spring.

We were away for about 3 weeks altogether and the group kept a blog to document the trip: http://joonlocation.blogspot.se/

Shamed I have no excuses to why I didn’t write a single blog post…So Karin and the group if you ever read this; the next few posts will contain some of my highlights from the trip, it only took 4 months to process…

So why am I writing about this now? Well another part of the assignment (as this trip was a ”field trip” in a unit/course for those in the group who are still at uni) was a group exhibition with works reflecting our thoughts of the trip. And I have done this part, sent it on a plane, thought it wouldn’t get there in time but now fortunately it has arrived and been installed by my good friend Kate (aka my Aussie assistant)! And lucky that as the show opens tonight (Thursday 8th of August) and will be a part of the Sydney Design festival program.

It is on at Sydney College of the Arts until August 16, I know the opening hours are a bit strange but definitely go and check it out if you get the chance!

You are invited to
Souvenir
an on location project

Installation rooms 1 & 2
Sydney College of the Arts,
University of Sydney

Opening drinks: Thursday August 8, 6 – 8 pm
Opening hours: Monday – Friday, 11am – 5pm
Exhibition continues until Friday August 16

I’ve only seen a few photos of some of the other works but if you can’t make it to see the show, images of all works should be up shortly on the project blog.

In the meantime here is what I made and the accompanying statement:

First steps in the real world

Everywhere I go I look for nature. It doesn’t matter that we are in a big city and it is only just the beginning of spring in Germany. I make sure to find those buds, first flowers and bare twigs casting shadows on the houses.

As much as a journey it is also a homecoming for me, the familiar anticipation of the season, remembering the promise of European spring.

A recent graduate; I reflect and realise. This contemporary jewellery world…I quickly realise the student budget is not going to improve for a while yet. Lucky I learnt to experiment with materials and know how to recycle household waste to make my jewels. First steps in the real world…

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

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

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

First listings on Etsy!

Something is up and out there, finally!!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/SafiraBlom

Of course there is still lot to fiddle with around the shop but it’s a start. And that’s great! It got to the point where I had said ”I will…” ”I just need to…” and “I should reeaally….” one too many times, so my lovely friend and fellow jeweller Nina Johansson and I made a deal that we’d each put up at least one thing on Etsy before the end of this week. I haven’t heard from Nina but the week isn’t over yet and I will make sure to put a link up to her shop as soon as I hear from her. She makes some amazing stuff so make sure to keep an eye out for her in the near future!

screen print SafiraBlom etsy shop