Tuesday, September 25, 2007

YOJ Week 39: Fire Dancer (and Spiral Dancer)

Woo Hoo! I'm on topic this week!!!! I've been playing with fire dancer /fire folk in my head (and sketch pad) for weeks now. I keep coming up with flowing, vague flame shaped people. Here is my best attempt in copper. Now the idea of a dancer or a person in wire wouldn't' leave my head, so I ended up making another, only it was Spiral Dancer ( I've mentioned this love affair with spirals right? ) I like them both, but I like the spiral Dancer more.

I'm very proud of myself, I've done my 2nd full quarter of YOJ, and I feel very good about actually making it. Ok, I was late sometimes, and not on topic as much as I liked.. but even when I wasn't on topic, I was thinking about the themes. I was sketching in my sketch book, doodling on my work papers, thinking about jewelry even more than I normally do. This is a fine thing. I can't wait for Remy ( She who is the mistress of YOJ) to put up the new lists of themes for next quarter. And my 6 week break has started, I"m hoping to come up with more elaborate items at least until the break is over from shows. That is something frustrating about the challenge, sometimes I came up with very good ideas, but didn't have the time to get them made. Still a challenge is a good thing, and it's important to remember you can't be "on" all the time, there is always going to be down weeks where I'm not happy or as happy as I'd like to be about my piece. But that's all part of the process of creation also. And sometimes ( like this week perhaps???) you have to let go of the design before you feel it's what you want, to meet the deadline. Letting go, that's a good lesson for artists to learn!!

YOJ Week 38: not on topic (but you will love this piece anyway)

OK, I love this necklace! I have been hording these Botswana Agate beads since March, I got most of them at a Rings & Thing trade show. I also bought these gorgeous large tear drops of Russian Lace agate at the same show. It's funny, I bought the strand of Russian lace for 1 peculiar bead, which I've not used yet. They are gorgeous, Lot's of inclusions and color.. except for the one I used here. it's still gorgeous, but in a monotone grey kind of fashion. Originally ( and I still probably will at some point) I wanted to make a multi strand twisted necklace with Botswana, labradorite, moonstone and pearls. But While twisting various strands together, trying to come up with a nice mix, I ran across the Russian strand and realized how perfectly the color match with the Botswana. After some experimentation, it ended up being all Botswana and the 1 Russian Lace. The oblong Botswana have more color in them than some, a lovely pinkish hue. I wanted to bring more of that to the pendant. I also decided I wanted to wrap the pendant in some way, but I couldn't really come up with a plan that looked right. I finally was going to just frame the teardrop with 1 loop of wire with the Botswana on it, but as I started to work on that, I had a absolute flash of inspiration... and suddenly I had this wonderful to die for spiral in front of the Russian Lace teardrop. I love spirals, love them love them love them!! they almost always look good, the shape makes me think of how the whole universe is put together, the flow of the lines of them are pleasing to the eye. And they are fun to make!! what is there NOT to like about spirals? I really haven't named this one, but now typing this I'm thinking earth dance. I love the earrings 2. The triple spirals are actually necklace hooks, just used for earrings. (I used them on the necklace also to attach my hand fabricated clasp) Actually I want to made make me a pair, because being hooks I could easily change the dangles at whim. hum......

Now the sad part is I actually had a couple of good ideas for Ra, the subject for this week, but didn't have the time. I have my sketches though, and maybe someday I find the perfect bead to be the center of the pendant I've got scribbled out.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

YOJ Week 37: Summer Heat

With this piece, actually made only 2 weeks ago, I'm actually caught up again! yeah me! I made this thinking of the themes... I never really got a good handle on the overall theme this quarter, but working with fire opal agate (or fire crab agate, take your pick) at least I'm in the right color zone. I made about 3 different pairs of earrings to go with this piece, but Alas, they are buried right now in inventory. If I find them b4 I actually sell them, I"ll add pics to this entry. Anyway, I'm pleased with this piece, it's very simple and has elegant lines. I also used up an entire strand of the strangest orangy-burnt red pearls I've ever seen, and had despaired of ever using. Now I wished I'd bought 3 strands, as the color goes so well with the fire agate!! (isn't that always the problem with beads??? ) I really need to make more of these simpler type pendant necklaces. They look good and are fun to make!

