Dienstag, 31. Januar 2017

Inside her head... there was a whole universe (January AE COM)



Usually I love showing you some pictures of the different creation steps of the "stuff" I create. In between being still ill myself, my husband still recovering from his operation, work, work and more work and my general winter induced low energy levels.... I simply forgot to take pictures.


This time we got a leather cabochon from Lindsay Star for our component of the month (COM) challenge over at Art Elements. If you are curious how she made them, have a look here (I also had to "steal" one of her pictures since I also forgot to take a good picture of the leather cab before I used it).


Don't you think that the all look like little galaxies? The idea of a nightsky was never leaving my mind when I pondered what I should do. Lindsay also send a lot of other little surprised along with the leather cabochon; beads, leather, fabric.... and a little wooden queen (nope, no princess, she has a scepter and the real crown on her head). Although she also reminds me of Alice somehow... maybe the style?


Seeing both together I knew I also wanted to use them together.


My table is always full of other materials and ongoing projects (nobody should visit me without a warning in advance ;)). There was the lid of one of those cheap and ugly little treasure boxes people buy as gift wrappings (to put a gift coupon or something inside). I couldn't get myself to throw them away (had two), instead I opted to take them apart... and let the parts lay around.


But the little queen and the leather cab universe were a perfect fit for the box lid. I added pages from an old book, painted all over the lid, drilled holes in the leather cab (that was scary!), added some glass drops (these were also send by Lindsay, aren't they lovely?), painted over the queen (I wanted to add my own touch and enhance the colours), added a layer of resin on her, cut the the labels from card board.... and finally wrapped and glued all together!


"Inside her head... there was a whole universe"


Please have a look what all the other participants made with the leather cab!


And thank you again Lindsay, I hope you like what I made with your treasures :)

PS: I am sorry that I am late with my blog post... I had troubles with my camera (still have).

Niky

Samstag, 7. Januar 2017

A little sparkle in winter... (Dragon AE challenge)



The theme challenge for Art Elements this month was as easy as it was difficult for me: Dragons. Those who know me since childhood know of my love for fantasy, for fantastic creature in general and dragons especially. Over the years I created a lot of dragons. Strangely enough they were somehow missing the last few years... uhm... it could nearly be ten years? How did this happen? 

So, thank you Niky (who hosts and chose the theme challenge) for giving me my dragons back :)

And speaking of the years gone: I wish you all a happy new year! :)


To be honest, even while I am sculpting from time to time, I was a little bit out of training to create a dragon. Also (now a little bit rambling) my favorite polymer clay brand is not available anymore. Staedtler says it just rebranded Fimo classic to Fimo professional. Let me tell you, I compared them one to one (some of my last ones from the fimo classic with the new ones), and it is not true. Not at all! Fimo professional is softer after conditioning and I hate that.


My absolute favorit polymer clay for creating small details is sculpey super firm. The only drawback is that it comes only in grey. But even though I work a lot with paints and other material to change the surface, I always consider the bacground colour and play with it. I don't like it when my polymer clay is completely painted. 


I ordered some new brands and will see how they will work out. I already tested a lot and after all, there are only a limited number of brands with high quality polymer clay. 


Back to the topic. I had some of these open bezel pendants left. Normally the silver colour (not real silver) is too bright for my taste but for this project it was okay. I filled it with white polymer clay and stamped it with archival ink (stampin' up) and some letter background. Nope, not a lot of it to be seen anymore but trust me, it would be visible if it was missing. The small details are always creating the whole impression. 


There was also another problem as you may see: Winter time! My favorite photo background was covered with snow! In case you wonder, it is the table on our balcony with beautiful weathered wood. On one part stood a plant pot and saved a spot! I would like to claim this was planned... but it was rather a forgotten pot. 


 But it was cold! We have right now -9°C (about 15,8 Fahrenheit). I miss summer...


There were a lot of tiny pattern on the skin to create the impression of scales. You don't see it anymore since I used some embossing powder for the surface effects.


The structures were antiqued using acrylic paint and acrylic ink (one of the materials I just discovered last year, there was this stuff all my life?) and golden highlights set afterwards again with acrylic paint.


 And believe me, the little dragon glows in the sun!


The plan was to create a pendant but he is rather big and bulky for a necklace or what do you think?


So, and I hope you are now curious to see what the other have created. Just have a look!

