Friday, August 20, 2010

Fantastical Handbags Illustrated by Vanessa Boulton

Gone with the Wind Bowler in blue by Vanessa Boulton, $110

Gone with the Wind Bowler in blue (detail)

Vanessa Boulton first met with me at shopSCAD for an artist's appointment several years ago when she was first beginning her studies at SCAD. She was an illustration student that had created just a few pairs of earrings she was interested in selling. They were nice, so I purchased them... but nothing prepared me for the wonderment she would create years later nearing her graduation from SCAD. 

With family in tow from Venezuela to attend the graduation ceremony, she showed up at shopSCAD with several suitcases bursting with her new line of handbags. As she pulled one after another out of the cases, I could hardly contain my enthusiasm. I flipped over her unapologetically cute bags in sturdy shapes, impeccably crafted and made distinct by the crowning adornment of her original illustrations. 

But, she was a SCAD illustration student! 
Who knew she would be destined to be the next great handbag designer? 

Vanessa is now selling her line of bags nationwide and received the Creative Accesory Design award at the Miami International Fashion Week in 2010. 

Watch video clip interview with Vanessa at the end of this post!
Squirrel in the Woods Hobo in green by Vanessa Boulton, $110

I have to insert here my appreciation of Vanessa's product styling-
love the colors, parrots, hair and clothes!  

Squirrel in the Woods Hobo in green, $110

Her bags are all limited edition and have the potential to be real heart-breakers, so if you see a bag you like snatch it up while you still can!
Birds of Paradise Tote in gold by Vanessa Boulton, $110
Birds of Paradise (interior detail)

The print on the inside of this Birds of Paradise bag is so gorgeous, 
I might buy it just for that!

Peacock Bag by Vanessa Boulton, $100

The Peacock Bag is almost out of edition, and our most popular bag EVER so buy it now if you are so inclined.
50s Tote in caramel by Vanessa Boulton, $100
Tropicalia Hobo in yellow by Vanessa Boulton, $100

Wildflowers Tote in magenta by Vanessa Boulton, $110
Wildflowers Tote in aqua by Vanessa Boulton, $110

Artist / Handbag Designer: Vanessa Boulton 
Vanessa Boulton at market with all her fabulous creations

Vanessa Boulton graduated from SCAD in 2005 with a B.F.A. in illustration.  

Thursday, August 19, 2010

shopSCAD Savannah staff picture

Originally uploaded by Etsy Labs

I love this picture taken by Vanessa Bertozzi of etsy.  Some of my favorite people--shopSCAD staffers Lauren Vass, Whitney Dail, Kyle Millsap and Caryn Turgeon. 

Vanessa was visiting SCAD as a guest for SCADstyle. She really enjoyed the shop and sent us this cute picture.

I will have to post a picture of our Atlanta staff soon!  They are also a great looking bunch of artists.

Thank you Savannah Magazine!

I just wanted to do a shout out of thanks to Savannah Magazine!  

We ♥ having SCAD artists featured in their fine publication.  

See images below from last month's issue featuring the following artists at shopSCAD:
Cuyler Hovey-King, Annie Aalto, Michelle Berg, Iti Sahai, Andrea Gray, Rebecca Ponders, and Megan Clark.  

The fabulous styling is done by one of shopSCAD's favorites, Ikeda Lowe. 

Megan Clark Earrings, $460

Cuyler Hovey-King Vintage Bauble Necklace, $125
Andrea Gray Yo-Yo Silk Headband, $30
Annie Aalto Hand-carved Turquoise Ring, $1125

Michelle Berg Bug Brooch, $35

Rebecca Ponders Etched Brass Cuff, $40
Michelle Berg Floral Pin, $35
Annie Aalto Hand-carved Turquoise Ring, $1125
Andrea Gray Yo-Yo Silk Headband, $30

Iti Sahai green garnet and chalcedony necklace, $1400 (sold)

All photography by Tim Willoughby for Savannah Magazine

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

BE-dazzled by Liaung Chung Yen's Artful Jewelry

Rubilite Garnet Cabachon Ring by Liaung Chung Yen, 12 diamonds,18k yellow gold, $2680
Jewelry is my weakness, of this I am sure.  Paintings are a close second. 
My passion for both is indulged through my role at shopSCAD.  I am in constant pursuit of the new, unusual, beautiful and creative expression of SCAD artists. Ooohs and aaaahs abounded the day I discovered Liaung Chung Yen's dazzling jewelry. 

