Monday, February 2, 2009

Inspiration and New Directions

If you are looking for the One World, One Heart contest thread, click HERE. There is another drawing for a different bead on Creekhiker.

Iris Lariat by Holly's Folly 3

It's been no great secret that I've had the blahs for months! Coming out of it has been hard. But I realized I love making beads and since my sales are in a slump nonexistent, I've decided to shift directions.

While I fully expect to keep listing beads on HollysFolly and my Etsy, I've decided to make the beads I want, not the ones I hope and pray will sell. For me, that means entering more contests and just getting my work out there.

I was really excited when I read that the Art Bead Scene would be using paintings as the inspiration for their monthly jewelery competitions. I've always been inspired by paintings and and art in general. I was a painter for quite a while when recuperating from foot surgery.

January's painting was Van Gogh's Irises - one of my favorite paintings and one of my favorite flowers to make on the torch. Here are the two beads (of three I made) used in my necklace (photo above).

I knew I wanted to rework an old lariat I made ages ago when I first started buying lampwork beads. It was made of a thick, multi-looped sterling and was just over four feet long! The beads I envisioned were diamond shaped...but I wasn't sure of the orientation. So I made three: one with a horizontal layout and two that were more vertical but of varying scale. I decided one of each worked best and ended up not using the smaller vertical bead at all. (Look for it shortly on the Folly website. )

Each bead was shaped into a large and thick diamond... I knew I needed some weight to the beads and made them much thicker than I normally would have. Once shaped, the bead was coated with blue / teal dichroic glass which was carefully melted flat. Prior to starting, I pulled various hand mixed canes in my chosen lavender / purple / blue color palette and a few yellow stringers for stamens. I also pulled leaf cane using my favorite muted green - I'm not a fan of Emerald. All the beads were decorated on both sides.

I cleaned up that old chain... that took some major work and, special thanks go to Lynne Bowland at Islandgirl, who reminded me that tumbling silver was awesome for cleaning it up. Still I pickled and scrubbed and dipped and that old chain was a dull gray at best. So I went into the art studio and dug through all my PMC teaching boxes, found my tumbler and 30 mintues later had a sparkling silver chain! If you do any kind of silver work... get a tumbler! (Lynne, BTW, was named one of the designers of the week in the ABS competition. Lynne is a fellow LEST team member and I'm so proud of her! Her necklace rocks! Another Lest team member, Jennifer Cameron a/k/a Glass Addictions, won the drawing for the monthly prize at ABS! Congrats Jennifer!!)

After the chain was clean, I wire wrapped my beads with Swarovski crystals (8mm), Bali silver and finished off each end of the lariat with Turkish tassels.

It's really hard to photograph such a long necklace! The top photo, the chain is wrapped around my neck and tied .

Iris Lariat by Holly's Folly 1

My next post will be about other new directions I've decided to take, but I'll give you a little clue here:

Heart fish
This cute girl is on Etsy .


Islandgirl said...

Thanks for all the positive comments.. my head might swell! I think your lariat worked really well, I've never figured out how to wear one of those, but they look great on people who do figure out how to wear them!

I'm with you on the make what you want.. if we/you/us find a customer base so much the better!

Lynne aka islandgirl

Jennifer Cameron said...

Holly, it is a GORGEOUS lariat! I can only imagine what a nice lovely weight it is on the neck. And tumblers are the BEST. I hate it when I can't use mine because of AB swarovskis or something else that is too delicate.

I was shocked to realize I wasn't following your blog! It's been added to my list.

Carapace said...

I came here through OWOH, but I'm staying because your necklace has stunned me! From the iris beads to the finished piece, it's amazing! I want to read more about how you do that voodoo!

Oh- my approval word on this post is "sings"! Fits your blog quite well, I think!

Robin Koza said...

OMG, your lariat is so pretty!! I love the beads and the tassles...just everything about it, great job!!!