Saturday, February 26, 2011

Studio Saturday with Erin Prais-Hintz, Tesori Trovati Jewelry

Welcome to 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 prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.

This weeks winner is Sweet Willow Designs! You have won ceramic bird pendant from Spirited Earth courtesy of Lori Anderson! Email Lori to claim your prize:

"Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing."
~Camille Pisarro 

There is something so magical about holding a bead in your hand created by an artist. 

To know that this bead, this component was lovingly made with the artist's two hands in a slow and deliberate process feels like being let in on a secret world. And I view it as my responsibility to put the bead in a delicate spotlight. Every piece of jewelry I have ever made tells a story, but when an artisan bead is included, that artist becomes part of the story. 

Last summer, I was honored to mount a solo exhibit at the Gallery Q where I show my work. I never thought that I would be able to fill a gallery space, but I did it. When seeking inspiration for the show, I had to look no further than the walls of the gallery. I asked the artists to collaborate with me: provide me with a new piece of art that I could use as the basis for my one-of-a-kind jewelry. But wait! I took those artworks and sent them to bead artists from around the world - many of whom I found right here on Art Bead Scene. I invited them to come play with me by creating beads and components in their unique medium inspired by the art. And inspired they were! I received dozens of beads in colors and shapes and sizes and styles that amazed me.

While pulling the show together, I had an epiphany.

{jewelry created as part of my solo exhibit "Inspired by..." featuring art beads by Kerry Bogert, Barbara Lewis, Sara Sally LeGrand, Cathy Collinson and Jennifer Heynen with painting by local artist Brenda Wenberg}

I could tell that the artists who were working with me to create the beads were really jazzed up by the experience... not only were they energized by the freedom that I gave them to create whatever they wanted, but also the thrill of seeing how I would bridge the divide between the artwork hanging on the wall and their beads. I wanted to experience what the bead artists were experiencing.

So last fall I embarked on a journey to develop my own line of jewelry.

{for my dear friend Kari who is starting new - 'every thing happens for a reason' paired with gunmetal chain, steel links and  humblebeads}
My focus was to create a line of jewelry components that I would sell in spring 2011. My plan included developing a cohesive idea; selecting different mediums to experiment with; conducting market research at shows, through the Gallery Q sales, and through my blog; seeking the feedback of trusted bead artist and designer friends; and culminating in creating jewelry with the components for sale as well as selling them individually.

My goal is to sell 100 of the pieces (either as finished jewelry or as components) by the end of May. And so far, I am off to a good start.

{a sweet little robin on a branch, 'fly high on love' on the back}
So, what is the concept and how did it come about?

If you know me, then you know I love words.

Combining my love of words and jewelry has been a dream of mine. I was inspired to create these pendants and charms, most of which feature a positive message, after reading a book by Patti Digh called "Four Word Self Help." This pithy little book is a great motivator. The idea intrigued me that you could distill the message down to just four words, so that it will manifest in your life. Ms. Digh even suggested writing it down and carrying it with you, and I thought about taking that power mantra one step further: why not wear it?

And 'simple truths' was born.

{some of the original 'simple truths' pendants... some sold, some coming to my Etsy shop soon}
 I like things that look old and worn, have a sense of wit and whimsy, and speak a deeper truth. I wanted to create components that I could use in my own jewelry, but also that others might want to put their own spin on. It would give me great pleasure to see what others would do with these!

Since I have never met an art bead that I didn't like, I wanted to be sure that whatever I created would work well with the art beads in my stash. So far I have paired these pendants with polymer clay, lampwork glass, metal, mixed media and ceramic. I am sure that I will find many more pleasing pairings.

And I have been asked to make all manner of custom pieces... and that is something near to my heart.

{'non m'oubliez pas' - do not forget me - custom order in remembrance of a life cut short by recent tragedy}
Each 'simple truths' pendant or charm is lovingly hand made by me using polymer clay set in bezels then detailed with multiple layers of paint and inks and buffed with Renaissance Wax. I love the mixed media feeling of these and they have a painterly quality that I adore. Some are one sided with just an image or a combination of words and image, some are double-sided so that you can choose which side is facing out. To hold the words close to your heart.

Each is different and no two are alike. I am not a machine, and I don't really have an interest in making dozens of the exact same charms. So I made the decision to hand craft each one individually. While I do carry around a little notebook that has ideas for the words, I am never sure what the image will look like until it is done. Perhaps it isn't the most efficient way of doing things, but that is okay. I like them organic, growing from the work of my two hands, and lovingly painted and sealed, waiting for good homes.

