Inside the Studio with Mary Harding

Welcome to Inside the Studio!

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 Karen L.
You have won a pair of Lustre, Frosted, Opal handwoven beads from Rebecca of Songbeads
Please send Rebecca an email with your information.
I am  pleased to open my studio to you on this cold but sunny winter day and share what I have been up to lately.

Hearts ready to be glazed.  This is a picture of the back of the hearts
A forest of heart ready to be glazed looking out my studio window into the winter snow
Like many others this time of year, I have been making hearts.

Close up of hand painted heart ready for the clear glaze
Metal Hearts  Solder Stamped
Ceramic Hearts — Fronts of some of the ones in the first picture
A  Wire Wrought Heart
A Hand Cut Heart
A  Wire Heart
I have also been experimenting with Gelli Plate printing  on wet ceramic clay, as opposed to hand
painting the clay as in these pendants and earring charms below.   
Hand painted with glazes which makes for bright colors—earring charms
 Gelli Plate Printed  Earring Charms  One Firing  Light colors
So that is what I have been up to lately.  You can find the Ceramic Hearts and Small Metal Hearts  in my Etsy Shop  this morning
The Question and the Prize
Since it is so cold today, a weather question comes to mind.  What season do find inspires you to be most creative? and Why??  Leave a comment below and you will be entered to win a pair of ceramic hearts.  I find that winter inspires me the most, even though it is very cold where I live, because there are fewer distractions and more time for creating.  I look forward to reading your answers.
Thanks so much for stopping by.
Winter Sunrise

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37 Comment

  1. Colleen
    January 30, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    I think late summer and fall may be my most "inspiring" time. Winter is either crazy with holidays or gearing up for our crazy time at work. Spring is crazy time at work, working long hours. Towards late summer and into fall, it seems like things calm down. I love fall the most, I think. I love to have the windows open and get that nice, crisp air.

  2. Kathleen Lange Klik
    January 30, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    What a beautiful studio! Love the hearts that you have been working on, especially the gelli plate printed ones.

    The most inspiring season for me is definitely autumn. All of the colors and textures in the landscape inspire my creative soul like no other season! A winter wonderland is a close second though. 😉

  3. Divya N
    January 30, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    I should say Festive season which is august to november where I live as its colorful, full of festivals and most important people are ready to spend which relaxes me to experiment as I wish to

  4. Heather Tinkham
    January 30, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    I agree about Winter being a creative time for me. Since we share the cold temps here in MN, that may be part of it! It is so much fun to browse for new ideas and start with a clean slate after the holidays and before the summer rush.

    Thanks for sharing your hearts and the photos of your space!

  5. Mokki
    January 30, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    I find autumn to be very inspirational. It's my favourite season so my mind swims with ideas when I think of autumn.

  6. Claire Lockwood
    January 30, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    LOVE those brightly coloured printed pair – I'll have to look into this technique!

  7. haezz
    January 30, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Beautiful creations and so comforting to look at. I find winter to be my most creative month. With the cold, snow and bare flora, it's a blank canvas to me to color (or not) as I desire.

  8. sandi m
    January 30, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Love your style. Solder stamping is one of my favorite things to do. Your painted and gelli plate pieces are favorites. As far as time of the year – I think for me it is late Summer/early Fall as that's when I concentrate most to fet ready for holiday shows.
    Thanks for sharing! (And I want your studio!!)

  9. Erin S
    January 30, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    Fall inspires the most, for sure. I think it's the colors more than anything else. Winter just makes me feel dead inside, which is why I moved to San Diego 18 years ago and never looked back. LOVE the Gelli plate charms!

  10. Cynthia
    January 30, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    I suppose I am most creative in the spring. The days getting longer, things starting to get green. I think it's the change of seasons from "dormant" to "growing" that gives me a little extra push.
    But I do find all the seasons inspiring in their own ways.

  11. Blue Kiln Beads
    January 30, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    I don't think there is one season for me to feel inspired. It's more a case of blue skies and sunshine. I love a cold crisp sunny winters day because colour seems more vibrant. But, the long drawn out days of summer seem to give more time for creating while sitting in the garden.

  12. Denise McCabe
    January 30, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    Really like the hand cut heart. The butterfly and dragonfly are so cute. I'm with you, winter and fall are my most inspiring times. Winter because less Outside distractions and fall, because the kids go back to school – again, less distractions.

  13. Sandy
    January 30, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    Your work is amazing! And your studio to die for! I think Spring is the season that gets my juices flowing because everything is fresh and new.

  14. Ema Kilroy
    January 30, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    I know I can't win but I'd sure love to. I love these hearts Mary. The clay ones and the metal ones!

  15. Becky Pancake
    January 30, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    Hi Mary, Spring is the most inspiring for me. The whole rebirth and promise of warmer weather is very inspiring. Your hearts are great and your winter Sunrise pic is gorgeous.

  16. Marie
    January 31, 2015 at 12:30 am

    Spring in Tallahassee, FL inspires me. The air is so incredibly soft, the blue sky is more gentle than winter, and I feel energized. I'm lucky that spring starts at the end of February.

  17. Karen Z
    January 31, 2015 at 2:53 am

    Inspiration is where- and when-ever I am warm and comfy. May sound like a dodge, but I found myself very inspired today by slogging thru my beads and making a great new pair of earrings. Several more combinations ready to wire another day!!

