Sunflower Hooked Pillow
Get the cottage ready! Or the sun porch. Or your favorite reading chair. This primitive style hand hooked pillow will brighten your home on even a rainy day. I used a variety of different width wool strips to make this, giving it some great visual interest. I love the… details »
Lemon Blueberry Tart Charm
100% handmade miniature fruit tart charm. Atop the pastry shell sits a delicious assortment of lemons and blueberries! YUM!
Reversible Baby Bib
This reversible baby bib can used as a feeding and dooler bib. It is handmade in two corridinating Amy Butler cotton prints with matching cotton bias piping. The riboon closure insures that it will fit for a long time, from infant to toddler years. details »
Beautiful lampworked glass by Jill Symons
As a glass artist, I am fascinated with the play of light upon glass. The beauty of glass beads is the simple power of glass itself; the power to transmit light. My approach to glass beadmaking is as simple as slowing down and letting the glass release the color, allowing the glass to speak.
I am constantly awed by the fluidity and form the solid glass takes. I draw inspiration from the glass itself and the way in which it seems to tell me what to do next. Drawing on a background in design, a passion for photography and a love of glass — ideas spill into dreams of what could be — always posing the question then of what else is possible and is there really a limit?
I remember the first time someone referred to my beads as ‘work’. My mind instantly denied that such joy could come from something called ‘work’. I have been making glass beads since 1999.
Inspired. That’s what I felt after visiting the Vancouver Art Gallery last weekend. My husband and I are members, so we’re free to pop in any time we like to check out the newest exhibition which is a great luxury. So much so that we may not even look into a new exhibit in that much detail in advance like we would otherwise, we’ll just head down instead to check it out in person. For some reason I wasn’t that excited about the WE: Vancouver exhibit. I figured, I live here already, and as much as I love it I’m not super interested in some kind of rah rah city pride type of thing. I found something very very different that encouraged me in more ways than one. (The Reclaimed Dress above is from Etsy shop, Adhesif.)
Seed Bombs from Visual Lingual
With the dawn of the internet, we’ve seen the rise of countless different types of sites – and I couldn’t help but wonder after visiting the exhibit, how this easy transmission of information might be changing our collective perspectives for the better. Now it’s altogether possible that the folks whose thoughts and work were on display came to these views without the internet’s helping hand, but there were three outlooks that I have heard expressed again and again by people online and by my own friends in the last couple of years that I can’t help but wonder if there is some kind of interplay there, and a really great one at that, that is making these types of views far more mainstream than they ever have been before.
Throughout this post, you’ll find handmade items that I feel fit the various themes of this post in one way or another!
Reclaimed Wood Vase from Peg and Awl
The first “manifesto” I came across in the gallery found it’s main focus in nature and architecture, and painted an enticing vision of individuals who find themselves deeply connected to the outside world in a sustainable way. If you’d like, read more here about Mari Fujita and Matthew Soules vision of a future where we commute by kayak and pluck tomatoes from our wallpaper, right here.
Next, a commentary on conscious consumption – reminding us to be in touch with what we eat and use in our day to day lives. Either by baking bread, or planting a fruit tree or any other number of things as Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon suggest here.
Reclaimed wood terrarium from Ecogro
Next stop – a display courtesy of Natalie Purschwitz, who for one year decided to wear only things she made herself. You can read more about her project here.
If you have a chance to read these manifestos or to peruse Natalie’s blog, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Are you inspired like me, or do you think these lofty ideas and ambitions are unrealistic or somehow unattainable?
What is your craft / art / creative endeavor?
I make handmade pendants and wire wrapped jewelry. The pendants I make are all by methods that I have invented myself! The wire wrap jewelry I make is to fulfill my desire to be able to make something beautiful, quickly, since all of my other jewelry takes so long to make!
I make four different types of pendants; micro mosaics, miniature sand painted pendants, fabric pendants, and hand painted embossed pendants.
The micro mosaic pendants are made by hand stretching glass into micro thin rods of glass that I cut down into tiny tiles that are about 2mm in length and 1/2 a mm in thickness. I make the design and then cover the design in resin to protect it. It takes hundreds upon hundreds of these micro tiles to make a pendant and I don’t make too many of them because they are so time consuming!
The miniature sand painted pendants that I make are inspired by the Native American art of Sand Painting. I make a design out of silver wire and then inlay the colored sand to the design. Then, I cover my sand paintings in jewelers’ grade resin to protect them and make them waterproof.
