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certified organic

with a flair for rich, jewel-tone colors and a masterful use of multiple clusters, barcelona’s ana hagopian introduces us to a new interpretation of pods and flowers. heavily influenced by simple, organic shapes found in the natural world, the artist used paper strips and disks, moulded paper mache and other recyclable textiles to create a collection of wearable art that is as lightweight and carefree as it is beautiful. hagopian’s distinctive work also illustrates the importance of repetition in design and her website offers a sumptuous array of jewelry to ogle. enjoy…

paper jewelry paper ring paper bracelet gauze earrings

paper mache necklace

true collaboration

award winning mixed media artist misha and her husband, woodworker anthony malpica, have joined together in more than matrimony. ‘spirit of the woods’ marries each artist’s sculpting skills – misha’s life-sized polymer clay spirit faces and tony’s wood burl bases. together, they give birth to profoundly moving symbols of the true collaboration – their life together.

the sculptures are meant to elicit strong emotions and they don’t disappoint. both clay and wood are inlaid with crushed turquoise. the sculpture pictured below, ‘voices in my head’, turns to reveal that the back of the head is open, with faces and carved ancient symbols for us to contemplate.

“The emotion evoked by this sculpture is one of great strength and yet sorrow. The intricate carvings on the back of the head symbolize the ties to the past, the “voices within “that influence our lives, the past and the present.”

the couple’s work is powerful. their love for the materials they use, the subjects they bring to life and the natural world that surrounds them is palpable. precious and real, like the artist’s themselves.
voices in my head turquoise encrusted face

50/5 beads

ponsawan challenged herself to make 50 different beads using only 5 colors of clay.  no two the same. as you can see by the picture below, she was up to the challenge.  now she wants to know if you are up to the same challenge.  i want to know too – c’mon people – ponsawan has made it easy by providing a how-to on her tutorial blog.  check it out and start rolling!

50 beads in 5 colors

the reducerator

have you seen master caner wes warren’s tool, the reducerator? warren has been using the handcrafted tool for more than a decade to make his now-famous tube beads. he makes a lot of beads. a lot. warren recently began selling the rectangular cane reducer and you can look here for a detailed photo description of how to use the tool (scroll down to the middle of the page).

cane reduction tool

he also has a new blog and a tutorial that explains his method for wrapping beads on steel rods . i’ll be watching – i think he has plans for a tutorial explaining how to make the cutting tool he uses to mass produce tube beads. great information from one of the best!

dr. zeuss cane!
click on the cat in the hat to see wes warren’s flickr photos.

aha!

kelly russell’s website is aptly named ‘beadfuddled’ and that is just how i felt as i scrolled through the pictures of her fine silver beads, looking for a picture to accompany this post. too many beautiful beads. not enough space for me to show them all. oh my.

pmc fragment bead

during a pmc class with celie fago in 2003, russell experienced one of those ‘aha!’ moments that often mark a new direction for an artist and this time resulted in a body of work that catapulted russell to the top of the pmc beadmaker’s heap. with beads in four books out this year, it just keeps getting better for this talented artist.

pmc keyhole beads

combining the pmc with semi precious stones, 24k gold, porcelain, buttons, and polymer clay, her one-of-a-kind, reversible beads sell out in record time. the bead archives quickly illustrate that the rich variety of patterns, textures, patinas and shapes make russell’s beads a collector’s dream. my favorites? the fragment and keyhole beads shown here. they resemble time-worn chunks of history and suggest hushed experiences, unfinished stories and secret promises.

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