New Floral Bracelets

I have continued to work perfecting and experimenting my slap bracelet design.  The design process has challenges.  I see the patterns in my head as long rectangles, but on the wrist we can only see about one-third of the bracelet at a time, and a big part of what we can see is curving and visually compressed.

This floral bracelet was a custom order and a real joy to make.  The client is Cherokee and asked me to incorporate historical beadwork elements into the design.

I played with the background and used a luster lined bead that has a lot of shimmer to highlight the contours.

Similar at first glance, but this is another custom order.  I used the same bead type for the background, but repeated the floral elements from the previous bracelet along with outlined vines.

Lastly, my first Floral Double Wide Slap Bracelet.  I found a vendor that has a few extra wide slap bracelets.  I wanted to try a larger space to work with, but the wider bracelets are limiting in the sense that the steel insert is only so strong, and the beadwork requires a strong bracelet base.  I had to double the steel inserts.  The outer edges are exaggerated to give it a more animated look.  While this picture doesn’t convey it fully, all the floral elements are outlined in a 24 carat gold-plated bead that really flash and highlights the shapes in the sunlight.  The edging uses larger size 8 transparent red beads, and in natural light the red catches the light and outlines the bracelet shape against the skin.

This bracelet is currently for sale at Lovetts Gallery in Tulsa.  I know I have done well when I want to keep it.  I wanted to keep it.

All the bracelets are on a slap bracelet form.  This means they change shape from a flat rectangle to a coiled bracelet due to a shaped tensile steel insert.  It may sound fancy, but it is the same as the slap bracelets you played with as a kid only I have cut the steel to shape and sewed a new microsuede sheath.  When slapped on the wrist the bracelets shift from flat to coiled, and retain enough tension to keep the bracelet securely on the wrist.  The bracelet is flexible and moves so it never pinches like a regular cuff.  I love to make them and I love to wear them.

2 Comments

Filed under Molly

Upcoming Residency – Lincoln, Nebraska

I have been chosen to be the Resident Artist at the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.  Starting in late April I will install a solo show while working onsite at the Gallery.  For two weeks I will be creating a new large scale sculptural commissioned by the Museum.  After completion the piece will then be a part of the permanent collection.

Here are some tidbits from my sketchbooks and preparatory drawings as I prepare to begin the new work.  No, I don’t have a name yet, I am just calling it the Nebraska Piece.

Work Table, Audubon Influence

Work Table, Audubon Influence

The Nebraska piece will incorporate themes of ornithology, cartography, and native design elements.  All in a beaded sculptural box.  Normally for a residency peice an artist would work on the piece entirely while at the site.  Beadwork is too time intensive, so I will be doing a major amount of prep work beforehand to insure that the piece is finished and ready before I have to leave Lincoln.

The news is exciting, and this show and residency will be my artistic focus for the next four months.

In addition to the commissioned work, I am also developing new techniques to incorporate beadwork into other media, specifically printmaking.

More about the new prints soon, but a teaser.

Etching combined with BeadWork

Etching combined with

Bead Work

Leave a comment

Filed under Molly, New Work

Printmaking – New Work

The majority of the artwork featured on this page is beadwork.  I also am an avid printmaker.  Printmaking is a fascinating media. beadwork is all about precious one of a kind objects.  Printmaking is about tons of preparatory work in order to make multiples.  Printmaking gives me an opportunity to make more artwork available to people who would otherwise find my beadwork out of reach. Lately I experimented in combining the two methods.  Photo essay below illustrates the printing process.

Copper plate on a Press Bed

Shown above is a copper plate that was hand etched, dry point method.  Dry point means that the patterns etched into the metal surface were made by hand pressing a steel needle into the surface, no chemical process was involved.  This method has pros and cons, and attributes that cannot be imitated by other processes.  Also, bonus, it involves no chemicals in my house.Freshly inked plates, ready for paper and pressing.

Above are plates ready to be run.  Each plate is inked by hand in a three step process.  Very time intensive, and mercurial in the results.

 

IMG_0998

Printmaking requires a lot of specific equipment and space.  Thankfully a local artist Bobby Martin has generously opened his new studio and press to artists like myself.

New prints, pulled off plate, compared to previous run.

New prints, pulled off plate, compared to previous run.

 

The moment of truth when you pull the paper back to see what you made.

 

More inking, more wiping

More inking, more wiping

Rinse, Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Prints ready to dry and move to the next stage.

Prints ready to dry and move to the next stage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After printing multiple variations of the two plates, the prints are booked (sandwiched between layers of newsprint to dry flat) and set aside.  Of the ten prints of each plate, only three were of the high quality and consistency to be considered worthy of an edition.  So only three each were signed and numbered.  The rest will be used for other purposes, maybe collages, or greeting cards.

I specifically designed these images with beadwork in mind.  My plan was to fill in the empty spaces within the composition as well as the space above and below the image.

Here are my results.

Green and purple set.

Green and purple set.

I beaded the prints to be matching sets.  That means that each matching edition number, such as 1/3 is beaded in the same manner.  The print on the left is titled “Shelter”, and the right is titled “Array.”

 

Sky blue and orange with gold.

Sky blue and orange with gold.

These prints are mounted on foam core and then mounted on painted wooden panels.

Side view.

Side view.

For my upcoming show in Lincoln, Nebraska, I will be working on quite a few new pieces along these lines.  I will be working with solar plates that allows me to incorporate photographic images, floral beadwork patterns, more abstract designs like above.  Lots of new ideas!  I will continue to blog the processes for my new work here.