Calder in his Paris studio, 1931. Photograph by Marc Vaux via the Calder Foundation
I've been working on new series of designs, inspired by famous artists. I wrote about the first piece, inspired by Miro, last month on the old blog
. Since today is the anniversary or Calder's birth, I thought it was the perfect time to share my newest piece with you. I've always been fascinated by kinetic art and Calder is one of my favorites. The enameled geometric shapes are perfectly suited to jewelry, especially earrings so he was a natural to include in the series.Calder was born into a family of artists on July 22, 1898 in Lawnton, PA.
He was encouraged to create and showed a natural inclination towards kinetic sculpture from an early age, although his original focus in college was engineering. While working as a mechanic on the ship H. F. Alexander, Calder had a life changing experience. He was working on deck early one morning, off the Guatemalan coast, and saw the sun rising and the moon setting on opposite horizons. He referred to this experience many times throughout his life and it was soon after this that he decided to pursue a career in art.
Calder Room- National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Calder moved to New York and studied at the Art Student's League. In 1925, he took a job at the National Police Gazette, where one of his first assignments was sketching the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. This assignment would lead to a fascination with the circus that was apparent in many of Calder's works. The following year he moved to Paris and began to give performances of his Cirque Calder. Calder became friends with a number of prominent artists Joan Miró, Fernand Léger, Jean Arp, and Marcel Duchamp who "shocked" him into embracing abstract art. It was around this time that he began making his kinetic sculptures which revolutionized the world of art. Duchamp would later refer to them as "mobiles" which means both motion and motive in French.
When Calder died in 1976, at the age of 78, he left behind the products of one of the most prolific and innovative artistic careers of the 20th century.
Calder Earrings- sterling silver, enameled copper
The first set of Calder earrings I made were actual mobiles, but I wasn't happy with them. They seemed too much like literal copies as opposed to an inspired tribute. So I went back to the sketch book and came up with these. Though they don't have movable parts, the asymmetrical balance and they way they hang from the ears give them a sense of movement. I was so happy with this design that I've decided to add a slightly shorter version, in various colors to the Metamorphosis collection. I'll be listing them on Etsy