Fern fronds… the June AJE Component of the Month reveal

Has it really been a month? A month of creative students at Clay Camp, commissions, beads, books, and frolicking with the fae in the woods… Pictures to follow in short order. But its time for the Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month reveal – that’s for sure! 

This month’s lovely focal is the work of AJE teamate Linda Landig. Linda is new to ceramic clay and was generous enough to share some of her first fired treasures with the team and readers. When I saw this fern – I called “Dibs” as fast as my fingers could fly over the keyboard. From first glance, I intended to hang the fern pendant point up, and extend the copper along the bottom to have room for dimples and dangles. The fern was a bit larger that I expected, so I decided to keep the copper tab setting more form fitting. I flipped the setting as I decided to roll the tabs over the top of the piece – not only holding the stoneware in, but creating a channel for stringing material. The bottom tabs, and hole/dangel complete the secure tab setting. 

Fern tab setting

The back has a curled fern cut out, and is stamped with the words – peace, growth, strength. These are symbolic meanings associated with the fern. My initial suede lace arrangement (seen above) was too thin, too stretchy. I was committed in my mind’s eye to the suede as it was the perfect rust tone to echo the iron stain in the super detailed fern imprint. 

Everything in me wanted to use green. I was trying to avoid that as too predictable. I mean ferns are green, sure. but there isnt a RULE… In the end there is a bit of light green, as well as pod beads, wood grain jasper, copper chain… The necklace is very long, over 30″ – but that was the place it seemed to “fit” best.  I like its eclectic, organic design. 

Fern fronds CoM

(There are jump rings employed at variable spaces to connect the suede to the chain. Keeps it loose, yet under control.)

 fern fronds details.

( I included this one for scale – as my hand will give you a reference.) 

Thanks Linda! This was super fun – any reason to design unique tab settings, and I am there!

Please head over to the Art Jewelry Elements blog to see the team members and readers contibutions! There will be diverse offerings to entertain and inspire ! 

January reveals… the AJE component of the month

(Please feel free to read the AJE post where I introduced these Mixed Media pieces, and discussed their construction.)

Jan CoM

January. Beginnings. Resolutions. Blank slate. Fresh start. Intentions. 

1:  a determination to act in a certain way :  resolve

2:  importsignificance

3 a :  what one intends to do or bring about

   b :  the object for which a prayer, mass, or pious act is offered
 
4:  a process or manner of healing of incised wounds
 
When I designed this piece, I wanted something I could wear often, if not everyday. I had chosen a word for myself that was to be a talisman for the upcoming year. I wanted to wear it and be reminded to be present, in the moment, and to live with intention.  
Jan CoM collage

 

“Live with intention.
Walk to the edge.
Listen Hard.
Practice wellness.
Play with abandon.
Laugh.
Choose with no regret.
Appreciate your friends.
Continue to learn.
Do what you love.
Live as if this is all there is.”

 Mary Anne Radmacher

The piece was in olive polymer, with accents of copper and teal. The teal was so subtle – I wanted to enhance it with gems. Here its apatite. The greens are green garnet, long a favorite of mine. Copper chain, bead caps and wire are the metallic notes. The jade? jasper? beads on one side in the back are sprinkled with apatite as well. The pearls on the other side do have a coppery sheen. 

I am deeply satisfied with the focal and the necklace overall and have worn it many times this month. I do have more of these mixed media pieces in the works – and will have them at Berks Bead Bazaar March 1-2. 

I look forward to exploring the creations of my AJE colleagues and the guest bloggers this month. Plese join me? Links are below. 

Guests:

Hope of Craftyhope 

Sarajo of SJ Designs Jewelry


AJE team

Jennifer Cameron

Diana Ptaszynski

Lesley Watt

Susan Kennedy

Caroline Dewison

Linda Landig

Melissa Meman

Keirsten Giles

Rebekah Payne

Kristen Stevens

November CoM! A day late… but worth it.

