Sunday, July 6, 2008

Return to my Roots

Although I've always been interested in artsy things, I consider that I started into my current arts and crafts path about six or seven years ago when my friend Missy decided that we needed to have custom jewelry. We went to The Bead Bar - a local bead shop - and I was overwhelmed with all the colors and choices. I pottered around for about two hours of anxious "I have no idea what to do - this is WAY over my head-ness" and finally picked a few beads and had the girls at the shop make my earrings. I loved the ideas, but I was just overwhelmed like water gorging up over a dam that was too full as to what to do with it all.

Somehow I got talked into going back and taking a class on wire wrap (it would have been easier to start with stringing, but we didn't know that) and after an hour or so, it all began to make sense. I still picked beads that I didn't realize until too late had holes that totally didn't work for my designs, and I became obsessed with getting the perfect wire wrap. I became hooked and started going to bead shows, and moved up from buying single beads to buying strings of them. All the colors and sparkly things! Then moved from buying inexpensive glass to more expensive natural stones (less sparkly, more substantial).

Somehow, though, it just wasn't seemed like there was something missing from this creative endeavor. Yes, it was creative, but it wasn't completely fulfilling and so I kept searching. When I started I didn't even know I needed a creative outlet. Now, all these years later, I wouldn't be able to live without it. My art is that important to me - frustrations, occasional heavy doses of self-criticism, and then triumphant "damn, I'm good!" moments and all. So, I cast my net wider and roved on into other worlds of stamping, altered books, etc but once in a while, I still go back to my roots. Mostly when I get a new outfit, or I realize that my current jewelry just doesn't quite go with an outfit, or when I get tired of the jewelry I've got.

Understand, I work in a very gray and dull corporate office, in a very detail oriented, here's the rules profession (tech writing) - I have to get my Stevie Nicks-in-her-Jack Daniels-phase inner bohemian out somehow (thanks Gary Gilbert for that entirely appropros description!). I do it by my highly theatrical and costumey clothing. I dress as I do to entertain myself (and puzzle my more straight-laced fellow cube rats) I must confess, the inner 16-year old in my 41 year old self thoroughly enjoys delights my soul.

Back to today's topic though - I get the urge once or twice a year to create jewelry (it isn't the all of me, but there's a bit of it that I do enjoy if I don't have to do it too often), and here's this weekend's work!

The beads are handmade from rolled up paper, painted, then dipped in UTEE (ultra thick embossing enamel) and with overlays of glitter, mica powders, fibers, and whatever else amused me. The beading is from my still gigantic bead stash, the wire wrap is in my "casual" style - yes, I can wire wrap perfectly. No, it doesn't amuse me so I prefer the casual approach; I think it conveys my ideas much better. One of my treasured beads from my trip to Venice appears in there (the glowey coppery gold one in the above picture). There's even a dangle on the end (sorry, not visible in the pictures apparently) of Vintaj filigree that I had in the "expensive stuff" stash. I love this because it doesn't match the copper at all (it's bronze with a washed-down-a-drainpipe-for-three years patina). My homage to the chatelaine - a medieval belts with keys and other useful household requisites on the ends.

Hope you enjoy the piece, dear readers!


Anonymous said...

I am fascinated by rolled paper beads. Do you have advice on where to find good instructions. And your new jewelry is terrific!

*Shelly* said...

"It delighted my soul." Oh, the few of us who understand that wonderful reference... :)