Thursday, December 22, 2016

Girls just wanna have fun!

Making stuff is how I have the best fun! I feel very fortunate to have been able to share my fun with you for the last year! Thank you. Merry Christmas to you and yours, and my wishes to everyone for all good things in 2017.

Having been very inspired by Cindy Pack and her work with silver, I planned on making something with silver for this post but it didn't turn into anything "fun." :) So I switched tracks and decided that I would challenge myself somehow. Flexibility. After a few hours of pondering, I decided the challenge would be to work with Pearls. I've only used pearls twice, I believe. A friend, whose name seems to pop up in my posts often ☺, Susan Delaney, gifted me with four beautiful pairs of pearls, and I had a little stash of beautiful, small Keshi pearls from Debbie at TheFickleBead.

This post could be a veeeeeeeeeeryyyyyyyyyy long post with what went on during the time I worked to make these three pairs of earrings, but I won't; it'll be long enough as it is. ;) As an aside, I laughed out loud and read it to my husband while reading Erin's post last Friday. In no way was I laughing AT HER! She said she made 23 pairs of earrings in 2 hours! I was stunned! In awe! And jealous! lol Now, I am not exaggerating when I say that it takes me 23 hours to make 2 pairs of earrings. I truly am in awe, Erin! :)

The first pair is made with connectors that I purchased from Petra Carpreau of ScorchedEarthOnEtsy in the very FIRST order I placed with her on April 14 of 2013! I just haven't been able to give them up. :)

When I pulled out the pairs of pearls I received from Susan, I picked these first. It's likely difficult to see but they have a lovely texture and a very pretty white color. Oddly enough, I thought of these ceramic pieces almost immediately. And I love how they turned out. They are black stoneware finished with Bronze Gilders Paste. I added brass rings, the beautiful pearls, glass beads and brass at the bottom, with extremely oxidized copper wire.

The second pair also includes Petra's ceramics. I am not a fan of Picasso's work. But I loved it in this medium, and was thrilled to be able to get them. They're paired with wonderful rustic sticks of Rust and Blue Kyanite, purchased from Kimberly Rogers/NuminosityBeads, and another pair of pearls from Susan. These are smooth, glossy, round white pearls.

One of the difficulties I had throughout this project was that the teeny, tiny holes in the pearls require thin wire, 24-gauge. The lower connection was wrapped with 22- gauge on top of the 24. They sell large-holed pearls but these are not those, and they are much too beautiful to ignore.

The last pair was made with the Keshi pearls. An 18-gauge loop wrapped with 24-gauge. A separate piece of 24-gauge was used for the pearls, the
This pic depicts the purple beads
more accurately than the other
ends wrapped around the loop, wrapped a bit at the top of the dangle for stability. The pearls are thin, beautiful, peacock Keshi pearls, a lovely gray with metallic colors. The purple polymer clay beads were made by Jon Burgess of JBDRusticOrganic
and the accent beads are black, blue and green Vulcanite beads handmade in Nigeria.

   I do hope you had a bit of fun here with me today. I look forward to making the earrings and writing the post and simply being a part of this great group. When I say the "group," I mean all of you who enjoy taking a look at what we have going on. I am so grateful to all of you.

Once again, Merry, Merry Christmas
to you and yours, and all the best this life has to offer in 2017!

See ya next year!
Norbel Marolla
She Flies Again


  1. I deleted the first comment...huge spelling mistake LOL

    Norbel, you should work with pearls more often. I love how these turned out.
    Well, no surprise there as I absolutely love pearls and I am a big fan of your work. So, nothing can go wrong here. Especially your second pair...:)
    I know what you mean with the tiny holes...I have struggled with them as well. Never tried the big hole variety.
    Thank you for your posts the past year. They always give an honest inside in the life of an artist.
    Wishing you and yours and all the wonderful people of this great group (in the biggest sense) a wonderful Christmas and a happy, healthy, joyful 2017

    1. lol on the mistake. :) I do that too. Thank you so much for your always kind words and generous encouragement. You truly do help me fly. And I could NOT be happier that it is YOU that is going to be wearing Picasso! I love those too; in person, and in all honesty, I think the bronze are my favorite. :) The Keshi do not quite have the full effect I was going for, but I listed them. I may take them off, don't know yet.
      Dear Sweet Janine, I thank you for all you have been over the last year. Merry Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  2. Ha - I'm always reaching for pearls and I sometimes wonder whether they appeal or not to customers who tend to prefer things grungy and rustic. They just seem like a great punctuation point, as they do in your first two pairs. I'm especially keen on the second pair. And, I love how you've worked those keshi pearls - cool!

    1. Your point is well taken. . . I don't know if they appeal either, but I've found over the years that my work is never one thing anyway, so I try not to think about that. What I really enjoyed about this exercise was mixing them with the more rustic pieces. 4-yr-old black stoneware by Petra is really quite rustic in person, with the pattern and the texture -- my pictures are bad and seem to be getting worse not sure what to do about that -- so the juxtaposition of the gruffer stoneware with the pearls is something that really appealed to me, and the deeply blackened wire just added to the effect, and again contrasted with the bright brass ring. Maybe the bottom could have been different to pull it together better. . . .and who knows, I may change it! You know how we get. :) The Keshi design did not end up as I had envisioned it, but I was out of time. When I do something like this, ya'll get the good, the bad, and the so-so. :) Thank you so much for taking the time to write, Claire. I appreciate it!! Merry Christmas!

  3. Norbel,

    Your post was wonderful.

    The first pearls are "drusy pearls" also called, for an unknown reason, "rosebud pearls". They give every appearance of having been harvested once, coated with new grains of "sand" and then reinserted into freshwater oysters for a few new coats of nacre. They are, thus, round pearls, coated with pearl nacre tiny bumps. So fascinating.

    Love what you made, all four pairs.

    1. Thanks so much for that description, Susan. I really did not know how to describe them. That little bit of texture makes them so much fun. I love them! And thank you for your kind words. :) Merry Christmas!

  4. p.s., "pearl reamers" are very inexpensive. The are super thin "cones" coated with, likely, diamond "dust". You can use them to open the hole of a pearl bigger. I don't think that one would cost you more than $5.

    1. You have got to be kidding!! Is it a hand tool or do I put it on the dremel??? Can't be, that would tear apart a pearl I would think. lol I will check into that. It really gives me great pause when I pick them up, along with the thin wire. Thank you!

  5. I love your use of pearls. I think for both of us pearls give a real contrast to the rest of our work with tends to be rustic. I really like that contrast! You're right though they usually have very tiny holes which can create a challenge. I think I might try reaming them as Susan suggests. LOVE Keishi pearls too!!! Beautiful work my friend!

    1. Thanks so much, Kristi. You are absolutely right. . . and I wasn't sure before this that I wanted to try to pull off that contrast. But it was a great exercise, and I enjoyed it, despite the many hours of frustration. :) Thank you, Kristi! And Merry Christmas!

  6. I adore pearls of all colours, shapes and sizes. The set off against rustic or grungy is, I think, part of the appeal. Love your pieces Norbel - if forced to choose it would be the keishi pair at the bottom - probably my favourite pearl shape. Have a wonderful Christmas and a successful 2017 x