Saturday, April 11, 2015

Wine Country Tessellated Necklace and Bracelet

The Wine Country necklace is finished. It proved a challenge since I wanted the kaleidoscope beads to not rotate and therefore made two channels for stringing. The round beads only have one hole, so the challenge was to find appropriate accent beads that would gradually channel into the one hole beads. A close-up view is below:
click on images to see larger versions
The clasp is also handmade, from coated brass wire:

The co-ordinating bracelet will be auctioned off in the ARCAC fund-raiser tonight and is pictured below:

Please feel free to leave comments or questions below. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Perfection = Predictable = Boring! The Artist's Mark

It feels great to be back in the saddle!
pattern assembled from scraps cut from the kaleidoscope cane

I've touched on this before. We create art because we have something to say, something that can best be said visually, not verbally. The viewer of our art completes the creative act by responding to the art. One thing that can derail this interaction is boredom (there are other things which I'll talk about another time).

For many, anything predictable is quickly glossed over. The brain likes to be engaged, and when it can predict the outcome or the continuing pattern or the next step it yawns and moves on.

Why is it, then, that many artists struggle so hard to make their work perfect?!

In any work of art it is the unpredictable colour, the unfinished line, the hint of something partially erased, that intrigues and makes the viewer stay a little longer, savoring incongruity.

In polymer clay, perfection can be achieved and repeated ad nauseum by a well-built machine. Why would we want to turn out art that looks like it was made by a machine?

The mark of the artist is unique to that artist and distinguishes a piece as hand-crafted, unique, special. That's why I've named my new studio The Artist's Mark. It's to remind me to remember to let my individuality be an integral part of my work, and to leave it visible so no one can mistake it for 1 of 100,000 produced in a factory.

I'll be demonstrating Kaleidoscope Caning at an art event at ARCAC this Saturday evening. There is very little exposure to polymer clay out here on the east coast of Canada, and I hope to stir up some interest. I've developed a palette for this cane that I call Wine Country. It is rich and elegant with a deep metallic colour that I call Madeira Wine colour, a soft, pale neutralized green called Celadon, a deep woodsy dark green called Deep Woods Moss, a soft white called Ivory, Black and a soft yellow called Sunshine.

If you would like the formulas for the all the colors in the Wine Country palette, leave a comment at the end of this post and I'll make it available at no charge, either via email or in the blog if there are enough requests.

Here are the beads that will be assembled into a necklace and bracelet to auction off at the event on Saturday.

extruded cane slices on co-ordinated spacer beads

beads ready for backing, then second curing and finishing

canes ready to tessellate

Hollow focal bead for the necklace, slightly irregular, definitely hand-crafted!
I'll post a picture of the necklace and bracelet when assembled.