Friday, May 31, 2013

Mayfly Turned Dragonfly

When my sister asked me to make her a necklace to wear to work I dug deep into my stash of beads to find one that would "talk" to me.  This includes finding a bead that has the color that fits my mood at the time, the smoothness that glides across my fingers and the shape of the bead that works well with the design I have in mind.  I found a lovely elongated teardrop Caribbean blue chalcedony that screamed, "Mayfly!!"  This would be the focal for my sister's necklace.  I worked that bead with Argentium wire and fine silver wire and was almost finished with the mayfly when one of my finishing wraps put stress on the bead at the site of the bead hole and snapped.  I now had a beautiful mayfly without a body.  I contacted the supplier, whom I had originally purchased the bead from on Etsy and he told me he didn't have any more in the color I was working with.  I then searched deep into my bead drawers and found a similar bead to the original and was able to incorporate that bead into the weave without losing the design.  After three weeks the mayfly was finished along with matching earrings.  When I presented them to my sister she told me that she wasn't interested in mayflies and wanted the necklace to be a dragonfly.  Sure enough, it looked more like a dragonfly than a mayfly and granted her the wish calling her gift a dragonfly.

Chalcedony dragonfly with small pearls

Chalcedony drops

It seems that each time I work a piece that there is a snafu or two that I must overcome.  The above paragraph is a perfect example of creative problem solving.  When I look at the work that others do with their wire it frequently seems effortless.   The way that artists make the wire duck and weave in arcs and sweeps is really amazing.  It is for this reason why I am drawn to wire wrapping and weaving.  The results is incredibly dimensional.  Each time I create I think of those that inspired me and how grateful I am to them for paving the pathway in this wonderful world of wire. 


Thursday, May 30, 2013

"Fly" Cicada Earrings

With summer fast approaching I immerse myself in the wonder of nature that surrounds our house.  This year the bushes and trees exploded in a show of blossoms that rivaled any prior spring fancy.  The seeds that I have planted have produced serrated leaves.  The lettuce that I planted last year has reappeared in colors of burgundy and lime green, which fill the pot and seem to be begging to be part of our dinner salad.  In the background the cacophony of mating squirrels, gaggles of geese, the tall and formal stance of the white egrets and the litter of the red robin's blue egg shells tucked in the grass all bring back memories of the prior summer.  This sudden influx of beautiful nature warms and excites my creativity.  Here is a photo of a hungry robin I took from a nest outside of our home last summer.

Hungry robin nesting in front of our home

Another robin in back of our home

It is only natural that these thoughts of spring and summer should ignite my creative juices to pull out the cicada wings that I collected at the end of August last year.  Each year, at the end of summer, I step carefully around the cicadas that rest on our sidewalks.  I find the big bugs rather eerie.

This is a cicada I collected last summer.

It seems that I am drawn to things that elicit a goose-bumpy response to obtain a closer look or to study their foreboding morphology.  Cockroaches are one of those daunting things.  I don't think you will see me working with roaches, but never say never.  Anyway, when studying the cicadas I noticed their wings were coarsely veined.

Notice the deeply ridged and fibrous veins of the wings

Since I enjoy working with my rolling mill I thought I would see what would happen if I milled a wing against annealed copper.  The results were pretty fantastic, especially when highlighting the metal with liver of sulfur.  I want to disclaim that all the bugs that I use were found dead.  I'm very sensitive to life and nature.

After getting out my stash of wings I created a pair of earrings from copper and silver wire.  I like to use the copper, as it anneals softer and accepts the impression more deeply than the silver.  I also like the contrast of the copper with the silver.  On these I included a small pearl at the bottom.  

Now, that my wings are out and ready for use I think that I will create another piece of jewelry from them.  I so enjoy the freedom to create from the heart and working with metal and wire allows my inner child to emerge.

If anyone reading this has something unusual they like to work with, feel free to share this by posting your thoughts in the comments section below. 

Wishing you all a happy spring and a great entry into summer!!

Wired Lotus

Monday, May 27, 2013

Little Metal Can Beads

Today I was perusing my jewelry photos and found this photo of some little can beads that I made following an example in a magazine.  I can't remember which jewelry magazine or the author, but if anyone can think of it feel free to post it below. 

Anyway, I remember after making these beads that I didn't think that they were fantastic or exciting and today when I looked at this photo I thought that were pretty cool.  These were made from those colorful Mountain Dew Cans that I had saved in the event that I may need them.  Oh yeah, I have a lot of stuff that I save for a rainy day.  I even saved some of the tempered glass that was blown out of our car after our accident to set in resin one day.  Anyway, the design of these little can beads look easy to construct, but I remember each bead taking me nearly a day to create.  I still have one or two of them and feel a bit inspired to incorporate some wire wrapping into the design to see what I can come up with.  For now, they are simply can beads awaiting further decorating.