It wasn't too long ago that I was looking at pictures on flickr and came across some new smoke-fired clay pieces posted by Kristie Roeder. They were amazing! I could tell from the pictures that the textures of the pieces were lovely and smooth, and the muted color tones created by the smoke-firing process had such an earthy feel that I immediately fell in love with them. I left a comment on one or two of the pictures and mentioned something about doing a collaboration - I so wanted to do some beadweaving with one or two of Kristie's pieces (the only problem was that they were being purchased just about as fast as she was listing them in her Etsy shop).
Imagine how happy I was when Kristie contacted me and said she'd like to do a collaboration. We worked out the details, and she sent me a package with several of her smoke-fired pieces as well as some of her stoneware and recycled crackled glass pieces. I've had them sitting next to me for awhile, waiting for each of them to talk to me and tell me what it wants to become. A couple of them spoke up (screamed, actually), so they were the first to be turned into jewelry.
The first one is called Suspended Heart. The smoke-fired heart is, just as I imagined, very smooth and soft feeling; and it has wonderful patterns left on it from the firing process. I used a piece of heavy gauge copper wire I had found on the beach at Lake Michigan to suspend it from a very different type of bail I created with matte metallic bronze delicas. The necklace portion is made from two strands of ndebele rope and a single strand of delicas, loosely braided to mimic the lines in the face of the heart.
The second piece is called Atalanta, a Greek name that means "equal in weight." This one features one of Kristie's smoke-fired donuts as the focal. Once again I used salvaged material, this time some pieces of driftwood, to suspend the focal. Rather than try to match the color of the donut or the driftwood, I decided to go in a completely different direction and choose a color that would complement the browns. These dark red matte beads were the perfect color and texture. All the beadweaving is single peyote in varying widths.
I still have more pieces waiting for me, and I have a few ideas brewing. I do have a tendency to work right up to a deadline, and since I have until August 20 to get these in Kristie's hands (she's going to display them at the Philadelphia Bead Fest!!!), I'll have time to do at least one or two more pieces.
Want to be inspired? Check out Kristie's Etsy shop. You'll be amazed at all the gorgeous pieces she has in there! Here's just a sampling: