The Rest of the Story
This phrase from Paul Harvey has become a frequent visitor to my blog. It's not always possible to tell the full story in a short blog piece and sometimes the rest of the story doesn't happen until much later. This is the case in the "What Inspires You" contest hosted by Artbeads. I wrote about this contest earlier, and I believe I did a bit of whining about not being able to define my inspiration easily and lamenting that I was not going to enter this particular contest.
Well you can see from the button above, and my shameless plug to vote for me, that I did in fact enter. I thought I'd share the evolution of this necklace's creation.
|Japanese Owl Necklace|
It all started in at a bead show in Flint Michigan, hosted by Flint Handmade. A good friend of mine, Sue lives in the area. She joined me at a show I was doing in Ann Arbor a few weeks before Flint's show and after a good meal and a couple of beers, I roped her into letting me spend the night with her and helping me out with the show.
This is Sue working hard in my booth. Of course, before the show, she took me to a local market that had beer and soda by the bottle. I kid you not, there were at least 3 huge isles, floor to ceiling of the most amazing selection I've ever seen. It was hard picking out a few interesting caps, uhmmm beverages, out of so many (they were a bit pricey or I would have bought more). When we stumbled across the Nest Beer, Sue bought a bottle and I bought a bottle ($5 each)...have I mentioned what a great friend she is. We drank it up that evening and I bought these two amazing caps home.
I knew I wanted to bead around these so I prepped both with resin and set them aside. I had been using cotton fabric out of my stash for my cuffs and had recently begun using oilcloth for durability. The problem with oilcloth is that it's limited in designs and a bit stiff, although still very lovely. I'd read about laminated cotton and a couple of my favorite fabric designers, Kaffe Fassett and Amy Butler offered this in a handful of prints. Needless to say, while on vacation Up North (it's a Michigan thing) I made my husband stop and a fabric store I had seen online. My intention was to get ultra suede but when I saw Kaffe's laminated cotton I fell in love immediately. It has all the suppleness of his cotton fabric with the durability of oilcloth. It is luxurious to use on cuffs (and completely throws out my intention to use up my existing stash).
My first owl was transformed into this amazing cuff. (I know I shouldn't say amazing in reference to my own work, but it really fit the adjective for me; comfortable, cute, unique).
I pulled the colors from the fabric and they went perfectly with this little guy. When I was invited to join Artbead's blogging program with the Autumn as the theme, I once again knew this little owl would be perfect. Using the fabric as my guide I choose beads from their website that fit the colors and complimented the bottle cap. I took a chance on the funky fringe beads and I know have a new favorite embellishment bead.
|Japanese Owl Necklace|
When I look back at most of the pieces I've created, my inspiration doesn't come from a picture, or nature, or necessarily anything concrete. It comes from an amazing focal point, a problem that needs solving, and my color wheel. It comes from friendships, good food (and yes good beer), as well as the challenge to try something new, be it a new bead or a new technique. It's hard to show in pictures, but it's a drive none the less.
Inspiration also comes to me from the work of others I admire. A fellow Michigan artist, Shannon Lovorn, has a shop on etsy called Gypsy Moon Art. Her shop is a work of art and her jewelry is amazing. I keep missing her at shows, but she is one of my favorite wire work artists and always inspires me to reach deeper into my inner artist and work to improve the look of my shop. When I saw this piece she did sometime ago, I knew I wanted it (alas it sold before I got the chance) but I also knew I wanted to create something with that wonderful cameo she used.
While in a class by Annie Hesse, I chose to depart from the class project and use this cameo in pendant. The pendant design came quickly, but it took several attempts to get the neck strap they way I wanted it, but I love the final result.