Friday, March 30, 2007

Week 13: Floating Dandelion

OK, last week I said this week would be week 12, floating dandelion, however I was confused.. it's actually week 13... anyway, this could also be called "fun with pliers" .. heheehehe.. trying to show off my earring w/o something to hang them on, I got creative with the pliers. Anyway, I've been playing with this design in my head for a few weeks now.. a way to make a really super dangling earring. I am looking for real movement here.. while this is a good try, I think in the future I'll modify the design alittle, twick it to get the movement I am looking for, but I think it makes a very elegant design.
This picture shows the dandelions, which I confess don't look all the dandelion.. for all the hundreds of flower beads I have, these made me think of dandelions the most, due to color and shape. I added green crystals cause I thought that looked good, and frankly all yellow is well, 2 yellow for me. The wire spirals I curved around to form a ring for the longer wire to hang on, think of a teeter toter. Next week the theme is April Showers.. so far I've not got any solid ideas, but I've got my sketch pad handy, waiting for the moment of inspiration. I think I"m going to buy a few more sketch pads ( I've got 3, 1 in my work bag, 1 in my bead bag and one on my desk in my studio) and salt them around the house and in the car, it seems lately I've had more and more ideas that I can't wait to put on paper, so I"m going to make the paper more accessible.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

I'm pleased to annouce..........Week 11 of YOJ!!!!

I'm please to announce starting April 2th my participation in the creativity experiment called "Year of Jewelry"!! (website: , be sure to read the history, and if you want to see some amazing jewelry, as well as artistic growth, be sure to look at the pictures) Originally started in 2005, I learned of this in 2006, and I wanted to participate.. but I was afraid. Part of the experience is to post something every week, without fail. That seems a huge commitment to me, especially since I can't keep my website updated in a timely fashion!!! But I realized I was most afraid of exposing my own insecurities as an artist.. the little monster that lives inside of all of us, telling us we can't do this, or that, or we are worthless. So last year, for New Years, I made several resolutions that involved my art and my personal growth. One of them is to join a project like YOJ or better yet YOJ itself. Since YOJ is primarily focused on wire work, I really wanted to do it. It seems my jewelry is slanting more in that direction than any other. Fortunately YOJ set up in quarters now - though I fully plan to do this the rest of the year - because I missed the 1st quarter sign up. I actually put signing up in my planner!!!! Started to check the website in early March, and finally it opened up this week!! woo hoo!!!

I'm soo excited, that I"m going to follow along by myself for the last 2 weeks of 1st quarter. What that in mind, here is Week's 11's project: "Frosty Breeze"
This is a broach, it's only the 2nd broach or pin I've made to date. I'm really pleased how nice the back looks .. most of my wraps look awful in the back. At least I'm neat on this one! I made it intending it to be worn as shown, ie horizontally. However my hubby thinks it looks kewl with the spirals hanging down. The cab is probably agate, I've had it for awhile, and it's unlabeled. It's a nice snowy white with just a little inclusion patterning.. I thought it had that nice frosted look to it. the spirals are the breezy part of course. I guess I like it horizontally because when I first diagrammed it, I was thinking of old man winter blowing up a storm with his breath... think old cartoons.
Week 12 the theme ( which are only suggestions but I'm going to try to follow them.. it makes the challenge each week that much more challenging) is floating dandelion. I've already got a few ideas on that one!! This is going to be such a good year, I can just feel it!! I feel like I'm making so many positive changes, some of them baby steps, but all pointing me in the correct direction. I"m sure I'll find a few side streets along the way, but YOJ is about the journey after all, not where you start or where you end.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Universal Soul I is done!

Universal Soul I is done, and I"m really pleased and proud how it turned out. I'm sooo excited by it I"m making a whole series of jewelry art, using the beads from Tera. I have 3 pieces finished, and 2 more I"m planning out. Universal Soul I is done, I need to run it through the tumbler for that final shine and polish is all. I've got it on simple chain, below is another picture showing the s shaped clasps. I love putting the clasp in front.. It looks good and it's soo much easier to put on and off. I also made all the wire components, including the s shaped hooks.
Universal Soul II are the matching earrings. When you are working with special, one of a kind beads, making earrings that both go with the pendant and look good in their own right is difficult, so I'm very please with these!! They are not 100% symmetrical, but they are "matched". I think that fits in nicely with the theme. I made square ear wires to go with them. I tell ya, I'm having more fun with my hammer than should be legal!

Universal III is a bracelet, which the pictures didn't turn out.. I'll try again and get it posted soon! It's a bangle bracelet, and it turned out great!! I'm working on IV now, and I just got it started, hopefully I"ll finish it this weekend. Here is a sneak peek:

hehehe, guess what Kat is making this time!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

It All started with a bead.......

And what a Bead!! this lovely, universe in glass is the creation of my good friend Tera Belinsky-Yoder . check out some of her fab work here: I got this back in October, practically stole it out of her hands.. it was from her private stash. Hopefully she will forgive me once she sees this. Anyway, I've been wanting to make a bigger piece, but hadn't had the "idea", the flash of inspiration for something bigger. Then this weekend, digging out odds and ends for something else I ran across this bead ( and a couple cousins in the same colors but different shapes and sizes) and I realized it was time to play with it. I'm a strong believer in CCM... Creative Critical Mass. If your stash isn't big enough, when you get the good ideas you won't be able to carry out your plan. You will waste that moment of creative insight. This is why my studio is filled with beads and findings and gizmo's and tools.. and the hoard ever grows. Yes, being a red head I'm descended from cats ( as Mark Twain said) but I am sure I have some dragon blood in me also.. I am betting all jewelers do. See below are 2 pictures of my stash. I'm a bigggg believer!!

So I started to think about what I wanted to do , grabbed my sketch pad and came up with this.
I picked out some beads that I thought would work well and off I went. I wanted the big Universe bead to be free to swing to either side.. so you can rotate it within it's frame.
The first view shows the start of the coils.. the 2Nd view I'm maybe 1/2 to 2/3Rd's done.. I'll post finished pictures soon. I made some great earrings to go with it, and now I"m thinking of a whole "suit" of jewelry, using the other beads like this.. at least 1 more as a bracelet, I'm still thinking of possible ideas.
I've named this piece "Universal Soul" and to me it's a happy calm piece... probably the heavy blue/green color influences this feeling, but really I had the most fun constructing this from start to finish. While it has "wild" aspects, to me it's very well ordered.. well ordered chaos, which is what the universe is after all... or maybe the universe is 2 big to see the patterns. I do believe there is an order, a system to how the cosmos works, how it all fits together. I think art is trying to see how it's all connected. What fun connecting the dots!