Tag Archives: contemporary

A Bunch of Earrings and a Necklace: Jewelry Sale

I’m back in North Carolina for a while and I’m going through my 20+ year treasure collection. The pieces I’m offering for sale today are jewelry from the bygone years, an eclectic mix of “needed for professional life” or an “artistic point-of-view” that no longer fits my lifestyle. I’ll be listing an eclectic mix of pieces over the next weeks. Keep your eyes open! They are one-of-a-kind!

You get first choice before I list these on eBay and in my Etsy shop.

Nine (9) items offered today. Please email me with your interest (norma.schafer@icloud.com), plus address, specify August 13 and item number. I will calculate postage and send you an invoice.

#1.  SOLD. John Hardy Pearl, 18K Gold and 925 Silver Earrings. 14K gold posts. 6mm (approx) pearls set in 1/2″ diameter bezel, 1-1/2″ long, mesh silver ball topped with 18K gold crown. Bought at Saks 5th Avenue, 1990’s. Vintage. $165. plus shipping. No signs of wear.

#2. SOLD. Artisan-designed and hand-made sterling silver leaf and flower necklace 16″ long including clasp. Flowers have 14K gold centers. Bought at Smithsonian Crafts Show, Washington, D.C. $165. plus shipping.

#3. Contemporary Asheville, North Carolina jewelry artist Joanna Gollberg designed and made. I purchased these from her at the North Carolina Designer Crafts Show in 2003. Hand wrought sterling silver Ellipse (3a. left) and Stix (3b. right) earrings. $35. each pair. Plus shipping.

#4. I Don’t Remember Earrings. They are either platinum or white gold. Simple, functional. 5/8″ diameter. $85. plus shipping.

#5. Vintage Thailand Silver Fish Earrings, handmade. Bought in a Hill Tribe Village outside of Chang Mai, 1994. Old then. Fish dangles 1-1/2″ from hook eye. I have not polished these. $125. plus shipping.

#6. Abalone shell and silver triangle tiered earrings made by Chapel Hill, North Carolina, jewelry artist Rebecca Laughlin McNeigher. Shimmering abalone shell difficult to come by now. 2-1/2″ long. $95. plus shipping.

#7. Jade studs, approx. 5 to 6mm, with gold setting and post. $65. plus shipping.

#8. 14K Rose Gold ball earrings bought in Australia, 2002. 1″ long from curve of hook. Approx. 1/4″ dia. ball. $65. plus shipping.

#9. Rare spiny oyster pendant from South America with hand-made sterling silver setting/bale. 1-1/4″ long by 3/4″ wide at bottom. $65. plus shipping.



Oaxaca Artist Gabriel Mendoza Lives Here

Oaxaca artist Gabriel Mendoza Rodriguez lives obscurely and paints large. His works are filled with color, humor, sadness, political and social commentary. They are playful and grotesque, childlike and sophisticated, simple and complex.

Two large paintings in Gabo's studio

Two large paintings in Gabo’s studio

Look into Gabo’s eyes and you know that he feels what he paints — street children, prostitutes, farm animals. These are interpretations of life as he knew it growing up in Mexico City and what he sees here in Oaxaca.

Gabriel "Gabo" Mendoza Rodriguez in front of colonial adobe wall

Gabriel “Gabo” Mendoza Rodriguez in front of colonial adobe wall

I look at Gabo’s work and think back to Mexico’s political satirical movement started by Jose Guadalupe Posada. Diego Rivera revered Posada. So did his contemporaries David Alfaro Siquieros and Jose Clemente Orozco. Many of their paintings seem like a cartoon.  The satirical cartoon is a hallmark of Mexican art and I see it, especially, in Gabriel Mendoza‘s work.

Expansive courtyard where Gabo works

Expansive courtyard where Gabo works

Gabo lives and works within the second courtyard of a vintage colonial adobe home in the historic center of Oaxaca. The front door is now metal with only the street number visible. Inside, the first courtyard is filled with old restaurant equipment and surrounded by vacant rooms.

Three calaveras -- skeletons -- a common theme, a different approach

Three calaveras — skeletons — a common theme, a different approach

Walk further back and you enter an expansive brick patio where Gabo works. Here are easels, a printing press, a table saw for building frames for paintings and doors, murals and drawings on the crumbling stucco walls. Beyond are abandoned rooms where only debris and termite eaten timbers lay waiting for rehabilitation or burial. Work is in progress.

