It's time for some retrospective April fun with shiny goodness. Let's figure out what last year's themes were. There will be a poll at the end.
(Most of these are sold, so you'll mostly be safe from temptation. To be safe from the unsold ones, don't follow any Etsy shop links.)
Like the current year, 2019 had dragons springing up off the workbench. This is "Dragon Vigil," which is labradorite and sterling silver.
A few days later a necklace appeared: "How Dragons Got Here," which has lovely Mexican red snowflake jasper on sterling silver.
The matching earrings were called "Three Dragon Stories." They featured little cubes of the Mexican red snowflake jasper like the ones in "How Dragons Got Here."
I was on a roll with the Mexican red snowflake jasper, so these earrings are called "Future Dragonherds of America."
A while later, I picked up some aluminum dragonscales etched with Damascus-steel-inspired patterns, and that led to earrings called "Dragons Critique the Higher Thought."
Another pair of the etched dragonscales went into the earrings called "Waiting for the Sound of Wings," but instead of Swarovski glass pearls, they have cultured pearls that have been encased in colored resin which was then faceted, and tiny faceted Swarovski crystals.
These earrings naturally led me to wonder what it would be like to be a dragon, which gave rise to "When We Rise" earrings.
I believe there was a dragon and phoenix piece too, but I can't find the photograph just now.
Anyhow, dragons occupy a spot in my imagination next door to dinosaurs, and I love dinosaurs, so let's look at dinosaur pieces.
There was a pendant, very plain, just a dinosaur bone bead on a sterling silver stem, called "Dinosaur Simple."
There was a pair of earrings called "Dinosaur Valentine" for a writing contest. That was fun. They have glass hearts and little dino bone rondelles.
Another pair of earrings, "Thunder Lizards at Twilight," have stayed with me and become my own. (It doesn't happen often -- maybe once every three to five years -- but now and then a piece stays.)
Those wonderful dinosaur bone barrel beads also went into a pendant and earrings set comprising dinosaur bone beads with glass cats sitting atop them. The set is called "Brought You Something."
(I kinda hope somebody writes that one.)
Here are the earrings called "Build-It-Yourself Dinosaur Farm." I'm not sure what magazines would offer the kits for these, but it would be interesting. The little rondelles are dino bone.
"The Machineries of Time" are also dinosaur bone earrings, this time with brass dragonscale drops.
"Butterflies and Old Bones" is a sterling silver pendant featuring a swarm of little butterflies dancing around a slab of dinosaur bone.
All of these things happen because it seems to me there are stories hidden away in all sorts of beads and objects, just waiting for someone to listen.
If I'm lucky, every now and then someone finds a piece that connects to their writer-brain, and then we get a new story. Yay!
"Postcards from the Older World" is another dinosaur bone pendant, this time with a carved lavender glass rose. (It's that fiber-optic glass, so there's a bit of chatoyancy going on there too.)
"Timestream" is also a dinosaur bone pendant, and it's relatively simple: just a slab of dinosaur bone and a bunch of sterling silver wire.
"Ornamental Thunder Lizard" is another dinosaur bone pendant. I was tidying up the workshop and found some tiny emerald, ruby, and sapphire beads, and started thinking about pet dinosaurs with jeweled ornaments, and who might own them, and there it was.
"Amanuensis to the Old Ones" is a big pendant with dinosaur bones and a pen nib charm, all held in sterling silver wirework.
I like making pen nib pendants, and book pendants. There will be some of those coming up.
"Absent Friends" is a dinosaur bone pendant with an octopus. I really like how the feeling is in this one.
There were some stegodon bone bead pieces as well. "In Search of Older Words" is a pair of earrings with stegodon bone, Swarovski crystal, and pen nib charms.
"Funny Old Way To Run A World" are also stegodon bone earrings, this time paired with purple glass.
"Wading in Ancient Waters" was what happened when the stegodon bone beads met those aluminum dragonscale drops. These dragonscales are etched with Damascus-steel-inspired patterns and accented with Swarovski crystal.
I've got a few dishes to do, so I'll go do those and then come back and do more shiny goodness, probably related to astronomy, starfields, space, all that good stuff. See you in a little bit.
OK, time to look at more shinies from 2019 in our quest for "What were the themes of last year's work?" here. We did dragons and dinosaurs (and stegodons) so far, which means now we're going to look at space. Astronomy, starfields, meteorites, all that good space-stuff.
This pendant is "Calling Card," and it's a hunk of Canyon Diablo meteorite with a sterling silver wirework frame. It's a good-sized piece, too. (Check the photos in the Etsy shop.)
There is a pendant called "Two Journals and the Stars," which is also a writing pendant. It uses dyed agate which I think someone was trying to make look like watermelon tourmaline but they got half the batch color-reversed. This piece isn't, but it's not tourmaline-y.
The cool thing about that pendant is that it's double-sided. There are books on both sides. Here's what the other side looks like.
All the pieces you see here are a way of playing catch with art. I see a thing, it suggests stories, there's something in it, I try to enfold it in wire so the message gets to someone who does what they are called to do with it, whether that's make stories or be affirmed.
While I am very fond of reading the stories and poems that come from people playing with the notions in the pieces, I also love how people get pieces that are meaningful to them to give them courage or comfort.
Then too, courage and comfort is stored in a lot of the stories.
Anyhow, where are those other meteorites, and the other space pieces? Hang on.
