Saturday, March 30, 2013

Artistry In The Bloom Of Barnacles...

Today is dedicated to a relaxing day of inspirational reflection. Since it is the day before Easter, the resurrection of the ultimate creator, we thought these inspired photos of decaying stumps left a long lasting impression of how through death comes a moments of unmistakable beauty and artistry. 

Set to Inspire….      Xo.OPhilya.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Handmade Woven Leather Helmet

This is a Handmade Hand-woven Leather Helmet made with Dark Chocolate Brown oil tan cow hide. Within the flipped up brim is a hidden pocket for safe keeping of smaller things. This particular product was made for my senior collection in 2012. Inspired br vintage headwear, I attempted to bring to life a concept conceived by taking idea from the past and bring them forwards to create a future style of wearable leather headwear. 

Since each product is given a name to gather into our group of our little Frankensteins. This hand crafted head-piece name is, Waylon, born 3.15.12


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Within the City We Seek Inspiration

I adore nature and all things natural, but when walking amongst this concrete jungle you must not drift from inspired thought. While I find that most things within the city have rules and regulations, the simple things such as textural details of city streets, old brick walls, gated entrances, and the decayed structures from the use over time, you can indeed find the inspiration needed to create your memorable atmosphere by noticing the unnoticed. Every aspect of this world deserves close thought and consideration. Nothing should go to waste, not even waste itself.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It Is All In The Details

Its in those small touches of layering contrasting colors to allow the brand-name to pop. This is when I started to back each iron branded name with a darker hide to bring out the burned lettering in the brand, and to top it off, the distinctive color of stitching which exposes the detail with a smooth, polished finish. Its these small touches which set bags apart from one another. Although these bags will indeed be simple in design, the object of its production was to show the love that goes into the simplest of creations when adding those special touches within the details.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Handmade Leather Oxfords

These are Handmade Leather Oxfords. It is a whole cut pattern piece, meaning that the dark hide is actually painted on to create the illusion of a geniune oxford. Although this was a beginners stage of hand crafted oxfords, I managed to learn an awesome technique in the process. The soles are at the raw stage of completetion. Next comes hand shaping, painting, and then buffed and polished.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Jessel. Hand Lather Wooden Pendent

Introducing Jessel, the newly created handmade wood lathed pendent made from buckeye burl, which is a beautiful mix of blue and white, twisted in knots to form intricate swirls in this piece of exotic wood.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Behold the Enlightened Power Of Spring

As the season turns and winter transforms into the warmth of spring, I find a calm light weight feeling of welcoming that fresh start of a new year. Flowers shall begin to bloom and trees will bud in shades of green, while the frozen waters begin to rush back into action. The transition  from winter to spring becomes my subtle reminder in the magic of life that surrounds me. All nature temporally dormant in the frigid cold, but springs to life in a poetic rhythm in the coming of warmer days.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Graphite Sketches of Concept Shoes

Only a dream but still plans in the making. I often sketch conceptual shoe designs hoping one day I might be able to hand make, or have them made for runway fashion shows. I have drawn hundreds of shoes and continuously thrive off new ideas for wearable forms of art. I would melt at the opportunity to design for a company who would produce these particular designs but I have now realized how difficult it actually is to get the work out into the world. 


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Process Of Wood Turning

Many see the products that we create, but do not get the opportunity to see the process of creation, which in my personal opinion is the highlight of the creative arts. This machine is a Miniature wood lathe. Real simple concept, all you have to do is take the piece of wood which you desire to transform, and wedge it tightly between this gapped area. As you power up the machine the block of would begin to spin at 1200rpm. You of course may adjust the speed but in order to create the fine edges and detailed pieces, the faster you go the easier it is to work with. By taking the hand tools and working away at the surface of the block, soon the piece will begin to take shape and from their you may create what ever your heart desires. Now even though this concept of lathing wood sounds relatively simple, it also requires great skill and patients in order to achieve your desired thickness and design. This tool has become a blessing to the team of machinery in our shop, and Mike is slowly working up towards mastering the trade of wood lathing. You will begin to see new products with intricate details of our handmade treasures made from exotic wood, so stay tune...


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Magic In The White of Snow

With ice on the ground and a cool wind in the air, Mike and I chanced the bitter cold and found a forest preserve near the house to take my dog Kapone for a mid-day stroll. Every winter I find Kapone sitting quietly in his corner glaring over while I'm at work in the studio expressing through his big brown puppy dog eyes, his desire to be outdoors. Kapone is a black lab, German shepard mix. Although we might stand on a five acres of land, with plenty of room to roam, Kapone only finds comfort when his owner is by his side. I believe this is the German Shepard in him which cries out to be loved by his single selected owner.

While all others melt over their beloved pooch I indeed find my dog Kapone, irresistibly charming. Reaching about 10 years old, fully grayed, with his natural mix of brindle, Kapone has become my unique inspiration of a charming twist of awkward. Although he stands with an alarmingly graceful posture which wards off the on-coming passer-by from approaching him with a pet and a smile. Kapone looks as though he is both sharp, cunning, and would attack on command. Although these features would be extraordinary for my protection, he is quit opposite. A simple soul and kind to the touch, Kapone, or Pony for short, has become my beloved companion.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Instyle Winning Handmade Handbag

This hand-woven handmade Leather handbag was made for my senior collection during my last year at Savannah College of Art and Design. In my final months I entered this particular bag into Instyles Independent Handbag Award Competition. Crazy enough, I won in the category of Best Student Made Handbag and was given the chance to mass produce a bag with the brand Piazza from 
The bag designed and created with Piazza with be release in Spring 2013, so it drawing close to the day the bag will be release to the public. The whole process is exciting and suspenseful! I am just excited I was blessed with this opportunity to be featured in September issue of Instyle and on top of that, have the chance to experience of the process of fully designing and mass-producing a wonderfully crafted bag with an amazing company such as Piazza.

