Monday 9 June 2014

The Ever Expanding Blog Hop

I was invited by the lovely Clair of Obstinate Pursuit to join in this blog hop. It's an ever-expanding blog hop where we answer a few questions and then ask a few fellow bloggers to do the same on their blogs. I hope you'll enjoy learning a bit more about my passion - handmade jewellery and beads - and about my fellow bloggers, Marcia Dunne, Laney Mead, and Suhana Hart.

What Am I Working On?

That's a big question! Right now, I have a queue of custom orders for beads on the go. That's something I'm very grateful for. My little world of handmade beads has grown and grown since I opened my shop on Etsy and began sharing my beads with the world. I really didn't expect things to grow so quickly, and it's a joy to be able to share my beads and jewellery with people around the globe.

Here's a photo of some beads I just finished today.

How Does My Work Differ From Others Of Its Genre?
Are these all going to be tough questions? I think the obvious answer is that we who make art beads and jewellery are all individual. We have our own styles, methods and techniques; we use our hands in different ways, our tools are varied. No one can be exactly alike! I love that. 
I enjoy honing my skills and seeing improvement in the techniques I use. Like most people, I love to try a variety of methods, too. I often combine metalwork, fibers, and a mix of all sorts of beads in my jewellery. That doesn't  really make me different from all the other talented bead and jewellery artists out there, but we each have our own ways of expressing and making what we do.

Why Do I Create What I Do?
Simply, because it makes me happy. It makes me even happier to know that I can do something that makes me happy! Sometimes it's a challenge to keep up with orders, to try to get a piece just right for someone or just to push my own envelope, but it's worth it. There is great satisfaction in creating something. I have always wanted to go a step further; to get down to the roots of something and build it up from the most basic materials. That's why I started making my own beads. To be able to take a raw material and sculpt it into something, paint, and finish it all by hand is very satisfying.

It's much the same feeling for my jewellery. I love mixing unique beads and materials to create a finished piece that is cohesive and pleasing to the eye.

How Does Your Creative Process Work?

For my jewellery, it all starts with the beads. I see a bead that inspires me and I begin to build a picture or feeling in my mind. Then, I begin to tie in other materials and beads to build upon the picture until it feels complete. I guess it's like painting with beads (except I'm an awful painter!). Sometimes it's much more organic and I get a feel for what beads go together by their shape, colour or texture. It's finished when it feels right!

Now to introduce my fellow bloggers and a group of very talented artists who share in my passion for beads. First is the lovely Laney Mead.

Laney Mead is a talented lampwork artists in the UK. I first came across her work on a forum or two and just loved her quirky character beads. She also does 'grown up' beads which are absolutely stunning. Her flowers are among my favourites! But what really does it for me are her super cute bumble bees.

Next up is a jewellery artist I have admired since I first saw her work - Marcia Dunne of The Alternative Foundry. I am a big fan of tribal jewellery and Marica really hits the nail on the head there. Now, she's even moving into the world of bridal jewellery after creating a collection for her daughter's wedding.

And last but definitely not least is Suhana Hart of Buttoned Up Beads. Suhana has a real gift for colour and design. The flow and composition of her designs is just beautiful. Suhana is a great example of an artist who puts her special touch on each and every piece.

I hope you'll visit them all next week to find out what they have to say about their work!