First off... a HUGE thanks to those that left inspiration comments for me yesterday. They did just what I'd hoped they would. I have some more sketches of the ideas you all sparked and I already started on the beads to bring some of them to life. I wouldn't say I officially found my groove again. But I think I am getting closer to it. Keep the comments coming though! I love hearing what you like to see.
Now, a mini book review. Actually, it isn't a review, just an I-bought-this-book report. In 2007, when I went to the big Bead & Button Show, you might remember that I took a class with Susan Lenart Kazmer. During class she talked about the book she was having published later that year. Turns out it wasn't available until this past Spring. I finally broke down and ordered a copy of it on Amazon last week. It's called Making Connections: A Book Of Cold Joins For Jewelers And Mixed Media Artists. The thing is positively gorgeous. It is a heavy hard cover book with shiny glossy pages that are full color with really cool illustrations.
I have skimmed through it and read a few bits here and there. From class, I remember Susan saying that she intended this to be a reference book not a how to project book and it definitely has that feel. I thought there would be more about other artists working in the same medium, and there are a few shown, but I really would have liked to see more. It is interesting to read the background behind some of her pieces. Like the "Energy Talisman" and how she felt the energy that her son's 2nd grade class put into their learning, so she had them save their pencil stubs for the piece. Kind of made me wonder if I am really a shallow artist that should put more "thought" into why I make the things I do. Then I reminded myself that each artist is different and I put a different kind of thought into my pieces. I put in pride of design, perfectionist craftsmanship, and a heart of color into each piece I make.
Anywho... as I flipped through the book, I stopped at a design she called "a trapeze". I was instantly drawn to it. I knew I wanted to see a hollow swinging in a similar design. I had to modify it quite a bit. Although the book is about "cold joins" meaning no soldering, you still use a torch to "draw a bead" for some of the techniques. I won't bring a torch that close to a glass bead after it has been annealed. So, it was great to set my mind to figuring out the new construction for it. I also wanted to keep with my bright, crisp, and clean style of jewelry too.
I am thrilled with the way it turned out. I like the size, I like the shape, I like the look of it... there isn't a think I don't like. Well, except that it is being a pain in the behind to photograph. I am calling it a "Pendulum" pendant. And I even have ideas stirring for other ways to use this technique... hmmm. The bead is one I have been saving for a few weeks waiting for just the right project. It is a hollow (duh, Kerry, we can see that) and while I worked those dots on the surface, an air bubble popped out of it. I didn't want to scrap it... for 1) I rarely get orange to strike as evenly and beautiful as it has in this hollow... and 2) I kinda like the little hic-up of a hole in it.
Try as I might, I couldn't get the color balanced right for the photo. It is NOT that obnoxious an orange. And when I went to take a picture of it on, Lauren said "Momma... not with that shirt." (Gotta love my 5 year old fashionista!) It'll just have to be one that is loved and admired in person. *sigh*