Monday, 28 July 2014

Art bead scene july challenge

ABS has this fantastic mermaid, under the sea inspiration for their July Challenge and I was hoping that I could make something out of glass in my lampworking class for the challenge.
As you might had read in my last post, I struggled quite a lot with fire, literally burning a hole through my skirt ( and my skin in this process) and my thoughts being scattered all over the place as I was working on another project while planning a work-cation so I ended up without a mermaid inspired piece :(
While we were making the pieces, some of the participants came up with this idea of coloring our glass doodles with glass paints and alcohol inks. Our instructor asked us to try and I went one step further and used patina inks on glass.
The result is a oozy-doozy slighly opaque and textural to touch piece that looks like a fantasy piece which I thought resembled the polyps at the left bottom of this picture. So here it is my totally experimental handmade glass bead necklace. Lampworking veterans please excuse me as this is my first attempt as lampworking.

  sous la mer necklace 

 Sous la mer means under the sea in French. I was inspired by the tentacles and polyps in the visual to create the focal beads using clear borosilicate glass tubes which I have then colored with alcohol and patina inks giving a combination of opaque and transparent feeling to the piece. The focal is strung on to a fish scale finish silver leather cord (pointing to the shimmery scales of the mermaid) wrapped in a satin ribbon and accented with milky beads and chain. I used the muddy yellow, green and blue colors on the focal and I picked the pinkish red color from the picture (not in the palette) as my accents as I thought that the reds given as too strong for the design.


The Little Mermaid, 1911 by Edmund Dulac
Making the necklace took just a few minutes but I had great trouble photographing this piece. It has too many transparent portions and shimmery components that almost all the pictures I took look heavily posterized. I think I really have to learn to shoot such surfaces.

I hope you find it interesting

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Friday, 25 July 2014

How I Made a glass focal

Recently Dakshin Chitra hosted a lampwork workshop by the famous Glass artist Mr. Srinivasa Raghavan and I somehow fought with my schedule to find time to take up a class. I had seen his demos atleast thrice in the past and he works with glass as though it was clay. Sorry strike that, I find it very hard to work with clay so the correct comparison would be to fabric.
For the last one year or so trends indicate that jewellers are starting to make their own components but going beyond metal and wire to work with either ceramics or glass. I was really hoping that this year I would somehow contact a ceramic artist and maybe develop some pedants or focals or I didnt think that I could learn to work with glass. The 11/2 day session with Mr..Raghavan changed my perspective.

 He did demos of simple objects which he thought we could replicate and then went on to wow us with his sea horses and swans. Once we got over the the initial fear (of handling molten glass and staring into fire) glass was pretty fun to work with. It will bubble and flow like water. Ofcourse what was simple to him was hard for us, so we all abandoned the idea of replicating his designs and just tried to work with glass organically producing whatever shapes we fancied.

Pieces created by Mr. Raghavan

Our Instructor was a glass sculptor so he wanted us to try focals or minis without mandrels or presses rather than beads but on my request he showed us how to make a flat disc bead.
Take a look at this demo video, where he makes a couple of glass disc beads in seconds. He makes it look so easy, but believe me, it isnt. As he says,  It is in the cooling as much as the heating something that we will understand only after years of practise.

We did focals with borosilicate glass tubes rather than beads and trying to make the loop was the hardest part, as it would break while turning or we would mush up the focal by over heating it. The most frustrating part of the whole process is seeing your pieces fall off the table and break as you are gathering them. After working with (read staring into) fire for a session (which was 15-20 minutes), It was difficult to see anything and people looked as though they had giant blobs of red and yellow colors on their faces. All of us were literally in tears with watery eyes and had throbbing headaches. I then realised how hard my dad has worked his entire life. Being an electrode and welding developer and engineer he has supervised welding all his life and even does so now at 65 something that is possible only when you are passionate about what you do.

