Seussian Studiotime

I’ve done a lot of uploading and tweaking wordpress for the shop, and while I have plenty of pieces in stock, I was itching to get back into the studio again.

This brush needed to be taken out of its misery too!

My rainbow collection garnered a custom Valentine order, which I cheerfully fulfilled.

These are off to new homes.

I also recreated the infinity pendant that came out of a Now That’s a Jig! playdate.

My original version was snapped up right away, so here is this brighter pendant.

A bangle I created last year turned out to be too small, and then my customer asked to have it embellished with birthstone beads to represent her family.

So I set out to Dave’s Rock Shop and Ayla’s Originals to get the right gemstones.

The bigger size bangle called for a new mandrel.

Then I layed out the stones.

Stringing took a full afternoon, as most of these tiered bangles do.

I love the look of them though.

I donated a few keychains to worthy causes.

Some will pop up in various fundraisers throughout the year.

I also made a Seuss-inspired pendant for Chiaravalle Montessori School’s “Oh The Places You’ll Go”-themed Spring Benefit.

Dr. Seuss is one of my favorite authors and I own his full collection, including the Dutch books I grew up with. So I wiggled together a whimsical wire form to reflect the Seussian landscape.

I took a cue from “Oh the Places You’ll Go” and drew some lines in the pastel colors of the book onto tissue paper. Of course there had to be a nod to the message of the book on the back.

Now my spirit is restored and I can get back to the mundaner tasks of business management and planning. I multitask during product uploads, and ponder the places my business will go.

Making Mini-books

During my play date with Brenda Schweder I specifically focused on her angled gadgets, since sharp corners are not my forte.

TableView

I took home the Square NTaJ Accessory Peg Pak Mix.

NTaJSquarePegs

Higher gauge wire is easier to manipulate, but my affinity for 16 gauge steel remains strong.

SquarePegging

As I fiddled with the multiple squares a book shape emerged.

Nekkidbooks

At home I played some more.

Copperfielding

Sadly the book lovers guide paper is too thick for this design, but it was fun to consider.

BookLovers

Cutting, waxing, inserting and sizing the paper is quite time consuming.

David CopperfieldMM

Each type of paper reacts differently to the wax and to the steel wire structure.

Cuttingpages

So these will be higher-priced pendants or ornaments.

MiniJournalM

For now, Angel is enjoying her temporary library of a Paris travel guide, a David Copperfield review, a coloring book and a journal.

AngelLibrary

You may see some other bookish designs as I rip up books and work with scraps.

BookishOrnaments

I am happy to take commissions.

CopperfieldFinished

I also want to remake this pendant.

WritePendant

Speaking of reading material, one of my creations is featured in a book. You can order Incite 4: Relax, Restore, Renew right now.

Incite 4 cover

Reading is good for you!

ShadowCopperfield

Jigging with Brenda

Recently I took a mini-roadtrip to Waukesha to visit Brenda Schweder in her studio. I have been intrigued by her Now That’s a Pliers! since she introduced them, but wanted to take them for a spin before committing to another tool investment.

NtAJPlaytime

She showed me her fabulous studio space that has various sections to run the different functions of her business and craft. I also delivered the angel that she had reverse-engineered for me, in Now That’s A Jig! colors.

BrendasAngel

Then she demonstrated the Pliers and I got to play with them a little bit.

NTAPPlaytime

Soon I realized that the Now That’s a Jig! was the better tool for my purposes, and I started playing with the variety of pegs Brenda had on hand.

NTAJBangleStacker

She gave me tips and recommendations, and I got to peruse her plethora of demonstration pieces. You can see her tutorials on YouTube.

Inspiration

Soon I had created a shopping pile, and I went home with a variety of tools, inspiration, and design ideas.

NTAJLoot

At home I implemented the DoubleDekr peg for earrings and a bangle.

doubleDekrSpiral

I’ll still need gloves, but this will be easier than the uneven paintbrush handle I’ve been using.

CrystalBangle

I played with the infinity design of the 3/8″ pegs some more.

InfinityMakingNtAJ

The results are on the NtAJ Facebook page. I like how these turned out.

InfinityCombo

I made earrings out of the pieces that were too short.

PurpleEarringsNtAJ

Pretty cool.

purple earrings

Brenda publishes in various magazines, and is in the latest issue of Step by Step Wire Jewelry.

WireMagazine

A smaller frosty design was born.

LiterateInfinity

So many more ideas percolating!

