Thursday, December 9, 2010

Series #1 of Ask Me, Who Knows

A while back I did a post with "Ask Me, Who Knows" as the title, inviting you all to ask me questions.

I didn't forget about them. Some of them were wonderful questions, that made me think. Really hard! I thought I'd try answering some of them, as a sort of end of year, holiday series. 

For the first in the series, I'm calling up the questions posed by Erin Prais-Hintz at Tesori Trovati. She has used several of my components in jewelry designs, and I just love the look she gives them. Like me, Erin is one of the editors at the Art Bead Scene, and she has a great sense of color and style.

Erin asked me these questions:

"How did you decide to start making your own beads?"

I love things that are vintage and antique. When I am given, or get ahold of the originals, I tend to hang onto them. I have a bad case of TPS - "too precious syndrome" - that keeps me from using them.

I decided if I could re-create them, or replicate them myself, I'd be more likely to use them instead of hoarding them. That led to making many more of them than I could use up. So I started offering them to others, before the house filled to the roof with them and the floor fell through with the weight of them all.

"Did you take classes, go to art school or are you self-taught?"

Many, many years ago I had a dream to become a commercial artist, or a college art professor. I went to a liberal arts school and majored in art. I actually studied to be a potter and worked with clay while in college.

I had to give that up, and ended up in a management law-related career, but always tried to stay creative in any way I could. I've been to Bead & Button, Artfest and similar wonderful places, starting around 2000. I took classes back then with Nan Roche, Pier Voulkos, Susan Lenart Kazmer and others, learning about polymer clay and jewelry construction using wire and cold connections.

Since then, I've tried to take the basics that I learned, and put together my own ways of getting that vintage look, reproducing old ivory, carved jet, pearl and other antique looks. I've tried to build on the lessons I was given, and add new methods and techniques to my tool box over the years.

"Is there something in your background that has helped you with the style and direction of your art?"

When I look at the work of others I admire, I like what they do but know that my hands wouldn't turn out the same look or feeling. The bright modern designs attract my eye, but I just don't seem to make those type of images.

I'm attracted to things with a history, whether real or faux, and a look of having lived and been worn. Like stairs with the marks of many feet and handrails with the smooth polish from the touch of many hands.

Whether I'm making things from my imagination or trying to reproduce an actual antique, things that come under my hands seem to emerge with an old, timeworn look.

My grandmother had a box in a drawer that was full of old coins, costume pearls and old pieces of jewelry. I loved the sparkly rhinestones, and went crazy over things that were imperfect or had been worn and chipped, with that look of age on them. I don't know why, but those are the things I always seem to pick up first at flea markets or swap meets.

And those are the things I try to re-create in metal, glass and polymer clay.

I hope that answers some questions, and a big Thank You to Erin for hers. I never know what is interesting to you.
I'll answer some more in Series #2 later - so comment here if you want me to keep going. I'm not used to talking ABOUT myself!


TesoriTrovati said...

Hey Lynn! How cool to put a name with a face, and to have you answer those questions! I love to learn about the creative journey of others. There is often so many aha moments in them for those of us looking on. As in... aha! So that is why she makes these! And aha! I had the same aspirations! You, dear, are as fascinating as these lovely components you create for us to use and I? I am honored that you chose my questions. Thanks for featuring my jewelry too!
Enjoy the day!

LLYYNN - Lynn Davis said...

Erin, I make the tinkers and designers like you use them to make the toys! My daughter took that photo last July ( I don't like to have my picture taken) and I thought it fitting to use with this series of Q&A.
THANKS my friend!

Beatnheart said...


Lois Moon said...

Ah yes, I have TPS also. Thank you for giving my problem a name...I keep wondering why I buy all these beads, then think that I have none that I can use!

EmandaJ said...

Yes, Lynn, please continue answering our questions.


SummersStudio said...

Lynn, this is lovely. It is so nice to hear a bit about your creative journey and how you came to make what you do. Thank you so much for sharing this with us!