Wednesday, June 4, 2008
San Francisco is an art Mecca of artistic talent. My pretty friend, Barbe St. John, is an exceptionally talented mixed media artist who calls this beautiful city her home. In addition to being an artist, she is also a friend. Good-hearted and generous of spirit, Barbe has, more than once, gifted me with art and ephemera, kindness and support, dropping me lines of encouragement when times were tough, checking in just to make sure I’m alright....just being Barbe. As I type this, a small Frida Kahlo is looking out over my computer from the shelf above. Barbe made this piece for me and sent it in the mail…right out of the blue…because that is the kind of person she is.
The range of Barbe’s talent spans a wide and varied canvas from hand spun yarns to other-worldly assemblages to intricate one-of-a-kind jewelry and captivating collage work.
“I have many creative outlets and inspirations, so my art studio is as cluttered as possible with lots of eye candy just like a Magpie's cage. I surround myself with art by friends, vintage jewelry, dolls, rhinestones, bones, fiber, vintage fabric, old paper ephemera, rusty bits found on the streets, tools, 50's pinups, Nessie items, scientific books, hand shapes and anything else that catches my eye."
(Sounds like heaven to me!) ;-)
Lost Goddess Doll Series - #3 The Protector
Altered art doll, metal, found objects, yarn, rust, wire, beads.
Approx 11 1/2 inches tall
This exquisite necklace is Barbe’s creation for Stringing Magazines "Channeling Cinderella" Challenge. It is a typical example of the magic that Barbe works by repurposing vintage jewelry.
“After years of working mostly non-creative environments, I felt I had to allow my artistic side a chance to develop. My work is primarily about Alchemy - the transmutation of common, obscure and abandoned items into sublime creations.”
Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe Spirit of Mexico Pez Candy Art Sculpture
To create her work, Barbe combines various traditionally distinct visual art media with the “old, forgotten, discarded, broken, rusted, orphaned and things considered worthless and turn them into wearable works of art. “
Each tiny piece has a fragment of a story and a hint of a secret that longs to be revealed. Just as an archaeologist seeks ancient artifacts, Barbe seeks these bits of treasure to discover their hidden purpose.
“When combined they come to life like a phoenix rising from the ashes with a story and energy all their own. Just like the unique bits that are used to create them, every piece of art is one of a kind and cannot be duplicated.”
Barbe’s work has been published various publications including: Make it Mine Magazine, New Witch Magazine, “Artist Trading Cards Workshop: Create. Collect. Swap.”, “Intertwined: The Art of Handspun Yarn” and the soon to be released “Art in Motion” book. Her work has also been shown at Lovely Hearts Exhibit - Art Stream Gallery, Metallurge Gallery - Toronto, Canada, and Art Shoe In Exhibit - Modesto Art Gallery. Her jewelry is currently being sold at Worthington Gallery West – Pleasanton, CA as well as on HER WEBSITE.
Barbe also writes the jewelry making column at Craft Gossip Blog Network.
“This summer I will be teaching two classes at the ZNE Convenzione in Pleasanton, CA. - "Charm School" - an intro to resin charm casting and "Histories: Real or Imagined" - a mixed media, memory jewelry class. “ For more Information on the classes and the ZNE Convenzione CLICK HERE:
Barbe’s ETSY Shop is HERE. Stop by...take a look...buy something for yourself or a friend. You'll love it!
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