Monday, April 23, 2012

April Art Bead Scene Entry + Masks and Dawson.

 My "weekend off" was not as restorative as I'd hoped it would be. I just feel like I'm further under the pile-o-stuff to do. I really have no right to complain, though. I don't know anyone else who gets to do what they love all day long every day.

Skinny Man
So, I'm going to mix my general Monday stuff-to-say in with my entry for the Art Bead Scene April challenge. I hope that's not against the rules. If you're here for the blog hop and you don't care to read my random ramblings, scroll down. I'll leave my entry till last.

Over the weekend I created a third mold for tribal mask pendants and proceeded to give the 3 different designs really stupid names. I'm so bad about naming things. My mind fixates on the most obvious physical characteristic, names it, and no attempt at being more eloquent or creative can replace that name in my mind. I even do it with people, and then I can never remember their real name. Ask my friend Pirate Guy or my neighbor, Walks-With-Sticks. I decided not to fight it this time, so the pendants are listed under the names Skinny Man, Mr. Whistles, and Grumpy Cat. I am so sophisticated.

Grumpy Cat

Mr. Whistles

Mr. Whistles is the new guy. I thought about calling him Mr. O-Face, but decided that's on the edge of inappropriate. But, then I mentioned it here anyway which kind of defeats the point. *Shrug*

James Van Der Beek demonstrates the O-face, so that you don't have to google it.
Since yesterday was Earth Day I've decided to celebrate all week by sending out one of these pendants free with every order of $25+. Just write "Grumpy Cat!" or whichever one is your favorite in the "message to seller" box during checkout and it's yours. I also have the masks up for sale individually in the shop, if you just want one and don't have need of other stuff from us.

Hey, here's some random unsolicited advice: If you have ADD and you're writing a blog post, wait till the end to add your animated gif pictures or else you'll spend 75% of your writing time just watching James Van Der Beek make an O-face over and over and over.

Check out these goodies my neice got for me in Mexico! And my cat scratches and dirty fingernails! I'll just go ahead and take credit for her good taste in jewelry, since she hunts through my collection once  a week.

Let's move on to that ABS entry, shall we?

The challenge image this month is this gorgeous Waterhouse painting, Boreas.

My interpretation is a drawn reproduction pendant on shrink plastic, wrapped with steel wire and accented with beads of jasper, glass, and wood.

Shrink plastic probably wouldn't have been my first choice as a material to use for this piece if I hadn't  just impulsively bought a TON of it. I blame my parents for never doing Shrinky-Dinks with me. It ended up presenting a really fun challenge, though. I'm still learning the ways of working with the material. You may notice here that the skintones are kind of blocky. They un-blended themselves when I shrunk the plastic because some shades become more opaque when they shrink, others just become more vibrant or darker.
 The plastic piece started 5" wide and shrunk to just under 2 1/2". While I worked on it, I was imagining it being more of a bib-style necklace than a pendant. I forgot how much it shrinks. But, once I added the wire wrapping I was pretty happy with it's size and shape. For the dangles I chose jasper beads that reminded me of the background of the painting and a metal leaf that I patinaed and bent to give it more movement and evoke thoughts of wind.

For the other details I made a length of beaded chain using handmade glass beads from India and some wooden spacers. On the other side I added a swirly link of hammered steel wire because I just can't seem to get enough of that stuff. The bronze chain holding it all together adds just a bit of a warm shade to the otherwise cool-colored piece.

Oh, and the clasp! I oxidized a huge lobster clasp and made it fasten in the front because that's how the cool kids are doing it now.

And I almost forgot to mention the headpins that I strung the Jasper on. I thought I had invented this faux-enameling technique, but then I saw a bunch of people on Etsy had also figured it out. Darn. 

Check out other entries in the Art Bead Scene group on Flickr.


  1. Very nice interpretation. I love your ideas and the design in general. Bravo!!!

  2. Oh wow! You did that on shrink plastic!? Impressive! I totally dig that piece, it almost feels tribal. Cool.

  3. WOW! This is absolutlely stunning! I can't believe you did this on shrink plastic! PS-My parents never let me use Shrinky Dinks either.... :(

  4. A fascinating and gorgeous take on the inspiration art! I'm blown away with your talent, both in your drawn image, and your jewelry.

    I might have to try the shrink plastic one of these days.

  5. This is an amazing piece! I must learn more about shrink plastic now, even though I don't draw, sketch, paint, etc. (My parents must have gone a step beyond not letting me have any...they must have made sure I didn't even hear of the stuff!) ;-)

    The beads from India, as well as the other beads you used and made, are wonderful, and perfect for the piece. Adding the leaf was a great idea and I like where you've placed it!

    I also enjoyed your bits of humor included along the way of your telling about this piece! Thanks so much!

  6. Your design is really fabulous...can't believe it is skrink plastic! Loved your humor as well!

  7. Love your design, it's a truly fabulous piece of art...and you've made me want to go and check out shrink plastic now, it's not something I'm too familiar with.