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AJE Buried Treasure reveal

Welcome to the 2016 edition of "Buried Treasure" challnege sponsored by Art Jewelry Elements blog.

AKA "Use your stash" 

Its been great year so far for me - filled with friends, adventure, and best of all - studio time! I am working hard to balance time in the mediums that I love and allow time for new pursuits. After a week in Mexico working in metals, they are now demanding equal studio time. The snow days make me want to sit and do nothing but bead embroider, patially because I am sore from shoveling... 

Here is what I have to offer for this challenge - with pieces from my stash by Jen Cameron/Glass Addictions, Lesley Watt/Thea Elements and Sue Kennedy/Sue Beads: 

Lesley's cab and resin

Oceanic pendant - ceramic cab by Lesley. (Resin cab by me)

The glaze Lesley selected for this detailed spiral ammonite? Perfection! It accentuates the detail in her ceramic piece and breaks across the texture so well... I wanted to base all the colors of her cab and really showcase it. I like the resin cab... it has made me want to experiement with other resin cabs and collaging paper behind... creating layers in the piece. 

Sue beads in turquoise

I confess - I have done a piee similar to this before. I have a veritable hoard of Susan's cabs. I am addicted. This apple green with turquoise makes my eyes happy. (Sounds silly - but you KNOW what I mean) 

These two came together easily, a pleasure to work with... then there is the piece that challenges you at every turn. Well, here is mine:

Jen/Sue WIP

Again - an ammonite cab by Sue. It has sat in a small glass dish nestled into those same gems and pearls for over a year. They were extras from another piece waiting to be put away. Then I liked the palette. Then it sat there to be pretty. Then it sat there to be on deck, and I finally decided what to do... After the aforementioned week in metals I decided to bezel set it. 

Yes it has issues. ( Bezel wire was too heavy a gauge. Bezel may be a bit less than 100% soldered...) But its for me and it represents moving back into metal after years. I'm happy with it! And yes - those ar the same gems that were in that bowl originally! 

Ammonite!

Please join me in looking at my team-mates work - and our guests this month. And maybe dig into your treasure trove of beads and USE them! What are you waiting for? 

AJE team:

Guests

Melissa - Bead Recipes

Tammy - Paisley  Lizard

Sarajo - SJ Designs

Kathy - Bay Moon Designs

Lola - Bead Lola Bead

Samantha - Wescott Jewelry

Mona - Bijoux Gem

Suntsa - Suntsan

 

 

 

 

Back to work, back to reality

Last month when I was doing some of the creative business entrepreneur journaling stuff - year in review and all - I relaized that I felt like I was in production mode all year in 2015. Not enough time to sculpt new designs, not enough time to play and develop new pieces. So when the ceramics studio re-opened this week, it was nice to get my hands back into clay. And it was nice to play a little bit. 

New clay 1

Celtic knot cabs are destined for The Bead Binge in Cherry Hill NJ. ( March 19 & 20). The larger rectangular pieces? Who knows? Mixed media pieces? Beaded into felted pieces? 

new clay 2

Tree of Life. Triquetras. Triple Spirals... and again some large I'm-not-sure-what-for-yet peices. But I look forward to glazing them! 

new clay 3

These are pressed from an antique cookie mold - you know the Springerle style of shortbread cookies?

New figure WIP

And this lovely lady... muse... goddess will go in the high fire reduction kiln next week. JUST IN TIME for the members show at The Palette and the Page next month! I have a few days to ponder what organic/sculptural elements will be included. She has a nature/woodland/plant theme. 

Now - off to prepare for a much anticipated snow storm. I have books, and coffee, and oh! dog food. Must see that all this house's inhabitants are cared for as we settle in for the weekend! Until later...  

 

 

Hacienda Mosaico! (metal, magic, mexico)

Hacienda Mosaico

It was on my bucket list. <laughs> But now its on my list again. Its the kind of experience you want to have again, and again. 

Last Spring? Summer? my BFF Cooky Schock (of Shepherdess fame) and I decided we were going to attend a weeklong class taught by Jane and Richard Salley. In Puerto Vallarta Mexico. In January. Its already a win-win. It didnt even seem real, until like... Christmas when we really had to discuss packing, tools, etc. 

