Busy with several things

In addition to getting ready for the Together Festival in just over a week, I have been working on several other things. Many of which also have deadlines in the next 10 days. WHEE.

This had no deadline, but I needed the space on the top of the cabinet, where I’d had the objects laid out for weeks, and then I had some free time while waiting on an ear casting ( . . . uh, more on that later) so I took care of it:

I wired several of my favorite large pieces of found stuff on the end of this cabinet.

The top of the cabinet is, of course, now piled with other things. But that was the point of wiring the metal stuff to the end of the cabinet.

And I came up with this:

New ear cuff design

More of these at the festival! I was trying to duplicate a really old, early ear cuff design, and, well, things happened. I still haven’t duplicated the old design.

And then there’s this:

Models of things one might find in a skatepark

I made the quarter-bowl shapes by covering part of a rubber ball with paper soaked in glue.

And, at long last, after more horrors than I care to recount or remember, the Dig box has its primary coating of paint, and I’ve spent some time testing out my wonderful, wonderful paint pens, which I’ll be using to do all the detail work. (Also I have some tiny bottles of Testor paints!)

Testing out designs and pens and paint for the Dig box

FINALLY I am done with stinky paint

Together Festival; new art; oil paint is Bad News; probably some other things, too

NEWSY THINGS

I will be vending at the Together Festival on April 7 from 11-5. The festival itself runs from April 2-8. If you came to the Burner Bazaar in December and liked what you saw, you should come check this out, too!

And I submitted an application for this year’s CSArt program, run by the Cambridge Center for Adult Education. I won’t know for a while whether I’ve even made it through the first round of selections. It’s a really fantastic program, and I hope I get in. If I don’t, well, the proposal I submitted is something I’d like to try out anyway; it’s nice to have another art concept lurking around for days when I get bored with the same old business.

ARTY THINGS

Speaking of lurking concepts, I’ve had this one skulking about in my head for months and months, and I finally took the time to track down some reference images I could use to create the silhouette and cracked pattern:

silhouette of a raven in flight on a shattered heart

"Raven heart" needs a better title.

References used: Raven 13, by EquineStockImages, and Broken by devradiopooh (that link no longer works but it did as of 5 days ago). I have a couple other variations over on deviantART.

One of the ways I pay attention in meetings is to doodle in my sketchbook. It’s a good way to come up with new ideas and work out a million zillion variations before trying them in wire. Here’s one of them in wire now:

Variation on the tooth theme. These are rather large, but very light.

GRIPEY THINGS

OH MY GOD OIL PAINT!!!

So on the advice of several people who sell paint for a living, I bought some Serious Oil-based Paint for painting the Dig Box. And I put on a first coat, and I waited for it to dry so I could apply a second coat, because the first coat wasn’t completely covering the original paint. The cans of paint say “Dries to the touch in 3-4 hours. To apply a second coat, allow to dry overnight.”

And the next morning I checked on it, and it was NOT EVEN DRY TO THE TOUCH!!! In fact, where I touched it, the paint wrinkled up.

That was Friday morning.

Today, Monday, I came in to sand the damn thing and put on coat #2.

GUESS WHAT.

The surface is now dry to the touch, but it’ll still wrinkle up, which means NO SANDING, unless you want to immediately gunk up the sandpaper beyond salvation.

So I spent almost two hours scraping paint off the damn box, so that it might someday dry enough that I can sand ALL THE OIL PAINT OFF and go for spray paint. Or maybe latex, because that was also an option for super-duper, resistant-to-weather paint, and I should have gone with that from the start.

So. Oil paint. I have almost 2 quarts I will not be finishing off. One in a lovely dark green, the other in the wrong shade of pale blue.

Anyone want it? The paint store claims it’s awesome!!

Today I made a deformed frog

A frog, leaf, blob, bird and tooth shape cast in various methods.

Starting from the frog and going clockwise: Delft clay casting, cuttlebone leaf, water casting, cuttlebone bird and tooth shape.

