Friday, June 3, 2011


by Kelli Pope

Izzy's interview this week got me thinking about how we create. I once interviewed with Mary Ann also, and she asked me too, if I sketch out ideas ahead of time. At the time it seemed like a strange question to me, as I'd never done it. I just sit down and create. I let components, colors, shapes inspire me. Sometimes I get a "vision" of a piece when I'm not in the studio, and will sketch something out, but it's really just an idea to follow later. Usually a component, or shape, not a road map for the finished product. I like to let the creativity flow. BUT, I realize, what allows me to do that is wonderful, inspiring handmade beads and components. Many people purchase something and create with it. I'm more of a "collector". I like to hunt, gather, stash, THEN create. I see wonderful pieces I just MUST have, but it often takes months before they inspire me to create with them. Sometimes my own handmade metal components create the "spark".

I just made these earrings for myself this weekend from GORGEOUS enameled copper discs from our own Maire Dodd. I bought these months and months ago, but just wasn't sure what I'd do with them. (wore them today Mary Jane and got LOADS of compliments!!)

This piece was inspired by the bird. I bought some of these locally in January from Caroline Zama, but wasn't sure what to do with them. I think the recycled glass, ceramic beads from Gaea, and clay beads from HumbleBeads work perfectly with it.

This one is actually from my own ceramic beads. I've had these for months also. They were just waiting patiently for the right "spark" to hit me.

And finally, this lovely focal bead is from JulsBeads. I bought it last year. The large enameled turquoise bead is from Barbara Lewis, and worked WONDERFULLY with it. (That I've had a while, too)

What inspires you?


MaCarroll Beads said...

Beautiful as always, Kelli!!! As for sketching, I'm not one to do that either, but lately I have tried to sketch a bead/pendant if something inspires me. I do that because if I don't..... I forget that I even had the inspiration! ;o) MaryAnn

Izzy said...

Oh goodness, if I had to chose a favorite I couldn't, they are all beautiful!

VanBeads said...

That's some stunning jewelry, Kelli! I get a lot of my inspiration from vintage jewelry (particularly the 1920s - 1940s) and from historic jewelry that I see in museums. Another great place for me to get ideas is the auction catalog for the big auction houses - Christie's, Southeby's - they all have their catalogs online where you can browse the jewelry and art.

Sometimes it's the focal piece itself that inspires the finished piece of beadwork. When I use a cabochon or bead from Lisa Peters, I draw my color palette and textures from the cabochon or focal bead. I recently saw another ceramic bead in an Etsy shop that has me inspired to stitch a necklace of beaded vegetables!

I've also found inspiration in looking at the feathers of my chickens - the colors and textures are great for coming up with fringe patterns for my beaded necklaces. Go figure!

Noemi said...

Oh my! I am the same!
My husband keeps telling me that I should use what I´ve got before buying any more stash, but I don´t work that way!
I need to have things around and then it just clicks on my head what I want to make.
I also carry a mini notebook just in case that I get an idea for something and I am not home, so I don´t want to forget the idea.
I wouldn´t even call it a sketch. Just scribble something that will remind me what I had in mind.
And as soon as I get home I have to make it, no matter the time, I just need to at least get it started to see if it works as well in real as it did in my mind.

mairedodd said...

thank you kelli for showing all of your beautiful work and using some of my enameled pieces in it... i do have a journal that i keep at my bedside in case i get any ideas before i drift off to sleep... it's amazing isn't it? the catalog we keep in our heads of the beads and components we own? and how all of a sudden, like a line of dominoes, you can get inspired by one and the rest falls into place? my more recent work has to do with how to express a feeling or thought...

Patty said...

Beautiful work Kelli! I think that most of my inspiration comes from nature - the way that moss grows on a tree trunk, the way the desert mountains meet the sea, and the way everything is reaching for the sky in my garden right now. I share your process of keeping treasured materials around until they tell me exactly what to do with them.

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