30 November 2009

Inspired by...Hardware Stores

"All parts should go together without forcing. You must remember that the parts you were reassembling were disassembled by you. Therefore, if you can't get them together again, there must be a reason. By all means, do not use a hammer."
~IBM maintenance manual, 1925

{Photo credit: plbmak}

Week One
November 30-December 6

Inspired by...Hardware Stores

Every town has that “mom and pop” hardware store. You know that one….where they say if they don’t have it, you don’t need it. For me, that store is Frank’s. I have even been to the big box stores in our town and when I have asked for something that they {amazingly} don’t carry in their mile-long aisles they actually refer me to Frank’s. So Frank’s is my go-to guy for all things hardware.

A few years ago, I was asked to create a custom necklace for a teesy-weensy budget for the sister-in-law of a dear friend. The first thing I tell people is that budget is the most important question, but this one really had me stumped. You see, the woman who would wear said necklace was quite an enigma for a small-town Wisconsin girl like me: she looks like a model, lives in L.A., studied opera in college and is the educational coordinator of a large metropolitan museum. Now I am the antithesis of hip and cool {not to mention the fact that I live practically in the middle of nowhere smack dab in the center of Wisconsin...how much further can you get from L.A.?}, so how would I come up with something so fabulous for someone like that on such a limited budget? So one day I happened into Frank’s. And he didn’t disappoint.

I love the mystery of the hardware store. Not being a girl who knows too much about power tools and such {and still just finding my way with them}, I used to think of it as a hallowed ground where only burly men might trod. But the lure of opening all those little drawers and uncovering their secrets is too great with me. The piece I made for my L.A. client featured ‘s’ hooks, chrome washers, chain and agate beads. It worked out so well that it was actually published in the January/February 2008 issue of Bead Trends. Here is a {really bad} picture of "Sunset in L.A."{amazing that they wanted to publish it after I sent them such a crap-tastic shot!} And I found that a small town girl from the Midwest could make something totally cool {and the L.A. client totally loves it!}

Come play with me and create a piece of jewelry that is inspired by what you find in a hardware store.

Walk the aisles.
Seek new materials to experiment with.
Use them in unexpected ways.
I guarantee that you will never look at rope, tubing, springs and bolts the same way again {and you might not mind when your man wants to spend time at the hardware store…}

What can you use? Anything that lives in a hardware store. There are so many things with holes that are just itching to be made into jewelry. And even things without holes {you've got a drill, don't you? Use it!}. Don't just limit yourself to the obvious...really look at the things in the hardare store with new eyes ready to take on the possibilities in each piece.

And now, what you have all been waiting for. The PRIZE.

Round One Found Object Challenge:
I have been blessed to meet so many talented artists throughout the blogdom. Glass bead maker/wire twirler/book author/mixed media artist Kerry Bogert is one such talent. Kerry's company, KAB’s Creative Concepts, is at it again, with a wonderful new line of mixed media paintings featuring her bright and beautiful glass, twisted curls of wire and stunning color. Kerry has graciously donated a 5x5” one-of-a-kind mixed media painting as the prize for our first week. You can see more of this new venture into creativity that Kerry is launching at her blog here: KAB's Creative Concepts, the blog.

{Please note: this is NOT the exact mixed media art for the winner, but rather an example of Kerry's fine craftsmanship. The winner will receive a similarly styled artwork. How lucky would it be to own one of these!?}

And, of course, something fun from me...a pair of earrings using hardware store springs, square nuts and really funky felt sushi rolls from Etsy artist Tara Herberger.

I call this series the "Swirly Girls."

Swirly Girl earrings by Erin Prais-Hintz, Tesori Trovati Jewelry

So...are you willing to come out and play with me? Will you share your inspiration with the rest of us? If so, here are the rules again...

How it works:

  • Create a piece of jewelry (earrings, necklace or bracelet) Inspired by...the Hardware Store.
  • Post your picture to the Flickr account here.
  • If you are so inspired {and I hope you will be!}, feel free to create as many pieces as you like for this weekly challenge and post to the Flickr account, but your name will only be entered once. (For extra BONUS ENTRY opportunities, see below).
  • On Monday Dec 7 I will announce the RANDOM winner of the previous week’s challenge.
In the description of your picture be sure to add the following:
  • Title of the piece {names are important!}
  • Found objects incorporated into the piece
  • Short description of your inspiration (optional)
  • Your Name
  • Your email address {so that I can get in touch if you win}
  • Your blog or website
  • If you use an art bead in your piece {art bead is defined as a bead or component created by yourself or another artisan}, be sure to point that out in your description {with a link to the appropriate artisan’s website, shop or blog} and you will have an extra entry.
  • If you blog, Facebook, Twitter, sky write or take out a billboard to publicize each week’s challenge, be sure to let me know {leave a comment on that week's challenge} and your name will be in for an extra entry.

