Beaded bags and amulet bags – a blog hop!

 I remember thinking the blog hop schedule would give me plenty of time… 

I met Christine of One Kiss Creations when we were partnered on an ornament swap. I still hang my driftwood with beaded snowflakes every year, and enjoy it all winter. So when the magic of the internet told me she was co hosting ( with Therese Frank) an amulet bag hop… I decided to go for it… Beaded amulet bags. So many options! 

Well – I have attempted this, and I apologize that nothing is finished… I have more ideas, and when I have even more time… but let me show you what I have worked on: 

beaded bag WIP

This piece was pure bead embroidery – and I LOVED doing it. The basic idea and directions came from Beaded Embellishment by Robin Atkins. I loved my palette – so very me. And I loved watching the design grow. The problems (see below) began when I started assembling the bag. I have very limited sewing/construction experience. The piece IS complete – although it is lacking a snap closure. The beadwork did not quite line up at the front where the flap folds – so I have a few more beads to add to camoflauge that area. AND a strap. I became rather frustrated with assembly and will confess, this piece was put aside for a long while… 

beaded bag as is

The second piece I am much happier with – and learned quite a bit. I actually bagan this peyote stitch bag ten years ago?! The delicas and the bottom section, stitched int he round – was squirreled away in a bag… SO I tackled this. I decided to vary the beads and made a bead soup with the original beads, adding more new colors as hte original colors were depleted. I love the variation this has given me. A teammate over at Art Jewelry Elements said it reminded her of Roman glass – so there is the button closure! Spot on!  I adore peyote stitch and could do this all day! My thought for next time? Use rounds not delicas! The bag is SO firm. I plam to stitch silk to the sides as shown on my sketch. The ends will terminate in a knot, and a few charm or crystal dangles. 

peyote amulet bag

On a completely different note – I had done this as well, and thought it would apply. The leather belt pouch was made by my friend Betty at Emperor’s Needle. She has a booth at the PA Renaissance Faire. I beaded the embroidered element onto stiff stuff, then stitched it to the leather with the final round of beads. 

beaded leather pouch

As these are my first attempts I would love to hear what you think…

Thank you Christine and Therese for hosting and challenging me! Please take a look at the other participants fabulous creations! 

Therese ( hostess)
Christine (hostess)
Jenny ( that’s me!)
Bobbie
Ana
Amy
Cynthia
Karin S
Maryanne
Liz
Lori
Paula
Jasvanti
Dagi
Kepi
Samantha
Alicia
Motidana
Becky

Beading Back in Time – Blog Hop Reveal

 (If you are looking for the Art Jewelry Elements April COM follow this link. Thanks! )

 

Beading Back in Time! Time to find the Tardis key, walk through a certain circle of stones, or fuel up the DeLorean… 

This quarter we are inspired by ancient history, “Early Human” which for the intents and purposes here will be prior to 3500 BCE. Now this time period resonates with me… I hve been drawn to the carved stone goddess figures since childhood.  If you want to get really careful with dating and art history this period is even before the famous cave paintings of Lascaux! So I thought for sure it would be goddesses that inspired this challenge! 

ancient goddesses

1. Venus of Willendorf 2. Venus of Brassempouy 3. Venus of Laussel 

Goddess work collage

My goddess tiles, and small sculptures. 

Goddess amulet planning

So I set aside a small simple stoneware goddess. She is bare clay, fired to ^10 reduction with a wash of iron oxide to give her a patina. Iron oxide is a naturally occurring pigment, just rust actuallly, and it was used to color stone and cave paintings of this era. I tried her with honey tones, with rugged chunks of labradorite, with craggy rough turquoise. And I havent made a decision yet. I have an existing piece ( shown bottom left above) where I paired a stoneware goddess with Roman glass, geode slices, bronze ammonites… and I wanted to do something different. We’ll see what I finally decide on. I’d love to hear your thoughts! 

