Designs for the "Useful and Beautiful" Show...

{Updated publicity postcard for the show featuring my Naiade Earrings and a portrait by Merle Pace}
I just sent off the box of jewelry for the "Useful and Beautiful" show last week and I thought it would be fun show some of the designs with the paintings that inspired them. Several of the pieces are new, some are slightly older, but all happened to match a Pre-Raphaelite painting perfectly!
{The Crystal Ball Earrings with J.W. Waterhouse's "The Crystal Ball"}
{The Na├»ade Earrings with J.W. Waterhouse's "Hylas and the Nymphs" }
{The Lady of Shalott Necklace with J.W. Waterhouse's "The Lady of Shalott"}
{La Belle Dame Necklace with Frank Cadogen Cowper's  "La Belle Dame sans Merci"}
{The Sidonia Earrings with Edward Burne Jones's "Sidonia von Borke"}
And I'll close this post with a video of the incomparable Loreena McKennitt singing "The Lady of Shalott," a song she wrote based on the words of Alfred Tennyson's poem of the same name. I've been listening to Loreena's music a lot lately while I work. Enjoy!

Announcing my Fall/Winter Collection...

I've decided to make the Pre-Raphaelites the inspiration for my Fall/Winter collection, so in addition to the designs for the "Useful and Beautiful"show,  I have created some pieces in this theme for my Etsy shop. Here's a little sneak peek!
{Delos Earrings}
These earrings are a completely new style, created with silk and gold threads with accents of peridot, citrine and amazonite. The vibrant color scheme was inspired by J.W. Waterhouse's painting "The Charmer."
The painting depicts the Greek goddess Brizo, protecter of fisherman and sailors, who was worshipped on the Island of Delos.
MORGAINE Chandelier Earrings- Black Velvet, Gold Lace and Crystal
{Morgaine Earrings and Bracelet}
 I was inspired by the famed enchantress of Arthurian legend, Morgaine Le Fay, for this opulent and intricate set. While not referencing a specific painting, Morgaine was a favorite subject of the Pre-Raphaelites and I wanted to create something that was elegant and mysterious and darkly romantic...
MORGAINE Cuff Bracelet- Black Velvet, Gold Lace, Crystal
{Morgaine Bracelet}
These designs were created with a fusion of lacemaking and embroidery. The medallions were created using some rich, vintage black velvet as a base. I then stitched lace motifs onto the fabric and embroidered dozens of beads by hand before applying the fabric over a wooden base...
MORGAINE Chandelier Earrings- Black Velvet, Gold Lace and Crystal
{Morgaine Earrings}
I will post the finished designs for the show in the next few days!
Until then--

Week 35-Woven CZ Rings

I made some of these rings a few years ago and I've been wearing the last one almost daily for about three years until someone bought it off my finger in Brighton. I missed it and had to make myself a replacement as well as some to sell. The basis of this ring is a tutorial from Kingfisher Designs. I used three 18 gauge round wires instead of the two 20 gauge square wires in the tutorial, as well as using a bigger stone. I also changed the weaving to the pattern used in Iza Malczyk's cross tutorial. I love these rings because they're big and bold but also comfortable to wear. But now I can't decide whether to oxidize them all or not. Opinions?

The Tomato Eater

At the age of 10 1/2 my little Wizard has decided he likes tomatoes. Every time I go out to water the patio garden, he has to pick himself a tomato. I can't just give him one. He checks out the plants, decides which one he wants, and picks it of the vine. It has to be ripe and it has to be bigger than he can eat.

Week 34-Titanium Druzy Pendant

This blingy titanium druzy is from Magpie Gemstones. The first loopy row and base of this setting is a cool technique I picked up from She does offer a free tutorial for it if you email her for a password but I was able to create a version of it by looking at the pictures.