I took a class this weekend at Artisan’s Asylum called Metalcasting with Sand, Bone, and Water. We learned how to cast shapes freeform, by pouring molten metal into water, how to carve shapes in cuttlebone (which gives you great ripply textures from the cuttlebone – one more tutorial for good measure), and how to use Delft clay (really sand mixed with some kind of oil) to make a mold of another object, and then recreate it with metal.

It was really terrific fun, one of my favorite classes I’ve taken there, and I highly recommend it (I believe it will be run again at some undetermined point).

I attempted to cast my little toy frog using the Delft clay, but its legs are so thin that the metal really couldn’t make it down their full length, so the results are what you see above: a frog with sad little stumps. (Though with a little of the burnt sand/oil mix still on the surface, it could almost pass as some ancient artifact that has mostly survived some great catastrophe. Froggy de Milo?) This is a great method for recreating something that has a lot of fine detail – one person used little plastic fish (flexible, though not as badly as the frog, so it took some extra care to make sure it left a good impression in the clay) – and the results are amazing. It picked up every scale and fine line in the fish’s fins.

We did the water casting to gain some familiarity with the process of melting the metal and then pouring it. The target is a bowl of water, as opposed to the small funnel that we cut into the clay or cuttlebone to pour metal into. (You can see part of the funnel there on the frog’s base.)

The shape is impossible to control precisely, but the height of the crucible above the water does determine how much the metal spreads out. One of the other students got a really interesting shape, like a wide, flat, curving ribbon, by “throwing” the metal into the water. This would be a fun technique to play around with more. (Other people suggested trying things spinning the bowl of water; dropping the metal into a much deeper bowl so that the bottom of the metal would be round instead of flattening out; and dropping the metal into boiling water to see what the bubbling would do.)

The cuttlebone turned out to be my favorite method. The texture that the pieces end up with is so fantastic – it is great for narrow wiggly organic shapes, and for things like wings and fish.

The other side of some of the shapes.

For two of the cuttlebone castings, I attempted to shape both sides. The mold is made by sanding two cuttlebones flat, carving your design into one surface, and then taping them together to pour. It is difficult to figure out how the outline of your shape would show up on both halves of the mold, so usually the cuttlebone shapes are flat on their back side (well, flat except for the natural grain of the cuttlebone).

For the leaf and tooth shape, I attempted to give both sides some depth. With the leaf, I just kind of guessed, and carved the reverse side significantly smaller than the front.

For the tooth, I bent a piece of brass wire into my outline, and then sandwiched it between the pieces of cuttlebone, pushing them together to press the wire into the bone, before beginning to carve – the wire left a nice outline on both pieces for me to follow, and I did get some depth on both sides of the cast. I ended up liking the “reverse” side of the tooth better, because I cut it deeper and with a little more curve to it, and the deeper, more curved shapes showed the texture of the cuttlebone better.

For the last piece, I wanted to really take advantage of the texture, have it work well with the overall form, so I carved a really abstract bird, with spread wings, into the cuttlebone, hoping the ridges would look like really abstracted feathers.

Bird cast in cuttlebone, with the sprue cut away

Bird cast in cuttlebone, with the sprue cut away

I didn’t do any major finishing for the pieces – I trimmed the sprues and filed the sharpest edges down, but I haven’t taken any polishing wheels to them, so they look a little dull (really. after going through several steps of polishing, that brassy metal GLEAMS).

I think it would be really neat to cast some bezels or frames in cuttlebone that I can wire stones into. I think the ridged texture could look really fantastic. The metal we were using for most of the work was some sort of copper alloy (it looks very similar to brass, but I don’t know if it was alloyed with tin or zinc or what), and quite soft, so I could also cast narrow shapes and wind them around stones, like a really, really fat wire. A couple of students brought in silver jewelry they no longer wore, and melted that down for casting; there was additional sterling casting grain on hand that we could buy if we wanted to, but since I was more focused on experimenting with carving shapes into cuttlebone, I didn’t feel like splurging.

