2/28/2019

Art Elements Design Challenge and Blog Hop - Birds of Prey

Birds of prey, what a great topic for the new Art Elements Design Challenge! I had no idea what to make, but I've always loved those birds, so nothing could go wrong, right? Thank you, Cathy!
I was even brave enough to post on the AE Facebook page that I was well on the way this time. Yay!
That yay turned into a nooooo pretty quickly. Let me explain.

I happened to have a "paint cabochon" (like a Fordite, but not a real one and not as colorful) already set in woven wire. The drop shape seemed perfect for an owl body. I love owls although I don't get the chance to see them often even though I don't live that far from the woods. I remember once coming home late at night, however, and hearing a soft sound from a tree standing in the yard of the daycare center down the road. When we looked up we saw it was a huge owl sitting there. I don't know if he was trying to warn us off or if he had seen prey, but we decided we wouldn't disturb him for too long although I could have stood there staring at him forever. He was gorgeous!

Back to my paint cab. I had the body and now all I needed was a branch for it to sit on, large wings and a head. I put on some wings that I was not completely happy with.
People who know me also know that I tend not to take WIP pictures. That has several reasons. I'm too lazy, I don't want the flow of creativity to be disturbed, I don't want to jinx the piece, and I'm too lazy, oops, already said that.
So I'm sorry, but I can't show you the wings or the body. Or the branch that I started making, but that I gave up on because I didn't see a good way to attach the owl to it without it falling over constantly. The wings did look, hmm, okay at best, the head was pretty good. Then the bead for the beak broke right after the last wire was snipped. Call it destiny.
You don't want to know what happened next. It wasn't a full blown tantrum, but it did come pretty close. There may have been some light or less light cursing, and when the wire cutter came out .... enough to say that I actually apologized to the poor critter before I cut it up because I'm crazy that way. In such a case when I have fiddled around for too long and finally decide this has to end here and now, I cut. I don't even try to save anything. There's a time for saving and there's a time for "destroy this thing or it will come back forever to haunt your soul".
Excuse me while I'm taking a deep breath. Okay. On to the next chapter.

I had liked the idea in general and, most important, now time had started running out again. So I went through my cab stash and found some labradorite in a drop shape, carved to make it look like a leaf. Or - haHA!! - like feathers.
As if the owl in the tree from so many years ago came to me in spirit as an inspiration, things went a lot more smoothly this time. I wove my bezel, shaped some branches (similarities with tentacles are purely coincidental, cough cough) and added some Czech glass leaves. I made a little face consisting of eyes - looking a bit like a pince-nez now that I'm thinking about it - that I "filled" with two yellow bicones, and a beak. The plan had been to attach that to the bezel, but it looked wrong on the stone, so instead I made a little head around the face which made me much happier, especially because I find the weaving in the face reminds of feathers as well now.
Last but not least I oxidized the copper. As I had to take some breaks for the sake of my wrist and thumb joint, I finished this one the evening before the reveal once again, but I made it. So now I can really say it, YAY!
This pendant gives me great pleasure, I have to admit, and I have to hold back not to make another one right away while I still remember how I did it! ;-)



This is not just a challenge, but also a blog hop, so please have a look at all the other hoppers' posts as well!

Guests

Tammy - Beth - Cat (that's me!) - Anita - Kathy - Alysen - Linda - Rozantia - Jennifer - Hope - Sarajo - Melissa - Sarah 

AE Team

Caroline - Cathy - Claire - Jen - Jenny - Karen - Laney - Lesley - Lindsay - Marsha - Niky - Sue

40 comments:

  1. Oh my word! I'm so sorry about the first one. I can imagine me having a similar reaction - and the apology before cutting it apart makes perfect sense to me. But this second piece is AMAZING! It's definitely an owl, but still almost abstract. The use of the leaf as feathers is so cool. And the way you formed the head boggles my mind. Beautifully done!

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm glad someone understands my need to apologize :-D

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  2. I can't imagine after all that work to have something break! I would have cried! But I love what you made, and I'm in awe of how you do it! I have owls in my backyard, I hear them at 3am! And I have seen them, fleetingly!

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    1. Thank you! I try to find a reason in those accidents, and in this case I just have to say it pushed me to do better the second time around.
      I'd love to have owls in my backyard, how wonderful!

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  3. I am sorry about your first piece. It's so frustrating to have to regroup and start over. But I do love your final piece. That labradorite is perfect for the body. And those golden eyes, spectacular! Your wire wrapping skills are phenomenal. Well done!!

