Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'm Back

   I've recently begun to feel some of that old excitement about wire and jewelry stirring about in my solar plexus area:) Even though I have been feeling dry inside, I have never been without ideas to work on. So I would not call my dry spell 'artist block' I guess. The christmas present is nearing completion, and I am happy with how it has turned out, but I can see that the design is really just a precursor of things to come and not the final idea. Still it will be loved by it's future owner.  

  Ever since I made 'The Buried Treasure" necklace I have been fascinated with mixing vintage glass or plastic with gemstone and sterling There were actually two failed projects still on my desk from a month ago. One was an octopus bead in vintage glass and sterling and another was an attempt to set a vintage button in an attractive manner in wire. This mixing idea led me into viewing more 'found object' type jewelry online and in books at the bookstore. I discovered that Richard Salley has a free tutorial on making a found object locket. Of course, my locket is better:)  I'm just kidding!!  Go look and enjoy!  Just click on "Tutorial' on the left hand side.

  During my visit with my parents, my mother and I dived into a Mary Hettsmansperger project from one of my mother's quilting magazines. Mary was making these pieced fabric banners and then embellishing them with found object stuff, like pieces of wire, sticks, buttons, rusted bottle caps etc etc

  So we put together two banners, one for each of us, and searched her craft room for found objects, trash, even a vintage silver fork. My mother lives near the beach and she has collected driftwood so I was even able to get a piece of that to hang my banner on at home. Here is my banner and a pile of the stuff I collected from her house to maybe sew on to it.

  The whole time we did the project we were encouraging each other to be sloppy, and to not care overly much about perfection so that we could be like Mary;) At least this helped us get it done in the short time we had:)

  Last night I faced the dreaded task of cleaning up the craft table:(  I decided it was high time I cleared the way for new ideas and projects and made space for a new mess. The vintage celluloid button I had tried to set in wire a month ago was laying on the table, and I suddenly knew how to finish it. So in between a small effort to clean the table I made a necklace using mixed elements, of celluloid, tourmaline, sterling and copper accents.

  When my daughter came home that evening I enlisted her aid to determine a proper length for it and she became so feverish in her desire for this design that I gave it to her. The poor girl tries so hard to not get attached to the jewelry that I make, but I haven't seen her this excited in a long time. Sometimes you just know when a particular design belongs to someone, don't you?

  One of the things she liked about the necklace was, as she said "it's so accessible". She was warily looking at me for fear of how I would take that. I found it awfully funny, I know many of my designs are not great for every day wear, and are kind of arty;) But as she pointed out, this very accessible design has so many of my latest ideas and my strong hand print on it and she loves that as well.

  I still have not met my daughter's challenge to make every day earrings for her birthday. I think I actually thought that cleaning up the craft table was a less dreadful task than facing the 'ordinary earring' lol.

  More button jewelry and 'every day' designs to come I hope;)


  1. Just cleaned my bench...over the weekend...cause i lost a pendant I was working on....well we turned the house upside down and no wolf pendant. Yesterday....he turned a pillow sham...of all places!*LOL* As far as WIP's they reside all over the place....most will never see completion! Your new pendant is beautiful and I'd have to agree with your accessible..not everything has to ultra complicated and designed to the max to be beautiful and wearable. I like doing simplier to give myself a break from some of my heavier designed projects....nice to take a breather...and they usually go pretty quick...nice bonus! I'd suprise your daugher and do those earrings she's been waitng for...she'd be astounded! Sue♥

  2. Sue, Glad you found your wolf pendant, what a way to get the house clean huh? heheh

    I hope I enjoy the simply projects also. I could use a way to take a breather between larger design efforts;)

  3. Oh my gosh! Such great loot!. I am almost done with my 1st of a series of 15 mixed media pieces... all I can say is we'll see! You should do more. This piece is fabulous!
    Cheers, Dawn

  4. Hey Mary, Welcome back! Love your new creations! Thinking of you and your mom creating together makes me smile. Mary Hettmansperger is amazing and inspiring. Look forward to seeing the completed banner as you have a great collection of found objects.

    The necklace is classy. You put together great components which make for a very wearable piece. Seems as if it went to the owner it was meant for. Maybe for her birthday, you could create a pair of earrings to go with the necklace. A button or briolette drop could be every day and you'd create a beautiful set.

    Happy Creating! Christine

  5. Dawn, I really hope you are going to show these projects on Flickr or your Blog, because I am keen to see them!

    Christine, my mother is much further along on her banner and it puts me to shame because she is so good with fabric embellishments. I will show her work at a later date on my Blog
    A briolette drop would go great with this necklace! Thanks!

  6. Oh yes, I plan to blog them. These pieces are a special labor of love. I am making them specifically for our craft fair at the library. The women at the library are the whole reason I ever kept making jewelry after my first attempts, and they have supported me the whole way. I am going to offer them at a very low price as a way of thanking them. When I post them, I will also be thanking my library people in the post.

    Is there a place I can see your mother's work? Flickr?

    Cheers, Dawn

  7. Dawn

    She doesn't post her work online, but I plan to share her Mary Hetts' project on my blog once she is done. Ive seen what she has done so far and it really good!

    I'll ask her to send a picture of her 'under the sea' scene she did recently also, it's very impressive.

    Looking forward to your Blog posts about the library!