Friday, March 15, 2013

Celebrate Oz :: Frida Kahlo aLteREd

Oma Linda is having her Oz hop a little earlier this year, and she's changed it up with a touch of Frida. She had me at 'hello' using Frida as inspiration. What a bold, powerful artist she is, and some serious inspiration for color and design. Bring it on.

Check out what she's done with Dorothy! I would know those eyebrows anywhere. Dorthy is Frida aLteREd. 

My blog has been on a bit of a Frida kick lately, which was so serendipitous. A couple of posts back I wrote about a Frida inspired door that a bloggy friend and I found. We were working on a door-themed photo hop that week, but I was thinking in the back of my mind ... aLteREd hop! 

Let's jump a little deeper into the world of Frida. Kahlo was born in Mexico City in 1907. But she gave her birth date as 1910, and not for vanity's sake. She wanted her birth to coincide with the year of the beginning of the Mexican revolution so her life would begin with the birth of modern Mexico. Her work is celebrated in Mexico as emblematic of the country and of it's folk art. She is also celebrated by feminists for her uncompromising depiction of the female form. 

She is; however, best known for her self portraits and said "I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best." 

For my Frida inspiration I had to work with color, and red always comes to mind when I think of the Wizard of Oz. Probably due to those ruby slippers. I wanted to create something that Frida might wear. Something bold, perhaps a little folksy, as the jewelry she wore was so ahead of her time. 

She wore a lot of large earrings, which by today's standard are nothing all that wild but likely were for the early 1990s. You see her wearing earrings in many of her self portraits.

The beads I chose are cinnabar. I saw them and knew immediately I had found what I wanted for this project. I love the rich red color these have. After a quick search I found that cinnabar is a deep red stone which is a red crystalline from mercury sulfide. And since it is mercury based you need to be careful handling it as it is highly toxic. Yowza. Andre Breton, a fellow surrelist, said in 1938 that Kahlo's art was a "ribbon around a bomb."  Just like cinnabar ... a beautiful red rock giving off a crystal sparkle but you would not want to pick that baby up with your bare hands!

The commonly called cinnabar beads are actually a laquer from tree sap found in China used as a stain on hand carved wood beads. That is what I've used here. I figured no one needed to get hurt in the name of fashion. I used a linen cord and wood beads for one pair, and hemp cord with Chinese coins and onyx in the second pair. You can find both pairs listed in my Etsy shop, and you can find the rest of the participants in the hop over at Linda Oma's blog. So hop on over!

22 comments:

Kim said...

Gorgeous earrings, love the elements you used.

Christine Altmiller said...

Gorgeous!!! And Educational. I didn't know that about cinnabar. Or about the reason Frida changed her birth date. Your inspiration always comes through with clarity and beauty and these are no exception :-D

Duni said...

Stunning! The cinnabar (love that name) beads and chinese coins go so well together! I saw a lot of these during my time in Asia :)

Magic Love Crow said...

Love the earrings you did for the party! Thanks for all the information! Happy Altered Oz ;o)

Kim said...

Love the earrings and the information

Claudia Aguilar said...

I love the altered Dorothy-Frida look, you pair of earrings is beautiful too deep red color is perfect ;)

Linda Wildenstein said...

I love the Frida earrings and learned some new things from you post. Thank you so very much for being part of Celebrate Oz. Frida could very well have been a character in the world of Oz. There is such an otherworldliness about her persona.
I appreciate you so much for being a part of the crazy silly wonderful Celebration. Oma Linda

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Frida sounds so fascinating. Those earrings are lovely!

maddyrose said...

The earrings are beautiful!

Gayle Page-Robak said...

Your earings are gorgeous...beautifully created. Thank you for stopping by and leaving your lovely comment...it is appreciated. Hope you have a wonderful weekend. Hugs, Gayle.

Nichola said...

So pretty!

Lynda B said...

This was a great entry, and the earrings are lovely!

Bobbie said...

I knew my bead room is junky enough to qualify for superfund cleanup funding, but I never realized cinnabar had mercury in it! So glad I read all the way through to confirm that the type we use today really isn't going to cause us to grow gills or glow in the dark..And the earrings are beautiful! Frida would have loved them.

Caron Michelle said...

Fabulous design - I was fascinated by the story that accompanied the earrings!

Gloria said...

I love the tie-in to the ruby slippers. Pretty earrings and non-toxic, too! ♥

Memories for Life said...

Red is a great color to use to represent both Frida and Oz. I love the double cinnabar dangles!

James C. Wallace II said...

Wonderful earrings you've created for aLtEReD oZ 2013!
You should know that red is the preferred color of Quadling Country, in the south of Oz, which is ruled by Glinda: Good Witch of the South. I'm certain she would love a pair of these fine looking earrings. You know how Good Witches are, always looking for something shiny and sparkley!

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison of Oz

Sunshineshelle said...

Frida and that red combo is a great way to get an alteration of the Oz theme, those ruby slippers and Dorothy had a thing going in the 'alternate' dimension :)

BeadedTail said...

Love all the photos and your earrings are beautiful! It's fun reading your inspiration behind the pieces too!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Beautiful earrings worthy of both Frida and Dorothy!

Magaly Guerrero said...

Frida always makes an entrance. I bet her colors and shapes would outshine the Emerald City.

cmoh said...

I have never been a fan of Frida but oh my I love what you have done. Your jewelry is gorgious and taking inspiration from the paitings is perfect. I love seeing where artist get their inspiration and how they interpret it.

sorry it has taken me so long to get around. I've been ill but am having a wonderful time now.

Great post
Hugs
Caroline

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