Raven’s Knowledge: the Art Jewelry Elements October reveal

ravens banner

 Welcome and Happy Halloween! 

Its reveal day at Art Jewelry Elements, and this month was a Raven themed challenge, hosted by Karen. ( Check out our raven posts here and here!) I have long loved ravens whether they are in Celtic and Norse myth – or the Tower of London… This month I was feeling the need to spread my wings a bit and I have done some raven themed artwork outside of the jewelry realm! 

I wanted to sculpt ravens in polymer and incorporate them into a felt/beaded/mixed media piece. So here goes: 

wet felting in situ

The wet felting and coffee counter space! I’m new to this, so my book is to my left. The bottom pictures show the wool roving laid out, and after the first stages of felting. The combination of water, soap and agitation creates the felting action. 

blank slates

These three are the results of that afternoon felting session. I was trying to estimate shrinkage, which can be a third or so. The larger piece wa too big – the others were just right. 

ready to bead

Here they are with their ravens! 

felting lunch

Last week I had a work/lunch/date with Marsha. ( You know her from Marsha Neal Studio, but she is also now working at Sarafina Fiber Arts.) I sat down to embellish and bead my ravens and Marsha generously shared some of the equisite dyed curly locks from Sarafina. She was needle felting/sculpting great little gnome guys. And Peeves the cat was her normal charming feline self. 

Raven's knowledge

This one was complete with the curly/silky locks. No beads needed. I did add an antique button to anchor the piece and address a transition on the embellishments. This will be mounted and framed… how? I’m not sure yet. It was still a little too large for the IKEA frames I had. Like I said – calculating guessing shrinkage. 

Ravens detail

So the second piece was destined for beads! I had taken all this to Texas with me when I went to visit family earlier in the month. Hadn’t touched it at all… I used vintage rose montees, bugle beads, O beads, drops, you name it. I do find the irridescent dark beads rather hard to photograph. I was pleased with the shapes in the felt, and being able to position the polymer raven to echo those shapes. 

Raven flight

Now – not to leave jewelry behind totally – I already have existing designs for 2 raven pendants and a newer crow design. (You can read about the crow glazing process here.) I decided to try a few new designs – and haven’t actually gotten further than the molds! On the left is a very Pacific NorthWest/Native American style raven. It will have fine line details carved into the clay, and be glazed in a high contrast decorative style. On the right is a larger piece, inspired by the myths in which Raven stole the sun. I look forward to trying these in ceramic clay AND in polymer. 

new designs and molds

Oh drat! There is ONE more raven design – still in a plaster mold at the work studio! I will update you ASAP!

This was a great theme, rich in multicultural connections and fabulous inspiration. I feel like I have barely gotten started and the month is over! Stay tuned for more ravens – and until then please take a look at the other diverse offerings created this month! 

Guest links and AJE team links will be available at Art Jewelry Elements blog

Colors of Spring – February Component of the Month reveal!

February has been the longest month this year. I am so happy that – as you read this – March is here. Spring can spring anytime!  

Melissa Meman of Melismatic Art Jewelry shared the love with the AJE team this month. Literally: 

CoM hearts

When I recieved mine, all i could see was the wee pops of color that embellished the heart. They were small kernels of spring time color, an I was starved for more. My necklace is very simple, no new experimental techniques, nothing fabricated for this specific focal… but to me it was all to honor the color and call in Spring! 

Feb CoM

Hearts of Spring

Feb CoM necklace

The strand of seed beads is actually a rich dark plum. The Czeck glass was a medley of turquoise and aqua with a little pop of apple green. A few flowers to complete the focal… 

Here’s one more pop of green to entice Spring’s arrival. 

snowy daffodils

Have a great week, and please visit my colleagues and our guests this month! Their blogs with links can be found at Art Jewelry Elements. 

Until next time… 

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… 

That magic moment.

That magic moment. 

The kind of moment when you step outside yourself and realize this moment is so incredibly amazing and you want to record it in your memory. The split second when magic happens – the magic bean taking root, the dragon hatches, the apple is bitten. 

A few weekends back I had a moment  – I slipped away from my tent, my art and wares, my job… to sit with Carolyn Turgeon and Charles Vess. They were doing a collaborative “talk” on magic in the creative process at the Spoutwood Farm May Day Faerie Festival. I have met them each on numerous occassions and wanted to see what they would create in a tent, on an idyllic farm, on a sunny Sunday… 

Vess WIP

Carolyn is a fabulously charming, witty and very talented author. Her work most recent work takes classic characters from fairy tales and reinvents them in a style all her own. Captivating! She was reading from her novel “Mermaid” and Charles was drawing – a touch of pencil and then Sharpie! Carolyn read the scene of the mermaid’s transformation – and stopped at that magical moment before the potion is consumed. She asked us to imagine that moment  and what we would create from that point.

