Tag: new work

Refining Designs and Making Round Beads

Last month before the world ended – I’m joking here but it feels like it, some days, with the complete disruption from the pandemic – I revamped a cane design I had in my shop. I had made what I called zinnias, previously. They were perfectly good canes but they did not look like the crazy, multi petaled fluffs that are regular zinnias. Then, while trying to decide what to do with some blends in my box, I realized I had a better idea of how to approach it. Turns out I did have a better idea! I made four new zinnias in pretty much one go and they make me so happy. You can grab them in my Etsy shop, too (insert mandatory plug).

The fourth is a little muddy because I made it with this fabulous 3 colour blend rather than the higher contrast you get with a single colour to white. Next time I’ll do 3 blends. It’s still beautiful… just not the same style as the others.

Then it got a little crazy in the real world as #flattenthecurve got going, markets started collapsing, and we all started gluing ourselves to the news. A few weeks later it’s not less stressful but there’s starting to be mental space to be creative again as I adjust to the new reality. I cranked out a few zinnia themed round beads and I have to say they are such cheery little things. And I took photos while making them because I’d resolved I would be writing a lot more on my blog and the internet while we were social distancing. The photos now make up the revamp of my Making Round Beads tutorial which is what I point out to everyone who asks me how to use the canes I sell.

I hope all you guys out there are able to hold onto the creative spark, whatever that looks like for you!

I Made Sparrows

I’ve been making beads and claythings a long time. I have plenty of good inspiration, some pretty original and successful designs… but sometimes the customers have great ideas. An administrator for a medical program saw some of my bird beads and asked if she could have sparrows. I have some plain brown birds I call sparrows but I wanted more realistic “house sparrows” (the ones that eat about half the seeds from my small bird feeder). And so I made them.

Other good customer ideas over the years: soccer and baseballs, cardinals, about half the colour schemes of beads I sell, some of the flag beads.

Have your customers and patrons helped you find New Things?

Building New Work

I joke to the parents of the kids I teach that drawing is the gateway drug for art. I’m probably at least partly right though. I make dimensional objects but I almost always start out with sketches or doodles of what I have in mind and then progress through prototypes in clay or branching off from previous, successful designs.


This week I also lucked out and have extra help to blend a whole pile of my on hand clay into great colour mixes. My clay mixer prefers doing this part rather than doing the more complicated construction tasks so I’ll end the week with a lot of good starting materials ready to continue those design ideas with.

Pile of Blends