Sunday, September 29, 2013

Copper Tones

Fall is beginning to creep into New England, and the leaves on the trees are starting to show new colors.  Here in Connecticut, we get some lovely yellows, oranges and reds.  As the season - and the leaves - fall and fade, the oak trees hold on to their leaves, and our woods are filled with copper tones well into November.
Thinking of the copper colors I like so much drew me to play with various copper shades in polymer.  Here are some of the results.
The bracelet is a set of half-lentals covered with slices from a feather cane in browns and deep copper.  The copper heishi and findings add a touch of sparkle.

 Layers of copper and complimentary shades of coral and brown went into a mokemu gane stack for these 2 pendants.  I like the contrast of the chains - one in shiny copper and the other with an antiqued copper finish.

The earrings pairs feature copper tones in a variety of places:  in the clay itself, in the pearl embellishments and even in the findings.

Friday, September 13, 2013

New Gift Shop Location

A few days ago, I was contacted by the personnel at the gift shop of the Slater Memorial Museum and Converse Art Gallery.  They had seen some of my work, and were interested in carrying my pieces in the gift shop. So now there is a Norwich location for my jewelry.  The gift shop is quite nice, and they carry a variety of items.  Hope you'll be able to drop by if you're in the area.  The address is 108 Crescent Street in Norwich, on the property of the Norwich Free Academy.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Mokemu Gane and Motion

Mokemu gane is one of my favorite techniques.  The results are always unique and unusual, and are influenced by the colors used,  the way in which they are layered, and the items pressed into the colored stacks of polymer.  I think my favorite step is the slicing of the stack after the design has been pressed. It's always a surprise to see what the patterns look like.

As you can see in the photos here, each piece has its own personality. I'm particularly fond of teals and turquoise shades, and the mixture here, combined with coppers and brown tones, is really lovely.  I decided to make a couple of two-part pendants.  The pieces in this first pendant show the different shades of blues.  The motion draws attention to the lines.  The pendant on the right has less of the copper and brown tones and has a different feel.

I wanted to finish the slices I had made, so created a couple of other pieces.  I think this last photo shows the shades and the design patterns well.  If you've never tried this technique, I recommend you do.
An Internet search will produce numerous descriptions and tutorials.  This is a most enjoyable and surprising process, and one I return to repeatedly.  Here is one more set I made in teals and purples.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Using Beads for "Chains"

As you may have noticed on my workshop page, and in some of the earlier postings, I started my childhood creative explorations in the world of bead-weaving.  I love the look and feel of those tiny seed beads, and the magical way a piece literally grows in my hands.  It's a very different process from working with polymer, and I really enjoy doing both.  As I was making up some pendants from the translucent chrissy canes I'd made, I started thinking about what I would use for chains...I was struck with the idea of staying away from metals, and making the chains for the pendants out of seed beads.  Why not?

One of the things that's wonderful about both polymer and beads is color.  Color just sings to me, and is one of the main reasons I migrated a bit from PMC (precious metal clay silver) to polymer. The translucent clay I've been working with has a muted, luminescent quality which is lovely and soft.  I wondered what the addition of seed beads would do.

One of issues I face when putting my things in galleries and shops is keeping the price affordable for the clientele.  Purchased sterling silver and gold filled chains are a simple solution, please the customers, and take no time on my part, so pricing is simpler.  Seed beading takes a lot of time, and it's more difficult to determine charges. So I wanted a beaded chain that complimented the pendants and was not too time intensive.

The photos in this post show the results.  I'm quite pleased with the way these necklaces turned out.  I decided to use the triangular "zig-zag" stitch for the chain for a few reasons.  I like the look, it's a fairly strong stitch since you go back through most of the beads, and it works up relatively quickly.   I think the beads help bring out the colors in the translucent pendants, and add a bit of sparkle and contrast.  I may have to try some richer fall colors and see what happens......

 This last one is just strung with matte glass pearls.    Another pretty option.