Thursday, March 26, 2015

Tutorial... erm... Thursday - Floral Cap Earrings

I'm not sure if it's been mentioned on the blog at all but, behind the scenes, the team have been having a bit of a rethink about how we plan our monthly post schedule.  Nothing is entirely set in stone just yet, but today I have a tutorial for you and it isn't a Tuesday.  It's for a relatively simple pair of earrings but I hope it will give you some ideas for different ways to use bead caps.


I love these vintage tin bead caps from Lorelei Eurto. There's so much cute detail it seems a shame to hide them away at the top of a bead, especially if another bead will be sitting directly on top of them. Here I've used a wooden disc as a backing so that the surface of the bead cap becomes the focal component. What other materials you use is mostly up to you. I've wired the cap and bead so that they have loops at the top and bottom. From the bottom loop I've hung a combination of czech glass beads.


The yellow flower is one of those dinky button flowers with the hole at the back. I've added the angel wing bead above to stop the flower twisting around. Other similar shaped beads can also do this job, for example, a large peanut bead.  Of course, you may wish to hang something completely different below your bead cap link. Moving on to the cap section, I have used 26 gauge wire. This was because the hole in my wooden discs was relatively small. If your beads have larger holes then a thicker wire would be good.


I found that the best way to keep the cap centred on the wooden disc, was to start making the wraps on each side and increase the tightness in each at the same time, rather than finishing one completely before starting on the next. Once this is done, make a wrapped loop at the bottom of your cap section, adding the czech glass drop before closing the loop.  Turning to the top of the earrings, I've added a little stack of beads.


I've used a large holed bone bead and a washer then added a vintage acrylic flower cap, which sits nicely in the large holes below. If you don't have such a thing, you could try using one of those little flat-ish czech glass 5-point star flowers (this sort of thing). I then sat a little wooden seed bead in the vintage cap and made a double wrapped loop, to compensate for the finer wire. Then you just need to add your ear wire and make your second earring.



Bye for now, Claire 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Perfect Pairings :: Ditsy Blue




The adventure that Emily Carr embarked on in the wild woods of the remote landscape of British Columbia intrigued Miss Karen of Ditsy Blue so much that she made all the main beads in her totem talisman style necklace to reflect this rich historical inspiration. Blue and white carved headpins, the tiny house and the added touch of the simple feathers all tied together on a linen cord with some earthy Czech glass beads make for a wonderful interpretation of the Haida Totems art for March.

Featured Designer + Bead Artist :: Ditsy Blue
 
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Just a friendly reminder... We have a slightly new format for uploading your pictures for consideration for the Perfect Pairings each Wednesday, as well as the Monthly Challenge Recap post. We are now using Pinterest! You can find more details in this post about the exciting new changes, including a board devoted to art beads inspired by the monthly challenge! (Ooh! Look! More pretty beads to lust after!)
Pretty please make sure that you post a link in your Pinterest description so that I have someplace to attribute the picture to! And don't forget to tell us about those art beads!
Deadline to get your pictures posted to the Pinterest boards for the creation of the Monthly Challenge Recap post is Thursday, March 26th!
 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Amuse the Muse - Building Beads - with Rebecca of Songbead

Hi everyone, and welcome to a new week! Thank you so much for all your lovely comments last week about the bunny troubles we've been going through - or bunmageden, as I've taken to calling it! It should come as no surprise to me that so many bead people are also pet people. They are a precious part of our families, and I really appreciate your support :-) Rufus isn't out of the woods but things are still moving in the right direction, hopefully. 

And so onwards with building beads. As I promised last week, I am planning on sharing some of Heather Humblebeads' gorgeous house beads. These are some of my favourite, favourite handmade beads to work with, and Heather usually brings out a few new ones for the different years and seasons. 

Which one is your favourite? 

I don't think I can pick a favourite myself! 

Here's what I've turned some of these beads into:


Have you tried out any of Heather's wee house beads? Do you have any designs featuring them to share? Leave links in the comments below! 


Next week, I'll be sharing some lovely building beads from some of our other ABS Editors, and a few more etsy finds.....leave any links to building beads you've made or found in the comments below. 


And now for the Bead Blogger Links. Have a great week!


Rebecca is a Scottish jewellery designer; currently living in Edinburgh, capital of her native land. You can read more about her and her work at her blog, songbeads.blogspot.com and see more of her jewellery at songbead.etsy.com. She also has a supplies shop at thecuriousbeadshop.etsy.com.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Inside the Studio with Humblebeads

Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.