 Here is what I did end up with as my “Early Human” offering: 

Tab set in copper, this Marsha Neal cabochon is a dark clay body with a white “crusty” glaze. This already felt right, but its a spiral – an ancient motif that can embody change, journey, progression, life, cycles, it was perfect. I was drawn to use other ancient materials – a hollow shell that is reminiscent of bone, and a chunk of amber. Both bone and amber were used as adornments since… forever. 

Early Human amulet

I wasn’t sure I would have time to complete the necklace parts, but the Muse ( and the clock! ) cooperated: 

Seed pods and chunky howlite connect the copper chain to the sari silk. Although rawhide would have been more historically accurate, the silk was the right fit  aesthetically. 

Final version!

 I love the pieces together, the spiral and the amber really sing to me. Please join us in this time travel inspiration, to our early human roots! 

All the participants links can be found at Sherri’s blog OR Lindsay’s blog. 

Thanks for joining us! 

 

 

 

 

The AJE COM reveal: “Use your stash”!!!

January. It comes in with champagne and noise makers… and goes out with howling winds. At least here in Delaware! 

This year, the AJE team wanted to start the year fresh. While we are still doing out Component of the Month give aways on the blog – we are mixing it up. January was “Use your stash” month, for lack of a prettier term. We are collectors of each others work, known to barter, buy and trade. So this month we decided to put the treasures to good use! 

I wanted to make as many pieces as I could – and I’ll share with you how far I got, and what I still have planned.

First up Karen of Starry Road Studio

Two sides of Karen

I love to make earrings. I had these pieces tucked away for a year and a half? The pair on the left, apple green boat shapes are paired with garnet and black spiniel. Lots of movement, a little bling. The pair on the right? Umm. That’s a bracelet bar that I broke… and it was too pretty to lose. Its a matte teal glaze, very me, very earthy. I paired it with seed pods for their organic-ness and complementary warm color. (and turquoise in there too)

Next up is a partnership – Melissa (Melismatic Art Jewelry) and Sue (Sue Beads):  

Metallic dazzle

This lampwork glass cab from Sue is heavenly, metallic with silver across the surface like stars. Although it has warm honey colors in it – I wanted to go metallic from the start. I used seed beads in bronzes, crystal, and silver. The picot edge is bright silver beads, although its tough to photograph. The dangle is one of Melissa’s metal clay pieces. I scooped up ALL the “little tiny shinies” that she had to trade at Beadfest. I adore them. I think it plays up the silver on the cab nicely. 

 Then – the Kristen (Beadwork by KAS) and Diana (Suburban Girl Studio) partnership: 

Blue floral

I usually don’t design things in a complimentary color palette. I prefer harmonious rather than “pop”. But this necklace designed itself. The PC/MM focal is one of mine- with a vintage illustration under resin. It’s many shades of blue with rust highlights. As I sat, treasure box of artist beads on my lap… there it all was. Kristen’s beaded beads and Diana’s stoneware beads were the same scale, making it easy to pair them in a balanced composition. Additional flowers to pull in the illustration itself…done. Really pleased with this one! 

 And now for something completely different – with Rebekah of Tree Wing Studio

Sleepy fox den

Start with a mini mint tin. Burn off the paint, sand it down. Then fill it with treasures! The sleepy fox bead of Rebekah’s is nestled in hand dyed silk from my friends at Reyen Studios. The collage opposite incorporated vintage dictionary text, origami paper and Czech flower beads. The outside was done first – and it was going to be a winter fox asleep in the snow and ice. (Hence the crystal and blue…) So this is a prototype, guess I will have to keep it! I have a menagerie of creatures napping on my work table now… more of these forthcoming! 

And then there were no more days left in January… but I am not done. Here is what I am going to showcase next: 

a lampwork bead from Jen (Glass Addictions)

a Celtic bronze hound/hare from Lesley (Thea Jewelry)

a lunar hare from Caroline (Blueberri Beads)

a copper donut ( destined to be a shrine) from Kristi  (Kristi Bowman Designs)

treasures on deck

Please take a look at the wonderful, creative bounty from the team, the guests, and the winners! So much to see! 

