Sunday, December 30, 2012

Turning over a new leaf

Give me a sec while I dust the place and open some virtual windows for some binary fresh air to travel around a bit. OK... that ought to do it. Now take an imaginary seat and let's get this started.

2012 is almost over and since the end of a year is a good a place as any to begin new things, let's go with that particular cliche of turning over a new leaf.

As most of you know this blog was created to connect Mariana with loads of people from all over the world who share her passion for making stuff with their own two hands and for preserving the dying art of handcrafts. Unfortunately, while no one can deny Mariana's enthusiasm for her creations and goal, keeping an updated blog slid slowly but surely down her priorities list. Which was a pity and it's where I come in. (drum roll please!)

Hello, everyone! My name is Mara and I will be handling the nitty-gritty of updating this blog. Mariana was kind enough to entrust me with the blogging baton- she would much rather stick to designing and creating amazing pieces and will let me describe and spin a tale of what's going on in our little neck of the woods.

How did I end up here? Well, a couple of months ago my mum told me that a lady near my hometown was a jewelry designer. My curiosity was peaked when she also mentioned that the lady had moved back to Romania following a long stint in the good old U.S of A. You need to understand that whoever comes back from the "foreign lands" is regarded with at least a modicum of suspicion: "What do they want?" "Why are they back?" and "Will they steal my livestock?".

So off we went to meet the strange lady. Turns out she is strange, but in all the right ways: strangely enthusiastic, strangely talented and strangely determined to do something different in a place defined by its inflexibility on all planes. I was amazed by all the stuff she would pull out of different pouches and drawers and pockets and bags.... the colors.... the shapes.... the textures. I am not a huge fan of accessories (my style is more of a "waaaaay less is more" kind of approach) but her pieces made me think of outfits and occasions where they could be worn and paraded. I ended up getting a necklace for my office Christmas party- a necklace that spoke to me and sort of molded with who I am- and a promise for some bangles.

The bangles were delivered by Santa on Christmas Day and they were amazing and they make me happy when I look at them. And if that's not good advertising then  I don't know what is! But Santa came up with more tricks up his red and baggy sleeves: a bunch of mismatched earrings and a fantabulous hair accessory thingy that makes me feel like an Asian princess (one living in eastern Europe, but please allow the comparison).

So everyone, that's it from me for now. Will be back soon with stuff and news and anecdotes and rants and stories and whatever Mariana will be up to.

Be good and have a great New Year! 

I leave you with a picture of my current haul of Mariana's stuff and some snaps of the ye' olde' homestead (quite pretty this time of the year).

Be wary of deep snow (got my knee stuck for a while to the general amusement of my mum)

Apple orchards and a tiny bit of lost mist

Church steeple- highest church in Cimpulung. Legend mentions some star-crossed lovers, but then again most high geographical points involve one love-lorn individual taking a nose dive at one point.

December haul: hair thingy, bangles and earrings.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Looking for new shapes and volume...In cautare de forme noi

I have to recognize that I am in a creative U-turn!
I jump from an idea to an other and ...nothing seems to come out right....
A couples good ideas arise from this week work...but I need to   perfect the steps of knotting.
I am spreading myself to thin into to many ideas... and I have to admit that I experiences often creative U-turns! Specially when I finish a piece and  I am looking to create the next one....
All artists do!
As much as talent, the capacity to avoid or  recoup from creative U-turns
distinguished their careers.
Bells bead-design 

My newest creation are  X Large beads ...bells- like  of 7 cm ...The pictures are made in association with my smallest round bead of 1.2 mm... I m planning for a sautoir style  design?! Searching for new STYLE is the most difficult.... mostly we create variations of basic styles....We re-create an existing style , we interpreted sometime , in our own way of working, expression...
The pictures are not so good...Just study: some new ways of knots combination....
With my technique of knotting is more difficult due to uneven size of beads and thickness of the thread.... I have to work each piece a lots of time until the exact step is found.... But this is the beauty... I follow no rules... I AM MAKING THEM!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Searching for new shapes....

I have un obsession for shapes and dimensions!
The knots are my tool and beads and threads are the material that I use. I have to find shapes, forms, motives of different dimensions so I can make a composition, a design.
In this case I had in mind a necklace , with a classic shape but the motives I had to make it in a variety that will have unity, harmony ,contrast, rhythm, balance , proportion and form.
In the search of right forms I have made ...86 pieces- I used 30 for this design and I have motives to other!
The colors that I choose are well coordinated ...but classic... Actually, color not my forte! I work with low quality beads and 3 to 4 mm.... not calibrated I have to choose combination based on availability and best option!
In my technique, thread is a part of design. I used a gold-like thread for motive construction and satin cord for arrangement.

So the result you can see it!

Pending design...

I found in my boards ...the rest of the motives... and I will added here... and still on pending with next design and the girandole earrings.... I am working on volumes and forms now...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Paste Fericit! Happy Easter!


I am in my Easter's break... and since I finished my necklace, I am looking for earrings to match .... I designed a lots of earrings in my career as a fine jewelry designer, but in the new technique of ornamental knots.  I am   searching now... 
I always was attracted to the romantic  designs ... and -The Girandole style- is  the big challenge....
My new project will be on  "The age of Elegance"...the 18th century...