There are plans in place to set up an area at the Asylum that is dedicated to jewelry work (and glass – lampworking!!!), which I am really looking forward to.

Of course, I’m going to want to cast steel, too.

Late winter progress

I have been busy the last few months! Craft fairs in December, which were fun, participating in the art shows at Arisia and Boskone, finally – finally – getting some reasonable photography of many items and updating ye olde Etsy shoppe a bit, plus miscellaneous long-overdue projects at home, and working on my own space at the Asylum as well as some infrastructural things there.

The Arisia Art Show was not as financially successful this year as last, but I consider it a success overall because I figured out a much nicer display system, which I can continue to use. And IT ALL FITS IN MY ROLLING CART!!! While I have more stuff to pack and unpack, the whole system is more organized, and it looks nice.

Table at Arisia Art Show 2012

One side of the table at Arisia.

The raised boxes double as storage for all of the smaller stuff: jewelry, necklace busts, chunks of rock, and the drapes. I still have to haul a poster tube with me for the paper, and the tree branch remains awkward, but it fits into the rolling cart between the boxes.

Here’s where I got the pattern for the necklace displays.

Necklaces at Arisia Art Show 2012

The right side of my table at Arisia 2012.

This year, I again had problems with my pre-con data entry – last year, some of the information got scrambled, and I had to rewrite parts of every bid sheet. This year, NONE of the information survived being stuffed into the internet, but I was saved an hour of hand-writing by a combination of a friend with a laptop, the hotel wifi, my cloud backups of the file in which I’d saved the data, and Arisia staff with the time to take my spreadsheet and turn it into printed bid sheets. Next year, I bring the spreadsheet on a flash drive. And maybe MY laptop, too.

Boskone was a lot smoother. They provide artists the ability to print (or write out) bid sheets in advance of showing up to the con, so I did that, which meant I knew exactly what numbers went on which pieces, so everything was labeled properly in advance of arriving. And, since I had only half a table, my setup was much shorter.

Things were so fast and easy I actually felt a little cheated. Like, there’s supposed to be some adversity to overcome here!

I sold a few pieces, including one of my favorite pendants. I will miss it, but I am glad someone else appreciated it, too.

Stone and wire pendant - Lonely Orbit

"Lonely Orbit" - stainless steel, stone (jasper and agate, I think)

reverse side of Lonely Orbit stone and wire pendant

The other side of Lonely Orbit. It's not intended to be worn this way, but I think this side is also quite nice.

Oh, yeah: I also made another partial torso for photographing necklaces on.

I wrapped plastic bags and plastic wrap around my mannequin, to protect its decoupage and make the new bust easy to remove, and used some slightly thick art paper and watered-down glue to cover the neck, shoulders, and upper part of the bust. I like the beige art paper that’s covering the mannequin now, but some pieces show up a lot better on this black paper. The decoupaging process is quite enjoyable. I’m toying with the idea of doing another black display bust, but with a thinner paper, so the torn edges aren’t quite so obvious.

Other things that may be of interest:

I started a portfolio on Behance. I like the look of the site a lot, adding projects is pretty easy, and it’s a great way to waste time looking at shiny things! I mean, a great source of art and inspiration. Yes.

Also I started a Tumblr. I know, I know, I’m a little late to the party, what took me so long? (Hey look I got started on Pinterest before the whole internet noticed it was A Cool Thing, so I’m not completely behind, right?) What took me so long is that look, the last thing I need is another blog-like thing to update, but I guess I can cheat at Tumblr and post my posts here to Tumblr, right? Mixed in with sporadic additions of whatever else that catches my eye, of course.

Things upcoming: I worked out a new design for ear cuffs, using 2 different metals. It’s my original two leaf design, with a 3rd leaf of another metal overlaying them. I like them a lot, I just need to *sigh* photograph them and make some listings and stuff.