AJE team: 
Kristen Stephens 
Susan Kennedy 
Jenny Davies-Reazor ( yup. thats me)
Lesley Watt    
Melissa  Meman
 Lindsay Starr 
Jennifer Cameron 
Caroline Dewison
Linda Landig

 Guest Participants ( aka winners)

Lee – Strega Jewellry
Shai – Shai’s Ramblings
Samantha- Wescott Jewelry
Kathy – Bay Moon Designs
Nikki – Silver Nik nats
Melissa Trudinger
Becky Pancake
Yvette – Blue Kiln Beads
Karin – Ginko et Coquelicot
Bonus participants! 
Sarajo Wentling
Leah Curtis
Susan Delaney 
 

Tangled webs: the waxed linen blog hop reveal

Waxed linen. 

When I think of it I imagine the colorful options, know it is versatile, and then draw a blank. Its not in my wheel house. Friends like Linda Landig and Erin Seigel, to name a few, use it with great results. But for me… its a challenge. So thats exactly why I decided to join when Diana of Suburban Girl Studio announced this blog hop. 

I sat down with my journal – and a coffee – to try to sketch… I like to think visually on paper in doodles. The characteristics of waxed linen that I was drawn to: multi strands, an assortment of treasures, versatility for beads of varying size holes, and I wrote down one word more, that really started the ball rolling. WOVEN. 

Athena and Arachne. 

In Greek myth, Athena ( Goddess of wisdom, war, and patroness of the arts) enters a contest with Arachne. Arachne, a human girl of consumate skill at the loom, commits a fatal mistake by bragging of her talent and offending the Goddess. They weave tapestries in competition, and although Athena wins, Arachne’s skill is great. Arachne hangs herself in the tatters of her weaving. Athena, in a moment of mercy, transforms the girl into a spider so she is allowed to/cursed to spin all her days.

Polymer hollow focal

I created a hollow polymer focal with aluminum tubing inside to act as a channel for multiple threads. The owl, representing Athena, is cast from a reproduction drachma. The web for Arachne is a linoleum stamp that I carved to use in clay. I toyed with various spider options, but they ended up distracting from the focal… 

thread and beads choices!

I have an amazing assortment of waxed linen from Mary at White Clover kiln. I also delved into my Czech glass treasure, from back in the days at the Shepherdess in San Diego. Just making the color decisions was the hard part! 

knotting the strands

My original plan involved all three of these strands. Two are double strands, knotted at intervals with beads spaced an inch or so apart . The third was denser, knots, 8’s and drop beads, continuously knotted. I liked the contrast of the more open strand with the denser strand. But all three – was too busy. Here is what I decided on in the end: 

 Tangled web - Athena and Arachne

The front: greys, blues and golds. A linen tassle dangling from the embedded loop. ( Note the top. The channel inset in the pendant was too narrow. Wrapped loops solved that problem!)

Tangled web - Athena and Arachne (back)

The back: Arachne’s web

So I was left with a knotted strand – just waiting for a pendant. Here is the bonus necklace I created with one of my ceramic fairy pendants. ( Fired to ^10 reduction for you clay people out there)

Bonus piece

 So – if I can muse philosophical for a sec, I am glad I did this. I don’t see waxed linen being my go-to material. I respect it, and designers/artists who work with it. I can see using it as an accent in mixed media pieces. I am happy with my pieces, and would love to hear your thoughts!

 

Thanks to Diana for organizing the challenge. Please visit her page for the links to all of us participating! There are sure to be diverse offerings, and many beautiful things! 

Thanks to Mary Hubbard for the sample bag of the waxed linen from her shop! I purchased it from her at Beadfest a year or two ago, and the plethora of pretty colors really inspired me to try my hand at linen and knotting! 

To my fellow participants – I am currently photographing flowering cacti in Austin, TX – and visiting family. I apologize for the delay, but I look forward to “hopping” as soon as I can! 

Holiday Ornaments! Swap and Hop!

