April is for Amulets! The AJE reveal

 Amulet beads

This month over at Art Jewelry Elements I was very excited to share my new polymer amulet beads. They are vessels – hollow and completely functional. I wanted to see how people addressed this, and what they inspired in our team and guests. See that one in the picture below with a labyrinth? That one is mine! 

More beads

I knew right away I wanted a way to have a scroll inside – that would be removeable and hold a secret ( or shared) message. I fabricated the copper V shape to act as a bail of sorts, allowing the vessel to hang. But then what? The labyrinth is a very evocative symbol to me – of journeys, of life, of the twists and turns of fate. So after pondering a while I decided to stamp words… 

my vessel

“I’ll walk where my own nature would be leading: It vexes me to choose another guide.” Emily Bronte

my own nature

That seemed perfect for a piece about journeys, and amulet, to be worn near the heart, a personal talisman. Labradorite, apaptite, green garnet – all pulling out the cool tones in teh polymer amulet bead. Its long – hangs down to my stomach; I knew it would be whan I selected that quote! The scrill is a piece of resin paper, very organic and fiber-y. No message as of yet – we will see what note I want to leave for myself! 

My journey amulet

Thanks for stopping in – and please take a look at the other offerings this month!
Guests: 
Marsha of Marsha Neal Studio
Alison of Alison Adorns
Jess of The Copper Cat
Brooke from Artistic Endeavors
 
AJE Team: 
Lesley 
Caroline 
Niky 
Jennifer
Diana
Lindsay
Susan
Jenny

Fall is in the air! The September COM reveal

 The windows are open. The soundtrack is crickets, Canadian geese… and while flowers are still blooming, Fall is definitely in the air. 

Its time for the Component of the Month reveal at Art Jewelry Elements. This month the fall themed piece is a ceramic oak leaf and acorn from Linda Landig. She offered a diverse palette in warm tones, but this sage speckled green called my name. When it arrived the orange stumped me. Its not a color I work with often, and this glaze was a coral/orange color. I’d recently had the pleasure of an intro needle felting experience with Marsha of Marsha Neal Studio... and there was this pumpkin color wool that I had picked up as scrap… Umm… I think its time to wet felt! 

COM materilas

Here is Linda’s original (finger for scale reference…) and my felted piece – back and front. I have done small scale welt felting before – thanks to the uber talented Cooky Schock. Its so like painting that it speaks to my inner colorist, and draws on my painting experience. There is an element of random for me – while others may have more mastery of the material, I can sort of get it to do what I imagine… The felt turned out great! I wanted to bead it, and create a small mixed media hanging piece. Here’s my end result: 

COM in situ

I hung it there between my closet and my new bead tower in the studio. It may stay there! Here are some details of the beaded embellishments: 

COM details

The stamped text translated as “bright autumn” in Gaelic. I love text, but sometimes using other languages is more interesting to me, adding a mystery element and keeping the text a visual first. I chose Gaelic as a nod to the Celtic language of trees. The oak stands for strength, courage, perseverance… Ironically the twig I used is a cottonwood twig from New Mexico. I am very pleased with how it turned out, and have to thank Linda for the incentive to try wet felting again! After this I did a shadowbox shrine showcasing one of Lesley’s foxes! 

With glittering eyes

(Sorry for the bad pix. It was a quick snap as I dropped it off for a fibers show at the local gallery.)

I’d love to hear what you think! And the guests and AJE team is listed below! Please take a look at their creations as well! 

Guests
Carolyn Lawson
Alice Peterson
Diana Ptaszynski

 

 

The AJE COM reveal: “Use your stash”!!!

January. It comes in with champagne and noise makers… and goes out with howling winds. At least here in Delaware! 

This year, the AJE team wanted to start the year fresh. While we are still doing out Component of the Month give aways on the blog – we are mixing it up. January was “Use your stash” month, for lack of a prettier term. We are collectors of each others work, known to barter, buy and trade. So this month we decided to put the treasures to good use! 

I wanted to make as many pieces as I could – and I’ll share with you how far I got, and what I still have planned.

