Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Pre New Year news

I try to theme my years.  It gives me focus.  When I started this whole chainmail-making pirate adventure, I called it "The Year of Fearlessness."  This year is "The Year of Following Through."

Any idea, creative or otherwise, that has been rattling around my brain will be finished (or progress will be made towards finishing it) this year.  My year starts a little early, and so has my work.  I recently made a reversible jacket that I'd been thinking about making for over a year.  I also just launched my new website.  It's not perfect, but I'm really happy with it.  Sometimes I feel limited with the coding options of IndieMade, but I like the service they provide.

What are your plans for the year?  What will be the theme for your 2014?

Check out the new site and let me know what you think kalibutterfly.com.

Happy New Year!

Vanessa Walilko
Aluminum jewelry
Chainmail jewelry

Friday, July 5, 2013

Inspiration Friday

I'm a little too insulated.  I do that on purpose.  I never look at what other jewelers are doing because I don't ever want to be accused of copying.  It's a little too neurotic, I think, but it's something I've been hypervigilant about since someone copied my chainmaille shrug.

But, inspired by the words of Paul Stankard, I decided to start seeking out art again.  Sitting around making chainmaille all day can create some myopia.  Thankfully, the Google Art Project means that I can look at art works when most cultural institutions are closed for the day.

On my first field trip to the Art Institute in Chicago when I was maybe 8 or 9, I remember seeing The Assumption of the Virgin by El Greco.  I have never been religious, but this piece stuck with me.  I don't know if it was the scale or the imagery, but it's my first memory of being in awe of a work of art.

You can check out what Google Art has to say about the piece by clicking here.

Vanessa Walilko
Handmade jewelry
Aluminum chainmail jewelry

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Bead&Button recap!

Well, it's been nearly a week since I was in Milwaukee.  I always have a blast teaching at the Bead&Button show as well as connecting with friends and fellow artists I only see once a year.

This time I actually managed to take a couple photos!  Oh, the beauty of free time.

Firstly, here's a picture of my Phoenix Jacket.  It won second place in the Wirework category of the Bead Dreams competition.  I cannot wait to use my gift certificate at Beaducation.

My favorite piece in Bead Dreams was probably these little glass robots.  They deservedly won first place in their category.

Then, I saw a beaded kimono.  It was made on a loom, and puts everything I've done to shame.  Now I want to make something even bigger... because my competitiveness comes out in ways like that.

Since I sold more kits than expected, I bought a little treat for myself.  For years, my table has been next to Amy Waldman-Smith, and this year I found a bird I had to have.

I'm going to put it on a ring.  And possibly make it a chainmail outfit.  I haven't decided.


Thursday, May 30, 2013

A brief history lesson


Today's history lesson: according to tradition, Poles are descended from the Sarmatians, one of the groups considered to be the basis of the Amazon myth.  They are also called the Sauromatians for their scale armor.

So, I have a genetic propensity to make armor out of scales.  My life trajectory makes a lot more sense.