Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Inspired By Reading Book Club: October Selection The Ocean at the End of the Lane Blog Hop

The Ocean at the End of the Lane, the October selection for Andrew Thornton's  Inspired by Reading Book Club, is narrated by an unnamed 7 year old child in the form of an extended flash back triggered by a funeral which he attends as an adult.  For me the story was a poignant tale of trauma, childhood neglect and the power of love.  I truly enjoyed reading it and found all of its mystical, sci-fi and other worldly details engrossing and emotionally charged.
I chose to use a large heart that I made from polymer clay to carry the theme of the story and added small details to particularize it.  
                                                             Polymer Heart

The glass piece embedded in the heart was the feeling of  ice in his heart that the narrator frequently mentions when he is feeling scared and alone during the many frightening experiences that are woven into the story both before and after his person has been invaded by "bad spirits."

When I assembled the necklace, I was especially thrilled that the arm and hand milagro that I hung from the  double spiral bail  gently touched  the "ice" in his heart.  I felt that it was a good representation of the love and safe haven Lettie Hempstock and her family provided for him.

I actually made two different versions of the necklace using a different heart for each but in the end chose this one, as it was warmer and worked better with the piece of ice that I felt was essential to the telling of this story.

The necklace is strung on a partially doubled piece of natural colored linen  that is a reference to the wicked creature's appearance of being made of old ragged cloth.

linen straps on necklace

I used a heart milagro to highlight the child's need for protection

Heart Milagro

And Wooly Wire and a Double Spiral Bail to attach the heart 

Double Spiral Bail attached with Wooly Wire

Overall view of necklace

Overall view of necklace being worn

I think I liked this book so much because the Hempstocks recognized the narrator's need for love and  safety and were kind to him in such essential and fundamental ways that he was able to heal from the wounds of childhood trauma.

You can see what others made after reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane, on  Andrew Thornton's blog  HERE I will update this link later in the day when the blogpost is up.
You can also find links here
Special thanks to Andrew Thornton who is the one who continues to inspire us to read and create and invites you join in.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Art Bead Scene Editors Take the Challenge Blog Hop

The colors of Milton Avery's painting, Autumn, are the kind of stunning mix that make me want to get out the clay and create beads. When Heather Powers suggested we have an Art Bead Scene Editors Take the Challenge Blog hop this month I readily signed on.

   That swath of magenta arching  across the painting is what inspired me the most and was my greatest challenge as well.  Not an easy color to mix with the ceramic glazes I have.  So my first beads were cold glazed.

                                        Cold Glazed Stoneware Bead by Mary Harding

Cold Glazed Ceramic beads by Mary Harding

Which means that I fired the green stoneware clay beads to Cone 5, about 2200F and then added color with artist's crayons and sealed the them with a Matte Fixative.  In other words, the color is not a fired ceramic glaze.
Actually, I never got the magenta color right with my glazes but that didn't stop me since there are so many other wonderful colors and color combos in this painting like the oranges, reds and yellows.

                                                 Daisy Pendant by Mary Harding

                                 Three domed disk Maple Leaf Beads by Mary Harding

                                     Night Daisy Cabochon by Mary Harding

                                                              Bird by Mary Harding

And black

                                        Black raku beads by Mary Harding

My second most favorite part of Milton Avery's painting is his use of shapes.  I love those trees made of descending rectangles and tried to re-create them in a series of beads:

                                   Rectangle beads with center holes by Mary Harding

And finally, a group shot

                   Beads inspired by the painting Autumn by Milton Avery (some available in my Etsy Shop)

Be sure to stop by the other ABS Editors' posts.  Links are below.
 Erin Prais-Hintz
Tari Sasser
Heather Powers
Claire Lockwood

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Old Iron And Fall Leaves

The leaves were peaking this Columbus Day Weekend

For me Fall leaves and old iron just seem to go together and create the feeling of a wonderful Fall.  We  have had an incredible stretch of warm weather that is still going on for a few more days this week.

A few days ago I found this wonderful array of old iron and brass at a garage sale buried in an old cardboard box.  I was so excited.  They were anxious to get rid of them and only charged me $3.00!!

Some familiar shapes and some unknown but all wonderfully old looking

That set of drawer pulls is a delight:  small and very ornate

Upper right a maple tree syrup tap and on the left an unknown

 an escutcheon 

A beautiful set of drawer pulls--a closeup shot. Probably made of brass

A drawer pull that I have had for sometime.  I recently cut it down to make a pendant.  It was just stamped brass and not very strong so I soldered it to a copper sheet back.  Now it is ready to be made into a necklace.

