Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Inspired By Reading Book Club: A Rumor of Gems


A Rumor of Gems with Clasp from my necklace inspired by the book

Close up of double strand toggle clasp by Mary Harding

This month for Andrew Thornton's  Inspired by Reading Book Club we read A Rumor of Gems by Ellen Steiber.  This is a fantasy novel that is full of magic and the lore of gems.  I  was captivated by the setting and the incipient magic of the gems.  In the necklace I was inspired to make by this book I focused on the idea of captured power and magic in gems.  I used several beads that I made to convey the idea of fantasy and mystery.  

My starting point was some long Rosemary Herbal Totem sticks that I made recently.  I wanted to increase the raw gem like quality of these so I made some in porcelain clay. 






I was inspired to try dipping them into some Copper Clay slip by artist Petra Carpreau from Scorched Earth.  She makes beautiful rustic pieces using a technique of blending clay and bronze clay. You can check out her Etsy shop HERE.   Mine are quite different because of the way I did it and because of the copper clay being quite a different material than bronze clay.   The black color is from the copper clay slip and the gorgeous turquoise is a mid fire clay glaze.  I feel that the two together invoked the sense of the captured incipient power of the raw turquoise gemstone.





I further conveyed the talismatic feeling of mystery and captured or incipient power in making small copper clay charms and a fiber bead which I attached  to the tips of the peyote stitch strands.



 And to give the necklace more focus I made a large round focal bead from copper clay as the center energy point of the necklace.



                   

                                 View of the entire free form peyote stitch talismatic pendant.



A view of necklace as it would look if worn




Since I loved the technique for the long porcelain beads, I made more of them and turned a pair of loosely matched totem sticks into a pair of captured gems earrings.


I wrapped  waxed linen around the tops of the earrings to increase the primitive talismatic look of the gem sticks.

As you can see, I had a wonderful time being inspired by the Rumor of Gems.  If you have an interest in the lore of gems, I highly encourage you to read the book and go to Ellen Steiber's website where she has an extensive list of books to read and information about gems.

But most of all, please  look at what the other readers were inspired to make by clicking on Andrew Thornton's blog for a complete list of those participating in today's blog hop.

or click on the list below


Mary K. McGraw http://mkaymac.blogspot.com/
Jenny Davies Reazor http://www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog/
Judy Campbell http://www.macmillanmarie.blogspot.com/
Jeanne Billeci Steck
Andrew Thornton, Laurel Ross, Terri Greenawalt http://andrew-thornton.blogspot.com/ 





19 comments:

  1. Very cool jewelry. The book cover makes a great photo prop too!

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  2. I am completely captivated by your necklace. I am just starting to make my own clay beads and your work has always been an inspiration. Thank you for sharing a beautiful piece of work. I think you have really captured the feel of the book.

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    1. Thank you Judy. I am so pleased to hear I have been an inspiration for your ceramic bead making. I was hoping to capture the feel of the book so I am so happy you think so too!! It was the sense of magic and gem power that appealed to me about the book.

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  3. Thank you Kathy. I really appreciate you stopping and leaving such encouraging feedback. I agree about the cover. Couldn't resist giving her part of the necklace!!

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  4. Many thanks for the mention, Mary. Your totems are stunning!! I absolutely LOVE them, and your necklace is a triumph! Such a unique and mysterious finish on the bottom pair too. Wow - I'm in awe!
    xo :O)

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    1. Thank you Petra for such kind words about my totems and the necklace. I am so indebted to you for being inspired to try out the copper clay slip. Such fun to find a new way of doing something!!

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  5. What an amazing and magical piece you have created. I think your attempt at capturing the incipient power of the raw turquoise gemstone was very successful. I think this necklace would offer lots of protection.

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  6. Wow. Double wow. That rosemary totem stick is stunning. So gorgeous. I hadn't seen them before! I think free form peyote with charms integrated is a very amulet/talisman feel You have creatively echoed the feel of the book, and not used big gems as focals - since we were all thinking gems...

    YOur piece is lovely, and filled with detail and meaning.

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    1. Thank you Jennifer for your thoughtful response and enthusiasm for what I created. I am so interested and pleased to have you find that I created an amulet/talisman feel with my necklace since I did pick up on that theme in the book and was inspired by it. It was a great adventure all around!!

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  7. I love this SO HARD! You did an amazing job! I'm floored! I love the turquoise and copper points. Your pieces have such a rich tribal feeling. They are imbued with magic, for sure! I think you took the source material and manifested something really fitting and absolutely perfect! Great job!

    And thanks so much for participating! I have really enjoyed seeing what you've made so far. I definitely appreciate your energies in the book club!

    And might I add again... I LOVE YOUR PIECES!

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  8. I love this SO HARD! You did an amazing job! I'm floored! I love the turquoise and copper points. Your pieces have such a rich tribal feeling. They are imbued with magic, for sure! I think you took the source material and manifested something really fitting and absolutely perfect! Great job!

    And thanks so much for participating! I have really enjoyed seeing what you've made so far. I definitely appreciate your energies in the book club!

    And might I add again... I LOVE YOUR PIECES!

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  9. I love this SO HARD! You did an amazing job! I'm floored! I love the turquoise and copper points. Your pieces have such a rich tribal feeling. They are imbued with magic, for sure! I think you took the source material and manifested something really fitting and absolutely perfect! Great job!

    And thanks so much for participating! I have really enjoyed seeing what you've made so far. I definitely appreciate your energies in the book club!

    And might I add again... I LOVE YOUR PIECES!

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    Replies
    1. Andrew, I am thrilled that you like my piece so much. I appreciate all the detail you attended to and commented about. I am very excited that you felt the magic the way I did. Thanks so much for letting me know that you appreciate my energy for and about the book club. I am truly enjoying this experience and challenge.

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  10. Super cool, Mary. It's just so rich and interesting... and I'm smitten by that clasp!

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  11. Thank you Sarajo!! I am so pleased you stopped by and like my piece. Also thanks so for mentioning it on your blog.

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  12. I am in awe...
    Of your writing, your inspirations and of course your piece!
    I love that you were inspired by the deeper mystical qualities in the book and not the obvious gems.

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  13. Mary, what a wonderful piece. All those magical pieces place together to form a visual masterpiece. Yes, I can feel the power of it.

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