Sunday, March 29, 2015

March ABS Challenge Piece

Haida Totems, 1912
By Emily Carr
Watercolor on Paper
76mm x 55mm
BC Archives, Canada
You can find out more about the painting and artist by going to the Art Bead Scene for the March Challenge.

This month's painting has to do with totem poles.


Totem poles are sculptures carved from large trees, such as the Western Red Cedar. In North America, totem poles are part of the cultures of many indigenous peoples of Alaska, British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. Totem poles serve many purposes beyond their beauty, and their meanings are as varied as the cultures that make them.
Some totem poles represent stories or important events. On these poles, each figure on the totem represents part of a story. These totems are used as a way to record the history and legends of the tribes.
Figures on a totem pole are not gods to be worshiped. Instead, they represent traits and characteristics each clan or story embodies.
There are many other types of totem poles. Genealogy poles are erected in front of a family’s home to represent the owner’s clan or social status. Memorial poles are carved in honor of a deceased clan member. Mortuary poles are also raised in honor of the dead and include a small compartment for the ashes of the deceased.
Colors used to paint totem poles were limited. Artists relied on natural pigments. Black was the most common, made by grinding soot, graphite or charcoal. Red came from red ocher, a clay-like material. Blue-green was made from copper sulfide.
Common figures found on totem poles include the raven (a symbol of The Creator), the eagle (representing peace and friendship), the killer whale (a symbol of strength), the thunderbird, the beaver, the bear, the wolf and the frog.

The information came from Wonderopolis. You can also find out more here.

Mom and I actually created two pieces for this month's challenge.


The first piece is an eagle totem. Mom found an image of a totem she liked and drew up sketches of the piece. If you want to see mom's sketch you can go here and read about it.

A close up of the pendant. We glue down the pattern on a 20gauge flat sheet of copper. Mom drills pilot holes and then we saw out the perimeter and the interior of the piece. We then file and sand the pendant and then mom and I discuss the colors we want to use on the piece. This piece has the colors, tan/brown, blue/purple, green and orange. The beads are dalmatian jasper for the eyes on on the talons.

The beads used are our lampwork glass beads - the colors I wanted to use are pulled from the painting. I used two beads - a base blue with frit and a base white with frit. For accent beads we used Agate and Jasper.


For the toggle clasp mom and I had to improvise. We didn't like any of the clasps we had - so we went to our local bead store, Von's, and bought a stone to finish it off. I made a loop of seed beads on the other side and so it loops over the stone - instant clasp.

The second piece is a bear totem. Mom wanted more color on this piece.


Mom especially wanted red in this pendant - at first I wasn't too keen on the idea of red on the pendant but after I enameled the red I was really happy with the way the piece turned out. Again I tried to pull in some of the colors that were found in the painting.


The beads I used were our lampwork glass beads (our Kuiper Belt beads with raku), Jasper and Agate.

Unfortunately I am going to have to restring this piece because I broke it when I was trying to get the seed bead loop around the stone we used for the clasp. I thought I made it long enough (I tested it and it seemed long enough - well it wasn't). So, that is a project for another day. 

So - that is our pieces for this months ABS Challenge. Thanks for stopping by!

