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Hello from MaryHardingJewelry!!
I am happy to be back posting after a six month hiatus while I waited for my broken ankle to heal. I just got back into my ceramic studio about 2 weeks ago so I have limited new ceramic work to share with you today. Below is a picture of some I made in June, 2016 but could not glaze and fire until a few days ago!! My studio was inaccessible to me until I healed well enough to get around with a cane. When I was laid up I had to keep my ankle elevated most of the time, so I could spend limited time making beads and jewelry but I adapted!! I made the beads below for use in my free form peyote stitch jewelry.Picture below is some beads I glaze fired this week.
Beads in their unfired, greenware state by MaryHardingJewelry
Here is one of the peyote bracelets not quite finished that I worked on during this time. I am excited about using my new beads in some new bracelets and necklaces. So happy to have been able to fire them.
Since I have been back in my studio, I have also been working on orders for some very patient customers and for an update in my Etsy shop. I have about 5 racks full of greenware waiting to be sponged and bisque fired (hopefully this weekend.)
greenware awaiting further finishing
Since I could not fire my ceramic beads, and I was feeling the need for more immediate satisfaction, I turned to my polyclay skills which I learned a few years ago at Christine Damm's Art on The Farm Intensive Workshop. I was able to work in polyclay while keeping my ankle elevated in my LazyBoy chair. I devised a tray for the clay and conditioned it with my hands and worked from my lap.
I share below some pictures of what I made. Most importantly, the making helped me tremendously in terms of keeping up my spirits and and filling my need to be creative.
Poly open tube beads by MaryHardingJewelry
challenge--poly clay MaryHardingJewelry
Large hollow beads in polyclay using technique learned from Claire Maunsell
Lillies inspired by the art work of Paula Modersohn Becker ABS September Challenge artist
I hope you have enjoyed this look at how I adapted to not being able to create in my usual way and medium.
And this brings me to my question for today. What medium would you choose to express yourself if you could not engage in your usual way for an extended period of time?
Leave a comment below and you will be automatically entered to win a $20.00 gift certificate to my Etsy shop. Hopefully it will be restocked in a couple of weeks.
Thanks so much for stopping by today. I love being able to post again!!
Hope you are continuing to mend, Mary! Thanks for this post because many of us senior jewelry designers are having to adapt to changes in our abilities, both physical and mental. Personally, it's the thumb joints that are posing problems. Seeking new ways to use our creativity is worthwhile and challenging. Painting would be my preferred alternative route or some mixed media paper collages.
I love your wonderful beads If I could not make jewelry I think I would
I was laid up from a broken ankle two summers ago. The week after I returned from GLDA in Vegas. I couldn't play with all my new gems. The summer before I had shoulder surgery. I chose kumihimo as my outlet. I used a t ray and bead mat in my lap. My guys would bring me beads from my studio downstairs. I know how good it feels to get back to normal.
I love the components and unique design in the large leaf necklace. Glad you are back on your feet!
When I am in a lot of pain I usually sit with my bag of beads and try stringing them and often find it therapeutic. I find that painting is also soothing when I am angry or frustrated or feeling helpless. I find that crafting or even fixing or revamping old products is the best way to keep me occupied when I am unable to perform my regular duties.
I'm primarily a ceramic raku artist right now. Luckily I have polymer skills and jewelry design to back me up. Take care of yourself and welcome back!
Sometimes forced change turns out to be a good thing. I'd love to try kumihimo, and I could also see myself getting into polymer. Lots of possibilities there.
Where there's a will, there's a way. I admire the way you refused to let your ankle injure your soul. A good lesson for us all. Guess I might say sketching.....
Good to see you back! I loved seeing how you adapted so you could still create. Love your polymer clay creations. Way back when, I made cards. If I couldn't make jewelry for a while. perhaps I would make some cards. I like to create something; it's relaxing to have that focus and not be all up in my head!
Glad your ankle is healing. I would make peyote bracelets using Delicas. It's relaxing and easy to stop and restart.
I went through a similar mishap a few years back (I broke and shattered my right wrist which required two surgeries) but at least I was primarily left-handed. Clay and all the associated things which go with it really do require 2 hands, so to preserve my sanity, I spent my time designing new Intaglio impressing mats and then later, I was able to make my 2-part button beads and tumble shards for future buttons and pendants. I also learned some new 'skills' like using a clay mallet (from Chinese Clay Art) instead of a rolling pin and learned to use my computer mouse with my left hand. Nothing keeps a creative person from their craft!
Welcome back, Mary!! So glad to hear that you can finally get back to your ceramic work... and also glad that you found something to keep you from going stir crazy in the mean time. :) I honestly don't know what I would do to express myself if I couldn't make jewelry the way I do now since I'm not really that creative or artistic outside of jewelry making. Maybe I would be able to do more with macrame (maybe of the micro variety!) or needle felting....
I'm glad you're well enough to go back to the studio! I don't even want to think of an alternative to jewelry making, maybe because I don't have many skills. Unfortunately, I started crafting and designing jewelry too late in my life and I feel the first signs of arthritis - I need to rest a couple of days after each wire woven pendant. Hopefully, stringing is an alternative, even though smaller beads play tricks with me :)
How frustrated you must have been, but it looks like you diverted your creativity in the right directions. I'm not sure what I would do if I couldn't play with my beads -- maybe write?
Gorgeous pieces, Mary, for not working in your usual medium. I have several of your ceramic pieces and one of your copper clay; I love them. I'm torn between ceramic and glass...I think I'd have to choose glass. There's something about working directly with fire that I love (work in metal now). I think it's because I can see the progress of the work as it's out in the open.
Thank you all for your heart felt comments and for welcoming me back. I see the common theme in your replies that we all share a very strong need to create. How wonderful that is. Since I broke my ankle, I have a great respect for our common ability to be resilient in times of change and mishap. I find that very reassuring and I see that all of you would manage just fine too. Thanks so for taking the time to share your thoughts and stories with me.
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