    But then, I am inspired by the first leaflets of spring popping out from beneath melting snow. And summer. Oh, summer! When I can ramble to my heart's content and plop down whenever the view beckons to just sketch and paint away. The colors of fall are irresistible and take me all sorts of places.

    But, for today, I'm looking around the house (and out the windows), and am content to create from inside…

    I don't like the cold winter, because it limits my outdoor time. But I just look inward for inspiration. No diff, really.

  18. Roxanne Mendoza
    January 31, 2015 at 6:21 am

    I find I am most creative during the Summer. I think it has to do with the longer daylight hours and feeling like I have more time to create.

  19. Shaiha
    January 31, 2015 at 7:17 am

    It would have to be in the winter because I hate going out when it is cold or wet. I have always found cold days are good for reading and now that I listen to audio books, I spend the time in the studio.

  20. Kristen
    January 31, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    I love the organic designs on the ceramic hearts! Winter is the most creative for me. Since I retired last June, I'm just loving the fact that I don't have to go out in the snow and cold, my "job" is just upstairs in my studio. I feel like I have time to develop some new ideas and just relax and enjoy the process.

  21. Kathy Lindemer
    January 31, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Winter is my most productive time. I use winter to prepare my summer pieces. Since I spend winter in the Keys I have lots of inspiration all around me for summer pieces.

    I love the photo of your studio in the snow!

  22. Chris White
    January 31, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    I love your new heart designs in the many different types of artistry you have shown us.
    I used to think that autumn was my most creative season to find inspiration for my designs, but an unusual winter sky at dusk shows the detailed beauty of the dark tree branches against the most colorful and brilliant sky.
    Nature shows how hues blend so well together, not normally visible on a beading table.

  23. Katherine Thompson
    January 31, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    I am inspired by nature so in Michigan if the weather is nice I am outside. Spring, Summer and Fall are so inspiring to me! Spring is like an impressionist painting, Summer all the people and animals are out, and Fall the harvesting and the ever changing colors of the leaves and trees! Then I am like you keeping myself busy through the winter so as not to dread the cold.

  24. Stories They Tell
    January 31, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Love all those hearts of yours! Especially the printed ones–so interesting! I also think the hearts with the wildflower textures are gorgeous–a much-loved technique realized in a new way.

  25. Susanm
    January 31, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    Lovely photos. I'm probably most inspired by spring – the shades of green and pops of colour from the spring flowers get my creative juices humming. I'm most productive in the winter, because I spend more time indoors, rather than outside in the garden.

  26. Bijoux Gems Joy
    January 31, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    I find myself torn between fall and spring. They are my two favourite seasons, not too hot, not too cold, usually lots of temperate days and sunshine. I tend to come up with more inspirations from nature at this time of year. Winter, especially around Christmas up in northern Ontario, was definitely giving those seasons a run for their money though.

    Your designs are gorgeous. I love the variety of designs.


  27. Marlene strait
    January 31, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    Fall for me, the colors, from the vibrant reds, to the greenish yellow. A time to contemplate the coming winter and the Christmas season.
    marlene strait
    [email protected]

  28. BHClaysmith
    January 31, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    Any season where the weather outside is too in-my-face to be enjoyed is the season I stay in and create. So it can be in the dead of winter or the sweltering hot summer. My studio is back in NJ wetlands, so I can enjoy working in it and "Looking" out into Mother Nature all year long…

  29. Sarajo Wentling
    January 31, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    I'm probably more productive in the winter months just because it's too cold for me to want to leave the house, but I'm most inspired by fall's wonders.

    Thanks for sharing all the fun things you've been up to. They are all lovely but I really love those solder stamped metal hearts!

  30. Karin G
    January 31, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    So many beautiful hearts! I think fall is the season that appeals most to me, maybe because of the colors. I love the picture of your studio and your latest experiments.

  31. KeRobinson
    January 31, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Working in a warm winter studio without distractions sounds like heaven! I'm inspired all year round but my studio is uncomfortable in winter therefore I would have to say Spring 🙂

  32. Linda
    January 31, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    Each season offers something special, but autumn colors inspire me the most. It was fun seeing what you are up to currently.

  33. Desiree Malan
    February 1, 2015 at 7:26 am

    I'm much more energetic and creative in our winter season which is very mild compared to yours. I especially enjoy doing small tasks with a fire going in the fireplace. With a good glass of red wine and my husband's company, it doesn't feel like work at all!

  34. Deb Fortin
    February 1, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    I would have to say that fall is my favourite time of year to create. there is something in the autumn palette of the trees outside my house that just get my juices flowing. though I love the winter for it's serenity, that tends to make me want to hibernate and do nothing.

  35. Ann Schroeder
    February 1, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    I love all your hearts. The wire ones are especially fabulous. I am most inspired in spring and fall just because i love the anticipatory feeling I get from both of those seasons. In spring we are just on the verge of new life and warm weather. In fall we are waiting to see all the beautiful colors and the sparkle of snow (while it is still pretty and we aren't sick of it!)

  36. BackstoryBeads
    February 1, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Oooh, I am loving those gelli plate printed charms! Bright or muted, they're fantastic! My creativity definitely sparks in the Fall. That's when I do away with the old and bring in the new – around the house, throughout my closets, and in the studio.

  37. bairozan
    February 2, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Fall, with all its warm, earthy and sunny colors! It is the predecessor of cold winter but it's all about warmth for me! Even though you're right about holiday crafting time 🙂 What a beautiful picture of your studio! Love the hearts!

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