Finally I crawled out of the creative void I was wallowing in and found some new inspiration. If you couldn't tell I love all things ethnic and the funkier the better. So I spent some time pouring over pics of ancient beads, binge watching old movies while I conditioned clay and absorbed atmosphere. The resulting beads are fun and certainly funky! The tribal pendants have a carved wood look with a mysterious circle inscribed on the front. The pudgy ladies each hold a bit of ceramic mosaic tile and eventually they will be affixed to a copper backing for use as a pendant. The feathers are fashioned into components for use as earrings or necklace parts. They come already wired with either recycled African glass beads or bits of blue green sea glass. I will be listing these on my etsy site next week.
Vintage ceramic beads add a rustic note to designs but are sometimes too heavy for wearing comfort. This is where the faux bead is really useful. Todays friday offering is faux ceramic with a vintage or antiqued look. Additionally the beads are hollow so that makes them even lighter in weight. I used a color on these beads that had a more retro feel and it highlighted the distressing/antiquing. I just love the crackles veining the bead; no two beads are alike.
I've made these beads in three sizes and two different colors. If you would be interested in purchasing some for your own designs shoot me a message!
Well, it's friday again and I am trying to be consistent about posting...we'll see how long THAT lasts! This time I have beads that were inspired by Randee Ketzel's and Kim Schlinke's book Polymer Clay Gemstones: The Art Of Deception. I had already been making a few pendants that looked like faux metal but I am such a book junkie that I had to get the book. I am glad I did because in addition to the informative tutorials and lots of eye-candy there was a nifty little story running through it. So after I looked at the pretty pictures, I skimmed the tutes and then read the story. Finally I got around to making something from it! This book is chocked full of ideas and projects so take your time because there is a lot to digest (that's a good thing!). I chose three techniques to start off with, amber, scarabs and faux metal. I revisited the way I did my faux metal and found that I really like doing coppers and bronzes better than silver colors (though Randee does an excellent job) I guess it boils down to personal preference. There is one project for a faux bronze fibula that I haven't tried yet. Amber is always fun to play around with and Randee has an interesting way of creating it. I got a little crazy with the amber but it got addictive. I have a mold for traditional looking Egyptian scarabs but I wanted to try free-hand. I like what I made but think they need more practice before I am really satisfied. So check out the pics and tell me what you think of this weeks faux friday.
Today's faux offering is a tutorial from Lynda Moseley of DivaDesignsInc. I have been having so much fun with this tutorial that I've barely come up for air. Since I have a bead show that I am trying to prepare for I need all the help I can get. Once I got started on this tutorial I couldn't stop - I was making faux turquoise morning, noon and night.
What's so great about it (aside from Lynda's great knack for instruction) is that you don't have very much waste clay, especially when you make it look like a mosaic setting because it allows you to use up all those tiny bits. I am such a nut for the rustic look and even though Lynda is known for her excellent polished finishes you can adapt this to whatever look suits you personally. I even changed some of them to have a granite or stone appearance.
Now I have this huge bowl of beads that need to be priced and strung, then packed away for the upcoming show. I will be listing some of them on etsy, so you can either buy Lynda's tute and make them yourself or if you are impatient check and see what ones I will be selling at my store!
Today I got to visit old friends and recharge my creative batteries. I needed some funky old keys and I knew that if anyone would have some it would be my friend Vicki who owns Primitives and More, in Milford. Sure enough she had what I needed and I gleaned fifty (50!) keys from her stash. Old keys are not the only item Vicki and her husband Tom have in their lovely, quaint shop in Old Milford. Furniture, cabinets, flags, dolls, signs, candles (Evening Mocha~heavenly!) vintage quilts, fabric, florals, music, I can't even remember half of the cool stuff they have artfully arranged in little nooks and crannies. There is always a new surprise around each little corner with several rooms to explore. If you are in the area stop in and chat, Tom and Vicki always have time to say hi; if you're not in the area this makes a great destination store to plan a trip around. And Old Milford has some nice eateries as well. So the next time you need a bit of inspiration head down to Primitives and More, they have lots!
It's funny that for a person who tries to be scrupulously honest in my daily life I have so much fun making "phony" stones, metals and artifacts. Of course, I know that I am not fooling anyone, nor do I try; the fun is in seeing how close I can come to the real thing. I don't try to hoodwink anyone but rather capture the feel and look of a vintage piece without the high prices.
So looking for some new inspiration I started looking at some Tibetan pendants I have been hoarding and will probably never part with, then I went online and wasted...um...spent time researching and absorbing the feel and "spirit" of the work. A few Red Bulls later and I was well into the clutch of pendants you see. I loved them so much that I think today will be another RB day!
If you are interested in any of these they will be going up on my etsy site later today.
Thanks for stopping by!
It's pretty clear I'm not a fancy, frou-frou sort of girl. I like old, gritty, dirty and worn; the ancient bead holds a fascination for me that new baubles just can't match. Of course, since I have limited funds I can't always buy the real thing and so I make my own. My last beads were Moroccan-inspired and with my mind still on the African continent I have tried my hand at Krobo beads, skunk beads and old trade beads. Similar beads that I have found online run the gamut from newly made and shiny to chipped and dirty, barely intact beads. I decided that mine would have the look of being worn and pitted from years of use; looking like they have been packed away in trunks and saddlebags. After mixing the clay colors and applying the eye canes I pre-distressed them with coarse sand-paper and my carving knife. When they were baked and cooled they got a coat of acrylic (burnt umber) to further the illusion of age and decay. A finishing spray of Pym II and now they are ready for a cool tribal necklace or two. Extras will get listed in my etsy shop.
Ever since I was a child I have been escaping into my imagination; I think most artists do. I always loved books because they could ignite that spark of fantasy. And I have always loved anything that could fan that spark-wire, clay, paint, wood and in my latest endeavors, transfer paper. I have tried out two kinds of transfer paper and have settled on one sold by Hilla Bushari in her etsy shop. As with any medium there is a learning curve and it takes some time to learn how to use it, but this product is relatively easy to use. Besides even if you are a slow learner Hilla is very helpful and will guide you through any questions you have. The pictures below show some of the pieces that I made using her transfer paper, digital images and polymer clay. I sell the finished necklaces on my etsy shop as well as the loose beads to use in your own creations.
Recently I went to visit my friend Mary Karg and just hang out in her cool studio. As always we just talked non-stop catching up on the months between visits. Now, Mary has some very impressive beads and finished jewelry. She works in glass and metal (and I suspect a bit of alchemy); I am seriously in awe of her work. It would be easy to say that she never makes a mistake but I know she has; occasionally I will see an wonky bead hiding in some forgotten place, but it is unusual to see one. You can check out her Artfire studio here to see some of her beautiful work. So as I was leaving I was checking out some of her recent beads and came across a truly odd one. Mary explained she was trying new mandrels that allowed you to blow up a hot bead in order to make it hollow (and lighter weight). Usually it works but in this one case it was like a tire blow-out and the bead lost its integrity. As I was musing over it Mary gave it to me charging me to figure out a way to use it. We both were thinking some sort of jewelry, however as I was just smooshing (technical term) clay in my hand I came up with a different take on it. It isn't a finished piece, just a preliminary work up.