Jenny wren – the Art Jewelry Elements Component of the month reveal

If you are looking for the Beading back in time hop – click here! 

This month new member Niky Sayers ( of Silver Niknats, now Niky Sayers Artisan Jewelry) sent us pieces made from the old British farthing coin. (A farthing was 1/4 of a penny. There were 240 pence in a LB Sterling. Taken out of circulation in 1960 – that leaves a lot of coins for creative purposes!) Niky sent me a hollow lentil bead made from 2 coins. Its stunning! I am particularly fond of the wren, often called Jenny Wren. Some nursery rhymes have the Queen of Fairy shape shifting into a wren… 

I thought I wanted to do a bangle and have a message/mantra for myself as it is Jenny Wren… Here is the first attempt: stamped and engraved copper to frame the wren bead. I have a great little engraver that makes it so easy to do script… 

COM version 1

I wasn’t happy with that. I had those shapes in mind to transition from the width of the bead down in proportion to the wire wrapped bangle section. They looked like the whites on either side of an eye, and they didn’t sit well on my wrist. And color. I think I want color… 

AJE COM July

There! I am so pleased! Lampwork by Indian Creek art glass with aventurine and turquoise accents. 

bracelet detail

If you are coming to Bead Fest stop by Artisans Alley #461- I’ll be sure to wear this and you can see it in person. Until then – please join my colleagues and out guests on this month’s hop! 

 

 

August Component of the Month reveal – and a guest blogger!

 Oh heavens August has been a whirlwind! Prep for Beadfest. The fantastic time that was had AT beadfest – hanging out with AJE team mates, shopping, selling… And now its the reveal date for the Component of the Month at Art Jewelry Elements blog. This month’s component is a hand painted leather feather from Rebekah Payne of Tree Wings Studio. Simply gorgeous! 

But best of all: Lesley Watt of The Gossiping Goddess is here in the US! We spend the last two days in the studio working on our pieces, hanging out, drinking tea/coffee and generally having a fantastic time at “art camp”. So with out further ado – the reveal: 

CoM faux bone

I wanted to back the feather in Faux bone to create a studier piece as a cuff bracelet. The Faux bone can be shaped when heated. I stamped, distressed, tinted with alcohol inks and sanded it until I had the level of color/rustic/patina that I wanted. 

CoM WIP

In homage to Emily Dickinson I had to engrave the word “Hope” on the underside. (” Hope is a thing with feathers that perches in the soul…”)  The feather is stitched onto the faux bone with waxed linen. I wanted to use these rustic beads from Diana/Suburban Girl, but the wire wrap links werent flexible enough in the small span of bracelet… 

JDR CoM bracelet.

Here is my finished piece – I  selected the colors to play off the feather itself. The triple strand included lapis, blue tiger eye, seed pods… I plan to wear it today!

Now over to Lesley: 

Thanks Jenny…

So for this reveal I have none of my usual kit around me to work with so Jenny has very kindly put her awesome studio and bead stash at my disposal and the contents of that together with my Bead Fest haul have been the inspiration for my design with Rebekah’s beautiful leather feather. I new before I left the UK that I wanted to incorporate the piece with metal and probably make a bracelet and that went perfectly since jenny was able to give me an impromptue tube riveting lesson  to produce this textured cuff element…

LW CoM 1

Then it was down to picking some beads to accent the cuff and I eventually decided on a beautiful Basha bead that I bought at Bead Fest which perfectly mirrored the blue of the leather. I also went for a linen strung multi-strand section combinng some brass and copper beads and a brass cone from Hands of the Hills and some lovely blue seeds I raided from Jenny…

LW CoM 2

Put all these together and this is the result which I have to say I’m really pleased with…it has something of a Native-American vibe to it and it wears really well.

LW CoM 3

It was great fun working on this project with Jenny, bouncing ideas around and seeing how our pieces started with similarities but ended up quite different…thanks Jenny.

