Sunday, March 29, 2015

March ABS Challenge Piece

Haida Totems, 1912
By Emily Carr
Watercolor on Paper
76mm x 55mm
BC Archives, Canada
You can find out more about the painting and artist by going to the Art Bead Scene for the March Challenge.

This month's painting has to do with totem poles.


Totem poles are sculptures carved from large trees, such as the Western Red Cedar. In North America, totem poles are part of the cultures of many indigenous peoples of Alaska, British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. Totem poles serve many purposes beyond their beauty, and their meanings are as varied as the cultures that make them.
Some totem poles represent stories or important events. On these poles, each figure on the totem represents part of a story. These totems are used as a way to record the history and legends of the tribes.
Figures on a totem pole are not gods to be worshiped. Instead, they represent traits and characteristics each clan or story embodies.
There are many other types of totem poles. Genealogy poles are erected in front of a family’s home to represent the owner’s clan or social status. Memorial poles are carved in honor of a deceased clan member. Mortuary poles are also raised in honor of the dead and include a small compartment for the ashes of the deceased.
Colors used to paint totem poles were limited. Artists relied on natural pigments. Black was the most common, made by grinding soot, graphite or charcoal. Red came from red ocher, a clay-like material. Blue-green was made from copper sulfide.
Common figures found on totem poles include the raven (a symbol of The Creator), the eagle (representing peace and friendship), the killer whale (a symbol of strength), the thunderbird, the beaver, the bear, the wolf and the frog.

The information came from Wonderopolis. You can also find out more here.

Mom and I actually created two pieces for this month's challenge.


The first piece is an eagle totem. Mom found an image of a totem she liked and drew up sketches of the piece. If you want to see mom's sketch you can go here and read about it.

A close up of the pendant. We glue down the pattern on a 20gauge flat sheet of copper. Mom drills pilot holes and then we saw out the perimeter and the interior of the piece. We then file and sand the pendant and then mom and I discuss the colors we want to use on the piece. This piece has the colors, tan/brown, blue/purple, green and orange. The beads are dalmatian jasper for the eyes on on the talons.

The beads used are our lampwork glass beads - the colors I wanted to use are pulled from the painting. I used two beads - a base blue with frit and a base white with frit. For accent beads we used Agate and Jasper.


For the toggle clasp mom and I had to improvise. We didn't like any of the clasps we had - so we went to our local bead store, Von's, and bought a stone to finish it off. I made a loop of seed beads on the other side and so it loops over the stone - instant clasp.

The second piece is a bear totem. Mom wanted more color on this piece.


Mom especially wanted red in this pendant - at first I wasn't too keen on the idea of red on the pendant but after I enameled the red I was really happy with the way the piece turned out. Again I tried to pull in some of the colors that were found in the painting.


The beads I used were our lampwork glass beads (our Kuiper Belt beads with raku), Jasper and Agate.

Unfortunately I am going to have to restring this piece because I broke it when I was trying to get the seed bead loop around the stone we used for the clasp. I thought I made it long enough (I tested it and it seemed long enough - well it wasn't). So, that is a project for another day. 

So - that is our pieces for this months ABS Challenge. Thanks for stopping by!

