I don’t leave the studio very often…and when I do it is usually to hop a plane and travel far, far away. This morning I hopped in the car, with the Indigo Girls blasting and headed into town to meet Mr. Don Rash, bookbinder extraordinaire, who lives right in my backyard, I recently learned. Mr. Rash is known nationwide for his book restoration and edition binding skills. The Momental team is working on a BIG project and we’ve been enlisting the help of local artisans to get the job done. So this meeting today was all about incorporating some of our artwork into hand crafted books and all bound with a metal spine to boot.
My post today has less to do with our current book project and more to do with community. I realized as I drove back to the studio today, just how important a creative community is for artists and craftspeople. We must congregate and mingle together, leaning on eachother and uplifting our collective talents. Artists without community are just adrift in a sea of “ourselve-ed-nes” and this can lead nowhere fast.
I stepped into this magical little home, unassuming from the road, except for this sweet little wooden sign hanging above the door.
I was greeted by Mr. Rash and metal artist, Jim Lennox, whose metal working skills are coming in handy these days. Instantly I was at ease in this space after being greeted by two strangers with kind faces and a lot of creative energy ready to spend.
We talked details, measurements, materials and what not for nearly an hour… Mr. Rash cats spent their time swirling around the drafting table and begging for attention. I felt right at home.
We wrapped our meeting with small chit chat and excited anticipation for our collaborative creation to come in the near future. I asked to poke around the studio a bit, unashamed in the moment at my obvious nosiness. I just had to get a bit closer to all the pages, textures and tools I was unfamiliar with; all stacks of books that could only mark the lifelong career of a very talented man. I snapped a few shots on my phone to try and distill the experience. These images are trigger for me to be mindful of the importance of congregation and the creative meeting of minds.
We must meet, mingle and pause in order to make something good and worth sharing with the world.
We should do this often; get up, get out and go….
March 7, 2013
My Dad recently, very recently in fact retired from a 40 year career at a local jewelry shop in town. He is now officially our first Momental Guy. He has already become an integral part of the team in just a few short weeks as I can’t imagine the studio before him, but of course I’m biased because he is…, well, Dad! Yesterday I gathered a team for a an art shoot at a local favorite, The Cottage at Hillside Farms. You may remember, we had our 10 year renewal there in 2010? It was my Dad’s first photoshoot experience and I could see the fascination…well maybe, confusion on his face as the day evolved. At one point, as the last details of the table installation were complete he asked very candidly, “so why do you do this?”. I paused for a minute and replied. “It’s art. Just like a pull out my brushes and paint, this is just another way for me to express an idea. It’s Art for Art’s Sake“.
A few sketches beforehand.
So this phrase is steeped in history and as is the same with most philosophical comments, carries with it a bit of controversy and skepticism. For me, it is about creating art for the purpose of feeling the experience, regardless of the result. I add a specific caveat though…it has to take effort, significant effort. Art for Art’s Sake doesn’t hold the same magic for me if it is quick sketch in a notebook – that is a brief effort, not requiring much investment on the part of the artist.
Amanda shooting stationery and the lovely models being coiffed.From top left: Some produce, heavenly Hellebore,
I create art everyday, but admittedly it is most often with a very specific purpose in mind and usually intended for a very particular person. Of course, I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything but I do crave an outlet, to create exactly what I have rolling around in my brain, for no other reason than I must get it out! There you have it, the very reason I crave these elaborate projects with like minded creatives. These photoshoots are a way to just create and make, the exact way we want to create and make….no parameters, no expectations. We free ourselves of these constraints and open the door to making art in a big way.
So yesterday, I put down my brushes and let this scene become my tool. An elaborate wedding table and brightly hued gowns became my paint. These beautiful people I worked with were my partners in creation and together we made something beautiful, just because we could.
