Friday, February 18, 2011

I Only Use The (materials that work) Best in my Designs

Every decision you make - every decision - is not a decision about what to do. It's a decision about Who You Are. When you see this, when you understand it, everything changes. You begin to see life in a new way. All events, occurrences, and situations turn into opportunities to do what you came here to do. ~Neale Donald Walsch

I've seen statements every where lately claiming to use only the best materials, the highest grade stones. the best of this, the best of that. Do they really mean it, are they gem snobs, or do they really just want very much to capture your attention, jewelry after all is a very saturated field. Some artisan jewelers actually do use some pretty impressive stones and solid metals and I can guarantee you they are not selling their earrings for $20.oo! But when they make the statement, they back it up. It isn't snobbery, it's fact.

I am a brand snob preferring this milk over that, these green beans over those. But a gem snob I'm not. Oh I love the sparkling clear beauty of a Grade AAA gemstone but my jewelry is more than it 's components. The jewelry I make truly does come from within. A grade stones are gorgeous but they don't always have the "character" a lesser grade stone has. Those little imperfections that give it that "organic, from the earth" feel, the softer muted colors, or sometimes the deeper colors.

I am at heart an artisan first and foremost and while I love that sparkling clear gemstone if it doesn't have the color I'm after for the finished product in my head what good is it to me? An A grade Rose quartz with a very pale color might not work with what I have in mind, but a B grade that has a soft rosy color that complements that Chalcedony heart so well, that I'll use!

That doesn't mean I don't believe in using the best you can afford for the design, it just means I am willing to use whatever stone fits My design, in My head, in the Colors I see there. I do shop for high grade stones and I buy them. But I am also completely seduced by the character and colors of the other grade stones, the colors of jewelry yet to be.

Til next time!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Gimme the Peacock

Gimme the Peacock Alex! But I like him Mom. Alex. But I want him Mom he can live in my El Camino. But Alex he's for sale. Noooo My Pretty Pretty said in the same fashion as Gollum's My Precious......... and this is how Gimme's name came to be :)

If you've been reading the blog for any amount of time you know Gimme has been on the update list for several months now. I'm proud to say he is finally Finished!
A little background for those of you that haven't been keeping up or I maybe forgot to mention. I had the honor to have been included in a treasury with this beautifult print by BestArtStudios2 on Etsy some months back
In thumbnail size it reminded me of a Peacock sitting in a tree, I knew I wanted to make one based on that print and so I waited for my Muse. She had been awol at that time. A few weeks later I joined a color challenge group on Face Book (I believe I mentioned that here a time or two). The challenge to make a new piece in the chosen colors of the week. Joining was a blessing to me, my Muse came home and has really enjoyed the creativity of the group, even during the weeks where I don't participate. When the blue and green combo came up I knew it had to be the Peacock.

As you all know I didn’t make the deadline for that week in fact it took many weeks before I was finished. Gimme turned out to be a little labor intensive, but then most works of the heart are, I think. It took two days alone just to design and graph his tail out. You can see the gradation of color from the pics but what you don't see are all the eyes woven into the color panel as well. I sat with several pics pulled up on the computer screen of Peacock tails for inspiration and they stayed on the screen until I had completely finished his tail, wire work and all.

Gimme sits on many vines of wire that I wove and twisted together forming his perch, the ends have been kissed with the torch so as not to scratch when being worn, plus it really adds to the gnarled and forlorn look of the branches. Those took some time too, I really didn't like the way it looked with the arch as intended - it just seemed out of balance to me so I reworked and reformed and reformed again until I was happy with the arch, adding wisps of copper to balance the ends of those branches that no longer ended in their original positions.

Then the final assembly of the pieces. Does he look right there? Does he need to scoot over? Is the weight balanced properly there? Does he have a good solid connection point there? Should he lean more? Hold him up is he still balanced. His tail looks crooked, scoot him over, scoot him back, lean more, less! Balanced? Wrap that into place quick before it gets moved again!

Aaaaand the chain! I worked for what seemed forever to get that chain to the length I wanted, only to realize I made it too long! In order for him to sit at that 20 inch length he needed only 18 inches of chain. Soooo off came two inches of chain!

All in all over 70 feet of wire - more than 60 in the Peacock and perch and worth every inch. When I was finished I held him up. I'm left handed and the windows in my office are to my left - he just glows when backlit so whether you choose to wear him or display him in a window he is one gorgeous Peacock :) As I'm admiring him I hear oooh Pretty! coming from the right and the doorway to my office. Can I see? Hand him to my Son. Mine! Nooooo Alex. Yes I want! He's pretty.............

Gimme can be found in my shop here


everything is done - really!! I'm pretty amazed you can actually see my desk! Just waiting on descriptions lol I'm pretty proud of myself been writing, pricing and listing and it's getting there! I actually have one FULL page of listings in my Etsy shop yay!

Sooo time to sketch and plan and get going again! I have lots of great beads I've won this last year that need some love and this weeks colors are peachy coral and minty green. Doesn't that sound really springy to you? I've pulled out some shell and lucite flowers to add to that combo - we have a foot of snow coming or so they say I NEED some spring, I live in the SOUTH my daffies are poking their heads out!! A FOOT of snow?? We've already had close to a foot of snow. We just had 6 inches the other day, that's supposed to be our snow for the year! We don't get FEET of snow! I guess I'll just sketch and bead away and hope the hubs can get back to work soon - we have bills to pay. snow.......

Til next time!