Totem poles are sculptures carved from large trees, such as the Western Red Cedar. In North America, totem poles are part of the cultures of many indigenous peoples of Alaska, British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. Totem poles serve many purposes beyond their beauty, and their meanings are as varied as the cultures that make them.
Some totem poles represent stories or important events. On these poles, each figure on the totem represents part of a story. These totems are used as a way to record the history and legends of the tribes.
Figures on a totem pole are not gods to be worshipped. Instead, they represent traits and characteristics each clan or story embodies.
There are many other types of totem poles. Genealogy poles are erected in front of a family’s home to represent the owner’s clan or social status. Memorial poles are carved in honor of a deceased clan member. Mortuary poles are also raised in honor of the dead and include a small compartment for the ashes of the deceased.
Another interesting type of totem pole is the shame pole. Shame poles are carved to embarrass and ridicule someone who has done something wrong.
Shame poles are taken down once the person has made amends. A famous shame pole erected in Cordova, Alaska, included the face of an oil company businessman. It is said to represent the unpaid debt the oil company owes for damages caused by the oil spill in Valdez, Alaska.
Colors used to paint totem poles were limited. Artists relied on natural pigments. Black was the most common, made by grinding soot, graphite or charcoal. Red came from red ochre, a clay-like material. Blue-green was made from copper sulfide.
Common figures found on totem poles include the raven (a symbol of The Creator), the eagle (representing peace and friendship), the killer whale (a symbol of strength), the thunderbird, the beaver, the bear, the wolf and the frog.
Though the totem pole has been a part of history for decades, totem poles are still created today. Native carvers in the Northwest continue to carve totems as symbols of their cultural pride and clan kinship.
- See more at: http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/what-is-a-totem-pole/#sthash.dLfbSmP4.dpuf
Totem poles are sculptures carved from large trees, such as the Western Red Cedar. In North America, totem poles are part of the cultures of many indigenous peoples of Alaska, British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. Totem poles serve many purposes beyond their beauty, and their meanings are as varied as the cultures that make them. - See more at: http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/what-is-a-totem-pole/#sthash.dLfbSmP4.dpuf
Totem poles are sculptures carved from large trees, such as the Western Red Cedar. In North America, totem poles are part of the cultures of many indigenous peoples of Alaska, British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. Totem poles serve many purposes beyond their beauty, and their meanings are as varied as the cultures that make them.
Some totem poles represent stories or important events. On these poles, each figure on the totem represents part of a story. These totems are used as a way to record the history and legends of the tribes.
Figures on a totem pole are not gods to be worshipped. Instead, they represent traits and characteristics each clan or story embodies.
There are many other types of totem poles. Genealogy poles are erected in front of a family’s home to represent the owner’s clan or social status. Memorial poles are carved in honor of a deceased clan member. Mortuary poles are also raised in honor of the dead and include a small compartment for the ashes of the deceased.
Another interesting type of totem pole is the shame pole. Shame poles are carved to embarrass and ridicule someone who has done something wrong.
Shame poles are taken down once the person has made amends. A famous shame pole erected in Cordova, Alaska, included the face of an oil company businessman. It is said to represent the unpaid debt the oil company owes for damages caused by the oil spill in Valdez, Alaska.
Colors used to paint totem poles were limited. Artists relied on natural pigments. Black was the most common, made by grinding soot, graphite or charcoal. Red came from red ochre, a clay-like material. Blue-green was made from copper sulfide.
Common figures found on totem poles include the raven (a symbol of The Creator), the eagle (representing peace and friendship), the killer whale (a symbol of strength), the thunderbird, the beaver, the bear, the wolf and the frog.
Though the totem pole has been a part of history for decades, totem poles are still created today. Native carvers in the Northwest continue to carve totems as symbols of their cultural pride and clan kinship.
- See more at: http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/what-is-a-totem-pole/#sthash.dLfbSmP4.dpuf
Totem poles are sculptures carved from large trees, such as the Western Red Cedar. In North America, totem poles are part of the cultures of many indigenous peoples of Alaska, British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. Totem poles serve many purposes beyond their beauty, and their meanings are as varied as the cultures that make them.
Some totem poles represent stories or important events. On these poles, each figure on the totem represents part of a story. These totems are used as a way to record the history and legends of the tribes.
Figures on a totem pole are not gods to be worshipped. Instead, they represent traits and characteristics each clan or story embodies.
There are many other types of totem poles. Genealogy poles are erected in front of a family’s home to represent the owner’s clan or social status. Memorial poles are carved in honor of a deceased clan member. Mortuary poles are also raised in honor of the dead and include a small compartment for the ashes of the deceased.
Another interesting type of totem pole is the shame pole. Shame poles are carved to embarrass and ridicule someone who has done something wrong.
Shame poles are taken down once the person has made amends. A famous shame pole erected in Cordova, Alaska, included the face of an oil company businessman. It is said to represent the unpaid debt the oil company owes for damages caused by the oil spill in Valdez, Alaska.
Colors used to paint totem poles were limited. Artists relied on natural pigments. Black was the most common, made by grinding soot, graphite or charcoal. Red came from red ochre, a clay-like material. Blue-green was made from copper sulfide.
Common figures found on totem poles include the raven (a symbol of The Creator), the eagle (representing peace and friendship), the killer whale (a symbol of strength), the thunderbird, the beaver, the bear, the wolf and the frog.
Though the totem pole has been a part of history for decades, totem poles are still created today. Native carvers in the Northwest continue to carve totems as symbols of their cultural pride and clan kinship.
- See more at: http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/what-is-a-totem-pole/#sthash.dLfbSmP4.dpuf

