Friday, March 17, 2017

Lovely Ceramic Beads to Inspire Your Next Jewelry Project

As you progress in designing and translating your visions into physical jewelry, I know for sure that you’ll be looking for more one-of-a-kind beads that’ll make your jewelry far more unique! I’ve been there myself. At some point, you may feel limited with the choices offered by mainstream bead suppliers and that’s ok. 

Scouring for new materials signals a new phase that challenges yourself with newer designs that speak to your own aesthetics. For some, making their own beads become an art of its own apart from the main construction of jewelry. 

Clay has been used to create vessels, beads, tools and other ceramic items dating back to the Mycenaean age.  Clay artifacts are among the most common found at an archaeological site. 

Ceramics now include domestic, industrial and building products, as well as a wide range of ceramic art. My favorite being ART beads and components. These handmade items add a special flare to jewelry designs.

The artists listed below are masters in their craft and a few of my favorite bead artists. I admire their dedication, talent and skill in ceramic bead making.


My raku forms represent a merger of ancient form and technique with the most contemporary of ideas. Through the years, my works have taken many directions, but in retrospect, a path can be retraced to my beginnings with clay. These works developed through a process of elimination, casting off any excesses in decoration or design, yet incorporating everything I know about the clay.”

Xaz Nuggets & Pearls

“Each pendant makes its own creative journey as each work is individually hand painted, fired, inspected and then creatively finished to bring out the fusion of contemporary and folk art drawn from the qualities of the clay, the form of the pressed plant and the artistically applied glaze that brings the impression to life and sets its spirit free."
MaryhardingJewelry1.jpg
Young Red Oak Leaves Toggle Clasp


I was introduced to Mary's ART beads & components several years ago.  Since then I've collected several of her pieces.  The quality, color and workmanship is top-notch.

MaryHardingJewelry6.jpg

Gaea

Gaea is a talented artist who creates many things but ceramic beads have been in her shop for years.  Her whimsical style and love of nature make these creations irresistible.  

The turquoise blue and cranberry round beads in this design were made by Gaea.  I paired them with a beautiful polymer clay bird by Heather Powers of Humblebeads

Ceramic Beads by Gaea & Polymer Clay Bird by Humblebeads 


Melissa Gabelle describes her work as "quirky functional ware inspired by 1950’s science fiction.  If you wan to design a jewelry piece with a whimsical touch then The Clay Hen is the shop for you.  



These are just few of my favorite ceramic art bead artists and their beautiful one-of-a-kind work. There are so many talented ceramic artists making unique treasures. This is not a complete list by any means (more for another post). Which are you favorites ceramic bead artists? Please add to the list so that we can share these creators with one another, thanks.


Keep Creating,

Karen

Friday, March 3, 2017

My 5 Favorite Websites About Jewelry

Are you looking for what's trending in fashion RIGHT NOW?  Do you need a little inspiration for your next jewelry design?  I have a long list of blogs & websites that I visit about once a month.  These sites are each very different, some are about vintage jewelry & timeless pieces, while others are about modern fashion accessories.  

The list is not in any specific order.  This list includes what inspires me NOW~ videos, pictures, articles and links to other amazing sites. I hope you find something that dazzles you & kicks your creativity into action.
  
1.     Ageless Heirloom written by Lauren Rose @ageslessheirlooms.  This blog has great photos and lots of links to other sites that feature vintage jewelry.  Lauren posts her favorite Etsy finds, which are always fun to see.

2.     Jewels du Jour features created by Natalie Box Betteridge @jewelsdujour provides an interesting collection of information about timeless jewelry pieces, jewelry auctions & dealers as well as published information on jewelry designers and some of the most amazing jewelry collections. 



3.     If you want to see the latest BLING, then Gem Obsessed is a must on your blogging journey @kremkow.  This sight is full of high fine jewelry and celebrity news.  If you missed a recent event like The Oscars, then check this sight out.


4.     My all-time favorite is Crystal blog bySwarovski.  I find myself on this site a lot because there’s fashion, jewelry, art and other interesting & sparkly things showcased on this here.  This is where I lose myself in videos & news about high fashion events, designers and mind blowing products @swarovski.


5.     Last but certainly not least is the Tiffany & Co. website.  As Tiffany says they design rare high jewelry masterpieces.  Look here to see how the creative minds at Tiffany's work @tiffanyandco.  




Keep Creating, 
Karen

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A Prize from Artisticaos~ABS Challenge

Last April I was one of the lucky winners of the Art Bead Scene challenge.  My prize (drum roll) was a bead bundle ($50 value) from Terri Del Signore!!! 

Well I'm sure you can relate when I say that beads go into my stash but very few make it out!!!  

My love of ART BEADS comes from my sincere appreciation for the time, attention and creativeness that artisans take when they create beautiful things for others to enjoy.  You can really see that in Terri's work.  Her ceramic beads are well made and come in a wide variety of shapes, colors and sizes.  She incorporates her love of nature into her designs, which I like.   

Well these pretties just jumped out at me the other day so, I couldn't keep them a hidden treasure any longer.  I got ahold of my my Wubbers looping pliers and sat down to work on my design.  I knew that I wanted to add these colorful beads to a bright shiny piece of silver chain because I like necklaces that I can drape over my head-no clasp needed.  

I was fired up so I thought that a nice enameled component would add to the positive space within the design.  After checking my work/design I decided that a large pendant would work well for the length of chain that I was using.  I found a large copper dragonfly component in my stash (surprise, surprise).  I layered several coats of Vintage Patinas by Ranger Ink on the dragonfly, sanded it between coats and then polished it with a jewelers cloth.  


The necklace is lightweight and perfect for any season.  






Thanks to Terri Del Signore for the lovely beads & the Art Bead Scene team for putting these monthly blog hops together.  They're so much fun and it's always interesting to see the diverse combination of colors and patterns in everyone's jewelry designs.  


Keep Creating,
Karen


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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Twists n Turns

This year during the Tucson Gem Show I took a class with Ronda Stevens.  I made a crystal wrapped pendant.  This was a good opportunity to get reacquainted with wire.  I've made a couple of other pendants since.  What do you think?  I'm still not sure that this is something I'm going to work at perfecting but it's a nice way to add dress up a drilled cabochon or bead.    

Twists N Turns Class in Tucson


Project Made in Class

Quartz Crystal Woven Pendant


Keep Creating My Friends,
Karen