05 August 2008

Another Before-and-After: Ocean Treasures {sold!}

Hey, these are fun! Here's another mess of elements turned into something beautiful, and again it took me about a month not just because my inspiration runs so deep that it takes a long time to come back up but because I get busy with other stuff. Conne Gibson so generously gave me this beautiful starfish pendant made by Green Girl Studios, so of course I started dreaming of the ocean. One of my favorite places on earth is Big Sur, on California's central coast, and as I replayed in my mind my many road trips up there I recalled the blues and greens of the ocean, the dusky lavender and pale greys of the mist over the surf.... God I miss going there.

So I was once again inspired to pull together many small, seemingly disconnected treasures from my stash -- fish, birds, shells, and pearls; hand-dyed silk ribbon from last year's Albuquerque Fiber Arts Fiesta; apatite and Swarovski crystal and a few luminous chunks of fluorite -- to evoke a tidepool home for this lovely starfish. I may be far from the ocean these days, but a girl can dream, and the dreams will always inspire new creation.

04 August 2008

On the Workbench: An August Fancy

Looking at a strand of tiny multicolored tourmaline chips, I thought of making a simple lariat-style necklace, just with the chips, a few accent beads, and a simple loop closure. Then I thought about adding some pearls, and found the perfect strand at my friendly neighbors' workshop. Then came the idea to use vermeil (gold electroplated over sterling silver) instead of sterling silver, to enhance the warmth of the tourmaline and golden-green pearls.

And then, as my dear girl tore through my studio dragging a stray piece of yarn that just happened to match what I'd laid out so far on my design board, the last piece came to me (well, I had to chase after it, "it" being a lovely strand of hand-dyed silk I just couldn't release to my child's play): and so I have another fiber piece in the works. I do have some vermeil, but I'm not sure what kind of focus to give this piece... so now I'll just do what I do best: sit with all the elements (yes, laid out on my workbench) and think of how best to present them: lariat, as originally planned, or loose multistrand? Single pendant or focal bead, or multiple foci? Clasp in back or in front, if any? Yes, I'll post pictures as I go along. It might take a year, though; I'm easily (and usually necessarily) distracted.

03 August 2008

Assembling, Part 7: A Primeval Treasure {sold!}

(Yes, I skipped documenting the other steps, 7 being an entirely arbitrary number, because I think it would make for rather tedious reading and uninspiring photography... and really I just lost myself in making this and suddenly realized it was done.) And so here is the finished creation from the previous entry, a necklace drawn from the mess -- uh, elements -- pictured on my workbench. It all sat there for, oh, a month or so (yes, really; anyone who knows me, however, won't be surprised that I could work around it all) as I mulled it all over. Finally, after trying a few multi-strand ideas, I decided to keep it fairly simple at a single strand so as not to "lose" the ammonite (a fossilized marine creature akin to the squid) in a mess of beads, so out went the pearls. To emphasize the earthtones, I added Tsavorite (green) garnet faceted rondelles, which also have a wonderful texture and just enough glitter to hold their own alongside the vibrant amber and lustrous Labradorite.

 Labradorite is my new top-five-favorite gemstone; I picked up these good-quality blue-tinged beads at New Mexico Bead and Fetish a long time ago and, though they inspired me, I couldn't find the right combination (since I do love mixing gemstones) till now. I'm pleased with how well the whole thing came together, with the gemstones accenting and drawing out the ammonite's rich tones, and I look forward to debuting this piece. It will not remain in my personal collection: the ammonite pendant is actually half of a whole piece, the other half of which I gave to someone I once loved with all my heart. Having found my affections to be misplaced, I will release this piece to the universe as part of my healing. May its new bearer treasure it always, and may its other half someday find its way to someone who will appropriately treasure it also.