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but inside its so delightful… 

my view...

 

Ornamental dogs

coffee, fire, sleepy dogs, a warm shawl… and a twinkly tree to delight the eyes. And on that tree proudly displayed are my lovely gifts from Kim of KimmyKats. This hop is a great way to meet people-  I had known Kim from her work, and her participation on other hops. It was nice to chat via email and  – I confess  – stalk her blog to get ideas to personalize her ornament. 

How thrilled was I to open this:

Kims ornaments

I had already admired Kim’s repurposing of flatware, and now to own 2! The stamped handle is gorgeous, the crystals and the detaisl on the bead caps accentuating the pattern of the flatware. And then the Santa! What detail! so adorable! 

in situ...

cheating

( Yes, I am cheating. I am still working on the big tree as I write this. Its been really busy with teaching final classes at the studio and doing holiday shows. This gives you the idea of how great they will look… )

gnomes at home

( Tiny tree pictured in my cheater pix. Watch those gnomes with the wine… ) 

Thanks to Sally Russick of The Studio Sublime for another fabulous festive friendly hop! And thanks to my fab partner Kim! Please sip your eggnog or your cocoa and enjoy the other offering from these partners! Happy Holidays to all! 

Sally Russick and Beth and Evie McCord

Erin Prais-Hintz and Melissa Trudinger

Karen Williams and Shirley Moore

Lori Finney and Alicia Marinache

D Lynne Bowland and Paula Kramer

Kim Bender Hora and Jenny Davies Reazor

Becky Pancake and Lori Anderson

Veralynne Malone and Therese Frank

Tanya Goodwin and Sandi Volpe

Jeanette Ryan and Rochelle Brisson

Patti Vanderbloemen and Susan Kennedy

Creating with Cabochons

 Welcome! Here it is – reveal day for the “Creating with Cabochons” hop hosted by Sally Russick. 

The challenge was to create using cabochons – no holes! I admit – I use cabochons, and make ceramic cabochons frequently. I wanted to challenge myself to set cabs four ways: 1. tabs 2. a soldered bezel 3. polymer  4. seed beads. 

I know that sounds crazy – and it was! I havent soldered a bezel since my metal smithing days in college. I want desperately to reclaim those skills, and I will – but it did not happen in time for this hop. I have set cabs in polymer before — with a textured clay bezel. My favorite is using tabs. I like the challenge of designing tabs that are decorative and functional. And I love sawing. But let me show you what I DID accomplish… 

porcelain flower

Cab #2 – just beginning. Porcelain cab/my work – irregular shape. 

 

tab set cabs

My tab set cabs. ( All my work – polymer Ganesh, stoneware butterflies and Green Man foliate head). I was using brass for a change, and left it shiny! Not my usual preference, but I was trying to challenge myself… 

first owl cab

Athena’s owl ( earthenware cab, repro of antique drachma coin) The first attempt. Its a little wonky – a few beads sticking out of line here and there. I learned peyote stitch 10+ years ago when I worked at The Shepherdess in San Diego. Never did bezels until now… I adore the painterly aspect of choosing bead colors to accentuate the ceramic glaze!

peyote backing

Full disclosure! I had an assist from Cooky Schock – she was in town for Beadfest and we had a few days of “Art Camp” before she headed home to SD. (She was my original peyote stitch teacher, BTW!) She gave me valuable insight into finishing the backs on my pieces.

From top right: 1. bezel complete – stitched onto pollon in lieu of Stiff Stuff. 2/3. The back plain and then with pellon stitched down. 4. Ultrasuede stitched down! 5. first owl cab with messy stitched sueded cloth. compared to the final of the three cabs with the clean presentable backing! 

 

final three

The final three peyote stitched cabochons. I am pleased with how they came out! It was new to me – even though I had tried peyote stitch in the past… and its very exciting to have a chance to use my own work in such a different context. While I dont know if I will ever switch to seed beads completely – I am glad to have them in my repertoire. I often sit and bead while watching tv… I am so glad Sally threw down this challenge! 

