This month’s art chellenge from Art Bead Scene was very unique in style.
It’s called Summer Thunder by Holsteen Klah, started in 1919, I think. I’m having to type this on my iPad and it won’t let me move between webpages without losing what I’ve typed, so we’ll go on what I can from memory. This artist specialized in weaving sacred sand paintings of the Navajo. On first look it was far too red and stylized for my taste. But after a while, I started to see other colors – cream, tan, dark purple, olive…. and more natural images of birds and branches started to emerge. One of the things I appreciate about these challenges is it forces you to look at art you don’t particularly care for and interpret it in a way that’s your own style. That meant for me giving a nod to its Southwestern roots, but not make it overt.
For my art beads, I made several pendants and beads from clay. I think it important to mention that I dislike red intensely, so it was difficult to find a shade that matched the painting and that I could tolerate. I toned down the value of the red with brown to make a rusty clay, and mixed it with dark brown, cream, and a bit of yellow with a shimmer to it. From there it was just a matter of deciding which pieces to use.
This necklace came together quickly and is very simple. I wanted the clay pendant to be the focal point, so I just added a few beads to the bottom. While looking through my stash, I found this great toggle by Jill MacKay and it had a complementary southwest feel to it. I made it the center of the design with the pendant attached below and strung it on some delicate brass chain. I’m enjoying mixing bright silver with brass.
I had another pendant that I wanted to use, and I worked that up with some leafy chain that seems to fit and a few smaller clay bead I made to match. To complete the necklace, I added some charms in keeping with the imagery – a gunmetal bird and leaf and a silver rose drop.
I made two clay drops that I wanted to use as earrings. These form the main focal point and are accented with a tiny leaf. I wired a bead cap to the top to make a flower and finished it off with s glass bead in the center and earring wires. The earrings are doig double duty for Earrings Everyday blog challenge called We’re all Ears. The photo inspiration for this month is Antelope Canyon in Arizona.
I loved the pics we were given of the light streaming through the rock formations. Just look at all those different colors! This month was very heavy in Southwestern influence – it’s not a style I naturally gravitate towards but I enjoyed stepping out of my comfort zone to create some interesting pieces. I hope you enjoy them too.
Blessings to you,