Packing My Travel Beading Kit…

•June 18, 2019 • Leave a Comment

I intended to get some geometric components made over the last week but I was so busy on this vacation that I didn’t have time.  We spent the week in Colorado where the weather was gorgeous and a welcome reprieve from all the rain we’ve had of late in Illinois.  We took several cooking classes in Boulder that were great fun and while there we also visited the Butterfly Pavilion.  What a treat it was to roam amidst tropical plants where hundreds of graceful butterflies fluttered freely!  They truly are beautiful creatures and a source of inspiration in color and form.  Here are just a few photos for you to enjoy!

Easing Up On…

•June 11, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Perfection.  It’s not an easy thing to let go of when one has been a perfectionist for all of one’s life.  As a young child I always noticed when something didn’t look quite right (i.e; the windows of my doll house were situated far too high to allow the miniature human figures the ability to peer through, etc.,).  As a teen my hair, makeup, clothes, and accessories always had to be stylishly “au courant”.  Colors and patterns that clashed offended my youthful eyes and frankly, still do.  I often find myself adjusting a vase or piece of art one or two inches to the right or left until my eyes are pleased with how the object sits.  This tendency can drive others crazy, but as with Goldilocks everything has always had to be or feel “just right”.  To my dying day, I doubt I’ll ever manage to let go of perfection completely, but making asymmetrical art is a good start!

In my last blog post I showed polymer pieces on my work table.  No two pieces were identical.  I really enjoyed making this pair of asymmetrical earrings which I’ve titled “Divided Light” because the blue/ black squares make me think of windowpanes through which a light dusting of snow is seen.  And those colorful orbs on spirals of silver wire above the windows…in my mind’s eye they are colorful planets in the cosmos!


•June 4, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Do you feel like a kid when playing with color and texture?  I do!  I think back to kindergarten and that first day I dipped my fingers into paint and went wild drawing on a large sheet of paper.  I can’t remember what I painted…probably lots of squiggles and shapes.  But I remember the joy I felt in those moments when I could paint without preconceived plans or anyone telling me what to make.  Not a care in the world…just plain unabashed fun!  It’s difficult to leave behind the baggage and problems that come with adulthood, but I do make a concerted effort to put aside adult frustrations and lose myself in art play.  

I have no concrete plans for what these pieces will become.  I see the square and rectangle at the top and the free form piece at far right possibly being used in brooch or pendant designs.  The others may be earrings or end up as components used along with other pieces to create a finished product or a mixed media object. I find it’s best not to have a fixed idea for the intended finished work as so many ideas pop in and out of my head while I work that often the original idea has morphed into something altogether different.  It’s a serendipitous journey. Sometimes I’m disappointed, but most times I’m pleasantly surprised with the end result.  And frankly, I just want to have fun creating…for me, that’s what it’s all about!

I’ve Just Scratched the Surface…

•May 27, 2019 • Leave a Comment
Carving Clay Components
That statement is a double entendre meaning that I’ve physically scratched the surface of these components, but also that I’m exploring the many facets and possibilities polymer clay offers.  Although I’ve worked with polymer clay off and on over the years, I’m taking more time these days to experiment with various surface design techniques. Having sat idle for some time, my carving and texturing tools are being put to work once again gouging freehand designs into cured polymer clay.  I find myself drawn to minimalism in art these days and possess little patience for working with elaborate design.  Simple shape and form call to me at the moment. But life and ideas are ever changing and what I’ll be up to in the coming weeks and months is anyone’s guess.  For the time being, I’m satisfied to be carving clay!

More Clay Play…

•May 20, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Beads are such fun to make!  Rolling clay into round, cone, oblong and other shaped beads, extruding long tube beads that can be sliced into narrow heishi disks, and creating the look of natural stone and marble that weighs far less than the real thing is a huge plus!  It’s such a relaxing, zen-inducing process that I just keep making and adding them to my cache of creative components (you’ll find several collections of polymer clay beads  in my Etsy shop later this week).
Aside from several spacer beads made of ostrich egg shell and an oxidized sterling silver twig that I cast in a jewelry-making class several years ago (there is a 2mm opal set in 14k gold at the top of twig), this neckpiece is composed entirely of beads made with polymer clay. Strung on a silver-plated brass neckring with a balled end that can be unscrewed, I have the option of switching out components should I change my mind and wish to add different beads at a later time.  Because I am petite and just a tad over 5′ in height, I favor neckrings and collars over long necklaces, which tend to wear me rather than the other way around!  They also look great worn with jewel and boat-necked clothing and they don’t get caught up on equipment when I’m working in the studio.  Next up, I think I’ll make some faux jasper or lapis lazuli, or jade beads!  Or maybe faux ivory or beach glass, or…gosh, you can duplicate the look of so many natural materials with polymer clay.  It’s mind boggling!

I’ve Said It Before…

•May 16, 2019 • 8 Comments

Thank you, Fire Mountain Gems and Beads!  A box arrived today via Fedex containing my entry in the Fire Mountain Gems and Beads 2019 Jewelry Making Contest in the Metals division and (be still my rapidly beating heart!!!) my piece won a Grand Silver Prize Award and gift certificate!  I am thrilled!  All those hollow-formed beads that I made using my hydraulic press, the twigs I’d cast in silver, and the beautiful enamels that I’ve worked with off and on over the years came to fruition in this necklace, which I’ve titled “Harvest”.  Today I’m celebrating.  Tomorrow I’ll be perusing the FMG catalog and choosing some goodies with which to use my gift certificate.  I love FMG!!!

Feeling Creative?

•May 6, 2019 • 1 Comment

Ready for some fun?  I’ve just finished a colorful 23″ long necklace composed of a geometrically beadwoven link, polymer clay components, and a sterling silver clasp.  I made more polymer clay components than I needed and  I’ve divided them into color-coordinated groupings that can be used in bracelet, necklace, and earring designs.  The geometric beadwoven links range in length from 35mm to 50mm. Each grouping is threaded onto the stem of a sturdy wire-worked handmade heavyweight safety pin for safe keeping. Best of all, once you remove the components, the safety pin can be reused as a brooch upon which you can dangle beads, ribbons, found objects, or whatever fun elements you desire! Measuring approximately 60mm in length, the safety pins can be worn on sweaters , as wrap pins or even used as an element in a necklace design.  You’ll find these treasures in my Etsy shop!

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