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Topic: November 2009 Jewelry and Trinkets Featured Member~ CohesiveChaos!  (Read 4927 times)
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« on: November 05, 2009 04:34:25 PM »

The next Jewelry and Trinkets member to be featured is ~ CohesiveChaos! She has been a member of Craftster since January of 2007, and is a frequent poster on the various Jewelry and Trinket boards. You can find her all over Crafster though, from quilting and sewing to fiber and crochet! I was actually familiar with her fabulous work as a quilter and didnt realize that she made jewelry!

These are a few of my personal favorite projects of hers:

Gnarly Pink Tree of Life

Chainmaille and Glass Bracelets

A few multi media pieces

Necklace Inspired by Lifesavers

My very first handspun

A teeny tiny purse

Heres what CohesiveChaos has to say about herself:

Im April or CohesiveChaos, a 32 year old mother of 2 and have been married to the love of my life for almost 13 years.  I was very fortunate to be raised in a family of insanely talented and industriously artistic individuals who have always been encouraging and amazing in their desire to teach and share their work.  For me, creating has always been a passion, not something that I am driven to do, but something that drives me.  There is nothing more rewarding in my eyes than to bring something to life from raw materials. Creating is a state of being, and I am constantly creating something.  I go stir crazy if I dont have something constructive for my hands to do.  I remember as a little girl my grandma would say that idle hands are the devils playground, and I think it has stuck with me throughout my life because my hands are always busy.  If I were to post every project I have lying around finished, I would never have any time to create more lol.  I guess you could say Im in it for the experience more than any other reward/purpose.

My User name here on Craftster is exactly what it means organized disarray Which I think is the perfect way to describe any sort of art (or even just life in general).  I have been creating something for as long as I can remember.  

Q: Why (and when) did you begin making Jewelry?

A:  I first started making jewelry when I was in 3rd or 4th grade, remember friendship bracelets? I made them for all my friends, my mom taught me how to do all the cool designs in them with the different knots, chevron, adding beads, how to put names in them, it was my consuming force.  I think I probably made 100 of them in the first few months and it didnt take very long before I wanted to know how to make every imaginable type of jewelry I could though at 9 years old; I didnt have the budget for it that I do now.  

Q: What are your favorite materials to work with? Favorite tools?

A:  I adore working with resin and with clay.  Both offer such great potential for personal interpretation, and limitless possibilities in what can be created from them.  And when the two are combined (either to create molds or to incorporate together) the results are astounding.   I also have an innate love for wire and beautiful beads, beads may be my weakness, and living in the Pacific Northwest, so close to some of the most wonderful bead stores in the world, is a dangerous thing, for my wallet at least, lol.  My favorite tools are probably so basic they seem silly toothpicks, my fingers and Popsicle sticks, I can find a million uses for them in everything I do.

Q: Besides lovely pendants, what other kinds of jewelry/trinkets do you make?

A:  I love working with any material I can get my hands on, I enjoy making chainmail pieces, and beaded pieces that incorporate different styles of chain and beads one wouldnt expect to see together.  I love to make earrings, they are great busy work that I can make while I am watching TV with the family, and most recently Ive been experimenting with ways to make interesting pins and brooches.  

Q: How did your first jewelry making project go for you?

A:  Ive been very lucky with my first attempts at most things.  I made my first beaded jewelry when I was about 13, I bought a spool of fine wire and a bag of seed and bugle beads, I made this extremely intricate necklace, it was a choker done in peyote stitch (though at the time I had no idea what it was called, or even that other people did it) and it had waterfall details in the front.  I entered it in the county fair and took home the blue ribbon.  I wish I still had the piece, it probably attributes to my love of waterfall necklaces.  I really had no clue what I was doing, but was determined not to give up until Id made something I felt was impressive, lol.  

Q: Do you have any Craftster Crushes on other jewelry makers on the board? Who are they?

A:  There is so much talent here on Craftster, its hard to pick just a few.  I admire UntamedMenagerie, she makes me wish I had a nicer scroll saw and a steadier hand.  Japaya is also a big crush for me, her outlook on life, and the vibrancy of color in her pieces fascinates me greatly.  Petalmixer for her fabric flowers.

Q: Do you have any favorite techniques?

A:  My favorite technique is to experiment, at least I think we can call it a technique, lol.  I love to combine different techniques, and see what happens.  The experimentation sometimes leads to very unexpected results, and enjoy it most when the unexpected result leads to something that catches me off guard.  

Q: Are there any kinds of jewelry or techniques that you want to learn?

A:  I would love to learn to work with glass (hot and warm).  But I have 1 promise to my husband and that is that I would avoid things that require fire.  Im a leftie and slightly accident prone so he worries Id either catch myself on fire, or burn down the house.  I would also love to learn to work with metal grains and cast rings and pendants, but again, that leads to working with fire so until I convince the husband otherwise, these things will have to wait.

