Sabi Saturday, Week 18

Sabi Saturday, Week 18

Sabi Saturday Linkup Week 18

Show how you love, treasure, reuse or creatively transform things that may be a bit worn but nevertheless is still useful/beautiful and have character or history.

As you know while I post on Saturdays, the blog hop is open for the whole week so feel free to share any time during the week. Add your link at the bottom of the post. I do moderate the links to avoid spam so it may take up to 24 hours for the link to show.

  • the vintage/antique items handed down or we “rescue” from garage sales and thrift stores so they don’t end up in a trash bin
  • items we’ve upcycled instead of throwing them away
  • items we’ve repaired in a transformative way to make them more beautiful or cooler than before
  • process or tutorials on how we upcycled or repaired something to make something new, more beautiful, or cooler

Sabi Saturday Linkup Week 17 Roundup

First the roundup of 2020 from Week 17 posted the week of January 25th, 2020:

Sketching Words : shares the bench that her brother made from the bench that he had made previously but the weather had deteriorated. And the recycled wood was enough to provide a second gift.  What a great brother!

Cactus Catz shared a book Julia’s Cats: Julia Child’s Life in the Company of Cats by by Patricia Barey and Therese Burson.  Julia Child loved cats starting with her first one in Paris. (note: I am an Amazon.  See Amazon affiliate disclosure in the sidebar.)

This week’s my Sabi Saturday contribution:

cat jewelry, Sabi Saturday, Cactus Catz
my cat bracelet, earrings and brooches

I love checking out the jewelry section in thrift stores.  Of course, when I see a cat one I have to snap it up.  I count big cats of course.  Since I’m a Leo, I also gravitate towards lions especially.  I have more cat jewelry. I started my collection with my first pair of cat earrings I bought new in 1979 or 1980 with a pair of Laurel Burch’s lion head earrings.  I remember I bought it in Jerome, Arizona, an old mining town — the jail slid across the street when the town sank a bit over the mine. The earrings are still one of my favorites.

Laura Burch

I think it’s pretty obvious that Laurel Burch loved cats too as she is famous for her cat images.  I thought her life was interesting as well. She inherited her artistic sensibilities from her mom Anne Harte after divorcing Russell Harte who worked as a seamstress and designer for Peggy Lee, the singer, among others. As a single mom, Anne Harte felt guilty that she spent weeks designing and making the perfect Easter dress for Peggy Lee’s daughter when her own daughters didn’t get an Easter dress of their own.

Running Away / Single Mom / Osteopetrosis

As a teen, Laurel had problems with her mom and went to live with her dad. It seemed that didn’t work out well either. Laurel ran away from home at age 14, making a living by cleaning houses and taking care of children for room and board.  Later she wandered, busking for money by singing and playing the guitar. She married jazz musician Robert Burch but at age 19 was a single mom on welfare with a daughter and pregnant with her son.  Complicating her life was the pain and broken bones she suffered from osteopetrosis which she had from birth.  She said she could bones in her feet just by walking. During her first pregnancy with her daughter Arrin, the doctor warned Laurel that her pelvis might shatter during childbirth.  I imagine she must have been very scared but she had two children.  She produced art during her hospital stays and recoveries which sometimes lasted up to two years.  Over the course of her lifetime she was to suffer more than 100 bone fractures including her neck 4 times and had 12 surgeries but she persevered.  She talks about her body and her life in this 6 minute video from 30 minutes, Bay area

Things were pretty desperate for her financially as a single mom. She was once arrested from stealing meat from a grocery store when someone told her she needed more meat.  Laurel was doing what she could living in welfare and began supplementing her income selling art and jewelry on the streets in San Francisco in the 1960s.   It was the height of the Haight-Ashbury era where she lived. She started off utilizing found metal and other objects to create her jewelry. She’d hammer the metal into shape on the back of her old frying pan. That frying pan was a symbol in many ways of her two roles. As a single mom, in the kitchen Laurel used her frying pan to make jewelry with a different pan heating rice-a-roni while she encouraged her children to do their homework and follow their creative passions.  In a SFGate article, her son Jay recalled, “The emphasis was on things of beauty more than what we couldn’t afford.”  She gave her children a lot of freedom but told them they had to be home by dark.

Laurel Burch Feline Friends 19″x15″ shoulder tote
Laura Burch’s designs appears on totes, jewelry, journals, greeting cards, books, and even stamps. (Note: links go to search results on Laurel Burch stuff on Amazon. I especially love the cat and mermaid journals but then I have a thing for journals. FYI: I am an Amazon affiliate and may get a small commission if you buy something using the link.)

