Fiber influenced polymer pins and pendants

Last October and November I spent a lot of time working on new brooches, which could also convert to pendants.

The first two shown below began with skinner blends. Then I had a great time going through scraps and canes I had, using them to create little collages on the center strip. Using gold and silver leaf scraps added great accents. Some have said they look like shimmering silk! These pendants were inspired by the work of Lindly Haunani.

Continuing on brooch/pendants influenced by textile traditions, I got into weaving polymer with variegated, extruded strips!

21ca9a98-26c6-4cd8-968a-c927288638674271c568-1ebe-48ec-941a-47a11c6dedb7

1e5c95a9-1f24-4494-9480-51f8af0fe71c

Advertisements

New Floating (rain) Clouds

Last September, with fall coming on, I designed a new version of my popular Floating Cloud earrings. I guess these should be more more properly named Floating Rain Clouds.  In California seems we can only hope for rain.

The original Floating Clouds were in silver and used commercial beads. Then I made them in white on white translucent polymer. And last fall, a Black on Black with red edges! Very sophisticated. A woman bought a pair last week and they looked great with her black sweater.

And that was the month I took out the desk in my studio in exchange for my Cozy Corner, a wonderful excuse to bring some of my Indian textiles to warm up and soften my fairly stark white studio. Even better is the pleasure of plopping down in the corner to read or visit with a friend.

e30bbe91-3052-4781-8426-0636fb0555c47c3020b6-ecb3-41e8-8e5e-37be0bf76887

Minimalist polymer earrings – surprising turn of events!

A few weeks ago I set out to make some brooches. But the muse came and lead me in an entirely different direction; Minimalist earrings! Oh my!

mina drops w  2 mina hoops w

It’s been such fun to find a way to combine beads from my earlier ethnic beaded jewelry with the polymer. So far I have about a dozen different color combinations and in different sizes.

In the photos the drops feature – left to right – green shell, turquoise and glass beads. The hoops, turquoise and matte black glass. Sterling accent beads with sterling hoops and wires. The black and light grey polymer is textured while the red and blue (not shown here) are matte polymer.

Comfortable and lightweight for summer and beyond.

Variegated polymer with silver leaf – cuffs and earrings.

varigated-silver leaf cuffs wI keep being drawn to making Skinner Blends. Then adding silver or gold leaf is irresistible! The latest set of bracelets is in warm colors from deep red through orange, sunny yellow to chartreuse. The bracelets are edged in medium soft green or dark fuchsia.

dbl cups w

Each bracelet has a unique design on the interior that only the wearer can appreciate or choose to share with admirers.

Here is one of several different earring designs from the same blend with silver leaf. Some earrings are spirals. Much fun!

photos: thanks to my iPhone 4s.

Polymer ikat bracelet inspiration

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. ©AnnBrooks_Two Ikat BraceletsI 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 . . . ©AnnBrooks_Circus_HoopsIt 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.

Discovering the joys of translucent polymer

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.

©AnnBrooks_ManyMoonsBracelet_w   ©AnnBrooks_gossomer clouds_w

Beginning life in my new polymer studio

In late February I returned from an inspiring week of polymer clay workshops on the East Coast. I was chomping at the bit to get to work in my newly remodeled, enlarged studio at Art Works Downtown, where I had been in a smaller studio for seventeen years.

As I began my this new phase of my polymer adventure, my greatest surprise was the direction my work took as it didn’t seem to have any direct connection to my week studying with some outstanding polymer artists. It turns out that what the week had given me was the confidence to take risks and be open to new ideas my muse might bring. I suddenly found my self using gold and silver leaf with my polymer. Glitz and glitter! That is something I hadn’t been into before. It almost seemed to be a new reality, a new way to look at the world!

Ideas for new bracelet/cuffs began emerging. I started with a Skinner blend and then ran it through my pasta machine with gold leaf a few times. The final touch was the royal purple extruder-produced edges. This was the first time I had found a use for extruded clay. And it turned out to be only the beginning!

140313-yellow-gold cuff copy140313_red-gold purple cuff

Polymer Epiphany!

Having given up my knit wire fine art jewelry over a decade ago, for the last few years, somewhat unconsciously, I’d been longing for a new primary material to work with. Stringing someone else’s beads can be fun, but it gets old after a while! Yet, at this stage in my life, beginning anew? I couldn’t imagine what medium that would be.

Then, Labor Day Weekend 2013, in Portland, I happened into the Museum of Contemporary Craft. It was like coming home. I felt so welcome, so embraced. As I looked at the work in the museum store, it seemed these artists were my people, doing what made me feel complete!

I was about to leave and happened on a display case with several pieces of  jewelry by Cynthia Toops. And BINGO! It was instantaneous! An epiphany! Polymer clay! Here was a material that could offer me endless creative possibilities through my later years.

Into fall of 2013 I busied myself becoming acquainted with the feel of working polymer, learning new techniques, seeking top workshop teachers and online tutorials. In February I went to the east coast to study with top polymer artist, Jeffery Lloyd Dever and others.

Recent months have found me working long hours in my new studio to develop a body of work. But the greatest challenge is and will continue be to find my own unique voice in a field of many well developed, creative artists in this young fine art jewelry medium.

The May 2014 purchase of my jewelry by the Marin Open Studios organization for a gift of gratitude to a major donor is a welcome, early affirmation of my direction.