Inside the Studio with Humblebeads

Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you’ll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.
Congratulations to Marie, the Inquisitive Knitter!
You have won a flower pendant from the very talented Mary Harding. (I’m jealous!) Email Mary to claim your prize. 
Welcome to the Humblebeads Studio – again! 
It’s been a busy, crazy time over the last few weeks. I’ve been working on lots of behind the scene projects and working on new beads that will be heading to my Etsy shop soon. One of the themes that have been recurring lately in my beadmaking are borrowing techniques and inspirations from pottery. 
I’ve been a fan of Sgraffito for a while, it reminds me so much of block printing and uses a similar carving technique that I so enjoy. Sgraffito pottery are glazed with a dark glaze on leather hard clay, the dark glaze is carved away to create an image. I love the graphic and folk-inspired look of these pieces. 
Ceramic molds and impression-making techniques translate so nicely to polymer clay. I love the idea of creating your own stamps and molds to use as a beadmaker. In another life I would have been a ceramic beadmaking but I’m too darn impatient and want instant gratification and I’m so not techy and glazes seems like a science to me. Thank the bead gods for polymer clay! I can handle a toaster oven. 
Both the sgraffito and stamped beads above are part of a spring workshop that I’m teaching in May. You can see the details here. I’m sure I’ll be teaching these classes in other places too and hey, if you have a polymer clay guild or bead society in your area consider talking to them about having me out as a guest teacher. 
And my last bit of pottery influenced beads are these Wedgwood inspired beads, the ones with the white vines/leaves. I’ve been having fun making these bead totems in spring colors – inspired by Vanessa Bell’s paintings and her Charleston farmhouse

My question today is what other medium or craft influences and inspires your jewelry designs? Leave a comment to win one of the bird/Wedgwood sets like the ones above.

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24 Comment

  1. Kathy Lindemer
    March 20, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    In addition to polymer clay beads, I love ceramic beads. I think I like the texture that they both have. Your polymer clay beads are the best!

  2. Katherine Thompson
    March 20, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    Definetly ceramics and wood block print making. Does gardening count?

  3. Heather Powers
    March 20, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Thank you Kathy! I love both too and my house is filled with ceramic creations.

    Katherine gardening totally counts! What a great inspiration. Have you seen Angie Lewin's prints? She is one of my favs!

  4. Erin S
    March 20, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    I'm often inspired by shapes and colors in paintings. I did a whole series of pendants and charms based on the work of Rex Ray. LOVE the sgraffito beads, BTW.

  5. Catherine Sorensen
    March 20, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    I'm so glad you said that gardening counts, Heather! Our yard is filled with blooming plants most of the year & they are such an inspiration to me.

    As for other inspiration, when I do play around with polymer clay, I use techniques from metal stamping & papercrafting.

    I love the faceted beads & stamped pendants in particular of your new designs.

    ~ Catherine Sorensen

  6. Deb Fortin
    March 20, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    I am a paper crafter and i use the colour palettes in printed papers to inspire me.

  7. Alice
    March 20, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    As usual your beads are lovely.
    I'm often inspired by nature and the seasons.

  8. Lottie me
    March 20, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    I am mostly inspired by looking at other artists blogs, and Pin interest, and nature. The hard part is creating what is in my mind's eye. I need to make time to practice more

  9. Chrys Art Glass
    March 21, 2015 at 3:03 am

    I'm a lampwork glass bead creator, but have recently dabbled in ceramics and love the Sgraffito technique. I'm usually inspired to use a floral/geometric type of design a bit like zentangling.
    Love your birds in the first images.

  10. Divya N
    March 21, 2015 at 10:02 am

    I am a fashion designer by qualification so colors and textiles are my strength which I carry forward on to jewelry making

  11. Sarajo Wentling
    March 21, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    Heather, I just can't put into words how in love with those Sgraffito beads I am! They are so different from your bright, colorful beads yet still so very you. I'll be stalking your shop for sure!!

    I think that I have a bad case of design ADD sometimes and inspiration comes from many directions. Shiny! Pretty! Since breaking out of monochromatic mode is hard for me I'm often inspired by the mix of colors in a ceramic or lampwork bead and go from there!

  12. Karen Z
    March 21, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    Sketching, with watercolor and pen, provides the color inspirations and sometimes the designs. But I find beads and findings that are right off my sketchbook pages, frequently.

  13. Mara
    March 21, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    Lovely work!
    I seek inspiration in paintings, needle-work embroidery and paper crafts. Also, in music, if that counts…

  14. Leah Curtis
    March 21, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    I love your Sgraffito inspired work! I'm also inspired by ceramics; more so glazed ceramics. Glass is an inspiration as well, and I'd love to translate that more to my polymer clay. Another inspirational art form is wood carving. I love how the effect translates to clay, and it's very therapeutic to carve.

  15. Jean Wright
    March 21, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    Love the impressions and the birds are so cute.. Good question, really made me think but the craft that has influenced my jewellery most is cake decorating both in terms of ideas and my approach to design.

  16. Teresa D.
    March 22, 2015 at 2:55 am

    I have just fallen in love with those adorable beads! I am going to have to check out your studio! Please, don't exclude me from the giveaway 🙂
    I would say that the other medium that inspires me is gemstones! I love what our earth creates! It always amazes me what comes out of the ground!

  17. freshbakeddesigns
    March 22, 2015 at 3:27 am

    Nature, yes! But also fabric and textiles.
    Thanks, Heather…love your work!

  18. Ann Schroeder
    March 22, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    I love looking at textile arts – the colors, mood and textures are very inspiring. The sgraffito beads are fantastic!

  19. Carol Briody
    March 22, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Your new creations are lovely, Heather! It was so refreshing to see a ton of color in your post today…I am soooo ready for Spring! Looking at fiber has always been inspiring to me..all the pretty new yarns, embroidery threads or fabrics that become available with the changes in Seasons or the new Seasonal Pantone color palettes. And color!

  20. Rachel Lyons
    March 22, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    Love the white on bright look! I'm on my way to my corner cabinet in dining room for some fresh inspiration!

  21. beadrecipes
    March 23, 2015 at 8:09 am

    My Mum is a potter, and I think that's why I am so drawn to clay creations, whether they are polymer or ceramic clay. Part of it is the texture, part of it is the choice of colours, and I find that clay beads inspire so many different designs.

  22. Kathy
    March 24, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    I absolutely love all of the beads you pictured. They are all adorable and the lino-cut inspired ones–fantastic! Thanks for sharing.
    -Kathy of PajegoArtHouse

  23. gloria allen
    March 25, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    I wish you were close enough so I could take a class, gorgeous beads.

  24. gloria allen
    March 25, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Silly me disregard earlier post, I didn't answer the question. I am inspired by the colors and textures of beads, filigree's, and flowers.

Comments are closed.