Congratulations to Marie, the Inquisitive Knitter!
You have won a flower pendant from the very talented Mary Harding. (I'm jealous!) Email Mary to claim your prize. 

Welcome to the Humblebeads Studio - again! 
It's been a busy, crazy time over the last few weeks. I've been working on lots of behind the scene projects and working on new beads that will be heading to my Etsy shop soon. One of the themes that have been recurring lately in my beadmaking are borrowing techniques and inspirations from pottery. 

I've been a fan of Sgraffito for a while, it reminds me so much of block printing and uses a similar carving technique that I so enjoy. Sgraffito pottery are glazed with a dark glaze on leather hard clay, the dark glaze is carved away to create an image. I love the graphic and folk-inspired look of these pieces. 

Ceramic molds and impression-making techniques translate so nicely to polymer clay. I love the idea of creating your own stamps and molds to use as a beadmaker. In another life I would have been a ceramic beadmaking but I'm too darn impatient and want instant gratification and I'm so not techy and glazes seems like a science to me. Thank the bead gods for polymer clay! I can handle a toaster oven. 

Both the sgraffito and stamped beads above are part of a spring workshop that I'm teaching in May. You can see the details here. I'm sure I'll be teaching these classes in other places too and hey, if you have a polymer clay guild or bead society in your area consider talking to them about having me out as a guest teacher. 

And my last bit of pottery influenced beads are these Wedgwood inspired beads, the ones with the white vines/leaves. I've been having fun making these bead totems in spring colors - inspired by Vanessa Bell's paintings and her Charleston farmhouse




My question today is what other medium or craft influences and inspires your jewelry designs? Leave a comment to win one of the bird/Wedgwood sets like the ones above.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

To Cap it All - Bead Cap Inspiration

Hello all! It's my turn today on Art Bead Scene, and I thought I would share a post of mine from back int 2012 which I have long thought would stand a revisit. Things have been a little busy/hectic/stressful here, and I haven't had time to finish writing up the post I had planned - but never fear, that will wait for another day, and hopefully you will find a little inspiration in one of my favourite components to work with - the humble bead cap. Enjoy!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We all love beads here at Art Bead Scene - readers and writers alike. But I bet I am not alone in saying that my personal love of beads extends way beyond 'small, decorative object(s)...usually pierced for threading or stringing.' (Wikipedia). Findings, fibres, cords, found objects that can be incorporated into my jewellery - all these are things that, alongside beads, I couldn't live without. Well, perhaps that's going too far but sometimes it can feel like that! 

Today though, I want to talk about one of my favourite of all non-bead components - the humble bead cap. When I first started out beading with wire, quite a few years ago now, I found these sweet little things endearing - they were, as you would think, tiny little caps; miniature headgear for the little beads I loved to work with. (I don't think I could have told you what an art bead was at this point!) They sat and looked pretty, and occasionally served a useful purpose in keeping my beads from falling off headpins if the holes were too big, but that was about it. I played around with having them on the bottom of a bead too, a cup rather than a cap, and also sandwiching a bead between two caps. All very pretty, but nothing earth shattering there! 

When I discovered art beads a few years later, I also discovered artists such as Shannon LeVart (better known to you and me as MissFickleMedia), and her stunning hand patinated components. I went ahead and bought some bead caps. They were really pretty and almost seemed too lovely to use with some of my beads....and when the caliber (and price tag!) of the beads you are working with changes, you don't always want to cover them up with bead caps, however pretty. And the bead caps were so lovely in their own right, I didn't want them to be secondary to the beads themselves. So I started to think, how else could I use these lovely components....I tried a few things out but wasn't totally happy.....so I stuck with the capping and cupping, just with more expensive headgear than before. 


Earrings made for the Bead Soup Blog Party earlier this year.
Still, my quest to elevate the bead cap from it's lowly status as a finding continued....and then I had several lightbulb moments over the past year....why not turn the cap around? Not merely cupping or capping, but springing out from the bead like a flower? Now I was onto something! (This is not to say this was desperately original. I know many people have done the same and many people continue to do the same! It was however, new and striking to me.)