The fabric pendants are made by embossing a design into metal and then hand cutting fabric to be inlayed into the design. I also protect these with resin.
Finally, the hand painted pendants are made by embossing metal and using a metal paint to fill in the design and then finish it off by covering it in resin.
How did you get started? Have you worked in other creative areas before the kind of work you’re doing now?
I used to be a nurse, but I have been making jewelry since childhood. I made everything from elaborate friendship bracelets to brick stitched seed bead earrings. I really always wanted to make jewelry for a living but when it was time to go to college a nursing degree seemed more practical. I decided, years later and after having my kids that I didn’t want to be a nurse any more, but to stay at home with them. I soon discovered that as much as I love playing with them, I needed a more creative outlet than playdoh. I decided to finally make the jewelry I have always wanted to make.
I had planned to go back to school to learn how to make jewelry by conventional methods so that I could have a home business, but I just never found time to go. Instead, I just started inventing my own methods to make jewelry in my spare time. I really wanted to make something totally different than other people were doing. The micro mosaic invention took three years to perfect but then the invention of everything else just fell into place fairly quickly. And now, here I am!
Is there a story behind the name of your shop?
My shop name “Twist 21” comes from the idea that I put a twist on past forms of jewelry or art to make them new again. Micro mosaics and sand paintings have been around for a long time, but there are no books (at least that I could find) that could teach me how to make micro mosaics… and as far as I know, no one else has ever made a sand painting into a pendant. So I came up with my own twist on an old idea! The 21 in my shop name is because 21 is my lucky number.
Do you work alone? With a team? Do you engage your family or friends in the work? What is your process? How do you ensure you get your work done yet still have a life?
All of the jewelry is created by me. My husband helps by watching my two kids while I sell at craft shows and over the weekends when I do most of my jewelry creation. Most of my work is done late at night, during nap times for the kids, and over the weekend. I get very little sleep, but I really enjoy having my time with my kids as well as my creative time. Sleep will just have to continue to be on the backburner for a while!
Where do you sell your work? Which venues are your favorites? Do you prefer selling online or in person? Do you attend shows or fairs? Is your work in a gallery or brick-and-mortar store?
I enjoy selling both online and in person. I do find that I sell more in person since people seem to like to try things on and really touch jewelry before they make a decision, but I enjoy being able to sell to people all over the world by selling online. I don’t think I prefer one way of selling over the other.
I’d love to sell my jewelry in actual stores but I haven’t figured out how to make that happen yet!
Do you have any favorite handmade shops or sellers?
What inspires and motivates you?
I am inspired by all forms of art and really enjoy inventing something new out of an old idea. Obviously, I am a fan of antique micro mosaics, and Native American sand paintings. Most of my designs that I use for my pendants are not my own (though some are.) I use royalty free images that I have permission to use so that I have a broad range of styles for my pendants. Having so many different patterns and different types of fabric keeps me motivated and interested so that my craft never gets boring to me.
What do you wish I had asked you?
“When did I start loving art/jewelry?”
My father says as an infant, I was a really calm baby who never really got too excited or upset about anything. (I take this to mean I was pretty boring, but I don’t think that is what he meant!) But at just a few months old, my parents took me into a store in Arizona that was selling Sand Paintings and Native American jewelry and I just lit up. He said I grabbed at everything and was just really excited. He thought at the time that my excitement over jewelry was just a sign that girls are more expensive than boys…but now, it seems clear that I just always liked jewelry and art. I think that making jewelry is just something I was meant to do.
Thank you Danielle! And if you want to be interviewed next, just head over to DIY Interview.
Lavender and Spring Green Easter Glass Soap Dish
Elegant and contemporary style soap dish in spring green and lavender opaque glass, with a stripe of pale purple tint in the center. Perfect for your bars of beautiful soap, this dish has 2 raised bars down the center to keep your soap dry. You could also use this… details »
Blush Flower Polka Dot Tulle Handmade Hair Fascintor
One-of-a-kind handmade, double-use, pastel pink flowered ribbon sash belt decorated with handmade pink petaled flowers nested on pink mild striped satin ribbon. Magnolia like look flowers, enriched with doted white tulle, are made of pale pink colored petals around a pink button stigma. details »
Blue Leaf Mosaic Candle Holder
Bring a little extra magic to any room with this square mosaic candle holder in shades of blue and purple.