Monday, 16 August 2010

Sneak Peek....

Right now, I'm into lace, vintage, patination, copper, Murano glass, brass, bows, birds, organza, satin, hand-stitching, shabby chic, collected charm bracelets, fabric dying - including using tea, marie antoinette, france, black and white, red, turquoise, upcycling, paris, new york, and venice. 
~Those are all the things I can think of (without looking in my journal that is); which I'll be working with for a while.   
I've been playing with patination in a big way - both in terms of oxidising metals (brass, copper, silver) and also using patination solutions to achieve effects. 
Finding the time to experiment, play and create is difficult, when I feel I should be 'doing some real work' its hard to justify just messing about with not much achievement at the end - it's the only way to progress though, otherwise I tend to stay in the same place creatively which leads to stagnation.  I've been working on necklaces galore, though I sell more bracelets and earrings, it seems necklaces are what my brain wants to make right now, and so be it.

Here are some of my new lace pieces.   I stiffen the lace so it holds its shape - cutting, stiffening, and reshaping takes around 2 days, then I use it in jewellery - some shows me what needs doing, other pieces need more input; I stiffen the lace with an archival treatment that preserves it from staining and damage.
These asymmetric earrings are made from grey-black lace medallions, sterling silver and Swarovski crystal.

"Take A Bow Necklace" - a cute little bit of fun; with Swarovski crystal, Swarovski crystal pearls, bronze and brass filigree, circles and chain, each element is wired with enamelled wire. Can be worn asymmetrically to one side or conventionally.

Somewhere in my lace and ribbon stash I've got 3 or 4 precious handmade lace butterflies which are at least 100 years old; some have a little staining, others are pristine, I hope their previous owner had the pleasure of wearing them at some point.  
In the meantime, this  contemporary lace starts a new direction for me; I've found I am freer creatively when I am not constrained by precious metals, so I'll take risks when I use copper or bronze where I usually work in sterling or gold; this is hardly surprising considering their price.   I like mixing metals too, and for the first time ever I've found myself in a happy place working with plated metals, enamelled wires and ribbon, mainly because it seems to engender freer and more spontaneous work.  My studio floor is currently covered in lace scraps, bits of cotton and lace and velvet and organza ribbon.


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