All of a sudden I’ve got a ton of energy and ideas and feel like I’m scrambling to take advantage of the sudden burst.  It probably helps that the sun is finally out, the temperature is a divine 70 and the humidity is an even more divine 40% and there’s a lovely breeze blowing.

I continue to work on my samples, but last night I got an idea for a new component and had to act on it immediately.  Today, I liked the look so much, I decided to make up a few more.

turtle beads

turtle beads

I’m calling them ‘turtle’ beads as the shape reminds me of a turtle’s back.  I started thinking of calling them ‘sandwich’ beads – boring, not very appealing.  I’m sort of challenged in the naming of things.  Like so much about me and my life, I tend towards the unadorned, minimal, a sort of Bauhaus approach to most things (like all things, there are exceptions).  I have artist friends  with such a gift for the eloquent and poetic naming of things  (Nina, that would be you).  Eloquent I can be, poetic, not so much, kind of a nuts and bolts girl.  That said, here’s a close-up of my new ‘turtle’ beads.

turtle beads 2

I debated a bit, as I’m running low on PMC and I really should keep working on the samples and all the other things on my to-do list, but I couldn’t resist.  I’m thinking they’ll look really cool on my other recent diversion … finger loop braids.  I sat down and watched a couple of YouTube tutorials and then started working on them.  There is definitely a learning curve.  You might be able to see my progress here.  The brown bamboo thread is the before, the grey silk is my third attempt, better, definitely not perfect.  Using 5 loops results in a square braid, well it’s supposed to.  I’m getting better, just need more practice, practice, practice.

5 loop braid

I’m so jazzed about my new component!  I’ve got a bunch of ideas swirling around in my head about how to use them.  They’re going to be small, probably about 3/8″ average.  What’s so gratifying is I’ve had the concept for these in my head for a while and I just now figured out how to make them.  That’s been happening a lot in recent months.  It’s amazing how something that looks so simple is not simple at all.  It’s taken all of my years of working with ceramic clay and then precious metal clay to get to this point.  How’s this for a number … total years working with clay of some sort – 26.

My first coin necklaces were a revelation, that was early in 2006.  For years I had been ‘trying’ to make jewelry that met my ideas of ‘wabi-sabi’, the Japanese aesthetic of imperfect beauty.  I would spend hours pouring over Tim McCreight’s work.  Here’s a master silversmith that works in such an exquisitely raw and minimal style.  No amount of ‘trying’ was ever going to get me to that place.  It took going all the way to the other extreme, making necklaces that took hours of stringing and knotting, a whole table full of components tied up into over-the-top creations.

Here’s a sample from August 2005.  Cerebral and complex – it makes my fingers ache just looking at it …

August 2005 Djangle necklace

After a winter of not working and deep introspection … not quite ‘dark night of the soul’, but intense nonetheless … I arrived here …

April 2006 double strand coins

April 2006 double strand coins

This new direction was life altering.  This is the direction that took me places I had only dreamed about … The Real Mother Goose in Portland, Ansel Adams Gallery, Seattle Art Museum, and the centerfold of  San Francisco MOMA’s 2006 holiday catalog.

My path towards maintaining simplicity continues.  It’s remains a challenge and like I’ve said before, I always come back to Occam’s Razor … the simplest answer tends to be the best answer.  This is what’s true for me.

And to liven things up musically, thought I’d  throw out a bit of diversity …

with gratitude and blessings – kvk