Bramble is named after the raspberry and blackberry thickets on our property. Although it’s a weed, they have beautiful, white flowers, and go on to produce shiny gems in the form of fruit.
The piece shows the life cycle of buds, flowers, and berries. In nature, they aren’t all produced at the same time; they follow each other. The crops are high priced and desirable, but left to their own devices they turn into a hedge of brambles.
Bramble went in the show Celebrate Agriculture with the Arts in 2015 where it sold, and a second similar one sold as well!
This piece is designed to be reminiscent of butterfly trees in Pacific Grove, and the two combined elements make a Monarch Duet.
First, there’s a base made of heavy copper wire, like the branch of a tree, which is designed to display the piece. This base is suspended by a copper chain.
The second piece, layered on top of the branch, is a lariat-style chain with glass butterflies and copper wire. The gorgeous glass monarch wings by Kim Snider make a gentle tinkling sound and the Lucite whispers when they move. It has strategically-placed rings that allow you to mount it on the branch.
Together, these two pieces merge to be both a display and a wearable piece of jewelry into a single art work.
Measurements: The branch (base for display) measures 27″. The drop on the lariat is 5 1/2″, and the chain is 24″ adjustable to 25″. Counterbalance measures 2 1/2″.
Monarch Duet is available for purchase.
I created Morning Song for the art show, Celebrate Agriculture with the Arts in 2015. Inspired by the ag theme, I used this incredible white leghorn rooster bead by Joy Munshower as the focal.
Reds and rose gold highlight the splendor of this gorgeous, cocky guy. On one side of the necklace is braided wire and on the other, scrolled wire that represents his morning song.
The necklace has a fancy bail and cute, square jump rings–all in hand-forged sterling silver. The chain is matte, lead-free costume chain and accented with pink Lucite beads.
The back is finished with vintage glass beads. As is common with necklaces my work, shepard’s staff clasp in the back with counterbalance to keep it centered and stay in position.
The rooster focal bead measures 2″ x 1 3/8″. The necklace is 20″ long, but can be adjusted to an inch longer (21″). Counter balance is 2 1/2″ at the back.
Morning song is available for purchase.
Breastplate for Ninsun
Ninsun was a Sumerian deity whose name literally translated is Lady Wild Cow. She was an earth goddess and mother of Gilgamesh, a mythical Mesopotamian king and the divine power behind the qualities the herdsmen hoped for in their cows.
Having recently moved to a rural location and finding my art intertwined with our life and our livestock, it seemed right to create a organic piece with “pods and seeds” for the goddess who represents them.
The art glass focal beads by Gail Crossman Moore are set in free-form dimensional wire work. To balance the weight of this dramatic setting, beads are strategically placed at the back of the piece, creating a counter balance that falls gracefully down the wearer’s back. Simple, asymmetric links relate to the setting while allowing it to be the primary focus.
A breastplate is a device worn over the torso to protect it from injury, as an item of religious significance, or as an item of status. A breastplate is sometimes worn by mythological beings as a distinctive item of clothing.
Including accents, the full focal area is 3″ x 3 1/2″. Necklace/chain length adjusts 22-23″. Counterbalance hangs down 2 1/2″ down the back.
Breastplate for Ninsun is available for purchase.
Wire in Color - Pink
After working extensively in colored wire, using complex shapes and combinations in a sculptural format, I wanted to take these techniques back into wearable art. It started with a complex piece to wear to the opening of our Master Class Show. The next thing I considered was how can I share this with my students? I refined the techniques into a simpler format that I could replicate in a classroom. This is one sample for the class “Wire in Color — A Sculptural Necklace.”
Sculptural Wire Cuff - Fish!
This piece is another class sample. The focal bead is a Clown fish rendered by glass artist Cathi Milligan of Beadbrains.
Caged - A Wire Wrap to Capture Three Dimensional Objects
More class samples. Most of my classes come from pieces that I make for clients or myself. I want to share what I do with my students and teach them the work that I use and love. The technique is simple; a good place to try out your wire skills and the result is satisfying, you learn to create a handsome pendant. You can use this wrap to capture a bead, but the best part is you can wrap almost any object — no need for a hole.
Wire and Lampwork
My favorite things to work with are heavy silver wire and artists’ glass beads. You will see this combination frequently in my work. The beads featured in this necklace were made by
lampwork artists Gail Crossman Moore and Redside Designs.
Clearly Wire and Quartz
One of my favorite styles is a long necklace that ends in a tassel or two; this necklace fills the bill. Simple wire links are combined with shining quartz beads and Bali
cones and accents.
What do you wear to your own opening? After a year of study, the Master Class mounted a show of our work at the San Luis Obispo Art Center. How could I translate what I made into something to wear?
In addition, we all agreed that we would take beads we exchanged at Christmas and make something we could wear. These two things came together in a dramatic necklace that debuted at the opening of the Vista Point Artists Show.
How is She Wired? Coco
Starting in March 2005 I participated in a yearlong class to further my skills and focus on making art; a Master Class with NanC Meinhardt. Our assignment was to make a significant piece of artwork. I started the year wanting to work in mixed media — fiber, beads and wire. The class was filled with bead artists; there was a great deal of bead weaving and bead embroidery being created by the other members of the class. Although my own mastery was making things with wire, I kept trying to make beaded art. At the same time I started playing with colored wire. Up until this time I had used primarily silver wire, making jewelry. I started “doodling” in colored wire, making little “flowers” — small sculptures on a stem.
From small I started to think big. I thought about making a sculpture with wire, or embellishing an armature. How would that work? I was already fooling around with foam as a core for my mixed-media experiments; what if I used it as a base for a sculpture? A friend in the class came in with a wig form; when it didn’t work for her project, she offered it to me. Without thinking I started to cover this with wire. I modified the form, made a base and proceeded to wind, curl and apply various combinations of wire and beads to embellish the form; a technique I call wire embroidery.
The resulting sculpture is 10” X 10” X 10” on a copper-covered wood base. It is made with enamel coated copper wire coiled, twisted, formed and coaxed into pleasing lines and three-dimensional shapes that cover the form; in addition, resin, glass, and shell beads are also applied to the surface.
Framed - A Variation
I made this while developing a necklace design for a class. I often try different links and combinations until a piece comes together. Sometimes there is too much to teach in a single class, so a pared-down version becomes the class. The embellished version provides students a good example where they can take the design with some additional effort.
The focal point is a lampwork shell and the piece includes additional lampworked beads (three artists are represented) alternating with embellished, forged links. The necklace is about 24” but adjusts to your neckline by connecting the clasp to any link you choose.
This piece started with the purchase of beads made to look like butterfly chrysalis;
you can actually see the Monarch butterfly wings showing orange through the surface of the beads. Using these, I explored a number of ideas to show the transformation from chrysalis to butterfly. The design sat incomplete until one day I started making the “leaf”-shaped links for another project. At that moment I knew I had found the solution for showing the chrysalis and
butterfly among leaves and flowers.
The necklace is designed with links made of silver wire hand forged with pliers and hammered. These were assembled with beads, enameled copper wire and other decorative elements. The piece is large and dramatic, about 20” long and uses a counter balance at the back to help distribute the weight.