Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sometimes A Great Notion

Living in the brave new world of instant communication as we do, new ideas are hitting us at the speed of light. Trends live out their lives in nanoseconds-- sometimes it seems as if we just hit our stride on a technique or style when something touted as better comes along and off we go, chasing the new and different.

As a designer, I feel a great responsibility for my jewelry to be stylish but sturdy and comfortable as well. As much as I love those gallery photos in various magazines showing rings for two fingers or crazy-shaped bangles that you just know wouldn't be practical to wear, at the end of the day, it's gotta feel good and fit the client.

I love the notion of a cuff bracelet. They are a bold statement in any style and have an ancient lineage in the history of jewelry. As a clay artist, they are large enough to show off my patterns and colorways to their best advantage. But the way I have been doing them is very labor-intensive and allows little leeway in sizing. So I'm retiring them in favor of a tile bracelet design I've been working on.

I finished up my last one yesterday and for the swan song of my grand experiment in cuff bracelets, it ain't bad-- at least I like it! I actually made the base mosaic in January, from remnants of my entry for the Van Gogh Art Bead Scene challenge for that month. I lined the inside with a different pattern-- that was my big innovation over my previous designs-- but got stuck on the edging. I hated doing those dang edgings! Plain black had a nice elegant look but showed every little eensy mark and metallic clays – with their tendency to show the mica shift as a blemish-- were hellish.

After spending an inordinate amount of time smoothing and smoothing again and fussing and pinching I managed to drop the precious thing on the cat-hair-and-dust-ridden floor of my studio!I think I probably blistered paint for a 5-mile radius with what I had to say about that! Now my exquisite little border was dinged and crud-embedded. But just as I was ready to drop the whole annoying project in the wastebasket, a little voice said “Texture the edge and then those little mica shifts wouldn't show up so much”. Thank you, Muse!

So here's my little gallery of cuffs-- you were a great notion while it lasted and some of you are still for sale in my Etsy shop. I could do matching earrings for any of these if you convo me. Coming soon to a blog near you--same sorts of colors but as tiles with wirework. Sometimes change is good.

Dark & Stormy Night Cuff

Alhambra Cuff

Byzantine Cuff

Cozumel Cuff -- Available in my Etsy shop

Aztec Cuff -- Available in my Etsy shop

Mayan Cuff -- available in my Etsy shop

Tramontane Cuff


  1. Very pretty baubles Christine! The colors are so saturated and rich. I think those will do well for you!
    Enjoy the day!

  2. Lovely cuffs! Your sense of colour is amazing, I do believe it is a gift! xoxo Carol

  3. Hi Christine!
    We're back from the beach. Just visited your blog and saw this post on the behind the scenes of your cuff designs. I'm happy to see your new creations after you mentioned them recently. I can see how time consuming these would be to create, and for the finishing details (and then to drop one on the floor!!). I love the colors and patterns. I think the last three - the Aztec, Mayan and Tramontane colors would look especially amazing in beads too!

  4. I went through your blog today and couldn't stoop looking and admiring . I find my influence in ethnical art as well and I was amazed what I saw in your pieces! I just love the colors you combine so well! They are so natural and so rich! WOW!