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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Spring Variations

The Toronto Bead Society Bead Fair is on this weekend. In preparation for the show Maria, of Rypan Designs, found some great new triangle beads in spring colours for her Diagional Weave Bracelet. I got the call to come pick up some beads and make samples asap.

Last night I made up these three bracelets.
Frosted Lilac and Frosted Mint
Imperial Purple
The other requested sample is this beautiful mix of greens, teal and purple iris. This is the Seafoam Beaded Soutache Bracelet that I worked up this morning. Maria is teaching this design Saturday morning @ the bead fair.
Seafoam Beaded Soutache
All designs and images in this posting are © Rypan Designs

Friday, May 18, 2012

Literary Inspiration - Dragons

Last week literary inspiration was an artist's work as referenced in the novel The Calder game. 

This week it is a favourite mythical creature, the dragon. Dragons are a part of many cultures around the world and are featured in a variety of great fantasy novels.

Christopher Paolini has a quartet of books about dragons and their riders. In the first book we meet Saphira, a blue dragon.
Cover of Eragon, showing Saphira

Using some dichroic, and metallic blue beads I created this version of Julia Pretl's dragon box to represent Saphira.
Saphira Box
Having completed Saphira, I decided to create a box inspired by another favourite dragon, Smaug, from The Hobbit. Smaug is described as being crusted with gems and fragments of gold from his hoard.
Smaug as illustrated by J.R.R. Tolkien

To bring the luster of the gold I used gold plated delicas. The finial on the top of the box represent the Arkenstone, a treasured jewel of the Dwarf Kingdom stolen by Smaug.

Smaug box

In total I have completed three dragon boxes. I hope to do more in the future including Glaedr, a golden dragon, Thorn, a red dragon and FĂ­rnen, a green dragon.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Iris Twist Vase: progress report

A month ago I started working on a beaded vase inspired by this amazing painting of bearded irises by Vicky Mappin.
This first step was pulling the colours from the image to use in my design. I went to Beadfx and spent time comparing tubes of delicas to the picture on my ipad.

colour selection in progress
 In addition to the palette of purples I added silver, yellow and green. Here is the final selection.

Final palette at the start of the project
 With the colours selected and layed out in my working pattern I started at the bottom centre of the vase. 

completed bottom of vase
Once the bottom is done I started the long process of working up the sides of the vase. I continued the twist of the colours as I builded up the height .
Making progress

Getting ready to add more thread
When the sides are about double the current height I am going to start the do some decreasing to taper the vase.

Happy Mother's Day to my mom and sisters. Hope you have a great day!!!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Literary Inspiration

Next to my passion for beads is my passion for books and reading. I work in the children's department of a public library in the west end of Toronto. I love to share books and stories with children. Sometimes the books inspire a bead creation.

Two years ago I was inspired by the children's novel "The Calder Game" by Blue Balliett. In the story the children learn about mobiles and the artist Alexander Calder. I decided to make a mobile for the Bag of Beads challenge at the Toronto Bead Society. I made a number of beaded objects and created a mobile which hangs from a copper pipe structure.

Beads we were given
Stumpers, copper pipe end and metallic fibre paper
Work in progress
Finished mobile
It was fun to create each of the individual objects, but then I had to fine tune them and the lengths of wire they balance on. The science of the art of the mobile was an added challenge.

The completed mobile sits on my book shelf with the books by one of my favourite children's authors, L.M. Montgomery.

Being inspired by a book and and artist for this project was fun.

I am off to work on a vase inspired by a flower. More about it soon.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Ancient Inspiration

I love to work with some of the amazing lampwork beads created by local and international glasswork artists. The challenge that can arise is how to create a piece that showcases the lampwork but is wearable and stylish.

If there are enough beads in the set you can just add an accent and create a simple strung necklace like this piece.
Copper plated dragon necklace
Here I added the Swarovski crystals, copper rectangles and spacers to the lampwork. There were enough beads to make a complete necklace.

There are times thou when the set is smaller or you want to keep the beads as a centre focus. I was inspired by this ancient Greek necklet. I imagine that the ends could be connected to lengths of chain to create a full length neck piece.
Gold and blue glass paste, Cypro-Classical, 450-400 B.C. (ROM)
Here are few of my pieces using this design idea.
Circle around my heart
Owl Babies
Elizabeth's necklace
Aqua Dots
Blue Galaxy
Purple Galaxy