Saturday, April 23, 2011

Opportunity at Your Local Arts Council

I went to an art crawl a week ago celebrating local quilters.  I saw beautiful detailed quilts, old quilts lovingly handed down, and quilts incorporating photos transferred to fabric made from historic glass negatives. 

I found inspiration in the use of color and pattern.  I saw a quilt featuring the colors of mustard and a deep dark blue.  I have some mustard colored beads that I have already paired with ivory- blue will be next. 

Carved Mustard Cinnabar and Glass Beads with Blue Glass and Stone Beads

The local Arts Council (York County Arts Council) had a sidewalk sale in conjunction with the art crawl.  The sidewalk sale was just a few short hours in the early evening.  Even if you don’t sell anything it is an opportunity to meet people in the community interested in art.

Not being a vendor at this event, I had the opportunity to speak with some of the quilters.  It came as no surprise to learn some had a history of creativity that went back many years and touched on more than their preferred art of quilting.  It was also no surprise when one quilter mentioned she had been embroidering with beads recently.  I suggested Robin Atkins site and her e-book on bead embroidery.  Remember that anyone can represent you when your work speaks for itself. 

My local arts council has small grants available, offers classes, sponsors performance art, engages in things such as art crawls, but mostly it is just another opportunity to get out in the community and get to know the people who are interested enough in art to get out and participate.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

7000 Bracelets of Hope

Participants in this blog hop have made blue bracelets to be distributed to through the Global Genes Project to people suffering from rare diseases.  Why 7000? That is the approximate number of rare diseases.  The bracelets are a way of providing hope and support to one of the 250 million families world wide faced with one of these maladies. 

My thanks to Lori Anderson for getting me involved in this project. 

The. U.S.  Orphan Drug Act provides incentives for developing medications for rare diseases.  It should be noted, however, that not all drugs developed for rare diseases turn out to have a limited application; statin drugs, for example, were developed for a rare disease.  Which substantiates my belief that everything is connected to everything else. 

I have been experimenting this past week with beaded beads, and have featured a square beaded bead in my Bracelet of Hope.  This bead is a simple peyote stitch wrapped around a square glass bead.

The square beaded bead is flanked by wreath shape beaded beads.  These are composed of small Czech faceted crystals and delica beads.

I finished the bracelet with two AB finished glass beads.  As per the organizers suggestion I have added an extender which is embellished with more blue glass beads. 

Please be sure to drop by the blogs of the other participants by following the links below.

1.  Lori Anderson, Pretty Things
2.  Jayne Capps, Mama's Got To Doodle
3.  Kym Hunter, Creatively Kym
4.  Mandy Duffy, Beads for Brains: 365
5.  Charlene Sevier, The Bead Dreamer
6.  Lisa Boucher, Lisa's Clay Happenings
7.  Mary Harding, Mary Harding Jewelry
8.  Barbara Lewis, Painting With Fire
9.  Amy Severino, Amy's Beads
10.  Jennifer Pride, Jewelry by Jennifer Pride

11.  Jenny Cameron, Glass Addictions
12.  Susan Ferguson, Windrock Studio
13.  Mortira vanPelt, Inspirational Beading
14.   Brandi Hussey, Brandi Girl
15.  Jenny Vidberg, Shyme Design
16.  Angela Barribou, Re: Angela Rae
17.  Stefanie Teufel, Stefanie's Sammelsurium
18.  Sue Hodgkinson, Hello Gorgeous
19.  Jean Yates, Snap Out of it Jean, There's Beading To Be Done!
20.  Nicki Keller, Nicki's Reef

21.  JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions
22. Stacey Curry, Star Hitched Wagon
23.  Carrie Tahquechi,  Carrie T
24.  Deci Worland, Gem Trails
25.  Debbie Goering, Prairie Emporium 
26.  Staci Smith, Staci Louise Originals
27.  Francy Inman, 8 Second Studio 
28.  Linda Landig, Linda's Bead Blog and Meanderings
29.  Cherin Poovey, Lanyard Lady 
30.  Deb Price, Green Shoot Jewellery Designs 

31.  Suzette Bentley, Ellies Bijoux  
32. Mallory Hoffman, For the Love of Beads 
33.  Shirley Moore, Beads and Bread 
34.  Kate Gardenghi, The Tropical Blonde 
35.  Marina Dobrynina, Savon Feutre 
36.  Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me 
37.  Linda Djokic, Lutka and Co. 
38.  Cory Celaya, Art With Moxie 
39.  CJ Baushka, 4 His Glory Creations 
40.  Tracy Bell, Copper, Glass, and Recycled Trash 

