23 July 2009

on your sleeve

'you can't shake hands with a clenched fist.'
-indira gandhi

if one can wear their heart on their sleeve, then certainly you can wear your peaceful intentions on your wrist! mak of makustudios made some wonderful peace sign raku beads for me... and she is also the creator of the round raku bead as well... kristie at artisan clay made the smoke fired ceramic tube bead... i love the subtle changes of color and pattern in them... mary ann at linden avenue designs created the river rock lampwork glass beads... again, she has managed to create a glass bead that emulates stone, giving me another medium to mingle in with the others... faceted feldspath, mexican painting stone, a double drilled beach stone from stone me, and lots of bali, karen hill tribe and wax cast silver (from cathy dailey)... the beautiful raku buddha face comes from the buddha builder and i could not/would not/will not part with that!

sooooooooo - what do these components have in common? i hadn't really thought about it until i was ruminating over how much i love the smokey effect of mak and kristie's beads... smoke... fire! hmm... mary ann's glass beads were created with fire too... metals i purchase are worked with heat... how about the ceramicists who talk about glazes they use and how different levels of heat affect the outcome? enamel work on metal? polymer clay? pmc? and these are small scale pieces... torches, kilns... on a larger scale (i shall not use the word grander) i have been in the glass blowing studio my daughter works at... furnaces set to 1900 & 2300 degrees... it is beautiful, fascinating and daunting to watch the glowing masses of melted glass become bowls, vases, etc... it made me think of the blog posts i have read about how artists didn't know what the outcome of their work was going to look like, how it was surprising to them... i have read that numerous times from numerous artists working with different materials... it makes me wish i could be in a studio with them while they wait until the unveiling...

fire is so often associated with its destructive properties, but what of the transformative ones? the purifying ones? fire is know for its dichotomous nature... we are mesmerized by it... the power and destructiveness of a volcano is still entrancing... fire is one of the four elements - along with earth, water & air - & seems to be associated with energy and power... phrases using the words, 'fire', 'spark', flame' are abundant... they often refer to love, desire, freedom, life, creativity, spirituality... how fitting...

one of my favorite quotes has to do with this:

'in everyone's life, at some point,
our inner fire goes out.
it is then burst into flame
by an encounter with another human being.
we should all be thankful for those people
who rekindle the inner spirit.
- albert schweitzer

so wear it for all to see...


  1. I love your use of quotes! I especially love that Albert Schweitzer. However do you find them? I am a collector of quotes...
    Such great inspiration for a lovely ABS challenge piece! Enjoy the day! Erin

  2. This is a gorgeous piece! I love Kristie's smoked tube, I just got some donuts from her in the same technique!

  3. thank you erin... i appreciate that so much...
    lorelei - thanks so much! have i have donut as well - just not sure how i am going to use it yet! i love the striations made by the process...

  4. wow! what wonderful insight!! it's uncanny that sometimes you just want to put a couple of things together, no matter how many times you try to switch any one out, it has to go back into that grouping. they are calling to each other to be together. and you dunno why. but nothing happens by chance ... and when you finally have an enlightening moment such as yours, you realize that the universe has it's own ways of making things happen :))

  5. Beautiful bracelet - and beautiful thoughts concerning fire! All elements have both beneficial and destructive potential...

  6. love the soft muted colors, great work!

  7. The bracelet is beautiful. I like the way you think. And as a user of 'fire' and 'alchemy' I really am quite taken with your appreciation of the process. I'd love to have you in my studio to open a kiln. It's always a bit of a magic moment, one I would love to share.

  8. luthien - when you let go, the universe works in wonderful ways!
    renate - you are so very right... and thank you...
    thank you sandra - i like exploring the nuances of neutrals...
    and leann, i would love to be there! the process just seems so dynamic... i definitely do appreciate what it takes for an artist to create such beautiful pieces...

  9. I love the color scheme, the textures..all of it...great piece and interesting info on the process...have a great weekend!

  10. The quote is the perfect pairing with the piece that you created! It's amazing and I love how fire connects them all! I'm a fire sign...maybe that 's why I love raku! Thanks for featuring my beads in your inspirational creations!

  11. What a beautiful work of art! I love the descriiptions you write about your work. so thoughtful.

    ..thanks for the sweet words on my blog. :)

  12. That's a gorgeous piece!

    I was thumbing through an old book yesterday that advised not to be afraid to mix beads from one place and time with beads from another place and time.

    I've never been afraid, but I've always been conscious. Making those connections knowingly and lovingly, as you did here.

  13. mmmm fire! one of my favorite elements :) You're on fire. This piece is gorgeous. I love the way you take earthy components and create something so grounding and then see fire in it. Nice!

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  15. stacie, thank you...
    mak - a pleasure as always and thank you!
    tam - the pictures are gorgeous and thanks... my mind always gets engaged even though the creative force is present...
    sarah - i love, love, love mixing things... but you are right... the connections deepen the meaning...
    and beth, thanks! i love finding deeper connections... and i think the underlying, shaping force of the fire has an energy that remains...

  16. hi THIS is marley i cant beleive you said your grandpa is lessony too! & when you where a little girl did you grow a garden like we are & i am typing by my self today

  17. hi marley! you are doing a terrific job of typing... i did have a garden when i was a little girl (and even a bigger girl)... it was a lot of work, but so much fun... and i always liked to eat the vegetables out of my garden better then from the store... what is your favorite? my grandpa (and grandma) taught me so much... i just didn't know that i would remember it all when i got bigger! and by the way - i LOVE your name... tell mommy that i think i finished my '3 little birds' bracelet! i also love hearing from you... thank you!

  18. hello again, if you are interested in playing along, i have an award for you over at my blog :)

  19. Gorgeous design as always! I love your ability to mix different elements and artist's and still make the piece look so cohesive, like they were meant for each other. I love your descriptions and insights, always beautiful!


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