I have to say, I had the hardest time deciding what I'd tell you about in my first post today! I was going to give you a tour of my little studio, but looking around right now, things are actually a bit quiet. Yesterday was shipping day and there's not much to see now. Just color-mixing and prepping for the next bead batches.
So… I guess I should start by telling you a bit about myself and what inspires me…
I'm a self-taught polymer clay bead artist. My work in polymer clay melds together my love of sculpture and painting. For many of my beads, I work with a solid color, painting on additional colors and details. If I hadn't discovered polymer clay, I'm almost certain I would have been a painter! I'd been squishing polymer around into various things for a few years, when I got a book on polymer clay from my Grandmother—I was amazed at just how endless the possibilities were! Now at almost any time, anywhere, you can find me with clay in my hands, a cured bead and a paintbrush, or at the very least, some remnants of paint on my hands. When I have a spare moment or two (very rarely!), I also make jewelry.
My inspiration comes from just about everything (I think that's the answer most artists give!), but mostly from my surroundings. I'm so fortunate to live in rural Virginia and enjoy the beauty and wonders of nature each and every day. I also love reading fantasy—the works of Tolkien being my favorite. His tales of dragons are what inspired my own dragons.
I didn't begin with bead-making—I actually started off with bird figurines and then dabbled in bead-making for a little while, but quickly went on to larger designs—wall decor and vases.
A few of my clay pictures:
"Home Sweet Home"
"Little Kitty in the Sunshine"
I so enjoyed doing the larger designs and not having the constraints of keeping them to a wearable size. I was still in the decor-making craze when I wanted to have a dragon necklace to give my sister for her birthday. Of course, I had to make it myself, so I sculpted a little dragon pendant wrapped around a fire agate. I was thrilled with the way it turned out (and so was she!), and from there I've continued making beads and pendants… more dragons, sleepy woodland critters (my most popular designs, by far), ponies and horses, and anything else that catches my fancy… and I haven't looked back since!
Here's a little peak at how I make some of my beads:
Little sleepy critters getting their fur and eyes added.
Primed and ready for color.
Adding "coral" inlay to the "turquoise" ponies.
Casting roses and aster wheels.
And here are some of my finished beads:
Dragons! Each one is sculpted around a fire agate.
Sleepy woodland critters, aster wheels, and ridged rounds.
Ponies and galloping horse coins.
And finally, wild rose beads.
Making beads is super fun, but I think my very favorite part is seeing them at home in a completed piece of jewelry made by one of you!
Thanks so much for stopping by to say hi!