Recently I have been dusting off my online shop. Since creating the initial listings I have changed to a different computer monitor with more vivid colours and it became obvious that the colour balance of the photos was off, they were far too yellow. Therefore for the past few days I have been readjusting all the photos. It has taken ages but I think they look better now. You can see the colour difference down the centre of the photo below.
So far I have only relisted earrings and I haven’t been able to add new items for sale just yet but I thought it was important to have photos that better portrayed the colours. Since some of these earrings are now a few years old, I have put in increasing discounts based on the year that the earrings were made. The older the item, the bigger the discount. Have a look, perhaps you will find a pair of new earrings to pep up your day. I know the earrings would rather be worn than be stuck in a drawer!
Here is another entry for the Art Bead Scene Studio’s “Art Journey #6“. This time the inspiration was modern constructivist sculpture by Katarzyna Kobro.
I was lucky enough to win a package of beads by Erin Prais-Hintz (Tesori Trovati) so I had an easy place to start.
My first pair of earrings feature Erin’s polymer clay components which I paired with hammered wire directly on sterling silver creole hoops. To me the inspiration sculptures are about primary colours and primary shapes so I picked up the circle and the line motif from polymer component. I decided to hang them on the hoops so that the wire additions could be moved to the front or the back to change the composition of the earrings. This also gives them a three dimensional existence like the sculptures.
The next pair of earrings feature Erin’s box charms. I made my own polymer clay components to go inside, but they didn’t feel right when I came to assemble the earrings. Instead used some of the glass beads that she sent and added the white polymer clay circles as a reference to the white curves in the inspiration sculptures.
The last pair of earrings I made were slightly accidental and are not quite fully developed. Originally I made the red polymer clay curves to go inside the box charms, but then I decided I preferred them on their own. However I had only made two for my original idea so I had to make another pair and wait till my oven was full to do another bake so that took an extra week.
The curved components are free to move around the pins to create a variety of compositions. Originally these were just red, but last night (after I had finished making them into earrings), I decided they needed white for more visual contrast. Therefore I dismantled them to add a white outline and baked again. Looking at them now I think I should have made the little cubes different colours too, maybe blue or yellow. However that would mean starting from scratch so it’s not going to happen in time for this challenge!
It’s surprisingly difficult working with minimalist blocks of colour and shape. There’s no texture to hide imperfections or whimsical decorative distractions.
Here in the UK rainbows are now a Thing. At the start of lockdown, children put them in the windows of their houses for others to spot on their once-a-day-permitted exercise outing. Now they are everywhere, from painted rocks to banners with messages of thanks to the NHS and key workers. As lockdown eases and I can (often) look at them without crying, I have decided to make my own rainbows.
Believe it or not, it took me ages to work out how to make a cane without a background. I even bought extra translucent clay so I could build up around the outside of the bow to make a square cane that I could reduce. While I was waiting for it to be delivered I was inspired by a solution that made me feel pretty silly…
All I needed to do was make a bullseye cane around a transparent core and it was already ready to reduce. Then, if required, I could remove the central core and cut the circle in half. Voila – a backgroundless bow! It actually took me a whole weekend to mix up 14 colours for this: the seven main rainbow colours and then seven intermediate colours to blend. You can just about see them on the big cane, but it’s not really visible on the reduced rainbow bead. But they are so cute and tiny, I don’t really mind.
I made myself a pair of earrings with my first rainbow beads where I left the translucent clay core. The main lentil beads are hollow so these are really nice and light to wear. I forget that I have them on (not so good when trying to put a mask on/off for shopping)!
So once again from me: Thank you NHS and key workers.
Having finally finished my bracelet I was inspired to look at what the current Art Bead Scene challenge is. The inspiration this time is fireworks.
I made a pair of earrings using ceramic charms made by Sharleen Newland from Shaterra. (I’ve been hoarding these for a few years now and it looks like she now works with leather rather than ceramic.) Also, although you can’t see them, the jump rings are also significant because they came from a goodie bag of components sold to raise funds for Breast Cancer on behalf of Liz Welch who sadly passed away a few years ago.
These were pretty frustrating to make with lots of undoing and redoing. I’m not entirely convinced that the earrings show off the charms to best effect. I think the tassels obscure rather than enhance the sunny burst, but within the context of the inspiration image they work tolerably. After I was finished it occurred to me that there might be more pop if the beads at the end of the tassels were gold instead of blue, but I didn’t have the energy to start again (again).
Here’s a video showing the technique I use to create a sheet of polymer clay mokume gane using a variety of stamps. I’m working on another video showing some things you can make with your finished sheet. I’m due to get a new phone tomorrow so the quality of the video footage should improve soon (although I still have a few demos that I have already filmed which are waiting for editing).
Here are some earrings I made using the sheet so you can see it all nicely sanded and finished. I have another video with a tip for sanding when there is wire embedded in your polymer clay.
I’ve been working on some fuchsia and lime polymer clay earrings. Here’s a selection of them (they do have partners, but I couldn’t fit them all in the photo):
My favourite pair is these green ones with a new shape bead that I like to think of as snails. I’m tempted to keep them, but I don’t wear much green. Maybe I’ll make another pair in a different colour.
My blog has been a bit quiet while I sort out a backlog of chores at home and excavate my workspace. Part of this process has been getting my jewellery listed online (it’s not entirely logical but I feel like I can’t make new stuff if there is nowhere for my existing things to go). The good news is that I have finally gotten some of my vintage teacup inspired earrings listed in my shop. I made them a few years ago, so here’s a reminder.
I have also finally completed a little tutorial video. It’s just a small tip for sanding your polymer clay when there is wire embedded in it (like for the triangle shaped pieces pictured above in the last row). It’s currently available as a preview for my Patreon subscribers, but I’ll be making it public soon.