In my last post I shared some of our team’s early work, with the thought of encouraging you on your own creative journey. Its fun to look back and see how far we’ve come. It helps to put things in perspective and it gives encouragement that the future will bring continued progress.
In Part One of this series, I highlighted the journeys of Karen Totten, Jennifer Cameron, Melissa Meman and Niky Sayers. Today let’s take at look at Lesley’s, Sue’s and Rebekah’s early work.
Lesley started out designing jewelry. Later she branched out into making jewelry components as well. Here is an early necklace and earring set she made, before discovering the world of art beads. Lesley says that, “This was the starting point of my design career and it highlights how
much I’ve learned and how much more depth and breadth there is to my
Discovering art beads was a transformative experience for each of the the Art Jewelry Elements team members. Lesley has made art beads in polymer clay, metal clay and most recently she has been working in stoneware clay. Here is a picture of her first ceramic beads from 2013. Lesley says, “I was really excited about these and they still make me feel like that
because it was the start of a huge passion that teaches me something new
with every batch of beads…”
And here are a few more of Lesley’s early ceramic beads.
Sue started making lampwork glass beads about 10 years ago in a class with Mike Mangiafico. She says, “They only had ugly colors and short rods back then for us to use – there are so many more colors now. You can see the obvious
flaws – the wonky beads, the off-center dots, the bubbled up clear
glass. But I also see many beads that have great dimpled ends and a hint
Sue goes on to add, “These are beads from my next class with Mike (the first class was a sampler I believe). You can see marbles, plunged dots, “caterpillar’ beads, hollow beads, how many spacers can you fit on a mandrel beads, an off-mandrel bead etc. And again, wonky beads and not so pretty beads. But more and more practice. Mike was very encouraging to me and I’m so glad he was, because I have been very happily making glass beads all these years.”
Rebekah found so many great pictures to share, that several of us encouraged her to do a blog post just about her own development as an artist. I’ll just share a sampling of her early work here.
Rebekah is well know for her sleeping critter beads. Here is what they looked like before they became beads! Rebekah says, “The rooster “Button” was my first critter sculpture in polymer—I made him in early 2002. My little beagle, Suzie and the brown owl on the burned tree came next, probably in 2003… somewhere in between there and 2004, I made the chinchilla. I loved chinchillas at the time!! I made the falcon, other owl, and the song birds (and a bunch other birds!) in 2004 for an art contest and to raise money for me and my sisters to adopt a horse.
And here are some of Rebekah’s earliest pendants. She states, “I was thinking of making jewelry to sell and these are my first attempts at making my own pendants in polymer from early 2005. The photo makes them look much better than they really are in real life for some odd reason… Thankfully I used the wrong kind of finish and they have a case of the “everlasting stickies”, so no one will have to own them!
“This one is one of my first dragon necklaces I made in 2007 for my short, but unsuccessful venture on eBay. I’d been working on this dragon style off and on for about 2 years at this point. My painting was starting to reach a point I liked with the blending of colors… my sculpting skills still need improvement though! Loved seed beads back then!”
I hope you have enjoyed this little bit of reminiscing. All of us are on a journey. None of us can know where it will lead us, but we can savor the trip.
I’ll share more early work in my next post. Till then, enjoy the trip!