NewDesigns

These aren’t loaded into the Shop yet but feel free to message me if you are interested in purchasing one of my creations.

PlayatHome

Creations for Dutchies

I went on a family reunion trip during which I finally got to show my wares in person to my family.

DelftBlueBeadsMaking

One person fell in love with the purple coral bangle I had made, but wanted it in blue so I found a strand of lapis chips at Dave’s Down to Earth Rock Shop.

LapisChipsDaves

It was fun to make the bangle and earrings, though I might need a new mandrel for spiraling…

LapisBangleMakingsm

The result was well-received.

LapisSetFinished

A linguistics discussion referenced a tape measure as a ‘roll of inches’ and I like that analogy to my rolls of steel wire.

rollofinches

I also incorporated a Michael Jackson favorite into a gift. Lining up the 2 sides of music score and lyrics took a few attempts.

WillYouBeThereMaking

I like this pendant a lot, and hope it gets a lot of wear in the Netherlands.

WillYouBeTherePendant

An attempt to take birthstone bangle measurements abroad went awry, with the 14 cm resembling a collar rather than a bracelet.

14centimeters

So I packed up the toolkit and supplies and decided to bring my work on my vacation.

workvaca

It was fun to take a morning just to play with beads amidst all the touring and eating and visiting.

NLMaking

There is already an addition on the way for this bangle, so I will have to add a new birthstone bead when I return.

MargaCollage

In addition to the custom pieces, these lovelies went on to new homes.

Sold

The Dutch vibe continued at home with this delft blue bead set.

DelftBeadSet

What do you think of this simple earring design, should there be more of these?

delftblueearring

Come see my other bangle and earring pairings at the Ravenswood ArtWalk this weekend, or visit Ayla’s Bead Bazaar in Highland Park next weekend!

EtsyUpdates

Esty is open when I am not vending in person.

Playing with beads

The Bead and Button Show is on May 27 through June 8, but this year I won’t be able to attend.

BangleBeads

I would love to take Brenda Schweder’s Jig workshops, but time- and money-wise it’s not feasible to travel to Milwaukee this year.

AgatePrep

Instead, I am perusing the beads I picked up last year for new projects.  The Yellow Agate chunky beads from Ayla’s Fall Bead Bazaar inspired a new set.

AgatesPicked

I love the uneven shapes and the marbled patterns. Playing with the shapes and wrapping steel wire around them to create earrings and two pendants was fun.

ModelingAgateSet

Two other strands caught my eye, the chunky glass beads I also obtained at Ayla’s Fall Bead Bazaar and the purple coral from A Bella Bead in Glen Ellyn.

ChunkyGlassbefore

The purple coral became a pair of earrings, and I’ll likely add a pendant and a bracelet to match.

purplecoralearrings

The glass beads have such cheerful colors that were fun to sort.

sortingcolors

I liked playing with different designs based on how the beads coordinated themselves. First I just strung some beads on a wire the traditional way.

stringingbeadsforoval

These asked for the classic oval cage design.

ovalcage

Then I kept wrapping around it until the wire was up.

OvalCagewithBeads

The angular beads asked for a triangular shape.

TriangleWrapping

Then I wrapped around them more.

TriangleWrappingAround

Fiddling with wire gauges and bending the beads into clusters is very organic.

wrappingglassbeads

This cluster wrapped itself into a rectangular shape.

SquareWrapping

It is fun to watch the pieces catch the light.

catchinglight

Dirty hands make me feel accomplished.

dirtyhands

Being a matchy-matchy person, I added earrings to the mix as well.

earringMakingChunkybeads1

I still have plenty of beads to make a bangle bracelet.

ChunkyBanglePoll

I also made Amazonite earrings to go with the collar and bangle set I have up on Etsy.

AmazoniteEarrings

These newbies will be loaded onto Etsy after my pop-up shop on May 30 at Creative Coworking.

beadedPieces

‘Heart’ your favorites on Etsy!

A River Rock Commission

After a recent pop-up event a friend asked me if I could wrap her river rock into a pendant.

RiverRock

When she brought it to me, I instantly thought of a heart shape. She agreed, and the wrapping began, while putting on appropriate music for this dancer.

Music

I used a prior heart pendant as a template, except I had to work this one in reverse. Usually I start with the pendant loop that attaches to the necklace cord, but in order to secure the rock I had to start by wrapping it first.

Inspiration

I gently wrapped the steel wire around the rock, and needed to make a few attempts to get it to be snug with each twist, as the wire would re-align itself.

wrappingRock

When I was happy with securing the rock, I created the heart shape.

wrappingmore

Then I criss-crossed the remainder of the shape, et voila!

