About Me

Lindsay M Starr is a beadwork and mixed media artist currently based in Nashville, TN. She spent her early childhood in Alaska, and her school age and college years in Oregon. Lindsay has a great appreciation for history, science, and nature and is consistently inspired by insects, sea life, color, and the significance of beads and beadwork throughout human history. She spends her days beading, walking at the zoo, and practicing yoga. Lindsay loves to share her knowledge and passion for beads and beadwork to hobbyists of all skill levels.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Beadwork Collaborations: Episode 1

There is one thing I love more than making a new friend...making a new friend that makes beads!  From a very early age I have appreciated and used artist beads in my work.  I love making an environment for someone else's art - something that enhances both their work and mine.  Often I find it is a challenge to bend my style to someone else's, but I really feel that challenge is what continues to push my work forward.  Because of this (and my normal bead-hoarding, magpie tendencies) I make an effort to both use art beads, and show bead artists the jewelry I make with their work - it is often the start of wonderful friendships and collaborative opportunities.

For the first episode in this series, I am going to introduce my friend Diana Ptaszynski of Suburban Girl Studio, LLC.  Diana is a New Jersey ceramic bead and component artist, and I first encountered her work through another bead friend that was able to attend a Suburban Girl trunk show.  I loved the themes that spread through her work - the maritime ocean, sea life, organic forms, fossils, steampunk, color and humor.  My friend shopped for me long-distance, and picked up these things for me (the little stone cab was a bonus gift - you gotta love the generosity of fellow beaders).

As soon as I had this package in my hot little hands, the idea juices started flowing.  The jellyfish link was actually the first thing I used!  It ended up on a chain with a TON of other art charms...but that's a post for another day :)

What came next was this necklace - oh, how I love that trilobite!  I really wanted to keep it as the focal point of this embroidery, so the beads are in a earthy palette that is mostly darker than the glaze.  I originally intended this piece to be for my boyfriend, so I kept the strap down to two coordinating strands of sari silk.  They provide visual impact fitting the scale of the piece, without adding weight and are simple enough to work for the masculine wearer.  The brass pieces are all from Tandy Leather, where he is a store manager...don't they look awesome?
Well, of course when I was done, the first thing I did was message Diana via her facebook page with a ton of pictures.  This opened up a dialogue between us, that has blossomed into an awesome friendship!  We have discovered that we have a ton in common, and we often chat about beads and life on Facebook - even though we haven't met in the real world.  When she was in need of ultrasuede a bit later, I sent her an envelope stuffed full...in exchange for more cabochons and components...see what I mean about making bead friends?  

So, how could I pass it up when Diana asked me if I was interested in making a few pieces for her table at Bead Fest 2014 in Philadelphia, PA?  You're right, I couldn't!  I made more than a few pieces though...I might have gone a bit overboard.  

I made this Greenman necklace first, using some of the components that she sent in our ultrasuede swap.  The leaf on the bottom, and the two flower shaped components above the face are all cabs that I captured - no embroidery on this one.  Building the structure of this piece was a huge challenge, along with finding ways to capture these pieces in a way that still showed the beautiful glazes and shapes.

After rooting around in my stash of goodies, I made these two pairs of earrings next.  Again, these are fully captured with beads, rather than embroidered onto a backing.  These are quite a bit of work, but the end result is worth it.  Here you can see the maritime influences in Diana's work.

 I had already glued this starfish to ultrasuede months ago, but never got to beading it until now.  Personally, I think this is not only the most successful piece that I ended up making, but also the most comfortable to wear.  Diana seemed to think so too, as she decided to keep this piece in exchange for beads!  My favorite kind of work trade...(insert maniacal cackle here).

A day or two after I finished the starfish necklace, a package arrived from Diana with three sets of components for inspiration.  I haven't used this one yet...the root beer glaze is gorgeous...but strangely outside of my color comfort zone.  I decided to save it for later (and have since come up with the PERFECT idea).

 I just had to do something with this steampunk themed set!
I ended up using the pair of small oval cabs with the large gear topped cab to make this piece I call Cog, Dog, and Key.  

You might be saying "Well, I see the cog, and I see the key, but where's the dog?"  Do you see that rectangular object on the end of the fringe?  It's an antique, bronze, Chinese, stamp...and the figure on it is a dog.  I really experimented with this piece - the key capture is totally invented.  I didn't want to hide the pretty brass.  I've never used O beads before, nor have I used lace as part of an embroidery in this way.  It is very different than my default work...but apparently successful, because one of Diana's lampworking friends love it so much she is trading me for beads!  I'm gonna be rich!  Only rich in beads, but that's what matters, right?

 I love to challenge myself with color, and the third set of beads was definitely that.
I tried out several combinations before this necklace congealed.  I call it Grapefruit Garden.  The colors in the set remind me of my favorite citrus, and, well, the garden part is obvious.

I really need to take some better pictures of this one when Diana sends it back...its hard to tell from these pictures how juicy these colors are!

After all of this, I'm sure you have a favorite.  I definitely do, and it's this one!  Remember that tentacle from my very first purchase?
 I have loved this tentacle since the moment I saw a picture of it!  It is a bit of a rarity - Diana doesn't make a ton of them because they're time consuming, and rather a niche item.  I am so excited to finally be able to wear this thing!  And it's just enhanced by those vintage, matte Venetian glass beads, the sari silk, the architecture of the beadwork, and how the O beads mimic little suckers...I just love it.  Diana, I want another!!!

You can find Diana's work on her Facebook page, her blog, and ready to buy in her Etsy shop.  She is also a regular contributer to the Art Jewelry Elements blog, and published in numerous magazines.  The Fall 2014 issue of Jewelry Stringing even has an interview with her!

Thank you for looking!  As always you can see more of what I'm up to on my Facebook page, and in my Etsy shop.  Thanks for stopping by!

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