Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Wire Wrapped Jewelry - Gone Wild!

Here's a look at what some of the jewelry looked like during the Iron Age.
This is called a torc. This object was worn around the neck and was made up of precious metals and bronze. These were actually quite common across Britian and Europe and were worn with the terminals towards the front.
Talk about a Pain in the Neck!! Literally! These torcs were very heavy and probably only used on special occassions. Thank Goodness huh?
Notice the size of the torcs in the back of the second picture.
I would defintely put this into the category of "wire wrapping gone mad!".

Friday, September 21, 2007

Coffee with Carol - The Carol Duvall Show is back!

One of the things my Mom always looked forward to in the morning was sipping her coffee and watching the Carol Duvall show. I always knew when one of my segments aired because she'd give me a call and say...YOU'RE ON!

Then the day came when HGTV decided to no longer run Carol's show. This really upset my Mom and Im sure lots of other loyal viewers too! She said her mornings just weren't the same. Well, evidently HGTV took note of that and listened to all of you viewers, because now she's back - every morning at 7:30am. I'm so glad they did. I get to enjoy seeing my crafty friends again in the morning. What a way to start the day...Coffee and Crafts!

Only a week to soak it all in.................

The whole reason I went to London was to do the photo shoot for my new book, "Making Beads in Polymer Clay". It's not my first book, but it is the first book that I've worked so closely with an editor and a photographer. It really was quite an education. Even though I did the Project of the Month Club for years, I learned ways to take much better pictures, the art of bouncing light and the biggest thing....what takes just a few minutes to complete, can take as much as 25 photos to decribe.

My editor Marie was outstanding. She flew in from France near the French Riveria...how cool huh? She lives there during the school year and in England over the summer. That is just amazing to me. I really enjoyed getting to know her over the week. Turns out her daughter loves jewelry and making things so I sent her home with some of my extra supplies.

Geoff my photographer was generous at sharing his knowledge of photography with me, teaching me how to make some of his high-tech light bouncing tools and took amazing photos. You should check out some of his photography work at geoffdann.com. By the end of the week, I was anxious to use some of my new photography skills....and he was caning skinner blend leaves!

Here I am with Geoff and Marie just after taking our last picture for the book. That was a bitter-sweet moment.

Mark, who was our photography assistant and master of photoshop taught me how to read histograms and several of the tricks in photo editing. THANKS MARK!

Now it's time for clean up and off to a nice dinner at a turkish restaurant called Turquoise.

I cant forget the girls night out I had with my new friends from Cico, Liz, Harri and Sally! We had a great time, laughing, talking, comparing words..... They said they loved my "southern drawl" and of course I loved there British accents. We ate dinner at a Japanese restaurant called Wagamama. That is just so fun to say.... Wagamama... I dont know what I had ...other than it was #44 on the menu and it was delicious. You get a great view of the "EYE" and of St. Pauls Cathedral from this area. A great big thanks to the whole team at CICO for such a wonderful experience.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Back to the Future ..... A modern look at ancient Egypt

I guess you might call this the "Extreme Blast From the Past" segment. I did intend to bring this to you live from London...but the fact that I was so busy, exhausted and that internet is $2 for 10 minutes made it impossible to happen. But now, Im back at the home, recovering from serious jetlag and just taking a couple of days to reflect on one of the most incredible experiences of my life!
As soon as I arrived at the hotel and checked in, I literally dropped everything and ran two blocks to visit the British Museum. This Museum is like nothing ….. and I mean nothing I’ve ever experienced in my LIFE! Not only is it gi-normous, it’s so full of eye candy that you could literally spend a week (or more) just seeing everything. Unfortunate for me, I only had the rest of the afternoon.

I am intrigued by archaeology, especially when it pertains to biblical history. I've never thought of myself as a history buff, but I do enjoy “visual” history and learning about the places I’m visiting. I spent most of my time visiting the exhibits of Egypt, Greece, Babylon, Rome and Persia, some of the main world powers during Bible times.
I was expecting to see ancient artifacts of Biblical history written in cueniform on cylinders and pottery...or maybe even a mummy or two, what I didn't expect was to be so inspired by what I was seeing. I even had to stop for a moment and pinch myself to make sure I was really seeing what I was seeing. I didn't expect a day full of artful inspiration.