Cupping, capping, layering and flipping of Vintaj and Fallen Angel Brass bead caps - all in one pair of earrings!Polymer clay rondelles - Humblebeads
The lightbulbs continued to flash - layer the caps! Stack them! And then I discovered more and more bead artists creating artisan bead caps - ChelleV2, GardanneBeads and TheaToo to name but a few. These caps didn't need beads to be beautiful - they could work all by themselves, turned into flowers or bells with cord, wire, headpins for stamen. 

Here are some examples if you are struggling with a stash of beautiful bead caps like I was:

A tiny ceramic bird from BoHulleyBeads perches atop a handmade bronze flower beadcap (TheaToo), handmade brass headpins form spiralling stamen. 
Patinated ring and headpins from MetamorphSupplies.
A series of earthenware clay bead caps from ChelleV2 are knotted on waxed linen cord and hang down artfully, mimicking faded flowers, or tears. 

This was made for Erin Prais-Hintz' Challenge of Music earlier this year. Watch out for her Challenge of Literature on Thursday! 

The difference that different media can make - look at these bell earrings, this time bead caps from NadinArtGlass. The light and delicate ridging on these caps make for an elegant pair.

I made these shortly before going on stage to sing as I had forgotten to bring any jewellery with me!
A different look again - these Vintaj bead caps make perfect earrings as well, or even a single one as a sweet pendant.
Created for one of Andrew Thornton's blog challenges last year.
Enamelled flower bead caps add a pop of colour wherever needed - these bead caps from Anne of GardanneBeads are some of my very favourites, being a lover of colour. One hangs from an antique brass branch, a perfect complement to this cute lampwork owl from SoulSilver

These wee flower dangles are the perfect addition to many pieces of jewellery - Anne has just made me a custom rainbow hued order!
What components (other than beads!) do you love to work with? What handmade elements have you elevated beyond the ordinary? If you are a bead or component artisan, what are you working on beyond beads and pendants to make our jewellery making ever more unique and beautiful? 

Rebecca is a Scottish jewellery designer; currently living in Edinburgh, capital of her native land. You can read more about her and her work at her blog, songbeads.blogspot.com and see more of her jewellery at songbead.etsy.com. She also has a supplies shop at thecuriousbeadshop.etsy.com.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Perfect Pairings :: Bay Moon Designs + Blu Mudd


The bear as a spirit animal is a powerful grounding force filled with strength. It is symbolic of courage. I think this is a good choice to kick off our inspiration of totems. I like that Miss Kathy chose to go with the warmer tones that are present in the painting, the rusty brown, the golden ochre and the soft sage green all give this necklace has an earthy quality. I am sure that it would give the wearer protection from adversity and strength to face what comes.

Miss Kathy featured the pendant from Blu Mudd from ceramic artist Moriah Betterly. Unfortunately, I have learned that Miss Moriah has decided to discontinue making jewelry components and focus her work on more sculptural and useful pieces, like mugs and pottery. I know that many designers over time have used her lovely pieces, and I am sure we will continue to see them pop up in designs. We wish Miss Moriah the best of luck in her new endeavors.

Featured Designer :: Bay Moon Designs

Featured Bead Artist :: Blu Mudd
 
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Just a friendly reminder... We have a slightly new format for uploading your pictures for consideration for the Perfect Pairings each Wednesday, as well as the Monthly Challenge Recap post. We are now using Pinterest! You can find more details in this post about the exciting new changes, including a board devoted to art beads inspired by the monthly challenge! (Ooh! Look! More pretty beads to lust after!)
Pretty please make sure that you post a link in your Pinterest description so that I have someplace to attribute the picture to! And don't forget to tell us about those art beads!
Deadline to get your pictures posted to the Pinterest boards for the creation of the Monthly Challenge Recap post is Thursday, February 26th!
 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Meet The Bead Artists Inspired by ABS March Challenge Painting Haida Totems by Emily Carr

                          

                                
                                                          Haida Totems by Emily Carr

Back in October of 2014, Art Bead Scene opened the monthly challenge up to hand made artist beads in addition to jewelry and all of our entries began to be posted on Pinterest.  Today in my post,.Meet The Bead Artists, I am focusing on the  art bead entries so far this month that have been posted to Pinterest.

