Saturday, June 18, 2011

Studio Saturday: An explanation missing work...

I know the past couple of weeks have been slim on new work, and I wanted to give you an explanation as to why it appears I have come to the creative end.

It's actually the exact opposite that happens to be true.
I have instead begun a new beginning.

It all started in the middle of May when I took a class at my local bead store where we used copper washers, mica sheets and scrapbook paper to make itty bitty dangly charms that could be used in bracelets, necklaces, whatever...

The teacher was Melissa Manley and it wasn't until I actually arrived at the class that I realized that she was the artist whose pieces I had admired in Belle Armoire.
The class was great and I learned the basics about riveting, texturing metal and how to get that earthy dark patina on copper.

I wasn't looking to do anything more than just add a little flair to the body of work that I had already created, but after seven hours of hitting things with a hammer I was hooked.

Melissa offered to take me on as a student and once a week since the beginning of June, I've been working with this very accomplished artist and we've added fire to the hammers and pressed copper and rolled brass... and etched as well.

So this is what has come out of it since then and I'm finding ways to keep the old methods that I love while simultaneously combining them with the methods that I'm falling in love with.

In this (very large) pendant, a perfect piece of Red Creek Jasper finds itself encircled in a fairy ring of tiny stones and mounted onto a heavy sheet of copper that I've sawed out, textured and antiqued.
I think what I've fallen in love with the most is the weight, the heaviness of the metal against my skin.

This one was plucked from an ancient mural in Persia. The pendant is two sheets of hammered brass that I've riveted together with spacers to leave enough room to mount a beadwoven persian tile between the layers.

I created the shape for this one as well and sawed out two sheet of brass to create the outside of the pendant.

Oh, and I made another Flaming June. This one is a tad different and all for me. I decided I needed intense rouge in my wardrobe and it happened to match a recent dress purchase.

Right now I'm just playing with copper and brass, partially afraid to play with silver because of its value but also finding myself rather enamored with the colors of antiqued and polished copper.
And also enamored with the learning. It's stretching my creativity and skills (and muscles) and I keep coming up with more and more ideas as I work. Constantly wanting to add new shapes and finishes and finding a way to seamlessly transition from metal to bead.

I hope you're learning as well this summer, trying a new skill or maybe a new color or even a new medium.
Creativity is a muscle...the more you flex, the stronger it will become.
Enjoy your weekend, enjoy the slow progression of warmer weather and I hope you find some time to be creative and create something new.

Oh, oh...and thank you for your comments on my tutorial on Wednesday. I'm so glad that it was useful to you and I hope it makes your making a little easier! :)


  1. The pieces are beautiful, can't wait to see what you come up with next

  2. Oh, I am on the same creative train. I have been working with copper this summer, forming, oxidizing, and tumbling. I'm making various findings to use with my work and having a great time with the hammer as well. Your first pendant is awesome. Enjoy - I certainly am!

  3. Beautiful! I really like this mix of metal and beadweaving (not surprisingly, since metalwork -- especially using "basemetals" -- and beadweaving are my two favourite jewellery techniques/).

    Love the colours in the first pendant and how well the metal blend with the beadwoven part. In the second pendants, I think the frame and suspended beadwork is just fab. Will be looking forward to seeing more of your creations in this style!

  4. I love the mix of metal and beads!!!! i really love it!! your work are so amazing!! Congrats Marcie...keep beading!

  5. Oh Marcie! One of the reasons I fell in love with your work in the first place what how gorgeously you mixed metal with seeds. This is so spectacularly outstanding I really have no other words. I so love your creative mind and you are truly an inspiration to me! THESE would be the BEST Kits ever!

  6. These are absolutely amazing! I am in love with the hammered & riveted brass piece!

  7. Congratulations. I love your pieces. I started with metals and became ingtrigued with seeds. Before long you will be owning a torch, tumbler, texturing hammers, etc. Copper is the perfect metal for beginning. I also like the hues copper will give with a patina. Metal is a different universe. Happy travels!

  8. Marcie,
    Gorgeous plain and simple just gorgeous!!! I can not wait to see what else you create.

  9. Loving your new direction! Really gorgeous color and the compositions are terribly interesting... You're having fun!

  10. Wow, I love your new work! You've really made a great fusion of metalwork and beadweaving - absolutely stunning!

  11. Oh my stars. This is an absolutely fantastic direction to take your work. I love what you are doing.

  12. I would love to be able to be working with metal like you are doing, but I am lucky to be able to be working with a new medium this summer, even if it isn't metal.

    I was able to pick up a cheap used kiln and have been working with making focals and stuff out of clay. This is a whole new experience just like you are having and oh so fun!!

  13. Absolutley stunning work! I love the mixture of the metal with your seed work! I espeically love the copper pendant and the Red Creek Jasper. AWESOME!

  14. You have such an inspiring spirit and are incredibly creative in your designs. This metal work looks so perfect with your beadweaving style. I look forward to drooling over more of your work! :)

  15. Isn't Melissa Manley just the best! I studied metal smithing as an undergrad in Art school; but it had faded to a memory - replaced by mediums with fewer tool/technical requirements... So I thought. I took classes with Melissa at ArtBliss in DC and have her to thank for stoking the fires, re-sparking my love of and skills in metal smithing!

    How you have integrated seed beads and metals - truly inspired! Congrats on your achievements, and I for one will stay tuned to see more!
    (Totally jealous you are studying with her, BTW!)

  16. OH Marcie!!!!! One of the reasons I love your work is that your seed beading transcends your craft. This new stuff is absolutely stunning. I can't wait to see where this takes's gonna be a good thing to watch. yum!

  17. ...Marcie todo lo que tocas lo personalizas, es una maravilla tu buen gusto!!!

  18. Absolutely love your new pieces, Marcie! And i just made the connection that you are both in lucky to be able to study under Melissa Manley. She is amazing.

  19. I LOVE your new direction! Amazing. I can hardly wait to see where else it takes you ;o)

  20. Oh Marcie, how beautiful! I've been a fan of your work for a while, but these are just stunning!

    As part of my undergrad senior show, I've been working on a similar theme. Take a look if you have the chance:

  21. really your work is so beautiful. i also an Artist of wire and paper jewelry. you see "Leeway Handikraft" Page