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… 

 

 

 

 

 

March Madness! The Component of the Month reveal!

 I love Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month. What could be better? Every week, no – every day – I am reminded how happy I am to be on this team of talented, smart, funny, creative women. And then every month one of them sends me a treasure? Its like your birthday – every month. Its a pleasure getting to know them each a little better by working with their work. And its a pleasure meeting new people out there on the Interwebs; people who win a piece and create along with the team. 

( I know there is a practical marketing side. That we are showing off our creations and networking, and spreading the word about handmade artisan beads/components. But I cant deny the social side!)

OK. Enough gushing, enough sentiment. Let’s get down to the loot. This month’s element comes from Joanne Tinley of Daisy Chain Jewelry. You can find her finished jewelry and her components on Etsy! She made stamped copper hollow disc beads. The amount of labor that went into these! – you can read that best in her own words. 

Daisy Chain hollow beads

I like them all, but I did request a dotty/divoted one. It reminded me of the craters on the Moon’s surface. I have a tendency to try to highlight the CoM piece, and really make it the focal of my design/creation. I imagined these would be larger because of the labor involved – they arrived and are so delicate! My original plan is sketched below (on left): 

CoM sketches

 (I had been planning to sculpt a polymer goddess, faux ivory-ish, and have the moon bead in her arms.) When I received my bead, I decided the dark rich patina wouldnt “read” as moonto most people. That – along with my crazy schedule, a few postal issues… all contributed to a change in plans from the sketched design. So I sat amidst my gems, and started making piles. The first – a lampwork disc by Joanne Z. Second and third – ceramic pendants by yours truly. The color palette was a natural choice as I love aqua and teal with copper. 

moon goddess necklace

I hammered and oxidized long oval copper links to serve as a counterpoint to the “moon” bead as I still think of it. Gemstones are wire wrapped; chain completes the last few inches. (Gems: kyanite, smoky quartz, amazonite, apatite) Its simple, but very much my style. I hope the gentle asymetry balances the composition yet sets off Jo’s bead. And there is a pair of matching earrings –  I am always late to the Earring Hop at AJE but I DO make earrings… 

CoM necklace

(PS: those are SueBeads enameled headpins peeking out of those earrings!)

So – thoughts? I love Jo’s components and truly appreciate the time and energy involved.  As always – a pleasure to work with my friends and their work. Please tune in to the AJE blog to see what every one else – and a few lucky blog readers – created with their treasures!

 

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…