Saturday, April 12, 2008

Modern Art and Textiles Inspire Studio Saturday

Welcome to Studio Saturday! What is Studio Saturday? Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free bead each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner. This weeks winner is Alexa. Alexa has won Tari's Triple Dot Beads on a Steel Choker. Please use the suggestion box to send us your address.

Good morning! Welcome to my studio! Saturday morning is a good day to stand over my torch while I melt glass....

In the last few months, I've been exploring modern art as the inspiration for a different series of beads. The Modern Glass Links are the result of exploring Modern Art but it doesn't stop there. I want to create an entire series. When I create beads, I envision them serving as a talisman for people, to represent emotions...all those things that can't be seen. Modern art seeks to represent emotions, themes and abstractions so it's a perfect fit. Some of the best examples of Modern Art and Design is in textiles. One of the designers I'm drawn to is Alexander Girard.

After pouring over several modern textile books, it sparked an idea. I envisioned a Modern Art Bird using the bold outlines and start color contrasts characteristic of modern textiles.

I have a sketchbook but I don't draw well so I don't usually draw out bead designs. I say usually because once in awhile I will draw a design. I draw to figure out the basics of placement of design and sculptural elements.

Normally, I don't show anyone my sketchbook but since it's only us ABS readers today, here's a rare look:

From a sketch, I'll go to the torch, set out glass rods in a color palate and make a prototype. Lately, I've favored a bronze colored glass that has reflections of violet and purple. So the color palate for the Modern Bird uses bronze, black and violet.

The first prototype is rarely the final design. I'll tweak it before it goes on my website. I don't like to show it before then, but today is Studio Saturday. All readers get to see inside my studio...

I made "eye" beads in bronze and black and violet accent beads to complement the Modern Bird.

I'm not completely satisfied with the translation from sketch to prototype. I need to tweak it and make another prototype. Maybe change the color palate or add another layer of glass in the circles....lots of little details to think about and tweak. While I'm doing that, I'll be checking my research on Modern Art and Design to make sure revisions stay true to the style that inspired Modern Bird.

Now that I've shown you what inspires me, here's today's question:

What inspires you?

Leave a comment and you'll be entered to win a pair of Modern Glass Links in Bronze. I look forward to reading what inspires you!


Elaine said...

I love seeing other people's sketchbooks where the drawings are, well, sketchy. My sketchbook includes a lot of writing to explain the drawings!

Elaine Luther

Lorelei Eurto said...

I'm most inspired by nature. I love organic, earthy jewelry - asymmetry and simple designs. I love your bird beads! Very cool!

Christina J. said...

Love the bird bead, even if it isn't quite what you wanted. I'm inspired by nature and also by fairy tales.

glshowlin said...

Thanks for sharing your sketchbook ~ very brave. I've always used a sketchbook because I never know what is going to inspire me or where I'll be when it happens~I carry my small one with me everywhere I go. Living, breathing everyday Life is what inspires me...people, colours, nature. I love the "big-mouth bead", it is right on. I also love your spirals. I have yet to be able to pick just one.

Cindy Gimbrone said...

Thanks for the compliments on Modern Bird. She'll get there :-)

It was very scary to open up my sketchbook to you. I don't draw well but it gets the job done! :-)

glshowlin - glad you liked the big mouth bead - nothing like a politician to inspire a big mouth! LOL!

ABS readers' comments are always thoughtful and interesting. Looking forward to reading more!


Heather Powers said...

I'm with you on Art History Cindy! I also love textile designs. Nature is a big one for me, the relationships of colors and textures.I suppose most are inspired by nature. There is always something new to discover and inspired.

I love seeing your sketchbook, that is so much fun.

Joann Loos said...

Thanks for showing your sketchbook! Mine has almost no drawings, but lots of pics from magazines and such.

I think the modern bird in its current incarnation is quite nice. Very meso-american looking. I can see how you'd like to try again, tho, looking at your drawing. It's much closer to Art Nouveau...almost Mackintosh style.

I think the first pass is worth keeping on its own merits.

AJ said...

The modern bird is awesome! I do hope you'll post your future bird attempts on ABS, too!

I'm inspired by a lot of things. One of my big inspirations is faerie lore, mythology, and fantasy fiction. This inspires me to buy art beads shaped like various fae and mermaids and dragons and such, and those beads in turn inspire my designs :)

Anonymous said...

I don't make my own beads but I let the beads I buy inspire me to make jewelry. I lay out a bunch of beads in the colors I want to use and just start making something using the beads that pop out at me. :)

Carlene said...