{for my sister-in-law Mary who loves teal and brown, with the message 'life is grand' - can you see the humblebeads in there?}
Because I will make these in small batches, I plan to have updates from time to time. If you are interested in being included in a simple truths pendant update, head on over to my blog and fill out the Treasures Found Nation form in the sidebar. (I hate being spammed and I promise that I will only use that email to communicate with you about pendant updates or special subscriber only deals and discounts.)

{hoots - no words. just cute!}

In honor of my first Studio Saturday, I am giving away a 'simple truth' pendant of winner's choice. The random winner (posted on the next Studio Saturday post) can be from anywhere in the world and will have the choice of any 'simple truth' pendant listed in my Etsy shop (value up to $12)...OR...we will work together and I will create a custom 'simple truth' pendant just for you!

To win, all you need to do is leave a comment below to enter, and I have even provided some questions in case you can't think of anything to say (you don't have to answer them all!). Even 'hello' will do! But if you answer a question you will help me with the market research and I will be eternally grateful ;-).

Tell me what quote or phrase or word you would like to see on future pendants...

Tell me what images or motifs you would like to see...
Tell me what colors you would like to work with...
Tell me whose art beads you would pair with this pendant if you won... lampwork?  polymer?  ceramic?  metal?  etc...

 Enjoy the day!

Erin Prais-Hintz writes about all things that inspire her at Treasures Found::Inspiration Is Everywhere. Her jewelry designs are one-of-a-kind made one-at-a-time. She collects quotes and dust and invites you to send her your favorite (quote - not dust!) to


Krys Mann said...

Saw these on your blog, very lovely. A favorite saying in our household is "Life is not a dress rehearsal" It may be a bit long for a pendant, but that's something we live by.

Alice said...

Congratulations Lori!!!!

Erin, your Gallery Q exhibit collaboration with bead artists, and the subsequent 'simple truths' project inspired me more than you can imagine. While I haven't had time to do anthing with the information, I've kept your original blog posts tucked away in my head as a reminder that making jewelry goes beyond my own little bead table. The possibilities are endless.

Clayworks by Lisa Boucher said...

Just wanted to say, your work is gorgeous. Love seeing what you're up to!

EB Bead and Metal Works, LLC said...

Erin - you know I love your "Simple Truths" pendants! The are gorgeous and mean something to everyone.

Lois Moon said...

I love your new line of designs and in an earlier comment on your blog I told you what I loved about the colors. So here I;ll say that with the Hoot! pendant I would add a few wooden beads, a ceramic bead, and one of the new firepolished metallic look Czech beads all in a similar manner to the piece you have above which included some HumbleBeads. I love the rustic with just a touch of the unexpected polish.

Cillaw said...

Great Idea!
My father's favorite saying is,

"Great Life, Great Life"


Maneki said...

Those endants look just fab! I especially fell for the colours of the blue bird pendant, but also the words plant hope. I studied environmental science so those two words can have so many dimensions for me. From the abstract idea of giving people hope for the future to actually planting for a better, greener environment.

As for what I'd like to see on pendats... I'm very fond of old symbols, signs and such so I like finding them on pendants. That an nature motifs, flora and fauna. Of cause I like "fragments". That is, e.g. parts of a leaf/twig, flower etc like in the plant hope and kindness matters pendants above. Poetic, slightly dark, dreamy, earthy, bittersweet. In style and colour.

And I like one or two word quotes. Simple and condense. Also, you can often associate more freely with just one word. Though the risk is running into clich├ęs, just writing the same words everyone else use so often they loose their magic. I want magic! And 'magic' is -- by the way -- the word one of my very few qoute pendants/beads says. Another one I really like says 'dream'. I used it in a bracelet together with 'create' and 'inspire'.

Another reason I like short phrases and single words is probably that I tend to hold on to long qoutes myself. From poems, lyrics and such. Things too long to fit on a pendant. Last night I finished reading Hope Mirrlees' lovely Lud-in-the-Mist (for the second time) so right now my head is buzzing with fairy fruit and

lily, germander and sops in wine
with sweet-brier
and bon-fire
and strawberry-wire
and columbine

(she was inspired by an older song, printed in book called Robin Goodfellow in 1628, I've heard.)

Brenda Salzano said...

