As I look at doing more shows, I am finding more and more are saying their jewelry categories are full or almost full. This already tough game is getting tougher. I guess this means I have to innovate and stand out from the crowd even more…or resort to bribery? At least the world has plenty of jewelry to choose from. On the plus side I am getting more commissions and have plenty to keep me busy. Plus, I have a trunk show this evening at Purlescence Yarns in Sunnyvale from 6-9pm. Just in time for Mother’s Day! Fingers crossed for the application I’m sending out today for Capitola Art & Wine. Who wouldn’t want to do a show by the beach?
I had a specific person in mind for this drama drop, and am really pleased I was able to pick up a fabulous center bead from JC Herrell at a bead show last year. I can arrange beads on my design desk and say, “yeah! I want it to look like that” but getting them connected isn’t always as easy. I created a hollow bail where the chain could pass through and hang the center bead in the cleanest way possible, while still allowing for movement. The unique, coffee bean-shaped crystal beads can be adjust up the sides of the chain. She loves it!
I now have four more bases to wire up. A fifth one didn’t turn out in the glaze firing, so it might get smashed. I also have one from earlier when I initially made two. I wired it, didn’t like it, tweaked it, and just haven’t quite settled on it, so I think it’s going to be cut off and done over. It’s been awhile since I’ve been in a space where I’ve had to or even wanted to start over like that. It’s a freeing kind of feeling and I like it.
Since I’ve been playing with clay a lot lately, all sorts of new ideas are springing up. It’s kind of like cross-training, no? Making beads seems like an obvious path, but I’m more interested in creating a different relationship with the wire and the clay – perhaps something that only one who is designing in both media can do. Jewelry is a fickle market, so if I can carve a niche, carve I shall! I sketched some ideas, created a some custom tools, and finally got my hands on some porcelain to create the first pieces, in progress below. They will be fired this weekend, then I can add some color (glaze) and wire them up. Can’t wait to show you!
I’ve been working on a few new things this year, and updating my webpage was one of them. Thanks to some expert help from my brother, Ian Dahlberg, I have a new look and better functionality. Hooray!
Another new thing I’ve been working on is getting back into ceramics. I have played with clay off and on my whole life and have recently decided to dig in a little bit. While practicing some bud vase techniques, I thought I’d try a little hybrid experiment. Behold, my ceramic and Viking knit vase!