Sunday, 30 January 2011

White Water Turquoise

I made this necklace for myself with some of my favourite White Water Mine Turquoise, some silver and a handmade pendant from Jean Christen ( Clay Genie ) I love wearing it!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Coping with the high cost of silver and gold

Reading my friend Lori's blog sparked my idea to write some musing on this subject from my perspective. I used to make art jewellery pieces up until a couple of years ago with sterling silver armatures wrapped with very fine silver wire, I developed my own style and things went well, but with the constantly rising cost of silver I began to question where I was going, add the gemstones etc, etc and expenses rose, yes it was fun to create, especially as I enjoy making as many parts of a design as I can apart from the gemstones obviously I leave that to mother nature.

Then a few years back I was introduced to Premo Polymer clay, its a bit like paint in solid form I thought so I was hooked. I took a few tutorials to begin with, then as usual I meandered off on my own. Many years ago I worked with clay but this was different I had colour now and many more colours could be mixed from the basics! So I made many different items from small sculptures to jewellery, which is now my preference.

Polymer clay it would seem has come into its own and is no longer considered the outsider but is sold in prestigious galleries, there are museum collections and displays of jewellery it has finally made it!

Last year I got to thinking how wonderful it would be to work with gold clay that I could shape into my own designs for necklaces and pendants, a lovely setting for beautiful Jaspers, Agates and Gemstones etc so working from my original sketches; I spent the next six months building a collection of art necklaces and pendants based in the gold polymer clay.

The Inspiration; water plays a large part in my life as I live close to the ocean, enjoy lakes and streams, with reeds and swans, the ponds in our garden. Trees are important to me, also mosses and ferns, each piece of jewellery I sketch has an inspiration in nature and the natural world around me. Sometimes it is a shape I want to capture or maybe a beautiful Jasper cab inspires a picture.

So my problem seems to be solved, I no longer need large quantities of silver or gold metal and I am excited with all the new possibilities this new direction has given me.

This collection will be available when we have finished updating the web site.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Bead Soup Blog Party!

I have just joined Lori Andersons Bead Soup Blog Party it sounds like its going to be fun! There is still time to join in just click on the logo on the right hand side of this page to be taken to Lori's blog.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Painting of Glenveagh

This is the watercolour I painted of Glenveagh gardens with the castle in the background. I really enjoyed doing paintings of the different places I visited. It was a long time since I had got out the paints, being involved with other things these days. I do notice some strange shadow lines on the left of the painting, I have no idea what made them as they are not part of the painting, very weird!

I tend to leave the art side of things to my daughter Lara she takes commisions for pet portraits and fantasy art also small clay sculptures she finished a set of cartoon style Dr Who sculptures before Christmas which were very detailed.

There are so many things I would like to do and try but time passes so quickly these days and I will never be able to fit them all in, maybe tomorrow!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Festival of the Trees

I took these photos at Glenveagh National Park in Donegal Ireland, the top picture is the castle and gardens, second the Gardeners Cottage, third Glenveagh Estate. The friends I was staying with at the time suggested I might like to go there, so we took a leisurely drive and arrived around lunchtime. The park itself has a wild beauty all its own, deep in the Derryveagh mountains that rise up from Lough Veagh. The estate runs to around 40,000 acres, the castle which we were able to take a tour of had a very lived in feeling about it, built in the 19th century by John George Adair a man born in County Laois who made his fortune in the USA and later owned by two other Americans. But it was Henry McIlhenny of Philadelphia who bought the estate in 1936 who left a lasting impression on the estate which he made the focus of his life for the 36 years he lived there. Henry McIlhenny developed the castle and gardens into what they are today. Henry also loved entertaining and one can imagine the parties and film stars invited to stay the guest book read like a who's who of actors, artists, musicians and famous names of the times.

The castle gardens are lovely when I came home I did a water colour painting of them from the photos I took, there was a picturesque Gardener's Cottage, in the grounds full of flowers at the time we visited. The contrast between these pretty gardens and the wild mountains and boglands bordered by the deep lough's made a pleasant oasis of culture and gentle beauty in the rugged landscape.

There is so much more I could write about Glenveagh but I will leave you with a picture or two from my pleasant stay.