41.  Sandra Richardson, Sandy's Coloring Box 
42.  Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe Designs 
43.  Kim Roberts, Bahama Dawn 
44. Hilary Frye, FryeStyle 
45.  Emanda Johnson, Artemisia's Studio 
46.  Lisa Kavanaugh, Beading Bliss
47.  Sue Kennedy, Sue Beads
48.  Raquel Amaral, Raquel Amaral
49.  Robyn Hawk, Daily Jewel
50.  Linda Inhelder, Must-Haves Jewelry

52.  Krista French, French Elegant Jewelry
53.  Andrea Robinson,  Madame Magpie's Shiny Things
54.  John Rasmussen, Rasmussen Gems and Jewelry
55.  Breana Fry, Vault 31
56.  Erin Prais-Hintz, Treasures Found
57.  Cyndi Lavin, Beading Arts
58. Dot Lewallen, Speedie Beadie
59.  Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
60.  Heather Pyle, Aquariart

61.  Adrienne Campbell, Adrienne Designs
62.  Dee Gordon, Runako Designs
63.  Judy Glende, Judith B. Designs
64.  Susie Hibdon, Vintage Susie & Wings
65.  Tania Spivey, Moobie Grace Designs
66.  Norma Agron, Norma's Clay
67.  Ana Novak, Cat's Pajamas, Dog's Tuxedos
68.  Johanna Rhodes, Fire Phoenix Creations
69.  Raida Disbrow, Havana Beads
70.  Christa Murphy, Adventures of One Beady Woman

71.  Holly Westfall, Silver Rose Designs
72.  Catherine Pruitt, Boo Beads
73.  Deana Hager, Just Deez' Art & Life
74.  Lupe Meter, Gem's PC Corner
75.  Valerie Norton, Hot Fused Glass
76.  Janet Bocciardi, Honey From the Bee
77.  Kitty Durmaj, Perles and Life
78.  Rose Noble, Lady Noble Design
79.  Sally Russick, WireWorked
80.  Margot Potter, The Impatient Crafter 

81.  KJ, KJ's Beadacious Beads
82.  Lana Kinney, Something Unique by Lana
83.  Melissa Meman, Melissa Meman ... Art, Life, Love 
84.  Karen Bien, Everyday Gypsy 
85.  Rebecca Anderson, Songbeads
86.  Cyn Gagen, Creative Edventures
87.  Niky Sayer, Silver Nik Nats
88.  Deb Beechy, Beetique
89.  Marian Hertzog, M's Place
90.  Kerry Bogert, Kab's Creative Concepts

91.  Judy Riley, Three Red Beads
92.  Charlene Gray, Gray Girl Studio
 93.  Erin Fickert-Rowland, Elysian Fields
94.  Sharon Palac, Sharon's Jewelry Garden
95.  Maryse Thillens, Glass Bead Art
96.  Christine Altmiller, One Kiss Creations
97.  Eileen Bergen, The Artful Crafter
98.  Bobbie Rafferty, Beadsong Jewelry
99.  Rebekah Payne, Tree Wings Studio
100.  Mari Aparicio, Mis Amores 

101.  Tracy Statler, Make Bracelets 
102.  Marcy Lamberson, Studio Marcy
103.  Kim Stevens, Picking Poppies
104.  Karyn White, Releases by Rufydoof
105.  Elisabeth Auld, Beads for Busy Gals
106.  Lisa Hamilton, Simply Irresistible Jewelry
107.  Serena Trent, All Things Made Jewelry
108.  Sharon Driscoll, Right Turn Artwerks
109.  Debbie La Rue, For the Love of Beading
110.  Maggie Towne, Maggie's Bead Towne

111.  Cassandra Watsham, Designs by Cassandra
112.  Mary Ellen Parker,  BeeTree by m.e.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Which do you prefer: Design or Create?

Lori Anderson posted about 7000 Bracelets of Hope- a bracelet blog hop.  I jumped on board.  The blog hop requests a blue bracelet.  I just happened to have a bracelet ready made for the blog hop; I had an extra from the custom order I recently posted about. 
Clear and Indigo Czech Crystal and Silver Plate Bracelet

Lori then sent me a follow-up e-mail which suggested that the bracelet be of variable size, e.g. have an extender chain.   The bracelet I had would not work.  This really isn’t a problem.  I have an extra large stash of blue beads.  Even before the change of plan, I had been busy creating a new square beaded-bead, and fortunately I had used shades of blue.

My Google calendar informed me this morning that I need to post my finished bracelet on Saturday.  Since good planning is important, I need to finish the bracelet today so I can take a picture tomorrow morning and write the blog post tomorrow afternoon, and therefore, make the Saturday morning deadline.  Yes, I really do plan like that- not particularly a trait associated with creativity is it?

Which brings me around to this philosophical question:  Do you prefer to design or to create? 

