Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Contemporary nautical scrimshaw artist Linda Layden

It's a pleasure to introduce Linda Layden, a self taught contemporary artist from Harrison, Maine who crafts some of her wares by recycling vintage ivory piano keys.

Taking keys from her own old piano or keys given to her by others or that she purchases her process begins of cleaning, prepping, sanding, etching and coloring to create vivid colorful bookmarks such as these.

Linda was inspired by her time spent in Massachusetts near the historic New Bedford whaling port where at one time whale men spent their idle hours on long trips etching bone or carving ivory.  Linda decided she would learn this craft and has been creating scrimshaw pieces as a full time profession for over 30 years.

Linda also crafts on mother of pearl; like this pendant,

old ivory becomes earrings


 An old bone ginger jar becomes a piece of art.

Linda also makes molds to create these wonderful mermaids cast in
resin and then etched in the traditional manner of scrimshaw.

Linda's work is found in private collections, fine gift shops
and galleries around the globe.

Now, Linda may call her recycled piano keys bookmarks

I call them fascinating and see them as wonderful embellishments to nautical decor such as stringing several of these on some rope criss crossing a ceiling in a room, using them as ornaments or to dress up a gift box.

You can purchase Linda's work here

The fine yet, required print.  This is not a paid endorsement or advertisement. I wrote to Linda Layden and asked if I may feature her piano key bookmarks and she graciously agreed and allowed the use of her photos. I've been blessed to have my work featured by others.  I'm simply doing the same.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Cast iron mermaids. Flower pot decor.

I found these petite cuties about six years ago to put into my flower pots.  

Ask me why it took me so long and I haven't a clue.  

I confess. I like mermaids. Not fantasy style just simple mermaids and these
 were in part the inspiration for my "mermaid garden" spoon.

Deciding against their pretty lifeless original color, I primed and then painted them with a few coats of aqua paint. I distressed one to see if  I would like the look.

The non distressed version is below.
Either way, they seem to like their new home amidst flowing white flowers,
geraniums, and some beach grasses swaying in the breeze.

I liked how they looked in the 18" pots on either side of the front door
so much that I think I am going to get some more

After a makeover I may offer them in my Etsy shop.

What do you think?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Giveaway reminder in honor of World's Oceans Day. Ends June 8, 2011

I am sure hoping the recent problems on blogger might be the reason this giveaway hasn't had as much of a response as ones in the past. If it's because it's been handmade by me let me know that too so I don't make the mistake again in the future.

If you decided to enter please visit the link below and be sure to read "the rules of engagement" so your entry counts.