The November COM reveal: lunar hare 

What a month! This month the challenge was truly challenging. The fabulous component is a clasp, a coin clasp made by Niky Sayers. And its an Irish hare coin.

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Niky’s COM offering

Now I love this as the hare is “my” animal. And I am of Celtic/Irish descent. And it looks like a full moon, and brings to mind the lunar hare that is my icon, and new logo. SO clearly this is destined for me to keep!

I knew I waned to make a bracelet – as that best shows off the clasp as focal. And there I got stuck. Because there e are SO MANY options. OK _ something I can wear daily with my Fitbit. ( I like my Fitbit, but MUST accessorize/disguise it.)

 

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A few of my favorite things, including related pieces by Niky in my stash!

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Or do I want to go chunky?

I debated so much… my favorite stones? chunky statement stones? symbolic stones chosen for their attributes to make it more of a talisman? And my favorite stones won!

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I know that this is an exceptionally simple, dare I say boring design. But I it means a lot to me and I will wear it all the time!

On a side note, here are some of these gems attributes: 

  • Garnet: unyielding strength, increasing willpower, vitality. 
  • Moonstone: the magic of the moon – encourages communication by promoting clear thinking, inspiration and receptivity
  • Labradorite: For self-discovery, it is excellent for awakening one’s own awareness of inner spirit, intuition and psychic abilities.
  • Smoky quartz: endurance, fostering serenity, calmness and positive thoughts,to protect and ground one physically and spiritually

Thanks to Niky for a lovely piece – and thanks for understanding my simple design choices…

Please visit my team mates and our guests! Enjoy!

Guest Designers

Art Element Team

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! 

 

 

 

 

Retail therapy

Saturday was a day of retail therapy and fabulous friends – old and new. I went to the Berks Bead Bazaar with my friend Marsha (Marsha Neal Studio) and her daughter Chloe – bead babe in training! I stated emphatically in the car ” I don’t NEED anything…” but was very much looking forward to lunch with friends and a bit of eye candy…

First stop: Lisa Peters Art

Lisa Peters1

Stoneware, cabochons, buttons Oh my!

Lisa Peters2

I met Lisa – what is it now? – 4 years ago at the Moravian Tile Festival – through Marsha. We three had a great time, and I have counted Lisa a friend since! She is a generous, creative, funny, fabulous woman who makes exquisite one of a kind ceramic creations. Why – you ask – do I need to buy ceramic cabochons since I make them myself? They are attractive, inspiring, different… Every truly creative clay person makes pieces so unique, stamped with their personality – I need all the more because I love clay so much…

Next up – catching up with Diana P. of Suburban Girl Studio ( back to her later) and finally meeting Staci from Staci Louise Originals

Silly. Silks.

Staci Smith at her booth

Staci’s booth display was gorgeous!( As is her polymer.) She works on PMC, bronze clay, and polymer. I especially like the crackle finish pieces. They had an air of antiquity I liked: 

crackle polymer

We had an epic lunch with Sandra Miller and Mary Hubbard & Molly Hubbard and Kristie Roeder and Melinda Orr  and Diana P. – service was slow, but we were talking and talking and didnt notice – except that there was a bit of shopping to be done…

bead babes

(L to R: Melinda Orr, Lisa Peters Russ, Marsha Minutella, me, and sleepy Chloe)

But I said I didnt need anything… I was very restrained, let me show you the loot: 

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2 Stoneware cabs from Lisa Peters Art. Strands of green garnet, amazonite and aqua terra jasper. 

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And thinking of Spoutwood Faerie Festival, I wanted some cabs to tab set. (wrote them down, cant remember…) That bronze moon face by Staci might be mine to keep!

And I did get one more bit of bead loot recently! I said I would tell you more about Diana of Suburban Girl studio? Well, I am a member of her first annual design team. She is going to give us challenges – seasonally – to create an original piece using one of her ceramic components. This Spring challenge includes a lampwork bead from Jan at Molten Mayhem (also a design team member). I think the palette is very “Spring” but a bit out of my comfort zone. Well, it IS called a challenge.. I definitely have some ideas percolating in my head. I will keep you posted!

suburban girl loot

Bead Fest, bead swap, bead abundance.

When I left for Philadelphia Saturday morning, with Marsha of Marsha Neal Studio, I had the best laid bloggy plans. We were headed to Beadfest. I wanted to take pictures of inspirational items, gorgeous gems, beautiful beads, and the people…Here is all I managed: 

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Once there – it was a frenzy of shopping, familiar faces, chatting, shopping… Such a great day! And the camera stayed in my pocket. Oh well. I can show you the loot, and there is some loot…

A highlight of the day was the Bead Swap organized by Diana of Suburban Girl Studio. This wasnt about a contest, or a challenge, or a blog entry – it was simply a great way to meet, and share the beady goodness with friends old and new! My new friend and swap partner was Meredith Arnold – a very talented and humorous lady! I crashed her class and got a handful of her gorgoeus polymer beads! They are a bit of a challenge as I am a gemstone junkie, but I already am starting to have some ideas!

swap beads

Then there is the shopping, the loot, the treasure. Lets start with artist beads, shall we? 

artist beads

goedes and fossils

Geode slices and fossilezed starfish!

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Amazonite, calcedony, mystery gem, sapphire!!!, kyanite. 

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Moonstone, calcedony (?) and yes, more moonstone…

gems loot

Apatite, mystery gem, amethyst, smoky quartz, rutilated quartz, moonstone, lapis, garnet, labradorite, amazonite. 

I know. I bought quite a bit. I get dazzled by the gemstones in all their glory. But I am officially doing Art on the Avenue in October as a “jewelry/mixed media” artist. Meaning I am juried in for jewelry, a coveted spot, and I am allowed to bring tiles and shrines as well. So excited!

