Working with others

by Laurel Karnecki


There are things I miss about a “regular job” like the steady paycheck, and co-workers. Most of my days are spent in my home studio, music playing and metal being manipulated, just me and my tools. It’s very satisfying but sometimes lonely, and I do have to make sure I get out and talk shop whenever I can. Enter: the Brookes, two artists I’ve been lucky enough to recently collaborate with.

Brooke Peiffer is a sculptor and ceramic artist who I have been collecting (almost obsessively) for many years. Over five years ago I reached out to her about doing a collaboration, her response was quick and positive. She made a beautiful porcelain piece for me to build around, and honestly, I think I was intimidated. It was too nice for where I was both artistically and technically, so I just set it aside and continued to develop my work.

A selection of work by Brooke Peiffer

A selection of work by Brooke Peiffer

Brooke Rothshank paints miniatures and has very recently had a book published titled “tiny gratitudes”. I love the range of her subject matter, it can be an ice cream cone, a tiny shoe, or a family portrait. No matter what she paints it’s miniature, accurate and endearing. She lives only a couple towns over, but it wasn’t until recently that we finally met. I was thrilled when she asked me about working on a piece together.

A collection of mushroom miniature paintings by Brooke Rothshank, instagram @blrothshank

A collection of mushroom miniature paintings by Brooke Rothshank, instagram @blrothshank

I’m pleased to say that both of these collaborations have been a great success. I finally picked up the piece by Brooke Peiffer and built a design around it that I felt complimented its beauty while not taking away from it. I incorporated my own textural work which I hand carved and fabricated. I often refer to these branching, twisted pieces as “root systems”. I also included some of my suspension chain work.

“Surface” collaboration with Brooke Peiffer of Reseed Ceramics, instagram @re.seed

“Surface” collaboration with Brooke Peiffer of Reseed Ceramics, instagram @re.seed

Brooke Rothshank allowed me to select a painting from her collection to work with and, since I recently completed reading “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” with my son, I was drawn to her “Golden Ticket”. I think that being a jeweler, I was also drawn to the gold tone of the painting. We looked over my selection of quartz and crystals and decided together to use a free-form, faceted, high dome quartz piece I had never quite known what to do with. The outcome is just perfect!

“Golden Ticket” process images and completed piece Collaboration with Brooke Rothshank, instagram @blrothshank

Thankfully, with the help of the internet, I am able to discover, keep in touch with and sometimes work with fantastic artists who I admire to no end. This interaction and inspiration keeps me going on those lonely studio days when no music seems quite right.


Teachers

by Laurel Karnecki


Recently I drove through historic Grand Rapids, MI. There were so many lovely houses, even in these grey winter months, but there was one that I could not have ever imagined. Everything about this home was just right, the lines, the sprawling Prairie style, the smallest detail in every section of this work of art was spot on. It seemed to me that there was no front to the house, from every angle I could see character and beauty that drew me in. Incredible stained glass lined the walls, small tiles inlayed into the facade below the eaves, the style was very much in the vein of Frank Lloyd Wright, but the small details that pulled me in even closer were not typical of his work. 

 

I came home that night with the experience exciting my mind and creating a well of curiosity. I started researching, found that Frank Lloyd Wright had been commissioned to build the house, but that he had left the US before designing it, leaving it to other architects he had employed. From there I bingend Frank Lloyd Wrights work, drove by the houses he had built in South Bend (as luck would have it there are two) and read up as much as I could. Then it dawned on me, the architect that designed the initial house I saw, what else had they done?! Turned out it was Marion Mahony who designed this house in Grand Rapids (just blocks away from a lovely FLW house). Marion Mahony was the first licensed female architect the state if IL, she worked closely with FLW in his early career and was the artist behind many of his famous house renderings. Her career spanned over three continents and she created much more than just architecture. 

I don't believe "inspiration" is the correct word to describe what I've felt since that day in Grand Rapids. Yes, I do feel more excited to create and I do believe the work I've completed since is different than it would have been, but it's much more than that. It's given me a feeling that is a little bit closer to completion. It's moved me to dig deeper within myself, to take more time and to reflect further than I typically would on any given subject. My Aunt made the comment to me, about Marion being one of my teachers and I believe that puts it best, her work, her life has touched my life the way a great teacher does, forever enlightening their student just a bit more.  


A New Year

by Laurel Karnecki


2015 marked many things for me, personally as well as artistically.

We came home. Back to the midwest, not where I grew up, but to a place that became my home and I couldn't be happier. The moves from state to state helped me find myself, my artistic direction and also (finally) gave me clarity as to where I wanted to be. It's been exhausting pulling up roots every few years and replanting, it feels wonderful to now feel myself firmly planted and ready to flourish. 

Excited to see what will become of 2016!

 Booth view from the one of a kind show (12.15), Chicago

 Booth view from the one of a kind show (12.15), Chicago




Home, sweet home

by Laurel Karnecki


It's just over a month since we moved back to South Bend, IN. Although I grew up in CT and will always have some East Coast attitude in my blood, the mid-west has really become my home. I couldn't be happier to be back with family and friends, and friends that have become family! Such a warm welcome from everyone; back into a community I'm proud to be a part of.

I recently spent some time at the South Bend Art Museum taking in the current exhibit, "South Bend Selfie" a collection of work by South Bend artists. It's a really fantastic collection showcasing the diverse talent around us. I found it difficult not to zig zag around the gallery as my eye would be drawn to collections across the room. Each piece was drastically different than the last, but equally interesting, and inspiring.  

I'm very excited to have just dropped off a collection my own work to be shown in the South Bend Art Museum Dot Shop. It's a wonderful feeling to be part of this community of artists, and just so elated to be back home!