Sunday, September 25, 2011

I made a bunch of earrings the other day. I'm getting better at making wrapped loops that are actually round, and suddenly I want a huge spool of wire to play with. I also started making... I am not sure what, exactly. Components, I guess. Little runs of beads and wires that are not long enough to be a necklace, not long enough to be a bracelet, but that maybe will someday find friends and join up to make something. And I have some new ideas sort of simmering.

It's been a long fallow period, I'm hoping that coming into the rainy season will bring some of these new ideas to birth. I'm ready.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Updateless Update

Is this thing on? I haven't beaded anything in what seems like forever. I've been working at other jobs for money as the recession seems to have taken the bottom clean out of the artisan jewelry market. After a 10 hour day on a ladder, I'm just not inspired to do much more than look at other beaders' blogs when I get home.

But there should be a lull in the painting & hammering work come fall, and I hope to bring some of the ideas I've been having to life.

So, yeah- still here, more or less.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Eleanor Roosevelt and me

Mrs. Roosevelt said that you should do something every day that scares you.  So I said yes when a friend of mine asked me if I'd like to teach a class on making beaded stitch markers.  I've got til September to finalize the instructions and make samples. I'm certainly nervous about it, as it will be my very first class, but I'm also really excited about doing it.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Prototype Gertrude

Around Christmas, my friend Colleen came over bearing Kenneth Branagh's magnificent Hamlet, which we watched. I was enthralled, but not so enthralled I didn't get distracted by a quick glimpse of Queen Gertrude's beautiful choker, which she was wearing in exactly one scene. I started thinking about shapes and colors, and beautiful queenly necks. Then I had to figure out how to make an open diamond, which counter-intuitively enough, ends up working only if started as a square. That took a week to figure out.

But then I had the basic shapes, stitched them together and promptly stalled out trying to figure out how to extend the piece around the neck. I decided on smaller diamonds, and then the necklace said to me, quite loudly and a little rudely, that it needed to be reversible. Reversible? Are you sure? It was sure. So then I stitched up doubles of the diamonds, and tried to attach them to the backside of the diamonds already in place.

The lesson there was that the time to make a necklace reversible is when it's still in a little pile of components on one's tray, not after said components are all stitched together. But it worked okay. Then there was the matter of a clasp. Which I decided would only work with the elegance of the rest of the piece if it was completely symmetrical and detachable (which also gives plenty of room for size customization, a little collection of 3 or 4 different length clasps is going to give you 3 or 4 different necklaces).

Then it was a matter of draping the wing parts, and dropping the dangles. That's when I realized that my diamonds were too big- or too big for my neck, at least, because the wings don't hang quite the way I envisioned- they sort of pool around the clavicles, which is a nice enough look, but not what I wanted. I think my next take will have the large central diamond, then decreasing diamonds all the way around. We'll see where this takes me. But here's the prototype.