I have to honestly say, this is the BEST new line I have seen in some time. Your designs are a sure hit! totally awesome!!

Sweet Willow Designs said...

Erin, i really enjoyed seeing your pendants. When things get tough I keep remembering "It's only temporary." This phrase helps me realize that this too will pass. My favorite images are pinecones, leaves and snowflakes and colors are southwest - turquoise, amber, coral. Thanks for showing your work

cjvierow said...

Hi Erin--you are such a multi-talented lady. Some ideas: an acorn on one side, "dream big" on the other; a heart with "follow yours"; a snowflake with "we're all different".

Unknown said...

Stopped by after visiting you on Bead Soup, right now I am all about Hope and Joy.

Norma's Bag Boutique said...

Beautiful and inspirational line. I love the concept and the truth in: "Be the change you wish to see in the world." Ghandi

Anonymous said...

beautiful work!

rosebud101 said...

Words: Hope, Love says it all, I love, I live

Of course, I'd pair them up with lampwork beads!!!!

Angel Whisperer said...

words I would like to find on a pendant are
"this to shall pass"
don´t know why I did not still make some myself :) my next project ?
and You all ready know I <3 Your pendants Erin !

Hannah said...

This collection really inspires me to include more inspiring words in my jewelry!!

Elaine said...

Most of the quotes I can think of are longer - I've been experimenting with putting them on my clay beads and pendants as well.

I'm a fan of nature themes and I use polymer clay and wire in most pieces I make so this is right up my alley. Favourite colours are browns, muted blues and greens.

Some little blurbs I've heards: hope springs eternal, hope speaks, love shines, one step at a time, sing a little

Carlene said...

These are quite intreging. I would love to win one. Trust, dream, and create would be fun to use on them. I've been wanting to work with polymer, and I think you may have pushed me over the edge :) I love earthy colors and I'd probably pair them with ceramic beads.

Erin S said...

Erin, these are gorgeous and I'm not just saying that because I want to win one. :-) I love earth tones (greens, browns, mustards) and I love geometric patterns, or a simple, single artistic element on the front. Phrases can be anything--there are many that inspire me--I tend to not go for ones you've heard a zillion times, but something different. I like the intrigue of a foreign language. that way its sort of a little secret that not everybody knows.

Pretty Things said...

LOVE this new line. LOVE!

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Erin, you know I am already an admirer of your "simple truths" pendants. I think you have covered just about every color I could think of--I do like the more earthy colors.

Carol Creech said...

These pendants are fabulous! What a wonderful idea. My thoughts echo some that have already commented here...including the all important phrase "this too shall pass". I also love nature/earthy/botanical images as I do botanical art, so a leaf, pine cone, seed pod, etc. are all appealing. Seed pods make me think of words like "potential" "growth", "transform", "be who you are", etc. I also love water birds - so elegant (herons and egrets in particular...) Can't wait to see what new ones you create!

Toyin O. said...

Beautiful work:)

sasha + max studio said...

What I love about your work is that there is so much thought and planning that goes in to it before you start - this new line is wonderful, Erin - good luck with it

roseworksjewelry said...

I love quotes about dance - so how about "live to dance, dance to live" ? Thanks for this great chance!

Gail W. said...

I sometimes feel very old and jaded,and the words-in the eyes of a child- come to mind.

Ann said...

Love the pendants! My favorite phrase is "laugh everyday".


Susan Marling said...

Wow - I would probably pair it with metal - love metal - maybe copper. What about "be true to yourself"? Thank you for another chance to win.

Off the Beadin' Path said...

Very interesting to hear about the development of your simple truth pendants, and they're awesome, as is everything you do, Erin! You wrote it up in a picturesque, kind way and shared a little part of yourself. I especially like (covet, and lust for) the dragonfly, you're a color genius! I also like the sea turtle motif and would most likely add some Humblebeads into the necklace, but any of the other types would be wonderful to use, as well. You have offered a luscious and generous Giveaway, I am really hoping......

stacilouise said...

I think I would pair it with moslty metals and some gemstome or pearl beads that complimented the colors. I would have fun with it, thats for sure.

Maureen said...

Fun and beautiful, I especially love the owl pendant! But anything nature oriented would be my favorite, such as flowers, leaves, birds and bugs. Thanks for sharing!

Andrew Thornton said...

Beautiful work! I am so very proud of you! Congratulations! I know you've been wanting to do your own line of components for awhile and it is a wonderful thing to see you achieve your goal!

