I love selling beads to creative people. You just never know what their vision is for your piece…and if you respect the creative process you learn to let go of your personal vision when you send “artsy parts” like beads out into the world. I love to make skeletons and odd talisman type of parts. I like making eyes, bones, sugar skulls, and the like.
My earliest recollection of glass eyes has to do with a friend. Growing up I knew the Shy boys. Yup, that’s their last name. First I met Dan and then his younger brother Bobby. Bobby’s eyes always seemed a bit off, I was hypersensitive even then to any difference in facial balance but I was a teenager – what did I know or understand about life’s differences. Eventually as our friendship grew the boys explained that Bob’s one eye was glass. It moved pretty much in unison with his good eye. I always wondered if he could pop it out of the socket to clean it – boy was I dumb. Okay, I’ll stop – I know, it’s gross. Anyway, true story here – Dan had been swinging a baseball bat when the boys were little and hit Bobby in the face. Anyhow, I’m not much grossed out by skulls – or anatomy – so it was fascinating to me.
Now, as an adult I make glass eyes – although not as complicated as Bob’s was – for sure.
A while back a designer on Etsy ordered some of my eyes. Today she sent me a message that she had used an eye in a piece of jewelry. All I can say is holy crap. I LOVE it. In fact, I love it on several levels. First off, it’s a very unique piece of jewelry with inspiration drawn on and credited to several sources. It has a great story. Secondly, and I’m showing you the back of this piece because she’s not only cleaver – she’s talented. Soldering is an art – soldering small items isn’t all that easy. Yet, she has done it cleanly and with a great deal of care to her setting, cleaning, and polishing. WAY TO GO! I wanted to point this out because there are a whole lot of people out there who tout their totally poor skills as “rustic”. BAH, I say. You can do great work making rustic pieces but using that to justify an inability to practice good metal work is just an excuse. If you buy a piece of art jewelry it should reflect great craftsmanship – and this craftsmanship is excellent.
So just who did this great work? Well, let me introduce you to Louisa.
The proper title for this piece I’m raving about is Braingles and can be found on her Etsy site: Deadly Cute Design (DCD is interactive so click on it and you can see Louisa’s current body of work).
Louisa is from Austin, Texas. She currently attends college where she works most often in sterling silver. She does try to incorporate some gold in her pieces to have some contrast, but likes setting different stones mostly, because they have deep and contrastive color to them.
This is what Louisa has written on her Etsy Biography:
“I love books, movies, traveling, and music. I enjoy going to festivals. I also like painting and making things out of wax. I love going places and drawing or getting ideas on sight. Most of my inspirations are from day to day life, my best work comes from things I’ve seen, such as a live show or even an art museum that have artwork that drive me to do something creative.
Although I live in the heart of Texas, so far my pieces have many influences such as other famous artists, such as Picasso, Dali, and even Rembrandt. They are my favorites. I don't want to forget astronomy, sexuality, the body, emotions, religion and even...of course, everyone's favorite, nature. Although the transformations in most of my jewelry, which I've made so far have to do with things I've seen on T.V, in a movie, or a dream I had the night previously. The process of my ideas are simple I think of a design or image. I draw it out in my sketchbook. Think on how to go about making the piece, either carve the shape I want in wax, if necessary saw it out in silver sheet. Then more filing and more sanding it smoother, so I can shape the piece out. Soldering, setting the stone, cleaning, polishing.”