It's been very warm here in Cenral Louisiana, and rainy. I'm enjoying the mild temperatures, and I like the sound of the rain on the roof.
This week the hot water heater decided to act up. Home ownership means never lacking a to-do list, right?
Fortunately, it was a simple plumbing pipe fix, and we were back in hot water, in a good way.
I'm relocating some of the jewelry assembly tools to the office in the house, instead of the studio.
I'm thinking that I'm more likely after a week at the regular 9-to-5 to sit in my fuzzy slippers and comfy clothes here at home and make a few pairs of earrings, a bracelet or a necklace, than I seem to be willing to get in the car and go to the studio to do it.
It's an experiment, like relocating the photography setup.
So I put some beads, jewelry pliers and a bench block in a box, and today I'm going to set up a jewelry assembly area here at the house. I gathered up a whole bunch of pewter components I've been wanting to play with, too.
There are still lots of messy, noisy, wet and dusty things that need to stay at the studio.
I don't want all that in my living area.
But hey, how much trouble can I make with some jewelry tools and beads?
Fortunately, my hubby is okay with the idea. He says he likes having me around.
Can you imagine that?
I'll give this a try, and see how it goes. I have a lot of ideas for necklaces, like the one in the photo, that I've been wanting to assemble. Now I can do it in the comfort of my own home!
Many months ago, I made some headpins, really fancy ones.
Then I didn't make any for a long time.
On Saturday, I looked at my molds and thought, I need to make some more headpins.
I need some myself, for some crystal drops that I want to wire wrap and give a really fancy look.
This Finial headpin has a hole at the top, so it can be added to a chain or wire wrapped bead link, and a briolette or lampwork bead can be put onto the wire at the bottom and wrapped to make a really special finish for it.
The wire is really long, to give plenty of room for wire wrapping, but can easily be cut to shorten if necessary.
I got the top finial really thin but sturdy, so it's light but durable. Love that new belt sander, Yes I Do!
This is another little heart headpin I made on Saturday. It has a cute floral folksy design on it, and a long, long wire tail.
I can see these used with a lovely lampwork bead on top and wire wrapped to make a dangle. I put both of them in the Etsy shop, if you want to play with them in your designs, too. There's also one that looks like the top of a spoon, and one that has an antique key design. Very fun!
If you have suggestions on how you'd use them, post comments here, there will be a giveaway later this week!
The more I learn about her, the more amazing she is to me. She does pottery, of course, and makes the most wonderful beads and clay ornaments. Like me, she enjoys combining the things she does together, to blend the multiple media to each other. I admire her, can't you tell?
But she also works in metal of all sorts. She's exceptionally talented, and her work has a warm, folk art feeling to it that I love.
Besides the fact that she lives in Texas, and I'm a native Texan myself, I feel an affinity for her.
"Lynn, I know you started out as a potter and in other mediums like weaving and fibre as well. Because I started out in a similar way with larger scale work (pottery), I would love to know how and when you made the jump to the small scale of jewelry and components."
It's a kind of long answer, as I've lived a few years and made a few changes along the way! I hope you're interested ....
I studied pottery for several years, intending to be a production potter. Then life happened, as it does to everyone! I had a family started, and with a small baby it was increasingly hard to work in clay. But I craved making things with my hands. I'd always been interested in fiber art, so I switched gears and became a production weaver. The yarn waits for you to return from taking care of children and household much more easily than the wet clay, and doesn't dry out and crack!
I was a production weaver for several years, making wearables and clothing. I did a lot of dyeing of the yarns, and I spun my own custom yarns. A bit distant from what I'm doing now, but it figures into the progression. I still use my dyeing experience to dye the costume pearls, and I do have lots of hand dyed silk cords that I can use in the jewelry.
I believe everything ties together somehow,
down the road.
After some years and seasons of doing the wearables, traveling to do several wholesale shows and retail art shows each year, I got weary of the grind. Being on the road is tough, as most of you know! I stopped doing the shows in 1986, after a life change that made me a single mom, and put the life of a creative behind me for a time. The show equipment was heavy, the solo travel was a challenge. For many years I just made things for myself, and for family and friends.
In 1999 I relocated from Texas to Missouri, and made a resolution to begin to be actively creative again. I was ready for a change, something new, without any old history to it. I sold the looms (there were three of them, quite huge, taking up lots of room in the house) to students in the Weaving Department at the Kansas City Art Institute, and learned stained glass from a neighbor.
From Wool to Glass
From Warm to Cool
From Soft to Hard
I knew I didn't want to make windows or lampshades, but I did enjoy the 3-D work, so I made kaleidoscopes and boxes. I learned to cut and solder glass and copper foil.
Gradually, the pieces got smaller and smaller, and turned into jewelry pendants. It led me to an interest in fusing the glass in a kiln to create faux gems. I took a class in silver metal clay, bought a kiln, and the jewelry started to take over.
Maybe, if I had thought to make beads in ceramic all those years ago, I'd still be a potter, and working in jewelry. But I'm happy I'm doing what I'm doing now.
I still fancy that I'll bring the fiber part back into the jewelry, to bring all my past creative experiences together.
I love wearing it!
Friends enjoy getting it as a gift.
It's small, light and easy to pack and ship - the logistics work for me.
People enjoy adorning themselves.
And I get to meet and mingle with jewelry designers.
And lovely friends, like LeAnn Weih.
Thank you, LeAnn, for your great question, I hope you hung in with me on this story. At my age, any question about my history takes a while to tell, I'm afraid ...There's a bit of it back there!
There's a new Challenge going on over at Art Bead Scene! I just love the colors in this month's inspiration picture.
You'll find all the info here, if you want to join in the fun. I can imagine lots of ways to capture the spirit of this picture, so it'll be fun to see what you all come up with, too.
Do you make New Year's Resolutions?
Now that the holidays are past, I really want to get back into creativity mode.
I think the best way is to have a sort of schedule or plan.
So that I maximize the use of the limited amount of "open" time I find myself with now.
I have lots of ideas for things I want to do and try this year.
It's also good to keep things flexible, so it's fun and not a chore.
I was thinking of some sort of bead swap or round robin project, to keep things interesting, and give a goal. If any of you are interested in playing along, or have ideas you've been mulling, post here and let's come up with a