Post-Arisa post

So I had a table in the Arisia Art Show! And that was exciting. Also cold. Really really cold. Fortunately, I only had to be there to set it up and take it down again, but that was quite enough freezing every bit of exposed skin (hands, face) for one weekend.

I sold 3 pairs of earrings and 1 ear cuff, and that was also exciting. And not cold at all.

I think I may have worked out a reasonable table setup, assuming I don’t have many, many pendants and pairs of earrings and ear cuffs, because if I did, I’d have to work out some kind of more vertical setup.

Left end of the Arisia table

Middle of the Arisia table

Right end of the Arisia table

Elsewhere at the con (Fabric Dragon), I acquired several strands of lovely beads, including some small sodalite spheres that I think will work well for more of the “Cosmology” type earrings, and some gorgeous cylindrical fluorite beads (a gift, though from the same source).

I also bought a pair of fingerless gloves, made of bubble silk, which are pretty much the best thing ever.

My intention, when I visited Reyen Design Studios, was to buy a skirt, because I wanted to last year and didn’t quite feel up to spending the money then.

But they had these fingerless gloves made of this weird puckered silk, and I tried them on, and thought about how miserably cold my wrists and hands are at work all. the. time, either because there is cold air blowing on me all. the. time, or because my wrist is resting on the surface of the desk, and even a layer of shirt – or two! – is not enough to shield me from absorbing the coldness of the desk and making my arm hurt.

I ended up with one of the long pairs, in shades of deep and bright green. I figured they would give me ample wrist and hand coverage, and covering the rest of my forearms couldn’t be a bad thing, right? Also, they are the right shades of green to go with my silly green ball gown, which is completely sleeveless.

It took a few days post-con to remember to take them to work, but I am now convinced I need a couple more pairs, in other colors. Not that the green doesn’t work reasonably well with most of my wardrobe, but, well. Black would go with everything, and if I could get some in some shades of brown/beige/gold/brick red or something, I would be all set.

Anyway, they are awesome. Very comfortable, shield the tops of my hands from the evil cold breeze, and my wrists, and provide another barrier between my arm and the cold desk surface.

I did also buy a skirt. Not in the shades of green or blue or greyish purple that I expected (and there was a really lovely purpley grey skirt, all the shades of the evening), but one with a primarily orange layer and a primarily red layer. It looks like a fire.

All in all, it was a good con, except for the frigid temperatures in some of the public spaces, and I will likely do more art shows.

Process and progress

Back in September, I was playing around with a bunch of sea-themed beads. I had this really amazing large mermaid charm/pendant, but I couldn’t quite see her as just a pendant. Or even as just a pendant with a lot of interesting supporting beads and wire around.

I thought the centerpiece of an elaborate necklace would be nice, so I did a crude sketch and laid out some beads in a way that seemed reasonable:

A large metal mermaid charm with some beads arranged on a sketch of a necklace design.

This is more or less how I design necklaces: sketch out what I think the structure will be, put beads down on it, then photograph.

I didn’t quite feel like making it then. Or maybe I was really busy. Or both. But periodically I remembered (like when I was pawing through beads, and be reminded there was this piece lurking, completely unfinished), and I’d want to get back to it.

Well, what with Arisia coming up, I have suddenly felt spurred to action!

Tragically, I took no more in-process photos, but here is the completed piece:

Completed collar. Necklace. Whatever.

The structure is, as usual, stainless steel, in three different gauges. The swoopy, wave-like wires are sterling silver. HOLY COW, is silver wire easy to bend! After spending quite some time forcing the stainless steel (and it is a soft temper steel!) to do what I wanted, the sterling felt like putty. Wow. So nice.

Components are: big metal mermaid charm/pendant, lots of different glass beads, and a couple of pieces of dyed shell. The circle that the mermaid is facing is dyed shell, and there’s a chunky green rectangular bead on the other side that is also shell.

I put one of the pale green beads behind her head to make her face stand out a little more.

This was the most painful piece I’ve done. I am used to my finger pads feeling tender after bending a lot of stainless steel, and I occasionally wind up with minor stab and scratch wounds from unfiled wire ends. But working on it last night, I managed an impressive puncture wound as well as an embarrassing incident with the flush cut pliers. (Embarrassing because seriously, it isn’t that hard to keep the soft bits away from the sharp parts of tools!)

In other news, I made a bunch of earrings, and a couple more pendants. I am liking this productivity!

THe usual sorts of things: brass wire, sterling silver wire, stainless steel; glass and stone beads.

Still to do for Arisia: title all of these things. And the other things. And submit all that plus size info and pricing. And work out table layout; I think I am NOT going to use slabs of rock this time, because it is heavy to carry around! And I do not have enough slabs for every necklace anyway.

I do have a chunk of a tree branch. Maybe I can hang things off that.