Celestial Moon – the Art Elements Component of the Month reveal

I can’t believe we have turned the calendar page to December… Before we deck the halls, and fatten the goose – lets take a minute or two for the November COM over at Art Elements!

This month we had a guest artist! Kristie Roeder of Artisan Clay donated a few of her signature glass/glaze circular pendants. They are rich in color – pools you can dive in to! As you would expect – I forgot to take a picture of mine when I received it… I got the one pictured here on the top right!

The donated pendants from Artisan Clay

The colors were evocative of the night sky to me – and we had a Super Moon on November 14th. Wheels are turning… the Muse taps me on the shoulder. And I knew I would wire the “moon” into the center of the piece. Then stars, then crystals… and it all came together quickly.

Jasper “moon” wired into the celestial sky

Umm –  love it all and its too big for me to wear – even better! I’ll hang it in my studio!

Finished pendant

I decided to add to the piece with a top section: nickle silver and faux bone. The Latin translates ti: “From darkness, light” and is a favorite quote of mine. I love the engraver – for those freehand swirls! I need to experiment more! I’m not sure how I want to hang the piece, but this ribbon is one option. What are your thoughts? Overall I am really happy with how it turned out  – and I have been beading so much lately, it was GREAT to saw again…

Thanks for stopping in and please don’t miss the other designs this month from guests and team mates alike.

Guest Designers:

Sarajo Wentling

Lola Surwillo

Beti Horvath

Kate Kemp

ArtE Team

Susan Kennedy

Lesley Watt

Claire Fabian

Jen Cameron

 

 

February COM reveal for Art Jewelry Elements

Time to reveal what I have been up to on those bitter cold days of February! Its nice and warm in my studio, coffee at hand, sleepy dog at my feet. 

The Component of the Month this month was a lovely metal clay piece by Melissa Meman. It is from a stamp she carved herself; and I received a copper one. I was immediately drawn to the holes – an element of the design AND they go all the way through. I was debating between bead embroidery or a mixed media piece, using the holes for stitching… 

I decided mixed media, and made a polymer piece to go behind and complement the metal clay. I imagined it with Swellegant patinas to replicate copper’s patina over time. Here is the result: 

COM and Plan 1

Everything went EXACTLY according to plan… and I didnt like it. I felt the background pattern was detracting from Melissa’s design. I had not addressed a bail. The stitching was great, but I cut it apart. Onward to plan B. 

MM mehndi

I cut Faux Bone in a shape that echoed the petal design in the metal clay. I was intending to stitch it too… but as the piece developed it was unnecessary. There are tube rivets at top and bottom to attach the metal clay disc and embellish the dangle area. I used alcohol ink on the FB. This is more pleasing to me aesthetically – the players support the lead now. 

MM Mehndi collage

The necklace is finished with a gentle asymetry. One side has larger gems, wire wrapped red and blue tiger’s eye. The smaller gems, sapphire quartz and blue calcedony, have copper bead cap accents and an additional strand of chain for visual interest and weight. 

Thanks to Melissa for a stunning original to create with this month! 

Check out the blogs for creative offerings from the AJE team and this month’s guests: 

AJE team: 

Jennifer Cameron 

Jenny Davies-Reazor

Susan Kennedy 

Melissa Meman

Rebekah Payne

Lindsay Starr 

Kristen Stevens

Francesca Watson

Lesley Watt    

Guest Participants:

Michelle Mach

Patty Miller

Divya N
 

 

 

 

 

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/
 

Inspired by Reading book group – Irish inspiration

 Irish Country Doctor

After a long hiatus, I am thrilled to be back on track with the “Inspired by Reading” book group! 

For the month of March – we read “An Irish Country Doctor” by Patrick Taylor. It was a good read, quick, easy, and entertaining. It reminded me in some ways of a Maeve Binchy novel – in that there was a cast of characters, richly developed by the author, that I grew to like, and care about. The story line, at times poignant, at times humorous, was driven by the characters… their growth, foibles, and interactions. I could see reading other books in the “series” – I think they are loosely related based on said characters, and can each be read as a stand alone novel. 

