Sunday, January 15, 2006

contemplating creating "art nouveau"

I guess I’ll get some record written down about my attempt for a piece of jewelry in the Art Nouveau style for FSOJ. This was due back on the 4th, ten days ago, but it is only now beginning to take concrete form.

I was “studyin’ on the matter” off and on all week, to no final decision or plan. I knew I wanted something with wire, and leaves, and pearls, intertwined somehow. I thought about plans to do a copper-enameled form, but I’m really not set up for that right now. Finally I came up with a mental image of a form to make from my 8-gauge copper wire, to which to add polymer leaves and wires with some of my half-drilled pearls from MiGem.

The heavy wire would be wrapped as shown to secure it, then leaves and pearls attached there, or some pearls on wire stems twining up around the copper.

Well, that’s what I had kind of in mind, but life intervened and I didn’t physically work on it till this last week. Friday I made a skinner blend for the leaves, though I think it isn’t quite right yet. It’s illustrated in the “creating dragons” entry. It’s resting under plastic wrap right now. Then yesterday I set out to do the copper.


I knew it would be hard to manipulate. I would have been pleased to use 12-gauge. But 8-gauge is what I found a whole messy coil of down by the shop, years ago, and I’ve been mining it for utility, for hanging basket suspension, and for craft work ever since. I figured if I annealed it often enough I could make what I wanted.

It didn’t agree.

Eventually, together, we settled on a different design.

So, actually, I decided I liked this form more than my earlier idea (sour grapes?) and I sketched out a plan, including a bead in the small curled spot in the center.

But then, after I showed the frame and the sketch to Isabel, and was working back in her room to finish the piece that is for Week 16 (even though that one is late too, now), I chanced to see my sketch upside down, and I thought, “wait a minute, that WORKS.” Also that bead didn’t seem to add to the design, so I’m going to use a Hill Tribe dragonfly or butterfly. The dragonflies I have on hand actually have a very attenuated Art Nouveau look to them, I think.

So I think there’s finally a concrete plan. Still have to do most of the fabricating, though. I have NEVER thought so much before doing a piece before in my life, even my most planned patterned loomworked copperframed bead piece.


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