After the shopping and swapping marathon – time for a little wine and conversation! The large group of us settled in at Legal Seafoods, and had a great evening! I thoroughly enjoyed getting to meet and chat with people whose work I admire, people who were inspirational/influential to me when I began making ceramic beads, people whose blogs I read regularly. Thank you all, it was a pleasure!

candid camera

Candid camera with Lorelei Eurto and Diane Hawkey. (Elaine Ray and Cynthia Deis look on…)

dinner 1

Nancy Schindler/Round Rabbit, Lisa Petrillo, Lorelei Eurto, Diana P/Suburban Girl. 

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Mary and Molly Hubbard/White Clover Kiln, Melanie/Earthenwood Studio

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Kristie Roeder/Artisan Clay, Melinda Orr, Marsha/Marsha Neal Studio

I hope there are many future meetings in our futures!

 

 

Pearls in a pod…Beadfest, and BTW

Pearls pod bracelet

Pearls in pod slices. With a ceramic focal, made by… me. Gee – who would have guessed? That was on my bead table for the weekly Bead Table Wednesday Flickr group. Then it was on my wrist after that. 

OK – lets get to the eye candy…Last Friday – I took a day off, a field trip, and a business trip all rolled into one. Marsha (of Marsha Neal Studios) and I headed to Beadfest outside Philly. My furry kids were in daycare, as where Marsha’s flesh and blood children…I had a budget. (Please dont ask how THAT went. )

As soon as we arrived we saw Barbara Lewis doing a great demo – enameled beads. Its magic, and fire, and instant gratification!

Barbara Lewis

Thriiled to run into Shelby of SunDown Bead Designs, a friend from last years ArtBliss retreat! Chatted a bit about the DE Etsy street team, and them commenced the shopping. (Her blog entry on Beadfest is here.)

Shelby and me.

It is overwhelming. The vast amounts of gorgeousness, the gemstones, the one of a kind artisan beads, imports, cabochons…sigh. Bounty! Treasure!

Table of teasures at Bead Dreams of New York. 

Joanne Z

Joanne Zekowski – friendly, funny, and incredibly creative. Her glass beads are both new and unique, yet ancient and mysterious!

Joan MIller owls

Porcelain owls by Joan Miller. Even as a ceramics person, I am amazed by what this woman can accomplish in the medium!

And in my hands, and on my work table: Briolettes and drops for earrings. 

loot 1

loot 2

Green Girl Studio.  ( That is where I lost control of said budget.)

Riverstone Bead Co. – drilled pebbles. 

Joanne Zekowski glass beads

Loot 3

Labradorite, moonstone and garnet were the only things I actually had on my “Need” list… ( Aren’t they always on that list, Jenny?)

loot 4

loot 5

Small stamps in lowercase! Thank you PJ Tools! And I didnt have to pay an arm for the set! Since you do need both arms if you are stamping the metal…

Alright, I better get to work. The Appel Farm Arts and Music Festival is in early June. See you there? 

 

 

 

A to Z: addicted

 

1: to devote or surrender (oneself) to something habitually or obsessively 
     2
: to cause addiction to a substance in (a person or animal)
 From the Latin addictus, past participle of addicere to favor, fromad- + dicere to say. First Known Use: 1534
When I sat down to compile my list of alphabet words, artistic was one of the first written. But as I perused the Dictionary – I felt drawn to this one. Addicted. In reading the official definition ( Thanks again, M-W.) I had to pause. In that context, I am addicted to art. I have devoted myself to it habitually since a child, and obsessively as an art student, a teacher, and now a working artist. It is my love, my passion. But on to the planned blog entry – tongue firmly planted in cheek. 
I am addicted to beads. 
I can’t go to a bead store and leave without purchasing something. I have had beads, used beads, and collected beads as long as I can remember. A favorite toy as a young one was a strand of plastic “pop” beads. I made and sold beaded earrings as a teenager in High school. I studied metal smithing in college (not so many beads there, though) I make beaded things, and in the past year have been making ceramic pendants. Not really beads themselves, but a companion to beads. I love semi-precious gemstones the best. Glass is good, shell/bone/horn beads are ok…Plastic is a bad word.  I have a plethora of beads. I worked at a bead store in San Diego and grew to love tiny seed beads; learned how to use a bead needle and weave a few moderately complicated stitches. Vintage and antique seed beads are even better! My studio is filled with beads. 
gemstone
Bead storage is a very exciting prospect to this Virgo!
seed beads  soup of beads
bead drawer
Molten Mama  ceramic charms
(Lampwork: Molten Mama; ceramic charms: yours truly)
I am addicted to books. 
While I can enter and exit a book store without feeling compelled… Our house is full of books. There are books in every room of the house. There are books on beads, on art, on ceramics, on myth. There are fictions, and biographies, and how-to books, fantasies and classics. There are rare books, and dog-eared books, and children’s books, and great books and mediocre books. There are comics and graphic novels, books on making books, and lately – e-books! There are artfully arranged books as decor, and there are books stacked willy-nilly by a favorite chair… And as we know from previous posts there are books waiting to be read!
artful books
Morris chair
Yes, I devote and/or surrender myself to beads/books habitually. Happy to!
What is your favorite (healthy) addiction? What are you obsessed with lately? Hey – if it makes you happy, and isnt hurting anyone (including you!)
then I say – Enjoy!
Speaking of which – have to go refill my cuppa joy… I mean cuppa joe… 😉
coffee
* Please note – I say all this in good humor. I do not poke fun at or belittle problems that occur with real addiction. It is a serious matter, not to be taken lightly. I sincerely hope this post is read in the context it was intended, and no offense is taken. *