Samstag, 31. März 2018

Nests - Theme of the month at Art Elements

The theme of the month over at Art Elements was "Nests". Cathy chose the topic and also showed a wonderful collection of inspiration images and shared ideas how the theme could be interpreted. I loved the theme instantly!

But somehow my brain didn't cooperate. It seems that it really seems to work best when it is challenged. So what to do with a wonderful theme that speaks to me and a brain that says:Nope?

The days went by and I realized that maybe, just maybe, I pressured myself too much. Oh yes, my brain loves challenges.

My best ideas and methods in research were created due to challenges even though they may stress me at the same time. But there is something alluring in having to fully concentrate on a topic.

So back to the theme "nests" - if it is not a challenge, how about just starting? Without pressure, just playing?

So I didn't create something new or extra ordinary. I just created some sketches as exercises and to maybe expand my repertoire.

Even though I know that training is everything with any art and craft, I should do it more often.

Sitting there sketching I thought about the shape of a nest and the idea came for a simplified version for a stencil.

Simple silhouettes are wonderful for monoprinting where the color and pattern can add the complexity. I sketched a rough nest outline with eggs inside and then just cut out shapes and outlines freehand.

I often simply use normal paper for my stencils to be used for monoprinting. The first time the paper comes in contact with acrylic paint one has to be really careful if the stencil has very thin parts. The paint wets the paper and it becomes more fragile. But the more often the paper stencil is used, the more layers of acrylic paint add up, and the more stable it becomes!

I need to play more with the color combinations but I really love the simplified nest shape!

The real challenge this time? Not to overthink everything and just start.

Thank you Cathy for this theme! In the end it was a challenge and one I learned a lot! Please have a look what everyone else made! I can't wait to see all the creations!

Dienstag, 27. Februar 2018

Assemblage - Component of the month (Art Elements)

For the component of the month at Art Elements, we got wonderful runes made out of bronze by Niky Sayers. The one I got was strength.

She also send a note with all the different meanings: Strength, sacrifical, animal, the Aurochs (bos primigenius) species of wild  ox

It took me a while to decide what to create with it. Also I got a really bad cold, some hardcore drugs with heavy side effects and was "out-of-order" for about two weeks, so also not the best starting point.

But there comes my wonderful/horrorful work table with so much stuff lying around. There is an order from time to time but I am not the one to keep that during creation... or when I only have limited time available, I prefer to use it for creating and not sorting.

This time it was a blessing because in one of the boxes were a lot of book covers I made last year (I showed you them over at Art Elements here). I took the rune and hold it against different book covers until I settled for the ones covered in dark brown leather (it was too thick for book binding but I still like it!).

Then I had a look what else was lying around me and started to create an assemblage of mixed materials to put on the front cover. So no way you can put this little book in a shelf but as an art book, it was never meant to be!

So, there is a branch with roots I found in the park and had to take with me, wonderful snail shells as well as broken shell pieces from Formentera, a hand I made with polymer clay (yes, body parts are also lying around ;) ), tiny semi-precious stones, and then some mixed media kind of paints I made myself (there will be more about this soon over at Art Elements):

I used some wonderful brownish/grayish sketch paper to sew the leaflets (110g/m2) and glued it in with a wonderful green paper with golden dots. Sadly it was too thin even though it didn't appear so.

Last but not least I attached a bone game pieces I got from a secret santa. I made the dangles in the "Use your stash" challenge at Art Elements and was not sure for what to use it. My ideas were earrings or necklace but Jenny (also at Art Elements, see below for her blog!) gave me idea to use it with a book. Thanks again for the idea! You see, I used it :)

And Niky, thank you so much for such a wonderful component that challenged me in the best way!
Please have a look what all the other participants made with Nikys runes.


Art Element Members:
Claire Fabian (you are here)

Dienstag, 30. Januar 2018

Use your stash - Art Elements [January theme]

The theme of the January challenge at Art Elements Lindsay gave us was: Use your stash! On one hand a simple challenge but at the same time the hardest at all. I mean no excuse to get new beads or other material to play with, or even get new tools!

Moreover, there are unused items in ones stash for a reason: Pure treasure - never to be used! / never got complimentary beads / hole is too big or small / there is a perfect idea in my head with no idea how to realize this and so one and on....

January is also a month where there is a little bit of "new year" energy but that drop down really fast because work and the greyness of winter get a hard grip on that. So I made it a little bit easier for myself and set my goal to finish some UFOs that were...nearly finished. And hey, they were in my stash, no?!

The bottlecaps were already shaped and I even had the holes cut and filed. So all I had to do is add the dangling beads and some ear wires with a single bead as accent. I used to make a lot of these kind of earrings and I still love them! But honestly I got tired of making them. I think this will be the last ones for a long time.

We have a secret santa every year at the Art Elements Team. I got from my secret santa for christmas 2016 these wonderful bone pieces. I drilled some holes in them, stamped them and added a protective layer of epoxy. 

The dangles of these shoulder-duster earrings add such wonderful movement but... I cant capture it in a photo so you just have to take my word for it. Even though they are really long, they are light weighted and nice to wear.

My bead table and stash would never be complete without numinosity components (from Kimberly Rogers). Her organic style speaks to me and fits so wonderful in my own tribal, organic, and weird creations. I added some thread (also under the wire, adds just subtle texture), wire and freshwater pearls. I think there is a nice balance contrast where no part overwhelms the other.

