7/31/2018

Art Elements Design Challenge and Blog Hop - Seed Pods

Another month, another design challenge from Art Elements.

The topic "seed pods" chosen by Jen who shared great pictures and stories for inspiration is quite fascinating, but you may remember I'm not a gardener. I knew about the snapdragon heads that can look like little skulls (the plant is called "lion mouth" here, by the way) when the flower is dying, but it would probably have been just a bit lazy to take some carved howlite skulls and hang them on some kind of stem (on the other hand let me jot that down for the future, it might be worth a second thought).

What other kind of seed pods were there I could use for an idea?
Well, actually I had been given an idea five years ago. Back then a friend called my attention to Chinese lanterns or physalis. She said she could imagine me knitting some with wire, and so I did my best to figure it out with a prototype first, ordered some agate beads and made three of them. I plastered the picture all over the net, then put them down and forgot about them. Every, now and then I found them and tried to come up with an idea to put them on something like a branch - sound familiar? - and put them out in the hallway as decoration. I already knew I couldn't trust Ponder with them, they were too much like balls, but the wire I had used was too thin to take that risk and also too thin to use them in jewelry.

Now the idea was back. A few years ago I got lucky on a surprise destash parcel. It was a wild mix of some silver findings, crystals, glass beads, small faceted stone beads, a sterling silver chain with a flower pendant, WIPs (one of the earrings made a really sweet focal part for a necklace just the other day that I donated for a good cause). And there were four orange glass beads which had the perfect size for the pod "filling" (also, if anyone has an idea where I put the three leftover agate beads from the first project, let me know - they are probably in a very safe place).
So I grabbed my crochet hook, knitted four Chinese lanterns in different sizes and oxidized the copper for a more natural look. For my first three I had used a coated non-tarnish copper wire,and they always seemed a bit too shiny to me. After all this filigree look means the pods have dried up. Those skeleton pods are not always that greyish then, by the way, I have also seem in a brownish hue. It definitely is a beautiful look. Mother Nature is a true artist.


Now what to do with them?
I had several ideas. One was a necklace with pods hanging from something like a branch :-P Yes, I know, still the same idea. But hey, that's what they do in nature, too.
Maybe one of my wire crochet ropes would work. Spoiler alert - it didn't. Yes, I put some of the pods together with one I made with orange seed beads hoping it would remind of a dried up, but not skeletized pod - which didn't really convince me 100%, though - on two pieces of rope of different lengths. The pods should then be attached to different spots, but no matter how I tried to bring it all together, the look just didn't appeal to me. Was the rope too thick, were just the rope ends too thick, were there too many pods, I just didn't know.
So it was time for a break from it in which I made a pair of earrings instead which I liked better.



The break took longer than I had imagined. Not only got the heat and my cold in the way, I also had WIP procrastination. It's a disease highly dangerous for artists and artisans that keeps you from going back to a WIP you may have already messed up.
Symptoms are lack of creativity, small tantrums, phases of despair when noticing the due date is creeping nearer which usually brings on even worse creativity blocks with bouts of hesitation to even touch or look at the WIP.
If you are lucky, you are strong enough to break the vicious circle, hold the piece for a while without throwing it into a corner, breathe, and maybe the solution will come to you then.
For a short that seemed to be a twisted wire torque design, but nope, another fail *insert another tantrum here* ;-)

I almost thought this was it for the necklace until it did come to me today. I cut the two already attached pods from the rope, very carefully of course because there's no telling what I would have done, had I cut a wrong wire.
Then I put them on a chain, as simple as that. It was the best decision for the moment. I would have missed my mind if it had been lost completely. The signs were already there.
Voilà, one necklace.


Thank you for following me into my small world of madness and drama ;-)
Please have a look at the other participants' posts, too. It's something to look forward to!


Guests
 
Tammy - Raven - Alysen - Anita - Cat (aka me) - Kimberly - Rozantia - Sarajo - Divya - Caroline - Catherine - Kathy - Norma - Jill 

AE Team Members


Claire - Caroline - Lesley - Niky - Laney - Susan - Marsha - Jenny - Cathy - Jen

41 comments:

Jill said...

Oh wow those are stunning, great interpretation

bairozan said...

I love these Chinese lanterns so much! Too bad I can crochet only a straight line :) Everything you shared sounds so familiar (and funny), especially when the final decision looks like "how come it took me so long?". Both earrings and necklace are fabulous. The necklace actually gave me an idea about using some "orphan" wire wrapped pods I've made while trying to learn a new design :)

Cat said...

Thank you! :-)

Cat said...

Thank you!
These are knitted with a crochet hook, I imagine you could even try with a bigger knitting spool and wire, shape the wire and then tie both ends.

