Readers of my blog know how, when I can, I like to show sources for ideas that I use, things that I find inspiration in. For example, for a few years now, I've explored the use of red pearls. So last year I was finally able to backtrack a bit, and take very pretty photos of an autumn crab apple tree. Then I juxtaposed these images with the pieces I had been making that were inspired by this really typical (around here) seasonal sight.
It's not usually a straight line from the inspiration to the inspired project, however. This summer, for probably a month or more now, I've been experimenting with this really beautiful, heavy, artisan made and dyed silk fiber which I've been combining with dyed quartz beads. I love this silk even as I learn the best ways to use it. Quartz beads are one of my favorites because they are semi-translucent and seem to hold very vivid dye colors or can be very beautiful in their natural states. This material is very hard and resists any kind of damage. Plus, to me, they sometimes speak of berries & cherries, especially in shades of reds, pinks and purples.
But these new pieces, as exciting as I find them and as promising as they appear to be, are not quite finished yet. There are some challenges of the best ways to finish these for looks and wear-ability...so that's why there are still errant threads showing in spots and why they aren't in my shops yet, as they continue to be refined. Problems of the best way to close them so that the length can be adjusted, etc. have yet to be solved in ways that I'm sure about...so more experiments still need to be done.
But these details aside, I was out taking photos around WillOaks Farm a few days ago and I stumbled upon these amazing berry-filled bushes. At first, I was puzzled about what they could be. Then I realized they are actually a pretty bad "invader" around here called "honeysuckle" that threatens to overwhelm native bushes. To its credit, besides these amazing glowing red berries, in the late spring & early summer honeysuckle has small trumpet shaped flowers that the seasonal hummingbirds just flock to....
And now, I've learned that their autumn appearance is just stunning, and so it was really exciting to bring these new images back to my studio and see the correlation with my new autumn pieces in progress here.
Meanwhile, over on Artfire, a new program has begun, similar to Etsy, where artists can curate and assemble collections with different themes drawing upon the different shops on Artfire.
Below is the most recent one I've been fortunate to be included in and the artist who curated it titled it "Roses and Olives." She later told me that my bracelet here, of a similar title, had been the original inspiration for her collection, which was very flattering!
Roses and Olives was curated by ImaginaryRelics on Artfire. The name of her shop alludes to surprises you will find there. Do take a look, but I'll give you a hint. She is making the artifacts of an imaginary history, working in a current genre known as "steampunk." Now I know you're curious....so do click her link to look closer, and also click on the treasury to take a closer look at her collection and the artists included in it.
One other new thing I meant to mention--are any of you using Tumblr yet? I just found it and have a whole new page going. I actually like it better than Twitter, it's much more photo friendly, but don't take my word for it...go take a peek yourself! Follow me and then, I can find you, too! http://willoaksstudio.tumblr.com/
Thanks for dropping by!