Friday, September 4, 2009

Challenges, challenges and more challenges

I better get back at it. We were gone for 3 days, to celebrate yetanotherbirthday. And to make sure the motorhome is okay for a longer upcoming trip.

I did this necklace for the August Polymer Clay Central Challenge. No I didn’t win, but I sure had a great time working on it!

I recently purchased the book, “Ancient Modern” by Ronna Sarvas Weltman. I love the primitive feel to her work. Her book was very much an inspiration to the textures of the beads in the Rainbow necklace.

To make the beads, I started with the three primary and three secondary colors of Kato Clay. I used turquoise for the blue. To each of the six colors I added a bit of complementary. I then added added a lot of translucent to each color mix. Then I mixed the intermediate shades.

Next was making the beads - each was hand formed and textured. After curing, I sanded them and added a patina with burnt umber acrylic paint. I sanded the beads again and buffed them with a soft cotton cloth. Finally, I sorted them to get the best color gradation I could and string them with leather cord.

Which brings me to a bit of a personal challenge - crimp beads. They frustrate me. I use them and they fail frequently for me. Now, I like using leather, cotton and various other stringing materials. So, a personal challenge for me is to break out the beading wire and show those crimp beads a thing or two.

Now to move on to other challenges - there are three I’m mulling around in my head. One is the September Polymer Clay Central Challenge – Glitter and Glitz. I'm not a glitter and glitz type person, so this challenge is hurting my brain.

The next one is the September Art Bead Scene Challenge. It is based on the Kandinsky painting, "Improvisation No. 23". I'm trying not to be to literal in my interpretation, but I'm having a hard time with it.

And the third one I'm thinking about is Enchanted Adornments Design Competition. Each time I look at the current entries, I keep thinking I'm out of my league. But, then that is a good thing - It forces me to do better (hopefully).

And if anyone is interested, here is another Kandinsky. *Sigh* Just makes me want to go to the Hermitage in St. Petersburg that much more.

Okay, I better get at it! Everyone have a lovely weekend.


  1. What a lovely piece. I really enjoy the textures and the look of how tactile the beads are. I had the pleasure of meeting Ronna at the Philadelphia BeadFest show a few weeks ago. She's a dear!

  2. Thank-you :)

    I really enjoy her book - love her work. I'm hoping to go to the Portland beadFest. Afraid I can't afford any workshops, but I think it will still be fun.

  3. Hi Connie, I just saw your work on the Art Bead Scene blog and I am wowed! I did see the Ronna influence but you have really made it your own! IMHO your rainbow piece was the best one-- a lot of subtle details that a casual glance would have missed. The color blend was definitely inspsired! I say, screw the crimp beads! Your stringing ideas are fabulous and I love that you use fiber and more texture than most beaders.