I didn't finish all. I have another pair of these bone game pieces drilled and wrapped with a little bit of old paper waiting for their bead dangles. Also this finished single earring that is missing a partner, I have a very small bone game piece left, maybe I will go for assymetrical earrings... or I may change this piece to a pendant or ornament. 

Any idea or suggestion would be welcome!

And just look how the light comes through the glass, I so love czech glass beads.

Thank you for joining us and please have a look what everyone made!

Freitag, 22. Dezember 2017

Ornaments - Art Elements Design Challenge

I have a lot of plans every year -shortly before or directly after Christmas- what I want to do for the next one. A year seems a long time until... yes, until Christmas surprises me again. Like snow, who would guess it can snow during winter time?!

A long time ago I had a fabulous plan: I wanted to create an ornament every year! Not only for me but for all my family, with the year written on it... and so on and on. I actually did manage one time perfectly, other times only for some, but more often than not: Total failure!

Truth to be told, I am to old to change my habits. Just by planing something it won't function. I need some backup plans to trick myself somehow. Like cleaning up our apartment, my husband and I are often just to damn tired and both o us also often work on weekends.So no regular schedule will work and even if there are people who enjoy to sort and clean, we don't belong to them (we just enjoy a finished clean apartment ;) ).

So, as I said, we are both to old to change habits... so what does the trick? Invite people! Because I actually am able to sort and clean in record time, go to the tiniest spot to find the dust, and so on. After all I work in a genetic lab (one of my "hypothesis" is that there is just a certain amount of tidiness available in me and it is all used up in the lab ;) ) and there I run a nightmare regime (actually all of my former students become as nightmarish in the lab as me! Soooo proud of them all!).

Our apartment is our deeply personal cave, our safe hiding spot of the world and yes, there are very, very few people allowed to see it as it is. This trick works really good for me (not for my husband) even though I know it is a trick.

To come back to the ornaments. If something doesn't work for years, it also probably won't work next time. So my trick is to go away from the same ornament and just experiment with shapes and textures what would actually work to "become" an ornament!

Works wonderful for me! I love to play and experiment (I hate repetition) and after a while I have enough ornaments for christmas presents!

This year I worked with ceramic clay instead of polymer clay and I love them all! I used wooden fabric stamps, fabric lace, and silicone texture baking mats.

Thank you for joining our ornament design challenge this year  and I hope you will have a look at what everyone else made! :)

Guest Designers

Art Elements Team
Claire Fabian (you are here)

Dienstag, 31. Oktober 2017

Find the hare - Component of the month at Art Elements

The component of the month (COM) at Art Elements (AE) was made by Niky Sayers this time. It was one of her gorgeous coin claps. I love her work for years, her creations really speak to me. Especially how she uses old coins and creates something new out of them.

I have to admit there was only one problem...

It was a struggle to take images! The silver of the coin shines so brightly that it reflects the light and makes it difficult to capture the hare image. This is actually not a problem in real life but moreover a problem of not having a professional camera on my side ;)

So you will have to believe me on this!

I used some green leather scraps. It was a rather accidental choice since I am cutting leather right now for some book binding (christmas is right around the corner) and loved the green scraps too much to throw them away (it may be a massive problem to be able to use nearly anything... it may accumulate the stuff one have....).

So I cut them to thinner stripes, knotted them several times and combined them with rustic beads. The blue ones are made by Grubbi ceramics and the round ones by me. Also I just went with it. There are also some other beads hidden, a single blue dyed seed and some glass ones.

The clasp will be one the side when this necklace is worn. So the weight of the (mostly) ceramic beads will further secure the hold and it adds a wonderful accent.

Thank you so much Niky! I may finally be ready to also use the other precious pieces made by you I have hoarded until now. :)

Please have a look what everyone else made. I can't wait to see it myself!

Guest Designers

Art Element Team

Samstag, 30. September 2017

Zom-Bee! - Component of the month at Art Elements

Time really seems to fly. It seems Laney Meads adorable little zom-bee beads just arrived and now September is already nearly gone...

This year seems to fly especially fast. So many things happened -good and bad-, so many problems came over from last year, and the general workload from my husband and me seem to have triplicated this year.

We didn't even manage our time out at Formentera and it pays for him as well as me. It is a kind of deep exhaustion and nerves are laying blank. But sometimes it is... like it is. Even in hindsight, I don't know how we could have managed it any other way.

Of course there were a lot of good things (and he is a constant good "thing", even when we fight ;) ), for example some of the research grants I applied for were granted.

But back to the component of the month (COM) of september at Art Elements (AE). I tried a lot with this cute little bee (look at the eyes!) but most didn't work out. Most failures were due to the fact that the zom-bee was not the main focus anymore and somehow got lost.

So I went with a cleaner design with only a few elements: A matte big glass drop to counter balance the zom-bee, tiny beads to get the overall shape right with some metal elements added and a drop of blood red at the top.

The chain is adjustable due to the added rings on top of the pendant. I like both ways.

So that was it in short. I will be in Berlin (again) on saturday, come back in the middle of the night, because sunday is my husband's birthday. Maybe I can find some sleep in between ;)

Thank you so much for this cute little zom-bee Laney!

And please have a look what all the other participants made! (I'll also come over to have a look but it may be late sunday)

Team – Lesley  Watt  –  Jennifer Cameron  – Diana Ptaszynski  – Jenny Davis-Reazor – Susan Kennedy – Caroline Dewison – Lindsay Starr– Cathy Spiey Mendola – Claire Fabian (you are here) – Niky Sayers – Laney Mead


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