Here is a sample subscription for you. Click here to start your FREE subscription
Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive, we offer a prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard and tell us what you think. The following week a winner is chosen at random from all eligible entries.
Congratulations to Katherine Thompson!
You have won a $20.00 gift certificate to spend in Mary Harding's Etsy shop.
Send Mary an email to claim your prize.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Hello bead tribe!
I don't know about you, but I feel a bit like I am barely treading water right now. Spring is always a bit frenzied for me. I am having a hard time keeping up!
Dance was over in April (but starting up again) and now travel softball (first tournament next weekend) and rec league are about to start for my daughter. Today is the last day of school for my son. Tomorrow he will officially be a senior for the 2015-2016 school year (wait...what?!!!?). Next Wednesday his baseball team takes on a regional semi-final baseball game on their march to State (they made it past the regionals only to fall in the last game - sectionals - two years in a row. Feeling hopeful that this is the year we can make it!). My daughter will be graduating from 8th grade next Thursday and I have been up around the clock working on the big through-the-years slideshow celebrating all 64 graduates. Add into that the fact that the grand-daddy of all bead shows is coming to Milwaukee (about 3 hours away - how could I miss it?!), and of course back in December I signed up to take classes on Wednesday with Thomas Mann, Eva Sherman (yes, I will be missing the baseball game...and the weekend softball tournament), and on Sunday with the Thorntons (Andrew and Cynthia) all of which I am SOOOO not ready for. Needless to say, I am going a bit out of my mind!
I was honored that a necklace design I made last year was selected as a class for this year's Bead & Button co-teaching with Miss Brenda Schweder using her Now That's A Jig tool. Unfortunately, the world of Bead & Button Show classes is pretty competitive and my class ended up being cancelled due to low enrollment. Bummer! But I do believe everything happens for a reason, and it would have added to my stress level to teach on that large a scale. Plus, this won't be the last you will see of this necklace idea.... ;-)
And when one door closes, another opens... I am delighted to say that I will be teaching two make-and-take mini-classes on Saturday, June 6th at the Now That's A Jig booth #901/903. I think that space is limited, so if you are interested, be sure to sign up! I just saw the template of my original holiday ornament design that I will be teaching, and I am so looking forward to it!
Since I will be at the Bead & Button show next week, my prize for you will be to have me be your personal shopper at the Bead & Button Show. I am a really good shopper (just ask Heather!), and I need an excuse to go and
Would you rather....
...spend your money on BEADS? If so, what would you be looking for at Bead & Button?
...invest in taking classes with MASTERS? If so, what would you most like to learn or who would you like to learn from?
A random winner will be selected at the next Inside the Studio
and in the meantime, I will be shopping for something special just for one of you!
Niobium jewelry by Moon Heart Studios
I have news to share with you today. I'll cut straight to the details ...I have come to the conclusion that the time has come for me to resign from Art Bead Scene. Life has a way of rolling away with me. Between the day job, family life and having fun I'm not finding much free time to settle into a creative schedule. Leaving me feeling that I don't have much to share as of late. I'm also feeling a strong urge to pull back and learn. I have a sense that it's time for me to develop, digging deeper into my own creativity.
Over the course of the past two years I've been presented with many exciting and amazing opportunities, one of those wonderful opportunities was becoming a contributor at Art Bead Scene. I have been honored to join in and share the Art Bead Scene journey with a group of wonderful, kind and talented women and to have had a chance to connect with so many kind hearted and equally talented readers. It's a bit scary moving away from the fantastic opportunities that have been presented but I'm a firm believer in life shifting and changing. I know that doors will open again when the time is right.
It's my plan to take some classes, develop additional skills and hopefully I'll be able to share that journey as I learn more.
This past weekend I was lucky enough to visit the SNAG (Society of North American Goldsmiths) conference which was held in Boston, MA this year (just around the corner from me - well sort of - close enough that I couldn't resist popping in).
I didn't have the chance to take classes but I thoroughly enjoyed the student show and trolling through the vendor room. Some of the big name vendors selling metalsmithing tools and equipment were in attendance; Halstead, Otto Frei and Rio Grande to be exact. I was excited to see so many tools in person. You know that feeling when you get to see and touch all the tools you've been eyeing in the catalog! eeeek! Joy!
I also discovered another vendor and an incredibly fun type of metal. Billy Seeley of RMS, Reactive Metals Studio Inc introduced me to Niobium. OH What fun you can have with niobium and an anodizer! Billy gave me a fantastic demonstration and I'm excited to try my hand at making something with Niobium. The ideas are running rampant in my head.
An example of Niobium metal sheet which can be purchased at RMS
A few facts about Niobium:
Anodizer photo - Rio Grande
The really fun bit about creating with Niobium is that by using an anodizer (a safe way of bringing electricity into the creative process) you can easily change the color of Niobium. By adding an electric current it creates an anodized coating on the metal (similar to a plating or patina). The Niobium will change to a specific color based on the voltage used (read repeatable results).
This beautiful niobium jewelry was created by Joan at Moon Heart Studios over at Etsy.
Unfortunately I don't have any pieces of my own niobium to show you. I think the above pieces from Moon Heart Studios are simply gorgeous.
I did purchase a sheet of niobium from Billy at the SNAG conference but haven't had a chance to work with it yet. Well technically I still need an anodizer. I've been looking into building my own. I'm not sure I'd take this path on my own but since my husband is a licensed electrician I'm sure to be safe building it with his help. Now we've gone full circle and we're back to the time issue again (as in he has none and many projects already on the honey-do-list). Maybe I'll just have to buy one. :)
As always, I thank you for stopping in for a visit at ABS today.