Totem poles are sculptures carved from large trees, such as the Western Red Cedar. In North America, totem poles are part of the cultures of many indigenous peoples of Alaska, British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. Totem poles serve many purposes beyond their beauty, and their meanings are as varied as the cultures that make them.
Some totem poles represent stories or important events. On these poles, each figure on the totem represents part of a story. These totems are used as a way to record the history and legends of the tribes.
Figures on a totem pole are not gods to be worshipped. Instead, they represent traits and characteristics each clan or story embodies.
There are many other types of totem poles. Genealogy poles are erected in front of a family’s home to represent the owner’s clan or social status. Memorial poles are carved in honor of a deceased clan member. Mortuary poles are also raised in honor of the dead and include a small compartment for the ashes of the deceased.
Another interesting type of totem pole is the shame pole. Shame poles are carved to embarrass and ridicule someone who has done something wrong.
Shame poles are taken down once the person has made amends. A famous shame pole erected in Cordova, Alaska, included the face of an oil company businessman. It is said to represent the unpaid debt the oil company owes for damages caused by the oil spill in Valdez, Alaska.
Colors used to paint totem poles were limited. Artists relied on natural pigments. Black was the most common, made by grinding soot, graphite or charcoal. Red came from red ochre, a clay-like material. Blue-green was made from copper sulfide.
Common figures found on totem poles include the raven (a symbol of The Creator), the eagle (representing peace and friendship), the killer whale (a symbol of strength), the thunderbird, the beaver, the bear, the wolf and the frog.
Though the totem pole has been a part of history for decades, totem poles are still created today. Native carvers in the Northwest continue to carve totems as symbols of their cultural pride and clan kinship.
- See more at: http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/what-is-a-totem-pole/#sthash.dLfbSmP4.dpuf
Totem poles are sculptures carved from large trees, such as the Western Red Cedar. In North America, totem poles are part of the cultures of many indigenous peoples of Alaska, British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. Totem poles serve many purposes beyond their beauty, and their meanings are as varied as the cultures that make them. - See more at: http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/what-is-a-totem-pole/#sthash.dLfbSmP4.dpuf
Totem poles are sculptures carved from large trees, such as the Western Red Cedar. In North America, totem poles are part of the cultures of many indigenous peoples of Alaska, British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. Totem poles serve many purposes beyond their beauty, and their meanings are as varied as the cultures that make them.
Some totem poles represent stories or important events. On these poles, each figure on the totem represents part of a story. These totems are used as a way to record the history and legends of the tribes.
Figures on a totem pole are not gods to be worshipped. Instead, they represent traits and characteristics each clan or story embodies.
There are many other types of totem poles. Genealogy poles are erected in front of a family’s home to represent the owner’s clan or social status. Memorial poles are carved in honor of a deceased clan member. Mortuary poles are also raised in honor of the dead and include a small compartment for the ashes of the deceased.
Another interesting type of totem pole is the shame pole. Shame poles are carved to embarrass and ridicule someone who has done something wrong.
Shame poles are taken down once the person has made amends. A famous shame pole erected in Cordova, Alaska, included the face of an oil company businessman. It is said to represent the unpaid debt the oil company owes for damages caused by the oil spill in Valdez, Alaska.
Colors used to paint totem poles were limited. Artists relied on natural pigments. Black was the most common, made by grinding soot, graphite or charcoal. Red came from red ochre, a clay-like material. Blue-green was made from copper sulfide.
Common figures found on totem poles include the raven (a symbol of The Creator), the eagle (representing peace and friendship), the killer whale (a symbol of strength), the thunderbird, the beaver, the bear, the wolf and the frog.
Though the totem pole has been a part of history for decades, totem poles are still created today. Native carvers in the Northwest continue to carve totems as symbols of their cultural pride and clan kinship.
- See more at: http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/what-is-a-totem-pole/#sthash.dLfbSmP4.dpuf
Totem poles are sculptures carved from large trees, such as the Western Red Cedar. In North America, totem poles are part of the cultures of many indigenous peoples of Alaska, British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. Totem poles serve many purposes beyond their beauty, and their meanings are as varied as the cultures that make them.
Some totem poles represent stories or important events. On these poles, each figure on the totem represents part of a story. These totems are used as a way to record the history and legends of the tribes.
Figures on a totem pole are not gods to be worshipped. Instead, they represent traits and characteristics each clan or story embodies.
There are many other types of totem poles. Genealogy poles are erected in front of a family’s home to represent the owner’s clan or social status. Memorial poles are carved in honor of a deceased clan member. Mortuary poles are also raised in honor of the dead and include a small compartment for the ashes of the deceased.
Another interesting type of totem pole is the shame pole. Shame poles are carved to embarrass and ridicule someone who has done something wrong.
Shame poles are taken down once the person has made amends. A famous shame pole erected in Cordova, Alaska, included the face of an oil company businessman. It is said to represent the unpaid debt the oil company owes for damages caused by the oil spill in Valdez, Alaska.
Colors used to paint totem poles were limited. Artists relied on natural pigments. Black was the most common, made by grinding soot, graphite or charcoal. Red came from red ochre, a clay-like material. Blue-green was made from copper sulfide.
Common figures found on totem poles include the raven (a symbol of The Creator), the eagle (representing peace and friendship), the killer whale (a symbol of strength), the thunderbird, the beaver, the bear, the wolf and the frog.
Though the totem pole has been a part of history for decades, totem poles are still created today. Native carvers in the Northwest continue to carve totems as symbols of their cultural pride and clan kinship.
- See more at: http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/what-is-a-totem-pole/#sthash.dLfbSmP4.dpuf

Monday, March 23, 2015

Weekend Enameling and Creating


Saturday ended up being an enameling session for me. I enameled pendants for several projects we have going on.


The pendants on the left are for the March ABS Challenge piece - the bottom right pendant is from the January ABS Challenge piece we didn't complete and the top right corner one is just one we had sawed out and ready to enamel.


