Gift #1005: May Art Bead Scene

It’s the end of another month… again!  Weren’t we just saying goodbye to April?  What is happening to the year??  New months mean a whole new host of jewelry challenges, but before I get too involved with that, here’s a look at May’s art challenge and what I came up with.   Here was our artwork:


This is called “On a Shaker Theme” by Charles Sheeler, 1956.  Obviously he favored the simplistic, angular forms of Shaker art.  I read that he started experimenting with composite photography as inspiration for his art in the 1940s, overlaying photographs together to get new perspectives.  I think that seems to be going on in this piece.  It looks almost like an optical illusion to me.  It’s quite a complex piece in bold, graphic colors.  Unfortunately, it didn’t really resonate with me, being a bit harsh in color and form for my taste.  (I come to think I’m an exceptionally picky person about my art appreciation – need to broaden my tastes).   I wasn’t for sure how to proceed with designing jewelry for this month, and was considering not participating, but them I remembered a spectacular prize I received from Art Bead Scene earlier this year.  One of my pieces won a goodie bag from Art Incendi, who makes amazing enameled metal pieces.  She sent me a box overflowing with lovely pendants and beads and I remembered a blue bird was among them.  The bird was perfect for this month – there was some bright blue in it, but most was a toned down grey-blue which matched nicely with the colors in the painting.  I also had some bright blue czech glass flowers that matched well.


At first I was just going to wire the bird to beaded chain, but that didn’t seem like enough.  I made a wire nest to dangle the bird from and that gave the added visual weight to balance the design.  It also played nicely on the “home” imagery in the painting, as I love nests as  metaphors for places of belonging and nurturing.  I toned down the brighter hues with gray and black speckled beads (which matched the centers of the flowers!).  And I also added in some wood rounds that are distressed with a dark teal-grey paint.  I’m pleased with the contrast of bright and moody colors and of course, I’m thrilled that I could incorporate birds into the piece.


Here are the earrings I conjured up to match.  I thought about making nests for earrings, but that was too big of a design and detracted from the necklace, so I stuck with pulling the same selection of beads from the necklace into the earrings.  I love this drop design best and nearly 90% of the earrings I make are like this.  Maybe I should branch out to something different?

My thoughts have already turned to June’s inspiration.  It’s beautiful and I’m really excited to have some artwork that I find appealing to work with.  I think I’ve already got an necklace design formed in my imagination – now I must work up the energy to get it created!

Blessings to you,


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2 Responses to Gift #1005: May Art Bead Scene

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    I love that you made a birds nest! Such an inspired design – it’s a lovely creation, Sarah.

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