Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Inspired by Reading Book Club Bridge of Birds and Journey to the East Blog Hop

Today is the reveal for the November and December selections for  Andrew Thornton's Inspired by Reading Book Club.  Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart and Journey to the East by Herman Hesse.
We are doing the two months together due to the two major Holidays that came during that time and our lack of time to fit them in sooner.
I no sooner began to read Bride of Birds than I became quite taken over by the idea of making a necklace focused on the central theme of the book:  a quest to find the Great Root of Power.  I spent quite a bit of time looking into what the ginseng root looks like and than proceeded to build one out of polymer clay.  It enchanted me.  The Great Root took hold of my mind and guided me into making a larger than life necklace of charms that bespeak of  magic, love and the unspeakable!!

Once I made the Great Root (see below)
The Great Ginseng Root by Mary Harding

I began on the chain of all chains--from Cindy Wimmer's book The Missing Link.  I spent countless hours bending wire, trying to figure out how to use the stepped pliers and finally tumbling it for half an afternoon  to wash away my many wire working mistakes.  
The chain is magnificent.

chain made from Cindy Wimmer's sliding rings link in her book The Missing Link: part before patina and part with a Liver of Sulfur patina

It was some weeks later that the Great Root lead me to discover the charms I needed to make .

Magnolia bud charm

Love charm

Magical Leaf Charms

Dragonlike charm


Jade Green bead charm

And when I was exhausted from all this creating and making I collected up the Great Root, the magnificent chain and the large polymer charms and put them all together into the
Bridge of Birds Magical Charm Necklace

Bridge of Birds Magical Charm Necklace by Mary Harding

A special thank you to Christine Damm for teaching me how to use polymer clay and for helping me find my inner polymer child.  I am having so much fun!!!  Another special thank you to Andrew Thronton for hosting the Inspired by Reading Book Club and giving  us this forum to display our inspirations and creations.
I hope you will check out what others have made.  Clicking  HERE will take you there.

16 comments:

  1. Oh my Mary! You've done it again! I didn't read too far into Bridge of Birds, but do recall the great root. Your polymer clay pieces are perfect. And I can't say enough about the workmanship of your handcrafted chain. Beautiful and inspiring!

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    1. Thanks so for the enthusiasm and kind words about my work Jeanne. I am so glad you like the chain--it is a brilliant design by Cindy Wimmer and the more I worked on it the more I got to know how incredible it is and how versatile it could be with added beads and different sized links.

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  2. Amazing piece you have created. Love all the polymer pieces you created and also the chain.

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    1. Thanks so much Mary for your supportive comment about my necklace. I am just a beginner in polymer but I think years of ceramic clay have been a help and also gives me an appreciation of what I can do in polymer that would be so difficult in ceramic clay. Cindy Wimmer's sliding rings link that I used to make the chain attests to her brilliant design and good directions.!!!

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  3. WOW! This is absolutely fabulous! I just love that clasp...and the charms!! But...the CHAIN!!! i am so impressed with your artistry! Well done!

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    1. thanks so much Patti. Coming from you who are so masterful at wire working I am blown away!! i so appreciate it.

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  4. And that "Polymer Child" is a rip-roarin' bundle of talent! I am SO proud of your evolving work with this medium. I love that Great Root-- an amazing piece of sculpture and your colors--- so subtle and layered. What a stunning piece-- it really tells a story.

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    1. Thanks so much Christine. I can only say that you have inspired me. The magic of Art on the Farm continues to keep happening thanks to the great material you have to teach and your nurturing and fun style. I am so happy to make you proud!!

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  5. Wow! Your necklace is just amazing! I'm super impressed with both your chain and polymer pieces. I got Cindy's book for Christmas and I'm feeling intimidated to start trying some things out. I think I see a tumbler purchase in my future. Thanks for sharing your quest for the great root!

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    1. Thanks so much Sarajo for your kind words about my piece for the Bridge of Birds. I hope to see your wire work from Cindy's book soon. I am sure you will do beautifully!!

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  6. (My comments keep mysteriously vanishing into the ether… so I will try to type faster and hope that one gets through!)

    Golly! You did a fantastic job! I love your Great Root of Power. It has such a tribal/talisman/shamanistic feel. I think you've done a great job of picking out different elements from the book and turning them into components that tell a tale themselves! I am smitten with your new polymer work!

    I just got, "The Missing Link" in the mail today! (It was a Christmas gift from William that got delayed by the cold snaps we've been having.) The technique you've used looks really interesting and gives the piece a more edgy look. Nicely done!

    And thank you again for participating! It is always a treat to see what you'll make! I am constantly blown away by your supreme talents! THANK YOU!

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    1. Thank you so much Andrew for such kind words about my new polymer work. I never thought it would happen until I attended Christine Damm's Art on the Farm.
      I am glad that you will be enjoying the wonders of Cindy Wimmer's The Missing Link. I think the cascading link is my favorite but I am planning on trying the Light bulb next as I think it will make a great chain as well.
      I like that you see the chain as giving the piece a more " edgy look."
      I love participating and I love how attentive you are to all of our entries. You make this such a welcoming and nurturing experience.
      So sorry to be a few days in getting back with comments but I needed some time to get my thought together and this week just went wild with stuff and fatigue after the Reveal. Today we are having probably the same thaw you are and at least some of the weather worries are at rest and giving us some respite and time for blogging etc.

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  7. Andrew says it all, "Smitten!" What a piece! It's stunning, Mary!
    You have let us see polymer in a whole new light. The chain is unbelievable. And the finishing.....the patina, the tumbling, the polishing develop a sheen that adds a quality of ancient reverence. This is a remarkable piece!

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  8. Your website is really cool and this is a great inspiring article.

    Designer Jewellery in Canada

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  9. That chain IS magnificient, Mary! And the Gensing Root is amazing in all its glorious detail. I love that you extended the magic all the way to that beautifully expressive closure! As always, amazed by your creative mind!

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  10. Mary, what a treat to discover this post - I am sorry I did not see it earlier. I am absolutely blown away by every aspect of your design. Your sculptural polymer focal, the Great Ginseng Root is phenomenal! I had heard of your talent with polymer from Christine - she was full of pride over your work and the fun time you had together at Art on the Farm (and I envy you because I have yet to visit Christine's old farmhouse in VT!).... the heart, leaf and bud charms are just so detailed and beautiful. I can see how you have easily moved from one medium to another with your years of experience in ceramics. And my goodness, your chain!!! You know you have officially made more of those links than I ever have! I know they are very time consuming to make, measuring many times just to complete one link. And I can appreciate the time it takes to hand polish them once they are oxidized. All time well spent to create this finished piece of art jewelry. I am so happy to see a project from the book come to life in your skilled hands! :-)

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