Here's a little photo essay for your viewing pleasure: 

travel adventure begins

1 & 2. New Years Day flight. Talk about an auspicious start to the new year. 

3. San Diego sunset. I flew to SD so Cooky and I could go together... 

4. Delays in San Diego. Never a dull moment. 

Hacienda Mosaico

The Hacienda is gorgeous. Owned and opperated by Sandra "Sam" Leonard, it is a colorful inspired, inspiring oasis of creativity. It's feast for the senses- from the lush greenery, the friendly pups, the glittering mosaics, the colors and textures dazzle. I am  working on an art journal sketchbook from the trip that is filled with color and pattern and designs all inspired by the Hacienda itself. 

Bar and pool

Classes include breakfast and lunch, served poolside. Yes, it sounds great already and then you see the place! And the chef Jorge? Delicious, fresh food, variety, and tropical treats to this Mid Atlantic winter palette! Imaging this: Waking to the sound of tropical birds calling, maybe a hammer tapping if an early riser was at work in the studio. Stroll through leaves, filled with dew, under the arches to the pool where coffee was ready early. Yes, coffee. The path to my heart. Then a shower, or a quick swim? journaling or work time before breakfast at 9 and class starting at 10. It became a joyous routine. I'd run into Tom at coffee, Pat was knitting by the pool... Sigh. 

Classroom

Class was the complete immersion experience I was looking for... I have had the pleasure of knowing Richard for over 10 years and taking classes with him along the way. Jane, a well recognized jewelry artist in her own right, assisted and contributed greatly to the class environment. The projects seemed so complex and daunting - but broken down were very manageable. It was great to attempt, to DO, to succeed, to commiserate, to share, to encourage, and to create with a group of like minded people from all over the US. 

And it was fabulous to work side by side with Cooky, as we hadnt gotten to do that for a few years! 

students and work

1 &2.Tom and Diana at work

3.Cheri's adaptation of Richard's Ketoh bracelet incorporating her beadwork

4. class work. 

Maybe I have a pang of regret for not seeing more of Puerto Vallarta. Maybe I dont. The week was realxing and invigorating. Exhausting and energizing. Inspiring and overwhelming. And I loved every. second.  I have great new friends. Reunions are being discussed. Jane and Richard agreed to be interviewed for Art Jewelry Elements blog, so that is in progress. I have pieces I am working on already and pages of sketches for when my RIO order arrives. 

My work/WIP

Above: my pieces completed and WIP from the week. I am a little obsessed with stone on stone. I have great ideas for stone on porcelain, using my ceramic pieces....  

This was such a great experience! And timely for me as well. While I do not intend to stop creating ceramic sculptures, jewelry making has been moving into the fore over the last few years. I feel I have now reclaimed my metal smithing skills and expereinces from art school. They were lost in the haze of the teaching years. And learned new and exciting things!I am excited to add those skills to my repertoire and see where my muse takes me. 

Until next time... 

(I'd love to read a comment! Are you really out there reading? LOL)

 

Meditation and reflection. Goodbye to 2015

Holiday cheer

Happy Holidays! Happy New Year! 

I hope that you have been enjoying the festivities this season. For me - Christmas and Yule were a  mellow, and very pleasant time with family. But that brings me to this week. I love this week between Christmas and New Years. It is a time of meditation and reflection. Of looking back and looking forwards. 

journaling

I have been home, communing with my coffee pot and my journals. I have long been in the habit of taking time. 2 different chunks of time, to reflect on my achievements of the past year and to set goals for the upcoming year. (Thank you Art Biz coach Alyson Stanfield! ) 

loose ends

I also love to clear the tables, to finish projects that had been put aside. To start with a tangible and a philosophical clean slate. Yes, that table above is relatively clean. Projects are layered and squirreled away in the muffin tin buried under trays on the right... 