Looking forward to seeing all the diverse cabs put to use on this Hop! Here are the participants! Before you go – I would love to hear your thoughts! And thanks for stopping by… 

 

Your Host:  Sally Russick

D Lynne  Bowland

Alicia Marinache           

Lynn  Jobber           

Jenny Davies-Reazor  ( you are here)         

Jo-Ann  Woolverton           

Marde Lowe           

Dawn Doucette           

Mary K McGraw           

Gloria Allen           

Cheri  Reed           

Sonya Stille           

Elizabeth Owens Dwy           

Veralynne   Malone           

Tania Hagen           

Lynsey  Brooks           

Christina Miles           

Holly  Westfall           

Kathy  Lindemer           

Patti Vanderbloemen           

 Therese Frank           

Adrienne Berry           

Liz   E  

Tanty  Sri Hartanti           

Ginger Bishop

Renetha Stanziano           

Marlene  Cupo           

Sandi Volpe           

Sharyl McMillian-Nelson           

Niky  Sayers

 Mischelle Fanucchi           

Tracy  Stillman           

Skylar Bre’z           

Ann Schroeder           

Paula Kramer

Jess Green           

Susan Kennedy           

Stacie  Florer           

Cathie  Carroll           

Susan F.   

Michelle Caballero       

Sabine Dittrich           

Kristina Johansson           

Kimberly Sturrup-Roberts           

Melissa  Meman           

Cheryl McCloud         

Michelle  Timms           

Cindy  Pack                 

Lynda  Carson

Cynthia  Machata           

Julia  Harris           

Karin  Slaton

Ingrid  Anderson           

Karin Grosset Grange

Jasvanti  Patel  

Inge  von Roos

Molly Alexander

 
 
 

Challenge of Music – The Gypsy Nomads

 Challenge of Music

Welcome to the 2nd Challenge of Music hosted by the creative goddess Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati. This year – the challenge: instrumental music.  In my opinion, this is much harder, trying to embody a piece of music in a piece of jewelry without the usual cues and visual symbolism we read via the lyrics. But it was also easy, as my favorite instrumental music is composed and performed by Frenchy and the Punk – formerly The Gypsy Nomads.

Their music has been described as “An energetic hybrid of European Folk roots, Punk attitude, World Beat eclecticism and traveling player theatricality.”Phil Brucato  They are guitar and percussion – hearing them you will find it hard to believe there are only 2 of them. Their energy is infectious. Their music is magical, and addictive, and captivating. The first CD I purchased from them – I honestly described the song as ” the one that goes  _______” since it was on a loop in my head!  They release their own CDs and tour the country from coast to coast  probably 11 months of the year, a grueling pace. If you EVER get a chance…. run, dont walk. 

Gypsy Nomads Thread & Stone

The song I selected is Track 1 on this CD “Travelin’ band of Gypsy Nomads” and you can hear a clip here.   (I am happy to know Scott and Samantha personally. I asked Sam about this song. It may have been the birth of the Gypsy Nomads – Scott, who wrote the instrumental, was performing and Sam decided to jump up on stage, adding dance and  percussion.With this collaboration, a new concept, and a duo was formed! ) I know I am influenced by the song title – but also by their lifestyle. Traveling the county and to Europe, instruments in hand, exploring and being inspired… The song conjures up a campfire, flames leaping, as a fiddle is tuned, a guitar strummed. Music freely played, dancers skirts twitching, tamborines jingling… and I see vardos aka Gypsy wagons. 