I am looking forward to turning that Maple Tree syrup tap into a necklace as well.  I have wanted to find just the right one for sometime as it is such a part of this place where I live.   Hopefully this wonderful Fall will be the catalyst!!

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

SALE 20% off for First Friday Art Walk Weekend

It is First Friday Weekend On Etsy!!  I am participating with some new work and a 20% off sale through Monday October 6.
Use coupon code ARTWALK20 at checkout to get the discount.
You can also find out about the other great shops participating by visiting our First Friday Blog post HERE 
See my new work  in my Etsy Shop
Some of my new pieces pictured below.

Thistle Pendant in my Etsy Shop  SOLD

Handmade Copper Bead with Sterling Silver Spiral by Mary Harding Long with large hole
Metal Beads in my Etsy Shop

Hand built beads in my Etsy Shop

Handmade Ceramic Pendant Daisy Head with Textured edges Mary Harding
Daisy Pendant in my Etsy Shop
Toggle Clasp  or Focal with 3 Holes  Mary Harding Queen Ann's Lace Burgundy Many Design Options
3 hole Toggle Clasps in my Etsy Shop SOLD

Handmade Ceramic Pendant Birch Leaves  Beige Background  Oval Shape
Birch Leaves Pendant in my Etsy Shop

Handmade Stoneware Large wrapped Ceramic Bead-Cold Glazed Mary Harding
Cold Glazed Stoneware Bead in my Etsy Shop  SOLD
Toggle Clasp Etched Floral Pattern Hand Forged Copper Bar  Mary Harding
Etched Copper Toggle Clasp in my Etsy Shop

Button Handmade Ceramic Daisy Petals Orange and Brown
Daisy Petals Button in my Etsy Shop

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Metal Beads as seen in Stringing Fall 2014

For the last week or so, I have been working on making some more of the kind of metal beads that are featured in the current issue of Stringing Magazine in the Best New Beads section.  I love working with metal because it is so pliable, beautiful and immediate.   Today I am sharing some of my very  newest metal beads which are now in my Etsy shop.

Wild Ball Chain Wrap Bead  (sold already!!)

Sterling Silver Spiral Copper Bead

Small Sterling Silver Spiral Copper Bead

Wrapped in Wire and Solder Copper Bead
Dragon Fly Wrapped Copper Bead

Filigree Wrapped Copper Bead
Copper Nugget Beads  Set of 3

Thanks so much for stopping by and taking a look at my new copper beads.
Have a great day!!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Art Bead Scene – team members’ challenge blog hop

                           The Little Mermaid by Edward Dulac

The swirls and rhythm of this painting send my imagination into a dance of forms.  When Heather Powers, Editor and founder of the Art Bead Scene blog suggested that we, the ABS blogging Team, have a blog hop of work inspired by the July Challenge painting--seen above--I was quick to say "count me in."  Today we are having the reveal of our creations celebrating art beads.  Some of us made a piece or two or three of jewelry and some of us made  art beads.  I knew from the get go that I would make beads.  And so I did.  I surprised myself by what I came up with.  I hope you enjoy them too.

I start with a picture of quite a few pieces that I made as I played with forms and ideas.

unglazed ceramic beads by Mary Harding

From those I chose a few to take further for today's post.  The ones I didn't choose will be further developed.  Perhaps made stronger or smaller or larger.  Not sure.  The ones with the octopus edges will need to be made thicker I think since I want to run them through the tumbler to soften but not really change the edges.  To sponge clay that thin and delicate would probably break it.

ceramic bead shard with ancient water worn look by Mary Harding

another view of the ancient shard by Mary Harding

The pieces I chose for today's post are rugged enough to stand up to necklace wear and have a wonderful texture and form to color.  I tried hard to keep the palette of the painting but that is very difficult for me to do.  I do think I kept within a reasonable range.  I love the colors of this painting but I could not resist making them a bit brighter after making the first piece a little too dark I think.

Scroll style beads ceramic ( cold glazed)  by Mary Harding

I love all the movement in this painting and tried to recreate it in these scroll shaped beads.  I imagined them being worn on a hemp net style cord.

Scroll bead on hemp net core

Scroll style beads on a hemp net cord.  Beads and cord made by Mary Harding

And finally a couple of little mischievous  sea serpents for charms, or earrings.

                                            Sea serpent charms by Mary Harding

I hope you will check out the work of the other team members to see what they created.

                     Mary Harding  you are here

And then feel inspired to join in and make a piece of jewelry with art beads.  You can get all the details about participating in the ArtBeadScene Monthly Challenge HERE

Raku Bead Video Part III