Lately it seems I have been hearing a lot of people talk to me about the stories of what we do and how it makes work compelling and gives it more life. Our story is after all what is infused into the meaning of truth. The truth of your reality as you, me, we see it.
Well this is this a perfect opportunity for me to tell you stories of how I create some things from seed to conception. I truly love meaning in my work and a story is exactly what I infuse in every piece I create. Often times I just don’t verbalize it. You will find your own story anyway.
THE WARRIOR QUEEN
One habit I started about 13 years ago was to make rose beads. There was something that compelled me to save rose petals and I went through an artistic evolution with how many ways I could use them. Dried, pressed, then ironed. The sweet scent of the steam was intoxicating. But they were so delicate in that state. I bought a stone mortar and pestle and started to grind the fleshy petals until I worked it into a paste mixture.
So this is how it began. Every spring the roses in my yard would bloom and I would gather the spent petals and grind them to make beads. I would roll each fragrant piece into a little bead and poke each one with a threaded needle and leave them to dry. Overall, I could get a few long strand of beads a year. Repeat this process ……until 2012. Inspiration hits. Finally have a reason, a purpose for the rose bead strands I have been making all these years. Joy!
rose beads from rio wrenn on Vimeo.
A warrior queen was born the following year. I had a lot of help from my assistant whom I am VERY grateful to have had in the studio with me for over 7 years. My vision was taking shape and becoming real. The problem was the questions that existed in my head…What am I making this for? Why now? Who cares? Of course I care and I was very excited to have finished this piece but I had no way to let her out of the studio. She needed a body to adorn. So she sat in the armoire waiting……
The idea of this piece was partly my instinctual love of spiders and the web they weave mixed with an interest in armor, that I will later explore in future projects such as the ‘Spiritual Warrior’. Armor is worn by a warrior to protect in a literal sense and then armor can be more like the ego self, projecting. The spider is a fragile insect that weaves a home and is constantly reinventing ways to hang in. There is something compelling about the tension created from opposites that I am consistently drawn to. This piece has it all. The armor in this case is delicate. It will dissolve with water and is really just a projection to protect the heart. But it commands your attention. Each bead has a life of its own. A rose that made a sacrifice to become something more than decomposition. Immortalized in its It is infused with power and love.
With this infusion I hope you can feel the love!!
I wish you could smell the love. Each bead is lightly sprinkled with essential oil of rose.
For my latest collection I visited the Painted Hills and shot the pieces in front of the stunning backdrop that nature had provided. So awe inspiring! I took the opportunity to also bring out the warrior queen and give her life. I was blessed to have found a model that was actually aligned with my spiritual practice and this made the shoot more magical than normal.
Photography- Blueglair MUA- Sam Kuster Model- Jordan River