Monday, May 17, 2010

Collaborations Part III

I had tremendous fun hunting examples of collaborations and knew I'd have just as much fun creating a couple of my own.  While working on my bottle cap series, I fell in love with the miniature paintings Karyn, Somewhathip, created on her bottle caps and knew they'd be the perfect first venture to combine talents.  I contacted her for permission to utilize her cap in my own creation and then bought two of her pendants in my favorite design, the Jellyfish.

What I most appreciate about Karyn's work, besides the gorgeous artwork, is you can tell it's a bottle cap.  Although my designs preserve the cap's graphic artwork, you can't readily tell it's made from a cap.  I hesitated before beading around the image and taking that aspect away from her pendant.  However, I decided to take the plunge and focus on the painting and not the bottle cap.

Painting and drawing are talents I truly wish I had.  I can paint the Donna Dewberry one-stroke method (she can teach anyone to paint with the right brushes).  However, this is a technique not true artistry in my incapable hands (although I did create very cute paintings in my daughters bedroom thanks to Donna).  I'm not any better at graphic design or collage work.  I lack the depth perception, color vision, or art gene that it takes to make something beautiful in these areas.  

Karyn's artwork was a perfect match.  She utilizes bottle caps, my favorite "cabochon", and her paintings are vibrantly beautiful and could hold their own with the beading.  I wanted to experiment with fringe and decided to mimic the jellyfish tentacles.  I found the perfect german glass beads on Laura McCabe's ebay store, highendbeads, in half moon shapes in oranges and red.  These were added the the bottom of the branch fringe along with Japanese drops for additional color.  I also included Japanese drops around the perimeter of the cap to fill in the fullness created by the cap's depth.  In my own designs I usually flatten the cap first for a more narrow profile.  The thicker profile created a bit of a challenge as I was at risk of overpowering the painting but needed to fill in the area.

The result was highly dramatic and it needed a necklace strap that was bold, but would also pull back a bit so that the painting did not become lost.  (A danger in beadwork is to add too much to the design).  I went back to my favorite rope, the spiral, and added a second row of embellishment to create fullness.  The result, I believe, is beautiful and pulls the predominant blue of Karyn's design back into the design.  

I have a couple of other ventures in the pipeline.  The first utilizes a graphic button from one of my favorite button artists, Jill from Barrel of Monkeys.  I've purchased several of her buttons as gifts and own several others from my travels.  I think this button will be my first one, it's her signature design and I can envision something wonderful for it.  This collaboration combines my love for using found objects (who doesn't own a button), buying local, and combining skills.
Stay tuned for some follow-up interviews and notes from my most recent classes (just have to finish the projects first).  I leave you for now with a Jellyfish treasury to enjoy.  When I release a new design, I often create a treasury based on the same theme.  I'm proud to say that this was chosen to appear on Etsy's front page recently.


Unknown said...

Christine this is so cool I will be checking out Karyn's site! You do make me want to bead around a cab as I have not yet attempted!

Unknown said...

Thanks so much and I hope I didn't give you whiplash with all my editing while you were trying to read, lol. It seems I publish, catch a formating problem, edit, publish, etc., etc. Definitely check out Karyn's work, her pendants are even more stunning in person.

Karyn said...

Christine - Thanks again for the opportunity to collaborate with your shop. The end product is so cool! I am in complete agreement with what you said about individual strengths - if I were to attempt a beading project like yours on my own, the end result would not have been as strong, for sure.

I also found a bunch of new favourites browsing through this blog series!


Karyn said...

Kristen - Thanks a lot for stopping by my shop! Hope you also found something to inspire you :)

Robbie said...

All I can say is WOW!! Fantastic..ok, I said two things! But I mean both of them!

Terra said...

This is beautiful the way you combined the bottlecap painting and your beadwork.

Silke Powers said...

Simply gorgeous!! I love not just the jellyfish theme, but the colors you chose to go with it. It's a necklace that reminds of summer, sun and ocean! Hugs, Silke

Karyn said...

Ohhh that is absolutely stunning - what a great combination! This piece has such a happy feel to it. Perfect colour match and I love the beads you have used in the fringe.

Well done girls!


Unknown said...

Thanks so much everyone. It was a blast to work on and Karyn's pendants are divine, I enjoyed every minute working with her artwork.

roseworksjewelry said...

That's absolutely gorgeous! Good work :)

NAAN POCEN said...

You do have an eye for art. Lovely bottle caps those ones but this jelly fish necklace you made is just breath taking, and knowing your work is even lovelier than your photos portray them, I can say for sure lucky is the person that wears that. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work.

Unknown said...

Ruthie and Naan,
Thank you so much!

Marsha Wiest-Hines said...

That jellyfish pendant is JUST WONDERFUL. Great color choices, beautiful proportions... a great collaboration.

Unknown said...

Thanks so much! You always worry that you've taken away from, rather than added to, when working with someone's artwork. Nerve wracking to say the least, but I love it and am so happy that it's been well received.

gourdphile said...

Good heavens, Christine! I remember Somewhat Hip's jelly fish on bottle cap very well. I dig her stuff too! And what you did with it! Perfect. I love the orange dangles mimicking the arms of the jellyfish. Great pairing of beads and cap.

You've been busy. So much information, so much good reading on your blog.


PS Girl. Anyone who does what you do can make pie crust NO DOUBT.

Take care.



Unknown said...

Thanks Jan! Hmmm, I'm going to risk it and try. I'll take a picture of my families reaction, but you never learn unless you try (and it's so much fun to experiment on them to boot).

Mary T Designs said...

What an inspiration to explore collaborative possibilities. Your creation is spectacular!

Sockentick said...

Very great beadwork and fantastic colors.
Greets from Germany, Ruth