Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter Solstice Beads

First Batch

I just made these beads to celebrate Winter Solstice. Or more accurately, to celebrate the shortest day of the year because tomorrow the days get longer. Hooray! I don't normally revel in winter or winter colors, so I thought I would challenge myself to use a limited palette of blues, white, and lavender.

I made my first batch (above) of Winter Solstice beads using some simple cane techniques, trying to come up with different bead looks using the same colors. I was reaching for my silver leaf to use in mokume gane, when I realized I didn't have any silver leaf, just gold and copper. So instead of doing mokume gane, I grabbed my Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments and mixed some blues and lavenders into translucent clay, and then swirled the pigmented translucent with white, and the resulting second batch of beads (below) remind me much more of winter than the first ones I did. I like these so much that I am going to make more using different colors.

Now the next thought process will be to make a necklace out of some of these to wear this season, so I can tell Old Man Winter that he ain't got me down, I'm using him as inspiration.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Faux Amber and Turquoise Beads

I haven't posted any new polymer activity in awhile, 'tis the season I guess. Busy busy with Christmas stuff, and unfortunately none of the busyness had anything to do with polymer. So here is a necklace I made awhile back. I made all the beads out of polymer (except for a recycled glass and some silver beads and spacers).

I love the mix and match, asymmetrical type of necklace. One book that has inspired me recently is Beadazzled- Where Beads & Inspiration Meet by Penelope Diamanti. I bought the book in a bead store a couple months ago and have really been inspired by the combination of natural material beads such as coral, turquoise, amber, ivory, and more made into necklaces. This book is eye candy, not a how-to book. The inspiration for me is to recreate some of these natural materials in polymer and be inspired by the eclectic designs. If you like eclectic and asymmetry, this is a very inspirational book.