Category Archives: Photography
Every month, Erin Praise-Hintz of Earrings Everyday issues the challenge to make a pair of earrings based on a prompt.
This month’s prompt was a photo of dew covered damselflies:
The prompt led me to create the earrings above. And helped me solve TWO design challenges that had bedeviled me.
I had two “failed” necklaces on my workbench. Both of them had laid there for a LONG time.
One was made with the large frosty/icy aqua lampwork beads you see in the photo above. They had posed a huge design conundrum because they TURN LAVENDER in natural light (I photographed them in florescent light, above.) I had made and remade necklaces with them, but none was “right”.
I also had some Aqua Aura beads on my bench that had been incorporated into several failed necklaces. Aqua Aura is clear crystal quartz that has been heat treated with 24K gold vapor. The treatment causes it to turn aqua and to acquire an iridescent lavender/golden finish. You can see a small bead of Aqua Aura in each of the earrings above.
Erin’s challenge got me to looking at both sets of beads. Finally the thunderclap came: incorporate them into the same jewelry set, incorporating the lavender/aqua lampwork beads; the Aqua Aura (I had one big bead of it and many tiny round ones; light Azore AB Swarovski crystals; lots of tiny Aquamarine beads (rounds and cubes); a few shades of amethyst Swarovski crystals, and two sizes of Amethyst rounds.
Here is the complete set in florescent light, which is the lighting at my office:
It looks AMAZING at the office!
And here it is if I step outside:
OK, but not spectacular.
So, thanks to Erin’s challenge, I have a wonderful statement necklace, matching earrings and a bracelet for each arm.
Two sets of beads that had driven me crazy trying to find a way to use them have come together in a lovely, useful jewelry set. Thanks, Erin!
If you liked my design, head over to my Etsy shop, to the second page, where you will find several items that COULD have been inspired by Erin’s post.
* Newborn Unicorn Twins – a pair of earring disks made with my Mystic Roman Glass Opals
* Northern Lights; Lighting Up the Tundra and Aurora Australis, three pairs of earring disks inspired by the Northern and Southern Lights.
* Underwater at Puerta Vallarta, gorgeous watery translucent and opal clay goddess earrings with matching gemstone adventurine rondelles.
Here is the url of the challenge where you can see what the other participants made:
The March challenge for Art Bead Scene reminded me of paintings I’d seen of birches at twilight.
I am crazy about birches and have 531 pins of birch trees on my “Birches” board on Pinerest.
Here is the challenge painting:
Edith Carr painted this in 1912 after a six week adventure into rural British Columbia. She called it “Haida Totems”. Birches grow in British Columbia and as far north as Alaska.
My twilight birch beads are inspired by Heather Power’s birch beads, although mine are much, much bigger than hers. I strung them with denim colored button pearls and amethysts.
I also entered the Bead Challenge this month, based on the same photo. Here are Indigo Goddesses.
You can see this month’s challenge at http://www.artbeadscene.blogspot.com/2015/03/march-monthly-challenge.html
Dry Gulch Beads and Jewelry issued a challenge to make something in this palette:
If you’ve been reading this blog long, you know I love a challenge.
I mixed up a translucent silver and three shades of translucent pink from the palette and made the lush, mature, gorgeous female figures for the earrings. I added silver-plated beads, wires and lever backs.
I HAD to photograph the earrings in my ice cream scoop!
Aren’t they beautiful!
They are available in my Etsy shop:
Are you feeling at the end of your rope?
My dear, late friend Fr. Al Durrance used to say this: God can always be found at the end of your rope.
Al had been in the healing ministry for 56 years when he passed last July. He brought me into that ministry in 1994 and I have been privileged to see many miracles because he “got” me that day at the National meeting in Ft. Worth. He waived the “entrance” requirements for the Oder of St. Luke the Physician and inducted me on the spot. I think he knew that I would do all of the required things. I did. In fact, I have taught the course on the healing miracles of Jesus eight times already.
I made these earrings from translucent polymer clay that I kissed gently with silver/granite clay and bronze clay. Only the tiniest bit of each.
I made the silicone molds from a statue of St. Francis of Assisi. The mold for the back is just folds of his habit. See below.
I painted the recesses of the clay ovals with a silver paint and the high points with a gleaming micaceous paint.
They are gorgeous. Below you can see the “back” of one on the left.
They are available in my Etsy shop as a special order. I can do them with hints of silver, pale gold, gold, copper or bronze in the clay. I can put in gray mica or gleaming colorless mica. Or both. I can paint the recesses with silver, gold, copper or bronze. I can paint the high spots with a super thin layer of mica in red, orange, blue, green or violet. I can use wires and lever backs to match the metallic color you have chosen to tint the clay body.
I’d be glad to make a pair for you. I can have them ready to ship within three days.
Yesterday I was photographing some of the lush, female figures that I offer as earring components in my Etsy shop at http://www.susandolphindelaney.wordpress.com.
I found my tongue planted firmly in my cheek.
I have a brick that has MEXICO stamped into it, so I decided to use it as a prop and to place the ladies at famous Mexican beaches.
