Friday, March 21, 2014

Vastly overdue shop update

Well, I'm committed to a shop update that I've been avoiding for a good long while.  A deadly mixture of procrastination, uncertainty, angst, and inertia from too many ideas with no immediate hope of resolution made me think that most of my work should be put on a shelf to 'age' like fine whiskey.  The hope being, of course, that it would look better the next time I saw it!

But you just have go forward and listing and selling ( and describing) the work is part of that.  One step in front of the other....but rest assured that anything really terrible will stay on the shelf where it belongs!

Tuesday at 6 PM I'll be listing owls ( and other portraits) and new Strata beads...

Wednesday at 6:00 PM, I'll be listing assorted beads (all hollows) and the new free moving clasps I wrote about in my last post....and some new pendants....

On Thursday at 6 PM, I'll be listing pods, buttons and bracelets...

Lots of listing work ahead and I'll post some more pictures on Monday with some other yummy stuff that will be going up...including this new hollow fan strata bead with Mokume Gane surfaces on front and back..I love this bead! 

 Love these tiles.....

Have a great weekend!  15 more centimeters of snow forecast for tonight into tomorrow.  Hmm, first day of spring....

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Free moving closures

This is one of those ideas that has taken me literally for ever to resolve.  It’s been in and out of drawers and pushed to the back of my table far too many times.  No more, I need this idea to finish some necklaces I have planned – especially since I personally prefer a shorter necklace length.  Can’t go over the head all the time…
I’m also planning to sell some of them (and others) in the shop so you’ll see in the photos that I have left the wire unfinished and sticking out of the mechanism (with some length) so that anyone who buys it to use in their work can make design choices about how it joins on.  This may be changed, we’ll see how it goes.

                  IMG_0477  IMG_0480

You might be wondering why these are at all novel and it’s this simple feature:  the wire stays stationary (attached to your necklace ) while you screw and unscrew the clasp.  No more tension on the screw buried in the decorative part of the closure that will cause it to undo...and the  closure itself looks more like a bead than anything else.


There is a simple construction/mechanism that I designed ( I hesitate to use the word mechanism because it is very simple) that lets the wire move freely within the bead, but remain securely attached!  Very handy.  Great for bracelets as well and a bit of a change from a toggle!  



There are also some other types of clasps I’ve been working on – these for example.  Two arms are joined by a screw and a polymer covered nut joins and secures the two sides.




I have plans for much smaller and more ‘fine-boned’ closures of this type, but I need to source out really good quality tiny machine screw and nuts.  Perhaps my optometrist could help me here?  Or perhaps you other maker types out there?
Then, there’s this:  enough said….


I’ve certainly had an interesting couple of months to start the year.  Best described as alternately exciting and frustrating.  I have 5 or 6 ideas that are all fascinating to me, but were going nowhere for the longest while.  This was one of them!  It feels good to have made some progress, because my  store has surely suffered for my inability to move forward: this state of mind often moves into other areas that have no reason to be stalled!

Back tomorrow with news of a shop update: it’ll be a big one….also some other big news!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

In praise of mystery and secret pleasures

Another blog post that's been a long time coming....

As I lurch around erratically from site to site on the internet, I find myself landing frequently on Pinterest.  I bet you do too....understandable really, because it's very seductive.  At first, I didn't see the point of it: but then it bit me - deeply!

The point of no return is reached when you create those boards that obsess you - the ones where you will search within and without Pinterest to create a collection that satisfies that hoarding, collecting, ready to be inspired soul.  Then you have be careful that you don't dive too often down that rabbit hole of your own creation!

Honestly, it's best that I don't collect too much at the moment.  I'm mainly interested in (as in - obsessing over ) 3 boards at the moment for different reasons.  I work a lot with colour, but am slowly amassing for myself a collection of black and white designs/drawings/images/doodles that reminds me that all that colour needs a 'skeleton' to hang on.  I am constantly amazed by what can be done with light and dark, pattern and texture and obviously need to be reminded of this daily.  Look black and white board.

Black and white so much with so little

Bit of overlap here as you'll see later......      Minnie Pwerle

I also follow a number of people who have jewelry boards, but one of the people whose boards I look at most often are those of my friend Genevieve Williamson (Jibby and Juna on Etsy).  It's highly likely that anyone who reads this blog already knows her wonderful blog and shop, but hey, I'm not taking any chances here....

I appreciate her boards for their unwavering aesthetic, their curiosity and a certain sense of indefinable calm which makes me so receptive to their visual message. These boards help me a lot in my constant struggle to not complicate everything I make, something I battle with daily.  I am grateful for the amount of time Genevieve spends on finding and pining all these amazing artists, because I don't want to do it (there, I admit it...).  I just want to be wowed by them and - I am!  I also don't want to pin the stuff she's pinned, except in rare instances, because I can just go there and look at what she's done. I think I'm going to start a board called "Pins from Amazing Boards", or something like that. Go here if you want to see!

Genevieve Williamson on Pinterest

There were so many I could have chosen ....Lena Olson, Necklace 2009

When I want to be re-vitalized, overwhelmed, inspired, drowned, buzzed (all at once) and gone for a long time, I visit the boards of Kintsugi on Pinterest.  She has the most comprehensive and well documented boards on Australian aboriginal art -  art that I've been in love with for 4 decades, thanks to my Australian mother. Early on, I wrote to her to thank her for this wonderful cataloguing effort.  I was surprised and sad  to hear in her reply that I was the first person to write and thank her for these many, many pins!  Of course, we collect for ourselves, but there's no doubt that collections as extensive as these inspire countless people. Kintsugi has made it a valuable resource that should be remarked on!

At first I was curious about why this person - who was she? What is her motivation? Why this particular genre? Other websites, blogs - any information!  We wrote a little back and forth, and then I realized that I didn't really want to know and I certainly didn't want to tell.  I just wanted to preserve the mystery of this wonderful otherworldly art presented by someone I would never know (unless she wanted me to...)  All I can say is if you want colour and pattern inspiration and an awe-inspiring sense of the complexity of life, please, visit here and prepare to stay for a while.

Kintsugi on Pinterest.   To clarify:  this link goes directly to Kintsugi's aboriginal favourites board - only ONE of over a hundred different boards devoted to this genre - board devoted to individual artists, colours, and other sub-groups....the link 2 paragraphs up goes to her whole collection.  She has 261 boards and the aboriginal boards are the last 100(!) or so....I haven't even dared to look through the other boards!  Other art to discover, I'm certain!

                                               Maureen Hudson Nampitjinpa / Fire Dreaming

Betsy Lewis Napangardi ~ Jinti-parnta Jukurrpa (Edible Fungus Dreaming), 2005

                                                                                   Tommy Mitchell / Ngurra Pirni 2011 

Impossible to choose, you'll see....

As I use Pinterest more, I realize that I find and follow people who have a great eye so that I can visit periodically - the way I would a museum.  Not necessarily to pin vast swaths of their collection.  I can then focus on the one or two boards that really interest me and make those useful to me without feeling scattered.  So let's enjoy the mystery of why people are inspired to collect and catalog and I won't tell you how much time I spend looking.  I hope you find these boards as fascinating as I do!  Please write and tell me how you use Pinterest.....I've been out of the blog loop too long!