01 January 2014

Home is Where You Are

 'Home is where you will always have a place,
where you will always feel loved,
and you will never be alone.'
 ~Janette Oke 

 I was truly honored to help select the artwork we were inspired by all year long on the Art Bead Scene. This painting by Wassily Kandinsky was by far my favorite choice. It is called Winter Landscape, 1909. I love the unconventional colors, the sunset melting into the forbidding landscape and the winding road leading to the little house nestled among the trees. It is so welcoming, so vibrant and reminds me that winter is indeed a colorful season. That house was my favorite part.

In 2013 I decided to challenge myself to make something for the Simple Truths Sampler Club that would represent the artwork chosen for the month on the Art Bead Scene and would also have me using new techniques and skills. It wasn't always easy to come up with some designs, but I found that if I sketched out what inspired me most and found the technique that I wanted to try, that I was that much more successful. 

All year long I looked forward to creating something inspired by this painting. I just knew it had to be a house. I started searching in January through the end of November to find just the right bezel that was shaped as a house. I was mystified that I could not find such a thing! I knew that with my time running short, I had to come up with a back up plan, and that involved making the bezel myself! 

I found a tutorial on bezels somewhere on the Rings & Things blog, and started up a conversation with one of their talented designers, Mollie Valente, and from there the plan fell into place. I bought some house shaped brass pieces (true, I could have cut them myself, but I am lazy and I wanted them to be uniform!), some filigree triangle connectors and some small square pendant bezels. Now I just need to see if I could remember how to solder!

I have taken a lot of courses over the years and they all seem to revolve around metalworking of some sort. I think I have a not-so-secret desire to work in metals, but I am just not really set up to do all I want. Still, it is something that I really have wanted to develop. Perhaps this is my year. 

I have a tendency to rush at things pretty quickly and confidently, which can lead to spectacular disasters. My first attempts resulted in WAY too much solder and WAY too much heat. Then my sweet electrical engineering husband stepped in. He is far more conservative than I am and infinitely  more patient. He lent his hands to help hold the pieces and recommended that I use a lot less solder. So his help was indispensable to this project being complete. Turns out he is a great foreman. He says that I am trainable. ;-)

I thought of cutting off the loops on the filigree, but they were quite sturdy and hard to remove, plus I think that these filigree pieces look like a gingerbread house with icing icicles hanging down. I flipped the little square bezel upside down so that the loop on the bottom could be used as well in a design. 

From there I just had to work my clay magic. The first thing I start with is the message. HOME is what attracted me to this painting, and at this time of year, all I want to do is get cozy in my own house. I realize that there are many people for whom a house is not attainable, and I am very happy to have the house that I do to provide me shelter and warmth. But more than that, a house is not a home with out love. So the message 'HOME is where you are' seemed to fit. As long as I have those I love with me, I can make anyplace a home. 

I used a translucent clay to give it that shimmery factor, and dotted the space with some silver metallic paint to capture the stippled paint daubs of the Kandinsky. Over that I dabbed a randomized color pattern in sailboat blue, sunshine yellow, raspberry pink and even citrus green.

And so my vision of one year ago was realized. A bit late, and a little different than what I intended, but something I am proud of all the same for what it taught me and what I am still refining.

  I can't thank Mollie Valente enough for her kind and helpful tips on soldering.

And to my husband, who is HOME to me.

These little houses are on their way to their new owners for the new year. I hope that it inspires them to make something special to celebrate wherever they call home and with whomever they share it.

What makes a HOME to you?

I am already working on finishing up the Sampler for January so while the December may be late, the new one will be sent with it! If you would like to join in the fun on the Art Bead Scene, I hope you will join me there for monthly challenges, prizes and inspiration all year long. 

My wish for 2014...for myself...for you...



Saraccino said...

Oh, your houses are wonderful! The idea of the house is beautiful and with such a great effect! :)

Happy new year!

Alice said...

Miss Erin, everything you make is always fabulous! I love these sweet houses and the poem you shared. I'm looking forward to seeing all the goodies you make in the new year!
Blessings to you and your family!

Anonymous said...

Lovely Miss Erin, and it's always interesting to get a glimpse of the process! Happy New Year to you too!

Lori Bowring Michaud said...

How sweet Erin! Yay for pushing yourself a little bit outside your box, in doing so you've created such a lovely one-of-a-kind piece!

Kim Stevens said...

Just as incredible as always, I love the inspired painting and your interpretation...the colors just make me happy!

Jean Katherine Baldridge said...

A little warm home is beautiful, to see and to be in.
Thank you for being such an inspiration!
xox jean

Anonymous said...

I love those bezels! Totally beautiful! And, as always, your simple truths are simply awesome!

Diane (Dewdrop Designs) said...

What a wonderful post and such lovely jewelry components! Thank you for giving me some ideas with using more fanciful premade components to add to my metalworking. I don't know why I had never thought of doing that! I am new to metalworking and this will really help me to achieve some of the looks I want while learning to create more intricate pieces on my own.

Sarajo Wentling said...

Even though it was more work for you, I think the houses are all the more special because you made the bezels! I got mine and it's just precious. Now to find the time to sit down and play. I've very excited to finally be in your Simple Truths Sampler Club thanks to my sweet husband (and for your generosity raffling one off)!


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