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    1. Thank you, Cathy, and thank you again for the topic.
      I still want to make one with its wings spread now.

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  4. Wow, that weaving is perfect! Love the little eyes and beak, and the leaves are icing on the cake. :)

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  5. I love your weaving. Your finished piece is lovely. Well done!

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  6. Ooh, that is a spectacular pendant! I am sorry your first piece was not meant to be because it sounds amazing. I've tried wire weaving and can only imagine the frustration of having something break near the end of a project. I'm glad you were able to transfer your general idea to a different stone. The end result is amazing.

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    1. Thank you, Tammy!
      I have become better at ranting and cursing and then moving on. I think the worst "accident" that ever happened to me when I bead loomed a dress for my Supersize Christie. I had one side loomed when I pulled a wrong thread and lost one edge row. I pulled my hair as well!
      So I loomed it again and this time my dear black cat Ponder tore it off the loom when I didn't look for a second. I had to do it a third time.
      So this was nothing in comparison!

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  7. Beautifully done as s great take on the theme!

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  8. What an ordeal! Glad you stuck with it though, your final piece turned out beautifully!

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  9. I'm sorry about your first piece, but this pendant is phenomenal. I'm in awe of how you conceptualized it and your wire work just knocks me out!

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  10. I have the same problems with process pictures. I just don't want to stop for long enough to take them...or get distracted...or can't find the camera... I love your creation and it really makes me want to get out my cabs and try a bead embroidered owl belly! Maybe another sooty or something else? Thank you for playing along and thank you for the inspiration!

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    1. I'm so glad I'm not alone with that! It's one reason why I only made one very small tutorial in all those years.

      Thank you!
      A bead embroidered owl belly sounds wonderful and so does a sooty (that I had never heard of before I read your post). I'd love to see that!

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  11. Wish we could have seen the first one too, but wow. What you ended up with is pretty darn amazing. My hands hurt just looking at all that wirework. It’s gorgeous and the stone is perfect. I really love it! Thanks for participating in another one of our challenges! Hope to see you again !

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    1. Thank you very much, Jennifer, for your kind comment and for giving me the opportunity to push my creative mind in these challenges! It's so much fun.

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  12. This is a fantastic design, wow! The eyes, the beak, the branches - so creative!

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    1. I blame it on my (invisible ;-)) muse Mabel, she throws those ideas at me.
      Seriously, though, thank you!

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  13. Ah I felt frustrated myself reading about your first piece, but your second one turned out just divine! It looked abstract to me at first, but then suddenly I saw the owl - loved that! Your wire-wrapping skills are pretty amazing.

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    1. Thank you very much!
      I found it very difficult to take a picture of this one. I know it would have less of an abstract touch if I had woven into the "ears" as well, but I liked it better this way.

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  14. Cat, sorry to hear about the unfortunate and painful demise of your first piece. The final owl is stunning, I love how the eyes are woven into the base wires! At first I thought it was metal clay formed into spiky ends! Your weaving is intricate and so GOOD! Alysen

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    1. Thank you so much, Al!
      The first one won't be forgotten! ;-) It is very gratifying, though, to see a second attempt work out better, it softens the blow.

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  15. I had to laugh out reading about your process and the problems... and tantrums... and I am so with you! That could have been me as well, including destroying the piece as well as feeling bad to destroy something that was going to be a character... Your final piece turned out stunning! :)

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    1. Thank you!
      Also it is always good to know that there are others with the same trait of "creative craziness"! ;-)

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  16. I love your wire work I can't imagine being that patient to weave a sculptural piece like you do. He is gorgeous and was worth the 'near' tantrum :P

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    1. Thank you, Laney!
      I can be very patient ... and I can be VERY impatient :-D

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  17. Outstanding work! I love the detail that went into all of that wirework :)

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  18. What a beautiful piece I really love his little face!

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  19. Wow - your wire work is amazing! I love how your piece came out - it is a stunner! I loved your background story of how it came about - I have had my own hissy fits before - so feel your pain.

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    1. Thank you very much! Here's to creative hissy fits round the world! :-D

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  20. Such intricate weaving! WOW! Sorry to not see any in progress pictures - I was avidly reading and wanting to see the piece... well before it was done in. Glad you could join us! Sorry i was a bit late to the hop!

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    1. Maybe I'll manage to recreate the piece, only better and show it then!

      Thank you, Jenny!

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