January 2, 2013
So to begin this new year I want to thank some amazing people who made my 2012 the best one yet. This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means and I apologize for those not directly included in this. I still love you! We began the year with the announcement of Trellis – a collaboration of artistic minds with our friends at Envelopments. We marked the launch of Trellis with an epic collaboration of artists seen here. I celebrated 12 years with my Hubby Adam and marvel at how each year with him is better than the last. My Best Friend and her hubby celebrated one year of marriage, right around the time her wedding shower was published in Bridal Guide Magazine. My parents celebrated 40 years of marriage and I knocked their socks off with a surprise party! Some lovely friends in Atlanta welcomed me to their hometown to create art together for Occasions Magazine. Engage!12 this year held in Las Vegas and Palm Beach this year produced 2 more amazing collaborations with Two Paperdolls. We worked with our new friends Jill and Ryan McGrath quite a bit in 2012 and it’s been a thrill seeing their amazing talents flourish. Check out their new website, by the way, just launched this week! Several trips to Utah gave me wings this year; from shooting amidst redrock with Jill and Ryan McGrath, to scrambling off the beaten path with the Hubby – the crisp air of the desert southwest never ceases to thrill. Our 10th Wedding Renewal landed on the pages of Destination I DO Magazine which we’re so grateful for. The story was incredibly heartfelt and working with Jennifer and her team is always an honor. The Knot has been such an amazing supporter of our work this year and we could not be more grateful. Jess, our spunky Momental Girl’s Wedding Shower was seen on Green Wedding Shoes along with the artful labors of the incredible team for the day. Jess then got married while Mom and I made pretty paper and flowers for the entire event – we’re a true family here and I love that!! A huge thank you to Claire Pettibone for inviting me to create a suite of artwork inspired by here NYC runway show in October. Everything that comes out of Claire’s creative mind is always sincere and powerful and collaborating with her was a dream come true.
So now, a look ahead to 2013…
I’ve been hesitant to share for some time but it’s a new year and it’s time. The news isn’t earth shattering, it isn’t glamorous or terribly exciting to most but it is something I’ve been wrestling with and for me just writing the words is cathartic.
This post has been writing itself in my mind for a year. Countless brainstorming sessions and to-do lists ago I knew what had to be done but it wasn’t until recently that I knew I had to share. Because sharing as you know, in such a public way locks you into committal. Sharing your intentions, no matter how casually, subtly makes promises to all who read. So here goes.
Lara Casey of Southern Weddings stood up at the 5th Anniversary Launch party of her magazine and talked about these glossy pages of art her team had produced. She made sure to explain however that the pages were not filled with pretty, just because, but filled with meaning and the core of what she knew weddings should be about – love, life, faith and family. She talked of getting to the core of things, what really matters and her words seemed to sew up the frayed ends of my thoughts in one night.
Weddings by nature are filled with opportunities to make pretty – we select colors, mull over flowers, infuse personal moments into decor…but sometime we get a bit lost right? Sometimes the little tasks get really big and run the risk of getting in the way of what matters most – the people. Weddings by nature are also filled with opportunities to honor people; family, friends…and this for me is where the magic lies…this for me seems to be where all should begin.
The people in your life, who stand alongside you are the beginning, middle and end of your story. This year I am making some changes with this simple belief at the core of all my decisions.
So what does this all mean? If you’ve read this far, I’m sure you’re asking… You may see some changes on the blog in the coming weeks. I’ve decided to share more of me and more of my life. Family and home and studio are such a huge part of who I am and reflect into each piece of art I create in a very powerful way. My story is more than just about the art the team and I create, even though to read my blog over the last year, you may not have realized. People make this life go around and I want you all to get to know the people better.
- The Hubby and I have been married for nearly 13 years. We married young and have made it this far with more passion and respect for eachother than we could have imagined. I plan to share more of our story weekly…How we keep it real and what keeps us inspired as a couple.
- Momental will be celebrating 10 years in business this March. T E N Y E A R S. The words don’t seem real to me but they are. We started super small and stayed that way for the first 4 years…Momental then exploded and took us on this ride of our lives. I’ll be sharing a bit more of this story as I navigate the ever present challenges of running a creative business and keeping a large team for a small biz inspired everyday.
- I’ll still be sharing the work we create each week but you will learn more about the people behind the work – whose passionate about which projects and why!
- Instagram will become my tool of gratefulness (is that a word?) where I’ll share little bits of inspiration through/in honor of those I love and admire the most. I’m calling this series #Bossa2013. If you’re confused as to the name, I encourage you to read this post.
So thank you for reading along and thank you for 2012. Here’ s to a new year full of gratitude and living an artful life in whatever it is you do. Let’s honor the people and pretty in our lives and live with just a little more Bossa!! XO
November 8, 2012
It is good to be home. That is this week’s mantra. Travel for me is simply a part of life and over the years I’ve grown to adore the open road, packed bags that stay packed and the rush of hopping on a plane nearly every week. This Monday my latest jaunt to Utah culminated in a day of shooting with some friends I’ve made there over the years. The sun was warm and inviting, a bit of a surprise for a Utah November day. Amidst the bold redrock we conjured a scene of passions. Passions for wedding, passions for our craft, passions for our life. For 10 hours that day we became an extended family of creatives…
For now I can share a peek behind the scenes, for later there will be so much more…
Watters gowns, lush dahlias and peonies
Stationery styling… this shoot featured four complete invitation suites!
