It’s been a while since I’ve done an art update and I’ve been busy doing lots of crafting! Since the beginning of the year I’ve enjoyed a resurgent interest in making jewelry again. This has been aided by Art Bead Scene blog, which posts a piece of artwork each month to inspire our jewelry creations. I participated in February and found I quite liked the challenge and directed creativity it provided. I’ve decided to continue with it for a while and see how it goes. I hadn’t shared the pieces I made for March, so I thought I’d do that today.
The painting for the month was “Haida Totems” by Emily Carr in 1912. She was heavily influenced by the culture and landscape of the First Peoples living in British Columbia and Alaska. This one had to grow on me for a while as I’m not a big fan of totems. However I am a fan of lichen-covered cabins in the mountains. Having lived for so many years in Colorado, this was a familiar and beloved scene. And the subdued watercolors were tones that I naturally gravitate to.
My first piece featured a clay pendant that I made from clay, embossing a wood grain pattern on the surface, and painting with greens and browns to emulate moss and lichen-covered wood. It is layered with copper leaf chain to represent the foliage and a bird charm (as a nod to the totems because birds were a common image). I strung the pendant with agate beads and silver spacers on knotted waxed linen ( a first for me). I really enjoyed the organic feel of the linen cord. I made sliding knots for the closure because I didn’t want to break up the design with a clasp. The knots were a challenge, but after many tries I think I have the hang of it! I’ve enjoyed these art challenges because I’ve been learning lots of new techniques.
I also made matching earrings and bracelet from the leftover agate rounds and spacers. Again, both feature waxed linen. I love the agate – it looks like it came right from the mountains in the painting. They are filled with brown, red, orange, and green and I’ve used them in 7 projects!
After I made this set I was playing around with some other supplies and found clay beads I had ordered over the past few months by bead artist Humblebeads. I thought they would be perfect for this painting too. This time, I choose to emphasize the purples and grey in the painting and created this necklace. I used a stacked form to mimic the totem shape and added more of the copper chain at the base of the house. It’s a simple design, but fluid and appealing. I plan to make more like this.
Here are the matching earrings. I tinted clay to match the purple of the bird and made some little roundels. I wrapped them with messy wire wraps, bead caps, and some silver spacers from the previous set. And yep, more copper leaf chain – love it! The dangling shape meshes well with the necklace design.
I’m pleasantly surprised with how the pieces turned out and was pleased to be able to create jewelry that has lots of elements from the painting but retains a style I’m comfortable wearing. I’m also happy that I was able to use similar components in each set so that they’re cohesive together.
Thanks for spending time in the world of art today. If you enjoy making jewelry, I encourage you to hop by Art Bead Scene and maybe participate in the challenges too. There are some fabulous bead and jewelry designers that do stunning work. Or if you just enjoy art, it’s a great place to be inspired and deepen your appreciation for beauty in all its forms.
Blessings to you,