Tag Archives: beach rock necklaces

I didn’t blog much all winter but I did make a lot of beads.

I love to make beads. I love to use beads made by others. If I had all the time in the world and could set up an area in my studio to do something new it would be to  make lamp-worked (also called flame-worked) beads. I’ve tried it in a workshop and I know that learning to make these beautiful beads would take too much time away from my love of Precious Metal Clay. It would take years to develop the skills I want to have to make glass beads. So, there are a few glass bead makers from whom I buy regularly.

One of them is Susan Kennedy of SueBeads.  Here is the link to her Etsy Shop where I first discovered her fine work. Now I’m more apt to see her latest ideas on her FaceBook page. In the middle of March  Sue  posted some beads I had not seen before. Scarabs. I had to have some! And when the wonderful beads arrived, I knew I wanted to try making some in silver, to use in a necklace along with her beads. I sent her a private message, asking her permission to make a silicone mold of one or two of her scarabs so I could reproduce my own hollow scarab beads in silver from PMC. She was totally supportive and I knew it would inspire a future blog post, as long as my beads came out as I hoped.

Below are photos of my process, followed by some finished pieces.

Sue’s scarabs are embedded halfway in plastocene, ready to have the two part mold material pressed on top.

IMGP2667

The finished molds with metal clay pressed in to pick up the design. I made two halves from each mold so that my hollow beads would be two-sided.

My silver clay beads before firing, next to two of Sue’s beads.

IMGP2680

Sue’s glass beads on top, my silver beads on bottom. These guys are now ready to party together!

IMGP2736

I made four different necklaces using each of Sue’s beads. In three of the necklaces I combined my scarabs with hers.

This is the only necklace without one of my metal scarab beads. Only because I haven’t yet worked on making some in bronze. You can see Sue’s scarab bead setting the tone for the bright colors in the necklace. There are glass beads made by a few other artists as well as the beach rock and sea glass that I drilled, and some African glass beads. The metal beads are ones I made from bronze metal clay.

Below is one of my more traditional beach rock necklaces. I love how well Sue’s beads combine with the organic beads I make. Notice the other two pod-like silver beads. They are made with a mold I took from a goldenrod stem gall. (I’m always on the lookout for unusual things to mold. When I made the stem gall mold a few years ago I had to look it up to see what it was called!)

IMGP2773IMGP2774

Another rock necklace. I really like how Sue’s scarab on the left balances with the longer piece of sea glass on the right. Two silver scarabs are farther up on the necklace. The rondelle stones are turquoise. The beach rocks come from the island where I live. I drill them myself to use for beads.

IMGP2816IMGP2871

This last one is a lot lighter, and might be my favorite of the bunch. I made all of the scarab necklaces one after another because I was so excited about the beads. In this last necklace, Sue not only made the scarab bead, but also the ammonite bead. The sea glass pieces come from the Northeast coast of England and I also drill them to make  beads.

IMGP2807IMGP2880IMGP2882

Now these necklaces are off to galleries for the start of the summer season. Time to get back to making more beads and seeing if Sue has any more scarabs.

8 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Summer season at Winters Work

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

New year, new necklaces, old friends. Come to the Islesford Dock and check out Sue’s shop; Winters Work.

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Quick post…

…of the quick photos of  necklaces I’m dropping off at The Gallery Next Door today in Bar Harbor:

IMGP5337 IMGP5330 IMGP5345 IMGP5331 IMGP5350 IMGP5338

9 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Pretty light inside too

Not only is November light beautiful at the beach in the afternoon, it looks pretty good inside my studio, too. Just look at the shadows cast by tiny beads on my bench, calling me to sit down, be creative, and enjoy.

And that’s just what I’ve been doing. Enjoying my work. Making that final push before the holidays and feeling more energized by the deadlines than frazzled. I don’t know if I will still feel this way after Thanksgiving, but for now, I’ll take it.

My focus has been on beach rock and sea glass necklaces. Today I sent 8 of them to the Center for Maine Craft in Gardiner, Maine. Just in time too as they have a big promotion going on in the gallery for “Black Friday “and “Small Business Saturday.”

Events: Mark your Calendar!

Hugs

Black Friday: November 23rd 9am-8pm
After a long, early morning of shopping come by the Center and “Grab a Hug & get a discount”!  The Center staff will have a bowl of Hershey Hugs marked with discounts – 5%, 10%, 15%, or 20%.  Grab a Hug and get a discount off your whole purchase. *

 
*Can not be combined with any other discounts or sales.
Small Business Saturday: November 24th

Small Biz Sat

Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses nationwide. Last year,

over one hundred million people came together to Shop Small® in
their communities on Small Business Saturday®.

Come support the Center for Maine Craft and its over 300 current artists with work on display.  Put your name in a RAFFLE for a Center Gift Certificate!  Also, don’t forget a purchase receipt gives you a discount coupon for local businesses in downtown Gardiner!  A double benefit for going small and going local!

