Friday, November 6, 2009

Writer's Block

I finally posted a blog earlier this week after about a month's inactivity. I was active but the activity was more mental than physical and blogging about it wasn't all that interesting. Besides, blogging is such a visual medium, at least for artists, and I wanted to wait until I had something to show.

I was in a thinking and reflecting mode-- taking a new class, visiting with my sister, discussing new directions, doing some new collaborations and trying some new techniques. Actually, my writer's block is more of a “maker's block”-- I have too many ideas and nothing seems to get created! Some of my readers may be rolling their eyes and thinking, “That's a problem?” Well, it is when you can't seem to settle down on one thing and complete it. Too many balls in the air!

One thing I've been working on are beads for a few new collaborations with Cindy Wimmer of Sweetbead Studio. Cindy is so easy and fun to work with and I really respect her design ability and artistic flair. She makes my beads look good! We can't show you the results right now but hint-hint--they will show up in publications in the future. Here are the beads.

Washed Ashore focal bead

Fallen to Earth beads - for sale in my Etsy shop

Some conversations she and I had while working together resulted in my experimenting with a fun product called micaceous iron oxide, a type of paint known among polymer clay artists as “raku sauce”. It gives a finish to a smooth surface that you would expect from traditional raku, a Japanese technique using a rough clay body that is fired quickly and develops some very interesting metallic glaze effects. So I set out to mimic some of those colors using quirky tube bead shapes, metallic paints and powders. I liked the result so much that I included the tube beads in my Hallowe'en Tribal necklace (see post on Nov. 2) and one I put together this morning, drawing on one of Lorelei Eurto's pieces in Jane Dickerson's book Chain Style for inspiration. There are quite a few fresh and unusual takes on stringing and chain in this new book so I consider my purchase to be money well spent.

Japanese beetle beads - available in my Etsy shop

Metallica Necklace


  1. WOW!!! first of all welcome back! I've missed you so!
    secondly, I looove those Fallen to Earth beads you made!
    and thirdly, it is THRILLING to know that my jewelry inspired you enough to make something gorgeous! And boy, is it EVER! I love metallics lately! I didn't realize it until I went to a bead shop recently and almost everything I walked out with had some sort of metallic finish! great work C!

  2. Beautiful pieces, I especially love the Japanese Beetle beads.

  3. Hi Christine,

    I absolutely love the RAKU look. Beautiful beads!

  4. Hi Christine
    What great hints you dropped here! :-) Your beads are really so beautiful that it is easy for us to draw inspiration from them. I always enjoy collaborating with you!!
    Your new necklace is simply gorgeous. I too love the colors and the metallic finish that you achieved. It has your mark on it for sure.

  5. Your beads are beautiful. I really like your new necklace and the necklaces on your sidebar with your beads. Gives them a perfect context. And thank you for visiting my blog recently.

  6. I do love the finish so! Those beads are awesome! Have missed you... look forward to the un-blocking of your writing and making... Thinking of you!
    Enjoy the day!
    P.S. The fangs are out of the oven. I will see about the finishing tomorrow!