I begin with the art beads of Barbara Handelsman, aka BHClaysmith
                         

                                           Stoneware pendant by BHClaysmith

Barbara Handlesman's  art bead is a reversible pendant made from stoneware clay which has "6 spirit holes" for attachments.  The  surface design is from her own  rubber intaglio mats that she makes from her original carvings. Her career before discovering ceramic clay in 1994 was as an interior and architectural designer.
Barbara tells me that she was inspired by the "subtle shades of nature," and "the primitive feeling of the place."--referring to Emily Carr's  Haida Totems. She says she chose a piece with blue because "blue for me is such a vast yet solitude color, symbolizing simplicity in a wilderness space."

Here are 2 other examples of Barbara's art beads I found in her Etsy shop:



U -Shape Ceremonial Rattle heavily Adorned with Clay, Wood, Horn and Seed Bead Fringe
                           U Shaped Ceremonial Clay Rattle by BHClaysmith


                                 Reversible stoneware pendant  BHClaysmith




                                    Reversible Triangle Stoneware  One of a kind by BHClaysmith

In the About section of her shop, Barbara talks about her discovery of clay and her on going exploration of the medium...  I quote from a part of what she  has to say:

 ...I strive to compose the language of clay and I eagerly impart (to anyone interested) the intriguing ways of clay beads. Whether knotted together in strands or left as single symbols of contemporary artifacts for carrying in pockets, these miniature manifestations personify peace, harmony and partnership in a time when dominance & strife seems the norm. Beads worn or handled absorb our very essence becoming an extension of who we are and what we wish to become. 
                                                                 +++++++++++

Our next bead artist is Sheila Davis of StoneDesignsbySheila..  She is a lampwork glass bead artist who lives in the Pacific Northwest, in the state of Washington.  She often finds inspiration for her beads in art work and nature.  She has an especial love of flowers and formerly was a florist for almost 20 years.
Sheila tells us that " As a glass bead maker, I endeavor to convey a feeling of natural beauty by combining color ,texture,balance and design, expressing my love of nature, especially flowers through glass as my medium."


                                          Etched matte lampwork glass focal bead.  MAR ABS March monthly challenge.
                                                     Lampwork Glass Bead by  Stone Designs by Sheila Davis

 When I asked Sheila Davis how she was inspired to make the bead pictured above, she told me "I tried to pick up the blues in the painting...those being the dominant color. I softened the bead with the underlying earth tones. This is an impressionist style of bead inspired by the beautiful painting by Emily Carr.
Here are 2 more examples of Sheila's art beads:
Lampwork Glass Bead Set - Nugget Shape Blue Green Brown Silver Etched 'Tribal Designs'
Glass bead set Tribal Design by StoneDesignsbySheila 

                             Glass Bead Headpins by StoneDesignsbySheila

Rustic Glass Bead Cones by  StoneDesignsbySheila  for Peyote Stitch or Kumihimo or multiple strand designs


                                                                         +++++++++++

                  Totem beads -MARCH ABS- This is my entry to the monthly Challenge of ArtBeadScene.  I have made the totem beads and the spike beads from polymer clay. I have also used pastels, alcohol inks, cutter and different texture and this is the result.  You can see how  I have made these polymer clay beads on my blog: https://michellemaya2005.wordpress.com/2015/03/16/my-totem-necklace/
                                     Totem and Spike Beads by Mihaela Georgescu
The totem and spike beads seen in the picture above are made by Mihaela Georgescu.  Mihaela is a mixed media artist, and bead embroidery artisan from France .  She is "passionate about beads, colors,beading and bead embroidery, art and life in general."  Mihaela primary designs and makes jewelry that is composed of beads that she makes herself.  The art beads in the picture above were made specifically for the Totem Necklace she submitted to ABS this month.

This is my entry to the monthly Challenge of ArtBeadScene.  I have made the totem beads and the spike beads from polymer clay. I have also used pastels, alcohol inks, cutter and different texture and this is the result.  You can see how  I have made these polymer clay beads on my blog: https://michellemaya2005.wordpress.com/2015/03/16/my-totem-necklace/
                             Necklace by Mihaela Georgescu 
And here is the necklace she made with them.  Mihaela tells me that she does not sell on line, and has given the decision a lot of thought.  She says she prefers trying out lots of different styles and mediums and also likes teaching.  Her plan is to begin on April 1"posting every day a new photo tutorial on my blog with a finished piece of jewelry and the way I made it."  She also plans to set up a site with a database of video and photo tutorials (her own) both free and some paid subscriptions.
She says that she has learned a great deal from others on the internet through YouTube and Tutorials and wants to give back.  Hence she has written 2 tutorials on how she made these beads.  You can read them HERE on her blog called Extravaganza Beading. You can follow her on Facebook.  Here  is a picture of one of here necklaces.  She made all of the beads from polymer clay.  You may remember her work on last months ABS Challenge.