I can’t really answer that question.  I love to make things.  I love to have my hands busy.  I love having a finished product that I can touch and show off.   

On the other hand, I love the design process.  I love looking at a pile of beads and envisioning the end product.  I always think I am going to make another similar item, and sometimes I do, but the second piece is not nearly as exciting as the first. 

To answer my question, I like them both.  What about you?   

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Custom Order

Do you take custom orders?

The benefit of custom orders is that the items are sold when you make them.  The drawback is that the creative impulse is limited.  That is, your choice of beads, style, or color has been defined before work starts.

I had a custom order as a result of a home show I did in February.  The customer liked work that I was showing but wanted it in a different color.  When the customer was presented with two bracelets she not only wanted those two bracelets but wanted three more.  In addition, a friend of the customer viewing the bracelets also ordered a bracelet.  That is how I came to make three very similar white bracelets and two very similar black bracelets. 

Below is a collage of the bracelets.  If you click on the picture you can view a larger version.  You can see individual photos at my Flickr stream.
Custom Order Silver Plate Bracelets

Sunday, April 3, 2011

If at first you don’t succeed…

keep trying.

I read this great article on studio quality photography using aluminum foil.  I immediately embraced the methodology described and placed my jewelry on aluminum foil.  Every time I laid a piece of jewelry on the foil it created a new scratch and wrinkle.  In a previous post I mentioned that a photograph shows every blemish including every scratch and wrinkle. 

I do not care for waste; replacing the aluminum foil for each photograph was not a viable long term solution.  My work-around was to purchase a silver colored tray.  This was not quite a success because it was too reflective. 

To resolve this problem I purchased a sheer piece of fabric to place on the silver tray and, thus, diffuse the reflection.  This worked well except I still had the wrinkle problem and to make matters worse the fabric I purchased is prone to scorching when ironed. 

This week I purchased a dull silver colored pizza pan at Wal-Mart for a mere $3.00.  I think this will work.  No wrinkles in the aluminum foil or fabric.  No ironing and no scorch marks.  Just the right amount of reflection, that is, the light bounces and there is a bit of reflective shine, but you cannot see the camera, my hand, or the ceiling.  I will let you know if scratches become an issue. 

I also purchased a tripod. 

To test my new photography equipment I photographed a bracelet I made this week named Colonel Mustard.  The bracelet is made of mustard colored cinnabar, woven Delica beads embellished with Czech beads and brass spacers, joined by brass wrapped loops, embellished with a mustard colored glass bell, and an antiqued brass lobster claw. 
Colonel Mustard on the pizza pan
Colonel Mustard with the candle stick

If you would like a comparison of my trials visit my flickr stream to see the of Baroque and Brass.  When I was working on Baroque and Brass I photographed the center piece on aluminum foil, when it was completed I photographed it on the shiny tray with a fabric cover, and the final photograph is on the pizza pan.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Lessons in Networking

The woman standing in line in front of me at Panera’s had on beautiful earrings.  They were silver horses with an ancient or native feel; they had thin galloping legs and upright black tassels for their tails.  I tapped her on the shoulder and complimented her.

She told me that she bought them at a gallery.  I asked her where; she named a college town about an hour north of where I live but not the name of the gallery. 

She told me that she is an artist and had not intended to buy the earrings but went ahead and splurged.  I told her I was a jewelry artist. She asked if I worked in silver.  I replied no and told her I was a bead weaver. 

I asked if she had ever seen the work of Luann Udell, because her work is the perfect complement to the earrings she was wearing.  Luann creates pieces that look like ancient carved bone.  Because she hadn’t heard of Luann, I pulled out my Blackberry and failed in my attempt to find her on the internet because I had misspelled her name.  I gave up and pulled up a photo of my necklace, India Spice, which she complimented. 
India Spice

Somewhere in the conversation she mentioned that she did a broadcast on art. 

Her dinner arrived and I had to place my order.  I did, however, manage to give her my card and told her to send me an e-mail and I would give her the information on Luann. 

Here is what I learned.  Being friendly is its own reward, but sometimes you might gain more than just a passing conversation.  Networking opportunities are everywhere.  I did well to show her my work and gave her a short summary of what I do best.  I gave her my card.  I should have gotten her name.  I should have asked the name of the gallery, especially since they show jewelry.  I should have asked about her art.  I should have asked about her broadcast.  Maybe I would have been able to do all those “should haves” if the line had been longer.  Next time I hope to have a few less should haves and I hope you do too. 

One more lesson.  She told me she had sold a few pairs of those earrings on trips out of state.  Women would ask where she obtained them and she would put them in contact with the gallery.  My first inclination was to tell her about an artist other than myself because the other artist seemed a good fit for what she was wearing.  Anyone can represent you when your work speaks for you.