 Vardos

( I know this is a Romanticized version, even a stereotype of Gypsy life. I mean no disrespect to Romani culture. I have started doing research – if you are interested in the Romani people, the British Romanichals or the Irish Travelers there are many articles on the Web. )

The vardo shape was what I kept seeing, and the door. So I set off to make a hinged door pendant. Yes, you read that correctly. The good news: I have 2 that work. The bad news: After making 4 pendants I have no finished necklace for the hop… So here’s what took all of my time… Vardo pendant

The copper door, Door #1. A friend gave me scraps of 1/4 plexi and I wanted to use that inside to cover the image and add depth. You can see the diagrams I drew, planning hinges. The hinges are parts of the sheet rolled with pliers. The hinge is small tubing with a balled wire inside. The piece is joined with microbolts at the bottom and a tube rivet at top – that will be the bail. Three holes are located below for dangles. The image is an antique postcard, and the door has a curtain of sorts – resined paper circa 1880’s. I am currently working on  a silver chain and copper pin that will latch the door closed. 

 I am happy with the piece, a protoype of sorts – and see that hinges will be easier in the future now that I purchased bail making pliers! Its app. 1.75″ tall so its not too massive to wear. I am imagining a triple strand – 1 of sari ribbon, 2 of beads ( one seed bead strand, one gems). 

While all that was happening so was this: 

Keyhole vardo pendants

Teal keyhole shrine – Polymer pieces, built in bail, hand painted. Image under mica. The image is “The Fool” from an Italian Tarot deck of the 1800’s. The Fool card means free of burdens, worries; living in the now, setting off to journey, spontaneity… among other things. It seemed to capture some elements of the Gypsy symbolism I was working with …

Red keyhole shrine: Constructed as the blue shrine, the image will have resin or glaze over. I am thrilled with these results even though there were hours of fiddling to shape and then after curing, carve the door and hinge. I think the shape is also the most clearly derived from the vardos’ original inspirarion. The image (seen below) is Mucha’s Moon/cresent goddess. 

round pendant window

Round porthole window: Thinking on the painted pattern and designs on a Gypsy caravan… you see here (from L to R) the front window shutter, the center image and the back. The cover will have a tube rivet, and the piece will be simply hung on a large jump ring. The image is a Gypsy woman, also from Alfonse Mucha. These are the images I was considering: 

Image references - gypsy

(All images by Alfonse Mucha except the Tarot card images. )

 

So you can see I was inspired! But I still have quite a bit of work to do! I would love to hear your thoughts and preferences from the four… I will do a follow up post when they are completed. I look forward to traveling the blogs to see what my colleagues have created; the list is shown below.Thanks for stopping by! 

The Challenge of Music participants
 

 

Spirit of the season…

My hearts and prayers go out to all those affected by the tragedy in Connecticut. And at this time of year, let us remember the season is one of love, family, and friendship. Hold your loved ones close, and remember to breathe…

 

It seems like ages ago that Sally of The Studio Sublime sent out a call for participants – the 2nd Annual Ornament Swap. I worked on mine and sent it away before Thanksgiving – that also seems like so much time has passed… ( My original partner was unable to participate – so I will be sharing what I made. Sally adopted me as her second partner, and I will be sending her something along these lines in the very near future. Sorry for any confusion. )

And so it begins

My idea started with a tiny vial of snow, of ice, of crystalized winter. I prefer to do seasonal motifs, as everyone’s beliefs are personal and varied… I set up the polymer oven – as I have been doing more and more of late. Polymer is versatile and immediate. Earthenware and stoneware have such a long process time: dry, fire, glaze, fire… For something like this polymer suits the bill nicely. 

Comes together

The swap brief said to include an artist bead. Although I am creating the entire piece, I wanted to be true to the challenge, and created these snowflake charms. You will see them again…The bird and tree are stamped and hand painted onto ivory polymer. Here it is all together:

Winter wonder

Ornament reverse

And my partner/friend? So sweet! Sent me this …I may have to keep this up in the studio all winter!

Oh Christmas Tree!

Ooh! I love the flame patina on the copper, the SueBead with silver, the accents of olive and aqua! Its so lovely…

Light and shadow

So – those extra snowflake charms… They ended up here: 

Snowflake earrings

Two pairs were already sent on their way to lucky winners of another challenge. I think I will save one pair for my MiL… So that leaves YOU dear reader. If you want to be entered into the give away – mention that in your commment! ( And it would be so easy if you were willing to leave your email as well…)  I will pick a winner Monday afternoon! 

