I've gone from a deserted waste land of inspiration (approriate for the hot summer we're having here in the Northeastern part of the US) to an almost overwhelming surge of ideas. I'm grateful to my fellow ABS contributors for throwing a few ideas my way when I was feeling I had none. How did I find inspiration again? I came by inspiration in a couple of different ways. One way came to me via an unexpected route and the second way I actively sought out.
I unexpectedly found inspiration in Heather Power's posts on Facebook for a fall retreat she'll be hosting. Heather's beads are always gorgeous! I say unexpectedly because I don't usually work in polymer clay. On this particular day I found Heather's beautiful photos were just the inspiration I needed. The photos reminded me of some pieces I had created last year when I had dabbled in polymer. I decided to pull out the polymer bin and take a look at those pieces.
Some of the pieces I created last year, some of them are newly created. I baked the new pieces and added color to all. Adding color was quite fun. I used alchohol inks I had on hand.
I was thinking these would make a cute pair of earrings paired with lampwork beads.
Or perhaps paired with these?
Dragonfly pendant in reverse blues.
Sleepy Owl pendant.
A day with polymer was just what I needed. Feeling inspired again I decided to hop on over to the Patone site and look into the 2014 fall color palette
I took the color palette to the torch. Working with the Radiant Orchid, Sangria and Royal Blue in mind I created this set.
Inspired by the Royal Blue, Aluminum and maybe a little bit of Misted Yellow I created this pair of spacer beads which I'm naming Silvered Royals.
Thanks for stopping by ABS today. Leave a comment for your chance to win this pair of Silvered Royals. Just answer this question, Do you work with the seasonal color palettes or do you stick with your favorite colors when creating your jewelry?
Ema Kilroy is a lampworker and metalsmith living and working in Central Massachusetts.
I recently added a new tool to my work bench. Yay! I love adding new tools to the studio, especially a tool that makes metal working easier. The new addition is a wood forming block.
The block has two sides which enables me to acheive varying depths of curve. The above photo has the two large nylon rollers in place.
This photo shows the smaller nylon rollers in place.
I begin with a flat piece of metal.
Place the metal into the largest forming block. You always want to work from the largest form to the smallest form. Following this technique will form the bend into the piece without creating a crease in the metal.
Place the appropriate nylon roller into the block and press.
A lovely bend is taking shape.
For this piece I wanted a bit more shape so I went to the next form down and repeated the process.
So much better than creating a curve using a mallet and a baseball bat. That's how I used to acheive a curve to my pieces.
The wood forming block is inexpensive, under $40.00. There are other tools available to create a curved shape in metal but the wooden block appealed to me. I like the price. I like that it sits stable on a table top (as opposed to pliers), I like the ability to acheive various depth of curves and the nylon rollers won't marre the metal. I think this just might become my favorite tool! I purchased my forming block
from Rio Grande.
Thanks for stopping by ABS today. Do you have a favorite tool in your studio? Share with us your favorite tool that you love to use.
Ema Kilroy is a lampworker and metalsmith living and working in Central Massachusetts.
Holy crusty underwater goodness!
As soon as I spotted this deep sea treasure I knew that it was the one for this week. There is so much going on in this piece, yet it feels so very cohesive. The way the glass undulates and the slick surface give the feeling of movement and shimmering water. I love the little globules on the jellyfish-like pendant and the swirly stripes on the long stalactites that seem to be dripping from an underwater cavern. The color palette feels very authentic to the inspiration image and the finishing touch is that sweet little mermaid charm.
I created these fun matchstick charms for a quick and easy earring option. What I didn't know when I made them is how adorable they are as flower stems paired up with Czech glass beads. This simple wire project can be made in just a few minutes.
2 matchstick charms
2 14mm Czech glass coin flowers
8" 20 gauge brass colored wire
2 brass kidney wires
10 2mm copper beads
1. Cut 4" of wire, center the wire in the middle of the matchstick charm and pull both ends up and around the top of the charm.
2. Bend one wire straight up, above the matchstick charm and wrap the other wire several times around the first wire.
3. String on the flower bead, create a wrapped loop above the flower, trim the wire and tuck in the end of the wire using needle nose pliers..
4. String the earring onto the earwire, add 5 copper beads. Underneath the last bead add a tiny drop of glue applying it with a piece of scrap wire to the earwire.
Matchstick Charms: Humblebeads
. Flowers: Nirvana Beads
(wholesale only, here
is an alternative retail source.) Wire, earwires and copper beads: Rings & Things
Just a quickie of a post from me today! It's full steam ahead with packing before the removal people come on Wednesday, and then we catch the ferry from Northern Ireland to Scotland on Thursday....only 4 more sleeps to go....(can that really be true?!).
This month's theme is ceramic beads - so I thought I would share some from one of my very talented co-editors here at Art Bead Scene - Mary Harding
. Mary is a multi-talented artist, also working with metal and tiny seed beads in her free-form peyote work, but is primarily known as a ceramicist. Here is a little bit all about her, in her own words:
"I began ceramic bead making about 15 years ago when I couldn't find beads with holes large enough for the macrame jewelry I was making at the time. Once I got started I couldn't stop...
My ceramic beads, pendants and toggle clasps have been published in a number of beading magazines including Beadwork, Bead Trends, Bead Style, Stringing, Belle Armoire Jewelry, Australian Bead Magazine, Step by Step Wire Jewelry and Beads 2009,2010 and 2011.
I enjoy including natural plants and colors in my work. One day I discovered that ceramic beads are a natural for free form peyote stitch so now I include my handmade beads, cabachons and pendants in my freeform work.
For all of my adult life I have been involved in the creation of art: from California to England and to Berlin. From photography to drawing to carving and to ceramic bead work. I feel happy when I can use my hands and imagination to create beautiful jewelry. I also am happy when I can serve the needs of others and find that art and social work go together as well as ceramic beads and freeform peyote stitch. So that is how I have been able find balance in my creative and working life."
I love the painterly quality that Mary's beads and buttons have, and the way they look almost as if they have been created from nature itself. Vibrant yet organic colours and textures - the beads I have from Mary are sacred to me, and I have only dared use a very few in my work. The rest are treasured carefully, awaiting just the right project...
Here are a few of my current favourites, available in Mary's etsy shop
I hope you will take a minute to look through Mary's beautiful shop and see just how wonderful and unique her work is!
And speaking of Art Bead Scene editors' ceramic endeavours.....take a peek at what Claire
has been up to! Anyone else pretty excited to see how these turn out?
And now for the BeadBlogger Links:
Crafty Cupcake "Recipe" Calls for Styrofoam and Glue
Not only are they cute, these cupcakes are fun to make. They’re guaranteed to be sugar-free, gluten-free, calorie-free and cute as the dickens.
Back to Amigurumi
Crafty Princess is loving amigurumi again with this new project that was a tad challenging.
Carmi's Art/Life World
It is wonderful to see how a bit of fabric ribbon and a button can be featured into a new beaded cuff.
Resin Crafts Blog
There are inexpensive bamboo tiles that can easily be turned into wearable jewels with some simple resin application techniques.
With a few funky components and a little bit of wire, you can quickly have a new necklace!
Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi is head-over-heels in love with a new book on reclaiming and upcycling textiles!
Rebecca is a Scottish jewellery designer, currently living in Belfast, Northern Ireland. 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.
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