One of the best things about being a beader today is the variety of mediums available on nearly any budget. We don’t have to stick with just one set of materials or techniques if our creative hearts want to wander. Some of the jewelry design styles being used by artists right now are inspiring, beautiful, and totally irresistible.
Resin is one popular material that never fails to impress, and it is put to amazing use in the designs at Natural Pretty Things where today’s guest, June, captures some of nature’s prettiest treasures in timeless handmade pendants and cabochons.
Inspirational Beading: How did you first get into jewelry design?
June: It was pure coincidence. About two years ago my husband and I took our daughter to a National Trust garden. I saw these jewellery I’d never seen before. They have REAL flowers inside a glass-like medium. It was like the absolute freshness from the nature being preserved in the purest form and I was instantly hooked. I have an obsessive nature so I started researching that night. It turned out to be something handmade!! So I decided I must try my hands on it. I made my first piece of jewellery soon after that.
Inspirational Beading: Do you remember your first design?
June: I made a few things with my first batch of resin, unfortunately I lacked the precision to mix the two parts correctly. They turned out to be rubbery and I couldn’t get them out of the mould. That was my unforgettable first.
Inspirational Beading: What is your favorite thing about working with resin?
June: I like transparent medium of all sorts. Ice, glass, water, air or thin mist. I like leaves trapped on spider webs and look like they just float there from afar. The purity of transparent medium and the way it captures and reflects the light and the shadow fascinates me endlessly. You can put almost anything in resin and observe it in great details. You can shape your piece however you want. And the best thing is, it doesn’t break easily like glass. It’s almost perfect for capturing beauty.
Inspirational Beading: Tell us about your design process. How does a new piece begin?
June: I have no set rules. I am very disorganized and I like being random. A new piece could begin with a pencil sketch, or an inspiring photo, or nothing. Sometimes I go into the woods and find a nice feather or a flower stalk, I bring them back and put them in whichever mould that fits. Then I start to think about colours etc. It’s better for me this way.
Inspirational Beading: What was the inspiration behind your favorite design?
June: My favourite design is my mermaid necklace, featuring tiny starfish, seashell and pearls. It was born after a trip to the seaside. My daughter picked lots of shells from the beach and I thought: ‘Maybe I should make a piece of jewellery with them for her, and hopefully she will appreciate how mummy has kept the memory of that trip when she grows up.’ I decided to colour it in turquoise because that’s the colour of the ocean. I was so in love with the result that I decided to include it in my shop.
Inspirational Beading: Is there a material or subject that you would love to use, but haven’t tried yet?
June: Yes I would like to try silversmithing and clay. I would love to make my own silver findings to compliment my resin pieces. I also would love to make rustic things out of clay. But I’m afraid I don’t have time for them yet.
Inspirational Beading: What is your favorite color to work with? June: Turquoise. There are so many names you can call this colour: aqua, mint, minty green etc. Although they represent different shades of it, they are all the colour of ocean water. I feel calm just looking at it.
Inspirational Beading: Who do you hope to inspire with your work?
June: I never thought to inspire any one. I think my work is creating little keepsakes from nature for people who love nature. I love getting custom orders and having people to send me little things which means a lot to them to cast in resin. When I make them I know they are going to be worn very close to someone’s heart, and that makes me very proud of my work.