“Queen of the Sea” – the May Art Elements COM reveal

I usually don’t title pieces. But wait til you see this one… It went through many fits and starts and emerged; making a rather regal statement. This month Lesley sent gorgeous shell slices – and I selected the satiny copper green seen below:

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Shopping the stash: I pulled artist beads for the preliminary pairings. Marsha Neal Studio, Diana, Staci Smith, Tracey Donogue, Karen, Mary/White Clover Kiln, Diane Hawkey… 

In my head I saw the shell as the center dangle on a large/statement amulet piece. (I was directly inspired by Cathy’s piece using Lindsay’s leather cab. Thank to Cathy for her advice!) Here is the first incarnation:

As you can see – it was a “no-go”. I simply wasn’t happy with it. So I dove back onto the stash to see what else leapt out at me:

So you can see the plan for the overall composition here. Its going to be a large piece, wearable for special occasions? Or cosplay… Since I was fixated on this composition – Caroline’s luster cab was the best choice – both for scale and color. This wasn’t the color palette I would have ever predicted – but I love the two ceramic pieces together!

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Beaded, and dangles selected: crystal points and mismatched headpins by Nikki Thornburg.

The beaded cab/bezel is sewn to the wire framework with 24 gauge wire running side to side. The supplemental wire ( visible on the bottom section) is to prevent the beaded cab from spinning in the wire frame.
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Sketch for the necklace portion with possible gems. 

Trying out gem combinations – what do YOU think? I am leaning towards the oval aquamarines. While they are smaller in scale – the colors accentuate and visually link the  necklace to the shell. Those huge citrine nuggets are pretty yummy, though… I plan to stare at it for a few days – then finish it off with silk!
Until then – please take a look at the friends and colleagues participating this month! And  thanks Lesley for such a beauty!
Art Elements team
Laney Mead

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! 

 

 

 

 

Sailor’s Valentines

Valentine’s Day in Blog Land: I have seen vintage candy boxes, hearts made of wire and gemstones, hand-stitched sentiments, steam punk hearts, Tarot cards… and many more. I confess, I am an avid blog reader…

So my entry into the eclectic mix for Valentine’s Day – Sailor’s Valentines.

Sailors valentine 2 part

Sailors valentine

From my ever faithful love Wikipedia: 

sailor’s valentine is a type of antique souvenir, or sentimental gift, originally brought home from a sailor’s voyage at sea for his loved one between 1830 and 1890.[1]Sailor valentines are typically octagonal, glass fronted, hinged wooden boxes ranging from 8″ to 15″ in width, displaying intricate symmetrical designs composed entirely of small sea shells of various colors glued onto a backing. Patterns often feature a centerpiece such as a compass rose or a heart design, hence the name, and in some cases the small shells are used to spell out a sentimental message.

So today I was teaching a class at the Brandywine Hundred library – what better to thing do than be inspired by these gorgeos pieces! Here are the students Valentines – completed and ready to take home…

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SV 3 SV 4

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