Yes, how come? *lol* The creative mind is weird sometimes.
I'd love to see your orphan pods when you do something with them.

Laney said...

I love that.. WIP Procrastination!! I too am a sufferer :D Love those crochet wire Chinese Lanterns they are amazing and I love them on the necklace, definitely something I would wear. Beautiful

Cathy Spivey Mendola said...

I love your interpretation of Chinese lantern pods! They are perfect. I'm glad you were able to snap out of your WIP procrastination and re-do your pods for the necklace. Just lovely work!

Cat said...

Thank you, Laney!

Cat said...

Thank you! I wonder if I could have done it without the reveal date breathing up my neck ;-)

SueBeads said...

STUNNING! Wow, your interpretation of chinese lantern pods is perfect, and beautiful!

Cat said...

Up?? The heat is really getting to me. Down my neck, I meant! *lol*

Cat said...

Thank you very much, Sue!

Jennifer Cameron said...

I suffer from the same WIP procrastination disease! But I really love your solution. Simpler is often better, and I love how the pods look on a simple chain. It's elegant and beautiful. Also, the pods themselves are a work of art. Thank you for participating in the challenge!

Anita said...

Wow these are beautiful! The uneven length placement on the necklace makes them look kinda organic too.
(And I love your description of WIP procrastination, lol...)

Cat said...

I think we all do!
Thank you, Jen, I'm really glad to have found that page through Laney.

Cat said...

Maybe one day I'll solve that branch/twig thing problem, too ;-)
Thank you very much!

baymoondesign said...

I love the pods that you made. Great design and execution.

Cat said...

Thank you, Kathy :-)

Saraccino said...

Gosh, what a cool idea and technique to create pods! They look so organic and gorgeous! :)

NV said...

Beautiful! I love copper so these are right up my alley!

Lesley said...

I love skeleton physalis pods and have often wanted to attempt them in clay but have never taken the plunge. Yours are just fabulous and beautifully made.

Cat said...

Thank you!
As I said, I can't really take credit for the original idea, just for the design. So glad my friend has an eye for what I might be able to do!

Cat said...

Thank you :-)
I used to be a strict white metal girl for the longest time, but all those beautiful copper pieces by others finally convinced me.

Tammy Adams said...

I would love to be able to make something this lovely and ethereal with wire. They are gorgeous. Btw, if you help me find my enameled copper head pins I will help you locate your misplaced agate beads. ;)

Cat said...

Ooh, I'd love to see you try!

Thank you so much.

Cat said...

Deal! Enameled copper head pins sound wonderful, much more interesting than my agate beads.

Thank you, Tammy.

Niky sayers said...

Your seed pods are just beautiful! WIP procrastination is some thing I suffer from too and I throughly enjoyed reading your post!

Cat said...

Thank you so much, Niky!
I think we could fill a whole hospital with that disease ;-)

Jenny said...

I quite like them on the chain - they hang very organically and are the star of the show, or the necklace, so to speak! Really cool! Thanks for joining us!

Cat said...

Thank you, Jenny! :-D

Chic Chix and Champagne said...

Beautiful wire crochet! And chain is an excellent choice for dangling your pods. Oh, procrastination? My middle name. When I get to a frustrated point, I do something else and put my WIP where I can see it several times a day. Eventually, as in your case, a fairly simple solution just shows itself.

Marsha of Marsha Neal Studio said...

Oh Cat! These are SO marvelous! I have tried to crochet with wire and it is not an easy thing to do. These are so beautiful and the fact that you made two for earrings just goes to show how talented you are. :)

Cat said...

Chic Chix Procrastination and Champagne? :-D
Not sure I want to see a WIP several times a day. That could push me to take drastic measures of the other kind *lol*

Seriously, though - thank you!

Cat said...

Thank you so much, Marsha, especially for noticing that the earrings are practically a miracle for someone like me :-D

Divya N said...

Wow they look amazing! Is it crochet or ISK?

Cat said...

Thank you, Divya!
I don't call it ISK myself, maybe because it doesn't really look like when I made spool knitted pieces in my early days.
They are knit stitches done with a crochet hook :-)

Sarajo Wentling said...

Your wire Chinese lanterns are so cool! I love your finished necklace with them... simple, elegant.

Cat said...

Thank you very much!

Caroline said...

They're amazing! I love your inspiration and interpretation.

Cat said...

Thank you so much! I wish I could capture the intricate pattern of the real pods even better, but definitely not with wire.

Dry Gulch said...

Those are amazing! I can't imagine how much time those took to create. ♥

Cat said...

Thank you very much!