But I am starting to feel like I'm finding my groove once again, and have been channeling my energy into learning some new artistic skills and developing some new pieces.
After many years of doing digital art almost exclusively, I was inspired by a PBS documentary series called Craft in America, to make something with my hands again. Jewelry is something I've explored a bit, but not in a truly hand-crafted level. So I've been exploring more possibilities for applying my design skills to this new medium.
Thusfar, I've been playing with polymer clay, stamping designs, hammered wire jewelry construction and mosaic.
I got deep into mosaics several years ago, but instead of the traditional glass or ceramic materials, I used bits of cardboard and paper cut from recycled packaging.
It's intricate work - cutting the pieces, playing with the colors, laying out the design and meticulously placing every piece perfectly, but I find it meditative and enjoyable, and the results very satisfying.
I love the texture of mosaics, the way the light constantly dances and shifts over the uneven surface.
Another thing I love is iridescence - an effect that's just not possible to truly achieve with paint or ink. So my latest idea is to use iridescent glass beads as mosaic tessera (tiles) on jewelry.
I've got my basic idea figured out. Now I'm working on making them sturdy enough for wear and honing my new skills so I can translate my concepts into quality pieces. There's a bit of a learning curve, but I love learning, so I'm quite enjoying myself!
The way the light plays on these shimmering bugle beads is just breathtaking - the photos don't do them justice, they must be seen moving and alive to really appreciate the effect.
Stay tuned for further developments!
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