The ring pictured above is a favorite of mine. The sheer weight of it in my hand delights me. It feels rich, substantial and majestic--fit for a queen or king.  Yen's work exudes this cool modernity that is edgy but also timeless.  I could definitely see passing these beauties down generation to generation.  His use of fine gold and precious gem stones make any of his pieces a considerable investment.  Just think of it is as art you can wear out with you rather than something left hanging on a wall in your home. 

Starburst Earrings by Liaung Chung Yen,18 diamonds,18k yellow gold, $1950
Peppercorn Earrings by Liaung Chung Yen, 18k yellow gold, diamonds, $680
Pearl Starburst Earrings by Liaung Chung Yen, 18k yellow gold, pearls, diamonds, $1780
Pink Sapphire Marquis Studs by Liaung Chung Yen, 18 yellow gold, $1450
I love his artist statement, so soulful and vivid- totally worth your time to read.  I find that as I begin to know the artist and not just their work that I am in awe all the more.

Liaung Chung Yen: Artist Statement  

I am always interested in reading comic books and watching movies. The similarity of them is that they both consist of frames. Each frame can be seen as a fragment of the movie. By connecting all the fragments together, the story has unfolded. I always have a picture in my mind after seeing a movie. I remember the silhouettes of children riding bicycles across the sky with E.T. in the basket. I also remember “Don” Vito Corleone sitting in a chair with a cat in his hand and listening to people’s requests in Godfather. These pictures in my mind provide me memories of the stories and the movie going experiences.

Beryl Cabachon Ring by Liaung Chung Yen, 12 diamonds, 18k yellow gold, $2100
I am also drawn to the daily objects that have been used by people. Usage presents the history of the object as well as the trademark of the people who used it. I have always liked a teapot that belongs to my father. It has a lotus root shape body with a vine like handle and pourer. There are a couple of lotus seeds on the lid that make jingling sounds while pouring the tea. Every time I see this teapot it reminds me of the lifestyle and culture I am living in. With this teapot also come memories of teatime with my family. By connecting all the experiences, I have my own story with the teapot.

Diamond Eternity Band by Liaung Chung Yen, 12 diamonds, 18k yellow gold, $950
I think of my jewelry as fragments, carrying stories by using metaphor in my design, expressing the desire, wit or sensuality. I also see it as small sculptures, documenting the time and the emotion in which I live. Each piece, in a technical way, is an exploration of line and pattern; creating structure, form and motion. It also presents the imagination of the mind as well as the story and history of the making process. The work is not meant to isolate specific meanings, rather suggest a moment of thought where stillness, beauty and illumination can peacefully coexist. I believe that, while Art allows artists to understand themselves better, it also improves communication between human beings and can express a love and concern for society.

Liaung Chung Yen in his studio
For more information on SCAD's Jewelry and Metals program click here or read below.

Did you know that SCAD has the largest metals and jewelry department of any college or university in the United States?  

SCAD Metals and Jewelry
Metals and jewelry professionals create body ornaments, small scale sculptures and metal home goods in a historical context applied in contemporary art and design. They focus on functional and nonfunctional objects, emphasizing conceptual thinking, innovation in design and production skills.

Cultivating creative and independent-minded individuals, the metals and jewelry department at SCAD emphasizes career preparation through competitions, collaborative projects and exhibition opportunities.

Building their portfolios throughout their course of study, students learn contemporary issues in the field. A rigorous curriculum and diverse faculty encourage critical thinking, innovative design and the production of distinctive work. Dedicated studio space allows graduate students to focus on studio practices and experiment with alternative materials and processes.

Students explore a wide range of technology in facilities for precision casting, laser welding, finishing, enameling, lapidary, anodizing, CAD/CAM, forming and stone setting processes.