Moya Minns lovely hand.
I invited Jill and Ryan of Jillian McGrath Photography to shoot on location.
October 29, 2012
This time of year in Utah is perfection for me. The summer’s droves of visitors have gone home, the sun is warm and the air is cool. You can stepe 50 ft from the park’s road and hear nothing. The Hubby and I rolled into town late Saturday and decided Sunday would be our day to explore something completely new…for us. When you’ve been visiting the same National Park for years and hiked all the well know trails, some twice or three times it can be a challenge to find new…actually not just a challenge but an adventure. Venturing off the path and blazing our own trail is exactly what we did yesterday.
It began with what in my panicked mind seemed like a sheer face of slick rock, perpendicular to the earth! In reality it was a very steep climb that was passable using all fours in some spots. Lucky for all “slick rock” is a bit of a misnomer. When dry this textured rock really makes for great tracking. When wet though…watch out.
It took about 2 hours to climb a 1/2 mile stretch. My hands were chapped and prickly pear needles were stuck everywhere but when a shallow canyon cut amidst the rock gave way to this expansive view, it all in one small moment became very worth it.
My reward for the climb? …An iconic view and a warm spot of red rock to perch upon for a few hours of painting.
One red rock trait that always mesmerizes is the way the layers of silt and sand swirl in beautiful pattern. When painting landscapes out here I am always compelled to add graceful swooshes with my brush in an attempt to capture the way this rock surrounds.
October 11, 2012
It is that time of year again, where Jess D. and I pack up our brushes, palettes and selves to immerse in a week of bridal fashion pretty in NYC. Live from the runways last year we were live tweeting the latest looks and sketching smaller moments that predicted some of our favorite trends from the past year. Check out our Market report on Weddingbee.com to see what I mean. So tomorrow morning, we’re off to NYC super early, first to make a very special delivery to be revealed on Saturday, then to our first round of shows.
Our fun from last year…sketching, trying on, more sketching and sooo many instagram shots!
This year we’re honored to have expanded our list of designers to see. In addition to our favorites like Claire Pettibone, Tara Latour, Theia Couture and Monique Lhuillier, we will also get a peek at Ines DiSanto, Marchesa, Watters and a bunch more!!
We’re a bit different from most who cover Bridal Market. Armed with brushes, pens and sketchbooks, Jess and I sketch every last detail that inspires. We love to look beyond the full gown, look deeper into the fine details these incredible designers labor over choosing each season. The perfect lace, ribbon or embellishment becomes our muse for a moment to predict the color and style trends we’ll all see evolve over the next few seasons. It all begins with the gown…
So join us on twitter and instagram (@momental) as we live tweet (@riceink) from the runways and share our first sketches! If you will be in NYC, please say hello! XO
September 6, 2012
I’m not sure I’ve ever introduced you to my Unkie. My great uncle Aaron, who passed years ago, was like a grandfather to me and the entire family called him Unkie, for a reason I never knew. Growing up he encouraged my every aspiration, took me on picnics and taught me to appreciate what he called “yemin yellies” (those yellow lilies that grow everywhere in PA from May to October). His nickname for me even through high school was peaches. I never knew why, but secretly loved it.
In college, Unkie mailed me at least one handwritten letter a week, with a bit of cash tucked inside and of course a whole bunch of wisdom scrawled in his tentative and typo-ridden hand. It was in those letters than Unkie introduced his mantra for my life. Every letter sent, for each week I attended college, he signed off with a God Bless and a “keep your nose to the grindstone”. I’m sad to say this phrase became a bit of white noise for me after reading it hundreds of times. It wasn’t until he was gone, that I realized their true power.
The best work of your life is hard. It takes a lot of blood, sweat and many tears. Sometimes it hurts but doing the good work, makes you sharp…like anything you keep to a grindstone. Dull and pathless becomes honed and passionate…all on the grindstone.
Someone sent me a note yesterday…and gave me a little nudge that was so needed on a very loud and hectic day. He reminded me in a not so overt way, that what we do at the studio is good work. He reminded me that Unkie would be proud. Thank you for that.
A watercolor of Unkie painted in high school now hangs in the studio, with Unkie’s mantra perched underneath. He reminds us all to keep at it…get sharp…keep at it.