First up Karen of Starry Road Studio

Two sides of Karen

I love to make earrings. I had these pieces tucked away for a year and a half? The pair on the left, apple green boat shapes are paired with garnet and black spiniel. Lots of movement, a little bling. The pair on the right? Umm. That’s a bracelet bar that I broke… and it was too pretty to lose. Its a matte teal glaze, very me, very earthy. I paired it with seed pods for their organic-ness and complementary warm color. (and turquoise in there too)

Next up is a partnership – Melissa (Melismatic Art Jewelry) and Sue (Sue Beads):  

Metallic dazzle

This lampwork glass cab from Sue is heavenly, metallic with silver across the surface like stars. Although it has warm honey colors in it – I wanted to go metallic from the start. I used seed beads in bronzes, crystal, and silver. The picot edge is bright silver beads, although its tough to photograph. The dangle is one of Melissa’s metal clay pieces. I scooped up ALL the “little tiny shinies” that she had to trade at Beadfest. I adore them. I think it plays up the silver on the cab nicely. 

 Then – the Kristen (Beadwork by KAS) and Diana (Suburban Girl Studio) partnership: 

Blue floral

I usually don’t design things in a complimentary color palette. I prefer harmonious rather than “pop”. But this necklace designed itself. The PC/MM focal is one of mine- with a vintage illustration under resin. It’s many shades of blue with rust highlights. As I sat, treasure box of artist beads on my lap… there it all was. Kristen’s beaded beads and Diana’s stoneware beads were the same scale, making it easy to pair them in a balanced composition. Additional flowers to pull in the illustration itself…done. Really pleased with this one! 

 And now for something completely different – with Rebekah of Tree Wing Studio

Sleepy fox den

Start with a mini mint tin. Burn off the paint, sand it down. Then fill it with treasures! The sleepy fox bead of Rebekah’s is nestled in hand dyed silk from my friends at Reyen Studios. The collage opposite incorporated vintage dictionary text, origami paper and Czech flower beads. The outside was done first – and it was going to be a winter fox asleep in the snow and ice. (Hence the crystal and blue…) So this is a prototype, guess I will have to keep it! I have a menagerie of creatures napping on my work table now… more of these forthcoming! 

And then there were no more days left in January… but I am not done. Here is what I am going to showcase next: 

a lampwork bead from Jen (Glass Addictions)

a Celtic bronze hound/hare from Lesley (Thea Jewelry)

a lunar hare from Caroline (Blueberri Beads)

a copper donut ( destined to be a shrine) from Kristi  (Kristi Bowman Designs)

treasures on deck

Please take a look at the wonderful, creative bounty from the team, the guests, and the winners! So much to see! 

AJE team: 
Kristen Stephens 
Susan Kennedy 
Jenny Davies-Reazor ( yup. thats me)
Lesley Watt    
Melissa  Meman
 Lindsay Starr 
Jennifer Cameron 
Caroline Dewison
Linda Landig

 Guest Participants ( aka winners)

Lee – Strega Jewellry
Shai – Shai’s Ramblings
Samantha- Wescott Jewelry
Kathy – Bay Moon Designs
Nikki – Silver Nik nats
Melissa Trudinger
Becky Pancake
Yvette – Blue Kiln Beads
Karin – Ginko et Coquelicot
Bonus participants! 
Sarajo Wentling
Leah Curtis
Susan Delaney 
 

Runic Goddess – the September Component of the Month reveal

 September. I miss you. <sigh> 

September Component of the Month is brought to you by Kristi Bowman of Dream Some Design. The colors in this amulet are WOW! It is white copper, I believe, and the style says primitive talisman to me… I wanted to bring out the subtle tones of peach/honey and aqua. Not my usual palette so I am happy for the challenge! 

Runic Goddess

The linear and dot motifs helped guide me. I wanted to play up the linear quality, and decided to incorporate the wrapped chain links. They are copper and nickel parawire tumbled to a shiny finish. ( Thanks to Lesley for inspiration on these links.) The gems – jaspers and agates – repeat the dot/round motif nicely. 

Runic Goddess Sept CoM

I wanted to give the piece another layer of meaning and keep in the primitive style. ( I mean that in the best way, naturally). I decided to stamp runes into copper discs and intersperse them with the gems. (The runes are linear in nature as they were originally carved in stone. This makes them easy enough to stamp with letter stamps… no curves needed. )

rune detail

rune chart

“Jera” – Harvest: beneficial outcomes to your commited endeavor. Reap what you have sown. 
“Dagaz” – Breakthrough: Self transformation, change. 
“Sowelu” – Wholeness: the path you must follow; the core of your individuality. 

