For six years a blog that I follow, Art Bead Scene, hosts an ornament blog hop. The blog is run by a group of bead artists and functions as an online community to bring together bead and jewelry artists with a focus on creating and using art beads in our work. They host the monthly art challenges that I blog on frequently. I started following the blog about two years ago and have loved exploring new bead artists, seeing their work, and being inspired by the challenges. They’ve pushed me to try new techniques, experiment with color, and translate inspiration from one medium into another. This year I decided to join the ornament challenge and here’s what I designed.
They are my winter woodland creations. Nature themes are my favorite and nearly everything I create is filled with elements from nature. I wanted to incorporate multiple mediums in the ornaments – metalsmithing, because I’ve been taking classes, and I have an interest in working more with polymer clay. These ornaments were a good exercise in blending techniques and materials to make a cohesive design. They will be serving as my Christmas gifts this year too!
My favorite bead artist is Heather Powers of Humblebeads and these ornaments are filled with her influence. Not only is she a marvelous creator of art beads (I have quite a collection now!) she’s also a wonderful teacher. Her most recent book (Bead Making Lab) is filled with instructions for creating over 50 different beads, including the fabulous birds. These are some of my first attempts and I learned a lot by making them. I mixed some colors to achieve the burgundy and forest green and added in a bit of sparkle. The nest beads were formed and textured by hand and gone over with a wash of sparkly white paint to look snow-frosted. The leaves were hand-sawn from copper sheet, hammered and textured, and then patinated in liver of sulfur. I used techniques learned from my metalsmithing classes and from Heather’s book Beautiful Elements. And as a bonus, I also learned how to make ornament hangers!
I hope you enjoyed seeing what I created for the ornament hop and hearing about the process and construction. Thanks for stopping by!
Blessings to you,