Monday, September 25, 2017

Art Nouveau and More Sunflowers!

As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, I decided to participate in some of the monthly jewelry/art bead challenges - I added one requirement for myself, that the main beads/pendants/etc. have to be made by me.  This is mainly to jump start my ceramic work and get me thinking in different ways than I've become used to!

If you love art beads and jewelry made with them and haven't yet discovered Art Bead Scene Studio, quickly check them out.  Whether you make jewelry, collect beads, or just like to look at gorgeous pictures, you'll love them!  They have a challenge each month based on an artwork and this month's was to create jewelry and/or art beads inspired by Eugene Seguy's print Insects, inspired by the styles of art nouveau and art deco.

There were so many directions this one could go in!  I decided to focus on art nouveau aesthetics, with their soft, flowing curved lines and inspiration from nature - this fits in perfectly with my style.  Insects were a popular theme, especially butterflies, and I seem to be in somewhat of a deconstructing mood this month, so I chose to use a butterfly wing.  After several mis-fires on how to decorate the wing, I went back to art nouveau's focus on nature and plants and printed the wings with leaves and Queen Anne's Lace.  I added a bronze glazed, raised relief bead to give it bit of a metal feel.

I loved these so much I had to make a necklace using the Queen Anne's Lace butterfly wing and the glazed bead.

The final challenge of the month was another one to create jewelry using sunflowers for the September Honey Do List.  This time I went in a more traditional direction and created a spacer which I then glazed in the Majolica tradition.  This is generally thought to have started in 15th century Italy and involves painting terracotta clay with a white tin glaze and then decorating over it with pigments.  I use a matte white that's non-toxic and paint over with underglazes and stains.  Traditionally, the back is left unfinished or is burnished to show the terra cotta, but that doesn't wear well, so I cover mine with a clear glaze.  These are the spacers I created ...

... and this is the bracelet I designed using one of them.  I used a little leaf accent bead, jadeite beads, and silk sari ribbon.

I just have to add a bit to my post about doing these challenges.  They seem to be working at getting my creative processes jump started!  After a walk in the forest and focusing on the forest floor, I came back and made a few more pieces that are inspired by nature but are not as much in realism as I have been working.

I've updated the shop to add the art nouveau inspired pendants/bead sets and a few sunflower spacers.  I'm currently working on more forest floor pieces and have put up the ones I have finished so far!

Happy Creating!  Deborah


  1. Oh, I love all the beads you made this month!! Those butterfly wing inspired beads are awesome and have such a delicate feel to them. Your sunflower beads are super happy and the bracelet you made with the one is just lovely. A little bit of sunshine for your wrist! Thanks for jumping in and playing along with us this month. I hope you'll check back on October 1st to see what Eric dreams up for us next!

    1. Thank you! And I'm anxiously awaiting to see what October's challenge is!

  2. I really like the sunflower beads you made! And the bracelet is really fun and summery.

    1. Thank you! It makes me wish it were summer again ... although I do love autumn!