Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Fish Bladders Can Be Beautiful!

I'd like to talk about shape today. Of course, when someone thrusts beautiful pendants like these, by Bettina Welker of Beadworx and Betsy Baker of Stonehouse Studio, into your line of vision, it's a little hard to concentrate on fish bladders. No, it's not a typo, I really did mean to type "fish bladders." Just trust me and try to focus. We'll come back to the pendants soon.







The shape that these talented ladies have used is one I've always referred to as a "marquis" or "football" and, it's one of my favorite shapes for jewelry. In order not to make a total idiot of myself, I decided to do a little googling about this shape before I sat down to type my post. Thank goodness I did because even after 4 long and grueling years of Latin, I never knew that the proper name for this shape is vesica piscis, which translates to "bladder of the fish". When two circles of the same radius intersect so that the the center of each circle lies on the circumference of the other, it forms what's called a fish bladder. If you think I'm making this up, click here! Throughout history, this shape has had lots of mystical and religious significance. However, I'm pretty sure that most of you don't want or need to hear any more about fish bladders so, on to the pendants.

What caught my eye and made me fall in love with these pieces was the fact that both Bettina and Betsy put a bit of a spin on the more traditional shape. Bettina used Louise Fischer Cozzi's (she's got her technique available on DVD if you can't wait to take her class) method of etching and coloring the clay and then added a contrasting color shard on top which mimics the curve of the "fish bladder" shape. I found it really modern and fresh and don't hate me for this, but it's mine (sorry, Judy), all mine! The next time you see me, I'll be wearing it and looking all fresh and modern in spite of myself. Betsy screened this cool image on her piece, set it in a silver bezel, and turned it sideways for a totally different, yet equally wonderful, look. It's so refreshing to see artists treat a traditional shape in such a modern way. Both of these talented ladies are selling their beautiful work on their websites, as well as on Etsy. You'll find Bettina here and Betsy here.

One final thought. In addition to all the Latin, I spent a few semesters with Shakespeare, as well, and there's a quote from Romeo and Juliet that keeps coming to mind: "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." So call them what you will, but these "fish bladders" are some pretty sweet pendants!

10 comments:

Nadja said...

How great to see Bettinas and Betsys work here! They both do fabulous work, not only beautiful designs but also with a lot of attention to a perfect finish.
I have to say I like to start my day looking at those lovely "fish bladders". ;-D

beadworx said...

Thanks Kim for featuring us on your blog. You did some great research on the shape. My silversmithing teacher (and german silversmiths as well) call this shape "Navette" which translates to "little boat".
I so hope you like the pendant as much as you do now when seeing it in person:)
Bettina

Libby said...

That's been one of my favorite shapes too. I keep coming back to it. Now,you're going to have me thinking "fish bladder" every time. LOL

Bettina and Betsy's work really is exceptional. I love the clean contemporary look.

Judy Belcher said...

How can I hate you, oh great blogger (the great pumpkin keeps creeping into my head!) I say we just do what we have done with t-shirts. When you find something wonderful, buy two! I promise, if you do! Great post - I'm off to order from Betsy and Bettina!

Kim Cavender said...

Bettina,
Thank you for sharing a name that seems to fit so much better. I love "Navette" or "little boat". I'm sure I will like my pendant even MORE when I see it in person!

Tania P. said...

Kim, I had a wonderful time reading your blog; it's interesting and funny and I've "met" some new artists here. Now I'm waiting for the next post...

Tania

Kim Cavender said...

Tania,
How wonderful to hear from you! Keep reading, I would love to do a feature on you.

Stonehouse Studio said...

And I just thought it was a funky shape! Since these pendants are part of my vortex series, they are now officially fish bladders from outer space!!
Betsy

Kim Cavender said...

Betsy, PERFECT name! And you probably won't have to worry about anyone tying to "borrow" it. Your work is fantastic!

Debbie Anne said...

I also use that shape
a lot in my work- http://tinyurl.com/2c4hdp- and have been trying to find the proper name for it- the word 'brasica' kept coming up but that means a cabbage apparently! Lovely work and great blogging Kim- well done to all. Debbie from London