Thursday, March 30, 2017

And now for Something Completely Different......

OK for most of you that are following me, I make jewelry that's steampunk inspired, which I call Mechanical Romance.  I used real pieces of history in this jewelry, because my hubby and I cut up old mechanical like typewriters and clocks and use the bits in the actual jewelry pieces.  If you are new to my jewelry, feel free to look around my blog entries and you will quickly see what I am famous for.

I started making this kind of jewelry in 2012 or there about, but I've been making jewelry for almost 20 years now, and I've gone through several styles and types in those years.

I started out with seed beads and bead weaving, then quickly added stringing, using crystals, gemstones and pearls, gradually moved on to silver smithing, lampworking ( making glass beads myself) glass fusing, wire-wrapping etc.  I've "majored" and "minored" in multitude of jewelry making techniques, and overall my absolutely favorite kind is cold connections... rivets and wire --- which is how I construct most of my mechanical romance pieces.

But every once in a while I get a hankering to revisit older passions, and I guess that explains this necklace as much as anything will.

 I originally started this probably 4 years ago.. I pulled together 50+ different types of pearls, crystals, and findings, Then I got into my Mechanical Romance phase, and this whole project got bagged up and more or less forgotten.  Last year I decided to really get through the huge pile of UFO's (Unfinished art Objects) and of course ran into what had to be 3 lbs of beads and things shoved in a gallon sized zip and almost bursting at the seams.

I loved the copper toned themed I had going on, and I've never lost my fondness for pearls, even though they don't come up much in my current work.

I found this glorious vintage hand cut chandelier crystal, which I wire-wrapped into a filigree type finding.  I loved how it looked! I even blogged about it... then promptly lost my way again on it.

The problem seemed to boil down to - since it doesn't fit my current jewelry line, I didn't want to commit the time and effort to make it.  I only have handfuls of hours before my season starts, I cannot "waste" it making something that won't fit into my MR (Mechanical Romance) line and therefore won't probably sell.  The only thing I really wanted to do was a large multi-stand pearl necklace, which isn't MR in any way.  It just didn't give me a MR feel - I just couldn't put it in a MR round hole when it wanted to be a parallelogram pearl peg!

I took the heavy zip with me on my annual Girls Weekend, and showed my buddies this poor, never gonna get finished piece, and said I really wanted it off my back table,  Since the crystal is vintage, I reasoned I could just slap chain on it and it wouldn't be too far outside my line.

My Buddy Cathie had a flying fit!  She's like it needs the whole pearl and crystal treatment, it's crying for it... just do it!!!

How can I ignore my bestie?

Honestly how could I ignore what the pendant had been telling me?

so I made a large, 3 strand pearl, crystal, and copper beads necklace.  And it looks fantastic!  I'm very glad I made it the way it needed to be made.  I still have a necklace that I'm going to have a hard time even putting out on the table because it doesn't go with most of my stock.  I've worked really hard the last few years to make my table offerings cohesive, so it feels like a step back on some level.

But sometimes I just need to make something that I don't have to file down, sand and possible seal before I use it.  Sometimes I just need to feel the silky smooth fresh water pearls between my fingers.  Nothing is as lux as a really nice pearl necklace.  Sometimes I just want to string in pretty patterns, and finish a piece the same evening I started it.

So it's in the back of my mind again.. I want to play with pearls!  I have boxes and boxes of them.. while I've destashed some of my beads, strangely enough the pearls never seem to make it to the sale pile.

So while I'm working on inventory, I'm thinking about pearls incorporated with gears.  it has to look right.. classy and elegant, yet fit into the MR brand.  I have made a few pieces that fit this idea, but I haven't put serious thought into it.  I think I have a few designs lurking in the brain box that would work... maybe a classy, steampunk wedding line, for those who want to be girlie-girl in a white wedding dress but still have a nod to their favorite normal styles.  The whole reason I call my line Mechanical Romance and not just call it steampunk is I didn't want to be limited to just the "steampunk" style, and I didn't want to make jewelry that just has a watch cog slapped on it.  I still want to create art.  I still want to make pieces that make my heart sing and maybe someone else's heart as well.

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