Through out of  time, since I have s lots of materials left  from other projects,  I made some tassels....I love tassels...
Tassels- endless possibilities

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I finish my necklace!

With all the motives on place I start assembling the necklace inspired from the design of an old piece of mine. Very flexible and comfort fit choker type of necklace with dangling knotted beaded-beads .... .
For me the fitting is very important! Every piece of mine has to fit perfect ; to embrace any type of neck size.. The center piece has to drop perfect straight down and has to be free of twisting with the neck movement.In the next pictures you can observe the work progress of assembling.
The attachment of parts-motives are done with the same technique of knotting in mesh pattern.
For each element I use approximate 1.5 m of silver like thread.The necklace contains 35 pieces, plus 3 pieces at the closing; for assembling I used  approximate 4.5 m....The beads are common 4mm seed beads, clear white, light blue and blue color. 
The fastening is provided by a button hole and a small bead-button . The two dropping beads are my signature as far is back closing.
Old necklace 
Start- front side 

Start - back side
Center motives 

Work in progress

Back side  detail
Closing - front side

 Necklace- done

A definite center of interest that sets the character of this design, I hope to assure a unified result.

The necklace is rich, with romantic air and flexible features.

P/S: Personal note: I apologize for the pictures quality.... 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

SEARCH - LEARN -SHARE .... my motto ..

Finally I got to decide on the path that I have to go!
From last post  with so many proposals I choose the NR.11 as a direction so ...I had to search more for the right dimensions. Therefore I found one square that will be suitable for attachment diagonal wise and a new oval  that will have the progressive rhythm of color on it. Also the high on the motive is very important The piece has to come smoothly, with no obstruction of unsuitable elements when we look for a composition that unity is to be achieved.Good proportion of the center pieces  are designed accordingly with the Golden Mean- an accepted guide for good proportion -  that I always use.
All elements has to have a simple , but very precise way of attaching them in a whole design.
 All elements are chosen based on all three dimensions: Length, Width and High!
                                                                    Proposal  11 - the start!
Motives created on the searching process...

Motives - as a final components

Solutions  for the up-center
Chosen solution  

High - study - proportions -

Center  elements - ways of attachment

Double progressive rhythm

Dangling elements- progressive size
For me , the comfort of a wearer  is very important! Therefore the assembling will be very important.

With this in mind, more elements have to be constructed : for this necklace I made 54 pieces and used 35 pieces for the final design!

Final lay-out of the necklace before assembling

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Forms...the power of knots... Modele si forme...

Two years ago I was studying forms through knots combinations.... I haven't used yet.... I am very interested to create-reproduce ANY form and volume  through my technique of knotting....My challenge  now is to make FLAT beads! The patterns and combinations of shape and color of beads can be ..infinite ...but the form remain the flat beads it will make interesting task! Smooth and irregular shape ! I love it! I take the bet...with myself!

Multe din motivele create acum doi ani, inca asteapta sa fie folosite cumva intro compozitie inreresanta!
Provocarea actuala este sa creez, cu ajutorul tehnicii cu noduri, margele flate!

I am still working on more motives for my project....
samples of new forms

shapes on red and gold like threads

accepted  forms 

flower -two tone 
Cautarile pentru formele potrivite...continua!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The research continue...searching for paths of spring

A small collection of beaded beads, large size , that I've made recently... Spring air.... a direction?... Not yet!
Working with knots, in a original plan must be logical and orderly. I have no patterns to follow; I have to DISCOVER them... Trying on error, again and again until a desired shape come out! I have to write down all information; knots that I've used, NR of threads, length,  steps, sequence of ; everything has to come out under my control not by chance....
I have to master the technique so every part, motive, shape, size, trim and functional parts like bails, connections that are incorporated on the design- all can be reproduced  to the smallest detail. For me designing with knots means control, innovation and challenge !
I have to know where I am standing  comparable with the other techniques - what's my strength and my week points.... As I work, knotting every day.... the challenge is moving to combination of knots arise and therefore  more possibilities... the process of knotting  become the focus...not the product!

Large size beads

Tub shape beads 
THE RESEARCH CONTINUE...I have done more motives; the connection and size is very important....I will posted soon!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Still playing with and designing with knots...

Still playing with parts for the next project..... The dimensions of the ones that I already done...are not I am still researching...      

Designing with knots mid time I found I picture... a old one..I can't believe-it that 8 years past by....At that  time I was knotting with silver beads only..... I have done a lots of pieces in black and silver beads only... My interest was on combination of styles... lengths, new shapes...I like to study the impact of a new style from...far a way... to the viewer point of view... Zooming is not always .... in style!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

!♔Directory Blogspot♔!: Europe Roumanie

!♔Directory Blogspot♔!: Europe Roumanie
Dear Chris, thank you for your recent comment on my blog and the invitation to participate to!
It is a great idea that you had to put all this blog together! I am sure that I lots of people will join!
Best regards from Romania!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Some general aspects of design - Desenul - aspecte generale

This material has not presented in a meaning of tutorial. Is just a list of  important points in designing, planning or judging a planned design. It is important for me to act accordingly to those principles.
Hope that it will be a good review for anyone who works with designing jewelry.
Through my entire career as a designer  I had a lots of books; one that I loved and used  the most was: Handbook of Decorative Design and Ornament by Mary Jean Alexander., from which I have extracted some definitions. 

