My friend Nikki Thornburg of Thornburg Bead Studio travels up and down the east coast US for bead shows. Whenever she is doing a show in close proximity to my house (Delaware) she stops up a day or two early and we have time to collaborate and work on some projects together.
She is making these really cool layered pendants for necklaces with her glass flower beads, and is layering my spiral textured discs with them.
And as you can see in the image above, the silver wire is textured.
Not only because it looks cool, but also to work harden the metal so it creates a supportive background for all of the pieces wire wrapped on there.
She first lays out a collection of beads and fiddles with the overall layout, knowing that as she works the metal, it will change slightly, and she goes with the flow...
She has this great hammer with texture on the head (seems like we all have some great textured hammers that carry our story with them, and that gets transferred into each piece).
And she works the metal in her lap, turning the wire as she goes.
Always thinking about overall form.
She then uses a combination of her handmade headpins, wire loops and the like to attach the flower beads to her frame structure. She does it in ways that holds the textured metal wire together and gives the frame a really great sturdy feel.
I really love have time to watch her work.
She has these and similar pieces on display (and for sale) at her shows, and is extremely happy and willing to chat about the way she puts these together to make sure that your efforts are successful.
And I'm very excited to be going out to the Bead and Button Show this June with her to sell my work in her booth. It's been years since I've been out there to sell...
So make sure to stop by if you are going - we'll be in booth #610, which is a new location for her booth in 2013.
Which I jokingly said - you know - if your booth is now closer to the front of the show, right behind the Kalmbach book and magazine booth, nearest to the show exit, we are so in a prime spot for people to quick run over and shop.
I know I would always cruise those booths and tables by the exit while waiting for friends to meet up.
And of course, I'm always inspired by watching Nikki work when she is here and it makes me want to break out of "bead making" mode and work on finished jewelry ideas.
Don't you think these pieces would look awesome on Brenda Schweder's necklace?
I cannot wait to get back and work more on those ideas...
I love to be inspired by learning how to work materials.
My goal is to make work that I picture in my head with materials I learn to use in the highest level of craftsmanship possible from my hands (which means getting through lots of failures, or rather, lots of learning steps...).
Where do you find your inspiration?