Thursday, June 12, 2014

Valeta's Gears Bangle Commission


The gears bangle has been on my radar for some time, the problem (I think for a lot of artists) is when the person your making the commission for says that it's not a rush, then it takes a very very long time to move to the front of the "to do" line.  So it kept getting put on the back burner, but once this piece was taking up one of my pistol cases it was time to get it done!


I had done a sample gear from the pattern that I had graphed out first. (above)  I was concerned that the peyote stitch that I use on these bangles wouldn't hold a gear shape well.  Luckily, Valeta had a jpg of a slew of gear shapes that she often uses in her design work which gave me a much better direction on this piece.  I wanted the gears to layer some, but not so much that it was overwhelming and you couldn't tell they were gears. Valeta helped me narrow down some colors and I was excited to find that she likes all metallics, including gold, her watch that she wears is a good example.

As a break from the intense beading I was doing at my artist's residency I finally started in on Valeta's gears bangle.  The first 3 rows are always the hardest and need a lot of concentration in the counting off of the graph, so it was a nice break from the more free-form sculptural beading that I was working on at Blueberry View.

I ran out of the light grey beads that I used as a base for this piece, so I was in a holding pattern until I could place another order from Fire Mountain Gems.  I had to prep for the St. Petersburg Chain class that I was teaching at Interlochen which included ordering a few more bead options for my students so it was perfect timing to make sure I had all of the beads I needed for the gears bangle.


Once I got home from teaching, I started to pile up jewelry to get over to the Lansing Art Gallery.  I try to do this a week in advance in case I need to make a few more earrings or fillers for the color grouping.  I thought about adding a bracelet, but then I chose to focus on Valeta's bangle before jumping into another piece of jewelry.  Remember that I 'm making less jewelry this year?  :)


So this this past weekend, between house projects, was a perfect time to finish this bangle.  I really love how it turned out, so does Valeta (I stole the above photo off of her Facebook page today).


While I was at Blueberry View I did have the compulsion to start to time the amount of time I put into various types of work. Whether its beading jewelry, working on beaded sculpture, even the amount of time I put into being on the computer for artwork-related work (the timer is running right now).  Based on my spreadsheet this piece took about 30 hours. I don't exactly capture every single moment, but I have downloaded an app on my phone that lets me keep track of time, pause, and attach the time to different projects.  I hope it will give me a more realistic idea of time frames on work and how much I really am working (I did over 100 hours in just short of two weeks at Blueberry View!).

So sometimes when I finish a large piece of jewelry, I really like the colors and will make a quicker piece to add to my rotating inventory.  The below mixed seed bead bangle in grey, white and blacks came from Valeta's beads for the most part.  I do this before sort all of the beads back into their containers and prepare my case to v\be available for the next project.

Mixed Seed Bead Bangle  $70.00


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