Design- and - Decorative design- are not the same.
Design means the creation of a plan for the making of any object that is intended to have aesthetic merit and  if necessary, function properly. Two aspects are involved: the utilitarian and decorative.
Decorative design , is not a thing in itself - it decorates something else.It requires space and choice of line, form ( used two-dimensionally), and sometime color or value, arranged in a pleasing and orderly manner.
Decoration and ornament should be used only when they add to the appearance of whatever they are intended to decorate. It should strengthen and emphasize the original design idea and never compete with it.
Decorative design is divided in two categories:
1. Decorative motifs
2. Systems of arrangements or patterns.
The aim of a designer is to make a good design.
Good design is achieved on the basis of principles and elements commons to all art.
Anyone who works with design , must know and thoroughly understand  them , and to be able to apply them  correctly
They are: unity, harmony, emphasis, subordination and dominance, contrast, variety, rhythm, balance , scale and proportion, line and form; the importance of value.

Unity - is achieved by a choice and an arrangement of parts that produces a single, orderly whole.
Every part is disposed to unite with the whole that it may thereby escape its own incompleteness.
Each part must be essential in itself, and at the same time add to the total effect. A definite center of interest    that sets the character of the design will help to assure a unified design. repetition and similarity will often create unity, but to much of either can make a design uninteresting or monotonous.
Harmony - means the restful relationship of parts to one another and requires a balancing of straight, curved and diagonal lines when used together.
Emphasis - including Dominance and Subordination
Emphasis- requires that one idea of design theme be dominant. Dominance is the effect of superior importance.The design should be planned so that the eye is irresistibly drawn to the basic theme, with the rest of the design seen in order of importance. Emphasis is imperative to unity. Subordination is the effect of inferior importance.
When working out a design, a good method is to start by evaluating the material to be used in order of importance, and decided the beginning what it will be the center of interest. Then determinate how important each subordinate part will be.
Contrast  - the purpose of contrast is to make one line, form,value or color stand out more sharply when using against another, giving more emphasis.
Variety - is the lack of sameness - a combining of different ideas and qualities.It used to furnishing vitality, and sometime excitement  to a design. 
Rhythm -is a disciplined movement, with a recurrence of strong and week elements - the measured repetition of accents. Rhythm results when all parts of a design are perfectly coordinated.
There are three general ways of achieving rhythm in design: 
1. through the repetition of the line, form pattern,value or color;
2.through progression of size or shape
3. by means of a continuous basic line.
Repetition is marked by a recurrence of patterns or accents, separated by space or different patterns.
Progressive rhythm requires a gradual increase or decrease in the size or shape of a design
Continuous line rhythm is made mainly of curves and usually gives a flowing effect.
Balance -denotes the equilibrium of elements. in design requires a harmonious arrangement of parts around a center or central axis, giving the appearance of equal distribution. lack of balance gives a feeling of restless which make the viewer uncomfortably , although he may not realize why. It is the quality that people react to instinctively. it is absolutely essential to unity. There are two kinds of balance: symmetrical or formal and asymmetrical or informal. Symmetrical balance requires the equal division of form, size and arrangement of parts. Asymmetrical balance- also called optical or occult, creates a sense of equilibrium by the arrangement of two sets of forms of different size and shape - or value or color- on either side of an axis, so that they seem equal in importance.
Scale and Proportion-  relative qualities -are easiest to understand if taken together.Scale indicates a size relationship, proportion a shape relationship.Good scale requires that the sizes of all parts of design be related in a satisfying way. Good proportion has areas sufficiently alike to have something in common and still different enough to be interesting.
Line and Form -line and form , with color and value, provide the basic components of decorative design.
Any design- flat or three-dimensional, requires space; line supplies the simplest element of design.
Form is the shape of an area or three-dimensional volume, as defined by the lines that give it a distinctive appearance. An object is recognized and identified by its form.
Value- When color is used, its value influences the total design effect. value is the degree of lightness or darkness in a color.
More shapes and parts
Parts, shapes , motives

Prop.1 - no balance

Prop.2 - !?

Prop.3 -no balance 

Prop.4 - no balance, no rhythm
Prop.5 - no symmetrical balance

Prop.6 - no emphasis
Prop.8 - no harmony

Prop.7 - ??!

Prop.9 - !?

Prop 10 - no balance , harmony of shapes

Prop.11 - better balance

Prop.12 - balance, good harmony, progressive  rhythm

Progressive rhythm- size and color

Progressive rhythm 
With all this principle in mind, I will present my latest parts , shapes and motives .All parts are created on the  technique of beaded beads with knots. The thread is a silver color metallic cord and clear and blue color 4 mm beads.
  The decision that I will take will be accordingly with the design principle. I think it will be!
I will like to hear your opinion as far is the choice of proposals...existing ...or yet to discover!