Hello all – and sorry to be late the the “party”! The Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month party, naturally… 

Let me be brief: 

Kristen send amazing beaded beads. 

Life got really crazy wtih multiple shows and the holiday. 

I am late, and finally decided what to do! 

Nov CoM bracelet

Kristen’s beads are a luster finish, grey/silver/purple… that is hard to describe, and harder to photograph. They inspired the entire palette! 

The design process started here: with an assortment of gems, plain antiqued polymer components, and artist beads. ( Caroline Dewison, Karen Totten, LeAnn Weih)

ingredients WIP

Athenas owl focal

CoM complete!

Gems include: blue calcedony, jasper, and moonstone. 

I would love to hear what you think! Back to the studio… Big show at the DCCA this weekend. Talk to you all later. 

Special Guest
Alice Alice Dreaming
 
Jennifer  Glass Addictions
Lesley  Gossiping Goddess
 
 

Art Jewelry Elements’ September reveal!

Its the end of September already!?!?

Welcome – its the reveal day for the CoM over at Art Jewelry Elements blog! This month we are working with bronze clay bead caps from our one-and-only Lesley Watt! When I saw them I had a brainstorm. One of those far fetched, push the boundaries ideas that leaps to your brain fully formed. An idea that challenges you to go beyond your current level of experience. Lesley very graciously send me 2 – as the grand plan/challenge/hare brained scheme… required 2. 

Lesley CoM

I am not done. (ArtBLISS happened. More on that tomorrow!) 

Sketch CoM1

The original plan, a sculptural piece – build a polymer pod with a flanged lid, using the bead caps as ends. They are organic, and so perfect… I have never build hollow forms in polymer before… 

Sketch CoM2

The revised sketch – only using one cap and drawing more inspiration from the shape of a poppy pod. I decided I would like the piece to be wearable, and researched Japanese inro boxes. The tops slide up the cord from which the piece is worn, allowing access to the interior. 

polymer inro 

the pod

The pod form in cured polymer. The color Lesley sent me is a gorgeous muted eggplant, inspiring a palette of olive greens, yellow ochre and the eggplant color. At ArtBliss I was in a polymer class with the inspiring Christine Damm and I spent time with the charismatic Erin Prais-Hintz, both polymer influences of mine. So I feel primed to get back to this ASAP!

the top

The lid… 

Wip Sept CoM

Here is a picture for scale.  I have to address the lid, I think I will drill into the sides horizontally and insert wire/wrapped loops. Paint, patina, Gilder’s paste…. Fall is in the air, crisp cool air comes inthe open windows, leaves are starting to turn.  A perfect time to work on a fall themed organic pod form! 

Lesley – I am so sorry I did not have it finished! I hope I will make you proud regardless! Thank you for a gorgeous piece – I look forward to adding color – and I  will post pictures ASAP! In the meantime – please check out the work my friends and colleagues created!

Here are the links to the other artists participating this month: 

AJE team

Lesley Watt   

 

 

August holds the key. (AJE reveal)

August CoM

It was a treat to have a deadline right after Beadfest. No, I am serious. It meant I was obligated to be in the studio Friday, not cleaning, or glazing, or running errands. Sure – there was a bit of pressure as I had one day only. But this focal was easy/lovely/inspiring… 

Made by Melissa – they are copper, solder, and charms. I received a key – and knew right away I away going to do a bracelet. 

Inspiration pile

It started here with these amazing lampwork beads from Kaz Balidon of Cheeky Cherub. They are planets to get lost in, deep rich jewel tones with flecks of silver. I wanted to play up the bead palette, and finally use them! Melissa’s focal was SO versatile that I knew I cooudl go in any direction… 

Design collage

I wanted a multi strand bracelet. This fiber was too big; that fiber too small. Colors were off… so seed beads. Looking for a color to enhance and not compete with the lampwork. Here is the result: 

JDR Aug CoM

The seed beads are a bit dark, but I like the volume of the three strands. It is well balanced and doesnt get to floppy when worn: 

While worn

( I was parked in the driveway, people!)