So – thank you all for celebrating and hopping with me. Here are my friends and fellow swap partners. Happy Holidays!

Sally Russick 

Lesley Watt

 Jenny Davies-Reazor 

  

Therese Frank 

Andrew Thorton

 

Jeanette Blix Ryan

Maryanne Gross

 

Rebecca Anderson

Melissa Meman

 

Veralynne Malone 

Miranda Ackerley

 

 Jen Cameron

Sandi Volpe

 

Susan Kennedy

Kristen Stevens

 

Shirley Moore 

 Cooky Schock

 

D. Lynne Bowland 

Tiffany Smith

 

Patti Vanderbloemen 

Pam Ferrari

 

 

Alice Peterson 

Bette Brody

 

Julie Anne Leggett 

Lola Surwillo

 

Kathleen Lange Klik 

Erin Prais Hintz

 

Mowse Doyle

Kristi Jaro

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curiouser and Curiouser…Inspired by Alice blog hop

It started with a rabbit. And a pocketwatch. There are so many iconic images from Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, but to me it all starts with the rabbit. Yes, I think caterpillars, vials of potions, cards, roses, tea parties and top hats, even flamingos and croquet. But I have a thing for rabbits…

(In case you just fell down the rabbit hole – you are currently on a Blog Hop. There was a challenge presented by Staci and Genea to create a piece inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Twas brillig – the idea, that is!)

Alice sketches

This is the rabbit I pictured in my piece – a Japanese carved ivory netsuke ( as noted below) Its a full moon hare – myths of the moon hare abound in cultures across the world, between cultures and over time. But thats another story for another day. This story is a white rabbit… The round shape had me thinking of the gears IN a pocketwatch, and the face of a pocketwatch. Suddenly it was not a rabbit WITH a watch, but a rabbit IN a watch. 

Hare netsuke 

Ivory Manju Netsuke – Rabbit in full moon shape 
Kyoto School, Circa 18th Century

The pocketwatch casing I decided to use – I have a few – was open on both sides. I wanted to be able to fill the space and keep the weight of the piece down. But I had to create a back that would be completely sealed as I planned to pour resin at the end stage. What you see here is a antique glass lens holding enameled gears & vintage gears embedded in resin and layered with paper. The sticker on the lens is original – I left it as it reminded me of the Mad Hatter’s hat size stuck in the brim of his hat. I have fabricated copper wire into a prong setting – as the lens is too small to fit completely. 

Alice back stage 1

The polymer hares after baking, awaiting an acrylic stain to add the patina of time. ( The owls are for a mixed media piece inspired by the Greek Goddess Athena…)

polymer ready to stain

The lens in place – epoxy putty as the bezel. It was a sticky mess, like sculpting with molasses. Once cured it had to be sanded and painted. You can see on the right the prongs supporting the piece from the inside. The paper created a visual barrier seperating the front items and the back items.  

Alice back stage 2 Alice inside stage 2

The rest came together quickly. The hare, gear and watch parts, and an antique enameled watch face from my favorite antique store in Austin TX. ( I live in DE. Long distance!)

Alice front w/o resin

Alice back complete

The entire piece is currently filled with resin. Lets see how it cures over night, and hopefully I can add an update in the morning! I haven’t addressed how to wear this piece yet. That would depend quite a bit on the wearer, I think. Velvet ribbon; choker length? Chunky chain, worn long over the chest? What do you think ? 

Saturday morning: resin for the win!

resin final stage

Thanks to Staci and Genea for hosting the Hop! I had a great time with this piece; I had a chance to play, to think outside the box, to experiement. Please take some time and see what my fellow participants have creatied! Curiouser and Curiouser!

