I'm fixin' to take a little trip toward the Washington DC area and have been madly working on a few things to bring along. I'm so pleased to return to one of my favorite venues, ArtBliss.
I'll be teaching at a very special little gig called Boots & Bliss.
I think there may be a few spots left in my Prairie Pearl Pod Pendant class. If you're quick enough to grab a spot, I'll see you there! In the meantime...from my bench...
The focal for this piece is a vintage pincushion. It's a large St. Bartholomew medal on top with a layer of felt between the top and bottom metal disk. I've had this lovely pincushion for quite a long time but the other day, I was digging for something else, and ran across it again. This is how my design process often works...
"Oh! I really like that. I need to do something with that. Yeah...the green felt innards are so pretty. Oh! I have those way cool green garnet chunks that would go so well with that green felt...and then I could add some pearls...I have a big pile of grungy, exotic ones. Yeah."
It's all pretty casual. But, the key is...inspiration strikes! Then, I run with it.
Add a few vintage rhinestones and my signature twisted clasp and it's inspiration...realized.
And speaking of inspiration...
Lately, I've been totally obsessed with these vintage reliquary pieces. They're big and bold and oh, so beautiful. I think they're filling an empty spot and reminding me of who I am. What can I say? They're speaking to me.
I was lucky to get this one in a lot of various great stuff...
....it went perfectly with this strand of faceted amazonite that I picked up in Oregon. Don't you just adore the teal color? I used a vintage bone ring and a vintage crucifix in the back. The back has to be pretty too, right?
One of the things that appeals to me about these reliquaries is that it's like looking into a fascinating, little world...all sealed up within itself.
I matched this one up with some rough black tourmaline and faceted aquamarine. These stones went very well with the colors of the reliquary.
I sealed the deal with a vintage rhinestone ring and twisty clasp. I've begun adding a twist to my classic clasp design to distinguish it from other, similar designs.
And then, there's this one. The sacred heart is one of my symbols. I love incorporating it into my work: it represents faith, sacrifice and love....namely the love Christ has for us.
This reliquary is really extraordinary and deserves some special touches...
For this, I used black tourmaline chunks paired with these super amazing pink umba sapphires. Love those umba sapphires...they look like gumdrops. A handmade bail, vintage clasp and antique compass watch fob all worked easily, right into the design.
Remember those rough rubies I picked up in Tuscon?
Yep...those are the ones. I serendipitously (is that a real word?) discovered they paired perfectly with this antique reliquary. Sometimes things come together accidentally on my bench, especially when I leave myself an area the size of a hankie, to work in. Things pile up, get stacked together, fall in place...
This piece is missing it's glass but I like it just as well. The missing glass gives access to the lovely texture of the thing. It's roughness goes so perfectly with those rough rubies.
Did I say "twisted clasp?"
Yes. I sure did.
I had exactly two beads left from that ruby strand so I put them to work with these ammonite fossils and sweet crosses.
For a long time, I've been making reliquaries of my own. This one is from a class that I teach, called "Sacred Heart Book Pendant."
The image is archangel Michael, from my collection of vintage prayer cards. The paper you see peeking out the edges is from a vintage Bible. Secret prayers, tucked inside.
These stones are ocean jasper...gorgeous because there are small fissures in them with sparkly drusy inside. From my twisted clasp, I hung a Ethiopian cross, given to my by an artist friend. The ring is vintage bronze.
And then...there were earrings...
Kyanite and garnets and rubies...oh, my!
Some of these pieces have been sold but some will be traveling with me. My friends, I hope to see you at Boots & Bliss!