Thursday, May 21, 2009


As artists, we can be inspired by a beautiful sunset or a speckled bird's egg found beneath a tree. But more often, we find ourselves admiring the work of other artists. One jewelry artist whom I admire is Deryn Mentock. She is a prolific and imaginative jewelry designer who is not afraid to incorporate unusual items, like steel wire or pages of text, into her designs.

In my Charmsters group, we are 90 artists who challenge ourselves to create charms that we swap with one another. A hostess chooses a theme, which could be a holiday, a color, a jewelry technique, or a material.

Our latest swap was hosted by Maureen Baranov. She was so inspired by Deryn Mentock's text charms that she chose that as our theme. Fourteen of us examined Deryn's creations and came up with our own methods of making a text dangle. What was added to the dangle was our choice.

I used steel wire to make my round charms. They were backed with pages from a 1935 dictionary. My dangles are attached to a yarn tassel that is held by twisted wire and a jump ring. Will my tassels inspire another artist?

Here is how I packaged my charms. Check out my blog in a week or so after I've received 13 other charms from some fabulous artists.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Jewelry of the Week

I've decided I'd like to showcase a jewelry item each week. I use a variety of jewelry elements in my creations, such as crystals, twisted wire, metal, and pottery beads, and I really think I should show more pictures here so my readers can see what I've made.

The first Jewelry of the Week is a necklace that I've called Forest Lightning. The inspiration came from the raku-fired bead dangling at the bottom. The bead has such a spark and movement to it, that it reminded me of lightning. I wanted to create a wire piece to hang it, and I knew copper wire was the way to go. The green glass bead above the wire is one I've had for awhile. I don't usually work in greens, I'm more of a blue girl, but I loved the variegated colors in this bead so I had to get it. Using the raku and the green beads, I searched for more beads to accent them. I found a strand of oddly-shaped glass beads, and it all came together. The muted greens reminded me of a forest when the sky is dark gray ready for a thunderstorm. And here you have, Forest Lightning.