"Diorama" includes ceramic beads by Melanie Brooks of Earthenwood Studio
I was sitting here thinking about what I wanted to say today when I suddenly realized that it's May. May is a good month for me. My birthday falls during this month. It's also the time of year where I live when the warm weather finally really, truly arrives and everything starts blooming beautifully (er, don't think I'm not touching wood here, because I am - but this is generally true).
May is also the month I started working with metal clay, two years ago. So, it's my anniversary as a beadmaker. I thought I'd go back and dig up a few pieces I made in those first months and just take a look at them. These were all made between June and September 2007, and they are among the first ten necklaces I ever made that incorporated metal clay components.
"Love in Idleness" incorporates a lampworked flower by Maria Grimes.
My favorite piece tends to be what I'm working on at the moment, and then I move on and don't really think about finished work all that much. I think these pieces still hold up thematically and are still a pretty good reflection of my personality (and, obviously, I still use Shakespeare a lot in my work - the clasp in the above "Love in Idleness" necklace states "love looks not with the eyes", which, along with the quote on the pendant, is taken from "A Midsummer Night's Dream").
I'm sure I could do a cleaner job with the metal clay now - certainly the pieces would be lighter. Because I had trouble with control, in the beginning I never rolled anything less than six cards thick. Expensive, but it was the only way I could work back then. As with everything, with time and practice, it all got easier.
"Charmed Kiss" includes a lampworked Smooch bead by Sarah Moran
On the down side, it does make me dwell on the fact that I haven't really progressed technically as much as I would have liked in two years. I have grappled with frustration especially this year, as the amount of time I have to devote to beadmaking has dwindled down to a sliver.
"Princess Charming" includes a lampworked floral pastille bead by Lezlie Belanger
Still, I have to be thankful. If it weren't for my cute (and hyperactive) son, who currently occupies most of my waking hours and for whom I left all of my other demanding clients, I would have never had the time to actually try out this medium. I always thought it would be fun to try using metal clay, but I worked pretty long hours in my old job. Apart from a little time spent in a ceramics studio during the weekend (time I could justify, because I spent it with my then-boyfriend-now-husband, who was also interested in ceramics - which of course made it "quality time" for us), I just never got around to realizing any of my creative ambitions.
"Good Fortune" includes, uh, well, a fortune from my local Chinese restaurant
Even though my time is limited, I'm still so happy to spend time with my beads. As far as I'm concerned, there's nothing quite so satisfying as turning an interesting idea in my head into something actually wearable (and hopefully equally interesting).
So I have to tip my hat to the Short One and give him a big kiss and thank you, for providing me with the opportunity to learn a new craft and meet wonderful new friends like you. (Sometimes I think that all good things have come into my life from my son, but please don't tell him that - I'd never hear the end of it.)
And thank you, too, for being interested enough to continue to follow my work and to read this blog. I certainly appreciate it.
I am an intellectual property lawyer by training and have a background in English Renaissance literature. I love science fiction. I primarily watch Sesame Street these days and find myself humming "Pop Goes the Weasel" at odd moments (guess why). I can happily eat ice cream in the middle of winter when the wind chill is 20 below 0. I have been making beads and designing jewelry since 2007.
2010 - Winner, First Place, British Bead Awards, Other Finished Bead Jewellery 2010 - Winner, Second Place, British Bead Awards, Metal Clay Jewellery 2010 - Winner, Second Place, Bead Dreams, Metal Clay
2010 - Grand Prize, Gold Medal Winner, Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, Metal Clay, Metal Beads, Wirework and Chain Jewelry-Making Contest
2010 - Finalist, Bead Star, Stones, Plastics and Designs with Heart Categories
2009 - Winner, First Place, British Bead Awards, Metal Clay
2009 - Winner, Second Place, British Bead Awards, Beyond Glass, Handmade Beads and Components
2009 - Winner, Second Place, Bead Arts Awards, Necklace
2009 - Finalist, Bead Dreams, Metal Clay
2008 - Finalist Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Beading Contest, Metal Clay
2008 - Finalist, Bead Star, Pearls
A word about copyright
As indicated in the copyright notice, the contents of this blog are copyright by me. To the extent that instructions to make jewelry, beads, knit items or other instructions are included in this blog, they are free for you to use to make the projects for personal use. They should not be used for commercial purposes, ie, to make items for resale.