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.
One day early in March, Polymer Clay Daily took me to a tutorial by Barbara McGuire, “Translucent white graduated spiral”. This was my introduction to working with translucent clay. Once I had my translucent spiral cane, I found there were a number of things I could do with it.
I had been on a bracelet-making binge and the white spirals worked wonderfully on a base of half translucent and half solid white with silver leaf rolled in as I successively reduced the clays thickness. That became my canvas for random application of various sized spirals. I call the bracelet “Many Moons”.
To the right is a pair of earrings inspired by earlier “Floating Cloud” earrings I had designed using commercial silver beads. The thin wafers of translucent polymer spirals are interspersed with wafers that incorporate flecks of gold or silver leaf.
Having found my online shop while planning her wedding, Ghazal and I communicated off and on for a few months regarding which earrings she would get for her wedding in Tulum, Mexico. She ended up ordering two pairs. This one and also this one, not being sure exactly which she would want for that special day.
We also had much conversation over how best to send them from the US to Canada. When they arrived, I got this lovely note from her . . .
“I’ve received them! They look just great, thanks! I love the earrings I ordered first. My fiance likes the 2nd look. I guess I’ll have to see what they look like on the day. I will definitly send you a photo.” You can see which pair she wore at the bottom of this post.
Then Ghazal added, “Was just wondering, is there any way you could make a bracelet that would match?” Well, that got my design juices going that very night. By the next day, after several iterations, this is what emerged. And you can see it and another view here in my online shop.
And here is Ghazal, radiant on her wedding day in Tulum, Mexico!
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.