Beads, Baubles & Jewels: Artist’s Helpers

Inspiration doesn’t’ always come easy for artists. Sometimes we all need to rely on “helpers” to get our message across. Today on Beads, Baubles & Jewels, our artists use premade metal to showcase their designs. I lead off with today’s feature bead style — ceramics.

Ceramic beads and pendants are wonderfully versatile. It’s amazing to see all the different techniques that ceramic artists use, from stamping words to creating relief designs, to glazing part of the clay and leaving part of it neutral. Just by firing small pieces of wire into the clay, they can create links that will be attached to jewelry designs.

All of the sea-themed pieces (seen above) are from Firefly Design Studio. I enjoyed meeting artist Michelle McCarthy at a bead show last year. I was captivated by her oceanic motifs and the way she uses low fire clay to create so many different types of components, from beads to links, pendants, and more.

I made both necklaces using links from Diane Hawkey. Diane and I met at a bead show years ago and I enjoy wearing jewelry I’ve made with her work. Diane’s line is that she’s been a professional artist for half of her life and an unprofessional artist for the other half. I think we can all relate!

Beads, Baubles & Jewels

(l) Candie Cooper’s Paisley Pendant; (r) Eva Sherman’s metal and polymer bangles

I don’t know which came first for Candie Cooper, being an artist or being a jewelry maker. I’m guessing it’s a chicken or egg type of situation. She always adds an extra little artistic touch to her projects. In this episode Candie works the Sizzix machine and creates this awesome paisley pendant based upon a paisley metal bezel created by Jill MacKay.

Eva Sherman is an architect turned bead addict who’s able to look at tried-and-true components from a fresh perspective. She engineers designs so they’re intriguing but completely wearable. In this episode, Eva transforms a metal cuff by adding a layer of polymer mokumé gané.

Beads, Baubles & Jewels

Tammy Honaman takes premade bezels and blanks and transforms them into some pretty cool finished designs. Each of today’s guests created great examples of today’s Beads, Baubles & Jewels’ theme “Artists Helpers.” How do you employ “helpers” in your work? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Thanks for joining us. Tune in next week to see what’s in store for you.
Katie Hacker
Host, Beads, Baubles & Jewels and Content Strategist for Halstead


For more Sizzix and leather love, check out this free project: Beaded Die cut Leather Pendant Project, With Jill MacKay.

For the step-by-step on the technique Tammy showed in this episode, read: Metalsmithing: Quick & Easy Jewelry Gifts Celebrating Milestones.


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