This is a piece that mom has had sawed out for about eight months and I am just getting around to enameling it. I wasn't sure about how I was going to do the colors mom wanted and I really didn't want to mess up this piece. Mom is really happy with the way the piece turned out.


While I was enameling mom was laying out pieces for us to assemble. We went to the Dollar Tree and bought more cookie sheets and then went to Hobby Lobby and bought foam sheets to lay in the tray for us to layout the pieces on. We think this works great for us - we can have multiple pieces going at once - this also allows each of us to go from tray to tray to make changes (especially if each of us don't care for the layout of a piece).


This is what one of the trays looks like with the foam in the bottom. We are re-doing our Viking Knit pieces by adding beads to the Viking Knit.


Here are the final pieces after being enameled. I am really happy with the way they all turned out.







We are actually making two pieces for the March ABS Challenge - never thought I would say that.



This is mom laying out the beads for the challenge pieces. This is where we both discuss what we do and don't like about the piece.


All finished - now just have to assemble. We did have to go our local bead store on campus to look for clasps - we both didn't like the ones we had. Of course we go and can't find a clasp we like or that wasn't too small. So of course we are going to improvise, adapt and overcome by making a clasp for each of them.

So - that was our weekend. How was yours?

Friday, March 13, 2015

March Birthdays, Oxygen Concentrator, Video, Beads, Shows and Sawing


Today is my all time favorite day - Friday the 13th. What makes it even better is that today is my birthday. I love having my birthday on Friday the 13th plus with a full moon. I never understood why people didn't like the number 13 or especially Friday the 13th! I think it is just like any other day - but better :)


Tomorrow is mom's birthday - so we sort of have the same birthdays. I always tell mom I was the best birthday gift she ever got :) I am sure she wasn't thinking that when she was in the hospital on her birthday though.


So - other things we have been up to.


Our new oxygen concentrator arrived and I gave it a spin last week.


video

This is the oxygen concentrator working and me getting ready to make the first beads.

video

Me actually making a bead in the flame.

The concentrator is a lot different than using the tanks - it is a softer flame and is just something I need to get used to. I am just happy we won't have to worry about hauling the tanks around anymore in the car!



These are the beads I made with the new oxygen concentrator. The beads will be part of the March ABS Monthly Challenge piece. Both mom and I are really happy with the way they turned out.



Mom and I also worked on updating our portfolio and submitting our work to juried shows for this year. So far we have been accepted into the Zionsville Brick Street Market in May. We have never participated in this show before but mom and I found out about it from last year. One of the people I follow on Instagram posted they were at the show and I asked mom if she wanted to go to Zionsville and she said yes. It is a really nice setup and a lot of cool things. Both mom and I are excited to participate this year.


Mom was working on drawing up a design for the ABS challenge too.


I actually got both perimeters sawed out and mom is working on sawing out the interiors.

Today I took a half day off from work - so I plan on going home and either sawing, filing/sanding or work on making more beads. I think it just depends on how I feel once I get home and what the weather is like. I heard it was supposed to rain - so I might stay inside and saw.

Who knows what I will do - it's my birthday after all :)

Have a great Friday the 13th everyone!!!!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Makes A Statement! - Creative Jewelry Challenge #1


Mom and I are participating in Sally's Make A Statement Jewelry Challenge. I thought this would be a fun way for me and mom to get back into the swing of things on the creation front. For the challenge, Sally asked us to make a statement piece: a bold and unique piece of jewelry.

Well, here is the process of how we went about it and then I will share the end product.


Mom drew up the pattern for the bib necklace we wanted to create. Just so you all know, if you didn't already know, I hate to measure or do anything math related. So, thank goodness for mom!!!! I am glad she took on this challenge - and yes - we are scanning this so it doesn't get lost for future pieces.  Mom drilled holes in each of the circles and filed/sanded each one before I enameled each one.


These are the beads I ended up making for the piece - at first mom wasn't sure if she liked them - but after they were cleaned she was happy with them. We just had to figure out what to use as accent beads.


Here are the pieces being enameled last weekend. Yes, it isn't fun to enamel those little buggers!


Mom assembling all the circles with jump rings.  Tedious!


And then my setup to take pictures of the piece. Trying to get a good shot was interesting.

So - finally our statement piece:

Vortex
As you saw - we used 20 gauge copper that was enameled in a kiln. Mom then assembled the piece with 18 gauge stainless steel jump rings, with our lampwork glass beads, Czech beads, Jasper, seed beads and finished off with a sterling silver toggle clasp.