The bag has a few special features. The outside exterior of the bag is all hand woven. First each tiny strip had to be skived. This mean that the back end of the hide had to be split from the oiled surface in order to take away from the bulk of the final product. There are indeed easier ways of achieving this surface but with the tools given and the material chosen this was my best and most affordable way to achieve my vision. The exotic Coccobolo wooden handle is hand-carved and is polished to a shine to give another extravagant touch to the product. The yellow strip of patten leather was a one-of-a-kind accident acid leather dyed cow hide. The interior of the bag has a custom printed fabric of garden gnomes and within the interior of the inside pocket is yet again another custom printed florescent striped fabric to add another hidden pop of personality into this compact leather bag.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Handmade Wooden Stud Earrings

These tiny stud earrings are the last small fragments of the wooden pieces used. We thrive off the challenge of recycling and reusing materials, so as the wood dwindles down to small unusable scraps, we yet again found another purpose. By saving each scrap of wood we have created a new way to frame the beauty of the natural wood grain in minuscule form which delicately lay flat upon the ear. Appropriate for both men and women, these earrings have become a simple addition to our team of hand crafted accessories.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Waiting Patiently For Spring To Come...

As the days grow warmer and the snow begins to melt, I find a natural excitement for the coming of spring. It will shift towards a refreshing start to a new year, and with this, comes new goals and dreams to set me off on the right foot. My goal this year is to begin to reach out to all those who have truly supported me through the beginning stages in starting Ophilya. Although I have not reached a comfortable destination in creating a full up and running brand, I have slowly began to expose the wonderful art of creation to all those who have lent an ear to listen. I hope to exceed in creating a welcoming community of individuals who will trust and follow my lead in expressing new possibilities of inspiration.

This is more then just hand crafted accessories, but it has become a way of life. To live inspired you must understand that each day should be cherished and lived to fullest, and all things, both large and small, hold within in it inspired thoughts of creation, for ALL things are both created, and constructed.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

All that Life In the Death of Nature

Often I find my inspiration in the strangest of place... Walking through a forest preserve, I began to notice the colors and shapes left in these withering cut logs. Something as simple as this, has become today's inspiring thought. Even the core of these extravagant trees holds within it, the life of creation, and a mesmerizing twist of displaying its development through its years here on earth. I know I often turn poetic when I dwell on the thought of creation, but as I snapped a shot of these small stumps I am once again reminded about the true beauties of nature.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Soft Trapunto Handmade Leather Backpack

This backpack is the first of its kind. Although it has still a long way to go before it reaches perfection, it is the beginning of the experimental process of finding new ways to play with the details in surface treatments and techniques. I mostly stay true to the simplified construction of the bag but attempt to think outside the box when it comes to the textural detail. I believe when you keep the bag on the simple side it hold true to a modest but sophisticated approach to design. Although this bag has a long way to go before it may be sold to public, I find it a great start to a different approach to a simplified version of the back pack.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Handmade Recycled Wood Display

Digging through scraps of wood, Mike and I found the need to give purpose to these unwanted pieces. As a small craft show approached this became the perfect opportunity to create a display using the small scraps of wood, remences of fabric, and  a unique and creative thought process to put together a completely handmade recycled wood display with handcrafted fabric signs.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Handmade Leather Clutch w/ Wooden Lathe Zipper Pull

This is the newest addition to the team of handmade leather goods. This small mid-sized leather clutch is completely simple in design but holds within it hidden personality and special attention to detail. Upon the front exterior of the bag is a smudge lettering. This marking is the specific cattle ranch branding from where this hide has come. While some might consider this a flawed part of the hide, I find the fascination in displaying the proper origin of this material.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Handmade Leather Handbag

This is the experimental process of creating a new technique for surface detail. This bag in particular is meant to translate an idea of different ways to create a unique surface to a handbag. By taking one inch think foam and wedging it between two layers I was able to create this clean edge soft trapunto finish. Although it is still at the rough stage of working out the small flaws and finalized details, it has become a great mock-up in sharing my thoughts and ideas for future products to come.


Hand-Whittled Wood Ring With Embedded Stone

New ideas for wearable works of art keep meeting me in my dreams. With the scrap pieces of wood that I have accumulated over the years I continually attempt to come up with a new exciting project to keep the engine rolling with my crafting career. This is a hand-whittled exotic Bocote ring, with an embedded moss agate stone. Nothing to extravagant, but then again, this is the first of its kind, so as I continue to improve on this particular piece I hope to find new exciting ways to express this passion for creative ways to construct by upping the craftsmanship and style of these simple wooden rings.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Beneath this Surface Lies A Colorful Soul

I think of myself as an individual who wears her heart upon her sleeve. It is within my work I attempt to show the depths of my personality through the materials chosen, and the craftsmanship applied to create a one-of-kind artistic accessory for those who deeply and truly understand the true essence of art. 

From the moment the sun appears and I pull the covers down from over my head, I crave this passion for all my senses. A colorful wardrobe is normally the excitement which pulls me from my stupor and brings back that spark of excitement in creating yet again another memorable day. The clothing which you chose, I believe, should express your inner self, and so with this said, I find myself fighting to deny throwing on all the colors in my closet and attempting to stick to somewhat of a cohesive color palette. But underneath all these luxurious layers lies a colorful soul which lives for life's most tiniest of inspirational thoughts and visions.

      Live Inspired.