Also, I want to brag about some work I did at the Asylum, because projects that cost NO MONEY and use up lots of scrap and spare materials, AND look great are worth bragging about, but I’ll save that for another post.

Upcoming craft fairs & recently completed things

I will be at two holiday craft fairs in the next couple weeks:

December 5, 5:30-8:30pm: Kennedy School Gift Fair (FB event link, sorry, that’s all I got), 2 Cherry St., Somerville. The Kennedy School is an elementary school in Somerville; the event includes a raffle that will benefit the PTA.

December 10, 1:00-7:00pm: Underground Artist & Burner Bazaar 2011 (FB link only, sorry), Redtail Collective, 369 Congress St., Boston. Includes food and music performances, as well as lots of crafts!

I will also be showing some work at the Arisia Art Show in January, and I’ve signed up for a table in the Artist and Author Alley. I don’t know what time slot I will get, but I’ll update that when I know it.

I’ve been making good use of my space and membership at Artisan’s Asylum, and am now almost completely out of ear wires. Oops.

Here are some terrible images of some recent work – click to view much larger (only way to see the colors in some shots):

Stainless steel, glass, and stone.

I am quite pleased with how the fairy earrings turned out. I’ve made earrings very similar to that style before, but not exactly; the method I used to hang the charm is new – just a loop in the wire, rotated 90 degrees from the rest of the wire, which means I don’t have to make a separate loop to connect the charm to the rest of the earrings. Saves time and space in the design!

More lousy photography:

The boot earrings are HEAVY.

Those are some serious charms, those boots! They are fully 3D, and solid. I see many more earrings in the style of the fairies/dragonflies. It works well for a lot of things. And I have a lot of charms, which until now, I’ve struggled to incorporate into my work.

The beads are cloisonne, I think, and are mostly blue.

Close up shot to get a better sense of the bead color.

The beads have some great iridescence.

I also made a leaf necklace, using stainless steel wire and cultured pearls, instead of my usual brass and glass leaf beads. It’s harder to get nice leaves with the stainless steel, since it is so much stiffer.

The pearls are greyish purple.

I’ve been naming the brass leaf necklaces “Spring Rites,” but that doesn’t seem appropriate for metals and beads that are the color of the late autumn and winter sky. (Oh! This just occurred to me: I must – MUST – make one like this with the BRIGHT PURPLE pearls, and call it the “Beautyberry” necklace. Though it would be more seasonally correct if the leaves were just bare sticks, to match the one in my yard. Hmm. Whatever. “Artistic license!”)

I also spent a couple of hours last night working out a composition for an elaborate collar, along the lines of the Machinist’s Collar, but on a sort of pirate queen theme. AUGH IT WAS HORRIBLE! I spent most of the time feeling completely incompetent and certain it will All End in Tears and Failure, but at the same time I feel compelled to finish. I’ve known enough other artists who have written similar things about their own works to know that this is normal and probably means it will be just fine.

I think this is part of the problem with letting one’s nonverbal mind be involved in the decision making process.

I have a picture, but I’m holding off posting it until I’ve committed to putting it together. Because then there will be no turning back.

I like long walks on the beach, and picking rusted things up off the street

A lovely flat piece of rusted metal

I found this lovely thing on the sidewalk this morning while I was walking to the T.

Most things I pick up like that are smaller and not terribly fragile – old nails or bolts, pieces of chain – and I can immediately stuff them into a pocket, where they will either languish for months (if in my jacket), or be discovered in the washing machine in a week or two.

This was too big and too fragile to fit into a pocket, but I had some time while waiting for the train to arrive to carefully stow it inside a notebook, like a pressed flower.

A closer look at one side of the metal thing.

Gorgeous, isn’t it?