                     IBA 2015: China In My Heart, Mihaela Georgescu | Perlen Poesie
                                                          Necklace by Mihaela Georgescu


                                                                         ++++++++ 


Indigo Goddesses. My entry for this month's challenge. Blog post: https://susandolphindelaney.wordpress.com
                                            Indigo Goddesses by Susan Dolphin Delaney
These Indigo Goddesses pictured above are by Susan Dolphin Delaney and are her entry for the Art Bead category this month.  She tells me that she comes from a family of photographers and that she considers herself "an historian of light."  When she saw Emily Carr's Haida Totems, she tells me that it was the blues and special quality of light-- the way the twilight colored the scene-- that inspired her to make the Indigo goddesses.  She was also inspired by the deep woods setting of the Haida Totems,  You can see her Indigo Goddesses in her Etsy shop.  Susan describes her work as "interpreting nature in new and magical ways."
If you would like to see some of her photographs she has a Pinterest board  of micro puddles.


    Northern Lights  Polymer Clay Disks  by SusanDolphinDelaney

Susan uses the color of indigo in several of her art beads.  She states " I love that indigo is the color that begins at twilight and deepens into night.  And that dark indigo is the color of the world  at first light,. which lightens to palest indigo."

Felled Seam, Indigo, Polymer Clay Earrings, with Silver-plated Beads. Blue. Silver. Very Lightweight
                Felled Seam Indigo Earrings by Susan Dolphin Delaney

                                                                       ++++++++

Hida Totems primitive tribal polymer clay by WinterBirdStudio                                        Haida Totem Primitive Charms by WinterBirdStudio
 When I asked Asia, the artist at WinterBirdStudio, about her inspiration for her Haida Totem Charms, she told me: 
 " I'm from Poland but I live in Canada at present and I'm very familiar with Emily Carr's work, I also spend time travelling in the area that she was so influenced by in her later work, her paintings capture the essence of the British Columbia coast, the majestic trees, the misty air, the rugged landscape. I used pastels in my charms, love their misty, dreamy effect on the polymer clay and I tried to use texture similar to the carvings but still in an abstract form. "
                                    Ethnic- 2 polymer clay  primitive, tribal headpins
                                                                 Headpins polymer clay by WinterBirdStudio

Primitive pitted polymer clay beads
                            Primitive Pitted Polymer Clay beads by WinterBirdStudio

Like many art bead artists, Asia also designs jewelry using art beads that she makes and those of other art bead artists, like the one in the picture below with  Scorched Earth drops and spikes.
  Gatherings tribal primitive gemstone ceramic necklace
                            Gatherings  Necklace designed by Asia, of WinterBirdStudio

                                                           ++++++++
In 1912 Emily Carr set off alone on a momentous six-week trip, and eventually came to the remote settlements of the Haida people on an archipelago then called the Queen Charlotte Islands but now known as Haida Gwaii.  Here she found many fine totem poles ‘tragic and fierce’, and everything which surrounded her was ‘so vast and deep you shrivelled up’.

This story about Emily Carr was the inspiration for DitsyBlue's creation of the Haida House and
Totem beads pictured below.


MAR ABS  Haida House bead by Ditsy Blue...more about this over on my blog:  http://www.ditsyblue.co.uk/all/adventure-awaits/
                                                         Haida House by Ditsy Blue


MAR ABS  Totem Headpins Set of Two, by Ditsy Blue...more about these over on my blog:  http://www.ditsyblue.co.uk/all/adventure-awaits/
                                                  Totem Headpins by Ditsy Blue
You can find her work which includes both art beads, and jewelry made with art beads on Folksy.
You can also read more about her and her work on her blog where she talks about these beads and the necklace she made for the ArtBeadScene March Challenge.
'Sandy Cove' Bracelet
                                                     Sandy Cove Bracelet by Ditsy Blue on Folksy

                                                                       +++++
I hope you have enjoyed meeting the art bead artists who created  work inspired by Emily Carr's Haida Totems.  Let me know if you would like to see a post like this again sometime.
Thanks so for stopping by,
Mary,