Saturday, June 21, 2014

In the Mind – Gold and Pearls

By: Julie L. Cleveland

Recently, I had the opportunity to place a piece of handmade jewelry into the hands of the stylists of 2 Broke Girls. I have seen the show on occasion, but like most of the television shows, the networks bounce them around, making it difficult to determine when things are on. I am sure they do that because they think certain shows are heavy weights and they will bring the viewers and other shows need to follow those more popular shows or we’ll never see them. I was familiar enough with the story line and the characters that I decided to do some designing for the stylist. This is never a sure shot that something that is given to the stylist will ever make it on the screen, but it is a chance to give your product to someone in television who may use it for something else. You never know what will happen.

I designed with Caroline (Beth Behrs) in mind. She wears more of the statement type jewelry and charm bracelets, which are ultimately easier for me to design and create due to the nature of my medium. As for the other character, Max (Kat Denning), she wears more leather and wire wrap designs in darker colors. Even so, I had to stick with something less colorful than usual for Caroline. I knew that I would end up working in gold and pearls because her jewelry is primarily gold in color. (She is a misplaced used-to-be-rich girl whose daddy went to prison for some type of Ponzi scheme.) I decided against a charm bracelet because I had no way to know how large her wrist was, which made sizing difficult. I chose to work with a spandex chacha bracelet blank in a small size, so the bracelet can be used on other characters and yet, would be easy to fit any wrist.

In choosing my colors, I decided I was going to create the entire bracelet out of polymer beads in gold and pearl. I did a complete set of 64 10mm beads to individually wire wrap to each loop on the bracelet. As I was looking at the beads and examining the mica shift within the beads, I decided that to best get the most color from the beads, I had to cut them up. In mica shift, the mica particles line up as long as the polymer is all going one way, but when you introduce contrasting cuts, the mica shifts with the light. The mica has a dull side and a shiny side, so when you cut it or use a texture sheet on it, it moves the particles in different directions, which gives the piece a pattern or design where the mica has moved.




This is an example of mica shift from Sherry Kellberg at BeadazzleMe on Etsy. This pendant is a single color of polymer that has mica included, which gives the pendant a look of two different colors. In truth, the pendant is one color that has been textured. Sherry finished the piece and turned it into a pendant. I have been a fan of Sherry’s for many years, and she always has the most unique and colorful pieces in her shop. Her skill and creativity always inspires me to reach further and expand my abilities. You can find tutorials and finished jewelry in her shop on Etsy. This piece is sold.





Cubed Beads

When I decided to cut my beads for the bracelet, I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to cut them. I experimented with a few ideas, and I ended up cubing the beads with cuts to the sides and tops in an asymmetrical way. Rather than trying to be precise and exact on something so small that the work would have been too tedious, I chose to carve out chunks from the side in a Wilma Flintstone necklace kinda way. I liked the way the beads turned out, and I liked the bracelet a lot. I have not recreated the bracelet for my studio yet, but I will be adding that to my line up as soon as I get a chance.



Here is the bracelet, and you can see how I used the beads to create a lush bracelet with a lot of movement. I was thinking of the camera and how the lights catch movement in the charm bracelet. Regardless of whether the bracelet is ever used (they were at the end of the season’s filming when this was given to the stylist), I found a new way to add texture to a design, and I will recreate this bracelet for my studio sometime this year. The light does not adequately show the dark and light on the pearl clay, but it is visible on the gold polymer. Those dark patches are not shadows; they are the mica movement in the polymer.



Julie and Blu