Monday, May 20, 2013

Re-evaluate, Repurpose, Re-use

The time  is at hand: that moment when I look at my large inventory of completed works and conclude that some of those early pieces are never going to sell, no matter how many times I relist them on Etsy, or put them out at shows. They have undergone many photo upgrades and price reductions to make them enticing, but nothing is going to make them budge toward a new home.

There is nothing wrong with these early jewels; they are very simple in design and skill requirements - simple stringing really.  It's time to cut bait and reuse as many of the materials as I can in something more elaborate, new, and exciting.

The first piece to face rehab was this three-strand pearl and muscovite necklace made back in 2006.  I liked the pattern of the glittering plum purpley-brown muscovite beads at the center and vowed to keep that feature in the new version.  Lucky for me I have more of the muscovite in my bead stash! I made some pretty bead embroidered motifs to connect the pearl strands together, then added a fancy box clasp. I think it is a big improvement, fitting in with my "more is more" philosophy of late. You can see more information in the shop listing.

 Next up to face my nippers and deconstruction was this carnelian and hessonite garnet necklace, also from 2006.There was a lot about this one I wasn't happy with: a single strand of the red carnelian rounds which wasn't long enough to show at the front when worn, the thick cluster of strands of the brown and amber-colored garnets which was too long to hang asymmetrically as planned, etc.  I also had a LOT of extra carnelian beads, and by "a lot" I mean A. LOT.

So, how do I fix this one? That was my conundrum.

A big fan of chunky ethnic-style jewelry, I recently saw some pieces by the very talented Faria Siddiqui online. She combines big, bold stone beads with delicate bead embroidery to great effect. I raided my bead stash and found a large, deep red carnelian oval cabochon and some funky paua shell oval beads. My vision for a new and better piece took hold.  Add in some dyed blue agate rounds and gold-plated accent beads and what do you get? A big, beautiful, bold new statement necklace. I used up most of the carnelian rounds I had in stock (yay!) so I am happy with this necklace on a number of levels.

You can find the shop listing here.

I have a huge quantity of large stone beads leftover from those early days of jewelry making. At that time, my hand was in recovery and I didn't have the dexterity to use more delicate beads. As I regained strength, and my skill set expanded, I moved onto tinier and tinier beads, leaving the big ones to languish in their drawers.

Adding another layer to my current thought processes, my Battle of the Beadsmith 2013 piece is large and very intricate. It took nearly 250 hours of high-powered intensity beading to complete. This process was fairly ruinous to my hands and wrists, so I can see more pieces like the carnelian necklace in my near future. A little touch of bead embroidery and some big chunky beads to fill out the piece. Just until my hands settle down again.

Now which pieces want reworking?? Stay tuned...

copyright 2013 Shibori Girl

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I Dream of the Sea

I do dream of the sea... often. But in this post, I refer to my newly finished set of statement necklace, bracelet, and earrings. Several people have said it reminds them of something a mermaid might wear, hence the title.

"I Dream of the Sea"
The pieces came out spectacularly: full of texture, subtle color, and fluidity of design. I couldn't be happier with the final result.

The process was good for me, too, as it stretched my design limits. I originally planned to do a simple bead embroidered collar. MAYBE a pair of earrings to match. When I "finished" the embroidery on the collar, well, the beads were still out on the bead tray, and a good movie was streaming on Netflix, so I kept going. And going. Until I had 11 or 12 new, loose components made. As I finished each one, I laid it next to the collar so I could start the next.  When I looked down and saw what was happening to the collar layout, well, all I can say is "mind blown".

The next thing to do was decide just how over-the-top this piece would get. I played with the pieces like a puzzle, and came up with four viable possibilities.

As you can see by the photo at the top of this post, I went all-out with the bottom left design.



I love when a project becomes a lesson!  Next up: reworking some old necklaces to reflect my new design style. Stay tuned...

 copyright 2013 Shibori Girl