Whether you've reached this blog willingly or by force I'm happy to have you here.
ersi marina's workroom is always open to the public, even when I am not in. Sometimes I need to sleep.
And to paint.
And to play with my four cats.
My name is Ersi Marina and I live in Spain though I was born and grew up in Athens, Greece. I kept it all very Mediterranean.
This blog is a means to share my work and snippets of my life, as well as to be in contact with you all. I hope you'll enjoy your visit.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

green tomatoes and a silver moon

Back online after several days with a maddeningly bad Internet connection. You see, we had our first snow of the season! It was beautiful and a big surprise, we don't usually get autumn snows in Spain. I woke up on Saturday morning and the first thing I noticed was the silence. A deep, filling silence. I thought there was something wrong with my hearing. As soon as I opened the windows though I saw the reason why. The world was a soft, silent, white place. And it was still snowing.

I didn't take any pictures, I wasn't in the mood. I rather felt like enjoying the sight live. This shot is from another snowfall but still, this is part of the sight from the balcony and things were very similar. The snow kept till Monday, when it started raining long and hard and it finally melted away. The weather forecast predicts more snow for tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

Where I did take pictures was on a mountain excursion I took with a friend on Friday. At about 1,000 mts high (3,000 feet) it was bitterly cold but we had fun anyway. The clean mountain air is a treat (not that the air is contaminated where I live) and the bright atmosphere of that windy day made distant ridges appear very near.

Xavi, my friend, grows his own vegetables up there and we busied ourselves picking the tomatoes. They were still green but they would freeze if we left them there. We picked three boxes like the one in the picture and, as it turns out, they make delicious marmelade. I had no idea.

I had to take my gloves off every time I took a photo. The white outline of these lovely leaves is natural, not a frosty embrace.

But the real treat of the day was on our way back. It was early evening and the sun was setting. Its last rays

fell on those rocks just as the moon came up from behind them. Isn't it amazing? I'd never witnessed such a magical moment before. It was a bright silver moon balancing itself on the edge of the rocks.

Did anyone else think 'Japanese' here?

I have made more paper pendants but haven't photographed them yet. I feel very frustrated with my woven pendants though. The first one was fun and turned out well. The second was a complete failure. I'm moving on to other things and I'll go back to weaving when I get my ideas straight.

If I disappear again, it means we've had more snow and my Internet has gone to the beach. Have a nice week everyone!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

two more paper pendants

I hope you're not fed up with my pendants because there's more to come. No, no, it's not a threat, just a friendly statement.

Our second annual Art Market will open on Friday 6 December and this year we decided to be crafty as well as artistic. Given the sad demise of the general art market in Spain (economic crisis and all that) we thought we could reach out a bit to the beleaguered public. So my pendant fever not only comes from my love for paper but also from the need to make some things crafty for our Market. I set my mind on pendants. For the time being.

This is my second 'Babel Tower' pendant though in this case it has nothing to do with language, only with the shape. Again a long strip of heavyweight paper stained with watercolour and black ink strokes. The other difference is the necklace. It won't hang from a leather strip but from a stainless steel necklace wire. 

And a close up view that shows the details better. A final coat of paper sealant protects the pendant from self-destructing in minutes.

Here I obviously took a leap from stylish to sugary. I have an excuse of sorts for it. A friend who watched me working on the pendants asked if I could make one for her young niece. Of course! I answered. How do you think she would like it? Girly, she said. So I made this girly pendant in pinks and peaches but guess what. It isn't pink enough! So I made another one (no photographs) and kept this for the Art Market. Girly girls out there, come shopping!

I am now working on a fabric pendant, I'll show it to you when it's finished. I'd better step up my rhythm of production if I want to take 20 to the Market -and still have time to paint some watercolours. Oh, crafty woes!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

a calligraphy pendant

I have a case of paper pendant incontinence. I have all the symptoms: creating one paper pendant after another, dreaming of paper pendants in my sleep, seeing paper pendant possibilities in surprising places, suffering withdrawal when I can't work on them... There is one symptom however that makes up for them all: the joy of playing with them!

This is my last daring project, a calligraphy pendant. I am not a calligrapher (though I'd love to be one) so please, calligraphers out there, hold your horses. This is not meant to be a perfect calligraphic exercise, just a fun paper pendant.

There's not much more than the obvious here. A long strip of heavyweight paper that was conveniently wrapped around a felt pen (yup, specialist resources) and left there for an hour or so. When I unwrapped it it retained the curled shape and I only had to pull both ends to create the 'Babel Tower' shape. This is what I came to call it, a 'Babel Tower' pendant. Very fitting, in a way, since no one will be able to understand what it says.

I'll share the secret with you and only with you: it doesn't say anything, it's just the letters of the alphabet. I painted the inside with white gesso and covered the outside with paper sealant to make it more resistant. I wonder if there is a product out there that hardens paper significantly. I'd love to have it.

Anyway, if anyone does wear this pendant, I can assure them that it will not crumple under the weight of a coat, for example. It will be sadly squashed though if the aforementioned someone hugs someone else tightly or throw themselves belly down on their bed. I'll have to issue an accompanying sheet with precautions.

A baker's twine sparse beard falls off the lower edge and baker's twine holds it to a strip of leather. That's all folks.

P.S. While working on my paper pendants, I jot down ideas for fabric/woven pendants. Madness.

P.P.S. The friend who said that he didn't like my first paper pendant finally explained why. It's too abstract, he said. What?

Sunday, 3 November 2013

and now a paper pendant

I've been playing some more and, as usual, I go from one thing to another. Setting aside my tiny loom, I sat down and made a paper pendant.

I cut two rolls of card stock and coated them with rice paper previously stained with watercolours. My camera's battery died right after taking this shot and while it was re-charging I finished the pendant. No step-by-step photos here but I think it's obvious enough.

I wanted a bunch of threads to hang down from the pendant but when I actually tried them I didn't like them. I needed something sturdier, more playful, so finally I used some orange raffia yarn I had at home. Somehow, I wanted this pendant to be fun and bright.

Then I felt I'd better add a couple of orange stains to the rice paper, to match the raffia yarn. The leather strip goes through a little loop also made of raffia.

Oh, and I tied a strip of baker's twine around the loop too. The paper rolls are protected with a coat of clear matte paper sealant.

I recently bought a bunch of clasps and end caps to fasten the leather strips, so my pendants will be finished and ready when the material gets here.

A friend who saw this pendant yesterday told me outright that he didn't like it! I've licked my pride wounds by now and I'll just keep on making pendants. Woven, sewn, embroidered, papered or twigged. My game, my rules.
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