06 November 2009

Fun With Focals

"Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun's rays do not burn until brought to a focus." ~ Alexander Graham Bell
I had no idea that I would hit such a NERVE with my last post about the dentist {pun intended...teehee!}.
It seems that I am not alone in my dislike of the dental profession {nothing against dentists and hygienists, mind you...but it seems that there was a lot of general scarring of psyches going on in our collective past}.
My computer is still not back. {:-(} Looks like it may need to have its memory erased and a fresh blank slate to start from. {I am still hoping that the laptop fairy will grant me a visit and swoop in with one of those new Dell's with the fancy outside candy shells. Yay.......right.}
But I didn't want you to think that just because I was keyboardless that I was any less inspired to create.

A few weeks ago, my dear friend {and most awesome bead artist} Heather Powers issued a challenge inspired by the Fun With Focals section in the Best of Stringing issue that just came out. {Give me a challenge and I am rigth there with you...if not I am floundering in a pit of despair with no way out.} That issue is near and dear to my heart with two of my pieces included, but this is a challenge that is the proverbial kick in the pants for me. The idea was to make one piece of jewelry each day based on her chosen focal. I did, in fact, participate in the week that she issued the challenge, but with my computer out of commission, I was not able to show off.... Until now...
And since you all seem a bit traumatized by reliving my recent dental escapades... I figured the least I could do is tempt you back to your happy place with a bit of handmade eye candy...
Here are my submissions....

Fun With Focals Day One - Horizontal

Ceramic beads: Jennifer Heynen, Jangles
Glass wafer bead: Kerry Bogert, KAB's Concepts
Felt ball: Hoi Lam
Glass disks & beads, matte silver chain: Michaels

This piece was created for the Fun With Focals Day 1 challenge to make a horizontal focus. I was also inspired to take my colors and patterns from the Art Bead Scene October challenge of the folk art Piano Playing Cow (but due to computer issues, I missed uploading to that month). {But I also need to prove it to the world that I did actually follow through on a challenge!}

Fun With Focals Day Two - Fiber

Ceramic escutcheon keyhole: Melanie Brooks, Earthenwood Studios
Vintage rollo chain
Skeleton key
Faceted garnet chunk: ArtGems
Copper twisted spacer: AD Adornments
Small garnet rough faceted nuggets: Rings & Things

This piece was created for the Fun With Focals Day 2 challenge to use fiber in the focal.
I used leather knotted around the key to tie it to the keyhole.
I was inspired by the idea of vampire lore with this key being the one to keep the beast at bay. The garnets symbolizing precious drops of the elixir of life.

Fun With Focals Day Three - Jump Rings

Leather, Copper wire & Colored aluminum jump rings: Michaels
Sterling Silver flower connector {I know not where...Fusion?}
Porcelain button: Joan Miller
Mixed Media pendant: Lynn Davis, ExpeditionD

This piece was created for the Fun With Focals Day 3 challenge to use jump rings in the focal.
I used these really colorful and lightweight aluminum jump rings in a modified flower chain maille pattern to add some color and visual weight to the piece. I bought the lovely porcelain button from Joan at the Bead & Button show {thanks Heather, for pointing out all the right stuff for me to blow my wad on!}, and that custom made mixed media focal is what I would wish I could make...but was a free gift with purchase from Lynn Davis. So cool!

Fun With Focals Day Four - Chain

Ceramic raku button: Lisa Peters
Faceted natural mother of pearl rounds, green rice pearls, bronze coin pearl: Rings & Things
Chain: Michaels

Created as a birthday present for my friend Dorie. To celebrate her Quiet Beauty. {Incidentally, she called me as I was writing this...she loves it! Especially that cool focal button...}
This was also created for the Fun With Focals Day 4 challenge using chain as the focal. The chain and pearl part is meant to be front and center. The raku button is off to the left side. The colors that Lisa Peters creates with defy explanation to me. They are so deep and mysterious and gorgeous. Go get yourself some!

Fun With Focals Day Five - Findings

Geode slice: Galena Beads
Swirl clasp and chain: Vintaj
Bronze arrow head charm: Yone Beads
Swarovski crystals: Jolee's Jewels
Leather & Pearls: Rings & Things

This was created for the Fun With Focals Day 5 challenge to use findings in your focal.
I love the Vintaj brass and those swirls show up in much more than just clasps for me!


mairedodd said...

well, erin, you came, you saw, you kicked butt! those entries are absolutely fabulous and i am happy for you that you were able to get them uploaded for the challenge... they are all unique and have their own personalities... please do not ask me to pick a favorite - but if pushed it would be a tie between days 1 & 2 and even then it would depend upon how i was feeling... and your day 1 would have been a great october abs entry...

Silver Parrot said...

Lovely work, Erin. I'm so glad you were able to get around the computer problems enough so you could post and share your amazing art with us. Also, I have to 'fess up and admit that yours is the first design I've ever seen wherein I LIKED the use of a felt bead. Normally, I'm just not a fan, but that necklace is just too awesome. I have to give it up for ya, sister! Have a great weekend and may the Dell fairy arrive soonest!

sasha + max studio said...

Wow - you have been very busy ! - They are so diverse in style and all really lovely- the Jump ring necklace really pops - great use of colour .. Vicki

Beverly said...

Erin Thanks for sharing your challenge pieces. I loved everyone of them. Sorry to hear about the computer troubles. We are so attached to our gadgets to keep in touch. It is hard when they malfunction.

stregata said...

Wow, you have been very creative - gorgeous necklaces! My favorite: the leather tied key! Very deep and mysterious! I love it!

JennyMac said...

Love your work!!!

Cindy said...

I am in awe! I'm speechless! Okay, I'll snap out of it to tell you that your new jewelry is just BEAUTIFUL!!! I don't know where to begin to tell you how impressed I am with your talent! You went above and beyond with this challenge. I can't pick a favorite...I just love the wonderful way you added your own special touch to each piece. Thanks for sharing the artists whose components you used as well...I always find that interesting too. Have a wonderful weekend, friend!

Anonymous said...

I followed the challenge but unfortunately wasn't able to compete. Just wanted to tell you that I like a.l.l your pieces; you did a really great job interpreting each challenge. Congratulations!

PS - Too funny about your dental escapades! I've had sooo much dental work done that sometimes I feel like I've been to dental school and know the routines!

Alice said...

All of your entries are just beautiful! It's too bad you weren't able to participate in the challenge, but I'm glad we still got to see them.

Heather just may have another challenge from what I can tell on her blog post. I hope she does since it kept me working where I may have otherwise played hookey. With all the other things I had going on, making jewelry was not in the plans, so it was a challenge in more ways than just creativity!

Dave Robertson said...

- Erin, as often happens, I like all of your designs - - but I'm especially partial to what you did with that geode slice. Such good work :)

at Rings & Things

Unknown said...

I love them all! You are just sooooo creative! I always love your creations! I would happily wear any of them!

lunedreams said...

oh man!! how to choose a favorite! impossible! these are just breathtaking. I esp. love your day 2 piece with the leather, but the one with the aluminum rings is also scrumptious (button just MAKES it), and the one with the MOP and pearls is just exquisite. I love the peachy tones of the MOP beads with the muted green of the pearls. I've not seen that combination that I recall--very delicate and ethereal. I have GOT to learn to use buttons! Masterful!

Jenn said...

Yes, these are breathtaking designs! I watch your contributions on WMC and now I have more places to enjoy your work!

Sharmila said...

wow! the second and fourth are my fav! classy! ;) much luv, Sharmila


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