As to inspiration – I was immediately making associations from this small town in Northern Ireland, set in the early 1960’s (?) to another fictional small town… Brigadoon. ( I KNOW Brigadoon was set in Scotland, but once I thought it I couldnt un-think it…) 

Brigadoon poster Brigadoon album

My mind seized on the idea of two. Two realities. Two visions, two versions… (In case you arent familiar with Brigadoon, the musical tells the tale of a magical Scottish village that appears into our world for one day every 100 years. Two NYC gents stumble on the town, THAT DAY. Coincidence? Hmm. Boy meets girl, falls in love, leaves, town disappears. Boy mopes in NYC, returns to find town gone… yet it reappears! True love works magic.  He joins his love in magical town, leaving our world behind.) 

So where do we stand? Irish images, but a 2 sided focal. OK! 

Irish details

To create the pendant I started with 2 copper discs, cutting in circular windows. I cut a matching circle of 1/4″ Faux Bone for the center core. The copper is stamped, patina added, tumbled, etc. The images, sealed, are glued on. The piece is assembled with balled wire/soft rivets. 

Making the bail was more challenging. The shape and wire wrap were easy enough (Thanks to Kerry Bogert for causing me to rethink colored wire.) Drilling through the FB – I went a bit crooked and the 2 holes weren’e aligned. So what would have been a piece of copper tubing through one hole – became 2 microbolts and washers, with a spot of glue for security! It DOES spin now as I planned. 

  • The thatched cottage is from an antique postcard, the blackbird is from a vintage Irish stamp. 
  • The stamped text reads “Beatha agus Failte” or “Life and Health” a traditional Irish phrase. 
  • The gems are jade, goldstone, dragon’s blood jasper

Cottage view 

Blackbird view

Thanks for taking this meandering journey with me! I know the Muse often leads us on a winding path, and I find it ironic that I was reading this bookwhile on a cruise ship in the Caribbean! No green in sight… 

Please join us – the links and images of other participants can be found at Andrew’s blog! 

 

 

 

 

 

Art Bliss.Pure and simply – art bliss! DC 2011.

Art Bliss 2011

The second annual ArtBLISS retreat was held in Dulles VA on September 23-25th. Our hosts Jeannette Blix and Cindy Wimmer created another magical weekend of creativity and camaraderie. In some ways its hard to write about… I find as an artist that I need times away from all of the life/human/house/pet responsibilities when everything is attended too and I can simple create. And be inspired, experiment, share ideas, and recharge. I work alone in the studio most days, with dogs at my feet. Although I do talk to them, they are not so well versed in critique and composition…

So this retreat weekend is very valuable to me. I made some good friends last year, and it has been a pleasure to see them on Facebook and the like. I anticipated more of that relationship building and networking. Add to that that my best friend Jen was coming! Hurrah! We met in college, in drawing class… but I will save that for a follow up ArtBliss post… 

Jen and I took “Rings and Things” a class with Robert Dancik to work with his material Faux Bone. I had worked with it on my own, and liked it, but wanted to go straight to the source as it were. Here is my workspace early into class – and a ring in progress. 

FB begins 

The material is a plastic, and it is incredibly durable and versatile. Saw it, file it, sand it. It sculpts on a belt sander like soft clay! Its non toxic, and takes color…The ring below was sculpted out of 1/2″ thick material and designed to showcase that antique button. 

FB rings

But I decided it needed to have another focal, and so this button is interchangeable! So sweet. Never would have imagined. But I had never used the myriad forms of microbolts before either…. Each button has a microbolt epoxied to the back where the shank was – and that is what connects to the ring shank itself. Ingenious!

Fb ring 2

Glad I finally got to work with Robert – it was a great class. 

