Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Art Bead Scene Blog: June Monthly Challenge.

The writers at the Art Bead Scene Blog chose the work of a biologist and botanical artist, Marianne North, as the inspiration for their June challenge.  North traveled the world discovering species of vegetation previously unknown to Europeans. Here is a video I enjoyed watching that explains her challenges and accomplishments:
 She made beautifully accurate and detailed oil paintings of vegetation from too many parts of the world for me to name.
 Her contribution to the science of botany is astounding especially considering the obstacles she must have faced as a British lady living in the 19th century.
As I write this short blog, I have to push away my frustrations of not being able to travel beyond the inside of my home.  I broke my ankle and had surgery a couple weeks ago.  I am on the mend, but cannot walk at all.

 Sometimes I feel so trapped! Honestly, I have nothing to complain about. The pain is less each day.  I have a family who cares for me, and friends who have been helping too in so many kind ways.
I also have had plenty of time to sit in my little studio and create.  This keeps my hands busy and my spirits higher than they would be otherwise.
When making my challenge piece, I took a few work-in-progress shots to share with you.  Here are my canes, and how I placed the slices on a background of mokumegane and silver leafed clay:
Here is how I formed my beads using a metal necklace I found at a flea market:
I used "blue tak" (actually white) to hold everything in place while putting my clay veneers over the metal.  To be sure that my finger prints were washed away, I painted on a bit of clay softener over the beads before curing the first time.
As you can see in the following photo, I added more clay to the back side including channels for beading.  You can also see my signature on the center bead:
After making this piece, I played with my leftover clay to make several more pieces and earrings:


  1. I was blown away by this post - from the flea market necklace to the smashing "botanical" necklace, quite a story! Wish you get better soon!

  2. Wow! Such detail and such patience. I was blown away when I first saw the necklace. Now that I know the detail behind it I am more impressed than before. Congrats on the work and best of luck with the ankle