Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Inspired by Reading May Blog Hop...

You might be scratching your head and checking your calendar after reading the title of this post.  Due to the holiday, we ended up postponing the Reveal and Meet-up for May's selection, "A Rumor of Gems" by Ellen Steiber, until today.

I think this was an excellent selection for our purposes.  The book was richly studded with detailed descriptions, providing a wealth of imagery to choose from.  One could easily spend weeks upon weeks just re-creating the jewelry worn by the characters in the novel.

I really enjoyed the book.  I found it easy to get immersed in the story and the lore of the land.  Many of the gods and references were familiar, making this fantasy story seem closer to home and less alien.  Steiber was successful in portraying a host of flawed characters, each caught in a glittering web of mystery and adventure.

At the in-person meet-up at Allegory Gallery, we had a lot of fun!  I made a chai spiced cake and served up some Rainier cherries and rock candy from Scamp's Toffee.  The cake was inspired by the scene where Lucinda is having tea on Kama's barge.  From the description, it sounded like chai to me.  The cherries were a nod to the "flavor of the city" in the mysterious liqueur served to Marcus and Tyrone.  It was an intimate crowd again, but still a nice way to spend an evening.  Laurel Ross and I were joined by a local named Amy.  She saw the article in the paper and wanted to check it out.  Unfortunately Terri Greenwalt couldn't make it.

Without further ado... here's the REVEAL!

Here's what Laurel made.  She repurposed some jewelry components she had, like the gemstone rounds, the moonstone pendant, and the spiral links.  She then spray painted the dragon, mounted an opal on it, and dangled it on the necklace for thematic whimsy.  

I think she did a great job!  Not only did she use a lot of imagery from the book, but she created a lovely piece with a lot of movement and playfulness.  I really like the wrapped links in the wire chain and dangle posts.
Here's what I made.  I sculpted a stylized version of the jade dragon out of polymer clay.  To make the sculpture, I made the wing separately, using an armature of wire and thinly rolled out translucent polymer clay.  (In the light, you see the translucence of the wing better.)  I used Swarovski crystals to create the topaz eyes.  

I used peyote stitch to create a collar for the winged creature to hang from the necklace.  The necklace is composed of wire-wrapped jade barrels and African brass rolled metal tube beads.

Originally, the dragon had a more "jade-like" appearance.  I used a translucent polymer clay with veins of green clay.  It seemed a little monochromatic though and the details disappeared, so I got out the Vintaj patinas and the Golden Acrylics and went to town!  Instead of jade, it looks more like "yellow turquoise" to me.  Oh well.  I still like the dragon and think it's very cute.

Check out what others created with "A Rumor of Gems" in mind:

Here are some pieces created by artists for last month's book that didn't get an opportunity to participate in the blog hop:

Here are some stylized lampwork glass hearts from Patti Cahill of Dyed in the Fire.  Aren't they amazing!  I love the patterning and the unusual hanging bails

This is a piece created by Rita Romito-Digiacomo.  I really like how she's paired the softness of the ribbon with the structure of the chain.  I also like the moon face charm and think it's perfect!  The title of last month's book was, "Paris to the Moon".

The next book for the Inspired by Reading Book Club is, "The Bucolic Plague" by Josh Kilmer-Purcell.  For the full list for the year, CLICK HERE.  The Reveal and in-person meet up is Tuesday, June 25th.  The meet up will take place at Allegory Gallery from 6PM to 9PM.  If you're interested in keeping up with what we're doing, CLICK HERE to visit her Facebook group page.


Jenny said...

Thanks Andrew! It was a great book selection, and I do love having the list of books in advance. Very convenient.

Laurel - I love the components you repurposed, the spiral links are great! The dragon does crack me up, a surprise perched on your shoulder...

Andrew - your dragon is perfection. I was tempted to do a dragon in polymer as well, since polymer is my latest Muse. I was planning it curled around a moonstone... Perhaps I need to do this one also. Your colors are gorgeous. The body, simple, stylized is perfect to be wearable, yet you have lovely detail n the head. And a peyote collar - naturally!

Fantastic month! I look forward to seeing the others!

Mary K. McGraw said...

I enjoyed the book also and thought it was a great choice for this group.

Laurel's repurposed necklace projects the feeling of the book and like the dragon.

Love your dragon Andrew. I looked on like for a dragon but none seemed right. But your creation is just perfect.

Naomi Rose Designs said...

I just love all of the prices you featured.

Sarajo Wentling said...

Love that both your piece and Laurel's have dragons! Both are very fun! Thanks again for organizing all this... wish I lived close enough to come visit and play in person!

Mary Harding said...

Andrew thank you for another stellar month in your Inspired by Reading Book Club. I love your dragon: it is cute, friendly, and beautifully crafted. I think the peyote collar is so fitting!! I love the dragon in the book and yours is such a great image to remember him by.
Laurel, Your necklace is so delicate with the lacy rounds and gemstones. You dragon is adorable and so fun as a charm hanging out in all that finery!! A great piece!!
Thanks to all who have contributed to this month's creative adventure. The best book club ever!!

Jeanne @ Gems By Jeanne Marie said...

Andrew, you have penned the perfect synopsis for the book!
I love your whimsical dragon1 I can picture him perched on Alasdair or Lucinda's shoulder.

Laurel, I love your use of the dragon too! Those great dangles remind me of keys and bring to mind the doors in the courtyard that Alasdair has to choose from.

I am so so thrilled to be part of this amazingly creative group and hope to be able to participate in June.

Stories They Tell said...

Some amazing work here-- thank you, Andrew, for hosting this. I've been sketching and I may be able to get something made before Christmas! 'Way too much to do around this farm in the spring. Thanks for posting all the work and I, too, love the intimate size of the group.