I don’t know what I’ll do with this. I think it is probably too fragile, and possibly too big, and too corroded, to be used for jewelry, though it would be amazing as the main piece of a necklace. I suppose it could be made into a necklace or pectoral that isn’t actually intended to be worn, but at that point, I’d rather make something that is definitely NOT meant to be worn. While I appreciate art that results in something that appears functional but is really just meant to be looked at, I also find it kind of irritating, so I am disinclined to do that sort of thing myself.

Besides, I still have plenty of materials for making actually wearable pieces of jewelry; here are the first things I made in my first day using my space at Artisan’s Asylum:

Stainless steel wire, glass beads, lava beads

It was fantastic having a work space that isn’t doubling as kitchen counter, miscellaneous craft table, or horizontal surface of holding all the stuff. I’m realistic enough to know that my uncluttered work surface won’t stay that way for long, but I am enjoying the hell out of it while it lasts (and at least it will NEVER be competing with the production of a big meal, so there’s that).

These are not new designs, but OMG I am out of practice. It took way too long to get those damn spirally earrings right; in the process, I created and then had to cut up another 2 pairs (had to cut them up at 80% done to free the beads).

The workspace isn’t completely set up yet: I bought 3 full sheets of OSB to lay down as the floor, thinking it would be nicer to walk on that than concrete, and also less likely to end in the destruction of fragile dropped things, but the walls of my space are not quite big enough to just lay the boards down.

They are supposed to be 8 feet apart, which would be perfect, but they are about 2 inches too close together.

So I have to haul the OSB all the way to the wood shop, trim 2 inches off one end of each sheet, and then haul it back, and I am not fit enough to do more than maybe one of those a day.

The 1/3 of the floor that I have put the OSB down on is much nicer to walk on, however, and the sooner I get the rest cut and laid down, the sooner I can bring in more shelving and work surface and . . . stuff.

The floor, in progress, with anti-surveillance eagle sign, and penguin.

The stencil version of the anti-surveillance eagle works quite well as  stencil; I used it to make a large sign on foamcore. The penguin supporting it I deny all responsibility for.

ANYWAY. As soon as I get more work surfaces set up, the sooner I can lay out and admire the contents of my various boxes of random rusted metal things (I got 26 pounds shipped to me from home recently!), and figure out if I can find a good use for my newest acquisition.

Galleries, local and online

Earlier this year, I submitted some photos to the Ganoksin Exhibition, “Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder,” which is focused on jewelry made primarily from materials other than precious metals. The exhibition went live in early July, and is worth spending a good chunk of time looking through. There is a lot of fantastic art in there!

And locally, I now have several of my pieces in the Blue Cloud Gallery, which shows and sells work primarily by local artists and crafters. It’s a fairly small space, but there is a lot in there, in a wide range of media: ceramics, cards and prints, wooden boxes, textiles, etc. along with jewelry.

I’ve spent most of the summer focused on things other than crafts (like following the catastrophe that is Google+ – which has had the benefit of finding an excellent list of alternatives to various Google products), but since the fall/winter craft fair season is coming up, I probably need to dust my pliers off and start using them again.

First I need to find the pliers.

Experiments with titanium, Swapfest loot, and other progress

So I finally started playing with the titanium wire I ordered recently.

It is very lovely stuff – matte metallics colors (it is anodized), and a soft surface unlike any other metal (probably from the anodization).

It is also, as the website said, difficult to work with. I cannot put sharp bends in it; it will break. Right away. It work hardens FAST. And, like the website said, its temper is similar to spring steel, so I have to bend it well past where I want it to be in order for it to stay where I want it. It is also very light; holding one of the small coils, I had a hard time believing I was holding a metal (well, maybe aluminum).

An ear cuff, necklace concept in progress, and random bent shapes.

I don’t feel like I’ve got a good handle on how to use it yet; perhaps if I made the entire necklace from the same color? (The test piece is stainless steel for the support structure, and two different colors of titanium for the layered leaves.)

I do like how the colors of some of the wires work with the rainbow hues on my grey glass beads:

Shiny! The wire is a greyish blue; the bead has some similar colors in it.

