I began working with metals in 2014 and love the endless possibilities of learning with this medium. The pieces that I have sold, and the custom orders that I have made, have been so much fun to create. I have learned something new with each piece. What I love about creating a new or custom piece is that each one has pushed me to create a new form, design or shape, or to study a new way of making something.
My current work is influenced by Russian filigree. I flatten, twist, and manipulate 16-gauge sterling silver and 26-gauge fine silver into my desired shapes. My pieces are then connected together by different temperature silver solders. The process definitely requires patience, but for me it is like trying to figure out how to solve a fun puzzle.
What I enjoy most is hearing about the emotions and memories that each piece evokes. One customer commissioned a silver filigree chickadee necklace in celebration of her wedding anniversary. She recalled that throughout the ceremony there were chickadees flying about, and she wanted to capture that memory. Making something for her to remember a moment as special as her wedding day just makes me smile.
How did I come up with the name Orange Bead Art?
Years ago, I made a bead embroidery piece looking out towards the water from East Sound on Orcas Island. As I was making the piece, I wanted to included a couple of orange beads in the water to represent my husbands orange kayak. Ever since, I have included an orange bead in every piece of art that I have made, representing to me the love, support and encouragement that I receive every day from my husband.
This is a special cancer ribbon piece that I made and have donated to Courtney Bodily to help raise money for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. This was the perfect piece to try my new impression plate for making the heart pattern on the ribbon and bail. Since the sterling silver ribbon is only a quarter inch wide, it is a little bit hard to make out the heart shapes, but there at least one full heart that stands out. The little heart hanging from the ribbon is fine silver. If you are friends with Courtney on Facebook, I believe she will be taking bids on this piece through Friday.