In April, wanting to return to my textile roots, I thought it would be fun to make “ikat” cuff bracelets. Then I realized that some of the canes I had already been using could be translated into ikat. I pulled out the canes I had made late last fall using Melanie West’s tutorial for striped Skinner Blend canes. I had made or adapted four different canes from this tutorial and they had been wonderful to use in making brooches and other bracelets. Now they would be pressed into service as ikat “cloth”! But then, a funny thing happened when I used an extruder to make little ropes to edge the bracelets with. I had extruded stacks of color so that I could reveal dots of color to add to the ethnic feel of these bracelets then . . . It occurred to me that by making extrusions this way, but a little larger in diameter, I could make hoop earrings. And so, my “Circus Hoops” were born, some with polkadots, some without, but all with contrasting colors revealed at the ends! And the stacks of color in the extruder had also given me variegated earrings.
For several years I’ve used my Canon 40D on a tripod to photograph my jewelry. Recently I’ve been getting lazy and sometimes use the camera in my pocket, my iPhone 4s! Here’s my latest necklace and the photos which I’ve used in my online shops.
Have to confess I’m thrilled with the way this necklace turned out. Loved the design challenge of how to show this gorgeous Tibetan Butterfly pendant off to it’s best. Actually, before I was out of the gem show where I found the pendant, I knew I had to find a shell mala with beads to harmonize with the beautiful old shell cabochon at the center of the butterfly.
Turns out that shell malas are getting a bit rare but I did find one. Unfortunately the one I found had been stained and covered with a very shinny clear coat. I wanted natural shell – which happily got solved by putting the beads in a tumbler with sand for a few hours.
You can see the necklace description and all the photos I used for it at my online Zibbet shop here.
Further confessions. I still think the jewelry photos I’ve taken with the Canon 40D are better but, hey the Apple 4S works! Take a look around my Zibbet shop and see what you think – the Tibetan Butterfly has the only photographs I did with the iPhone.
For another comparison, on my website, www.annbrooks.net, all photos were taken with the 40D or one of the Canon Digital Rebel series.
Ann Brooks and Jeanmarie Nutt (seated left) at the De Young Museum’s 2011 Ethnic Textile Bazaar in San Francisco.
Sunday, for the second year, I participated in the De Young Museum’s Ethnic Textile Bazaar, selling my ethnically inspired jewelry from my World Peace Collection.
Book and fiber artist Jeanmarie Nutt was, again, a great assistant. In the spirit of the day, we both wore Guatemalan hupiles we had purchased in Oaxaca. Mine is an “eagle” style from the village of Chichicastenango with it’s sunburst around the neckline.
Some of my most popular items at the Bazaar were my Tibetan Buddhist mala earrings, and red vulcanite (vinyl) bracelets from Africa, one with turquoise, Baltic amber and Tibetan mala beads, and another new design, red with black and “silver” Fulani tribe prayer beads from Africa.
I was a very impressionable teenager in the 1950s, when I first set eyes on a North African souq.
My grandmother and I had been traveling independently in Europe, from Ireland and Scotland, south through England, France and Spain. It was not all that long after World War II and Europe, itself seemed very “different” to this American teenager.
But I was in no way prepared for what I would see across the Straights of Gibraltar in Morocco, in Tangiers. The French were still present there and it was not unusual to see a European woman pushing a stroller on the same sidewalk with an Arab woman, covered from head to toe, with a toddler in hand. And Coca-Cola signs in both French and Arabic — on the same sign! The snake charmer! I found it all quite amazing.
But it was the sight of the the Arabs gathered in a souq, that North African market, that sunk deeply into my psyche. That view would influence where I chose to travel in future decades and even the jewelry I make today, a half century later!
It was my first view of how other people in the world lived that seemed in no way connected to the life I had known growing up in California. It stirred my my curiosity, my passion. I knew I wanted to see, learn more about other people, far away lands.
But then, time out to marry, raise a family and I was pretty tied down for two decades. I did manage to take my own children to Europe in 1973.
The yearning did not go away. Mexico was near and satisfied some of that need. Finally, in 1989 I saw India for the first time, but it was not till 2005 that I was able to return to India and made contacts with a Muslim family in Rajasthan that I would end up doing a photo documentary about their teenage daughter the following year.
That North African souq had a major influence on my current jewelry World Peace Collection ” . . . Creating a vision . . . beads from the world’s cultures and religions coming together in harmony.”
World Peace Collection: Creating a vision … beads from the world’s cultures and religions coming together in harmony.
Below is a preview of some of the jewelry in this series. It will be available in my studio, and on Sunday, November 14th at the Ethnic Textile Bazaar in San Francisco, sponsored by the deYoung Museum’s Textile Arts Council.
See more of this jewelry here.
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Creating a vision … beads from the world’s cultures and religions coming together in harmony. ~ Ann Brooks
For example, a necklace with vinyl made in Europe, used in Christian and Muslim Africa is combined with beads from a Buddhist mala from Nepal.