JAN goddess2016

And I am making plans for 2016! I start the year off with a total treat! I'll be in Mexico taking a class with the phenomenal Richard and Jane Salley! Please feel free to follow along - I'll be documenting my days there on Instagram. My pix will also be compiled for DE Fun-a-Day - a 31 day daily art challenge to be exhibited in early February 2016. Pictured above is my January goddess - a monthly beading challenge I have undertaken. And then there is that art journal pratice I need to revisit... 

I look forward to the new beginnings! Until 2016... 

pets NYE 15

Welcome the light! The December theme challenge at Art Jewelry Elements

Happy New Year!

Here's to a creative and magical year of successes - creative and personal! 

To start this year off we at the Art Jewelry Elements team have the reveal for the December themed challenge. The theme was the sun, the return of the light as celebrated in cultures the world over on the Winter Solstice. (You can feast your eyes here at Lesley's original post.) My piece grew with the beading - and will be a wall piece for sure: 

Sun swirls

It started when I was playing around... and found a face that fit in this textured circle. These arent my usual colors, but it was sunny; the swirls as rays... SO I went for it. I liked the darker area in the glaze that inspired the moon/sky section at the bottom. 

initial idea

So far so good - peyote bezel on the face. 

Beaders block

Cooky sent me some bead she was destashing! The colors were perfect! Definitely colors I did not have in my stash... My original plan was to bead spirals out and around - drawing out the spirals in the ceramic donut. This is what I did... but now I'm not so sure. It feels to me like two pieces. I wish I had left the ceramic sun face as is - a brick stitch edge and done. I love the way the spirals turned out, but no longer love them with the ceramic piece. 

details finished

 I also wish I had gone for a little more contrast in the spirals themselves, a little more "pop"; and to unify the spirals with the glaze palette of bright yellow. I really do love the copper triangles that frame the clay piece though - that may be my favorite element. 

As the year ended, I re-started my art journal practice - for the millionth time! I have decided this year to focus on a page a week. AND I am working on loose paper. I love that this gives me time to set aside a wet page and start a foundation collage for a future page. Here is my sun themed offering. The word "solstice" is derived from the Saxon word for wheel... 

art journal page 

Drawn on collaged encyclopedia paper - crayon, marker, alcohol ink, image tranfer, you name it! 

Here's to a BRIGHT year ahead! 

Please click back to the main page at Art Jewelry Elements to continue your hop! 

 

 

 

 

November Component of the month - I'm "lichen"it!

November! As I write this I have second Thanksgiving in the oven - the goal being turkey leftovers... and the first of my Holiday shows happening tomorrow! Its here! The holidaze is upon us... But as November draws to a close, let me share with you the phenomenal ceramic focals that Caroline Dewison of Blueberri Beads has created for the COM this month: 

Carolines lichen pendants

Crusty amd organic! Saturated color! Matte and glossy! And the texture... She calls them Lichen pendants and I totally see that. I confess - I have taken to calling mine barnacles. When you see the stunning colors I have you will understand - pewter, deep teal, smoky plum... The barnacles spoke to me of the sea, of sirens, and treasure and depth and age. So the barnacles were the inspiration - to create a nest of similar shapes... 

additional barnacles

I created a few small polymer barnacle shapes to embellish around my cab. ( Caroline made pendants and cabs... ) And I created 2 clusters/connectors - to transition from multi-strands in the front to silk in the back. They are painted and stained in smoky plum and dark grey/blue. I have added Diamond glaze on the inside only to echo the glazed areas on Caroline's cab. Here they are together; I am content with the colors. 

plan comes together

The small polymer barnacles are in place, and the peyoyte bezel portion is complete: 

Beads begin...

The beading was so much fun! I had set up a balanced/asymetrical composition with the additional polymer pieces and tried to keep going with that... I particulalry like the lentils standing up on the top right of the piece. 

Beads are done

The plan is to do short strands of seed beads, three on each side - you can see the Beadalon in lace below. Sadly I had the larger size, and needed smaller in order to string 15's! So the piece is on hold for now... The triple strands will be app 2.5" long, loop into the barnacle connectors, and the piece will have silk from the connectors all the way around the back. 

