"The Cream Puff"

"The Cream Puff"
"The Cream Puff" was shown by request @ Liberty Art Gallery, Long Beach Ca. April '12

Friday, March 20, 2015

Harmonious Convergence

    Welcome to the 17th round of the Non-Blogger/Blogger challenge, hosted by Divya Narasimhan.
    The inspiration for this round is the art form Kolam.
    Kolam is a traditional Indian practice. Every morning millions of women draw mandala like designs consisting of dots and lines formed into elaborate patterns on the ground. This is believed to bring prosperity into the home.
    Rice flour is traditionally used for these designs to provide food for ants and birds as a daily tribute to harmonious co-existence. A sign of an invitation to all into the home.
    You can read more about the challenge inspiration on Divya's blog, Jewels of Sayuri. 
    I thought it might be interesting to share this piece from a different aspect, and show how I approached the designing of it.     
    In one of the groups I belong to, Golden Jewelers, I recently participate in an engagement ring design sketching challenge
    Sketching is a critical aspect of the jewelry business that most people don't really think about. If you're going to do any kind of custom work, you need to be able to share your ideas with the person investing their money in you.
    I've been doing a little practicing in preparation for that challenge. 
    Sketching was my weakest subject in fashion design school, so this is definitely a challenge for me. 
    I'm no Picasso, but it's not necessary to be. The goal here is to be able to portray what's going on in your head to someone else. 

    I started out by googling Kolam images, to get an idea of the scope of these patterns. 
    From those examples, I started to draw my ideas. 
    My initial sketch is really just a doodle, to come up with some basic ideas of what I would like to do with it. 
    My second sketch is a cleaner, more stylized version of my design idea.

    My third sketch was for figuring out exactly how my wire work would go, in order to execute the design.    
    The basic scalloped shell pattern was done with a single piece of wire in a continuously looped pattern. The little S scrolls on the top of the scallops are separate pieces that were soldered on. 
    This group of images were a very strong influences in my design. I'm sure you will be able to pick out the elements I chose from each of these images, and then manipulated them into a design, making it my own.
    In yet another group I am doing a wire work challenge. This was an excellent opportunity to combine all three challenges into one.
    Once I had the basic pattern sculpt and hammered, I then tried laying it out with different bead options, to see what color combo I liked best.
    I chose the white and red ochre color pattern. So I'm trying to figure out the best way to put that into play.
    First with white pearl tail feather eyespots, and red gemstone striping.
    Then with red gemstone tail feather eyespots and white pearl striping.
    As you can see from these two photos, I don't have the right combination of colors and sizes in the pearls and gemstones, so I wanted to be certain of my color combo choice before orderings supplies to complete my project.
    My original intention was to make a necklace out of the peacock, but as you can see, at 7 inches wide by the time it's hammered out, it's a bit large for that, so                 Plan B.....

    So while I waited for my pearls and gemstones to arrive, I soldered all the joints together, and soldered my S scrolls on. Then used an acid patina to match all that solder to my copper.
    The Carnelian where the first to arrive. Two different sizes, and the vendor did an excellent job of matching the color for me. I started by wiring all of those on.
    Then the pearls arrived and I was in complete shock at how tiny they were. I had ordered seed pearls, but I had no idea. I have never in my life seen pearls, sooo tiny.
    I ended up having to order larger pearls, to get the size I needed. Even had to ask the vendor to rush them because I was down to the wire by then. Fortunately I found a shop that was only about thirty miles away. It only took 4 days for them to get here via USPS. Go figure.
     In the meantime, ideas have been brewing about what to do now with my very large peacock.
     Seven inches is the perfect measurement for a cuff bracelet! (Light bulbs goes on! Cause I am "Creative Evil Genius" and all.)

    Cause I'm never satisfied with a good idea..... (yes, my ideas are like a runaway snowball.)
    I started thinking about the Haath Phool. The Haath Phool is a traditional wedding adornment of Indian brides, that consists of a bracelet attached to a ring or rings, with a medallion that's centered on the back of the hand.
    Since this challenge is inspired by a traditional Indian art form, I might as well be inspired by traditional Indian jewelry as well, right.
    I created the medallion from one of the basic Kolam line and dot grid patterns.
    Then set out to make the ring. I needed the ring to be adjustable, to ensure that I wouldn't be the only one it would fit.
    I've never made an adjustable ring before. I've never much liked them, because, in my experience, adjustable rings always pinch. I wanted to make sure that wouldn't happen.
    I came up with a multi wrap design, so that my gemstone would still be wire wrapped to the center of the band, that no two pieces of metal were close enough to pinch, and that I had a loop on the end to attach my chain to. Then I used those itty bitty teeny tiny seed pearls to wrap around the carnelian gemstone with a delicate little halo as a finishing touch.
    When my 3mm pearls arrived I was able to finish the striping. Lots of detailed wire wrapping to hold the pearls in place and ensure that those wires would be stable.
    Then I soldered the peacock's body onto the frame.

    Here's a picture of the peacock, all beaded and wire wrapped, before I shaped him into the cuff.

    In hindsight, he would have made a pretty amazing crown, but since I've already made the ring and medallion, I'm sticking with the Haath Phool design.
    Perhaps someday I'll elaborate on that idea and make a peacock crown as well.

    Now it's time to assemble all the pieces.

    I think the hardest part was photographing it.
    I tried to lay it down and it would tumble. Then I tried sitting on the edge of a shelf, but you couldn't really tell what it was in that position.

    So then I had to photograph it on myself, left handed, at a very odd angle.

    I finally got a friend to take a few shots of it on me.
    I'm still not real happy with the results, but I've edited the heck out of them and am doing the best I can with what I've got.

    The last step was naming it.
    I often have a title before creating a piece that helps to shape it's personality. However, on this occasion I'm naming it last.

  I had a general idea where I wanted to go with it. Something to do with the harmonious coexistence that the Kolam is designed to invite. Yet not the exact wording.
    Then I added in the symbology of the Haath Phool, and it's layers became deeper. It was no longer just coexistance, but the joining together in unity.
    I don't know where the term came from, but it kept ringing through my head.
    "Harmonic Convergence"  
    When I googled it, what I read just brought the whole idea together and fit perfectly.
    Harmonic Convergence was the name given to the very first globally synchronized meditation event. It was held during an exceptional alignment of the planets. Twenty million people were called upon to meditate on world peace at the same time.
    It's predecessor was World Peace Day, which also coincide with a world prayer day, where over 500 million people, representing all faiths, on every continent,  prayed for Peace, Love, Forgiveness and Understanding, at the same time. A moment of oneness designed to dissolve the sense of separation and return humankind to godkind.
    I couldn't possibly think of a better representation of unity.

    Thank you very much to our gracious hostess Divya Narasimhan.
    I am honored to say that I actually won this round of the challenge.

        Yay me! :)

    Make sure to head over to the official BNB Challenge page and check out all the awesome entries I was up against.
    Thank you for all the love and support that everyone has shown me in this round. I an looking forward to hosting the next.
    The deadline for the 18th B/NB challenge will be a bit far out, the last weekend in May, so as not to conflict with the Swap & Hop reveal date.
    I will, however, be announcing the theme for the next round soon. So you'll have plenty of time to create and participate in both challenges.
    I do hope you'll join us.
               Until then....
As always -
      Peace, Love & PyxeeDust!


  1. It was fascinating to read about your process. Its inspiring how you have taken great interest and greater efforts to create this piece. All I can say is Well done and I eagerly await the theme for the next round

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