594712 Gail Grabow, a.k.a. Bootsy Ampleforth - jewelry sculpture ceramics

Life is brilliantly and mind blowingly a million times a million things simultaneously firing, like neurons, or starlight. It is an  unimaginable and immeasurable hodgepodge that  operates much like the unconscious. All the crazy shifting out there goes on in our heads too. We survive, day to day, with our conscious faculties,  by superimposing some personal order or cohesion onto it all. We might make something  up ours, or buy into ready made versions.  I am  intrigued by the artists and thinkers and storytellers in this world, and what they shape in their imagination, that borderless terrain where art and myth and story and every variety of wonderful things are to be discovered.
It was a long ago, during  a time of overwhelming grief that   I read dictionaries of symbolism the same way one  might browse through the recipes of a  cook book, and bathed my mind, outdoors,  with observations  and contemplation of nature. Both were soothing and mind numbing  distractions from the brutal impact of my brother's suicide.  It was at that time that  I began to note the correspondences and analogies that exist between that which is our inner nature, our  heart and our soul, and that which  is our outer nature, the physical universe. My preoccupation with nature led me to the belief that she is the entity that  mirrors, most formidably our inner world.  Nature became a living metaphor.

Nature  expresses herself in any imaginable state, whether it is an occurrence of growth, contraction, expansion, mutation,  decay, or even death. Likewise,  so does the  mind - in its stories, in culture, in visions, in  dreams and images, in everything human. In this way, nature’s myriad forms are a mirror of the psyche. Just as nature is always in flux, so is the  labile mind, that, too,  by its very nature, is in a perpetual state of movement and transformation.  We can not nail either one down anymore than one  can nail down a blob of mercury. The mind is as fluid and productive as the oceans that cover over 70% of the world, and both Mother Nature and the soul's truth shape shift endlessly. Observance of nature has become a path, as well as the  context, in which I  examine and contemplate life. Nature is my muse.

After all, and as a result, I do not try to coerce a narrow logic or order out of the world -  there could be no fruitful outcome in doing so. Life is fluid and nature is the mesmerizing lens through which I might look at, and contemplate our ever changing world.  I absorb and observe, and move on to ways to create and to participate.
Making things is how I make use of my time. This is how I am wired. Within this context, the  subject of beauty intrigues and moves me - I see it as far more complex  than that which is  is pleasing to the eyes and to the senses.  Beauty  is an aggregate of divergent influence that expands our way of seeing, penetrates our core being, and nourishes the mind and  the heart, the true seat of intelligence. 

WAY OF MAKING

WAY OF SEEING

I mold botanical and organic forms and  replicate nature's beauty, directly. This  process  has become indispensable to my work as I utilize natural and botanical forms, quite literally, to create a piece. It is a way to capture what fascinates me about her. Her intricate forms and surfaces are inimitable. Anything from a twig, to a sepal, a flower bud, pistil, stamen, leaf impressions, Romanesco cauliflower, and most recently, one of our pollinators,  the Blue Fur Carpenter bee, is game. After cutting open the mold and removing the original form, I  inject the mold with wax to get an exact and workable replica. Through a back and forth succession of molding and lost wax casting in metal, I articulate and refine the original wax from nature  into the final working component of jewelry. Nature's forms are now literally reproduced and immortalized in metal. It is what I have dubbed my own Fool’s Alchemy, to turn flowers into gold. Added to that is the hands on quality and tone of the hand-made object that I love, the sense that human hands have been there.  I adhere to the best of my abilities to execute craft that is of quality and durability. Honoring the tradition of the amulet or  talisman, it is my hope that what I make resonates in such a way that the wearer feels a meaningful intimacy with the object that I have created,  and that there is a lifetime of enjoyment to be found in it. I am the sole distributor of my work and so a deep gratitude extends to those who share my work with others, or bestow recommendations.
 

STONES

Stones are bits of the earth produced by the heaving and  boiling and pressure deep within her that occurred long, long ago. The results astonish me - rock hardened masses of a once molten, shifting  earth that result in brilliant  colors, patterns, and formations.  They are moments of the earth’s processes  frozen in time, and if cut properly, will  emit a light filled  sparkle, like the stars in the sky. They are, yet,  another example of  earth's mystery, beauty, and magic,  and point metaphorically to the intricate workings of our existence.

As within, so without,

as above, so below,

as the universe, so the soul.

Hermes Trismegistus

intricate reproductions of natural beauty

art jewelry and sculpture inspired by nature

Minnesota made

from  the heart of the northeast minneapolis

arts   district   in   the   california   building