 

 I liked the meanings here. I thought that made for a powerful sentiment, a personal talisman. I would love to hear your thoughts as well… 

And dont miss the other pieces designed by my fellow Art Jewelry Elements team mates and this month’s guests! 

 

 

Art Jewelry Elements’ September reveal!

Its the end of September already!?!?

Welcome – its the reveal day for the CoM over at Art Jewelry Elements blog! This month we are working with bronze clay bead caps from our one-and-only Lesley Watt! When I saw them I had a brainstorm. One of those far fetched, push the boundaries ideas that leaps to your brain fully formed. An idea that challenges you to go beyond your current level of experience. Lesley very graciously send me 2 – as the grand plan/challenge/hare brained scheme… required 2. 

Lesley CoM

I am not done. (ArtBLISS happened. More on that tomorrow!) 

Sketch CoM1

The original plan, a sculptural piece – build a polymer pod with a flanged lid, using the bead caps as ends. They are organic, and so perfect… I have never build hollow forms in polymer before… 

Sketch CoM2

The revised sketch – only using one cap and drawing more inspiration from the shape of a poppy pod. I decided I would like the piece to be wearable, and researched Japanese inro boxes. The tops slide up the cord from which the piece is worn, allowing access to the interior. 

polymer inro 

the pod

The pod form in cured polymer. The color Lesley sent me is a gorgeous muted eggplant, inspiring a palette of olive greens, yellow ochre and the eggplant color. At ArtBliss I was in a polymer class with the inspiring Christine Damm and I spent time with the charismatic Erin Prais-Hintz, both polymer influences of mine. So I feel primed to get back to this ASAP!

the top

The lid… 

Wip Sept CoM

Here is a picture for scale.  I have to address the lid, I think I will drill into the sides horizontally and insert wire/wrapped loops. Paint, patina, Gilder’s paste…. Fall is in the air, crisp cool air comes inthe open windows, leaves are starting to turn.  A perfect time to work on a fall themed organic pod form! 

Lesley – I am so sorry I did not have it finished! I hope I will make you proud regardless! Thank you for a gorgeous piece – I look forward to adding color – and I  will post pictures ASAP! In the meantime – please check out the work my friends and colleagues created!

Here are the links to the other artists participating this month: 

AJE team

Lesley Watt   

 

 

Art Jewelry Elements – October reveal!

AJE

 October is going out with a bang… at least here in the Mid Atlantic. I am writing this ahead of the reveal date, as we have a predicted date with Hurricane Sandy… 

You may recall that a month or so ago – I shared with you that I had become a member of the Art Jewelry Elements team – a fantastically talented group of bead artists, jewelry artists, designers… here and in the UK. At AJE we have a challenge of sorts… Component of the Month. Components are made, and offered to the team, and in a give away to the readers. Magic happens, and we post the pix here!

October’s CotM was this crazy fabulous seed beaded bead set and leaf charm by Kristen Stevens of “My Bead Journey”. Take a look : 

AJE Oct. components

 I knew I wanted to showcase the leaf and give it a little more visual impact as it was really delicate. I have a tendenacy to incorporate text into my pieces, as you most likely have gathered by now…  In keeping with the organic concept of the piece, I chose to pair it with seed pod slices, pearls, rough emeralds, and citrine. I utilized the seed pod beads as cones of a sort, where I attached seed bead and leather strands for the back of the piece. 

AJE Oct.

Here’s a detail of the pendant…to me the leaf was asking to be embellished – so I enameled a small flower and attached it with a soft rivet, using an enameled headpin. (Thank you SueBeads!) The quote reads: “dance on the edges of time” – an excerpt from this quote by Rabindranath Tagore: “Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf.” That quote really struck me; so perfect for the season. 

AJE Oct detail

I will say – I had never used beaded beads before and wasn’t sure how I would incorporate them into my aesthetic. ( Hence the challenge, I know…) I am very pleased with the result, and love the beads. I like the texture they add, and a bit of volume visually while being lightweight. I look forward to working with them again! Thanks Kristen!

PLease stop by the Art Jewelry Elements blog to see what my colleagues have done!