Welcome to Studio
Saturday! 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.
I started my Simple Truths Sampler Club in the spring of 2010 with the idea that it would push me in new directions and help me come up with new ideas. I wanted it to be affordable, so I broke it down into four levels: 3-, 6-, 9- or 12- months. The original idea of the Club was to have a limited edition design that was exclusive to the Club and would not be sold elsewhere. If someone came back to me and asked about a previous Club selection I would explain that I could not recreate it. However, I have a limit of 20 spots in the Club and if the membership was not full in a given month, I would sometimes bend my rule and make one that might be similar to the Club selection at full price.
The only problem was that I would not really plan out what I was going to make and more often than not, I would wait until the very last minute. What came out was what I was focused on at the moment, what was in my heart and on my mind. And sometimes what was sitting right in front of me. While that is a true representation of where I am as a person there wasn’t a lot of advanced planning. And I sort of felt like maybe I had failed my loyal members.
Each year I put together a collage of the previous months to see where I have been. It is interesting to me that there is sometimes a theme present. Sometimes there is a color or shape that I gravitate to. This year there were a fair amount of winged things (birds, bees, fairies) and flora (flowers, leaves, acorns). (For some reason, I am missing a month and cannot for the life of me recall what it was! June? July? Does anyone who was in the Club last summer remember?) I am not sure what that says about me and my mental states… that I have tried to fly away and seen a lot of growth? Hmmm…..maybe….
At the end of last year the interest in the Club seemed to be waning. That is bound to happen. I
have a lot of hoarders in the Club and several members told me they wanted to continue but just couldn’t. I completely understand. I have a shameful glut of art beads that I must deal with this year before I can allow myself to buy new ones. (On a side note, I do have a special Pinterest board to
promote those that use the Simple Truths in their creations. And if you
get one published and let me know so I can celebrate you!). I have
always said that as long as there is one person in the Club I will
continue. I thought that the Club might fade away at the end of the year. I almost removed the listings from my shop, but some long time
customers, and some new ones purchased spots to start in January, so
that gave me a reason to refocus my vision for this years’ Simple Truths Sampler Club.
So I knew that I wanted to change things up a bit to the Club. Here is an excerpt from the revised Club welcome letter:
For 2013, I have made a few changes to the Sampler Club.
I am challenging myself to carve my own designs whenever possible and to try new techniques. I am excited to share them with you! This will be a big learning curve for me but I am ready to take these components in a new direction.
I find incredible inspiration in the monthly challenges over at Art Bead Scene and my plan is to make some of these ABS-inspired pendants as Club offerings. I encourage you to come and play with us in this fine creative community at www.artbeadscene.com. It is where I got my start designing. It pushed me creatively and I have met some of my best friends through this place. Since you have to use an art bead in your submission, my hope is that you might consider using the one I send to you as inspiration. This monthly focus will allow me to have a plan in advance and to work at pushing my creative boundaries while still giving you a quality jewelry component.
The biggest change involves that I am actually planning instead of procrastinating! And since my word is BALANCE for 2013, I think that feels sort of good!
I sat down with the paintings for the year and sketched out designs. That doesn’t mean that I will be sticking to these exact notes, but it feels good to actually have a plan that I can look forward to each month. I am even ahead of the game because I have already completed my design for February and I have ideas percolating for March and May! Because I made the decision to change things up at the very beginning of the year, I was a little bit late with the January Club selection, but I was also trying a few new things that have been on my list:
- Inspired by the Art Bead Scene challenge painting for January, Black Peacocks with Japanese Persimmons
- Carved my own texture plate with an original design
- Played with the Swellegant line of patinas, a new technique for me
I hope that my Club members felt that it was worth the wait. 😉 What do you think?
Inspired by the challenge painting, I carved a peacock feather. The center, or eye, of the feather is a wee little heart.
I wanted it to look old, like a relic from the past. The patina I used is a rich bronze with verdigris and touches of Caribbean Blue, Indigo and Violet. The highlights are in a rich brass.One of my members emailed me to say that she thought it was bronze PMC and not polymer clay. Aha! My clever disguise worked! Pretty good considering that before I worked on the patinas, my husband thought it looked like fish bones!
|Proud as a Peacock|
One final change to the membership – or rather a clarification – is that I will continue to offer these special pendants inspired by the Art Bead Scene challenge each month to the Club members first. Their privilege is that they are guaranteed to get one. And their membership price works out to be reduced from my regular shop offerings. However, I have decided that I will now offer limited edition runs of these pendants each month to my Etsy clientele, provided I haven’t hit my membership max. This month I only had four members, so I have a few available in case you are interested. 😉
The remaining Proud as a Peacock pendants are available in my Etsy shop as of today. But I set one aside just for my Art Bead Scene readers. Would you like to win it? It might be a bit too late to enter a design with it before the end of the month, but I sure hope it will inspire someone to make something special! And that it will be shared with me so that I can Pin it!
Answer the following question to be entered:
Want an additional entry? Leave a comment if you share on social media (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, blog, etc) with a link back to what you did. The random winner will be announced on January 26th!