Category Archives: Science
(The Art Bead Scene post is one click down)
Every month Erin Prais-Hintz gives us an amazing design challenge. The challenges have ranged from photos of dragonflies, to short movies and this month: Architecture.
When I saw this building, and the others in the challenge, I knew I had to make earrings with Dinosaur Bone. And not just any Dinosaur Bone, Opalized Dinosaur Bone.
In medical school I learned that the hip bone is “spongy” inside. It is not solid bone but has “trabeculae”, long arches of bone in its spongy core. The arches are virtually identical to the arches architects have used over the centuries to create the supports for cathedrals and for modern buildings like the one above.
If you are a nerd like me, you are going “duh” because the laws of physics apply equally to supporting bone and supporting the roofs of buildings.
Here is an X-ray of a hip bone. The image is reversed, so the bone shows black. Do you see the swooping, curved lines?
Here is a drawing that shows the lines that support the bone:
If you go to http://www.earrings-everyday.blogspot.com and look at all of the photos Erin posted, YOU WILL SEE THESE SAME LINES AND CURVES IN THE LOAD-BEARING WALLS OF EVERY ONE OF THE BUILDINGS in the challenge.
I am in year two of a five year plan to create gorgeous polymer clay opals.
When Erin posted the April Challenge, I had just seen this photo of Opalized Dinosaur Bone and pinned it to my “Opals to Polymerize” Pinterest board.
This fossil is a tiny piece of a dinosaur bone, so you don’t see the swooping lines we’d see if we had an X-ray of the dinosaur’s whole hip bone.
Here are the earrings I made:
I really had fun making these. I created two shades of green opal, two of blue and one of violet. I mixed tiny shreds of these colors into five different color combinations. I wrapped the green ones in Raw Umber Premo and the blue ones in Burnt Umber. If you look closely you can see how this enhanced the natural, organic feel to the piece.
The opal clay sparkles and twinkles just like mineral opal.
I used dyed jade beads as drops below the Opalized Dinosaur Bone. It’s translucency enhances the mineral feel to the earrings.
Here is another shot. The photo finishing to bring up the sparkle of the opal made my hands look a bit blue.
Join me on a trip down memory lane:
This is one of my early pieces, a pendant of Fossilized Dinosaur Bone, in this case the spaces in the spongy bone of the dinosaur filled with the mineral Apatite, Fools’ Gold. This is my interpretation in polymer. I have one of these available to sell. Message me at http://www.susandolphindelaney.etsy.com if you are interested.
This piece, a small pendant, is very dear to me. The green clay is my very first successful batch of opal clay. I’d been playing with a technique which hadn’t worked and I was processing the clay so that I could turn it into Beads of Courage for kids with cancer, and voila, there it was. I had discovered the next step in making beautiful opals from polymer.
This is another pendant, from my second batch of opal clay. I’d seen an amazing fossil: Opalized Snakeskin, in these colors. I had to try to make it.
Thanks for following my journey.
I am so grateful to Erin for creating these challenges. I always enjoy them, but I must say the deep nerdyness involved in this one kept a grin on my face the whole time I worked.
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:
A bead artist in one of my Facebook groups was bemoaning her cracked fingertips. I will share what I wrote to her, in case you are suffering as well.
I am a doctor/artist and I wrote a comprehensive health care guide for women who do crafts. It won a Gold Medal for Health Communication and was a Main Selection of the Doubleday Cooking and Crafts club.
One whole chapter of my book is on the fingers.
Here is what I am doing this winter for my cracked fingertips. Every night I put a teaspoon of sugar in my palm and pour in about a teaspoon of olive oil. I scrub down my hands, the backs, palms and fingertips. I rub my fingertips in my palms in the sugar scrub to burnish off dead skin and to stimulate the blood vessels.
Then I wash off the sugar with water under the tap, then most of the oil with hand soap.
I keep my fingernails very short so that the skin on the tips is uniformly tough, so that it resists cracking.
At bedtime I put 1/2 teaspoon of sweet almond oil in my palm and I massage it into my hands, especially my nail beds and fingertips. The massage not only delivers the oil to my skin but opens up the capillary beds so that maximum sturdiness of the skin develops.
If you want my book, many Amazon Booksellers have it for 1 cent plus $3.99 shipping (this keeps me humble; if you buy from Amazon Booksellers I won’t make even that one cent, which is fine).
If you need it today you can get it from C&T Publishing as an e-book. There’s a hot link to the C&T listing on my author website http://www.susandelaneyauthor.com.
BTW, C&T was the best publisher a gal could dream of!
Erin Prais-Hintz of Earrings Everyday (http://earrings-everyday.blogspot.com/2015/01/were-all-ears-january-inspiration.html) gives us a wonderful challenge every month.
This month the challenge was to use the new Pantone colors in earrings.
Here are the new Pantone colors:
Marsalsa is the foundation of the 2015 Pantone Spring/Summer Palate. I used Marsala in the earrings above where I gently marbled together clays in Marsala/copper/Glacier Gray (another color in the current Pantone palette); gold and a translucent black. There is a lot of Premo “gray granite” clay in these earrings. I call them: The Flip Side of Granite.
Pantone’s Glacier Gray plays heavily in these earrings called: “Shades of Silver”. They are very translucent and glow with bands of color when backlit.
Pantone’s Tangerine drew me in. I created these Tequila Sunrise ladies with many shades of translucent tangerine swirled with some mica. I photographed them on a “Mexican beach”. These are also very translucent when backlit.
All are available in my Etsy shop http://www.susandolphindelaney.etsy.com
Each month earring artist Erin Prais-Hintz of Earrings Everyday challenges us to create earrings based on a prompt. This month her prompt was a film showing a kinetic sculpture “Breaking Wave” by Plebeian Design. You can see this amazing sculpture prompt at http://www.earrings-everyday.blogspot.com.
When I was a girl, growing up in DC, Mother would pack me a sack lunch and pin two car tokens to my blouse collar and off I’d go to the museums on the National Mall. Natural History was my favorite. I stood at the rim of the Foucault pendulum and watched it for a LONG TIME as it traced its mark in the sand on the floor below it.
I made these earrings to honor that experience. I hung Swarovski crystals from thin gold-plated chains. I created a Damascus cane from many shades of faded denim to echo the pendulums tracings in the sand. The Damascus cane is modeled after a Japanese sword makers technique.
These earrings will be listed in my new Etsy shop SusanDolphinDelaney on January 1, its grand opening!
In SusanDolphinDelaney I will offer earrings and earring components made me by from my polymer clay opals and from my polymer minerals.
My interest in minerals developed, as you have already guessed, during my childhood solo trips to the Museum of Natural History in DC. The Hall of Minerals was a place that I spent HOURS as a girl. In fact, my interest in crystals, fostered there, inspired the science fair project that led to the scholarships that allowed me to go to college!
Now that I have completed my degrees in Chemistry, Physiology and Medicine, I can take the time to study Geology and make wonderful earrings and earring components for you.
The background of the photo above is taken from one of the polymer clay opals I made:
My shop will have a selection of polymer clay discs in my Monet series:
Some discs made from my Madam Pele polymer clay, which glows from across the room, just like real embers:
There will be pocket-sized touchstone goddesses like this Madam Pele one:
And finally, more discs from opal clay:
The first pair of earring components is made from shimmering peacock opal clay. The second pair from a stunning mixture of white, black, gray and violet opal clays. It is fairly translucent. The third, a set of disks I made from a mixture of three yellow opal clays, white and a tiny bit of black opal clay is wonderfully translucent. I plan to pair it with some leaf charms from Suburban Girl Studios on Etsy.
If you want, you can hop over to my empty Etsy shop now and favorite it, so that you can revisit it on January 1, the grand opening. http://www.susandolphindelaney.etsy.com
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/