Published December 7, 2012
Tags: chicken feathers, jewellery, resin
Right at the end of our journey to the Highland Cattle Farm I picked up a feather from the ground near the chicken pen. ‘Can I keep this?’ I asked a bemused Kim, ‘Uh, sure’. Of course I had plans (evil laughter, ok no, not really, but check this out):
The feather was carved up and preserved into 1″ bezels using jewellery grade resin for some truly unique and lovely jewellery. Both pieces are Christmas gifts :) I can’t say for whom…. who am I to ruin Christmas?
Inspiration comes in the craziest places, doesn’t it?
Published November 27, 2012
Tags: flowers, jewellery, keepsake, resin, wedding
Blog death yet again – but this time it’s not my fault. My computer has been on the blink, and I have been in and out of Apple stores trying to get this resolved. I am starting to feel dubious about ‘genius’ being a job title… but I digress.
I have been busy though, and today’s post is about the birthday gift I made for my newly wed friend Kris. At the end of the wedding, while everyone was drunk and distracted, I absconded with a few petals from her bouquet. Sneaky, no? Here was the bouquet:
And here are the results:
Like all my resin work, this is jeweller’s grade resin. It will never yellow, or fade. I thought it would make a sweet keepsake for her – so even after the rest of the bouquet has been dried she can wear and remember the original colours of her wedding day :)
Published November 2, 2012
Inspira , Jewelry
Tags: autumn, jewellery, necklace, resin
Well, not quite. There are still leaves up there but I’d say the sweet spot for leaf preservation has passed.
And that’s the ‘why’ of the matter for me – Autumn is beautiful and magical because it passes. The trees give us a treat for a few weeks and then it’s over. More than spring, more than summer, there is a nowness to autumn – you’ve got to enjoy every beautiful, colourful jewel of a day because, well because winter is on it’s way.
This is why, of all the things I’ve preserved in resin, autumn leaves are the most precious to me. I have taken something transitional by nature and preserved a piece of it. No matter how many times I do it, it always feels a little bit like magic, especially when my stash of leaves begins the inevitable – turning into dust.
Another reason I love these pieces is that they’re pieces of home. They’re Canadian maple leaves, collected here in Ontario. The fact that we have 4 seasons is one of the things that makes life up here so beautiful and inspiring and I love being able to create something not only inspired by, but made of, seasonal change.
Enough babbling :) I’m in a romantic mood this morning, maybe because tomorrow is the big wedding day for Kris and Kev! We all got our mendhi (henna) handwork done last night, and we’re all excited for tomorrow!
There will likely be only one more round of jewellery coming after this one, and then I’ll retire the resin until tulip season in the spring. Check out my Etsy shop to see what’s available :)
A few more additions to the Etsy site tonight – still in the resin zone! Last summer we found a monarch butterfly in the grass that had been eaten by a bird. The bird left the wings behind. I know it sounds kinda gross, but I folded the wings into some paper and slipped them into my wallet, knowing I would do something with them later.
I would never hurt a living thing to make art – so I couldn’t pass up the chance to get my hands on perfect monarch wings! I also put in a few floral pieces based on some tulips I preserved last spring. I had taken the summer off working with resin… clearly I missed it!
Published March 15, 2012
Tags: flowers, jewllery, petals, resin, tulips
Today I polished off more of the tulips I preserved a few weeks ago -and used the left over resin to make something cute for myself :)
Too often I only keep a piece for myself if it’s damaged somehow. Today I decided to treat myself by creating the ultimate Shireen piece! Of course it had to be turquoise, with antique copper and lots of filigree. I ended up cutting a piece of cloth for the background and I adore the results. You can see from my previous attempts to make myself something that I’m very predictable in my personal tastes ;) If you guys like this look, let me know! I’m happy to make more :)
I decided to add in 2 pendants this time, one in silver and one in antique copper with hand-molded filigree for a more romantic feeling.
I also went with a different shape in rings this time. I have very small hands, so the square and round rings look a bit large on me. This design is much more streamlined and suites a wider variety of hand shapes.
Each piece of one of a kind – preserved using a technique that literally took me years and many failed attempts to perfect. You should see the piles of fail that still litter my old jewellery stashes, I keep them to remind myself of how far I’ve come with resin treatments.
If you like what you see here, check out my Etsy page for more!
Published March 1, 2012
Tags: jewellery, resin, tulips
When I came home on valentines day these were waiting for me on the bedside table :)
Of course before they died I had to put a few away for jewellery. I preserved them and finally had a chance to make something of them this week.
This is a 2 inch wide silver plated bezel on a white gold chain. The tulip petals are preserved perfectly inside using jeweller’s grade resin. Can anyone guess what book I’m using as a background? Here’s a hint: ‘Take me with you, for laughs, for luck, for the unknown. Take me with you’.
I love how vibrant the colours in the tulips stayed. After I had preserved them they had an almost metallic sheen to them. The texture is just gorgeous.
I also did silver plated cuff-style bracelets. The bezel in this case is 21mm square x 5mm deep. The centre of the tulip was used for this; they had deep purple centres that retained their colours beautifully!
This front-on view shows the pattern well. I arrange my compositions before I preserve them, so there is a minimum of fussing with the afterwards. The pieces are very delicate, more so than with preserved leaves.
The piece of pottery I’m shooting on is a piece by Phillis McCulloch from Clay Design here in Toronto. She is an extremely experienced and talented potter :) This piece is a 21mm square bezel ring, also silver plated. I love the variety of colours and tones in this one.
I also did 1 round piece – this one is 21mm in diameter. The shape is lovely, though I confess I’m partial to the square designs.
Sometimes you just hit a sweet spot – I’m really happy with how this round of jewellery turned out and sorry that I only made 4 pieces. I kept over some of the tulips, a light pink series that I’ll be starting this weekend. I’ll be aiming for more necklaces this time as well. Stay tuned :)
Published February 7, 2012
Tags: hyacinth, jewellery, pendants, resin, rings
I love hyacinths. Love love love. I love the scent, I love the colours, I love the shape of the little flowers, they are my very favourite flower. Tito found one for me at a Sobeys and brought it home – and of course before the blooms were done I had to press a few and make some jewellery :)
Preparing the hyacinth is tough. The blooms are small and delicate, and lose their colour if allowed to dry out too much. Press them too soon however and the juices in the petal make it stick to your pressing surface. I definitely had to work to find a sweet spot.
I love how these turned out – the colours are just gorgeous! The texture of the petals came through as well. I’ll definitely try this again, but with one of the bluer tones.
The care of a potted hyacinth is very easy, but I was dismayed to find out that store-bought indoor plants will really only bloom once. Something about the way the bulb is treated ‘forces’ it to bloom out of season and the result is a plant that will not bloom again afterwards. I don’t have a lot of experience with plants – does anyone know if this is true? Should I keep watering the plant, or say goodbye to it? So long as it looks alive I’m keeping it, even if it doesn’t bloom again. Anything else would feel mean.
The one above was a lark – I made that by crushing dried petals from the already dead blooms and mixing them in with the resin. The colour wasn’t retained as well, but the texture is interesting and I thought it was a worthwhile experiment.
Next up will be experiments using orchids, which I’ve never managed to keep alive, so I’m really crossing my fingers here ;)