3-D computer modeling and computer-numerically controlled programming and milling skills are emphasized. Resources include a laser welder and microscope system, a Dimension prototype printer for ABS plastic, two Solidscape T-66 prototypers specifically designed for jewelry printing, and two Roland JWX10 CNC milling machines. Advanced modeling tools include SensAble pens with Claytools software.

Students partner with and participate in prestigious design competitions and top industry-sponsored projects, such as the Inc. magazine Bernard Goldhirsch Entrepreneur of the Year trophy design competition, the Swarovski student design competition, the McGee Group eyewear competition, the Baccarat Blue Sky design competition and the Rado Women and Design competition.

Seminars, lectures and studio critiques with renowned jewelry designers and professionals have included Anthony Camargo and Nak Armstrong of Anthony Nak jewelry; Robert Lee Morris; Chi Galatea Huynh, designer and founder of Galatea Jewelry; jewelry designer Barbara Heinrich; studio production artist Donald Friedlich; independent curator Gail Browne; gallery owner/critic Charon Kranson; Gijs Bakker, co-founder of Droog Design; jewelry artist Kathleen Brown; Robert Ebendorf; Phil Renato;  and others. Technical workshops have been conducted by silversmith and sculptor Leonard Urso, granulation specialist Douglas Harling, and Komelia Okim, pioneer of the Kum-Boo Technique, among others.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lunch with Summer Wheat

On Tuesday shopSCAD staffer Whitney Dail and I headed over to see SCAD alumna Summer Wheat for lunch.  We got our fill and left totally satiated without ever partaking of a morsel. Other than her mad painting skills this woman is a supreme storyteller.  She spun tales that had Whitney and I hanging on every word, laughing, almost crying and at the end nodding our heads in astonishment. One day she is certain to write her memoirs and suffice it to say it will be a powerful story of art and triumph. I was toying with the idea of having an artist interview as part of this blog ever so often and asked her a few questions while we were visiting.  See  below for my first attempt at conducting an artist interview.  But for now check out these Orange Heads by Summer Wheat, they truly do make me happy. The price is awesomely affordable and investing in Summer's work is highly advisable.  I am thrilled to be able to offer these to some young collector!

Funded, mixed media on paper, 11" x 11", $100
Foe, Mixed media on paper, 11" x 11", $100 (sold)
Follower, mixed media on paper, 11" x 11", $100
Figuring it Out, mixed media on paper, 11" x 11", $100
Fornecator, mixed media on paper, 11" x 11", $100

This is Summer Wheat.  
She is even more beautiful and captivating in person, 
one of those people that just sparkles.


Amy: Is Summer Wheat your real name?

Summer: Yes, it is.

Amy: What are some words that describe your work?

Summer: sensual, disturbing, high grade, ugly but beautiful, sophisticated, slathering paint, skid row messiness with refined elegance,  physical

Amy: What are your favorite materials or medium?

SummerI have a equal love of acrylic and oils, I love layering acrylic under oils and seeing all the different effects that it makes. I build on top of that with oils.  I love finding new ways of creating texture and manipulating paint.  I have employed the use of cake decorating tubes, syringes, scrapers, mops, and brooms in my work. 

Amy: What is the intended effect you are creating with the paint?

Summer: I am interested in disguising the material of paint and exploiting it at the same time.  I am very interested in that idea when I am working with paint.

Amy: What are you most proud of?

Summer: Being a good mama to my cat.

Amy: Where are you living and working currently?

Summer: I am living and working in NYC.  Right now I have a residency at DUMBO, a great community in Brooklyn that is about an hour away from my place in Brooklyn.  It seemed like a big hassle at first to get over there.  Now I am there 4 days a week sleeping on a cot, working, painting, totally in the zone... it is a beautiful space.  The place I live in Brooklyn is a dream.  I literally drew a picture of this space before I ever knew of it.  A friend kept encouraging me to go see it, that spaces like this just don't exist in the city so I went and am now happy to be living in this 3000+ square feet loft with 13 ft windows with my husband and two other artist friends.   