Ginger Bishop
www.lilmummylikes.blogspot.com
 
Staci Louise Originals (hostess!)
www.stacilouise.blogspot.com
 
Genea Beads (hostess!)
www.geneabeads.blogspot.com
 
Jenny Davies-Reazor (Thanks for stopping by!)
www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog
 
Heidi Post
www.expostfactojewelry.blogspot.com
 
Donna Bradley
www.strandedbeads.blogspot.com
 
Linda Hanes
www.craftygallindadesigns.blogspot.com
 
Birgitta Lejonklou
www.lejonklou.blogspot.com
 
Libellua Jewelry
www.libellulajewelry.com
 
Lori Anderson
www.prettythings.blogspot.com
 
Linda Florian
www.lilysofthevalleyjewelry.blogspot.com
 
Dyanne Cantrell
www.deelitefuljewelrycreations.blogspot.com
 
Nicole Valentine Rimmel
www.nvalentine.blogspot.com
 
Jo in Wonderland
www.joyblonde.blogspot.it
 
 

The Challenge of Literature Blog Hop: mythic fiction, fantasy stories…

I enjoy the challenge of a Blog Hop – as evidenced by the frequency of Hop related posts lately. I am a full time working artist, in one studio or another every day. I alternate between the ceramics studio and the mixed media/ jewelry space, but as my jewelry contains ceramic components, and my ceramic shrines contain collages and found objects – you see the flow, the continuity there. These Hops give me a chance to experiment, to play, free from the deadlines of a show, hanging an exhibit, doing production work. And because I have the opportunity to share my results, my offerings, with the community, it assuages any guilt I have in not “being at work”. So without further ado: 

The Challenge if Literature Blog Hop, hosted by Erin of Tesori Trovati. (She hosted the Music Hop a little while back as well…)

I chose to pay homage to one of my favorite genres, and one of my favorite authors. Charles de Lint is a Canadian author, known for his mythic and fantasy fiction, or ‘urban fantasy’ . His work is filled with folklore, faerie, music, urban settings, and  contemporary themes. To quote Terri Windling: …the importance of myths in our modern society, the need for tales rich in archetypal images to give coherence to fragmented modern lives…” (xv, DU). De Lint’s stories are such moderm myths. 

I picked up “Dreams Underfoot” (The first deLint I ever read) a collection of de Lint’s short stories set in the town of Newford. I love all his work, but there is so much to choose from – so I went back to my beginning. These are loosely interconnected tales as he weaves a web of characters; artists, musicians, writers, dryads, conjure men…

Whispered Tales

This piece “Whispered Tales” was inspired by the story “The Conjure Man”. The story revolves around the loss of the community’s Tree of Tales – a rare Quercus robur/oak. (Common in Europe, but Newford is in Canada). ” She was a Tree of Tales…She held stories, all the stories that the wind brought to her that were of any worth, and with each story she grew.” (DU, 229) The traditional ways are growing weak with the influx of technology and people are becoming estranged; as symbolized by the loss of the Tree of Tales.  There are many new tales but “a Tree of Tales is an act of magic, of faith. It’s existence becomes an affirmation of the power that the human spirit can have over its own destiny. The stories are just stories – they entertain, they make one laugh or cry – but if they have any worth, they carry within them a deeper resonance that remains long after the final page is turned, or the storyteller has come to the end of her tale…” (230, DU) The Conjure Man, a wise old soul, inspired Wendy, a young poet to start a new seedling, nurturing it with tales and poems until it can be planted. 

Whispered Tales, detail of focal

 

Whispered Tales, detail

 

clasp and charm detail

My piece: Cedar stained with acrylic paint, nickel silver, copper wire, tree branch with bud, grommets, micro fasteners, silk, leaf/face charm, gems, hand forged links. 

My intent: Woven elements as the tales are woven; the branch, cedar and text to evoke the Tree of Tales. 

It only seemed fitting to select a tale about tales for the Challenge of Literature Hop, where we are looking to the words on a page for our creative inspiration. de Lint’s stories do resonate long after the pages are turned. He creates a real world, filled with the things I wish I could find in my real world…Perhaps you will pick up a book, or tell a tale. ( Quotes taken from Dreams Underfoot by Charles de Lint. 1993) 

Here are the list of fellow storytellers: