Friday, June 24, 2016

I'm Back with New Pieces of Art Jewelry



It’s been a while since my last post and while I missed writing them, I hope you also missed sharing my adventures!  Between a road trip to Berkeley and having painful (very painful) shoulder tendonitis my activities really slowed down.  Now I’M BACK!  Ready to explore new techniques and have fun.

When I see a good tutorial about something new that catches my fancy, I buy it and eventually the day comes when I just have to try it.  Staci Louise Smith wrote a tutorial “Gold Rush: The Rustic Crackle Technique” for Craft Art Edu.  I loved the pictures of her necklaces and wanted to see what I could do.  If you like the crackle effect  on my pieces or want to try something new, check out her tutorial on  www.CraftArtEdu.com   They have good classes on many subjects.

When I started following tutorials, I expected my pieces to look like the instructors.  That just did not happen and it is not the fault of the tutorial or the instructor.  It is that my mind and hands take their own trips and create something a little different with the same basic process that is used in the tutorial.   This adventure was no different - each step created a look that was unexpected and a surprise.  Perhaps that is why I continued to follow carefully watching the video and reading the instructions.  There's a lot of information here!   My finished pieces do not look like Staci’s but the finished crackle does.

A different twist on the crackle - same technique 

I started with white polymer clay and all the supplies listed in the supply list.  There are 3 sections with very good steps to follow.  I really had to search for a couple of the items and it was well worth the effort.  I had never used One Stop Crackle and love it.  I was delighted to be able to use some products that I had on hand like my alcohol inks and acrylic paints.


White Polymer

Gold Crackle Applied in early stage.  Note shape in the lower right corner 
If you decide to buy the tutorial, I cannot emphasize enough the need to watch and read about the entire process before you actually start the making.  And then experiment with the colors. 

Intermediate step in the layering of color.  Note the center shape!

I now want to do it all again since I understand more about what happens at each step.  Next time I’ll be able to plan the end products a little differently as well as leave more white on some pieces.  The layering of color is wonderful and the changes between steps are amazing! 

Final finishing with sealer.  See the change in the shape in right lower corner?


A finished piece in greens, blues and gold. 
Watch for pieces to show up in my etsy store. Some pieces are in the Art Market at the Prescott Gateway Mall.  (Prescott AZ)   I made buttons too!  https://www.etsy.com/listing/400997065/3-oval-rustic-buttons-in-sunset-colors?ref=shop_home_active_2

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Value of Restringing Jewelry

broken pearl strands redone with added jade beads

“Oh, my necklace broke.  I’ll just put it in my jewelry box and deal with it later!” and later could be years away.  Why not have it restrung so you can wear it again?

There are many reasons to restring necklaces and I offer my services to several jewelers in town.  It seems that many of the jewelers are too busy or don’t want to take someone’s necklace and remake it.   I happen to enjoy doing just that. 

A strand of coral to be restrung with added elements

Restrung coral in a new design

https://www.etsy.com/listing/279669910/red-coral-statement-necklace-with-bronze?ref=shop_home_active_2

another way to restring coral (with silver beads as spacers)
When I have the opportunity to look at a necklace that someone else designed, I look at the way the beads are combined, how they are attached to the clasp and figure out why the piece broke.  Usually the string used has shredded from a bead that is rough on the inside or had come off the clasp.  When I restring the beads I can give extra strength in those areas or use a different thread. 


I also have the opportunity to see what people like to keep, what their memories are, why the piece is important to them.  That helps me know what people will want in the future and what qualities I might want to add to my designs.  The value of a necklace is not just a monetary value but a comfort value or a friendship value or a piece of love given.  I’ve restrung a stretch bracelet that had little monetary value but it was comfortable and made the wearer feel special. 