I love to go to Art Shows or galleries to get inspiration. Everything I see creates an idea in my head that ends up with my own spin to it. Getting from my head to my hands sometimes can be a challange. And sometimes just seeing (or lusting after) a really cool bead I wouldn't ordinarily buy, gives me a new perspective on an idea I've had rumbling around. Life is inspiration!

Anonymous said...

I love to go people watching for inspiration. Everyone, to me, puts off their own color and sound. I'm lucky enough to know some of the coolest women on the planet, and they have ended up being an endless source of inspiration for me. Seeing the world through synesthesia is a never ending source of as well!

abeadlady said...

Textures and the flow of color, whether it be in a garden, the sky, or something else is what inspires me. Also seeing the work of other beading artists such as in the Bead Journal Project increases my creativity.

Your bird is wonderful. I like the smooth lines of it.


Cindy Gimbrone said...

Heather, thanks for sharing! Now I know where all your fabulous beads come from!

Cindy Gimbrone said...

Joann - I like your explanation - meso-american - I love meso-american! Thanks for a new and fabulous perspective on Modern Bird :-)


Cindy Gimbrone said...


I made another incarnation of Modern Bird yesterday in a different color palate - the colors are traditional Southwestern - red, turquoise, yellow. I'll make sure I show it during my next Studio Saturday.

Fairies and nature are a great source of inspiration. I'm sure your work is very whimsical.


Cindy Gimbrone said...

Jamie and Carlene,

I tend to work very similarly to what you both described. Letting the beads inspire you and immersing yourself in art to get the spark of an idea. Also, just buying beads or colors outside your own comfort zone is a good way to get the creative juices flowing.

Thank you for commenting - I like to hear what inspires others.


Cindy Gimbrone said...


People watching - that's a unique and wonderful way to get inspired - especially since you have such an amazing group of women around you.

I'm in a similiar situation - as an editor on ABS, I'm cyber-surrounded by an awesome group of creative women who inspire me daily.

Keep being inspired, Joy!


Cindy Gimbrone said...


The Bead Journal Project is very inspiring! Such wonderful work is done on it. Thanks for taking the time to come over and comment.


Linda Starr said...

Funny you should ask. Thanks for posting your drawing. I love the modern bird - lovely and the matching beads are great too. I just posted on my own blog about inspiration this morning at I posted a couple of drawings there too. Normally I would never post my drawings as the final product does not look anything like the drawing. Mostly the drawings tend to remind me of my ideas. My garden and nature are the things that inspire me the most and the different places I travel. I use drawings and photography to remind me of the ideas that come to mind then I try to create them in clay. Sometimes though I don't use a drawing and I just get an idea and start working the clay.

Melissa J. Lee said...

That bird is just gorgeous! I'm inspired by what I read quite a bit, everything from Shakespeare to manga (By the way, I love the anime bead that appeared on ABS at the beginning of the month - I remember you mentioning them before, but I hadn't seen one until that post!)

Julz said...

I think your sketching is pretty good actually...thank you for sharing!
What inspires me...colours, mostly...the world around beading friends, because they are amazingly talented!!

Cindy Gimbrone said...


We must be on the same wavelength since we posted pictures of our sketchbooks the same day. Thanks for sharing what inspires you!


Cindy Gimbrone said...


Thank you! :-) The painted anime bead is a collaboration between my son and I - he draws anime. I'll make sure I tell him that you liked the bead :-) What a wide variety of inspirations you have! Thanks for sharing.


Cindy Gimbrone said...


Thanks - I can draw some things but other things forget it! LOL! I draw to work out the elements of the bead instead of trying to represent it accurately.

Color as inspiration - that's a good thing! :-)Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.


Anonymous said...

cyber-surrounded?! I really like that! That was going to be my comment basically, that I have my favourite online haunts that I go to to see what ideas people are coming up with. Then I have the big road block to push through - my hesitation to actually use my supplies. I take beads out, stare at them the ponder a few ideas and decide "no not special enough", save them for new inspiration... repeat... repeat...

cserpentDesigns said...

Your bird reminds me more of Egyptian drawings you see in museums than what I envision as modern art - but art is in the eye of the beholder. I think it's a great bead as is and can't wait to see your other bird incarnations!

I regularly get inspired by what I see when I walk the dogs - color combos in nature usually are what get me going - I STILL need to make a "bird of paradise" piece - I keep walking by blooms with the orange and deep/bright blue and hints of pink and just LOVE the combo - but other inspirations have gotten in the way of that one - LOL! I've even been inspired by the colors of towels I had out in my bathroom - light purple and brown were laying on top of one another and so I created Grounded Purple - I get ideas from magazines too!