Color Inspiration...{Pre-Raphaelite Paintings}

I've been gathering color scheme ideas for the "Useful and Beautiful" show by looking at lots of Pre-Raphaelite paintings lately. Here are some of my favorites:
{The Crystal Ball by J.W. Waterhouse}
{The Lady of Shallott by J.W. Waterhouse}
{The Beguiling of Merlin by Edward Burne-Jones}
{The Rose Bower by Edward Burne-Jones}
{Proserpine by Dante Gabriel Rossetti}
And I came across this painting and realized that her necklace was almost identical in construction to my Athalie Bracelet, only in gold. I made the bracelet before I saw the painting, so it was an interesting synchronicity!
{Bocca Bocciata by Dante Gabriel Rossetti}

Color Inspiration...{Jet and Old Parchment}

I'm drawing inspiration right now from this muted color palette--
the subtle shimmer of jet beadwork on black fabric...
intricate details on pale, parchment-colored backgrounds...
a flash here and there of subdued silver and gold...
{Costume Design by Leon Bakst}
{Antique Beadwork via Robes of Earth}
{Handmade Textile by Anita Quansah London}
{Victorian Jet Trim}
{Pen and Ink Drawing by Teagan White}
{Alexander McQueen Dress Fall 2008}

{A work in progress on my desk}
I hope to capture some of this feeling of faded elegance in a few pieces of my Fall/Winter Collection...Stay tuned!

Week 33-Labradorite Pendant

I found a source for some really nice labradorite-my favorite stone-at the G&LW Show last month. I set this one in a Viking knit bezel accented with some coils of tiny wire. I had it for two days. I made it on Thursday and it sold on Saturday. :D
{Postcard from the Useful and Beautiful Exhibit}
The little side-project that I mentioned recently is that I've been invited to include several pieces of my jewelry in a group show in Indianapolis. The show, called "Useful and Beautiful: A Return to Myth and Romance in Art," is being put together by my lovely and talented friend, Merle, and is a gathering of contemporary artists working in the Pre-Raphaelite tradition. 

The Pre-Raphaelites were a group of English painters, poets and critics active in the mid-to-late 1800s. Their intention was to reform the stodgy art of the time and they shocked the art world with their intricately detailed, sensual, brightly colored paintings with complicated compositions that drew inspiration from early Italian and Flemish Renaissance painting {hence the name Pre-Raphaelite, or before Raphael}.
The exhibit, which will feature local and international artists working in a variety of mediums, will be held at the Big Hat Books and Gallery, located in the Broad Ripple Village in Indianapolis, Indiana. It will be up September 10th. Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend the opening, but my friend  Merle promises to take lots of photos--which I will be sure to share on my blog!

To give you an idea of the aesthetics of the show, I'll close this post with some gorgeous photos byMerle, styled after Pre-Raphealite paintings...
1. Ophelia Siren Child, 2. Lorien Flower 2, 3. Primavera 3, 4. jewelry 8

As for me, I already have a few designs for the show in the works, which I will share soon!

Fairy Tale Friday...{Castle}

This week's finds from the Fairy Tale Ornament Flickr Group...
rich, mysterious shades of patinated metal, old gold, misty blue, and castle-wall grey...
1. fleur crown , 2. Tromp l'oeil, 3. ref.Sara.maiden, 4. Mina's Treasure
This may be the last Flickr mosaic that I do for a bit. I've decided that I want to try a freer approach to blogging, outside the confines of such a rigid weekly schedule. I'll still be featuring favorite photos from Flickr, but I want to branch out and share other things that inspire me. I'll also continue to share what I'm working on in my studio every week :)

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Week 32-Coiled Silver Hoops

Another flower motif-this one tiny. From it I suspended a hoop of tiny coiled wire and then added the beads along the edge.

Scenes from the Studio...

With the last of the custom orders finished up for the time being, I'm now switching gears in the studio and starting to focus on designs for the Fall and Winter season. I've been spending the past few days reorganizing my workspace {which was looking like a hurricane had swept through it!}, drawing sketches and updating my inspiration board...

I'm also working on some jewelry designs especially for a group show that I was recently asked to participate in by my talented friend, Merle. More news on this soon--I plan to devote a whole blog post to it as it is going to be such an interesting exhibit! :)
And here are some of the custom designs I just finished up over the weekend...
{Custom Athalie Wedding Earrings}
{Custom Wedding Barefoot Sandals}
{My feet, modellng them!}

These were a commission from a lovely bride in Australia. She ordered the set below, and then asked if I would be interested in making barefoot sandals. I've never made anything like these before but I think they turned out really neat--perfect for a beach wedding
To see what other bloggers are working on in their creative spaces this week, be sure to visit Kirsty's blog.

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