Decades of disuse in a building with great bones

Decades of disuse in a building with great bones

This is studio space that is used by several artists and Gabo hopes that more will come here to create and collaborate.


Please feel free to go and knock on the door. This is a part of Oaxaca worth exploring and a talented young man you will want to meet. With thanks to Dumpster Diver Diva Ellen Benson for the introductions!

Layers of acrylic paint on woven paper, texture and color

Layers of acrylic paint on woven paper, texture and color

Gabriel “Gabo” Mendoza Rodriguez, Xicotencatl #303 (between Guerrero and Colon).  Knock loudly and ring the bell several times! You say the street: She-Koh-Ten-Caht-L


Above left, my artist friend Hollie Taylor visiting from North Carolina. Above right, a painted kitchen cupboard.

Portraits of women, in progress, with cut-out paper doll

Portraits of women, in progress, with cut-out paper doll





Artist’s Studio: Mauricio Cervantes, Oaxaca, Mexico

There is a robust contemporary art scene in Oaxaca that is rooted in the Mexican art traditions of Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros with influences by Francisco Toledo, Oaxaca’s living art treasure.  Mauricio Cervantes is one of the new generation who taps deeply into his cultural history.


Hidden behind a peacock-blue facade on Avenida Benito Juarez near the corner of Murguia in the historic district of Oaxaca, Mexico, is the studio and home of artist Mauricio Cervantes.  I reach for the polished brass knocker shaped like a hand that adorns the door painted glossy iron red.  Its placement on the door is high and off-center.  Even the black stain of soot from spent candles on the entry wall is artful like a stencil of feathers or apparition.

Mauricio and I are acquainted through a mutual friend who introduced us last year.  Recently, he invited me to visit and I accepted this chance to know him better through his work. He is preparing for a show that will open on April 19 at Heskin Contemporary art gallery in Chelsea, New York City, and his studio is abuzz with assistants.

We sit comfortably at either end of a sofa in a great room that combines kitchen, dining and gathering area.  Most of the rooms that frame the central patio of the historic adobe home are given over to studio space.  A pot of stew simmers on the stove.  I ask Mauricio to tell me about the ingredients of his work. Bundles of cempazuchitl line the horizontal space behind the food preparation area. Hammering and sanding are background music.

“I paint time and antiquity,” says Mauricio.  “I am in love with the rust patina of ancient frescoes and facades.”  Antiquity to Mauricio does not mean history with dates, names of heroes or places of import.  It is conceptual and mythical, an undefined archetypical expression of space and time open to interpretation.

Forms float suspended, anchored on tiles of concrete that are prepared in a style called baldosas hidrolicas.  This is a type of fresco technique but instead of using wet plaster, he uses acids, oil paint and sometimes gold leaf.  Mauricio points to one of his works hanging in the kitchen, explaining that it is a portrait of a family.  In another piece, he describes what could be interpreted as a procession, a dream sequence, or a partner relationship.  His work feels introspective.  From deep within he extracts subterranean figures that are intertwined and relational, as if they were one.

Trained in classical painting, etching and drawing techniques at UNAM in Mexico City, Mauricio remembers that his professors were excellent artists, engravers and painters.  The fine, sharp edges in his work are reminiscent of an engraving.


As a child growing up in Puebla, Mauricio was influenced by his Swiss-German teachers, who were interested in anthropology, art and literature.  He traveled with his class on field trips to the Sierra Norte of Puebla where they explored archeological sites and indigenous villages, and then later to Germany.  These experiences inspired Mauricio to search for meaning through art.


For Mauricio, space is an essential component for creativity.  “To create beauty you have to be living in a beautiful space.  Art is drama, like life.  To create and transform, you have to be living in a container to support you to go further.  The space must be soothing, not disturbing,”  he says.  He is surrounded by touches of flowers, sleek clay sculpture, painted wood furniture with the character of age, and the utensils of his craft.

In years past, he rented outside the city in remote neighborhoods to have the space he needed.  Perhaps the location was an island in the midst of poverty or in new suburbs without a distinctive face or personality.  Now, he is in the center of Oaxaca’s art universe and beyond.


As one would expect, Mauricio is passionate about his work.  I marvel at how well he can integrate his living and work space.  And, I am reminded that making art means being immersed in the creative process with no boundaries around space and time.


Mauricio Cervantes, cervantesmauricio@gmail.com, studio telephone: (951) 516-2089.  Art installations for walls, floors and exterior spaces.  Mauricio works with architects, landscape and garden designers.