Vortex
I used enamel colors that are our favorite - I call it peacock. I just love the different colors of green that show up on the metal.


The beads were made with a base of clear glass and then rolled in colored frit. The beads were then strung on beading wire with accent beads.


Here is a close up of the small circle pendants. When I sprinkle the enamel on the copper I have to make sure all the copper is out of the holes so the enamel doesn't fill the holes when I put it in the kiln. I actually use a dental pick that my grandpa used for detailed work.

Vortx
Mom and I are really happy with the way the piece turned out. I am so glad we participated in Sally's Statement Challenge.

To see the other participants please click on the below list:

Sally Russick
Kim Dworak
Terri Gauthier
Elizabeth Bergesen
Karin Grosset Grange
Paula Kramer
Patti Vanderbloemen
Therese Frank
Beth McCord -You are Here
Niky Sayers 


If you can't view the participants please click here to go to Sally's blog.
Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

February ABS Challenge - Mariposa

Amapolas, 1913
Illustration published in "News of Spring and Other Nature Studies
By Edward Julius Detmold
Watercolor, 208 by 124mm
Can you believe it? It has actually been a year since our last Art Bead Scene Challenge. It is great getting back into the groove of creating. I hope everything is behind us now and we can get back into making things for fun again!

Mariposa
So, mom drew up three butterfly patterns and we only got two of them sawed out. We then picked the one we both liked to make the pendant. As you can see the bigger one of the pendants is what we went with.


We are calling our piece Mariposa - no reason - except both mom and I dislike trying to come up with names for our pieces. I seriously give anyone a shout out on picking names for your pieces. Some pieces the name comes so easily but other pieces, "Mom, come up with a name!!!!"


The pendant was actually sawed out by me this time. We use 20 gauge copper, lay a pattern on it, saw it out, drill pilot holes to thread the saw blades through and then start sawing out each individual holes. Once the piece is sawed out - we file and sand to remove the rough edges. I then talk to mom about colors and once colors are picked out I enamel the pendant in a kiln.


I actually made specific beads for this piece but mom didn't care for all of the beads I made. So, we went through all of the other beads I made and pulled out the blue ones. Mom accented the lampwork glass beads with brass spacers and Jasper beads.


That is how the necklace came about. If you want to learn more about this month's challenge click here.

It has been so long since I have posted I guess I better go and read the instructions on what I need to do.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

30 Word Thursday: We are Elated!

Us last night
We are jubilant
Excited, happy, ecstatic
There are no words to
Explain how mom and I
Feel at this moment.
The house is gone, the
House is gone!
Happy Day!
______________________________________________________

The premise of 30 Word Thursday is simple... take a photo, write 30 words (no more, no less) and post it each Thursday.  This is a blog hop hosted by Erin Prais-Hintz over on her blog 
Treasures Found, pop on over there to see her post for this week as well as links to the 30 Words from everyone else.

______________________________________________________
To explain the feeling of happiness - this has been a one year and two month process for the house to go through a short sale process. From what I have learned, DON'T DO THIS WITH A BIG BANK!!! It takes less time to do a short sale with a smaller, local bank.

Mom and I were overjoyed when we left the title company yesterday. To celebrate we went to Indianapolis and bought two pairs of Danskos and ate at Red Robin.


We are each wearing a pair today.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Ordinary Extraordinary Everyday Days 11 to 15


It is the last five day prompt from Sally for the mini-photo challenge - Ordinary Extraordinary Everday!

I had a lot of fun with these prompts and some of these really made me think about what I wanted to take a picture of - so THANK YOU so much Sally for the fun photo challenge!

So off we go:

Day 11 - Macro

A macro shot of a fire hydrant from Ann Arbor, Michigan. I go up there each year for their large art fair and while I am there I take pictures of the fire hydrants that are rusty and paint peeling. This one had water dripping down on it because it was being used for potable water.

Day 12 - Temptation

This is my temptation - I can live with out goodies, sweeties, etc. but a Pepsi is my downfall. As you can tell I had one yesterday. I need to get back on the band wagon of no sodas and eating right again.

Day 13 - Sweetness

This is one of my sweeties - he is such a mushmellow!

Day 14 - Love

I am starting back into my love - torching and making beads. I haven't made beads in a year and it has been great making them again. Oh how I forgot how much I love you torch!!!

Day 15 - Togetherness

Mom and me on the couch on her side of the house. During the winter I will sit with her a lot of the time. Either we are both playing on the phone or reading a book or just talking about nothing.

So - that is my photos for the mini-challenge. I hope you enjoyed the ride!



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