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Flowers, fireworks and jewelry design

My inspiration comes from everywhere. This flower makes me think of fireworks and mixed-metal pendant and designs.
My inspiration comes from everywhere. This flower makes me think of fireworks and mixed-metal pendant and earring designs.

One of the things I love most about my personal creative process is that I find inspiration from everywhere. The world is my muse. In some respects it makes my life difficult in that it’s almost impossible for me to completely stop working. In other ways it makes me lucky because I am rarely at a loss for ideas (though sometimes my own skills have not yet developed to the point of implementing them).

A few days ago I was feeling a little bored with my current projects so I went through the photographs I took a few years ago when my sweetheart took me to the Butchart Gardens. This photo caught my eye. At first glance it reminds me of my favorite fireworks from the shows I used to in Grand Coulee during my childhood. But on closer inspection it makes me think of design elements for a pendant, earrings and maybe even a cuff design. Mixed metals, perhaps brass (or gold) and silver…

For better or worse, my initial design drawings are outside of my current skill range (and I don’t yet have all the tools I would need to implement those ideas); I’ll get there eventually but for the moment I’m unable to bring them to reality. But, therein lies another challenge. How can I get creative, with the tools and skills at my disposal, to make something else- just as beautiful and with similar characteristics as my original designs?

 

That challenge fuels my creativity. What tools can I make to expand my options? What techniques can I learn to further evolve my art? It’s these questions that keep me making new designs.

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Blessings for Prosperity

TBPwASC Close-up on White

I’ve always loved the idea of jewelry pieces with stories or meaning. Some people wear jewelry with prayer boxes, others wear charms with great symbolism, and many choose stones based on their attributed powers or meaning. While many (even most!) of my designs Continue reading Blessings for Prosperity

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Inspired by Artist Lydia Makepeace

One of my Etsy friends and shop owners, Lydia Makepeace, has gone through a remarkable evolution in the expression of her creative voice. I first became familiar with her work when she sold (primarily) jewelry; in fact, her acorn necklace was so beautiful that it inspired my very first Etsy Treasury: “Squirreling Around… Awh Nuts!” Over time, I’ve continued to be amazed by her work as she’s given her primary focus to her paintings.

 

I have found, while our mediums are different, I never cease to find inspiration in her work. Her use of colors and textures always give me ideas for new jewelry expressions in my own work. And, her willingness to always challenge herself to new heights reminds me to strive to add new skills to my repertoire (rather than becoming too comfortable in what has become “easy”).

 

One of Lydia’s recent paintings caught my imagination; as soon as I saw it, I wanted to create an etched pendant inspired by it. Of course, I don’t want to steal her work or fail to give credit- so I tossed the idea aside and set about focusing on other projects…. until I remembered she had a birthday. Finally, an excuse!

 

Sometimes, as artists, it can be easy to wonder whether or not anyone appreciates our work. Compelled to create, but separated from those who appreciate and purchase our work, sometimes we can feel like our creations get lost in the abyss. We put all of our heart and soul into something, it sells (sometimes after a long while), and then we often won’t hear anything about the piece ever again; we simply hope that it found a home in which it will be appreciated.

 

So, for my dear friend, I decided to give her the gift of a reminder. I made for her a two-sided etched copper pendant. The front has an etched botanical pattern, inspired by one of her paintings. It’s my hope that she will always remember that her work, her voice, is appreciated.

LM Pendant

The back of the pendant has the word “inspire” with a few decorative “splotches” of paint. This side is a “thank you” for all the times she has inspired me, and the expression of my hope that she will never stop painting (or inspiring).

Back of LM Pendant

On a personal note, I can’t recommend Lydia’s shop enough; I am an enthusiastic follower of both her Etsy shop and her Facebook page! Her birthday pendant is now on its way; help me give her an even bigger gift by checking out her shop and following her on Facebook!

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Jewelry Art- For Blessings & Prosperity

When I first received a collection antique silver coins, I felt so inspired by the beauty of the Arabic calligraphy on them. The smooth sweeping lines- I wish my writing were so beautiful. The coins made me think of beauty, blessings and prosperity. I decided to make a special design to represent those ideas- with the hope that it will also inspire its future owner.

The design you see etched into the copper pendant is the word “Bless,” written in Arabic calligraphy. With the initial blessing, I chose to add two kinds of stones (hematite and garnet) which are traditionally associated with manifesting dreams into reality… to symbolize all my hope for its wearer, along with three authentic antique silver coins for prosperity. This pendant is one of my favorite items available in my Etsy shop; I like the idea of blessings in physical form.

A note about the coins: These genuine silver coins come from one of the batches I acquired of tentatively identified 17th-18th Century silver coins, from Turkey and Egypt. They came to me with the holes already in them. No work whatsoever- aside from putting wire through the already existing hole(s)- has been done to these coins. They are as I obtained them. Even the patina has been preserved, as it often enhances both the character and the value of the coins.

If you like old coins, you might want to check out my Historical Coin Collection!

This beautiful pendant, a Butterfly Sundries' original design, features the word "Bless" in Arabic calligraphy, along with three antique silver Arabic coins.
This beautiful pendant, a Butterfly Sundries’ original design, features the word “Bless” in Arabic calligraphy, along with three antique silver Arabic coins.