Artist and Business Maven

The finances began to improve. Some of the local store owners noticed her work and began selling it in their stores.  Shashi Singapuri, a businessman from India who ran the Museum of Jewelry (a wholesale manufacturer specializing in handcrafted jewelry), helped Laurel to go to China where she learned about the techniques of cloisonné. At the time China was still a closed country in 1971 so it was unusual that with Singapuri’s financial backing, Laurel set up cloisonné jewelry manufacturing there. She created 12 paintings that became jewelry and the start of her signature look. Something about it reminds me of art deco with the straight lines. Her designs also began to appear on paper, porcelain and textiles.

As Laurel’s work took off, she traveled to Egypt, Morroco, Japan and Bali and went back to China 22 times. Her father had once called her a hippie who would never amount to anything and he was wrong.  She became a very successful designer and businesswoman.  In 1979, her business broke off from Singapuri and became solely hers but she soon found she was spending too much time doing business instead of art.  So she began selling licenses to manufacturers and distributors.  Today her business Laurel Burch Artworks is run by her son Jay.

Laurel loved doing her art.  With her bones breaking so easily, she has even painted with her arm in a cast.  She has not let anything stop her. Laurel said about her art, “I want it to convey hopefulness, and brightness and goodness.” Laurel Burch passed away September 13, 2007.

The following short video is by her daughter Aarin Burch about her mother.

The Art of Motherhood / Through daughter’s filmmaking, Laurel Burch focuses on what’s important — her family, by Tricia Cambron, SFGate, May 12, 2000

Laurel Burch, Artist, Dies at 61 by Douglas Martin, New York Times, Sept. 20, 2007

Laurel Burch, 61; artist, jewelry maker whose work appeared in many forms by Mary Rourke, Los Angeles Times, Sep. 21, 2007

Laurel Burch, Wikipedia

Laurel Burch: Joy Despite Pain, Esme

Laurel Burch: The inspiring story of this physically limited, hugely successful, self-made artist. , by Dick Kazan, Kazan Today, May 16, 2017

Laurel Burch Artworks Studio

Laurel Burch, Biographies, Women’s International Center

Is there some Organization that Controls the Laurel Burch Designs by Douglas Gray, Colorful Critters, 2013

Aarin Burch Productions


The Museum of Jewelry


Linking up

You can choose to do a pingback or add your link in the Mr. Linkys. Also feel free to leave a link in comments. The advantage to Mr. Linkys is that it can feature an image from your post. Please tag your post Sabi Saturday.

Note: Here are some quick instructions if you need a little help with Mr. Linkys.

  • Click “Check to accept use/privacy policy (click to read)” for your url to be accepted.
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  • Once you choose your image, click done.
  • It will ask to close the window so click ok.

Give it a few minutes to do the script and resize the image and then refresh your window. You should see your link. Be aware if you’ve entered a url in a previous Mister Linkys on anybody’s blog, not just mine, it will probably automatically propagate the fields with your previous entry. Remember to change the url if you’re not doing the same post.

13 Replies to “Sabi Saturday, Week 18”

    1. That’s pretty cool. I love the bit about the history of the box and your sharing of your mom’s jewelry. thank you for joining.

    1. I’d love to see your cat jewelry. Share them sometime and drop me a link here so I know. I love how cat jewelry ranges from the whimsical, cute to artsy.

  1. Great collection of kitty jewelry. I am a Leo too 🙂 I will join up soon, I need to think of something to show.

    1. You’re a leo too? That is so cool. Of course, Leos are cat people. I’m looking forward to whatever you share on Sabi Saturdays.

    1. I agree. I had owned the earrings for years but didn’t know Lauren Burch was so interesting until I wrote the post and looked into her a little more. I love how blogging (and photography) makes you look at things a bit more deeply.

    1. I agree the story of Lauren Burch is interesting — I didn’t know her life either until I starting writing the post. That’s one of the things I love about blogging — it makes you look a little deeper into things.

  2. What a life she had. She didn’t stop, she did what she loved and it paid off. A life with many issues, but well lived.

    Have a fabulous day and week, my friend. ♥

    1. I agree with you. Lauren Busch, despite health and early family issues, enjoyed her life and made quite a success at it despite the obstacles. I love that her artwork feels so bright and cheery.

      Hope you’re having a great weekend, Sandee!

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