Amy: What made you move from Savannah to New York?

Summer: I stopped sleeping and was being kept awake by this recurring voice saying I needed to go to NYC.  I decided to listen to this voice despite all many people warning me this was a terrible time to move.  I had to follow my heart and pursue what the city may have in store for me.

Amy: How do you like living in the city?

Summer: At first I was so excited to be in New York but over time have become more laid back about it.  I am really so totally connected to my work, it is the most important thing to me.  The city is great but I am working so much I am not out as much as I thought I would be.  

shopSCAD director Amy Zurcher and Summer Wheat

Amy: What are you most excited about right now?

Summer: Taking a break!  It has been a long year of non-stop busy craziness in New York.  I have been immersed in working and also flying back to Savannah to finish up a house renovation.

Amy: Who are some of your favorite artists?

Summer: Sue Williams, Carl Dunham and William de Kooning

Amy: Can you name one of your favorite SCAD artists?

Summer: Sarah Smith 

Amy: ahhh, she is one of my favorites too!

Amy: What did you get from your time spent at SCAD?

Summer: I learned everything I will ever really need to know through the life experiences I had while attending SCAD.

Amy: Thanks Summer!  I loved every minute of this! The juicy bits of your journey will have to be revealed later in your memoirs!
Letter from a Prisonersculpted and sewn wax and oil paint on canvas, 60" x 52", $4800
Excerpt From a Prison Letter, sculpted and sewn wax and oil paint on canvas, 36" x 36
Excerpt From a Prison Letter (detail)
Buck Tooth Sally, sculpted and sewn wax and oil paint on canvas, 16" x 20",$300
Orange Crocheted Mass, sculpted and sewn wax and oil paint on canvas, 16" x 20",$300
Mummysculpted and sewn wax and oil paint on canvas, 16" x20",$300
Untitledsculpted and sewn wax and oil paint on canvas,  $2000
Foreign Mother and Childsculpted and sewn wax and oil paint on canvas, $3000
shopSCAD staffer Whitney Dail with her very own Summer Wheat painting!
Sometimes I love, Sometimes I Don't Love, sculpted and sewn wax and oil paint on canvas, $2500
Sometimes I love, Sometimes I Don't Love, (detail)

Seriously, I dream of this painting above. I cannot stop thinking about it.  I find it so endearing and personal and just really wish someone else would buy it and put me out my misery. Please???? Thanks so much.
TV Guide Woven in Paint in a Baby Blanket, sculpted and sewn wax and oil paint on canvas, $8000
TV Guide Woven in Paint in a Baby Blanket, (detail)
shopSCAD staffer Kyle Millsap in Summer's old studio in Savannah
Mask, sculpted and sewn wax and oil paint on canvas, $5000


I don’t describe my work as “abstract painting.” I see it as failed representational sculpture, and I love its failure.
How can I make paint three-dimensional? How can I depict a subject matter that is more than its form? These are the impossible questions that push me to abuse the purity of paint and uplift the awkward moments in human life.
My paintings are full of messy human content: dorkiness, disappointment, humor and loss. They are impersonations in which the emotional content overwhelms the physical.
Unconcerned with “the state of painting today,” I just keep working. Fascinated by vulnerability, I exalt in the incomplete.
“I rarely pick up a brush anymore,” confesses the SavannahGeorgia painter, who uses tools from other walks of life to ice her canvases like cakes and weave strands of paint together like yarn. “I want to push the paint to its limits—and myself along with it.”


Summer Wheat’s life matches the boldness of her art. She has traveled, lived and worked throughout the United States and abroad, collecting stories, curiosities and eccentric encounters.  She received her MFA in painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design, where she was awarded the Lacoste Graduate Residency in LacosteFrance. Her paintings are part of numerous private collections worldwide. They are on permanent, public display in such prominent locales as the Des Plaines Children's Library in ChicagoIllinois and the Turner and Associates Architectural firm in AtlantaGeorgia. In addition, she regularly participates in juried exhibitions around the country and abroad. Wheat is now living and working as a full-time artist in New York City.