Confession: I don't buy enough art beads.
Reason: I live in a dream world where I can do everything...resin, polymer, ceramic, glass, yadda, yadda....
I'm slowly waking up to the fact that the only person I'm kidding is myself and without a kiln I'm pretty much going nowhere.
(Oh, and then the baby girl with her feet in my ribs says, yeah right, mom, nice try.)
So, when these popped up in my Etsy feed approximately two days before my birthday, I decided that...Happy Birthday to Me....I was gettin' 'em.
I also knew exactly what I was going to do with them when I put them in my virtual shopping cart.
I'm calling them Suspension Pendants. I like the idea of the bead suspended between the hammered copper. The only thing maintaining the delicate balance, a slim copper wire which has also been heated and hammered and patinated and rubbed and generally put through the ringer so the metal itself reflects the rustic finish of the bead.
I like the idea of the beads also, faceted and rubbed with each facet sporting a different color. I think it's a beautiful metaphor for the way we live.
With every ding and scratch and hit we take something else rises up out of us, sometimes good, sometimes bad and the color that jumps out defines us.
They're small, tiny reminders that the abuse of the heat of the torch, the head of the hammer, the scrape of the file, and the rough rub of sandpaper can create something beautiful, and a life that appears to be hanging in the balance may actually be suspended on something sturdier than you thought.
I haven't stopped there with the riveting or the suspending.
This one was a bit more complicated. Two sheets of metal, copper and brass are riveted together with space between.
I've sawed out a tribal-like motif from the top sheet so the beads peek out between the sheets.
It's also been patinated and rubbed and each bead strung for a punch of color inspired by Southwest Indian afghans and woven rugs from Guatemalan handweavers.
None of my clasps were good enough, so I made my own with the same pride and craftsmanship that created the pendant.
Copper is not silver, it doesn't look like it, it doesn't feel like it, and it doesn't behave the same way. They're like distant cousins that get along well, but truly have nothing in common.
The one to me seems almost holy and when I work with silver I feel focused, intent, and try to pour perfection from my fingers.
Copper is different, it's warmer somehow and I don't mean just in color, but it feels more forgiving and kinder and I'm not as scared to let the hammer fall where it may or take an extra pass or two with the file.
They're like the two sides of my creative personality and both deserve to be explored.
This piece with all its tribal personality can be found HERE.