You can check out what the other participants made using the links below: 

Guest Artists
Karin Grosset Grange – http://ginkgoetcoquelicot.blogspot.com/
 
The AJE Team
Diana Ptaszynski – http://www.suburbangirlstudio.com
Jenny Davies-Reazor – http://www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog
Francesca Watson – http://francescawatson.com/
 

Seeing red… the AJE Component of the Month

    Looking for the “inspired by Reading” hop? 

 

 Welcome to the April CoM reveal from us at the Art Jewelry Elements blog team! 

This month’s offering is presented by the fabulous Lesley Watt of Thea Too. Lesley has recently expanded her clay repertoire from metal clays to include earthen ceramic clay as well – and made this batch of stellar clasps. I was tempted to say “Surprise me!” as so many are really my style, but I LOVE  a  dark stoneware… 

Lesleys CoM clasps

When my clasp arrived – in lightening speed from the UK, I must add – I was simply seeing red. Not in anger, but in inspiration. THe dark stoneware was accented in the spiral design with just a hint of red glaze. I was htinking a bracelet bar in black and red, with some corresponding swirl/spiral design. 

CoM option 1

I textured and cured the black polymer bracelet bars, curing them on a can to maintain their shape. I wanted to experiment with polymer in this style of component, and test its strenght… It was going to have a copper stamped bar riveted on as well – adding structure and support. And on the third and final tube rivet… I broke the corner of the polymer. The saying “Know Thyself” is attributed to the Delphic Oracle, and a favorite of mine. 

My original plan was to make a triple wrap bracelet, starting with the bracelet bar and incorporating leather. So I went ahead with that plan and created a pair of charms – polymer in copper bezels. These two echo the color and pattern in Lesley’s piece.  I ended up with a double wrap bracelet.  

Seeing red CoM images

Yes, that is a fluted gunmetal ceramic bead from Caroline/Blueberri Beads in there. Ingredients also include: vintage resin, lava beads, and wire wrapped links. 

CoM WIP

I am very happy with the ingredients. I like the colors, the patterns and the textures as they are. I am not as happy with the overall composition or the fit. And I need to rewrap those wire wraps on the leather, they bug me. So I am dubbing this a WIP. I hope to revisit the bracelet bar idea in the near future, and use these ingredients again. 

Please! Help me out. Thoughts? Advice? 

Then you can check out my teamates and our guests this month. But first I would love to hear your thoughts… 

And thanks for stopping by! 

 

 

 

 

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
 
 

Ammonites! The October AJE component of the month reveal!

 Welcome to the AJE Component of the Month reveal! 

(If you are looking for the “Inspired by Reading” book Group – its here.)

 I love copper, the warm tones are very autumnal to me. So when I recieved this lovely copper clay bracelet bar from Kristi Bowman for this month’s CoM – I was thrilled. And to have spiral/ammonite textures? They are some of my absolute favorites. I love the combination of patterns that brings to mind suns, flowers… The heat patina on the copper had a flash of purple. That’s all it took… 

Kristis copper focal

 I wanted to accentuate the purple and play off the contrast between the copper and the flash colors. But I didnt have any amethysts that were right, and the seed beads and glass I had werent the right scale. So I challenged myself and went a bit outside my comfort level and used leather. I have a stash of scraps from my friend Betty at Emperor’s Needle. She makes clothing and accessories and is a regular at the Pennsylvania Rennaissance Fair. The purple was divine… 

Oct CoM bracelet

I paired the purple with 2 strands of size 8 seed beads to add texture, and color variation. I accented the focal, and drew attention away from the clasp with a lamp work bead by Sandi Volpe. ( My Beadfest swap partner, and friend). That bead cap? Yes, it looks familar! It is a duplicate cap from Lesley Watt/Thea Elements from last month’s CoM! Lesley did not recommend manipulating the bronze bead cap; but I dared, and was gentle yet persistant… and it worked! I curved the petals in to curl around the leather and hide the connections. I am happy with the way it came out, like the leather, and love the feel of it on!

