TO USE COLOR OR NOT TO USE COLOR: LAZY SATURDAYS

   Today is a lazy Saturday for me. These do not come my way very often, so here I sit at Ikea having coffee and enjoying the hustle and bustle of those around me.  Most enjoyable. Do you ever have those weeks where everything is just too hard? This week has been busy with doctors, changing medicines, cars breaking down, and 108-degree heat that just sucks the energy right out of me. Because of all the unexpected things going on, I have not had the energy to blog.  But today is a lazy day and taking time to speak with  you is a good thing.  

Even in the midst of all the craziness of this week, new ideas for new designs and product have been in the works. And I decided to check out colored clay. When we work with our handmade pendants we use a silk cord to suspend them on, so if I want to add bead work I need a bead with a substantial hole. And finding one that is big enough for two cords to go through is almost impossible. So, I have taken to hand sculpting some of my own beads. With that in mind I set about making beads with colored clay. 

What did I discover about this colored clay. First of all, it is very easy to work with and the colors are bright and rich. They will do pretty much what I ask of them. And yet…. I guess for me I feel to restricted with the pre-colored clay. Or more than likely it is because I don't really know what a piece is going to look like until I set down with it and allow it to show me what it wants to be. So, I look at all the colors and think what now. How can I know what I will need? I am old school. Having worked with clay since I was 12, I like the old ways best. Now, don't get me wrong, the colored clay is beautiful, and I love the swirl effect combined with sea glass on some pendants that I make. There is just something that sings to my soul when I am surprised by the designs that appear before my eyes.  I have several pendants I wear that I have made using this effect and I LOVE them. They 're my go to everyday necklaces. 

 But for me, I love the feel and look of sculpting in the white clay. There is something neutral as if it is waiting for just the right setting to come to life. And then when you put brush to paint using the different painting techniques I have learned over the years, pendant and bead work come together bringing the piece to life. I love layering color on color because of the depth it gives the piece and the freedom I have to play with the color of pendant and bead. And at the same time, I love washes, or the softness of watercolor work. Sometimes dry brushing is just what the piece I am working on calls for. Like putting stone to clay, I find you never really know what the outcome is until the piece calls, yes, you got it right, I am finished, I am the joy of life itself waiting for my special person. 

Will I use the beads I made this week? Absolutely, if the bead and the pendant "fit" together.  All in all, it has been a good exercise in growth. And I am glad to have a lazy Saturday to reflect on what I have learned. 

Kathryn