I call these glorious goddesses Purple Squirrels at Playa Norte. Swirls of my blue-violet opal clay jostle with translucent violet and opaque violet clays.
A Purple Squirrel is a unique individual with the education, experience and qualifications to fill a very special job opening. I placed the Purple Squirrel at one of Mexico’s famous beaches.
Anke at Acapulco, a pair of goddesses swirled with shades of Dutch blue.
Some of my customers carry a goddess as a pocket goddess.
Underwater at Puerta Vallarta. Earrings in which subtle teal swirls with ivory opal clay, palest gold translucent clay and ivory pearl clay. The faceted stones are Adventurine.
If you visit my Etsy shop you can see other beach goddesses. And narwal tusks!
The painting above, by Pieter Janez Saendam (1635), is the current challenge for Art Bead Scene.
When I saw the painting, I ignited, and had to make my entries NOW.
I did not have the benefit of the wonderful palette you see above, to the right, created by the incomparable Brandi Huessey. A trained artist, she was able to break out the subtle colors in the painting.
I did print the photo of the painting in an 8×10 format, which revealed the warm grays and cool grays to me. I also saw surprising touches of gold and red.
By chance, I had been studying Lynda Moseley’s wonderful controlled marbling tutorial. Lynda always incorporates gray granite polymer clay into her designs.
Lynda keeps her word to provide support if you buy her tutorials. She once asked why I didn’t use the granite clay. I told her that I had to make my own magic.
Never say never.
When I saw all of that stone in the photo, I knew the time had come to use the granite clay. Here is my first piece, created in response to the challenge:
I stood on the shoulders of two giants in this response to the challenge. Lynda Moseley and Jan Geisen, who uses torn clay in many of her amazing pendants. After I cut out the earrings, I looked at the scrap of clay left and decided to add it, a la Jan, fractured edges and all, to a domed pendant.
My intent in these pieces is to capture the gold and silver tones of the stone in the painting, and the touch of red.
I had deliberately made more clay than I needed for the controlled marbling technique. I have been exploring a twisting technique with my clay that gives me a mineral-like effect. I decided to try for that. I layered the gold/granite; silver/granite; granite; translucent and subtle translucent red. I also created a second translucent red with some of my red/orange opal clay (Madam Pele clay, my own brand of magic).
The great cathedrals of Europe are almost always built on the same sites that held goddess shrines in past times. It tickled me to use a bit of the layered clay to make two goddess earrings to go with the second pendant. The earring on the right is the one that matches the clay. I spilled my beads and my dog picked up the matching one, which I found after taking the photos. I will be remaking the left hand earring!
I took the best photo I know how to take of this, but I failed to capture the shimmering metallic gold, silver and even copper (where gold and red opal clay collided in a gleaming thin layer). The carnelian beads echo the red in the clay.
I found I wasn’t finished with Lynda Moseley’s controlled marbling!
On Thanksgiving I placed a wishbone from the chicken I’d roasted the week before on the table for my daughter and my son-in-love to “pull”. When they did, a surprising thing happened: the wishbone broke into three pieces. So they both made a wish. As it turned out they both wished for a long, happy life together!
This was too cool to let go. I made a new batch of silver/gold/granite/translucent clay and marbled it. I cut it into a rectangle that just fit into a gold frame. I baked it, polished it through 8 grits and Dremel-ed it. It took on an incredible, glasslike shine because of its translucency. I mounted the bone fragments on it.
Bands of gold and silver shimmer all through the background. I plan to give this to the “kids” this weekend.
I had a blast with this challenge. I HAD to make two entries.
And just in time. Tomorrow the Earrings Everyday Challenge for December will be announced.
Here is the link to Lynda Moseley’s Controlled Marbling tutorial: http://www.etsy.com/listing/119526146/polymer-clay-tutorial-digital-pdf?ref=shop_home_feat_2
Here’s the link to Jan Geisen’s Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/23551801@N03/
I found this ladder at a garage sale in Madison, WI in 1976, during medical school.
It was oak, very well made, and already gently worn.
During my internship, in 1977, I added a hook and eye and a handle, to allow me to carry it easily. I placed the handle, which I took from a screen door, at its balance point. The hook and eye, from the same screen door, kept it closed when I carried it by the handle.
Life went on. In 2000, when I began to joyfully consider how much better my life would be if I were single again, I painted it white and, in the Christmas season, strung it with white lights.
In 2001, I filed for divorce, and that Christmas, again strung it with white lights.
In 2002, my freedom regained, I painted it hot pink, with sea blue “olives” with magenta “pimentos”, after a Mexican folk art design I admired. I strung it with pink lights under the eaves of my new house.
I did so every year.
Unfortunately, one year not long ago, I left it out in the rain and its “feet” rotted.
I was grief stricken.
Fortunately, my son-in-love came to the rescue. He cut off the bad parts and reset the braces. I am so grateful.
I have a kit to repair the wood rot, but for now I have strung it with hot pink Christmas lights.
It is in my sunroom, just off the kitchen, where I can enjoy it safe from the elements.
I am so grateful to have it!