If you are traveling up or down interstate 95 or 295 in Maine after Thanksgiving, this stop is right on your way. It’s the only place I know of where you can get gas for your car, pee, get something to eat, and shop for some great craft work made by my fellow Maine artisans. Sounds like a wacky combination, but it’s really a great idea, and it’s a beautiful gallery.

I photographed the work I sent, but after it was in the mail and I checked my photos, I questioned the backgrounds I used in my haste to get to the Post Office before the mail went out at 11 a.m.

 

This combination of sea glass and beach rocks also includes some of Sue Kennedy‘s beads. I really love the way her etched beads compliment the rough sea glass. (If you want any of Sue’s shiny beads etched, you can just ask her and she’ll be happy to do it for you.) Can you spot them below? There’s a sweet disc with frit (bumps of glass) along the edge on the right side of the photo. (It’s right next to a cream and caramel colored bead that I actually made myself in a class 2 years ago. Yes, I wish I had the time and set up to delve into glass bead making, but it’s not to be right now. Good thing Sue makes such beautiful beads!) The white egg shaped bead with the dots is also one of Sue’s.

 

I hang on to most of the wacky beads I’ve made myself because I never know when they might come in handy. Like this experiment with translucent polymer clay covering a copper bead. (It’s the center bead.)

 

I like to use this necklace design with the smaller pebbles and handmade fine silver beads:

 

That is sterling silver-plated Beadalon cable between the pebbles.

 

 

Oy! Time to leave this nasty background color behind. What was I thinking??  Here’s a longer (37″) necklace combining the beach stones, some sterling chain, freshwater pearls, and some flat disc fine silver beads I made.

 

A more symmetrical piece with beach rocks and fine silver:

 

My favorite thing to do is to combine the fine silver beads I’ve made, with the beach rocks I drill and the handmade beads of others. Below, two ceramic beads made by Keith O’Connor really work with the granite pebble and the lines in the silver beads: (I buy Keith’s beads at Beadin’ Path in Freeport.)

 

More examples of sea glass, silver, and Sue beads:

 

When I have all my beads spread out in a mess on my workbench, I sometimes see combinations that would not have occurred to me. Here are fine silver PMC beads with a copper clay bead that I have patina-ted.

 

 

I’m ready to go back to work in the studio after a walk with my sweetie. I have a show on the last day of November and the first of December in Bar Harbor, and another show on December 10 in Boston.  I still hope to get my Etsy shop up and running again…But more about those later. Time to capture the last of the afternoon light.

8 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Necklaces for West Gardiner

Where can you pull off an interstate highway, get gas for your car, get something to eat, make a comfort stop, AND shop in an amazing gallery of fine crafts?

The service plaza in West Gardiner, Maine of course. It’s where I 295, I 95, and the Maine Turnpike converge. You can be going south or going north and it’s still easily accessible from the highway. Just inside the building, among the usual suspects in the food court, is the Center for Maine Craft featuring juried work from many members of the Maine Crafts Association.

I’ve had some of my jewelry there since the beginning of May and I’m happy to say they need more necklaces. These are from the batch I mailed out today:

All 7 of the flame worked beads below are by Susan Kennedy of SueBeads.

I wondered when I would get around to using these translucent polymer clay discs that I made while fooling around in April with my friend Holly. They just seemed to fit right in with the recycled Indonesian glass and the English sea glass. Old, new, and renewed; linked together by their matte finishes.

10 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Two necklaces: finished

This was a commissioned piece. A request for a silver beach rock necklace with just a few beach stones added.

The piece below is one I started as soon as I drilled some of the English sea glass. I LOVE how well the colors combined with the flame worked green glass beads made by Sue Kennedy. I love it so much that as soon as I post this I’m going right to her Etsy site to see if she still has the other focal bead I’ve been eying! (Actually, it’s gone. I bought it before posting. Didn’t want to have any regrets.)

I am so happy with how the frostiness of this bead by Sue combines with the natural frosty finish of the hundred year old sea glass. I like the dichotomy of being able to combine something so old with something so new in a piece. ( I also like using the word dichotomy in reference to a necklace.)

There are two of Sue’s beads in this necklace. Can you spot the other one?                                                                                     Note to self: Time to make more PMC toggle clasps.

14 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

When I don’t know what to do first…

…I start with drilling rocks. After a good two weeks away from my studio, there are so many things I want to do, I am paralyzed by indecision. The best thing I can do is drill holes in rocks. I can never have too many to choose from, and it calms my mind to make slow but steady progress on something. There is not much creativity in pressing the lever of a drill press, peck after peck after peck, to work my way through a beach rock. But with each and every pebble I think about how I will use it, or what colors I have to combine with it, or how happy I’ll be to have so many drilled and waxed rocks to choose from when I am sitting down to make new necklaces. By doing something uncreative, I am opening my mind to ideas.

 

Sometimes there is even a reward to just leaving drilled rocks hanging around on the counter overnight.

 

10 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized