Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Channelling Lalique: Beading Back in Time Blog Hop

It’s the final challenge of the year in Lindsay Starr and Sherri Stokey’s Beading Back in Time Blog Hop series. And this time, we get to choose our favourite historical period to inspire our designs.

For this challenge I have chosen, rather than a specific time period, an artist—René Lalique—who worked across a couple of significant (and favourite) design periods, Art Nouveau and Art Deco, as my inspiration. Lalique was a glass artist known for his glass sculptures, perfume bottles, vases, jewellery, automobile hood ornaments, and more. Although he started designing as one of the pioneering artists in the Art Nouveau style, he really became well known for his Art Deco work.

Some months ago, my attention was caught by some beautiful glass beads by Lesley McIver, a lampworker in New Zealand. Lesley is pretty active on some of the Facebook auction sites and I was lucky enough to acquire both an earring pair and a larger focal bead in her rose design, which is inspired by Lalique’s work.

I browsed through images of Lalique’s designs, in particular the perfume bottles, and came across this one, which may have been Lesley’s inspiration. However, on further investigation it seems the design may be a more recent one by Lalique’s granddaughter, circa 1979, but I still think it is representative of his Art Deco style. In any case it provided me with my own inspiration, to invert the rose beads like the decorative stoppers on Lalique perfume bottles.

Lalique Samoa perfume bottle (image from Pinterest)
Lalique Samoa perfume bottle (image from Pinterest)

The earrings, which are actually quite large, feature frosted lavender roses atop enameled filigree beads by Bellissimo Jewels here in Melbourne. The enamel is another nod to Lalique who designed beautiful cloisonné as well as glass. I am not entirely happy with the choice of earwires as I’d prefer slightly less oxidised copper, but that’s what I had to hand. I will change them over when I can.

IMG_3003

The necklace has a gorgeous focal sized rose in blue, which fades to a pale blue toward the end of the petals. This one I’ve paired with a rather special lampwork bead by Michele Smith, a Hawaiian lampworker, which was gifted to me by a friend last year (apologies, I haven’t been able to find a link for this artist). The bead is a gorgeous encased flower with some black stringer work. I’ve kept the rest of it fairly simple, with a couple of deco-inspired vintage Czech glass beads (circa 1980s!) wire-wrapped along the length of an etched oval copper chain.

Lalique necklace

Many thanks to Lindsay and Sherri for setting up these challenges, I didn’t manage to do all of them because life gets in the way sometimes, but I did very much enjoy the two I did do. I’m looking forward to whatever they dream up in 2016!

And of course, this is a blog hop, so I’ve included the list of participants below!

Sherri Stokey <—–Co-Host
Lindsay Starr <—–Co-Host
Anastasia Kristala Urbanski
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Stephanie Haussler
Niky Sayers
Melissa Trudinger <—– You Are Here!
Kelly Rodgers
Michelle McCarthy

Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Birds of a Feather: Art Bead Scene Ornament Blog Hop

It comes as no surprise to those who know me that I love Christmas. And one of my favourite things about the holiday season are the decorations. I’ve amassed quite an eclectic collection of ornaments over the years, from shiny baubles to paper ornaments painstakingly made by my children at preschool and kindergarten. Our tree is lovingly decorated by my children and I, and bears no resemblance to the carefully coordinated trees I see in magazines and Christmas displays, and that’s just the way I like it.

This year I’m taking part in a couple of handmade ornament blog hops. The first of them is Art Bead Scene‘s 4th Annual Ornament Blog Hop. The rules of this bog hop are simple—to create a handmade ornament using an art bead or handmade component.

I decided this year to do something with polymer clay. It’s a medium I don’t have a lot of experience with, but it’s definitely fun to play with. For these two ornaments, I used a robin-shaped cookie cutter to cut out a bird shape from a textured slab of polymer clay. After baking I highlighted the texture with gilders paste. The top bead is Czech glass in a deep red and the bird’s legs are waxed linen. I used some funky wire with a glittery coating to put it all together.

holiday birds collage 2

But wait, that’s not all I made. I also made some ornaments using some chandelier crystals that I rescued from a broken chandelier that a friend of mine recently replaced. The larger crystal, a baroque shape that reminds me of a Christmas tree, is dangling from a sweet green and white swirled lampwork bead made by Bellissimo Jewels. I picked up the bead from a bowl of orphans at a recent bead show with the intent to use it in a Christmas ornament. The two smaller ornaments use tear-shaped chandelier drops, with some green lampwork glass beads (alas, these particular beads are more ordinary, mass-produced lampwork beads, rather than artisan-made, but they are still very Christmassy). I plan to gift these ornaments to the friend whose chandelier I stripped!

Chandelier crystal ornaments

You’ll have to wait until 14th December to see the ornament I made for Sally Russick’s 3rd Annual Handcrafted Ornament Swap and Hop. My swap partner was Erin Prais-Hintz and I’ll be showing off the beautiful ornament she made me then too.

I’ll be linking this blog post up to the Art Bead Scene blog hop via an In Linkz tool. To see what the other participants have made, go to the main post on Art Bead Scene here.