Today I want to introduce you to one of my new favorite designers. Marie of earthdeva creates the most amazing handpainted focals and sculptures - many with an Egyptian flair - that are gorgeous and one of a kind.
Inspirational Beading: When did you first get started with casting?
Marie: I first tried casting many years ago, when I was looking for new ways to create items to raise funds for a dog rescue organization. I'd made jewellery for them (one of a kind sculptures as brooches and pendants) and decorated all sorts of things, from boxes, pots and clocks to glassware, but I wanted to find something unusual and easily repeatable. The rescue organization was for a breed which had very little in the way of breed specific decorative items and jewellery. As I was already making sculptures I decided to try to make some moulds of them, and liquid latex was the best option for the quality of detail I required. I started with the brooches and pendants - producing small runs of each design - and moved on to more the difficult items (statues and wall plaques) later. Eventually, the mould making process spread into my other creative endeavors !
Inspirational Beading: Have you always been drawn to jewelry design as well?
Marie: I'd been making jewellery for years before I tried casting. My love of gemstones and crystals led me to creating jewellery for myself and my family - starting from when I was in my teens. Most of the jewellery I created back then featured gemstones in interesting combinations, and I would often use antique sparkly cut glass beads too. But, my first love has always been sculpture, which I incorporate into almost all of my jewellery now. Ceramics was my favourite subject both at school and at college. Unfortunately, I'm not able to have a kiln at the moment, but the discovery of hand casting has given me some amazing options. Also, I've always been especially interested in the healing properties of gemstones and colours and try to utilize this in each piece of my gemstone jewellery. I'll often combine different gemstones in the hope that they will work in harmony with the wearer. I have some beautiful silk ribbons, and can also combine their colours in this way too.
Inspirational Beading: Where do you look for inspiration?
Marie: A lifelong fascination with ancient Egypt and ancient cultures in general, more specifically the Gods and Goddesses of all cultures, was the starting point for most of my jewellery, but I can look out of my window when I'm working and see the ocean...another great source of inspiration as I love to create Mermaids and Whales. The sea glass I collect locally is also an inspiration, as it lends itself beautifully to the creation of Mermaids. The British Museum in London is an amazing place to visit for inspiration and ideas. Sometimes, even just a shape or a curve in a sculpture there, or a shadow cast in a hallway can be the starting point for my next creation. Many of my creations feature animals too - both real and mythological with Wolves and Dragons among my favourites. I keep a dream diary by my bed as I often have ideas in my dreams and wake up to write them down !
Inspirational Beading: What’s the most interesting or unique thing about your design process?
Marie: My design process always involves music, from the shapes I use, to the colours each piece is painted. Music will be playing when I'm sculpting, painting, packing sold items or typing. Right now No Rain by Blind Melon is playing and it's mostly pink and orange clouds of colour. I can see music (I have music-colour synaesthesia) and it literally colours and shapes all of my work as well as my life. If I looked back at a days work, I'd be able to tell what I was listening to when I was creating the pieces. Many of the artists/bands I listen to have a particular colour - David Bowie is golden yellow, Jimi Hendrix is lilac and golden, Nick Cave is crimson. To me, music is a series of colours, patterns and shapes, and my musical taste is extremely wide ranging and includes everything from Jazz and Classical to some very noisy Metal. Generally, the more complicated and intricate the piece - the faster, more complicated and noisier the music!
Inspirational Beading: Do you have a favorite color to work with?
Marie: My personal favourite colour is red, but it's a very strong colour and isn't often suitable for my creations. I do sometimes use it for Goddesses, as it does have associations with some of them, and is a good colour to combine with purple and gold for several of them. In my Egyptian inspired pieces I sometimes use it as a detail colour, but I'd be unlikely to create a scarlet Anubis - unless requested to! I do have a penchant for metallics, though, and as many of my creations can be painted in a single plain colour with one additional highlighting colour, I can fulfill my love of sparkly golden, silver, copper and bronze paint. Turquoise is also fun to use, especially for the Egyptian inspired pieces. The ancient Egyptians loved their turquoise ! I always mix the turquoise myself, so pieces painted on different days will be slightly different shades too.
Inspirational Beading: What are some of your favorite necklace materials?
Marie: Gemstones, especially the rarer and more unusual ones like Septarian, Kambaba Jasper and Prehnite - and particularly the natural chunks that haven't been shaped or polished. Sometimes I will add them to necklaces with wire - Copper or Bronze (my favourite) - and sometimes I'll sculpt around them and turn them into feature pendants...which leads me to clay, another favourite material. All of my hand cast pieces start out as clay sculptures, and I mostly will not make any initial drawings or sketches, I'll just create whatever comes to mind. It's the same for sculpting around gemstones - I'll create what I see when I look at each stone. For the hand cast pieces, I create a mould from each one and make an initial test cast to see how they all turn out. I'd normally only make one mould for each piece, but sometimes I will take another. My least favourite material would have to be liquid latex. If you ever use it, always remember to open a window!
Inspirational Beading: What is the most exciting design in your shop right now? What makes it special?
Marie: There are two that I'd like to mention, first is my Anubis Amulet. I took a little inspiration from Art Deco for the lines and shape of this one, along with the more classic ancient Egyptian style. It has turned out to be a very popular design too, possibly the most popular of all of my hand cast designs. I like to experiment with colour schemes for this one too, but do try to keep mostly within what would be acceptable for the ancient Egyptians!
Next are my Dragon sculptures set around gemstones. Each one is sculpted individually around a piece of stone I've handpicked in person specially for a Dragon. I see the stone, envision the Dragon and then go home and start work as soon as possible. At the moment, I have a particularly special double Dragon necklace, the Dragons are purple and golden and the stone they are wrapped around is a spectacular piece of natural Quartz Druse - with unusual inclusions and lots of rainbows. Dragons will always be special for me, as I'm part Welsh and I live in Wales - the Land Of The Dragon.
Inspirational Beading: Who do you hope to inspire with your work?
Marie: I hope I can inspire people to look further into the fascinating ancient history of our planet, and deeper into the mysteries of nature and the universe. For those on a Pagan path, I'd hope to inspire them to continue to search into the mysteries of life, and to create and follow their own path with honesty and courage. Also, for anyone out there who is on the brink of a decision about self employment, but still undecided - try it, take the plunge! I can say from experience that it won't be easy, but it is very fulfilling. You're never going to know how your journey will turn out until you actually start on the path, and think of all the amazing things you'll learn about the world, and more importantly, yourself. I have no regrets about becoming self employed - I wish I'd done it sooner!
You can see more earthdeva designs in Marie’s Etsy shop, and get the latest news on her Facebook page. For an even closer look into the unique design process behind these pieces and more, check out the earthdeva blog.
Copyright 2013 Inspirational Beading and earthdeva
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