It’s been awhile since I’ve made a “mermaid necklace”, (or so my niece calls them). It’s a fun way to use up some of the random beads I have lying around. I think we decided on the name because it reminded us of what a mermaid might collect, sort of flotsam and jetsamy. Basically you weave thin wire back and forth, making loops of beads- attempting all the while to capture that “I made this totally random and yet perfectly spaced”look.
Here’s the finished necklace, I’m hoping to wear it this summer with a teal blue dress. I think it’ll look stunning ;-).
I know, I need to post more- but this month I have the best excuse. Check out this amazeballs balloon sculpture I created with my partner Larry Moss. It’s a life-size reinterpretation of Fragonard’s “The Swing” entirely out of balloons. It’s on display in for the next two weeks at the Phelps Arts Center, 15 Church St. in Phelps, NY. It is so worth the trip if you’re anywhere nearby- I’m absolutely thrilled with the finished piece! Take a look:
Working tiny is natural for me, I’ve been working at the micro scale for decades. I have fond memories of digging up the moss in my grandmother’s backyard and creating miniature landscapes, deconstructing worry dolls to make my own and making tiny sculpy scenes and decorated boxes. I’d often challenge myself to add as much detail as possible with pin points, tooth picks and whatever else I could makeshift into a tool.
On one particular weekend visit to my grandparent’s house, I watched a special on PBS about scientists using laser etching thousands of tiny angels on the head of a pin. Ever the confident 10 year old, I decided I didn’t need a laser to get an angel on there! I spent 2 full days glued to the kitchen counter figuring out the exact steps required to make one- even giving the tiny dancer teeth! Bursting with pride I ran over to show my 83 year old grandmother- you can imagine the scene my arm extended, holding tiny figure on the top of a pin just inches from her puzzled face…
“Grandma! Look at it!”
“Look at what? What is that?”
“It’s an angel on the head of a pin! It has even has teeth!”
She giggled, then chuckled and then cackled (it’s a family cackle- I have it too, it’s very distinctive in a joyful way) and replied “I can’t even SEE it! And you want me to see the TEETH?!”
So fast forward to today. My son Avery is a very 3-D thinker, he loves his legos- but I wanted to get him making things with a different material. I remembered how much I enjoyed sculpey when I was younger, so I treated the kids to the big 30 color pack and this afternoon we were all at the kitchen table playing. I showed them how to make a flower cane, and then how to marble colors together. It was interesting to see what each one chose to create. Avery was fascinated by color mixing, and the girls were extremely productive- churning out bead after swirly bead. Wyatt was a bit cautious at first- but he made a sweet little turtle and began a planet-bead necklace. I think he’s up to Saturn…
And I made another angel. While I had made at least a half dozen all those years ago, I really don’t believe any of them survived. They were so small- I’m sure they were accidentally vacuumed up. This one is a bit more advanced than the old ones- but after 25 years I really should have learned a thing or two!