Heart

It did ruin the fresh manicure, but such is the life of a wire bender.

runiedmanicure

The customer is happy, and I am inspired to pick up some arrowheads to repeat the process.

RiverRockHeartfrontback

I also created a custom collar recently. Making Waves is intended for a tall woman, so I created a smaller version for my customer.

MakingWavesCollarPendant

We measured using a spiral collar and then I got to work replicating the look and feel.

Sizing

I prepped the wire by sandpapering off the grime, hammering it straight and filing off the edges.

preppingwire

Then I bent it into shape.

bendingacollar

This collar is being worn around town on a regular basis, and I love that it brings such joy to its new owner.

Modeling

As tough as steel wire is, the end result is a light and flowy piece you can pair with any look.

MakingWavesCollar

I take much pleasure shaping the forms and seeing where the wire leads me, as it sometimes won’t  come out as my intended vision. In the same way Amy Lee Segami collaborates with water, the wire tells me which direction it wants to bend into, creating surprising results that appeal to variety of people.

RAWProfile2

Browse my Etsy shop to see what I have in stock, and let me know if you want to customize a piece that appeals to you. Earrings, seashells, ribbons, beads, charms, crystals are all fair game to be wrapped into a unique jewelry piece of your own.

Communicating Love

The Textual Encounters show at ARC Gallery inspired me to create two new collages in February. I wrote about Encounters with Language prior to the show opening.

workspace

When I warm up the various wax colors I generally have two new substrates to play with. This keeps me from ruining a layer when I am too impatient to wait for it to cool off enough. Overfusing can create interesting effects, but once collage pieces are laid down the heating and reheating options become more limiting.

substrate

Communicating Love was prompted by the statement that attention and communication are the same thing. I disagreed, but since English is my third language, I gut-checked with my friends (who sided with me—YAY friends!) and checked the trusty dictionary. I always consult the dictionary to confirm the meaning of a word, and find joy in uncovering the layers, origins and evolution of definitions.

Lovescraps1

While attention and communication are not the same, they are both ingredients to a successful relationship, so I decided to create my own aspirational recipe for success and added additional words I’d like to see as part of my future. I pulled definitions and highlighted what spoke to me. Then I embedded the paper scraps into the warm wax and fused them with encaustic medium.

lovelayers2

The embedded words include attention, communication, trust, appreciative, respectful, dependable, devoted, worthy, bold, kindhearted, authentic, integrity, reliable and reciprocal. Whether these words are interpreted the same by a partner is what makes a relationship ground for challenge and discovery.

LoveWords1

When the fusing of the collaged pieces was done, I decided to apply the oil pigment technique from prior workshops, and carved in the words love, admiration, fun, joy, laughter, faith, companion, happy, pleasure and agape.

lovepigmentstick3

I thought about adding a wire heart and a small wire embellishment to this piece before I started it.

wirevision1

Finishing Encounters with Language expanded on that notion and had me wrangling 10 feet of wire into my biggest heart-shape to date.

wranglinglove1

Sizing and resizing took some effort.

wranglingfitting1

Packing this bouncy piece would have been a shipping challenge.

packing

I am glad I could drop the work off in person.

ARCdropoff

I am extremely proud to have my own wall in the gallery, and look forward to expanding on the wire-y elements of future wall decor.

ARCGalleryWall

Textual Encounters is up through March 28. ARC Gallery is located at 2156 N Damen Avenue in Chicago. The Gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday from 12 to 6 pm, and Sundays from 12 to 4 pm.

LoveatARC

The participating FUSEDChicago artists in Textual Encounters include: Ahavani Mullen, Alicia Forestall-Boehm, Amy Van Winkle, April Nomellini, Brad Hook, Carol Hamilton, Carol Myers, Cat Crotchett, Catherine Keebler, Cheryl Holz, Dan Addington, Donna Zarbin-Byrne, Elyse Martin, Emily Rutledge, Jennifer Schmidt, Jennifer Terpstra, Jenny Learner, Julia Ris, Karen Tichy, Kari Hall, Kathy Blankley Roman, Katsy Johnson, Laura LaRue, Linda Sorkin Eisenberg, Maike van Wijk, Mary Krebs Smyth, Michele Thrane, Pat Lagger, Rebecca Stahr, Sarah Rehmer, Shelley Gilchrist, VA de Pintor.

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