Sunday, July 25, 2010

Jewelry Inspired by Nature and Life

When I was 11, my parents and I took a mission trip over the summer to Colombia, South America. We lived a good 100 miles from the civilization of Bogota, living in a house on a missionary compound called Lomalinda -- smack in the middle of the jungle.

There were two ways in or out. On our way in, we rode in a shoebox-looking double prop airplane that at times sported a wooden wheel, had no pressurization, and no seats. We sat on the floor, along with the cargo, strapped to the walls -- oh and don't forget the slide locks holding the door shut.)

To leave, we took a looooong taxi trip up and over the Andes mountains. We couldn't take the double-prop plane because it was missing a part, and the single prop plane couldn't physically make it over the Andes. That taxi ride was a trip I'll never forget -- four of us squashed in a cab with a very kindly gentleman who spoke only Spanish, and I was the only one in the car that knew even the remotest bit of the language.

Another interesting tidbit about this taxi trip -- there were guerilla check-points along the way, and they carefully examined all our luggage and Dad's rolls of film. I don't think they knew what to do with us other than to wave us on. But they did keep our cinnamon rolls that we were given by the missionaries before we left! Smart guerillas.

It was an inspiring trip for an impressionable 11-year old. My love of travel was spurred by this trip, and my willingness to learn about other cultures as well. Why visit a country if I didn't know at least something about its history?

All that to say, nature and life spawned this piece of jewelry.

The color is spot-on for the green of the jungle. We lived in Lomalinda during the wet season, so we got rains three times a day -- you could almost set your watch by them. The darker spots remind me of the walk to class in the mornings. We traveled through a denser part of the compound, overgrown with trees and vegetation (and ants -- lots of leaf cutter ants). Some trees were so tall all you could see was the bark unless you cocked your neck waaaaay back, and some trees were like Banyan trees, with their dark, hard roots high above the ground.

I added a leaf to commemorate the jungle -- it's not a banana leaf, but ah well -- I can pretend. And the one silver bead is for this single journey into a land so foreign and wild and dangerous that had we known then what we know now, we may never have gone.

But I'm glad we did.

Lori Anderson makes jewelry for Lori Anderson Designs and also writes the blog Pretty Things.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Collaboration with Floridity

On my other blog, Pretty Things, I've run two Bead Soup Blog Parties, and they were really successful. They pushed other bead artists to design outside their box, really made them think in different ways.

To that end, I've decided to pay a bead artist once a month to send me, sight unseen, a set of beads so I could push myself again. Since the next Bead Soup party isn't until January, I felt the need to continually kick start my motor.

Please head over to this post at Pretty Things and take a look at what Barbara Bechtel of Floridity sent me!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Metal, metal, metal

Hi everyone. If you read my other blog, Pretty Things, then you'll know that I've been hit really hard by the death of my cat, a pet I've had for half my life. It's knocked the creative wind out of my sails, and I promise, I DO have a nice collaborative project coming up, but right now -- just not the time.

So I thought I'd share with you the rest of the metal pendants I made at Tracy Stanley's class at BeadFest back in, what was it, April? Yes, I finally got around to taking pictures of them! That's how slowly my life has been moving. So enjoy -- and I'll be back with more soon, I promise.

This one is called "Misty River and is made with brass and copper that I dapped, textured, riveted, and linked and then added the lampwork bead to. I constantly have a bowl of orphan beads on hand for projects just like this.

This one is "Stonybrook", and I did the same thing -- lots of texturing, dapping, and riveting, but this time I added a river rock to the bottom. Like it?

See you soon,


Lori Anderson designs jewelry for Lori Anderson Designs and also writes the blog Pretty Things. She lives in Maryland.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Photographing jewelry with natural light

Photographing with natural light is not something that comes easily to me. There seems to be too narrow a window of opportunity for me, and since I have SO much to photograph for my new web site (read that to be -- every. single. piece.) it's also a daunting task.

But today I got a bit done, and wanted to share the results. I'm getting there. It's just a slow process. I'm going a little cross-eyed uploading things to the new (and still un-launched) web site, but I'm hurrying as fast as I can with a child moping around saying he wants to DOOOOOOO something yet has absolutely NO idea what he wants to DO.

Lori Anderson designs jewelry for Lori Anderson Designs and also writes for the blog Pretty Things. She lives in Maryland.