Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sharing the Wealth…

Recently I signed up for a bead exchange with some of the members of the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy (PCAGOE) and this week I got the pay-back! The participating artists made and sent three sets of beads to other artists! Kind of scary when you think about it… your friends and family tell you that your work is good, your designs interesting and attractive… but sending your work to other polymer clay artists is another story completely. You look at their work online and try to make something that they will like. You throw the first batch in your bead box and start over – they have to be good! The second batch is better – maybe some keepers here. The deadline is fast approaching.

Finally all three sets (see picture above) are baked, tumbled, a protective coating put on them, arranged on a temporary wire and ready to go! Hurrah! I drop them in the mail… my anxiety goes down and my anticipation goes up! For every box I mailed out, I'll get one in exchange.

Now the fun begins! Yesterday I got a package in the mail from Jill at Palumbo Jewelry. Jill made a set of beads that look like jade in an antique pewter setting. Excellent craftsmanship and design. In addition she put coordinated canes on the backs so I can actually wear them either way. I can't wait to put it all together. Jill told me that she made molds for the faux pewter settings. After she made the setting pieces, she applied two different PearlEx powders to get the pewter look. I wish you could all see these in person. They are just too cool!

That's one reason that I love to participate in exchanges like this. In addition to being challeneged to create for another artist, you also get cool things in return! Instant inspiration and, as in this case, a new technique to try!

Today when I went by the post office on my way in to work I had TWO packages! What a great way to start the day! The first package I opened was from Sally at Silver Gate Studio. Sally's beads were vibrant with lots of powerful color! I LOVE them! Sally mentioned in her note that they were a bit bright but I love bright colors and already have a mental plan for just how to string those beads. Sally didn't post a picture to the Flickr site so I'll have to wait until I can take a good picture to post for ya'll to see just how gorgeous they are!

The other package was from Kate at OrganicOdyessy and I had already seen pictures online. I have to tell you, the pictures do not do these beads justice. Kate made faux ivory – which is a technique that is still on my "learn to do" list – beads and embellished them with faux turquoise. The contrast is very pleasing to the eye and I just happen to have some turquoise beads that will set these focal beads off beautifully.

This has been so much fun and is definitely worth the anxiety on the creating end. I always push myself just a little bit harder when I know that what I am making is going to someone who will appreciate and understand the work that goes into it.

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