Guests

AJE Team
Claire (you are here right now)

Dienstag, 27. Dezember 2016

My wedding jewelery... (over at AE)



I promised to show you the jewelery I made for myself. I used mostly art beads and a red colour palette with some added colour to create more interest (believe me, it looks more true to one colour if you break it up with another one). You can see more of it over at Art Elements (just have a look here).  


PS: Yes, Rumpel (aka Hans) is 29 cm taller than me! A full head.... ;)

Dienstag, 29. November 2016

"Ancient dreams" - Component of the month at Art Elements



The start with a new piece is often the most challenging as well as the most enoyable part. My main problem actually is always "the middle". When you found your inspiration, chose and gathered all materials, have made the work halfway through, see already the end with only some minor last steps open to decide... and then I stop. Honestly, I don't now why. There are soooo many UFOs in my stash, pieces that I know I'll love as soon as they are finished.


*sighs*

But that is maybe just how my brain operates. At some time-point most projects come to an end (either way).


This is why I love and enjoy challenges. They push me and give me a tight schedule to fit in. Even more with a component you get from a fellow bead artist.... huh... the social pressure added works even better! (Not a joke, this works really for me and I like to trick myself with this behaviour ;) )


The component of the month (COM) of Art Elements (AE) came not from a member of the AE team but were gifted to AE team members as well as to AE readers by Kristi Ann from Artisan Clay. You can find more of her work here.

Back to how my brain is working... I got the gorgeous pendant from Kristi (thank you again!). As gorgeous as it is, it was way out of my comfort zone. I love circle shapes and crackled glass / glaze surfaces (you would never have guessed, mh?). But this was too big and a little bit too heavy for me (remember, not being objective here, just relative to what I normally work with).


Puh... and then I started with a necklace design where I liked all the pieces but there was not this perfect start with all elements fitting perfectly together. Time was closing and I finished it and just had to wait until I would be able to catch some rare daylight to take pictures. You need daylight to give such a stunning pendant with crackle glass credit, trust me in this.


So sitting late at the evening at the living room which is a absolute state of chaos with my "stuff" my eyes fell on one of my wrapped bracelets. I wanted to label it for our Pop-Up store in Leipzig (Malwatanderes) but it was sitting close to the necklace. Mh... the colours went nice together so I tested how the would look combined. Loved it. So I took the necklace apart, decided to make a kind of decorative art element (or ornament? tribal totem?). It was the right way. The right way since I started to love this pieces, consisting just of two "circles" at this moment, already.

The rest was easy, also close by was one of my ceramic bird skulls I made. I am in the process to test the effect of different glazes and no, originally I thought this light blue/yellow glaze is not my favorite. How wrong I was. Without the light blue accents it would not have fit to the pendant. Now it was the perfect addition. Yes, perfect! For me at least... especially with the piece of bone (that was also part of my table chaos, don't ask).


You can also find some more of my ceramic clay beads, a single czech glass bead and a lampwork bead from Kimberly Rogers (above the bird skull, such a perfect accent colour to bringt the bone, pendant and skull together).

Here you go... just loving it now! Last minute, but hey, perfect timing, no?!


So, please have a look at the other participants!

PS: Seeing the pictures now, it could be also a piece inspired by / for Prince, or not? *sighs* 2016...

PPS: I had to take the pictures at work, since it is dark when I leave home... and already dark when I come back home. So they are not my usual quality (and not my preferred background style). It was long enough winter time, I am ready for summer again! ;)


Guest Designers:
Sarajo Wentling
Lola Surwillo
Beti Horvath
Kate Kemp

Art Elements Team
Susan Kennedy
Lesley Watt
Claire Fabian (you are here right now :) )
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Jen Cameron

Samstag, 5. November 2016

The missing colours in winter time..



Sounds a little bit dramatic, no? Still, winter time is the time in the year I dread most. I agree that autumn can have wonderful colours but with every fallen leaf the barren, cold and dark time comes close. There is a beauty in winter, in snow and ice crystals, in back tree skeletons and flocks of crows flying above you. A beauty that speaks to the goth inside me. 


But it is also a like that goth aesthetic an over dramatized beauty that only comes out in special moments and definitely not in daily life. There is nothing compared to the energy and easy of life I have in summer time with the long, long days, the warmth and the colours. Everything is bright and I am more social, get more done... my perfect moment is in summer time in Formentera, sitting in a cafe in the shadows in the middle of the day, drinking some coffee, listening to the sounds around me and the air has this special scent... the scent of summer... of dry heat and thyme and rosmarin... but also in Leipzig there is this special scent... there is something in the air and you know, it is going to be summer now. Every year there is this moment, where I get the scent and I feel like a weight is lifted off me... and I can't stop to smile.



