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Wearing the woods

Artist asks audience to write themselves a love letter


Photo Credit: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - Caren Jones is the Spiral Gallery's featured artist for August.

The frame is as important as what it showcases.

At least that’s the case in Caren Jones’ “Picture in a Frame of Mind” show at the Spiral Gallery.

Wooden jewelry is prominently featured in the show, but the way it is featured draws the eye just as powerfully.

Photo Credit:  ISABEL GAUTSCHI - Fittingly, frames are given a lot of attention in Jones' 'Picture in a Frame of Mind' show.You might find earrings in a picture frame over a map or sheet music, cupped in a spoon nailed to salvaged barn wood, or nonchalantly resting on an old book.

Necklaces hang from a creative wall hook rack composed of electric beaters emerging from repurposed wood.

“I thought it would be fun to frame everything as little works of art, except little works of art you can wear,” Jones said of the show.

The show is eclectic, which is fitting for an artist who declares her specialty as “a little of this, a little of that.”

While Jones’ gentle water colors also are featured in the show, “Picture in a Frame of Mind” is clearly also a celebration of wood.

Photo Credit:  ISABEL GAUTSCHI - The show features several creative hook racks made with repurposed materials and items.As a former interpretive ranger for the U.S. National Park Service, Jones has a deep appreciation for wood.

Lately, she’s been drawn to laminated wood working to create jewelry.

She selects wood for colors, shapes and grains, stacks them and cuts the jewelry out of the blocks of layered, sanded wood.

“I appreciate reusing things that might otherwise have been discarded,” Jones said.

Often, she will work with leftover material from her fiance’s work as a contractor.

“I think jewelry is a fun way to think about yourself as an art piece,” Jones said.

“Frame of mind” isn’t just the artistic theme for the show.

Jones extended the message by encouraging gallery-goers to write themselves a love letter to be posted on a bulletin board on a wall in the showroom.

Photo Credit:  ISABEL GAUTSCHI - Jones indicated that jewelry is a fun way to turn the wearer into a work of art.“I really think that people don’t think about the things they appreciate about themselves,” she said. “It’s easy to do that for other people, but we don’t always do that for ourselves.”

A few days after Jones’ First Friday artist reception on Aug. 1, and the bulletin board had several letters tacked to it.

When not making art, Jones works at a cannery and serves as vice president of the board for the nonprofit sustainable agricultural practices organization, foodwaves.org.

“Picture In a Frame of Mind” will be on display at the Spiral Gallery throughout August.

For more information on Jones, visit

thespottedmoose.com.



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