If the piece is vintage, I handle history and see what materials were used in a former time.  I often research the piece and the techniques used to make it. 

combining new beads with old pendant and beads
https://www.etsy.com/listing/71101025/vintage-pendant-with-romantic-porcelain?ref=shop_home_active_5

Recently I was given a pearl necklace to restring and I estimated the time it would take to finish it.  I started reviewing the process and the size of the silk thread I would need.  I happened to have nylon thread for stringing pearls that was the size I needed and found after knotting 8 pearls that I did not like using the nylon.  I stopped and ordered the correct silk thread and will start that project again with the correct materials.  So my time estimate is not correct but both the client and I will be happy with the end product.   If you are interested in stringing pearls a good book to use as a reference  -Pearl and Bead Stringing by Henrietta      http://www.amazon.com/Pearl-Bead-Stringing-Henrietta-Virchick/dp/0962713708?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=od_aui_detailpages00



               I also enjoy taking vintage pieces and incorporating them into new pieces of jewelry.  It’s fun to blend the old with the new.  So much to enjoy about jewelry!

 

Friday, May 13, 2016

What WE See When We Really Look


 During a very brief recent trip to Kansas City Mo. I visited the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art with my nephew Matt as my guide.  Many years ago, when I lived in that area, my mom and I would spend hours there enjoying the sculptures, paintings and architecture.   We spent several  hours enjoying the architecture and art as well as eating lunch in the café next to a fountain. we pretended to be  somewhere in Italy during the 15th century eating excellent food. Easy to do at that cafe! 


The current special exhibit is REFLECTING CLASS IN THE AGE OF REMBRANDT AND VERMEER.  It offers a different way of seeing history as well as appreciating the masters.  http://www.nelson-atkins.org/art/exhibitions/


Seeing the actual paintings, the detail of the brush strokes, and the stories was mesmerizing.  I knew how luxurious the laces and fabrics were just by looking.  It was as though I hear the satins moving and the lace fluttering and feel the textures without touching. 



I started really looking at the details of the painting and the story they told.  The variety of lace patterns and who had ruffles and who did not and what did they mean in their society.  This of course led me to look at the type of jewelry the ladies of the upper class wore.  The trends of the day- pearl chokers and pearl bracelets worn by young and adult females- were similar to today’s trends in pearls. 


The more I looked the more I saw - about how the past and present connect, about our need to conform with rules and how it all shows up in how we present ourselves to others.  The more I looked, the more detail and understanding I encountered and isn’t that true of everything.



You might enjoy this blog about Anne Boleyn and timeless trends.  I did.

Friday, June 24, 2016

I'm Back with New Pieces of Art Jewelry



It’s been a while since my last post and while I missed writing them, I hope you also missed sharing my adventures!  Between a road trip to Berkeley and having painful (very painful) shoulder tendonitis my activities really slowed down.  Now I’M BACK!  Ready to explore new techniques and have fun.

When I see a good tutorial about something new that catches my fancy, I buy it and eventually the day comes when I just have to try it.  Staci Louise Smith wrote a tutorial “Gold Rush: The Rustic Crackle Technique” for Craft Art Edu.  I loved the pictures of her necklaces and wanted to see what I could do.  If you like the crackle effect  on my pieces or want to try something new, check out her tutorial on  www.CraftArtEdu.com   They have good classes on many subjects.

When I started following tutorials, I expected my pieces to look like the instructors.  That just did not happen and it is not the fault of the tutorial or the instructor.  It is that my mind and hands take their own trips and create something a little different with the same basic process that is used in the tutorial.   This adventure was no different - each step created a look that was unexpected and a surprise.  Perhaps that is why I continued to follow carefully watching the video and reading the instructions.  There's a lot of information here!   My finished pieces do not look like Staci’s but the finished crackle does.

A different twist on the crackle - same technique 

I started with white polymer clay and all the supplies listed in the supply list.  There are 3 sections with very good steps to follow.  I really had to search for a couple of the items and it was well worth the effort.  I had never used One Stop Crackle and love it.  I was delighted to be able to use some products that I had on hand like my alcohol inks and acrylic paints.


White Polymer

Gold Crackle Applied in early stage.  Note shape in the lower right corner 
If you decide to buy the tutorial, I cannot emphasize enough the need to watch and read about the entire process before you actually start the making.  And then experiment with the colors. 

Intermediate step in the layering of color.  Note the center shape!

I now want to do it all again since I understand more about what happens at each step.  Next time I’ll be able to plan the end products a little differently as well as leave more white on some pieces.  The layering of color is wonderful and the changes between steps are amazing! 

Final finishing with sealer.  See the change in the shape in right lower corner?


