Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit


Roman Pillar Face Earrings

In the run up to the Bolton Artisans Guild’s 7th annual holiday show this weekend, I found myself playing around with the idea to make earrings.

Yes, earrings. Something I have not done in several years. Perhaps it was working with the students in my Polymer Clay Boot Camp class that triggered this idea. Or maybe it was my desire to try something different.

Whatever it was, I did indeed find myself sketching an idea for earrings. Earrings that were inspired by our recent trip to Italy and influenced by the ruins of Rome and all the sculpture.

The result are these Roman Pillar Face Earrings.

Roman Pillar Face Earrings

Each earring features a face taken from a mold of one my hand sculpted faces or from one of many face molds I’ve collected over the years. The face is mounted to a background of textured pearl and black clay and framed by a rope of twisted black and white clay. After curing and sanding, I applied a patina of black acrylic and then buffed each piece to a nice sheen.

The earrings are 1.5″ long and .5″ wide.

I created two pairs with each face. What I found intriguing was that even though a particular face mold was used multiple times, no two faces ever came out the same. Each pair has its own personality and distinct qualities.

Venetian Mask 1

Venetian Mask 2

Roald 1

Roald 2

Buddha Face 1

Buddha Face 2

Creating these earrings has been a lot of fun. It feels good to create something different from my usual small scale sculptures. Sometimes stepping out of the box and trying a new (or returning to an old) format can ignite ideas for future work as well.


Rome Day One

In September, Eric and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. In honor of this milestone in our lives, we decided to celebrate it in Italy. Our week long visit took us to Rome, Florence and Venice. Our trip was filled with astonishing artwork, historical buildings, 300+ pictures to edit, a lot of wonderful food and way too much gelato!

I’ve been slowly (emphasis on slowly) editing our pictures. Thank goodness for digital cameras and photo editing software. In order to maintain some sanity with all the pictures, I’m sorting them into categories. Today I’m sharing my favorite images from our first day in Rome.

I was once told that Rome was like New York, jacked-up on espresso and with a prettier language. Surprisingly, I agree with that analogy. Enjoy this tour of our first day in Rome.

Rome Skyline

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain Statues

Trevi Fountain Small Details

Trevi Fountain Statues

Trevi Fountain-Ladies Too

In Italy, it was quite common to see small and medium size altars or shrines erected on buildings. Some were situated so you couldn’t miss them. Others were more subtle. Many, unfortunately, were covered in the grime of an ancient city. All were intriguing.

Altar or Shrine near Trevi Fountain

Of course Italy is replete with churches of all sorts. Big, small, ornate, and simple. As we walked around the city and got closer to the Tiber River, we came across a church with a rather morbid facade. A woman exiting the church told us we had to go in and see the crypt.

Curious, we went inside. The interior was a little dark. The age of the church was evident. We found our way to the stairs leading to the crypt. Down into the dimly lighted room we went. And in this room we saw chandeliers created from the vertebrae of the dead. The walls were lined with skulls. It was, quite frankly, bizarre.

A little research after returning home revealed that we had visited the Saint Mary of the Prayer and Death Church (S. Maria dell’Orazione e Morte). The church was built by a confraternity that assumed responsibility for interring abandoned corpses in Rome. The church was originally built in 1575 and rebuilt in 1733. The facade, decorated with skulls and a winged skeleton, explained the purpose of the church. Above the front door is a “klepsydra” (Greek for “water stealer”). A klepsydra is a water clock which symbolizes death.

Well that explains things! (These little off the path adventures make traveling quite fun.)

Plaque Outside S. Maria dell'Orazione e Morte

In Rome you’ll also find numerous piazzas. People gather here with their families and friends and street performers entertain. Many piazzas have fountains as well. Fountains are also great hang-outs for birds. I wonder if the sculptor of the fountain in Piazza Navona knew this.

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona Fountain

Piazza Navona at dusk

A Little Classical Music at the Piazza

Eric Enjoying Piazza Navone

The trick when you travel overseas is to take a short nap after arrival and then stay up as long as you can so your body can start adjusting to the time change. A little melatonin before going to bed helps too.

And that is where we’ll end our first day in Rome. A little jet-lagged but happy to have arrived.

In a future post: Do you like gladiators? Rome’s ruins and the Colosseum