A chronicle of the meanderings, false starts (which in retrospect, while sort of embarrassing turned out to be highly instructive), epiphanies, selective apathy (still evolving), wild mood swings, opinions (subject to frequent change), and life lessons of an inveterate dabbler (and her latest dabblings).

Friday, January 31, 2014

Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month Reveal

I was recently thrilled to join the team of regular contributors at Art Jewelry Elements (w00t!!), and this is my first time participating in AJE's Component of the Month event. Today is the reveal and blog hop. This month, Jenny Davies-Reazor is hosting the event--which means that she created the components everyone is using in their designs this month. Jenny is an artist who works in many media--ceramics, polymer clay, mixed media, metals--creating jewelry, ceramic shrines and tiles, collages, and more. For the January "CoM," she called on her polymer clay skills to create fabulous, resin-filled focal elements.

Look at this cornucopia of crazy goodness we had to choose from!

Jenny then chose various words and phrases from old book pages, and affixed them in the frame with resin. This is what she sent me:

As you can see, she chose the words "artist" and "artistic" for me--I will take that as a compliment, and an inspiration!

I love the vintage design, and the earthiness of the finish and material really appealed to me. The old-timey typeface and yellowed paper sent me over the moon! I love old stuff. This design made me think of both East Indian folk art, as well as vintage American "gypsy" decor--it feels to me like a little section of architectural detail surreptitiously popped off the side of a gypsy caravan and turned into jewelry. (If you follow my blog or my shop offerings, you'll know I have a thing about "gypsy" style.) I decided to echo the rustic feel with the rest of my elements, so I used some matte-finish handcrafted Indonesian glass beads from my Happy Mango Beads stash, in slate blue and turquoise to echo the colors in the focal. I love the slightly irregular shapes and sizes of these beads--it really gives my pieces a handmade, earthy flavor.
Caravan
I used some "pineapple quartz" glass ovals from my stash to draw out the pale yellow hues in the focal and add a little transparency and lightness, and knotted the strands with navy blue Irish waxed linen to pick up the focal color again. I took some of my favorite chain, from Chain Gallery, cut it into 3-link sections, and joined the sections together with 3mm Czech glass rounds in Montana blue. I popped a little Czech glass coin in opalescent yellow onto the ring of the clasp to tie it together.

(Here's what I did with the back--I wanted to have more length beneath the focal so I added a chain at the back):

I would love to work with something like this again, it was really fun! I love it when a focal element suggests a flavor and color palette like this. Very inspiring! And of course it makes for an utterly unique piece of jewelry.

(This could even convince me to start playing with polymer clay, a temptation I have so far resisted...)

You can see this piece at my Etsy shop.

This is a blog hop! Check out the other participants' creations at the links below:

Regular contributors:
Jennifer Cameron
Diana Ptaszynski
Kristen Stevens
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Lesley Watt
Melissa Meman
Linda Landig
Susan Kennedy
Rebekah Payne
Caroline Dewison

Guests:
Hope Smitherman
Sarajo Wentling

26 comments:

  1. I love the smart way you added length under the pendant...thanks for sharing the pic of the back! Such lovely colors in that pendant that you complements so well with your choice of beads.

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    1. Thanks Sarajo! Yes, I love this unusual color combination and was so stoked to have the right beads already--my bead hoarding paid off! I often find myself thinking when I look at other designs, "How did they do that?!" so I thought I'd show the back too.

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  2. I also especially love the way the beads are dangling! It is a beautiful piece, the colours, the feeling, love it! :)

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    1. Thank you! I'm always dangling beads, I can't stop myself!

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  3. Congratulations on your first monthly challenge. Your necklace is beautiful. You did a superb job choosing colors.

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    1. Thanks Becky! I loved all three colors on the pendant, so I thought I'd use them all!

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  4. I really like the way you used the cord to attach the beads to the pendant. It gives the whole thing a more natural feel. What sends me over the moon is your use of the chain behind the pendant to add the dangles. Great idea!!

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    1. Thanks Hope! That tickles me because that's just what I was going for, a kind of natural/unpolished feel. I thought maybe cording near the pendant instead of metal would give it that. Thanks for noticing! I did this chain trick once before in a similar design, so I thought I'd try it again!

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  5. I feel like I joined you on your journey. I too now love gypsy, thanks to your description. Lovely design. I adore the chain on the sides, the mix of beads, Stunning.

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    1. Heh heh, another gypsy convert! Pinterest has some awesome "gypsy decor" boards, like the interiors of caravans and stuff. You'll love them!

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  6. I need to make a sign for my studio that says Cornucopia of Crazy Goodness. Gypsy caravan - girl you are speaking my language! OK - you rock. The chain in the back for a center dangle? I couldn't see that at all in my head. Thank you for that idea. Love.

    Welcome to CoM at AJE. Its a beautiful piece, I am flattered. Love your palette, that chain is sweet. and the fringe/dangle is a great visual/movement component.

    WooHoo. I ramble in excitement.

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    1. So glad I done you proud, Jenny! I really truly enjoyed designing with this, it is so full of atmosphere, beauty and uniqueness, it was like cheating! It presents so many "flavors" a person could draw out. I think this is one of my favorite pieces I have ever done--thank you for the wonderful inspiration!

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  7. I continue to be impressed as I go down the list of participants and yours was no exception! I love how you added the dangles at the bottom! I would wear your necklace in a heartbeat!

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    1. Thank you Diana! That's the best compliment!

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  8. I so love this necklace, Keirsten!!! The dangles down the front, the unique chain, the colors... Oh my!!! So beautiful!

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    1. Thank you Linda! I like how it turned out too. I LOVE that chain too, and they're out of stock on it!! Now I have to start hoarding it, dangit.

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  9. Amazing Keirsten!! You took Jenny's wonderful pendant and definitely made it your own. I love the Opalescent beads right above the pendant, when it's hanging on the mannequin they almost disappear and it looks like it's suspended in mid air! Awesome!!!!

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    1. Thank you Kristi! Yes, I moved those quartz glass beads around and that was where they wanted to be. I liked the way they glowed on the mannequin too, I didn't realize the light would come through them like that until I got them on her.

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  10. I love how you've used so many different components, but they all work together perfectly, it's a beautiful design!

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    1. Thank you Caroline! (My big bead stash has its uses!)

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  11. I love what you've made and I never would have thought of using the chain to add to the length, brilliant!

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    1. Thank you Linda! I had a rectangular focal once before that needed some vertical element under it and I did the same thing--fortunately I remembered it for this one!

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  12. Oh-so pretty! I love everything about your necklace Keirsten—the quartz is perfect to make the yellow tones pop, the matte blue-green adds a soft rustic feel, love the knotting… I could go on and on—I so appreciate fine details… and of course the tassel is always a favorite for me! Rustic and elegant at the same time—beautiful! And I do hope you will be convinced to take up polymer… we'd love another convert at AJE. ;-)

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  13. Fabulous Keirsten! packed with interesting texture and movement - love it!

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