Many of the ancient cultures - Egyptian, Babylonian and Greece were very ornate in their clothing, decoration of their palaces (we would simply call it home decor..) and general artwork. But, who would have thought there existed among them an ancient "beading community"? That's right, ancient Egypt and Babylon wore beautiful ornate and beaded jewelry. This may not be any suprize since we've all seen movies depicting this but until you see it with your own eyes and realize just how OLD these pieces date back you realize that we have absolutely nothing on them as far as jewelry designs. It really gives credit to King Solomon's words at Ecclesiates 1:9 & 10 "There is nothing new under the sun....what has come into existence is from time prior to us". How wise those words have proved to be!
I found it amazing to see how much the trends of today mimic what they designed and wore back then. I was amazed at how much my designs reflect the ancient. Maybe the only difference is that we have the ability to go to one of the craft stores and buy pre-purchased beads (or better yet…have polymer clay to make your own!) But, who’s to say they didn’t have markets with merchants selling beads for purchase?? One day we'll know that answer, but not for a while.
Most of the jewelry that I saw was made from coral, turquoise and lots of lapis. They incorporated lots of big tube beads in their designs. Some of the beads were made from terra cotta and typically these were cylinders with cuneiform writing depicting bits of history, prayers to their gods and sometimes legal documents. The Egyptians were known for their ornate collar necklaces. Some of their designs and big chunky beads remind me of styles you might see in a clothing catalog. It was truly a wonderful experience and I highly recommend the British Museum if you ever have a chance to go - oh...and by the way...it's FREE!
Stay tuned over the next few days as I bring you more of my trip to London including the photo shoot, my book cover and ancient wire wrapped jewelry!
Until next time on the ArtBuzz.....

Friday, September 7, 2007

I have to tell myself.........STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sounds like a crazy title doesn't it???!! But it's true, sometimes you just have to tell yourself...or maybe yell at yourself...STOP!!!!!!

Over the summer I found myself in somewhat of a creative slump. I think it's because in June I had a little free time on my hands. Don't get me wrong, I took that time for some creative exploration... but I really didnt "Make" anything. I must have Attention Deficit Disorder because, I have so many things running thru my mind at the same time that I can't focus on one thing. Or.....I'll look at magazines for inspiration and think...okay Im going to do this...or that.... But what happens when I get into the studio? I either draw a blank and can't decide what to do...or I get out so many things I want to work with it becomes creative overload.

So....long story short....I work the best under deadline. You've probably noticed that I've not been as chatty lately. I've had my nose buried deep into a book deadline. The last two days Ive spent countless hours in the studio (just ask my husband...he hasnt seen much of me...) creating and creating and designing...and putting together...and ripping apart....and putting back together ...and ripping apart until it was just right. In fact, I sort of told myself to stop last night....but then I managed to create another 4 pieces. I think the fact that I have a deadline...and only a certain amount of time to get a project done helps me focus on only the things that will help me accomplish that goal and in a weird sort of way it really inspires me creatively. Can you relate???

Today I finally told myself..."STOP!! You've created enough"...and with that, I packed all my supplies, my finished jewelry pieces and I felt satisfied that the creating was over. I feel good about the fruits of my labor in what I have accomplished and what I have created. The excitement is setting in because tomorrow I leave for London. I've never been there before and Im looking forward to the whole experience. I'll be spending a week with a photographer and my book editors to shoot the step outs for the "Making Beads" book. I can't wait to see how it turns out and...I can't wait to share the experience with you!

So with that being said....I sign off for tonight...It's time for some well deserved family time. The next time we chat, It will be Live from London!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

beads beADS BEADS!

I'm swimming in beads! Well...at least that's what it feels like. I'm deep into creating the beads and projects for my new "Making Beads" book which is due to be finished at the end of the week. YIKES!! (did I say end of the week!??!@?!?!?)

I'd like to share a few snippits from the book. If you have thought about making polymer clay jewelry but were a little scared, this book is for you. It's 128 pages full of information with over 35 projects. Technique and project based. I teach you the techniques and then give you ideas on how to create stunning jewelry. Once you learn the technique, you can mix and match the different jewelry ideas to come up with designs of your own. It's just full of creative jump start juice! Here's what you'll see:

  • Faux Jade
  • Faux Coral
  • Faux Amber
  • Faux Turquoise - a different technique than in the Bead Technique Book
  • Faux Marble
  • Faux Cinnabar
  • Faux Bone
  • Image transfer beads
  • Sculpting beads
  • and more!

I sculpted this focal piece under inspiration from CF Originals. I just love her work so I decided to email her and ask her permission to use her as inspiration. She was so gracious to say YES!!! I miss sculpting the characters and now I've found a way to combine both! THANKS CHRISTI for all the inspiration!! Be sure to check out the link to her website. She has new books out too!!

Well...that's all for now...back to beads, beaDS and more BEADS! See you next time on the ArtBuzz.......

Click on a post

Related Posts with Thumbnails