Making Earrings in the Build Zone

Right on the heels of the Of Towers and Turrets workshop I took online, I decided to sign up for Deryn Mentock’s The Build Zone workshop. I like Deryn’s down-to-earth teaching style and since I’ve been resurrecting my wireworking skills lately, I thought it would be a great refresher experience for me.

Just as its name implies, this class is all about building skills so you can create a fabulous piece of jewelry. Some of the skills I’ve learned in this class are making a balled headpin using a torch (now I have 2 torches!), making S-links with wire (see above) and making twisted wire jumprings (see below), to name a few.

My ultimate goal is to bring together all of the skills I’ve learned in this workshop and create a necklace. Since I have very limited studio time these days, all I’ve managed to do so far is to collect some beads and a focal piece. I originally thought that I’d create a polymer clay focal but I happened to be out bead shopping one day and this whimsical, winged fairy pendant sort of jumped out at me. She’s so sweet that I decided to bring her home so she could be the focal of a mystical, “Midsummer Night’s Dream”-y piece. Hey, maybe I can get my necklace done by midsummer…

I love these earrings. They’re very long but quite lightweight for their size. Whenever I wear them, I have this compulsion to keep turning my head back and forth because I love the feel of them swinging against my neck!

After a long, hard New England winter, I’ve felt a burst of spring’s energy lately that has inspired me to dig out the numerous bead-y UFOs strewn about my studio, some I started a couple of years ago. It feels great to line them all up on my table and dream about where I was when I started them and where I would like to go to finish each piece.

Spring has returned.  The Earth is like a child that knows poems.

~Rainer Maria Rilke

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Beads and Yarn

I have a secret. I love coming home from a bead show, dumping all of my purchases into one big pile on the table and running my fingers through all of my new beads. All that beautiful color and texture! Even though I buy from different vendors, my purchases reflect ideas and images I’ve been thinking about lately and they all seem to match in one way or the other. Do you experience the same thing?

I’m thinking of a bead embroidery cuff for the face cab from Earthenwood Studio. Isn’t it fabulous?

My dumping/ooh-ing and aah-ing ritual reminds me of when my kids returned from trick or treating on Halloween night and all the stashes got dumped on the family room rug. First, Mom or Dad would go through to pick out any suspicious looking items (and the Butterfingers) and then the trading would begin.

Here’s some detail of a strand of unique snakeskin jasper and pearls I couldn’t resist along with amethyst and peridot. A lot of my stone bead purchases were made from Momminia of Cold Spring, NY. A husband and wife team, Marlene and Steve Goodrich are quick to share their in depth knowledge about any of their stones. So, buying from them is both an education and a treat to the eyes. Even though my daughter isn’t at all into beads like I am, she listened intently while they named the different stones and where they originated. Here’s some faceted rhodolite garnet. We couldn’t resist that amazing raspberry color. It will go fabulously with black, I think.

Last but not least, my yarn purchases from my Michigan trip in March. I also discovered a yarn store called Knitting Pointers, right down the street from my new home, and I visited there last weekend. I couldn’t resist the pale muted colorway on the left.

The brand name is “Poems”. What a perfect name for what these colors inspire in me.

“I want to make poems that look into the the earth and the heavens and see the unseeable.

I want them to honor both the heart of faith, and the light of the world;

the gladness that says, without any words, everything.”

-Mary Oliver