So...what are you waiting for? Get thee to a hardware store, dump out that junk drawer, raid your tool chest, see everyday objects with new eyes... get "inspired by..." and start playing!

Enjoy the day!


mairedodd said...

sooo cool! am totally in on this one... and what great prizes! that was really generous of kerry and your earrings are adorable! thanks erin!

Silver Parrot said...

Great idea for a challenge, Erin!

Anonymous said...

oh boy, I better get to the hardware store soon! Very cool and fun project. You can count me in...

Sherry said...

Now THIS is a fun challenge!

Narrative jewelry said...

I will be happy Erin to participate at such an original challenge.

SueBeads said...

Ok, I don't know if I'll be able to complete the challenge, but c'mon, you look like a model too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

sandi m said...

Down to my basement - I think I have a mini hardware store down there!!

sandi m

rosebud101 said...

This is going to be fun! I'm off to Mutch's hardware store tomorrow to seek out my pieces.

Vintajia Adornments said...

Looooove hardware stores and tool shops!
Have been known to trail around 2 paces behind husband whining in a loud voice "It's my turn to by tools this week - not yours" He he.

Judy said...

I just LOVE a hardware store...always have! It is amazing the things you can find and even more amazing the unconventional things you can make from them.

Cindy said...

What a wonderful way to celebrate your blog anniversary...and leave it to you to come up with something so amazingly creative!!! :-) What a great story about one of your early inspirations!

Pearl and Pebble said...

Oh boy this sounds fun! I love mom & pop hardware stores. The older the better!! We used to live in a town with the coolest old hardware store - they even had chickens!

Riki Schumacher said...

Ooooh, what a great idea! I'll be looking for some wonderful parts to add to the collection. Love your necklace. They're just plain old people in LA by the way. I worked there for five years. They're just like us, only busier and spend more time in their cars! ha ha. Take care, Riki

Esther said...

beautiful necklace and earrings!! super friendly challenge.. i'm going to try.. let's go!! thank you Erin!!

lisa at lo and behold said...

Great fun, and I love Kerry's piece (the green one you used as example, the one that says SOLD next to it on Kerry's site, that's mine!). I am hosting my first ever home-based art show/sale this weekend, so it doesn't feel like quite the right time to whip up a brand new piece with new materials, but I'm tempted. . . .you never know!

Diane said...

Love your swirly girls Erin =) What a unique idea....=)

Jenn said...

Ah, Erin - I just had to let you know that you've ignited the creative storm clouds and now rain and lightning bolts are coming out of my head! I've been ogling the local hardware stores because I weirdly like hardware stores. But, I don't have home improvement projects and so haven't indulged my curiosity. But, now that you've challenged me on the subject, I'm going to include the hardware challenge in my year-long creative experimentation spree. I won't be able to participate in this weeks challenge as I don't have enough time...but I'll be sure to post and link back to this post when I get around to it. Thanks for the spark!!

Unknown said...

That's a totally cool necklace! I would love to see what all can be made from things in a hardware store.

rosebud101 said...

So far, I've posted this on Twitter and on Facebook. I also plan to blog about this. I'll post the date after I do this.

The Joy of Nesting said...

Hi Erin,

Hopefully I'm not to late if so no worries there is next week!!! I posted my entry on flickr and have also posted on my blog. Have a good evening!!
Mazatlan Mx.

Pretty Things said...

I wish I hadn't been so busy/laid up with headaches or I would have done this! I've worked with hardware but only simple earrings so I won't bore you with that!

Sissy Sparrows said...

Oh...I missed this challenge....what a shame! Never mind, now that I follow, I will keep up with the next one.

Anonymous said...

Nice to know that I can post some stuff in the Flickr group even after the challenge has ended, as I won't be able to finish the necklace today after all. Anyway, I'm participating for the fun only, so please don't enter me in the drawing. Both prizes are awesome, but I think someone else will enjoy them more than I would. I don't have pierced ears and know few people that wear long earrings, so I already have my own creations piling up here and your beauties would be wasted on me. And while I would love to own one of those adorable paintings, I'm not altogether comfortable with the sonnet quoted on this particular one, for personal reasons. I hope that doesn't sound ungrateful - as far as I am concerned, I have already won all I need and more than I expected (inspiration, motivation and many nice words about my work). And I'm looking forward to the next challenge!


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