Monday, October 27, 2014

WeWork: "Show Us Your Workspace!"

I received an email from WeWork asking if I'd be willing to show my workspace on my blog - and I thought, why not?  It's not very pretty, it's not my ideal space, but it's what I have and it's improving all the time!  This is where my jewelry and artwork pieces are thought up, designed, sketched, made, remade, and sometimes perfected!

Going from a university with huge, well-equipped facilities to an apartment, then a rental home, and finally my first home, means that my workspace has continued to change over the years - usually for the better!  Currently, I have two separate spaces - one in my garage for my metalwork, and one in the basement for my beadwork.  Neither is finished, but both are better than what I started out with post-college!

My beading space changed dramatically after I won the bead board with all the organizational gadgets a few years ago from Tidy Crafts (here's my post about it).  Once our basement is finished (and we are making slow progress!), this area will be as close to ideal as I'm going to see it.  I'll have paint on the walls and my favorite artwork displayed - along with some jewelry-as-art displays showcasing some of my favorite pieces!

My metalworking space was non-existent until last fall when my husband gifted me a custom workbench!  I LOVE my workbench!  And then we added a beadboard here, too, and I've begun collecting tools again.  This bench makes it so much easier to work with metals, and keeps the mess outside.  I do need my space heater come winter though....

Ideally, my metalworking space would be in a building of its own, with heat and A/C, running water, and adequate ventilation (as long as I'm dreaming, I'd also have a wall of windows that had an amazing view of the mountains!).  I'd have a bench or counter for each step of the process - a place to saw, file, and sand; a place to anneal and solder; and a place for all the other "things" I do, such as stamping, roller printing, and tumbling metal.  My next big purchase will be a kiln for PMC and enameling, so of course I'd like a permanent setup for that as well! 

I make what I have work and I'm happy I have these two spaces at all! Being "not ideal" simply means that part of my creativity process is ordering my steps in a way that allows me to clean up one mess before I move on to make another.  And that I have all my tools in the correct space (basement vs. garage) so I'm not trooping through the house to get them....

Happy Creating or Space Updating!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Two-Sided Pendant - Aqua Terra Jasper

I recently finished a gift, a two-sided pendant.  This is the third time I've wire wrapped this stone - the first two times just didn't look right.  First I tried copper in a herringbone weave variation, and I liked the copper, but not the weave.  Then I tried a flame weave in silver, but I couldn't get the frame to sit around the rectangular pendant nicely.

I wanted to incorporate the cross pendant as well, and came up with a woven setting for the stone  that allowed me to bring in the pendant as a part of the piece, instead of just a last minute add-on.  I like that one side shows off the stone, an aqua terra jasper, and the other the pendant. 

The chain is also handmade - it's a viking knit with bead accents.  I thought the viking knit tied into the pendant weave nicely, and the green beads brought it all together in a cohesive, final piece.

As always, there is room for improvement, but I'm pretty happy with the piece - and I'm told the birthday girl is too!

Happy Creating,

Friday, October 10, 2014

Something's Fishy....

Fishy Ornament

My newest ornament!  This one is pretty big - each fish is about 1" long.  My goal was to make a somewhat abstracted fish bowl, if you will, complete with water above, plants in the middle, and rocks below.

Goldfish and beaded "water".

The story behind this design:  my sister wanted me to do something with a couple articulated fish she still wanted, but not as pendants.  I was literally going to make a fish bowl to fill with beads and fish as the design when she mentioned she didn't like fish bowls, and something less defined would be nice. 

Angel fish and beaded "seaweed".

This was my solution - and I like it better than my original idea, too!  I used wire crochet to lock in the colored beads and monofilament (fishing line) to hang the fish.  I'm hoping the little white beads look like bubbles - I couldn't resist!

Blue fish and beaded "pebbles".

Happy Creating,

Friday, October 3, 2014

Artist Spotlight: Tessa Shadis

A while back I showed off a custom matched set of beaded hoop earrings - they were a trade with my sister Tessa for some of her awesome artwork!  She draws, paints, models clay, and just picked up cake decorating.  My husband had been eying her dragons for some time now, and we struck a deal.  I'd make her some earrings, she'd make my husband some dice dragons!  (Hey wait a minute - what'd I get out of this?!)

They arrived early this week and look fantastic!  My husband was overjoyed with the end result as well and got to show them off last weekend at a game.  Here's a shot with some (a very small portion) of my husband's WH Necron Army - they match so well!

And some single shots of the three dragons - one with a shield, one with a staff, and one with a necron skull!

If you want to see some more of Tessa's artwork, visit her DeviantArt gallery under Raven's Aerie.  She has a couple more dragons and some fairies in clay!

Happy Creating!