Please stop by the blogs of my AJE colleagues and our guests this month! I look forward to seeing what designs they unlocked with their treasures… I have keys on the brain now and am headed back to the studio to work on a mixed media bracelet. Coffee is perked, I am inspired!

Thanks for stopping by… 

 

 

 

 

 

January’s end?! The AJE Component of the Month reveal.

 January has flown. I always have dreams of hibernating and catching up on the stacks of books that inhabit all rooms of my house. This year I was in the studio every day. Collages (4 new) and mixed media necklaces ( 6 new) for a gallery show that opens tomorrow. When that show was hung, it was with great pleasure that I got to return to this beauty from Karen/Starry Road Studio. I had been thinking on it for weeks, literally, and wanted to make my design become reality…

Testing

Playing with pictures – but you can clearly see the colors and textures here. Dimples on the edge, a spiral, and a great earthy green, hints of rusty brown, turquoise… I wanted to do a bracelet – partially because of the size ( app 1″) and because it is double sided. I get rather annoyed when a bracelet focal flips over all the time… The irony – in my final design the ceramic focal can’t flip over. Ha. Outsmarted myself. 

hinge clasp bracelet

The focal is framed with chunky faceted jasper nuggets. The bracelet is copper, stamped, forged, with patina. The hinge is formed directly from the sheet, and creates the clasp. A pin of wire ( chunky, like 12 ga?) is on a leash of vintage chain. 

open view

The spiral and dimple design was intended to reflect the bead’s design. I created the dimples with my center punch, punching on wood to get a deeper impression, and alternating sides to have rasied and recessed dots. 

texture detail  wearing it now

Detail of the design, and clasp when worn. The pin is short and smooth, and not too uncomfortable. I would wear this on my non-dominant hand on a normal day, but mousing and writing with it on wasn’t very practical. ( I am really focused on the wearability of jewelry. Why design a cool looking piece if it’s uncomfortable, or impossible to wear?) But I digress. 

I am pleased with the piece, and will wear it myself. I do see experimenting with the design a bit, offsetting the hinge for comfort…Thank you Karen for the challenge and the inspiration! Please see what my AJE teammates have created! The links can be found here. Until later… 

 

 

 

 

Labyrinths: December AJE Component of the Month

  Labyrinth collage

What a whirlwind December has been! I hope it finds you all content after holidays spent with loved ones, filled with festivities and frolic. Today – New Year’s Eve –  has us standing on the cusp of a new year, a new journey. For myself I can say that 2012 was full of challenges – some fruitful and some very taxing. I will be thrilled to begin a fresh start… ( To read more about labyrinths, here is my original post. )

And those thoughts of the journey were in my head as I was designing a piece to incorporate my ceramic labyrinths, this month’s Component of the Month over at Art Jewelry Elements. Here is what I came up with…

Welsh amulet

My “Journey” necklace – polymer, copper, ceramic labyrinth cabochon, aventurine, kyanite.

(The text is in Welsh – the words reading journey, health, strength. These speak to the challenges I faced in 2012, and the hope for the new year as well.)

Welsh amulet necklace

I wanted a halo of copper to frame the labyrinth, as I love the celadon glaze paired with copper’s warmth. A staple is embedded (hidden) in the  polymer, and that secures the copper piece. The cab is set with tabs, and a dot of glue as a safeguard. This style is a new configuration I am experimenting with, and the tabs are a bit short… I did work on two others. Thoughts? 

amulet fronts

amulet backs

 Thanks to all who participated  this month! Joining the Art Jewelry Elements team has been one of the shining moments of 2012! I look forward to a bright future working with these wonderful women. But for today, please join me in “hopping” to everyone’s blogs! There will be diversity and creativity abound – I can promise that…

And a most Happy New Year! 

This months guests of honor:
 
And participating AJE team members: