Friday, March 28, 2014

Ruth Asawa again

Here's my second pendant based on Ruth Asawa's interlocking shapes, spheres at the bottom and sort of fluttery cones half way up.  These are stone beads, mother of pearl for most of it, and African jade blending into blue sodalite for the colored part.  I was really pleased with it.  Doing it was an exercise in not doing too much. The long stretch of mother of pearl tube was repetitious.  When I do a long repetitious part, I have a tendency to add things, out of boredom, that are often better left out.  Several times on this piece I started to do extra things to "jazz it up" a bit, like stripes of blue beads to break up the long stretch of white, and things like that.  I ended up ripping them all out and keeping it simple, and I think it was right.  The only change I ended up making from the original 2-color design was to blend in the blue beads at the end of the green stalk, and I do like that.  Less is more.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Asawa pendant

I've been thinking about Ruth Asawa and her work.  If you're not familiar with it, you can find it at  She made gorgeous sculptural shapes out of knitted wire (although I keep seeing it described as crocheted, surely it's Viking knit).  Often there are spheres or cones interlocked with other spheres or cones.  That's what I wanted to play with.  It's made me realize, more than I had, how much geometry is in her work, to get smooth curves and progressions.  This was my first attempt at interlocked spheres.  I wish I could overlap them more, but since in my spheres there are fewer points of entry than in a knitted structure, there were limits to where I could make one sphere go inside another. For example, I couldn't pass through a 5-bead circle, because the hole in the middle isn't big enough to get a bead through it.  I had to just use the 6-bead circles. And if I had done my interlock through the next row of circles, the 2 green balls would have bumped into each other in the middle of the turquoise ball.  I have some ideas about getting around these problems, but that's for future work.  The 2 outer spheres are based on the 90 bead buckyball, but modified to "sprout" a tube at one end.  The 1 in the middle is a 120 bead sphere.  Following my usual path, now I'm working on another version that's a bit less symmetrical.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Scaffolds and pods

A few posts ago I showed a piece where I alternated strings of interlocked cubes with oxidized copper tube scaffold-like structures.  I had started out to make the necklace entirely of the cubes, but found it was getting too massive and dense.  The areas of copper tubes opened it up and I liked that better.  Even then, though, it was pretty big.  Not something I'd wear myself, although I'm trying to get beyond limiting myself to the sort of jewelry I personally wear.  Anyway, I wanted to do something a bit less massive.  So I made these 3-sided "pods" in shades of purple, blue and gray.  They have right angle corners at each end, so they interlock just the way the cubes do, but they have a narrower profile, so they don't bulk up so much.  Also, I liked the colors of the pods with the almost-black of the oxidized copper.