Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit

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It was fun yesterday to look up some older work and remember how the particular piece was created.  One thing that I noticed in most of the pieces that I chose was an underlying spiritual and/or female/feminine theme.  The spirit doll necklaces have a female-like form and the name itself implies something otherworldly.  The Buddhist Prayer for Peace necklace.  The British women pictured in the tile bracelet.  Curious.

Today I’ve put together some pictures of work that compares “then” and “now.”

Early Wine Bottle Stoppers (2003-04)BS Trio 1
When I started making wine bottle stoppers, I made them in both round and cylindrical style tops.  Depending on the surface design, the round ones looked like either golf balls or ice cream.  Someone even joked that they’d make a nice gear shift.  In reality the round tops were not easy to cover with polymer clay resulting in air pockets that bubbled to the surface. 

 BS Trio 2

Current Wine Bottle Stoppers (2005-current)

Music Trio

Since 2005 my wine bottle stoppers are all cylindrical.  It makes production work much easier.  The new stems are slightly longer and the smaller gasket rings give a more polished look to the finished piece.  Instead of a melange of designs, I offer several starter sets in various colors and designs. Sets are presented in a display handmade by a fellow Bolton Artisan Guild member, Paul Casco.  When I’m in the midst of filling wholesale orders, it is jokingly referred to as BS day.

Grapes set    Mixed Set

Early Business Card Cases (2003-04)

Early card cases

I approached my first card cases much the same way I did my early bottle stoppers; a variety of colors and designs but not a very cohesive presentation.  I was really stuck in a neutral color zone.  Not that this is a bad thing yet when I look at these cases I no longer find them visually appealing.  Perhaps the presentation takes away something from them too.  I think I’d call this my early faux stone stage.

Current Business Card Cases (2006-current)

Collage card casesMy how things have changed.  I now approach my card case designs as I do my bottle stoppers; starter sets in set colors and designs.  I’ve learned that vibrant colors sell better and selling each piece (card case and pen) separately results in better sales.  The addition of a frame to my card case surface designs provides a finished look to the piece.

So there you have it.  A “then” and “now” comparison of my functional art work.  Looking at my early work gives me a chuckle.  It is also a humble reminder of where I started and how much I’ve improved.


Progression-A Look Back

Libby Mills posted a “challenge” on her blog Libzoid to polymer artist bloggers to post some images of past work.  The impetus was an earlier post on Libzoid about the progression an artist makes along the way to new and beautiful pieces.

In the spirit of looking back in order to move forward, I’ve pulled out a few pictures of older pieces that I really liked when I made them.

British Ladies Bracelet BritishLadies Bracelet(2003-04)

Following what I learned in Gwen Gibson’s workshop I created several tile bracelets.  I love these images and that you can reverse the bracelet to wear the textured side out for a different look.  However creating successful image transfers on a consistent basis was, uhm, inconsistent.  I trashed a number of bracelet tiles.  I also frequently tied my fingers in knots trying to knot the stretch elastic that joins the tiles.

Cinnebar Laughing Man Amulet Necklace (200?)

Cinnebar amulet

This piece was inspired by an article Nan Roche wrote on creating faux cinnebar.  The amulet was created over an empty matchbox.  The top slides up and you can put small items into the amulet.  I love the mold for creating this face.  I found that both men and women liked the amulet necklaces.

Buddha Peace Necklace Buddha Peace Necklace(200?)

This special piece was created for our yoga teacher for her birthday.  The text on the focal medallion is a Tibtian prayer for peace.  The full prayer was broken into two pieces and two necklaces were created; one for our yoga teacher and one for myself. 


Snow Spirit Necklace Snow Spirit Necklace(2002-03)

Here is one of my spirit necklaces, my first art doll creations.  This piece is created from pearl clay that was dusted with micro pearl Pearl-Ex powder.  The face was created from a push mold and antiqued.  I admit that the face is a little scary.  I remember the number of times that strand of beads broke apart sending seed beads across my work table.  And how I struggled to wrap the gold wire around a skewer to create those caps which hold the satin cord.  Funny how some of your first creations are more involved in their execution than they probably need to be.

I Shine Spirit Necklace I Shine Spirit Necklace(2002-03)

For some reason this little lady is one of my favorites and I refuse to sell her.  I think I felt sorry for her when I pulled her head from the push mold because she only had one eye, hence the eye patch.  As she came together, I saw the beauty in her face.  To me she is a symbol of strength when facing adversity.  It didn’t matter if she could only see with one eye because what she saw was clearer than those with two eyes.  I think that is why I chose the words on her body, “I Shine.” 
Some think those words represent some strange sense of humor (the eyepatch, “I Shine,” a “shiner.”)   However, she and I know the truth.

So there are a few examples of my early work when I was focused on jewelry.   It was fun to remember what inspired me to make certain pieces.  Though I no longer make jewelry, I’m glad I gave it a try.  I still have several of these pieces and they still make me smile.