A Parliament of Owls

An image very commonly seen recreated in art bead form is that of the humble owl. Renowned as a symbol of wisdom, owls seem to hold within them that winning combination of reverence and whimsy; sophistication and humour. I love that the collective noun is a parliament – it goes so well with the idea of their quiet wisdom, but with the twinkle you just know that the art beads at any rate, have in their wee eyes. I can’t get enough of them, and I thought I’d share some of my as yet unused parliament with you.
Centre circle going clockwise – Tesori Trovati, SummerStudio, Tree Wings StudioSoul Silver.
I love that each of these is so recognisably an owl, but they are all so different – especially the five polymer clay owls! Two beads, two pendants and one polymer charm. Each has it’s own character and mood – you can just read it in their faces and their wide eyes! 
Here are just a few of my favourite favourites:
Soul Silver
Sally is an glass artist based in my homeland of Scotland. Her glassy creations are truly astonishing and she is quickly becoming one of my very favourite bead artists to work with. Along with owls, her signature dolls are popular in her easy shop, but watch out too for her wee elephant beads that pop up from time to time! I have a selection of Sally’s owls and one of my favourite things about her winged creatures is that she doesn’t feel restrained by the colours that nature prescribed. This beautiful pink and blue owl is the perfect example of that, and quite possible my favourite Soul Silver owl so far. I love the eyebrow decoration – there’s something a little bollywood about this one!
Daisy Chain Extra

He’s come out a little fuzzy in the photographic wash, but trust me, Jo’s limited edition antique copper owl clasp is a beauty. I believe she originally designed him for one of Lori Anderson’s Bead Soup Blog Parties (check out her blog for details of the next event which is just around the corner!) and then decided to make a few more for her component shop. I was lucky enough to snag one, I hope he’ll be happy with his owly friends for a little longer as I’m just not ready to use him yet! Special pieces which I know I may not be able to work with again usually hang around in my bead stash for a good while…

Round Rabbit
And speaking of special pieces which I know I may not be able to get my hands on again due to their limited nature……this unglazed owl is a couple of years old now, but still absolutely one of my favourite Round Rabbit pieces from my ever-growing collection. However, can you see my problem? He’s been kept alongside some other art beads and goodness, he needs a good wash now! Anyone have any tips on cleaning unglazed porcelain? If not, he might just have to stay with me forever – a little dusty but well-loved nonetheless.
Do you have a favourite image that you can’t help but covet when in art bead form? Do owls capture your imagination like they do mine?

Rebecca is a Scottish jewellery designer and singer, currently living in Manchester, England. You can read more about beads and singing at her blog, songbeads.blogspot.com and see more of her jewellery at songbead.etsy.com.

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14 Comment

  1. SummersStudio
    July 24, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Owls are one of my favorite images in any form and as it happens I have a lampwork owl from Louise at GlassDaft that I can't part with. He keeps me company in my studio.

    1. Rebecca
      July 25, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      I have a feeling that is what's going to happen with some of these for sure!

  2. Saturday Sequins
    July 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    What a wonderful assortment of owls! The owls happens to be one of my favorites, too — in fact, I have a beautiful polymer clay owl from Mary Ellen Parker of Bee Tree By M.E. I recently made him a necklace to nest in, and he looks very happy. 🙂

    1. Rebecca
      July 25, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      Ooh, thanks for that sequins – I will have to go and check that link out – you can't have enough owls, lol!

  3. Shelby Foxwell
    July 24, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Love owls! Such a beautiful assortment!

    1. Rebecca
      July 25, 2012 at 1:17 pm

      Thanks Shelby!

  4. Mary Hicks
    July 24, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Oh, Rebecca, I love owls. My mother used to collect tiny owl figurines, and when she died, my dad heartlessly made me gather them all and give them to charity, along with her clothes and all personal effects. It broke my heart, and since, I have loved owls even more than when my mom inspired me. Thanks for sharing your parliament. I think I might only have a dinner party worth of owls myself, LOL.

    1. Rebecca
      July 25, 2012 at 1:18 pm

      Oh Mary! What a sad story. I am glad that you have kept the connection with your mother in collecting new owls at any rate. I hope they make you smile!

  5. Shel
    July 24, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Owls are one of my totem animals – I just love them, but don't really use them in my designs. Instead I hoard them! Nice assortment – I'm sure I couldn't part with any of those!

  6. Shel
    July 24, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Owls are one of my totem animals – I just love them. I don't use many in my designs, but instead I hoard them. You've got a wonderful assortment here and I'm sure I wouldn't be able to part w/any of these!

    1. Rebecca
      July 25, 2012 at 1:20 pm

      Shel, I'm not totally sure I will be able to part with them! Some of these are definitely destined for my printer's
      Drawer of curiosities…

  7. TesoriTrovati
    July 27, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    What a sweet assortment Miss Rebecca! I love how different each one is. They all have a distinct personality to be sure! Enjoy the day. Erin

  8. Karen Williams
    July 27, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    I just love the collective nouns! The imagery is so fun. One of my favorites is a murmuration of starlings.

    Your parliament looks quite wise, but not at all staid! What a wonderful collection!

  9. A Polymer Penchant
    July 27, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Hi Rebecca – say this and thought of you.. Ack my phone won't let me point the link. I just saw one of those round rabbit owls in fFor my sweet daughter's zibbet shop

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