Uhmmmm... as far as phases go, "Love is Mighty." or "Speak from the heart"

An octopus!

I love earth tones, or deep dark reds, emerald greens, and sapphire blues.

I think these would go well with fine pewter or shibuichi. And I love ceramic beads. They really would work well with all sorts of goodies!

cw whitedogjewelry said...

Your work is beautiful! I love the idea of a few words and image which can be translated in so many different ways to make it personal. Best of luck with it. I'm sure you will succeed. I, too, am looking to express myself thru a new medium, paper beads. So, I can see a new creation formed from your work and my new adventure...paper and your beads. My favorite quote has to be "there are no coincidences in life". Everyone you meet, everything in your life has a reason, maybe not immediately seen, but it will influence you in some way. I also love deep rich colors, being an interior designer, color is everything. Images from nature have to be the best for of design.
' all the best to you.

Unknown said...

My 82 year old grandmother was taken off life support a few days ago. The odd thing is that no one ever tells you that someone can live days, a week, or even longer after the machines are shut off. This has given me a lot of time to think while waiting. She always thought that you wear crowns when you get to heaven. I have a tiara ready and waiting to make sure she has her crown when she goes. This made me think of "crowns in heaven."
I keep thinking about my grandfather and their 62 years of marriage. Maybe this can inspire some phrases...long life, partner, partner in crime, marriage, couple, two became one, etc.
Hope this is inspirational and not just depressing. It has been a long few days.

MoonRae said...

All of these are just wonderful!! brought a tear to my eye when I saw Life is Grand....that truly is my mantra

cindydolezaldesigns said...

Life is a journey. Not a destination.

I love all your images and the colors.

I would pair them with my own ceramic beads.

I love reading what you write. You obviously love to write.

The Bead Gypsy said...

Your story of concept-to-creation is so inspiring, Erin! From the GAllery Q exhibit to your new "Simple Truths" line, I am so excited to watch your progress and I wish you much success! I love your style :-)

A favorite phrase: Love Speaks Softly

Colors I love are periwinkle to purples; Caribbean blues; all the tones that ocean jasper encompasses!

I love your use of Humblebeads, they work so well with your designs; I have quite a "collection" of Heather's work, as well. That Bead Girl makes some amazing beads, from tiny spacers to gorgeous focals, I think her work would match well with a pendant of yours, as would some of SueBeads' organics, and of course, Green Girl beads and components.

Success to you!

Eileen said...

These are just beautiful.
My favorite motifs tend to be of nature--birds and leaves in tones of greens and browns and deep oranges.
Best of luck to you with this new line.

Cynthia said...

You know I love your new line of 'simple truths'. I am still pondering what would be perfect with them. All your colors and words are beautiful.
Thanks for the opportunity to win one!

skygrazer/Christy said...

Love your antiquing and color choices.

It may be too long but a couple of my favorite phrases are questions:

Who do you want to be?

What would you do if you weren't afraid?

Connie said...

your "simple truth" pendants are beautiful- i love how you have finished them!

BooBeads said...

Oh Oh OH I have another one for you!

My daughters ( and the words I'm always telling them ) are such inspiration!

So another pendant with the words


Would love to see that one!

peggy aplSEEDS said...

these are wonderful pendants. words like faith, believe, dream with positive thoughts are what i love

Anonymous said...

They are so beautiful... my favourite, both in colours, design and words, is "believe that you can". I would pair them with my polymer clay beads I suppose, I usually do, and it might look nice with my faux bronze... I'd have to say it side by side, though, it's always hard to tell from a mere picture.

swopemelmel said...

Once again I find myself admitting that I can't keep my hands out of the crystals or the Vintaj brass. I also love antique silver and i'm a Humblebead fan. swopemelmel

Ashleigh Becker said...

These are awesome! I love using unique phrases, nothing cookie cutter, you know? For Valentine's Day I made a heart with the word love on it out of polymer clay & then I stamped a pendant that said "a more excellent way." I thought it was pretty cool. I like to work with earth tones - nothing too flashy. I think humblebeads rock with everything!

Sally Anderson said...

Hi Erin, Congratulations on your new venture! I wish you tons of success. I have a mantra that's sort of Buddhist in its simplicity: "simply notice." I try to remind myself of that many times a day.

I go more for abstract designs -- textures over animals, for example, and I love ALL colors. I really do. As for beads? It would all depend on the component. Hard to know w/o seeing it.
Good luck w/ your new business!