In other exciting materials and supplies news, I made it to Swapfest, and got:

- 2 exceptionally lovely bearings

- 1 mystery object that might have come out of an old textile mill

- 2 hard drives with platters held in place with screws and not the mysterious unremovable mechanism some of my other junk drives have, not that I’m still bitter about that

- 1 box of random metal junk, which cost me $1, and was worth at least $2 in entertainment value

Everything from the box of random junk, laid out nicely. (plus hard drives and bearings from other sellers)

There are some small wrenches in that pile of stuff. And by “small” I mean “about the length of my finger THEY ARE ADORABLE.” Most of the weight of that box is made up by things that I think are bike parts. I don’t need them, but lugging them around was a reasonable payment for the small wrenches and other random small metal objects that I am going to clean and keep and eventually incorporate into . . . something.

There was also a piece of lead, in sheet form, in the box, which is now safely contained in a plastic bag. I don’t need a piece of lead sheet metal running around loose and contaminating the place.

The disk drives were also entertaining. One has unusually dark platters; the other had some fantastic machined pieces of metal separating its platters.

Yes, the platters really are dark brown.

Here's the metal piece separating two platters in the other drive.

Later, I discovered that if you hold a platter up so you can see your face in it, you can get some really odd effects if you move the platter around while looking at the reflection, because you will also see two blurry circles of the background at the same time. If you close one eye, you will only get one blurry circle, which leads to fun things like moving the platter so that the circle (the hole in the center of the platter) is where the reflection of your eye should be. It’s like being inside a Magritte, only instead of having an apple for a head, you have a potted plant for an eye.

It is very difficult to get good photographs of this.

Um.

Anyway.

I’ve also (finally) got two tiny book pendants put on cords and ready to photograph and eventually list on Etsy. I’m seriously considering opening up another online store on another site, but there are SO MANY other sites that I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with trying to choose.

Oh and I decoupaged the mannequin! At least partially. I didn’t think it was necessary to decoupage the entire thing, since I won’t be photographing the whole mannequin, just the portions necessary to show up jewelry. So she looks like she’s wearing a very stylish sort of crop-top, since the decoupage, which has uneven edges, stops somewhere above her navel.

Neat wire jewelry by other people

Part of my motivation for making wire jewelry was to learn how to turn pretty stone beads into pendants and the like, which meant I had to learn some basic wire-wrapping techniques. Lots of people do this kind of work, so I’ve had plenty of sources of awesome inspiration and eye candy.

Another part of my motivation was to explore an idea I had for making ear cuffs, which a lot of people also do with wire, except that one thing lead to another and I found that making interesting shapes with the wire was more intriguing than dangling beads from a basic ear cuff, and I have become more focused on using the wire to create the majority of the piece, to be the focus, rather than be used as primarily connective, structural material, or the framework.

But I have not seen many examples of this kind of work, focused on using the wire as the primary source of form and interest, which has had me at a bit of a loss in some ways.

Until recently, when I started finding other jewelry designers working primarily with wire to create their designs. And the excellent thing about them is that they are all strikingly different.

Beautifully simple mechanics; industrial

First (somewhere), I found this link to an interview with Brenda Schweder, who not only makes jewelry using wire, but steel wire!

Oh my god. I am not alone!

There are a lot of awesome photos of her work on her Facebook page; it’s hard to pick a favorite, but I really like the simple forms of this piece, and the design of the sections that go around the wearer’s neck:

Winterfrost Pod by Brenda Schweder

Three-dimensional organic forms

Also from Lark Crafts (that post has a free tutorial in it), I found the blog and jewelry of Kathy Frey, who also makes sculptural jewelry out of wire. Her gallery and her Etsy have plenty of examples. Her pod shapes, and the nest shapes, are my favorites.

