Tag Archives: design

sparkle tango.

photo 3As I begin typing, I realize that 1) I’m only using the word tango here because I’m listening to one, and 2) there is not actually any literal sparkle in the work I did today. I’m practicing not fussing over every little thing, though, so I’m letting it stand.

 

I listed a few new things at urban legend this morning, but lately I’ve had the itch to go back to glass. It’s been a long time since I sat down and just played for several hours. I’m rusty, and slow, and I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. As it happens, nothing really surprising came of it today, but I made pretty things. The colors and textures make my heart sing, and I’m happy with them.

 

The three pairs of earrings shown here were in today’s crop. Combining tonal variations of reds is something that pleases my eyes very much, and I love this pair of earrings, with its subtle differences in shades and elegant floral textures. The orange and blue earrings above feature my very last pair of hollow faceted orange glass beads. These are virtually weightless and so rare and spectacular. I love the way they play with the translucent and opaque aqua flowers. The very odd painted lacy finding in the third pair of earrings is also the last of its kind. I orginally had six of them, and I did something different with each one. This summer, I’m drawn over and over again to iterations of navy blue and chartreuse, so that’s what I used here to set off the bold white of the metal pieces.

I also started working on a bustling cha-cha bracelet of leaves and flowers in true old school costume jewelry style. The bracelet pictured here was actually made a few weeks ago, but I keep forgetting to list it for sale. So it’s appearing here to remind me! I love the contrast of pure white vintage milk glass beads with the shimmering, almost oily-looking oxidized chain.

photo 5

Not an enormously productive venture, but a good day. I plan to spend some more time playing in the sparkle fields. Possibly with actual sparkle next time.

 

working with borrowed eyes.

Last weekend I was working on a new necklace design. I loved the colorstory of white, brown and cobalt that I’d had in my head for several days. The beads I chose were the right shades, but a collection of difficult shapes. Normally when I’m working, I just keep tweaking something until it looks right to my eyes, but this time I restrung the necklace several times until I wasn’t sure what looked right anymore. I wanted a second pair of eyes, but being home alone at a fairly late hour on the west coast, I didn’t have one. So I tweeted a picture of the necklace and asked for yea or nay votes.

The first response was a nope, not done yet, try again. The next two responses were unqualified yea votes. The fourth vote was “aaaalmost, but maybe you should try swapping the small bead under the shell and put it on top of the shell.” I made notes and went to bed.

The next morning, I had several more responses and I got interested in how we see things: what our eyes expect to see, and what, individually, pleases or offends the eye. Finishing the necklace ended up taking a back seat to collecting as much information as I could about how different people saw this one piece. I decided to tweet it again and see what else I could gather. There were several more responses, so varied that some of the suggestions were exact opposites. Curiously, everyone I asked loved the bead that bothered me the most: the large translucent cobalt on the bottom left of the arrangement. I starred all the responses and set about stringing a version of the necklace for each suggestion.

This was the final tally of comments:

  • Unqualified nay, try again: 1 vote
  • Unqualified yea: 3 votes
  • Add smaller beads on the left to balance the narrowness of the shell on the right: 2 votes
  • It needs one more color: 2 votes
  • Add one small bead on top of the shell on the right: 6 votes
  • Take out the large brown bead: 1 vote

There were too many trial versions to post all of them here, but this is a sampling of what I tried.

  

  

The process was fascinating, and I ended up having several conversations with artists in  various mediums about how we decide when something is done, and how much influence we get from other people while we’re working. I gained an affection for my original version, although it still looks a bit off to me, and have kept one of those for a project I’m doing. The final version ended up having just one tiny blue bead added on top of the shell bead; that necklace is available for sale in my urban legend shop. If you like any of the alternate versions and are interested in purchasing one, please email me and I’ll set it up for you.

colorfriends.

Shana and I have several new additions to the colorfriends collection from the past few weeks, with more in the works. Here’s what’s new (clicking on the pictures will take you to the item listings):

aprirsi necklace & barrette
aster barrette & garden party necklace

giverny barrette & bracelet

easy tiger barrette & tyger tyger necklace

color friends

Shana and I have a long and happy history of feeding each other’s creative energy. Lately this has focused on color (after some mutual customers commented on Twitter that they liked how our work looked together, and having “jewelry that are friends.” Awesome.), and we’ve been making some pieces with the same names and colorstories. You can see some of hers here, and we’re working on adding a colorfriends tag so you can see them all together on Etsy. These are some of mine for this week:
Why, yes, I do think they turned out well. Thank you.

interiors

I’ve been trying to take a decent picture of this lovely studio porcelain tumbler by Non Fiction Design ever since I bought it at the Renegade Holiday show. I didn’t mean for these to turn out quite so broody-looking, but I like them; they showcase the stark arrangement of twigs quite nicely, I think. The day after I bought the tumbler I found this perfectly twiggy twig on the sidewalk near my building. With the addition of some chunks of recycled glass to weight the twig down, a beautiful winter-themed display piece was born.