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

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Inspired by Reading Book Club: The Drunken Botanist

The June selection for the Inspired by Reading Book Club was The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart and what a fun and informative book it is.  I was captivated from the first pages of the  Aperitif where she describes how this book came into being.  I think it was her love of jalapenos and her introduction to me of the concept of "muddle"  that got me to keep on reading.  And of course because I love plants.  Amy's knowledge about them is astounding and fun!!  The book's format invites browsing and curiosity.  I am sure that I will be forever looking into it to find out more about plants I love and ones I have never heard of.

As I mentioned earlier, my curiosity was perked by the use of the word muddle.  After I found out what it meant, it became the cornerstone of what I was inspired to make for today's blog post.

Yes, that is right, I made a muddle stick necklace.  First I looked up what a muddle stick might look like on Google Images and realized that I had one ready made right in my stash--that is almost ready made.  I did have to add a few components.  

Picture of my loom part

I didn't know exactly what it is called but knew it was for textile manufacture so again I looked on Google Images and found something similar and traced it back to its technical term: pirn bobbin.  And then just for fun I looked on Etsy and there they were.  I had gotten mine some time ago in antique mall.
Set of three vintage wood bobbins, wood spools, vintage sewing
Pirn bobbins on Etsy

Since I have adapted mine somewhat to meet the needs of muddling:  a long stick to bruise herbs, and other plants to flavor a drink, I attached a texture disk that I had on hand to the bottom and strung it all together with a very long and sturdy balled head end pin and then made the wrapped loop for stinging it.
copper clay textured disk  by Mary Harding

When it came to stringing it all together I actually gave up the balled end head pin and instead wire wrapped it to one of my porcelain ceramic beads.

 and then strung on the pirn bobbin and attached the textured disk with a small spacer and a wrapped loop.  I attached a small garlic clove to it it for decorative purposes.  I did not find any reference to using garlic in a muddle but I suppose you could.

And finally an overall view

Overview     Muddle Necklace by Mary Harding

If you are interested in trying a muddled cocktail I would suggest  The Mamani Gin and Tonic  on page 238 even though I have not.  I just think the idea of jalapenos and cilantro with tonic would delicious.  I may even try it without the gin since we don't have any on hand.

Thank you once again Andrew Thornton for a wonderful blog hop and opportunity to let our imaginations run wild and have fun doing it.
Now to visit the others and see what they made.

Andrew Thornton, Laurel Ross, Alison Herrington, Constance Vale and Karen Hiatt

Raku Bead Video Part III