Now, on Weds (9/12/07)'s blog entry, I whined and whined about not beading all week. Well Thurs I had to make something, if for no other reason than to say I made something last week after all!! So made a deal with the hubby and after supper I got the rest of the day "off" as parent, and I puttered around for an hour or so cleaning and putting stuff away ( not everything, as I had another show coming up on Sat, which went very very well thank you! ) and then got an itch to make something, anything!!! so I made this pendant out of 18 ga & 22 ga silver. I broke out my new set of hammers to make the patterning. Wheeee! what fun!! I like the design also, I"ll have to try a few more like this. I show you the back too, to show the bail loop. Simple, elegant, and wicked fun to bang away with the hammer, it's been 2 long since I've hammered a piece!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

YOJ: Week 36: Another piece a made a while back

In my continually effort to get back on schedule with YOJ, I present another piece I made a few months past, but never got around to posting before. I've been playing around with multi strand necklaces, and came up with this multi strand pearl necklace. I made a fancy wire and pearl bail for it a beautiful pink Peruvian opal bead, it's huge! like 2 inches high. Anyway, I made it, I love the way it draped. And I made the greatest earrings to match, pics of them are also included. Enjoy!

YOJ: Week 35: Gift of the Sea

It's been a rough 3-4 weeks. We had a death in the family; back to back shows; school starting for my daughter; and all the regular mundane things that get in the way of the creative process. I've felt out of sorts, depressed, and darn snarky for the last several weeks. I've not touched beads nor even been in the studio this past week. I have 2 more weekend shows, then a break of over a month. I'm really looking forward to the break... My house will finally be approaching clean ( and believe me, I have low standards to begin with, so don't even think of what it looks like right now). I can actually put all my beads away and my tools, and have an ordered work space again. Right now everything is sort of jumbled, and my tools are packed already for the show this weekend. It really helps me work when things are in their place. It always cheers me up when I can putter in the workroom, even if it's just putting things away or sweeping up the beads. It's very calming and centering, and boy I've missed that feeling!!
I will finally have time to really work on the challenges again. And it will be a new Quarter for Year of Jewelry, with different themes. I have to admit, the themes this quarter didn't do much for me. Course with a full show schedule and extra deadlines, I wonder how much of it is the time squeeze.
It's really funny, in my "normal" endeavors, time pressure is a good thing. I work well under pressure. Mom and Dad are coming over tomorrow? Swell, let's get the kitchen clean, chop chop. "Mom, I need treats for school tomorrow, sorry I forgot to tell you." No problem, lets run to the store. At work, "can I pull you into this meeting without any warning, and have you demonstrate how to do this type of order?" Ek! but sure.
But for making Jewelry, for the design process I like to take my time. I like to clean up the desk for a new project, then dig everything out that I think might want to use. Sometimes i just stare at the pile for awhile, laying colored pearls against glass, imagining what it will look like when it's finished. I really enjoy when I can "spend" time designing, even if I end up making nothing. Some of my kewlest stuff ( IMHO) is the jewelry pieces I got to "dally" over. Sure I whip out stuff for inventory; but lately I hate when I have to do that. More and more I want to explore combinations, try new techniques, just play with them, and that takes time, time I've not had for over a month. I want to expand my boundaries of jewelry making, and it takes that most precious commodity ---- TIME. Sign, 2 more weeks.
In an effort to get caught up on YOJ, I present "Gift of the Sea". I think I made this in march? I took pictures of it, which is a good thing as it's long gone, sold earlier this summer at some show. I love the shape of it, and mixing pearls with amethyst, Yummy!!! The final shape made me think of a nautilus, and with the pearls in it naming it Gift of the Sea felt right. Even though this piece is several months old, I remember very clearly how much fun I had making it. I remember it took me 2-3 nights of working on it. I had to restart at one point because it didnt' look right. And when I finished it, thinking I wanted to make more fun pieces. Sign. TIME. 2 weeks... sign.....