Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Getting Knotty

Just wanted to show you a couple of new projects I just completed.  As you can see, both feature knotted leather.  The store I work at, Suzie Q Beads got these Knotty Do It All boards in a couple of months ago, and I have become a big fan.  They make knotting so much easier, and the designer has all kinds of slick ways to finish off the ends of things without having to use cones or end caps.  Suzie is the exclusive retailer of these boards in Calgary.  I mainly use mine for making multi strand necklaces for my pendants, but you can do all sorts of projects with them, including making ladder bracelets.  Suzie will have these for sale at the Fraser Valley Bead Show happening in Calgary June 1 - 3.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Anatomy of a Colour Scheme

I have been asked by some of my students how I come up with colour schemes for my (predominantly mokume gane) work, so I thought I would share my process. I like to develop a theme and then use it a lot in a whole series of jewellery and beads.  My starting point was wanting to use Tangerine Tango.  I thought it would look good with another Pantone spring colour, Cabaret, and that light piece of clay is Margarita, a pale green even though it looks white in the picture.  By the way, I am an enthusiastic user of colour "recipes" by craftsbychris on etsy.  She puts out 2 sets of these a year.  Another great source for recipes is Polymer Clay Tutor.  Anyhow, those 3 colours resulted in the slab below.  OK, but not enough contrast.

 So, I added some green pearl to the mix.  I don't have a picture of the slab, but there are some beads I made with it.  Interesting how the green pearl became very muted, almost a metallic colour.  So, not happy with this either.
 Still keeping the Cabaret, have switched out the Tangerine Tango for a Honeysuckle, added metallic Bronze (one of my very favourite colours) and a winter white. You see how this works, I don't even have the colour I had started with wanting in the mix anymore.
 And... success.  I love how these colours look together and there is just the right amount of contrast.  I really like how the bronze shades into the Cabaret.
 And some swirl beads I made with the shavings from the stack.  So at the end of the day, I have developed a scheme that I think has some promise.  Some days I don't even have that, and end up with a big stack of scrap clay.  Tomorrow, time to use this in jewellery!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Good Day To...

stay inside and play with polymer clay!  Yes, it is indeed May 5, despite appearances to the contrary.  Is there anything sadder than patio furniture covered in a blanket of snow?  Fortunately, the morning passed pleasantly because I was teaching a polymer clay class at Suzie Q Beads.  

 There were 7 students.  They learned how to make a Skinner blend, a simple cane, and how to use the results to make swirl pendants.
 Some of the results:
 I love how everyone comes up with their own unique take on the technique.  All in all, a great way to spend the morning!