Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Getting Ready for Mardi Gras!

I am a vendor at a Mardi Gras event in Charlotte, NC this weekend.  In honor of the occasion, I have made some new jewelry designs celebrating Mardi Gras and New Orleans.  The colors of the pieces are predominantly green, purple and gold to honor the occasion.  One bangle has a crazy quilt pattern which was achieved by cutting paralellograms out of the different colors of clay and then wrapping them in a thin layer of black clay and then making a matrix of alternating colors of shapes and then slicing and arranging into a cane.  The cane slices were applied to a bangle of baked Sculpey Ultralight and the bracelet was completed with an inner lining of matching stamped green metallic Premo.  The next bangle features extruded clay in the three colors which has been twisted into a spiralling texture.  Small sections of the twisted clay were then applied to the bangle in alternating colors.  An inner lining of Premo was added and the entire piece was finished off with two bands of twisted purple Premo.  The texture achieved by applyin the twisted extrusions is very eye-catching and I will probably explore this technique in further detail on later designs. 

I had quite a lot of scrap clay and cane ends as a result of making the two bangles, so I decided to make some small heart charms for a charm bracelet.  The hearts are the Rorschach Heart technique  that I learned in an earlier blog, just on a smaller scale.  I went to Michaels to look for possibilities for bracelet chains and found some great pieces that reminded me of wrought iron work and naturally, New Orleans.  I settled on a pattern of linking hands for the bracelet and added some aluminum jump rings in green and purple to complement the colors in the charms. 

There was one charm left over, so I decided to use it in a necklace with some more black chain and add still more aluminum jump rings in matching colors for a gothic look.  Did I mention that I only bought black chains?  I decided to go for the drapey chain look and combined some chains made out of the green and purple jump rings to go with the purchased black chain.  It is quite a different look but very Gothic, I think, and very Mardi Gras!

My final piece is pink and black--no Mardi Gras colors but quite Gothic, I think.  One of the patterned chains I purchased had wrought iron look hearts, so I combined one of those hearts with two of the wrought iron look hand links and had the pendant suspended between the two hands.  Then I took some hot pink aluminum jump rings to match the pink foil in the Faux Dichroic heart pendant and wove them through the black chain links and suspended the woven chain around the bottom of the pendant.

I like the look of jewelry chains combined with polymer clay and will probably explore some layered jewelry designs using these two elements in the near future.

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