The earrings maybe represent my desire for colour. I also do a lot of dark and rather rustic and ancient work but now I need the feeling of summer! Not sure if it is so good to go against the seasons with my work if I also hope that it finds a loving new owner but I can't help myself. I create to keep me sane... and show summer how much I love and already miss it! ;)

The stud earrings are made with polymer clay. Fimo soft this time because I still have some. These small earrings are the perfect use for it. Normally I prefer a firmer polymer clay. The base was just white polymer clay and then I painted them with acrylic paint and sanded the surface down.

Donnerstag, 27. Oktober 2016

Where have all the flower gone...? (AE COM challenge)



Okay, next to all the other reasons why I am happy and honoured to be at the Art Elements team (formerly known as Art Jewerly Elements.... so AE and not AJE anymore! ^^)... is a big one... a quite big one... or one could say one of my most favorite ones....

...[please imagine drum rolls here]...

...I'll now participate regularly on the COM challenge!


The component of the month challenge! I actually love challenges due to several reasons. The most important ones are:
- Gorgeous component
- Already chosen component
- Deadline

The last one combined with the fact that I got an artisan bead send to me, makes sure that I take the challenge seriously and work with a time schedule and not... weeks... months.... years.... later...


While I actually do finish my work-in-progress pieces, there have been several of them that took me months to years. Just to be clear, most of this time was a break in between not working on the piece ;)

This time we got a lampwork bead day of the dead skull (quite a long title) made by Jennifer Cameron from glass addictions (have a look at her side here). The picture below I "stole" from her since I forgot to take a picture of the skull she send me before I started wrapping things around it ;)


I was allowed to chose mine and I wanted the one with the asymmetric dots around just one eye. If you are already a long-time reader of my blog you may also notice something else. Something quite shocking... I chose the one with yellow dots around the eye! Yellow, the colour that is my all-time-still-not-conquered difficult to use colour. I like yellow in certain ways, especially subdued and in combination with other colours but it is so hard to create jewelery with it. Other challenging colours I conquered over time but with yellow I may win single battles but the war still rages on!


I noticed that I lose my story line around the COM quite a bit and am rambling. Please bear with me, this happens if I am tired and over worked. Deadlines for grants are around the corner and don't care about free times and/or weekends, our pop-up store will open in a few days (you will get a full documentation!) and there were/are also some social calls you can't (and don't want to) ignore. All in all: I am tired and angry about the fact that someone shut down the heater and the lights outside (he may be called winter and I don't like him!).

Being in this strange mood the idea and the title for the little skull came up in my mind. As a reminder for the good times, for the summer with all its brightness, colours and warmth, and maybe in the end as a reminiscence of hope. The song "Where have all the flowers gone" is a political one and seeing what goes on in the world and how people who should and could know better react, I definitely was in need of this :)


By the way: I used bronze, copper, silver, aluminium and iron wire. Yes, a record for me! I added mostly czech glass beads as well as a dangle made from polymer clay by me. I love how it all turned out, the movement of the necklace but I also have to admit: Never ever look at the back side!

Thank you again for the great day-of-the-dead-skull-lampwork-bead Jennifer! :)

PS: I am still not sure whether I want to change from a necklace to a decoration piece... and whether I want to keep this "random" wire colour look. I tried it to get the impression of a grown piece that someone started to attach random pieces over time... let's see!


And have a look at Art Elements as well as at the blogs of all the other participants!

Guest Designers
Staci Louise Smith
Karin Grosset Grange
Solange Collin

Art Elements Team
Caroline Dewison
Susan Kennedy
Laney Mead
Claire Fabian (you are here right now)
Diana Ptaszynski
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Cathy Spivey Mendola
Lindsay Starr
Niky Sayers
Lesley Watt
Cooky Schock
Jen Cameron

Dienstag, 25. Oktober 2016

There are never enough tentacles!



I know... still not too much to show. But I will take some pictures to show you the jewelry I made for our wedding... as well as some impressions of course!

Just as a small teaser: Here are our wedding octopi! Actually these were plastic figures that I covered with black gesso and then painted and dry brushed with acrylic paint. They were in front of us at the table :)

And just for a small summary: It was just a wonderful day! Like it should be, better than ever imagined.

Sonntag, 23. Oktober 2016

Letters and numbers...



Just playing with materials a little bit. Honestly, I find it still strange that there is (and was) a label for something I also already did as a child: Just playing and mixing all available materials. But it is: Mixed media. 

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