Sunday, January 7, 2018

January Art Bead Scene Challenge

Title of watercolor:  Spring  By: Frances MacDonald

Title: Spring
By: Frances MacDonald
Date: c. 1900-1905
Medium: Watercolor on linen

Every month the Art Bead Scene challenges their readers to create jewelry inspired by a featured artwork. You have until the end of the month to share your work and then they pick two winners to receive beads and jewelry-making supplies from their sponsors. The only rule is that you must use at least one art bead in your piece!

This month's artwork is Spring by Frances MacDonald (1873-1921). She was a Scottish painter who contributed greatly to the “Glasgow Style” during the 1890s.  She was a great influence during the Art Nouveau period and the styles that it ushered in. Her style of Art Nouveau (literally “new art”) with its fluid linear forms is inspired by natural plant life, drawing on nature, gender, symbolism, mythology and modernity. The dreamy colors of the period were light and neutral, metallic and natural. The shapes are languid but there is also an element of more modern geometry, like squares and intersecting lines.

Pantone's Color of the Year--Ultra Violet
Pantone's Color of the Year--Ultra Violet

The color of the year for 2018 is Ultraviolet and this painting is perfect inspiration for using violet in a piece of art jewelry.  I love purple so this is my big chance to use some from my hoard of beads to create. 
Pansies Photo by Jakub Jacobsky on Unsplash
I look forward to pansies in the fall and spring so I couldn't resist these floral beads by by British artisan Natalie McKenna of Grubbi. The pansy beads have the perfect purples, greens, and yellow colors in the painting and the subject of pansies is perfect for this watercolor.  

Long Pansy Earrings by BayMoonDesign
Long Pansy Earrings by BayMoonDesign
I love the fact that these ceramics have a pretty back which is a green leaf.  These pretty floral beads are paired with violet Swarvoski crystals and pearls that dangle from the bottoms.  A couple of Czech glass matte metallics English cut beads and a few Czech glass luster root beer AB O-beads top off the earrings.  The pansy earrings have sterling silver ear wires. These handmade earrings are available HERE.

Other side of Long Pansy Earrings by BayMoonDesign
Other side of Long Pansy Earrings by BayMoonDesign
 These pansy earrings make a great birthday or Valentine gift.

I find the fact that these earrings are ceramics amazing. They look a lot like wood. I discovered that these ceramics are made from stoneware clay. Once shaped they are left to dry out for up to 7 days, they then go through their first bisque firing at cone 04 for approx 14 hour including cooling. They are then glazed with high fire glazes and fired for a second time to cone 6 (1222C) for approx 18 hours including cooling. A third and fourth firing in the kiln makes the image/word permanent. A lot of time and effort goes into these miniature pieces of art.

What are your thoughts on these ceramics and earrings?


  1. These are very pretty Kathy, and you're right, the pansies are perfect for this challenge

  2. Beautiful job Kathy! You really reflected the inspiration so well. And, thanks for the additional information about how the clay is fired. I know I'll never remember the details, but that so much time and patience goes into it.

  3. I love this design! The art beads are perfect for the inspiration and the added beads and dangles blend organically!