Davies and Dancik

Saturday night – a trunk show of my ceramic beads and charms. Thats Jen there sketching in the room. It was such a party! Thanks to everyone who came and made it a success! I hope to see your creations here on the Interwebs in the future! I got to meet so many beaders/designers/artists whose blogs I read, whose work I follow. A pleasure! 

JKM and trunk show

On the second day… there were watches. “Watch this” with Richard Salley to be exact. I have know Richard for a few years, having met and worked with him at the Shepherdess in San Deigo. I have a huge stash of watches, and was seeking inspiration. Here is the day’s breakdown: 

Salley class1

Setting up: coffee, clean table, sketchbook. (Isnt the pen bandolier the best? Cleverhands on Etsy) 

Salley class2

In progress/sketching: I wanted to use the antique cigarette card of Athena – so I wanted to take the time to plan and thing things through. How to create tabs? Where to rivet? What embellishments? To do her justice and not mess up the only one I have…

Salley class 3

Working: tools strewn around, notes, seltzer…

watches WIP

This was the end of the day. The Strongbow cider lid/watch needs Faux bone for the backing. The Athena watch awaits resin. I will post pix when they are done!

watch crew

The crew – thanks for a great class, and being a part of a great weekend. I wish I had taken more pictures! The Meet and Greet, the charm swap… The whole experience is so rich – I will come back another day. Stay tuned. But for now – back to the studio, and a heartfelt thanks to the teachers, the organizers, my fellow attendees…It really is aptly named “art bliss” 

 

 

 

Good things happen in threes…

Well, I am back. Back to the blog. Back to the studio after teaching for the summer. Back from vacation. And I am happy to get to work on a few things that have come my way…

The first is this little gem. It is an enameled bezel by C-Koop Beads. Lorelei – bead blogger extraordinaire, is hosting a challenge/ blog hop. I was thrilled to be pulled out of the proverbial hat as a participant. The real challenge for me is what to do that leaves that gorgeous enamel color visible. I do many bezels – collaged, with resin, found objects, and the like. But this one I need to fill, and yet not fill… Hmm. The reveal will be here on August 27th, so stay tuned! ( The list of all participants, and their log links will be on Lorelei’s blog that day.) 

enamel bezel

Then there is Bead Soup. The Bead Soup Blog Party to be exact. I have wanted to be a part of this for years, and never knew who? how? where? when? This year I heard the siren song in time. The tireless Lori Anderson has matched up all 350+ participants by hand. No random generator, there! A true labor of love. I mailed my package today to my partner. Here is a sneak peak…

bead soup

soup package

That little treasure box is headed to California into the hands of Jelveh J. She is a lampwork bead artist and I cant wait to see what treasures she sends me to work with! Once they arrive, I will detail the beads, and my process, my ideas, and my methods. There will be a focal, a clasp, coordinating beads, inspiration. Sweet! Here is a pix of Jelveh’s work from her site: 

Jelveh's beads

See what I mean? Eagerly awaiting that box! The big reveal will be September 17th. I will post my creations here, but the list of ALL the participants can be found at Lori’s blog – Pretty Things. 

This weekend is Beadfest in Philadelphia. I have to say – I usually dont go, and my wallet thanks me. But this year, I am participating in a swap! Yes, another swap! Purely for the love of beads this time. Diana of Suburban Girl Studio organized the group of us. Swap, meet and hang out, dinner… What a great way to end a day of bead orgy – I mean shopping. My partner is Meredith Arnold – who will be teaching, so I can pop into her classroom and see her students polymer creations. Looking forward to meeting many of the bead blog friends. 

 

Last but not least – I had work featured on the Faux Bone blog. Thrilled! I am experimenting recently with Faux Bone and I am really liking it. Looking forward to taking a class with Robert Dancik (he developed the material) at ArtBliss in Sept. Now if I can just get her finished so I can wear her Saturday to Beadfest…

FB goddess