So now, I present to you, in no particular order, my favourites of the week.
|Mixed Media Stained Glass Mosaic Art Mirror, $145|
LowBridgeArtworks has long been a favourite shop of mine. The mirror you see above was just listed last night, apparently, and when it showed up in my "newly listed from favourite shops" it caught my attention immediately. I love the symmetry, the tiniest attention to detail, the colours. Among the mosaic work in her shop are mirrors, plaques, wall hangings, and some jewelry. I especially love the mixed media tree plaques, in which she uses round bits of upcycled tin (a staple in a lot of her work).
|Mixed Media Mosaic Art Plaque Polka Dot Tree, $57|
In addition to stained glass and upcyled tin, she also incorporates ceramic tiles, mirror glass, and jewelry components--as she says in her profile, "whatever else makes a perfect addition." This is my kind of recycling. I suspect she's got a stash of broken plates and busted mirrors--things that that other less creative types have thrown away--and turned them into something amazing. (The things some people throw away, honestly.) While I'd hate to see the state her attic must be in (if it's anything like mine, anyway), I can't get enough of her artwork.
|Art Deco Czech Pink Star Sapphire Silver Necklace Vintage 1920s Jewelry, $145|
I've been a fan of boylerpf's shop from way back in my eBay days. Every now and again when I needed inspiration for my own work, or just wanted to marvel in the intricacy of the workmanship of olden days, I'd look at her auctions. I was never disappointed. Some of the best of the best of vintage jewelry can be found in this shop, and I turn an envious green every time I visit.
|Art Deco Sterling Carnelian Marcasite Necklace Vintage 1920s Jewelry, $145|
I think what I like most about her shop is that she focuses on the things I like best about vintage jewelry--not necessarily the big designers like Haskell (though she has a fair share of vintage designers as well), with a particular focus on Czechoslovakian, Bohemian, and Art Deco era pieces, art glass and filigree. Her taste is exquisite; the pieces she has are never over-the-top gaudy, but always feature those elements in vintage jewelry that captivated me in the first place. To me, these pieces are the perfect example of functional art--true art pieces with which you can do something besides just hang on the wall. I love the attention to detail, the rustic feel to the components--nothing here has been stamped out of a factory. They just don't make them like this anymore, though some of us aspire to try.
Having worked with ceramic clay for over a decade now (to think I'm old enough to have been doing anything for over a decade is frightening enough), I was beyond thrilled when precious metal clay hit the market. The idea of being able to create my own components, pendants, beads and clasps out of real silver or gold using clay was ideal for me, since the learning curve would be much less steep than other techniques like wax casting or silversmithing. A 20-gram package of fine silver clay, however, doesn't go very far, and I have yet to decide on what to do with the little bugger, despite my sketchbook full of ideas.
Then the other night, I came across this:
|Tiffany Style Fine Silver Oval Pendant with Gemstones, $45(!)|
I was immediately inspired to create an Etsy treasury which I aptly named Splendour in Silver, in which this piece was prominently featured. In response, I received a lovely message from its creator, Lynnette (of MuseDesignsByLynnette), in which she confessed something: because of the sluggish sales on Etsy of late, she'd been thinking of hanging up the clay work. Thankfully, being featured in the treasury had restored her creative energy; sales are one thing, she told me, "but being recognized by a fellow artist is even better!" I have to confess, I was humbled by that statement--I only aspire to create something like this.
|Bohemian Princess Fine Silver Pendant Necklace with Gemstone Beading, $50(!!)|
You may have noticed, if you tore your eyes away for one moment from the exquisite detail in these pendants, that I've added one or two exclamation points after the prices on these. That's because she has priced her items ridiculously low. If you're looking for an Etsy bargain, this is it, kids. The price of sterling silver has more than doubled in this past year, after doubling once before a year earlier; the cost of the precious metal clay alone is around $30 for a very small amount (I would suspect that she probably used an entire pack of clay on a single pendant). These pieces, in fact all of the items in her shop, are created with precious metal clay and/or sterling silver components and genuine stones, not to mention the amount of work and love that are so obviously a part of them. They are true Etsy steals, and I suggest you snap them up before it's too late. Because once she gets discovered, there will be no turning back. (Lynnette has very kindly offered to mentor me once I work up the courage to tear that package of clay open, an offer which I fully intend to accept!)
Most of the time we never become aware of the ramifications of our actions in life. Every once in a while, though, we're reminded that our actions have consequences, so we should make sure those actions are kind, encouraging, sympathetic, or uplifting. I had no idea, as I sat at my computer way past my bedtime creating that treasury, that it would have such an impact on another person. But now that I know, I am so glad that I did. Because the world without Lynnette's work would be so much less beautiful.
Until next week,