Q: You say youre accident prone; have you had any injuries related to jewelry making?

A:  Yes, I have lol, probably more than I should mention. Most recently, I had to make a jewelry set to wear to a formal event, so I wanted to use these oversized resin rhinestones as dangles, and I had to  grind the tips off of them and drill holes for the bails.  As I was drilling the stones (stupidly holding them in my hands as I did it) I felt my hands were slightly numb and didnt take a break like I should have, and I ended up drilling a hole through my finger with a tiny, tiny drill bit.  I tried to hide it, because I didnt want my husband to know what I had done, and the ball was the next night.  But ended up having to go to the ER for X-rays (I hit the bone and did nerve damage) and they had to catheterize the wound to clean out the resin.  Its amazing the damage such a tiny hole created.  I had to wear bandaids on my hand with a ball gown, but made the best of it by explaining it was a wound from the battle of looking fabulous, lol.

Q: Where do you get inspiration for your projects?

A:  Inspiration can be found everywhere: from the simplest things like the view out the back door, to the vibrancy of a good friends personality or even an outfit you see in a shop window; nothing is off limits.  More often than not, my problem is too much inspiration, I am often overwhelmed by the beauty around me, and I can see the beauty even in things that wouldnt be considered classically beautiful.   I really feel like jewelry should say something about the wearer, as much as it should about the creator.   And much like any piece of art, I think they should say something different to everyone that views them.  I think my best work occurs when I sit down and have nothing in mind other than a desire to make something, and I get to see something come to life that even I didnt expect.  

Q: What other crafts do you do?

A:  I tend to throw my hands into every crafting pool that I can afford to dip my feet in.  My Grandma taught me to sew from a very young age, and clothing design and fashion are probably my strongest suit in crafting, though I dont show much of what I do in that world.  I sculpt, paint, draw, etch glass, quilt, knit, crochet, spin, needle felt, and most recently screen printing.  

Q: What is your favorite J &T project on Craftster that you posted?

A:  Because I think everyone has experienced the pain of having a broken heart, and as we heal, the scars dont make us less perfect, they just add some wabi-sabi (or the perfection of imperfection).  Its our experiences that make us who we are, and we would all do better if we learned to embrace that.

Resin Pendants

Q: What is your favorite J&T project on Craftster that someone else has posted?  

A:  This is by far and away one of the coolest projects Ive ever seen, and the best use of available materials.  Too fascinating for words! Though I could say the same about any of her jewelry projects, I truly admire this piece.

Lets Recycle by Japaya

Q: What is your favorite non-J&T project on Craftster that you have posted?  

A: I love my little Octopus lamp.  I really had no goal when I started this other than to make something, and watching this piece come to life in front of my eyes absolutely fascinated me from start to finish, he isnt perfect but he is a masterpiece in my eyes.

Tiny Octopus Lamp

Q: What is your favorite non-J&T project on Craftster that someone else has posted?  

A:  This corset is absolutely stunning: a beautiful balance of mixed materials and techniques and finishing styles.  I love that it encompasses everything beautiful about nature, including the flaws.  Ive been enamored by it from the day it was posted.

Bird Tree Corset by Smicksy

Q: If you could offer any advice to beginning Jewelry Craftsters out there, what would that be?

A:  Advice is my favorite thing! I have a few things Id say:
Keep at it.  Even if youre not perfect the first go around, anything worth doing gets better with practice, and has a learning curve.
Experiment, part of the fun of anything is the ability to make it your own.  And the only way to learn new things is to go for it and try them out.  There is no such thing as failure, only learning experiences.
Take notes, if youre not good with memory, keep notes in a binder or spiral, it doesnt have to be fancy, but it can be difficult to remember what worked and what didnt, so keeping notes as you work is the best way to ensure that you will get consistent results. And having notes will keep you from repeating an experiment that didnt work the first time (and will give you a road map for figuring out what might work the 2nd or 3rd).  

Q:  What is your proudest accomplishment with your jewelry making?

A: Aside from being featured here?  Honestly, I guess it would be actually finishing my book on Resin.  Albeit, the publisher went under a short bit before it was done, I still stuck with it and finished it.  I typically dont have the concentration or attention span to stop for photos as I work on anything, so it was a real learning experience for me, and really taught me a lot about not only the processes I follow, but the reasons that I create things.  

Thank you so much April, for answering my questions and sharing about yourself with the Crafster community. And thanks for all the wonderful projects you post!

If you have a Jewelry/Trinket member you would like to learn more about, please shoot me a pm with your nomination.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2009 04:50:17 PM by MareMare » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2009 09:54:15 PM »

i love the octopus lamp!! excellent work, thank you for sharing about yourself, makes for a very interesting read  Cheesy

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