A finished piece in greens, blues and gold. 
Watch for pieces to show up in my etsy store. Some pieces are in the Art Market at the Prescott Gateway Mall.  (Prescott AZ)   I made buttons too!  https://www.etsy.com/listing/400997065/3-oval-rustic-buttons-in-sunset-colors?ref=shop_home_active_2

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Value of Restringing Jewelry

broken pearl strands redone with added jade beads

“Oh, my necklace broke.  I’ll just put it in my jewelry box and deal with it later!” and later could be years away.  Why not have it restrung so you can wear it again?

There are many reasons to restring necklaces and I offer my services to several jewelers in town.  It seems that many of the jewelers are too busy or don’t want to take someone’s necklace and remake it.   I happen to enjoy doing just that. 

A strand of coral to be restrung with added elements

Restrung coral in a new design

https://www.etsy.com/listing/279669910/red-coral-statement-necklace-with-bronze?ref=shop_home_active_2

another way to restring coral (with silver beads as spacers)
When I have the opportunity to look at a necklace that someone else designed, I look at the way the beads are combined, how they are attached to the clasp and figure out why the piece broke.  Usually the string used has shredded from a bead that is rough on the inside or had come off the clasp.  When I restring the beads I can give extra strength in those areas or use a different thread. 


I also have the opportunity to see what people like to keep, what their memories are, why the piece is important to them.  That helps me know what people will want in the future and what qualities I might want to add to my designs.  The value of a necklace is not just a monetary value but a comfort value or a friendship value or a piece of love given.  I’ve restrung a stretch bracelet that had little monetary value but it was comfortable and made the wearer feel special. 


If the piece is vintage, I handle history and see what materials were used in a former time.  I often research the piece and the techniques used to make it. 

combining new beads with old pendant and beads
https://www.etsy.com/listing/71101025/vintage-pendant-with-romantic-porcelain?ref=shop_home_active_5

Recently I was given a pearl necklace to restring and I estimated the time it would take to finish it.  I started reviewing the process and the size of the silk thread I would need.  I happened to have nylon thread for stringing pearls that was the size I needed and found after knotting 8 pearls that I did not like using the nylon.  I stopped and ordered the correct silk thread and will start that project again with the correct materials.  So my time estimate is not correct but both the client and I will be happy with the end product.   If you are interested in stringing pearls a good book to use as a reference  -Pearl and Bead Stringing by Henrietta      http://www.amazon.com/Pearl-Bead-Stringing-Henrietta-Virchick/dp/0962713708?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=od_aui_detailpages00



               I also enjoy taking vintage pieces and incorporating them into new pieces of jewelry.  It’s fun to blend the old with the new.  So much to enjoy about jewelry!

 

Friday, May 13, 2016

What WE See When We Really Look


 During a very brief recent trip to Kansas City Mo. I visited the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art with my nephew Matt as my guide.  Many years ago, when I lived in that area, my mom and I would spend hours there enjoying the sculptures, paintings and architecture.   We spent several  hours enjoying the architecture and art as well as eating lunch in the café next to a fountain. we pretended to be  somewhere in Italy during the 15th century eating excellent food. Easy to do at that cafe! 


The current special exhibit is REFLECTING CLASS IN THE AGE OF REMBRANDT AND VERMEER.  It offers a different way of seeing history as well as appreciating the masters.  http://www.nelson-atkins.org/art/exhibitions/


Seeing the actual paintings, the detail of the brush strokes, and the stories was mesmerizing.  I knew how luxurious the laces and fabrics were just by looking.  It was as though I hear the satins moving and the lace fluttering and feel the textures without touching. 



I started really looking at the details of the painting and the story they told.  The variety of lace patterns and who had ruffles and who did not and what did they mean in their society.  This of course led me to look at the type of jewelry the ladies of the upper class wore.  The trends of the day- pearl chokers and pearl bracelets worn by young and adult females- were similar to today’s trends in pearls. 


The more I looked the more I saw - about how the past and present connect, about our need to conform with rules and how it all shows up in how we present ourselves to others.  The more I looked, the more detail and understanding I encountered and isn’t that true of everything.



You might enjoy this blog about Anne Boleyn and timeless trends.  I did.