25 July 2011

Play with me

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."
~ George Bernard Shaw

Jennifer Cameron invited me to come along and "play." How could I refuse?

Jennifer is a gifted glass artist, and I had watched a similar charm swap that she held last fall. I loved the results of what the participants contributed and vowed to be on the list for the next one.

Today is reveal day for the charm exchange and the guidelines were simple. Create a charm based on the theme of "play" and make enough charms for everyone plus one extra to auction off. The proceeds from the auction benefit Beads of Courage.

Spring 2011 Participants:
2. Sandi Lee James: Do Be Do Bead Do
3. Mallory Hoffman: For the Love of Beads
4. Sue Kennedy: Sue Beads
5. Sally Russick: Wireworked
6. Erin Prais-Hintz: Treasures Found

I decided that I should make some jewelry out of these lovely charms because that is what I do! (And truthfully, if I didn't do it RIGHT NOW these lovely beady charms would languish in their bubble wrapped hell until I unearthed them some day!). I loved the bright colors and the variety of materials from metal to enamel to glass to wood to polymer clay. I originally set out to make one piece of jewelry with all six charms, but as happens so often in my studio, the beads had other plans. I ended up with two pieces.

I started out with one of  my most popular bracelet designs (and since I rarely make bracelets, that is saying something!). I don't make the same thing twice but I do make different editions of some things. I have made a similar bracelet like this now three times. Each time it is a little different because of the materials or colors used, but the effect is the same. This is a fun bracelet that goes with everything. The original is called "My Many Colored Days", and the second one was "Many Colors II," so this one would be "Many Colors III."

I will put this up for sale on my Etsy shop and when it sells, I will donate the proceeds to the Beads of Courage foundation.

{Buy this bracelet in my Etsy shop and I will donate the proceeds to Beads of Courage!}

I started with the painted wood polymer clay bead (I thought it was wood because it looked like a nice wood grain. It amazes me what you can create from polymer!) from Sandi Lee James because it was the perfect size and shape for the button loop clasp. And being wood polymer, I would not worry about the durability of it. Then I just strung colorful striped seed beads interspersed with dyed wood rondelles.

But wait! I forgot that I had a whole kit and caboodle of fun bits and bobs from Yvonne at MYElements. So I backtracked a bit to add in some plastic daisies.

Next I used Mallory Hoffman's too cute fishy. She works magic with glass! In the center I knew I needed a counterbalance, so I kept the pretty murrini glass bead from our hostess Jennifer Cameron as the dangle and put that to the middle.

I ended with a dottie glass bead from another one of my favorite lampwork artists, Miss Kerry Bogert. (I don't know if that is true, but it seems like it. My glass beads appear to have a party in the drawer when I am not looking and like to co-habitat with the other glass bead artists. I am so glad they get along!).

The second piece really stumped me because now the challenge was on to incorporate the remaining pieces. I was trying to do some sort of dangle thing with each, but it just seemed all off balance and they were competing. And while competition is sometimes a part of the games we play, I am more about cooperation. And that is when I looked down to see them all in a row. Aha! So that is what they were trying to tell me!

I actually took apart the piece from Sally Russick that was shaped like a top with two enameled domed disks and separated them. I wanted more of a chain reaction sense, they all connect in some way to one another. I started with my own polymer clay charm that says "have fun" and added it to the stamped disk from Jennifer. There are two little loops on the back of mine and I noticed that the stamped disk had a large squarish hole. So I squeezed one of the loops a bit to flatten it and made it sort of like a staple on the back to secure it.

I added a hole in the stamped disk, careful not to mar the words, and attached a beaded link comprised of an amethyst round, a blue enameled disk, an orange daisy spacer and the really cool beach ball bead from Sue Kennedy (another of my very favorite glass artists!).

For the remaining star stamped disk and enameled disk I created a sort of trapeze with wire and some more of the MYElements bits. When I stepped back and looked at it I realized that I had some colors repeating but I needed to balance out the colors so that there would be at least two of each: orange, blue, green, purple, yellow. I threw in a few more of the MYElements and realized that I had that little blue star from Sandi's piece. Perfect!

I call this "Have Fun and Play" for the stamped words.

Thank you to Miss Jennifer and all the lovely ladies for participating in this challenge. When is the next one?


Here are the links to the two sets of charms that are up for auction. Proceeds are going to Beads of Courage so bid early and often!
Lot 2: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140582764202&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT

And here is the link to the bracelet in my Etsy shop with the proceeds going to Beads of Courage as well. Thank you for your support!

Your turn...

What is your favorite game to play? to watch? 
Would you rather be a spectator or a player?
Do tell!


Palimpa Lim said...

Wow, these are both so incredibly colour- and playful! Good luck for the auction!!!!

Palimpa Lim said...

P.S. Just bid on one of the sets and hope that a lot of people will follow...!

steufel said...

Oooooooh, drooling, drooling, drooling. Erin, anything from that: speechless. And in awe!

Alice said...

What a wonderful way to share art! Both pieces are gorgeous! I placed a bid for one of the charm sets and crossing my fingers.

Beadwright said...

I love the colors. They dance and play and make me smile.

JeannieK said...

OH the bracelet is so playful with color and how very charitable of you.

I'm most definately a player or instigator, depends on who you ask.

Do Be Do Bead Do said...

Love what you did with our charms. I have to tell you, however, that my bead isn't wood, it's polymer. No paint, just clay. You do remarkable work...

Jennifer Cameron said...

Erin~both pieces are incredible and I am amazed you took things apart and reconfigured them. I don't think I would have been able to go outside the box like that. Gorgeous pieces. Thanks for playing along :o)

rosebud101 said...

Very creative, Erin!!!! I love what you did with the beads!

Brandi said...

Erin, it's always a joy to see what you create. You're truly an artist and I love these sneak peek, behind the scenes posts!

My Life Under the Bus said...

Lovely idea and very playful necklace!

SueBeads said...

You are a wild woman, Erin! I can't believe you used them all already I love what you did! Fantastic!

Sally Russick said...

Erin! I love the piece you created with my charm! It's "tops"!! LOL! I really love the trapeze wire connection! Beautifully done!

Kristen said...

What fun and funky pieces with such deep meaning! LOVE!!!


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