So it's three weeks since I arrived home from my holiday in the USA and my first (yes I will be back) visit to Bead Fest and I'm delighted to say that once I got over my jet lag, I found myself raring to get in the studio and do something creative. It's not unusual of course to feel refreshed after a holiday but this one was just a bit special.
For me Bead Fest itself was a huge inspiration and not just because of the beads. My AJE team mates were so generous in the way they welcomed and hosted me and what with so many hugely talented and creative bead makers and designers coming together in one place I felt an amazing energy and buzz about the whole thing which certainly followed me home.
It was also great to talk to people attending workshops and to see how excited they were about the new skills they'd picked up and I completely understand that as I was lucky enough to take a mixed media workshop with our own Jenny Davies-Reazor. Jenny's class gave us a start on developing the skills to combine polymer clay, metal and ceramic cabochons as shown in these pieces of hers...
|Mixed media amulets by Jenny Davies-Reazor|
|Cabochon by Diana Ptaszynski|
Needless to say as soon as I got home I ordered myself some supplies and set to work at having a go on my own and this was my first piece using a ceramic cabochon my Marsha Neal...
This was a pretty large piece so I haven't quite decided how to use it yet but my second piece has already been made in to a necklace called 'From Darkness Comes Light'. I used one of Jenny's Celestial face cabochons with a sleepy expression and made a sun ray tab setting, Set against the dark blue of the sun stone beads and the tint of the polymer it evokes for me the dawning of a new day.
Taking Jenny's workshop has had an added benefit in that it's also made me think about other ways of using cold connections and different mediums in my designs. This pendant combines a lampwork cabochon by Caroline Dewison with copper and a setting made from a vintaj brass flower blank connected with rivets.
And this one is again copper with a vintaj blank but I've added extra elements with a leather flower and enameled leaf from Gardanne Beads.
|Ceramic cabochon by Caroline Dewison leather flower by H M Creative supplies|
I have lots of ideas popping in my brain to take mixed media further so I hope my mojo decides to stay awhile. But what about you - have you taken any inspiring workshops or courses and if not, what's inspired you to try something new lately...? We'd love to hear.