Inspirational Beading: What is your all-time favorite bead?
Catherine: My all-time favorite beads? Boy, is that ever a hard question! Stones are my first love, so I think that working with the fascinating jaspers is my favorite.
Jaspers are magnificent stones; they come in so many colors, pure white all the way to black and all the colors in-between. Their patterns can be so beautiful and sublime, from the flame designs in the Australian Noreena jasper, to swirls and circles in ocean jasper. But my all time favorite jaspers are the landscape jaspers. When looking at landscape jaspers, I've seen mountain landscapes, ocean scenes (even a surfing frog once!), a volcano erupting and meadows of flowers. It's amazing when you think of the millennia of geological time it takes to create these beauties!
Inspirational Beading: What is your favorite technique or method to use them?
Catherine: It all depends on the stones and how the Muses are feeling that day! The jaspers are so beautiful on their own that I often create a simple necklace design, highlighting the jasper with other complementing stones and/or Swarovski crystals. I also like to wire-wrap the stones to create necklaces, using sterling silver or copper wire. Have been also been working on wire-wrapping jasper cabochons. So far I'm still in the learning phase but hope to offer some pendants in my ArtFire studio this summer.
Inspirational Beading: Of all the creations you’ve made with these beads, which one is your favorite?
Inspirational Beading: Do you have any tips for making the most of these beads?
Catherine: Let the stones talk to you. Keep the design simple because these stones can definitely stand on their own!
Inspirational Beading: What is your favorite bead or material to pair these with?
Catherine: I definitely like to pair jaspers with complementing stones, oftentimes with other jaspers. Swarovski crystals are sometimes added for a bit of flash. Also, Karen Hill Tribe fine silver pendants and beads look particularly wonderful with jaspers.
Inspirational Beading: If you were stranded on the moon, and you could have only one kind of bead with you, would you choose these?
Catherine: I would definitely want a large supply of jaspers with greens or blues, like rainforest jaspers or blue kiwi jasper. Rainforest jaspers have wonderful swirls of various greens running through the stones. And even though blue kiwi jasper is dyed, it has a remarkable deep ocean blue about it. I think green and blue are colors that would be sorely missed on the moon! Bet some of the "landscapes" in the various jaspers would look just like moon formations.
Inspirational Beading: In your opinion, what is the best source for these beads?
A bead store that specializes in stones can be another good source. I do not like to buy off the internet because I like to pick out that perfect strand, the one that calls to me from all the other strands of the same stone.
You can learn more about Catherine’s work and favorite designs on her ArtFire blog, Shadow Dog Designs, or follow along with her on Twitter for the latest news.
Copyright 2011 Inspirational Beading and Shadow Dog Designs
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