On a second note – I have finally finished the polymer pod from last month – inspired by Lesley’s bronze petaled bead cap. Here it is painted and sealed. I am not sure what I am going to do with this one – but it has really started the creative wheels turning thinking of vessels and hollow forms… What do you think? 

 Sept CoM finished Sept pod open

Here’s to another great month at Art Jewelry Elements! Its a pleasure to work with such creative original artists! Please head over to the Art Jewelry Elements blog for links to all of the participants this month.  You wont regret it… 

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… 

 

 

 

 

 

BSBP 2013: beads, challenges, friends!

Welcome! This is my third year doing the Bead soup Blog Party – and the first thing I have to say is “Thank you!” to Lori our hostess and fearless leader. We wouldn’t be here without you… seriously. 

I think my title sums it up: send and receive beads; be challenged/escape your comfort zone; make new friends! And honestly – if you are here reading this – you know what I mean. So let me introduce you to my newest friend and partner this year – Jennifer Cabic. 

Jennifer is an Ohio based artist working in metals and metal clay. Her pieces are created with layers of meaning; she creates amazing intense personal talismans, memorial pieces, that will be heirlooms in the future. I was struck especially this year at how well we were paired. Our work is very different; but we are drawn to metals, incorporating words at times, drawing from our own personal language of symbols, and creating pieces with intent, amulets and personal talismans. I am very drawn to her work, and was thrilled to receive one of her bronze clay clasps in my soup…. (Here’s a reminder of what arrived for me…)

Soup rec'd

I loved the earthiness of the corals and jasper nuggets – and was challenged by the pink tones. 

I loved the warm brass and circular motif of the focal – and was challenged by its tribal style and size. 

I adore the clasp. Using it was not a challenge but a joy!. 

Please know – my soup is fabulous. But I am not a pink person – hence the challenge. Overall I am thrilled with my pieces, both how easily they came together and their final appearrance. (And thanks to Staci Smith for inspiration!!!) I knew I wanted the focal to have a dangle. The tribal/boho/earthy feel sent me to sea urchin spikes and shell daggers. There’s a river stone, howlite nuggets and seed pods in there too: 

Necklace with focal

The rustic bronze sun/floral piece ( at top center in this pix) and the concentric circles I used in the clasp are by Staci of Artisan Accents. They were the perfect elements to unify the focal and the chunky gems and nuggets. I liked the scale of the circular piece and used it for visual balance and to create a clasp with my forged spiral hook. One side of the necklace is strung; seed beads in burgundy accent the darker tones in the coral. The other side is wire wrapped, and the back is finished in recycled sari silk. 

Focal detail

Dangle of chain, bells, sea urchin spines, shell daggers. Bead caps on coral beads are made of copper gears, dapped to fit. 

earrings to match clasp and gear/caps

Left: matching earrings.          Right: detail. Howlite, jasper, lava stone, seed pods, river stone, coral, bronze spiral.  

At this point there was a good deal left over… the green lampwork beads were sparking ideas for a different palette. I knew I wanted the clasp to be a focal in its own right… so chunky stones to give it “presence” and here she is… 

bracelet with clasp

Gems and lampwork – a medley of greens… 

What a pleasure to meet Jennifer and work with the generous assortment that she sent me! Please tune in to the other posts – its a long list – today and over the next few days! I know I look forward to seeing as many as I can… Thanks for taking the time to join me here!

The full list of links can be found here. 

 

 

 

 

 

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… 

 

 

 

 

Denizen of the Deep – Suburban Girl Design Team “Summer” reveal!

Summer! It is here – no questioning that! Temperatures in the 90’s here in Delaware have me dreaming of the ocean. Luckily all of DE is relatively close to the beach (as opposed to the shore in NJ) and headed there for a respite soon. The summer charms from Diana arrived ages ago – and a lovely lampwork from Jan as well! I confess, I finished this yesterday. I have been up to my elbows in clay, teaching sculpture and wheel throwing at Clay Camp – and found it hard to switch gears. But with such lovely ingredients in my mind’s eye – I think I was designing this piece weeks ago in my head!