I extend a heartfult thank you to Heather Powers, my beautiful co-contributors at ABS (Rebecca, Tari, Erin, Claire and Mary) and to all you fabulous ABS readers. You've all made writing for ABS a delightful experience.
I invite you to follow my FB page Ema K Designs if you'd like to stay in touch and see where this journey takes me.
Ema Kilroy is a lampworker and metalsmith living and working in Central Massachusetts.
At the risk of committing an act of nepotism, I decided to select two entries this week that each feature the pendants that I sent out to the Simple Truths Sampler Club inspired by this month's painting by Augustin Lesage. Earlier in the month I had shared the process that I used for creating the base pieces, but didn't have the finished layer of glossy resin over the top. You can see from them both that each one is different (just the way I like it!) in both the placement and the colors used. I couldn't be more impressed with the way these two talented designers have used the pieces, choosing colors and beads and patterning them and wrapping them in such a way that they make these pieces finally feel finished! They really made them sing!
Featured Bead Artist :: Tesori Trovati
Just a friendly reminder... We have a slightly new format for uploading your pictures for consideration for the Perfect Pairings each Wednesday, as well as the Monthly Challenge Recap post.
We are now using Pinterest! You can find more details in this post about the exciting new changes, including a board devoted to art beads inspired by the monthly challenge!
(Ooh! Look! More pretty beads to lust after!)
Pretty please make sure that you post a link in your Pinterest description so that I have someplace to attribute the picture to! And don't forget to tell us about those art beads!
Deadline to get your pictures posted to the Pinterest boards for the creation of the Monthly Challenge Recap post is May 28th! THAT'S TOMORROW!
TIP: If you upload your photo to pin it rather than pin it from your blog or shop, edit the pin (the little pencil button) and add your link as the source. Save your edits. This will allow us to click directly on your photo and go to your blog or shop to read more about your entry.
- 1 polymer bird or nest charm (www.Humblebeads.com)
- 1 pewter nest or bird charm (www.Greengirlstudios.com)
- 7 Rich Kibbons wood beads, petite (www.Stinkydogbeads.com)
- 23 6mm Picasso luster finish Czech glass rounds
- 25 brass colored seed beads, size 11/0
- 8 thin brass heishi spacers and 2 thick brass heishi spacers, both 6 mm
- 2 8”x1” batik ribbon, one blue or green, and one brown
- 1 8” piece of leather lace
- 2 brass swivel lobster clasps 9x17 mm
- 4” of 6x9mm open link cable chain
- 2 long brass headpins
- 20” of 3 or 4 ply waxed linen cord, brown
Finished bracelet is 7" long with a 1" tail.
1. Insert headpin through the bottom of one czech glass flower. Make a wrapped loop on top. Do the same with the other flower and headpin, set aside.
2. Separate your chain into, after opening the rings you need to do not close them, set them aside:
two 1” sections
two single links
one section of 3 links
4. Braid the ribbon and leather until it's 6” long. Trim the end, roll your ribbon and leather together again and attach the other clamp.
5. Attach one of the single chain links to a clasp and also one end of the clamped braid, close the link. Attach the open end of one of the 1” chain sections to the other end and close it, opening the last link on the section, add one of the Czech glass flowers you wrapped, close the link. This bracelet is done, set aside
1. Attach the other clasp to the other single link and close it. Fold your waxed linen in half, thread the looped end through the link about 3/4” and slide the two cord ends through the loop, connecting the cord to the link by pulling firmly to tighten.
2. Add one of the thick brass heishi, make a overhand knot and begin stringing the seed beads and 6mm rounds alternately on ONE of the cord strands, beginning with a seed bead and about half way through add 2 seed beads just once and continue the pattern. Do not tie off, set down.
3. Begin the other strand with a thin brass heishi spacer and then alternate them with the wood beads.
4. When finished stringing them, bring both strands together and make an overhand knot. Add the second thick brass heishi and using a slip knot, tie the ends of the linen to the closed end of your other 1” chain section. Pull each strand tightly individually, this will help to ensure your knot is good and tight.
5. Add your other wrapped flower to the open end, close link.
6. Attach the open end of the 3 link chain section first to the 2 seed beaded section of the bracelet, then slide on the polymer charm, close the link. Open the other end of the chain section and add your pewter charm, close the link.
Waxed linen cord and batik ribbon: Jewelry Accord, www.jewelryaccord.etsy.com.
Czech glass flowers, round beads, seed beads, findings, and chain : ShipwreckBeads, www.shipwreckbeads.com.
Leather lace: www.classicelements.etsy.com.
Happy Monday everyone! Here's to a warm and sunny - and inspiring - last week of May. And without further ado, here's your last dose of tribal-inspired beads! Have you enjoyed this month's theme? I know I have. My style doesn't often lean towards the tribal - rustic, yes, but somehow not tribal - so it's been really fun to discover lots of new-to-me bead artists, and thinking how I could use some of these more unusual components within my own work and style.
Here's what I found for you this week!
Rebecca is a Scottish jewellery designer; currently living in Edinburgh, capital of her native land. You can read more about her and her work at her blog, songbeads.blogspot.com and see more of her jewellery at songbead.etsy.com. She also has a supplies shop at thecuriousbeadshop.etsy.com.
More Recent Articles