Vess 2

Charles Vess drawing

Where did I go – since you saw me over Charles’ shoulder, scribbling away on my 3×5″ card… 

my notes

notes 2

I plan on making this piece – as close as can be without harming any mermaids… It was a lovely creative respite from a fun filled festival day. I count myself lucky to be in such good company!

Did I mention my sketch is on Carolyn’s blog? And a huge thanks to Carolyn for the pictures! 

Read more: 

Carolyn’s Mermaid blog post on this topic ( on www.Iamamermaid.com)

Charles website: Green Man Press 

“Mermaid, a twist on the classic tale” on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

Beadfest bounty.

I wanted to share with you some of the treasures that I brought home from Beadfest. As I may have mentioned – I am thrilled to be a part of this creative community, and found the environment of Beadfest invigorating. I came home with materials, artist beads, and ideas to last me a good while. I do have a tendency to live with the new materials for a while before incorporating them into new pieces. The artist beads and focals are handcrafted by colleagues, fellow artists; I want to share their information here – we all support each other with marketing, blogging, social media… wherever we can. And although I have unplugged these last two days in an effort to feel restored before I dive back into the studio – I am inspired to create with: 

S+S Shivam

Cabochons – S&S lapidary

Gems – Shivam imports. (Labradorite, citrine, garnet, labradorite, spiniel)

Dakota Stones

Dakota stones  – onyx, ?, dragons blood jasper, moss agate, apatite,?, amazonite.

Carol DeeZigns

Gorgeous enameled components from Carol Myers of Carol DeeZigns. Carol is the FIRST certified “Painting with Fire” instructor!

glass clay booty1

Lampwork Strands ( top to bottom) SueBeads, HMB Studios, Gardanne beads. 

Lampwork “stone” – Kerry Bogert of Kab’s Concepts. 

Polymer Buddha – Barbara Bechtel of Second Surf

Matte finish lampwork beads – JoAnne Zekowski of Z Designs in Glass

Moon/ocean lampwork focal – Jan Onipenco of Molten Mayhem

clay metal booty

Left: Ceramic components by Mary Hubbard of White Clover Kiln

Bottom: Bronze pieces by Staci Smith of Staci Louise Originals

Right: Ceramic and raku pieces by Diana Ptaszynski of Suburban Girl Studio

Green Girl treasures

Green Girl Studios!

Andrew Thornton originals

Andrew Thornton sculptural bronze components and focals. Andrew was one of my Bead Swap partners…

And – one of the highlights of Beadfest is the BEAD SWAP organized by Diana P. of Suburban Girls Studios. My lovely partner this year was Sandy Miller – and she showered me with goodness! Interesting that it was the ceramic artists I knew, and the lampwork artists that I am thrilled to be introduced to… I was tempted to unwrap one wee parcel each hour Saturday afternoon, but I quickly lost that will power and dove in: 

Bead Swap goodies

From top left to bottom right: Studio by the Forest, Nancy Schindler at Round Rabbit, Chinook ceramics, Outwest glass, Lori Lochner, and Lava Lampwork

 

Thank you to all my artist friends for doing what you do, sharing it with the world, and pursuing the (not always easy) path or a self-supporting artist! Until next year…

Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Standing over a cauldron, tossing in snippets of this, portions of that – brewing up a potion, a recipe in a cauldron. You imagine them, sisters three, over a large smoky steaming cauldron, aged, gnarled and bent – Shakespeare’s Three Witches. Or perhaps you imagine a younger more contemporary potion maker – young Hermione sitting, small cauldron inher lap, brewing Polyjuice Potion in Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom. (I DID just get back from vacation to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando…)

Cauldron are symbols of creativity, inspiration, transformation in Celtic myth (see the myth of Cerridwen I blogged recently.) So I find it apropos that I am participating in a creativity challenge/bed swap dubbed “Bead Soup Blog Party”. I have been sent the beady ingredients and I will start brewing up a creation of my own – little of this, pinch of that…and what comes out will transform the disparate parts into a wearable piece, or two, or three…

Jelveh's box

This lovely arrived inthe mail from my talented partner Jelveh of Jelveh’s designs. Eager with anticipation…

BS box 3

So full, so many treasures… 

BS box4

…irridescent beauties….

BS box5

…a riot of color…

BS box6

…metallic medley…

coral and clasp

Sterling and coral…

lampwork and focals

…and the focals! WooHoo. Oceanic landscape and a goddess? Sweet! The detail on the Oceanic treasures necklace is stunning. I want to do that bead justice, and really show it to its full glory. And of course I love the goddess bead for me; and she has a little flower on her bottom… Not to mention the gorgeous colors in the lampwork beads. They range from pinks, mauves, lavenders, blues -and are so harmonious together, just my style. 

Many thanks go out to my Bead Soup Blog Party partner, Jelveh, for this fantastic generous package! And to Lori at Pretty Things for masterminding this whole event! I have to say – I started working with my soup last weekend. I have the focal planned, and have already created a few other pieces since my soup was so bountiful! Stay tuned for the big reveal on September 17th! (There are 362 participants around the world!)