Summer sampler Summer loot

Here is the first pile of potential pairings. I knew I wanted to use my own ceramic mermaid pendant, how could I not? The colors in Jan’s bead were so inviting! And the gorgeous paairing of sandy brown and celadon in Diana’s – so my style! Here is: shell slice, mother of pearl, stick pearl, sea glass, river stone. 

Idea pile 1

I wanted to bring more of the earthy sand color in – so Marsha Neal Studios silks to the rescue. I have a huge stash I sell with my pendants – so I am spoiled and have a color for every need!

Add some silk...

Hmm. The pile of potential has changed. Abalone, amazonite, recycled bottle glass beads, copper green pearls, jasper… What jasper is that? THe dark teal-y one with drown matrix? You know the one I mean…

Getting closer...

And here she is: “Denizen of the Deep”. I ended up with pearl and kyanite as the dangle, abalone, amazonite, MOP, pearl, and that jasper as the gems strand. 

Denizen of the Deep

I wanted the larger components on the right to be balanced visually, so the left side is a double strand of gems and matte olive seed beads. Here’s a detail of the pendant and the SGD Team featured components: 

details...

The starfish, you say? Where is the starfish? I had to go rogue and do a companion piece. I wanted the starfish to get equal attention, so it is the focal on the matching bracelet ( silk, seed beads, and gems – as inteh necklace)

partner piece

The completed pair

Hope this finds you cool and content – enjoying the best of summer and avoiding the worst. Have a cold beverage, some sushi, and channel your inner mermaid!

Please stop by my partners pages as well!

Diana Ptaszynski http://www.suburbangirlstudio.com/
Jenny Davies-Reazor http://www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog
Kristen Stevens http://kristen-beadjourney.blogspot.com/
Jan Onipenco http://moltenmayhem.typepad.com/
Marla James http://marlasmudmoments.blogspot.com/
Sandra Basara Miller http://www.sandra5461.blogspot.com/
Michelle Buettner http://misheldesigns.blogspot.com/

 

Capers with Copper! Kristi Bowman’s End Cap Blog Hop

Kristi Bowman's end cap hop

Hello and Welcome! Can I just tell you quickly how excited I was? One of 9 spots, and it was mine! Kristi Bowman of Kristi Bowman design works wonders with bronze and copper clay. We were aquaintances online, and I jumped at the chance to participate in a challenge using her pieces. I love metal clays, yet do not work with them myself. I like the fine details Kristi gets in her textures, and think the colors are rich and inviting. So – thrilled? Yes, I was. Here is what she sent me: 

k. bowman end caps

My thoughts immediately went to turquise. Was it the color combination of turquoise blue and copper that I was seeing? Was I influenced by pieces from her recent bracelet focal challenge? Well, I had that idea firmly in my head, and true to nature did not start the piece until right before the hop. Actually I completed it while waiting for parts of my button hop piece to cure…

end cap bracelet

 I wanted to do a multi strand bracelet to use the cones in a traditional way. I had thought one strand would be all those large chunks of green turquoise, but they were too much, the scale overpowered the cones. So smaller blue turquoise… The sari silk is a snippet from a variegated hank I have, thankfully the aqua/yellow was long enough. 

view 2

The matte blue iris size 8’s bring out some of the darker indigo tones the copper patina holds. I created a simple clasp from 20 ga. copper. (Nope, didnt pickle or patina it. Want it to age naturally.)

view 3

The large turquoise chunk is the prefect counter weight for the copper caps; keeping the design balanced physiclaly and visually. I love it, and am wearing it often. This one is mine!

model shot

Thank you Kristi for the chance to work with your lovely pieces! It was a pleasure, and I think the caps are fantastic. And there is a sale today, you say?!

Go take a look at my partners posts! There are only 8 more – you know you are curious…

Jenny Davies-Reazor ( that’s me!)