Monday, March 23, 2015

Weekend Enameling and Creating


Saturday ended up being an enameling session for me. I enameled pendants for several projects we have going on.


The pendants on the left are for the March ABS Challenge piece - the bottom right pendant is from the January ABS Challenge piece we didn't complete and the top right corner one is just one we had sawed out and ready to enamel.


This is a piece that mom has had sawed out for about eight months and I am just getting around to enameling it. I wasn't sure about how I was going to do the colors mom wanted and I really didn't want to mess up this piece. Mom is really happy with the way the piece turned out.


While I was enameling mom was laying out pieces for us to assemble. We went to the Dollar Tree and bought more cookie sheets and then went to Hobby Lobby and bought foam sheets to lay in the tray for us to layout the pieces on. We think this works great for us - we can have multiple pieces going at once - this also allows each of us to go from tray to tray to make changes (especially if each of us don't care for the layout of a piece).


This is what one of the trays looks like with the foam in the bottom. We are re-doing our Viking Knit pieces by adding beads to the Viking Knit.


Here are the final pieces after being enameled. I am really happy with the way they all turned out.







We are actually making two pieces for the March ABS Challenge - never thought I would say that.



This is mom laying out the beads for the challenge pieces. This is where we both discuss what we do and don't like about the piece.


All finished - now just have to assemble. We did have to go our local bead store on campus to look for clasps - we both didn't like the ones we had. Of course we go and can't find a clasp we like or that wasn't too small. So of course we are going to improvise, adapt and overcome by making a clasp for each of them.

So - that was our weekend. How was yours?

Friday, March 13, 2015

March Birthdays, Oxygen Concentrator, Video, Beads, Shows and Sawing


Today is my all time favorite day - Friday the 13th. What makes it even better is that today is my birthday. I love having my birthday on Friday the 13th plus with a full moon. I never understood why people didn't like the number 13 or especially Friday the 13th! I think it is just like any other day - but better :)


Tomorrow is mom's birthday - so we sort of have the same birthdays. I always tell mom I was the best birthday gift she ever got :) I am sure she wasn't thinking that when she was in the hospital on her birthday though.


So - other things we have been up to.


Our new oxygen concentrator arrived and I gave it a spin last week.


video

This is the oxygen concentrator working and me getting ready to make the first beads.

video

Me actually making a bead in the flame.

The concentrator is a lot different than using the tanks - it is a softer flame and is just something I need to get used to. I am just happy we won't have to worry about hauling the tanks around anymore in the car!



These are the beads I made with the new oxygen concentrator. The beads will be part of the March ABS Monthly Challenge piece. Both mom and I are really happy with the way they turned out.



Mom and I also worked on updating our portfolio and submitting our work to juried shows for this year. So far we have been accepted into the Zionsville Brick Street Market in May. We have never participated in this show before but mom and I found out about it from last year. One of the people I follow on Instagram posted they were at the show and I asked mom if she wanted to go to Zionsville and she said yes. It is a really nice setup and a lot of cool things. Both mom and I are excited to participate this year.


Mom was working on drawing up a design for the ABS challenge too.


I actually got both perimeters sawed out and mom is working on sawing out the interiors.

Today I took a half day off from work - so I plan on going home and either sawing, filing/sanding or work on making more beads. I think it just depends on how I feel once I get home and what the weather is like. I heard it was supposed to rain - so I might stay inside and saw.

Who knows what I will do - it's my birthday after all :)

Have a great Friday the 13th everyone!!!!
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