Thursday, March 31, 2016

Eye-saiah's Vision

Found on Tumbler.

This month eye participated in Art Jewelry Element's (AJE) challenge; "Eye Love Beads".  When Lindsay Starr (of Phantasm Creations) posted this challenge eye IMMEDIATELY knew what eye wanted to do.  Eye had just purchased the PERFECT bead for this challenge - an AMAZING Joan Miller Ceramic bead:

Photo credit: Joan Miller

The first thing eye thought of when eye was considering a design was seraphim.  Seraphim are described once (maybe twice) in the Bible - in Isaiah 6 when Isaiah has a vision, but there is also speculation that the "4 Living Creatures" mentioned in Revelation 6 (that are described as being covered in eyes) are also seraphim, however that is up for debate.  Eye decided to create a "seraphim" that did not have the 6 wings ('cause that is a LOT of wings to create...) and were covered in eyes!

Here is a drawing of what eye had in mind for this necklace:

Crazy scribbles.
My intention was to create the "Eye of Providence" which is an eye within a equilateral triangle with rays of light emanating from it.  This symbol is said to represent the Omniscient (all-knowing/seeing) character of God.  The three sides of the triangle are representative of the Trinity (Father, Son & Holy Spirit).

And so began the journey to create a piece inspired by the vision Isaiah saw of God on the throne...

...there were many sacrifices on this journey...

Eye created what eye thought eye wanted for the triangle piece and this is how it ended up:

There were a couple problems though...after having created the triangle, eye realized the eye did not sit well on the triangle and my tension was so tight that eye kept breaking beads as eye tried to add in the rays of light.  Eye kept breaking beads...there were many bead sacrifices...and these suffered many stabbings too...
Poor digits.
Eye finally decided to scrap the open triangle idea and go for a more solid triangle.  Plus, eye wanted to change the background color to purple - the color of royalty.

After finishing the "Eye of Providence" eye began searching for a way to make wings for my seraphim.  This proved to be more difficult than eye thought.  Eye knew that eye needed something that would hold the wing shape on its own but eye didn't want to make bead embroidery or metal wings.

Much research and pinteresting (word?) ensued and eye came across a pin which showed netted wings that seemed to hold their shape.  Using this picture as a template, eye created wings.  Eye will admit...eye do not like writing down what eye do as eye go...probably will never do the wings (since eye had to make two) are slightly different.  Eye attached the wings to the Joan Miller bead and then attached the component to the "Eye of Providence".

Pseudo Seraphim (Tongue twister, anyone?)

The last step was to add the straps.  You would think this would be easy...but nothing on this small ball we call Earth is "easy".  Eye could not match the colors eye wanted for the strap but after much frustration, many failed attempts, and finally giving up and running with it...eye came up with a do-able option.  Now for the finale!


Don't forget to visit the other blog hop participants and see what they created for this eye-themed challenge!

Guests - 
Kelly Rodgers* You are here!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Beading Goliath

So I figured...if I was ever asked to be in a rap video I HAVE to have some bling 'cause I'm sure NOT going to twerk....

I like to break the rules.  I especially like challenging the idea that jewelry should be a certain way or made of a certain thing or that earrings, bracelets and necklaces should match.  I don't know if this is the little rebel in me or if I am a touch eccentric...but probably a little of both.  =P

A while back I went to a very small local Gem & Mineral Show and encountered a man with stone slab that did custom cut work.  *grin*  YAY!  While looking through his buckets of slab, a piece of Outback Jasper called out to me so....I decided to have him cut it for me.  I wanted a BIG cab...a really big cab...a really really big a brobdingnagian cab - I call it Goliath.  (Ha!  I crack myself up - how appropriate to call a big stone Goliath...)


           1. gigantic.
           2. a giant.

Now, you have to understand, I knew this was gonna be a large piece of rock...but I have to admit, when I received it in the mail its size took me by surprise.  This beast is 4 3/4 inches by 3 3/4 inches.  Here is a pic of the finished cab:

Now look at your palm.  See?  Huge.

I am breaking the rules and making one hell of a big necklace with this one.  Because of it's sheer size and weight there were some unique challenges I faced...which I will share here.

First, I normally do NOT glue down my cabs to Lacy's Stiff Stuff or Ultra Suede before beading them - partly because if something happens and I am not happy with the final product I don't have to worry about trying to rip the backing off the cab.  This one is a bit different.  This cabs weighs a ton and I didn't like the idea of that kind of weight resting solely on the beads and thread of the bezel.

So, I glued down the monstrous cab and spent what seemed like eons building up the peyote-stitch bezel.  Now, next step was to add a line of beads around the outside of the cab.  One thing I knew not to do with this piece was to make it any bigger than it already was, but one thing I have learned - you always need to have at least 1 row of beads around the outside of a bead-bezeled cab.  The primary reason is this ensures you don't have a strange rim of Lacy's sticking out beyond the cab after you do your edging row.

I knew before I started this crazy project EXACTLY what I wanted to achieve - and I knew HOW I wanted to achieve it (unusual!).  The goal?  Lichen...  Now, I had worked on a project back in the day as part of a challenge for Blu Mud (back when they made ceramic components).  It involved creating a whole lot of seed beaded circles.  I remembered that they only laid flat when I worked hard not to have a tight tension - so I knew if I increased my tension I would be able to make little cups.  Here is the result:

So I attached the lichen and ran into a bit of a was I going to attach the straps?!  I mean, being that this thing weighs a ton, thread would NOT be an option...and I was even concerned about using SoftFlex since the attachment point would still be small and involve thread.  I came up with a cool idea.

I have been making copper jewelry for some years now under the name Magnolia House.  Most of our (it's a mother/daughter business) pieces sell either person to person or in one of the 2 local stores that carries our work.  This being said it popped into my head that I had a soldered wire triangle sitting on my worktable with no where to go.  This would work perfect!

Here is what I did:  I cut around the cab so that I had it ready for a backing of ultra suede, then I cut another piece of Lacy's the same size and shape. Then I used Fireline and secured the triangle by sewing...and sewing...and sewing loops around the copper piece.  This is the end result:

The reason I did this was so that I had a very secure place for the straps to come off the piece of work that would not compromise the beadwork of the piece...AND...was weighty enough that it would easily hold up.  Then I glued (GENEROUSLY glued) the 2 backings together sandwiching the stitched copper piece between the Lacy's.  THEN I backed the piece and beaded the edges to finish.

The end result of this piece was EXACTLY what I wanted.  I have not yet been asked to be in a rap video...but if I am, I am DEFINITELY prepared!

             And here is the thug-worthy final product!     

There were quite a few challenges in creating this piece both due to size and weight...but with a little out-of-the-box thinking I am now rap video ready!  *smirk*