City Lights

A couple of years ago, I was experimenting with translucent polymer clay and silver leaf to create a button for my Winter Woods Vest. Besides the button, I also created a cabochon and a long, thin focal bead from that design sheet.

Using a dab of E-6000 glue, I affixed the cab to some Lacy’s Stiff Stuff backing and it sat there on my work table for a year as various designs percolated in my mind. That’s the way I like to work. I create a component that I’d like to bead and/or use in a jewelry design and then I just let it sit there in my studio where I can gaze on it periodically. The component image imprints on my brain and in my imagination and, as I go through my day-to-day experiences, it changes shape and grows.

My first inclination was to orient the cab as a vertical pendant. I knew that I wanted to use silver beads and grey pearls and played around with several designs but nothing felt quite right to me. At this point, I had added the silver beading around the cab. I liked the way the sparkly silver seed beads set off the silver leaf peeking out from under the translucent clay. Around that time period, I was driving into Boston a lot and images of reflections on the city streets, wet from newly fallen snow, joined the beaded cab image in my mind.

One day my intuition told me to turn the cab to a horizontal orientation and, at that moment, something clicked inside of me and the design started to fall into place as I peyote stitched the silver tubes. I think that the clean lines of the long thin tubes contribute a quiet, reflective, zen feeling to the piece. Underneath that hushed quiet glows the heart of the city.

Now that this piece is finished, my thoughts turn to the long, thin focal bead for another piece. I think I just might go with the same horizontal orientation. What do you think?

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Studio Wednesday

Today I worked on and finished the beadwork on my faux jade charms fringy bracelet. I’ve ordered some brass and silver Chinese coin charms from Fire Mountain Gems and they should be arriving sometime this week. I want to make a clasp with one of the coins.

The fabric is a painted and stamped piece from an Art Day with friends in June. I really enjoyed transforming a white piece of muslin into colorful fabric.

Using Aleene’s Jewel-it, I glued some polymer clay pieces onto Pellon Peltex 70, an extra firm stabilizer I purchased at Joann Fabric’s. I’m hoping it’s not too stiff for the beadwork I’ll be adding around the pieces. I’ll also probably tone down the white color with some fabric paint. Has anyone ever used this for beadwork?

This first piece was created from a cane I made a long time ago at one of my guild meetings. My friend, Judy, showed us how to make this cane. I think it’s a variation of this scrap feather cane. I didn’t reduce the cane and stretched a slice over some scrap clay to make what looks to me like a cocoon. When I bead around it, I want to enhance its organic feel. It will probably turn into a pendant.

This polymer clay cabochon was created from the mokume gane stack I used to make these earrings. Another pendant, perhaps for a free-form necklace.

More pieces from that mokume gane stack. These will be made into earrings.