COM waiting

Sorry I can't show you the finished piece I am in love with this cab and this palette. Thanks to Caroline for such an inspiration! 

Please check out the diverse offerings from the team and our guests this month!

Guests

Beaded bags and amulet bags - a blog hop!

 I remember thinking the blog hop schedule would give me plenty of time... 

I met Christine of One Kiss Creations when we were partnered on an ornament swap. I still hang my driftwood with beaded snowflakes every year, and enjoy it all winter. So when the magic of the internet told me she was co hosting ( with Therese Frank) an amulet bag hop... I decided to go for it... Beaded amulet bags. So many options! 

Well - I have attempted this, and I apologize that nothing is finished... I have more ideas, and when I have even more time... but let me show you what I have worked on: 

beaded bag WIP

This piece was pure bead embroidery - and I LOVED doing it. The basic idea and directions came from Beaded Embellishment by Robin Atkins. I loved my palette - so very me. And I loved watching the design grow. The problems (see below) began when I started assembling the bag. I have very limited sewing/construction experience. The piece IS complete - although it is lacking a snap closure. The beadwork did not quite line up at the front where the flap folds - so I have a few more beads to add to camoflauge that area. AND a strap. I became rather frustrated with assembly and will confess, this piece was put aside for a long while... 

beaded bag as is

The second piece I am much happier with - and learned quite a bit. I actually bagan this peyote stitch bag ten years ago?! The delicas and the bottom section, stitched int he round - was squirreled away in a bag... SO I tackled this. I decided to vary the beads and made a bead soup with the original beads, adding more new colors as hte original colors were depleted. I love the variation this has given me. A teammate over at Art Jewelry Elements said it reminded her of Roman glass - so there is the button closure! Spot on!  I adore peyote stitch and could do this all day! My thought for next time? Use rounds not delicas! The bag is SO firm. I plam to stitch silk to the sides as shown on my sketch. The ends will terminate in a knot, and a few charm or crystal dangles. 

peyote amulet bag

On a completely different note - I had done this as well, and thought it would apply. The leather belt pouch was made by my friend Betty at Emperor's Needle. She has a booth at the PA Renaissance Faire. I beaded the embroidered element onto stiff stuff, then stitched it to the leather with the final round of beads. 

beaded leather pouch

As these are my first attempts I would love to hear what you think...

Thank you Christine and Therese for hosting and challenging me! Please take a look at the other participants fabulous creations! 

Therese ( hostess)
Christine (hostess)
Jenny ( that's me!)
Bobbie
Ana
Amy
Cynthia
Karin S
Maryanne
Liz
Lori
Paula
Jasvanti
Dagi
Kepi
Samantha
Alicia
Motidana
Becky

Back in time: my Celtic inspiration

 One last timehop, one last stop on the Beading Back in Time travel schedule. This final installment encourages artist to select their favorite time period. Mine will inevitably be Celtic, time and time again. For fresh inspiration, I grabbed a few books and a cup of coffee... started sketching. No pre-conceived idea, just browsing at first. 

celtic sketches

The crescent "lunula" shape has been on my mind for a while. Its a recurring motif in Celtic, Slavic, Russion cultures. As a lunar symbol it is associated with women. The moon rules ocean tides, and a woman's tides. The moon, seen as female, embodies the stages of one's life in the lunar stages - from Maiden to Mother, to wise Crone.

lunula references

Diagram of lunula pendants - I'm trying to translate the text from Russion, with Google's asistance... 

Blessington Lunula  Crafty Celts lunula

1. Gold lunula from Blessington, Ireland, Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age, c. 2400BC – 2000BC, Classical group ( from Wiki)
2. Lunula pendant in bronze from the Crafty Celts. "Lunula amulets date back to the end of the Bronze Age, and continued to be worn into modern times. They were common in Egypt as well as among many farming peoples of Europe and Asia and reflected the worship of the moon, which was associated with fertility. Earrings, pendants, metal details of headdresses, and other 
ornaments had the form of lunulae. Lunulae were especially widespread in Rus. in the tenth to 12th centuries."

