Wednesday, August 26, 2015

"Inspired by Reading" Book Club, July 2015

"Inspired by Reading" is a book club established by artist Andrew Thornton.  Members read the month's selection, chosen by Andrew, then create something inspired by the book. 

July's selection: Swamplandia, by Karen Russell
Publisher’s description:
"Thirteen-year-old Ava Bigtree has lived her entire life at Swamplandia!, her family's island home and gator-wrestling theme park in the Florida Everglades. But when illness fells Ava's mother, the park's indomitable headliner, the family is plunged into chaos; her father withdraws, her sister falls in love with a spooky character known as the Dredgeman, and her brilliant big brother, Kiwi, defects to a rival park called The World of Darkness. As Ava sets out on a mission through the magical swamps to save them all, we are drawn into a lush and bravely imagined debut that takes us to the shimmering edge of reality."

 I loved Swamplandia!.  Karen Russell's writing just glows.  The reader really sees the world through Ava's and Kiwi's eyes.  So many vivid images suggested jewelry to me:  Hilola's perfume bottle... a bracelet?  Trailing swamp orchids... a necklace?  Or a pendant based on this phrase:  "you could float the outcome of your battle into the air over the stadium, like a balloon."  My favorite line in the book, and the one that really encapsulated it for me, was near the end:  "Mothers burning inside the risen suns of their children." 

 Ultimately I decided to make a sort of abstract sun pendant, something that would suggest an intense flame, the sun's rays, and the colors of a vibrant dawn.  I used a gold ceramic donut, a wavy lampwork disk from Mermaid Glass, some Swarovski fire opal crystals, hammered bronze wire, a bit of hand-dyed silk ribbon, and Vintaj chain.

Check out these other inspired creations:

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