Suspended Hidden Pearl Pod Pendant, by Kathy Frey

Simple geometry, reminiscent of mid-century Modernism

And via a post on Kathy Frey’s blog, I found Tia Kramer, who makes her own paper and combines that with wire forms. The combination of simple geometric shapes and rich colors (from the paper) just blows my mind. She has some very elaborate necklaces that incorporate other pieces of jewelry in them (like earrings and a bracelet) that can be worn as one piece or separately, as well as many simple, stunning pieces.

Crescent Eclipse, sterling silver and handmade paper, by Tia Kramer

Science fiction, high-tech

Going for a totally different style is this choker reminiscent of cyberpunk (found via someone’s board on Pinterest (they linked another piece by the same person)):

Bionic choker by DominicElvinDesign

I am not entirely sure what media are used in this piece, other than wire. Polymer clay? Precious metal clay? Random found objects?

I don’t really care, because the part of my brain that loves high-tech science fictiony design thinks this is the best thing ever. (It is currently engaged in a standoff with the parts of my brain that prefer Modernism, or an industrial look, or organic shapes.)

Body parts by mail and other fun

Since most of my necklaces do not lie nice and flat on either a table or a quick-and-easy necklace bust, I decided that the best way to photograph them – and form them, to a certain extent – would be to acquire a mannequin.

Here is my new assistant, who is close enough to my size that I can dress her up with my own clothes (. . . which is more disturbing to think about than I was expecting). I think she needs a layer of decoupage (her actual color is a much more unappealing brownish pink than the photo shows, not to mention the texture of the plastic). And a name.

Plastic female mannequin torso in a cardboard box

Now I know how much of my dismembered carcass would fit in a box. Most of it, is the answer. There's plenty of room in there for arms and legs. (Also note the lack of packing material provided.)

So I’m working on some projects for a literacy fundraiser, which means literary themes (hence TINY BOOKS!), and somehow my original ideas unexpectedly turned into an idea for a mess of beads and charms linked together in a way that I usually don’t work with because making links kinda makes me want to cry or throw everything out the window, but it was such a neat concept that I couldn’t resist. *sigh*

Um.

Anyway.

I decided that to make the links less tediously the same (it is contemplating the sameness that fills me with despair and loathing), I would add leaf and tendril elements to some or all of them.

Of course this means I couldn’t just decide that the first way I found to do it – which is a perfectly reasonable way! – was good enough and stick with it, oh no, suddenly I have MANY MORE IDEAS for how to make bead links more interesting while incorporating leafy things. So instead of working on the damn project, I am sketching ideas onto the paper and then compelled to test them out for real.

Because if I don’t, they will bother me until I do.

Some sketches and prototypes for ways of linking beads together while making the wire do interesting things. The link in the middle is what I am currently using; the link on the bottom I like a lot but haven't used - yet. The one on the top seemed like a good idea when I sketch it, but I dislike it now. The beads and charms on the left are part of the necklace that is troubling me; the pile on the right consists of potential components.

I’ve probably said it before, but the mechanical aspects of making jewelry with wire is at least half the fun. So I may be complaining about feeling forced to experiment when I have something that needs finishing, but it’s like complaining about having to choose between hot fudge and caramel. (Naturally, one puts both on, arranged so that they can be enjoyed separately OR together.)

Speaking of exciting mechanical challenges:

Two TINY BOOKS wrapped in wire, to be used as pendants.

Two TINY BOOKS! Carefully wrapped in wire such that they can be worn as pendants! AND TAKEN OUT OF THEIR TINY CAGES!!

My excitement about these things is inversely proportional to their size.

And also, the ideas for enclosing them! TOO MANY. Or, perhaps, just enough; some of them are clearly awful even on paper. Whatever, there isn’t enough time to give them all a proper tryout.

I have another project in mind that is more of a research project than a physical making-stuff project: there are approximately TOO MANY TOO COUNT different online marketplaces focused on selling handmade stuff, and they all offer slightly different costs and benefits, and I have yet to find any single source that puts them all together so that you can, at a quick glance, compare them.

This is on my to-do list now.