I was contemplating doing a lunula pendant for myself in sterling, but time was not cooperating. The polymer was out... I was creating ornaments for my local gallery. These pieces - 2 styles - are polymer crescents with a hammered metal frame. The frame curls around, allowing a space to attach chain. I have stitched the small gems on with 26 gauge wire. I love using the tiny gems here - holes so small its hard to string them otherwise, but perfect in this application. 

my lunula pendants

The top pendant in cream and brown features the word "self" in the Celtic Ogham alphabet. This linear font was used for carving, and had many layers of meaning, among them trees and months of the year. I wanted an amulet - trust yourself. Take care of yourself. Center yourself. Have faith in yourself... it all comes back to "self". The gems are green garnet. The blue lunula below incorporated sterling and aquamarine. This is more lunar to me, evocative of the Moon goddess - the three stars for her three aspects. 

I plan something simple to finish these, maybe just chain, or one wrapped gem each. I may make more, but these each feel personal to me, and I plan to keep them and wear them. 

Thanks for stopping by. I have thoroughly enjoyed the creative challenges of these historical "Back in time" hops. Thanks to Sheri and Lindsay for organizing! Please stop by the other blogs! A full list can be found at: Phantasm Creations

Until next time... 

 

 

 

Raven's Knowledge: the Art Jewelry Elements October reveal

ravens banner

 Welcome and Happy Halloween! 

Its reveal day at Art Jewelry Elements, and this month was a Raven themed challenge, hosted by Karen. ( Check out our raven posts here and here!) I have long loved ravens whether they are in Celtic and Norse myth - or the Tower of London... This month I was feeling the need to spread my wings a bit and I have done some raven themed artwork outside of the jewelry realm! 

I wanted to sculpt ravens in polymer and incorporate them into a felt/beaded/mixed media piece. So here goes: 

wet felting in situ

The wet felting and coffee counter space! I'm new to this, so my book is to my left. The bottom pictures show the wool roving laid out, and after the first stages of felting. The combination of water, soap and agitation creates the felting action. 

blank slates

These three are the results of that afternoon felting session. I was trying to estimate shrinkage, which can be a third or so. The larger piece wa too big - the others were just right. 

ready to bead

Here they are with their ravens! 

felting lunch

Last week I had a work/lunch/date with Marsha. ( You know her from Marsha Neal Studio, but she is also now working at Sarafina Fiber Arts.) I sat down to embellish and bead my ravens and Marsha generously shared some of the equisite dyed curly locks from Sarafina. She was needle felting/sculpting great little gnome guys. And Peeves the cat was her normal charming feline self. 

Raven's knowledge

This one was complete with the curly/silky locks. No beads needed. I did add an antique button to anchor the piece and address a transition on the embellishments. This will be mounted and framed... how? I'm not sure yet. It was still a little too large for the IKEA frames I had. Like I said - calculating guessing shrinkage. 

Ravens detail

So the second piece was destined for beads! I had taken all this to Texas with me when I went to visit family earlier in the month. Hadn't touched it at all... I used vintage rose montees, bugle beads, O beads, drops, you name it. I do find the irridescent dark beads rather hard to photograph. I was pleased with the shapes in the felt, and being able to position the polymer raven to echo those shapes. 

Raven flight

Now - not to leave jewelry behind totally - I already have existing designs for 2 raven pendants and a newer crow design. (You can read about the crow glazing process here.) I decided to try a few new designs - and haven't actually gotten further than the molds! On the left is a very Pacific NorthWest/Native American style raven. It will have fine line details carved into the clay, and be glazed in a high contrast decorative style. On the right is a larger piece, inspired by the myths in which Raven stole the sun. I look forward to trying these in ceramic clay AND in polymer. 

new designs and molds

Oh drat! There is ONE more raven design - still in a plaster mold at the work studio! I will update you ASAP!

This was a great theme, rich in multicultural connections and fabulous inspiration. I feel like I have barely gotten started and the month is over! Stay tuned for more ravens - and until then please take a look at the other diverse offerings created this month! 

Guest links and AJE team links will be available at Art Jewelry Elements blog

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

 

 

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