"Galaxy Game" is a pair of earrings made with sterling silver and lampwork glass. (Lampworking is a fascinating thing. Playing with fire and glass, making something very close to magic.)
There are also earrings like "Deep Space Trance Dance," "Earthstar Walking," a pendant called "Skrying for Planets" and another called "A Spoonful of Moonlight," and a labradorite necklace called "A Brief History of Spaceflight," but I'm going to skip to some others.
(There are actually a bunch of pieces with moon references. Guess I'm fond of moons. That would make a Buddhist poetry teacher of mine smile, I bet.)
One pair of 2019 earrings I will show is "The Soft Fires of Heaven," which are made with labradorite, whose optical effect often makes me think of space. This glow is subtle. Sometimes it suggests sunsets, sometimes galaxies.
Speaking of galaxies, here's "The Call Was Coming From Inside the Galaxy," a pendant that got gloriously silly. It's a lucite telephone receiver wrapped in sterling silver that looks like someone did a hasty job of restraining that telephone. I wonder what was happening.
Here's the other side, which looks a bit more elegant.
From silly to serious, now. This is "Decrypting the Nebula," a labradorite pendant with some rather interesting faceted labradorite.
Here's another view of "Decrypting the Nebula."
That's probably a good place to stop for tonight. We'll pick up again tomorrow.
Thanks for looking through these with me. It's interesting to see the themes emerging once a year is considered in its entirety. Still to come: mermaids, seas, clockwork, radio, faerie, and so on.
Oh! Before I go off to sleep I'm supposed to remind you that the Kickstarter exists. If you want to support a video project that will allow me to teach in ways that transcend space, time, and my increasingly uncooperative silly body, please check it out. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lionesselise/wandering-wire-jewelry-videos-with-lionesselise
All backers get a year of early access to the videos. This includes the $1 level, because I want people to be able to get it without feeling they shouldn't spend $$ on themselves in such times.
(And each video lesson will become free to the world after the early access year.)
OK, back to figuring out what my themes were in 2019. It's a lot easier to figure that out after the fact! We've looked at dragons and at dinosaurs, and now we've been looking at space.
This pendant is "Standing Stones and Starships," and it's sterling silver wirework around a piece of druzy colored with titanium.
Druzy is not a stone; it's a thing stone does. Druzy is a little carpet of crystals. There can be quartz druzy or lots of other kinds.
"Interstellar Landscape Architects' Open House" is a sterling silver wirework pendant with one opal and one Swarovski crystal.
I like making earrings that are just a little bit unexpected sometimes. These are "Professor Fish in Space."
Did I show you "Mapping the Starfields" yet? That was another high point of 2019. They are sterling silver earrings combining blue goldstone glass and what I thought was blue astrophyllite. Turns out it's probably actually arfvedsonite. Fascinating stuff, whatever it is.
"Shaper of Galaxies" is a pendant with charoite, which is also fascinating.
Charoite is of fibrous and massive crystal habit, I am told. To me, good charoite always looks like it should be fossilized creme rinse. It's got that weird pearly spanglyness that I cannot describe.
Another pendant, "Interstellar Journalism," this one a rather atypical dogtooth amethyst, or at least it came in a string of dogtooth amethysts. It's what we around here half-jokingly call "edge condition," meaning part of it looks like dogtooth amethyst and the rest is other.
Another amethyst in the pendant called "When Starships Dream." The V marking of lighter purples and white is a classic look of dogtooth amethyst.
Note that use-names in the bead trade don't always match real geology names.
We will pause here for geologists to finish laughing.
Another space-themed piece is "Black Star Shining." I had some black star diopside beads from a while back, and then I found some tiny sapphire beads, and that's what led to these earrings. Gotta love the optical phenomenon of asterism there. Tricks of the light are beautiful.
This is a necklace called "Starkeeper's Way." It's a lot of glass on sterling silver, including those great long pointed ovals of clear glass on which iridescent blue stars were silkscreened, it looks like.
Another 2019 necklace, this one called "Seven Ways of Learning Earth," has little glass beads between the ocean jasper beads.
That's the bulk of the space-related pieces, if you don't count the aquamarine series about the sky. And there's one more, if a star to steer by makes it space-related, and I think it does.
This is "Setting a Course," made of druzy and a single crystal star.
Before I move from space-related shiny things to more terrestrial (and especially oceanic) focus, I should mention that I did three serieslast year, or at least they were series on purpose rather than figuring it out later. One was the just-mentioned aquamarine "Sky" series...
... Another was a series of single-stone pendant on sterling silver, very plain, called "BEAUTIFUL NOT PERFECT," a numbered series that I think is up to 24 by now. Possibly more. I'd have to check my notes. And the third series is @invisiblepiano
's fault. :)
It's called "Evil Winter Angel," and it's because @invisiblepiano
and I were talking on Twitter about how apparently my metal band name should be Evil Winter Angel. One thing led to another, and she wrote a song for it (!) and this also happened:
"Evil Winter Angel" the pendant:
"Evil Winter Angel: First Wings" earrings:
"Evil Winter Angel: Angel in Chains" earrings:
"Evil Winter Angel: Black Ice" earrings:
"Evil Winter Angel: Freeze, Baby!" earrings:
"Evil Winter Angel: She Looks So Peaceful" earrings:
"Evil Winter Angel: Snowflake" earrings:
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.