Here are some of my creations. I sincerely hope that my lampworking friends and artists who read this blog arent offended by my crude attempts. Its not possible to even understand the medium in 2 days but it was an opportunity to learn about the effort that went into creating glass beads or components. Please pardon my bad photography, I am running on a crazy schedule here and this is all I could manage.
Day 1 Experiments - making small leaf charms and bar focals. All The other pieces I made on the first day broke :( The second is an experimental piece using the doodling technique I made on the second day, which I colored. Please come back here again next week to see what I finally did with it
Day 2 Experiments: I tried a leaf, tendril,flowers - color inclusion and focal with initials - D on one side for Divya and S on the other for Sayuri. The Last one is a Roman tendril inspired bohemian piece and it still needs a lot of work.

I do not know when next I would get an opportunity to work with glass, but If I do get one I am going to grab on to it and practise as much as possible.

I hope you find it interesting

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Sunday, 20 July 2014

Interweave Create Jewelry Feature

Interweave's famous 101BNE - Bracelets necklaces and earrings has now been christened as "Create Jewelry" and is loaded with goodies for a jewelry enthusiast. Apart from the promised 101 tutorials there is a lot of information on colored gemstones and cold connection metal techniques which makes the book a great read.
Flipping through the pages, I found a lot of pieces incorporating leather and suede and hence knotting was the most common technique used. The range of the pieces (variety) and the ideas are far superior compared to last year's issue that it will delight all levels of beaders from beginner to advanced.
There are 8 different palettes (Sweet & Salty, Punchy Brights, Schoolroom Pastels, Feathers in Flight, Stained Glass Shades, Boho Beautiful, Berry Bounty, and Harvest Hues) and this time around they have chosen lighter or contrasting backgrounds so that the pieces are more visible.

Sayuri Necklace, feathers in flight, create jewelry magazine
Sayuri Necklace, feathers in flight section.
Kudos to Debbie (Blair) and the entire team for putting together such a fabulous issue.

I am humbled that she chose one of my pieces to include in the "feathers in flight" section. Learning from Last year's mistakes, I named my piece after my brand and also included my website and etsy shop address in my bio. So a pat on the back for me :)

Sayuri Necklace, feathers in flight, create jewelry magazine

This year the editors didnt want a detailed DIY but a complete list of resources, which I went really mad trying to provide as most of my supplies come from the Indian markets; nevertheless its a great experience. I hope to be published in stringing daily too one day, as its far more difficult to break into with my Indian sensibilities in design.

Create jewelry  is open for preorder now! So hurry up and get yourselves a copy

I hope you find it interesting
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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

3 Facebook groups to be a part of

Of all the social media sites that I belong to and use, I prefer facebook, as most of my friends are there, its active all the time and its one place where you can actually sell while keeping an eye on the competition. But at times Facebook acts like a spoiled child - algorithms completely change throwing the set rhythm off into a toss. Sometimes the reach is very less but its more interactive compared to the other sites and it a good way to get feedback, which is very important for a brand.

Facebook Groups are a great way to interact with people, shop and also learn more in your area of interest. There are many groups on any given topic, but here are three that I love being a part of

3 Facebook groups to be a part of

What- Buy & sell beads, supplies and findings
Group -  Beads,Components and Findings for Sale, India
Market - Mostly India but I have seen a lot of International wholesale buying happening here
Process - closed but with almost no moderation
One stop shop of jewelry related finds. Sellers range from manufacturers (glass beads, wire, displays) to importers and distributors. Most of these are facebook pages, with a few shop websites.
admins of the group take no responsibility for the transactions being made by the sellers and buyer. I have found both great and bad suppliers here. Also buy a sample amount before you go in for a big purchase.

 What- Buy & sell your top of the line, one of a kind pieces in the auction format
Group - Artisan Designers Jewelry Buy and Sell.
Market - International
Process - closed and strictly moderated
Its a great place to find one of a kind handmade - beaded jewelry pieces to buy and to sell as auctions. As a seller you can list up to but not more than 4 items for auction or Buy it now (BIN) at a time and keep it open for 1 to 7 days. As a buyer you can either bid on an item or buy it now (much like ebay) but you have to pay within 24 hours using paypal. They have very strict guidelines but the pieces listed there are drool worthy.

What - A group to help with your blog and social media pages
Group - The Blogging Bunch Support Group
Market - International
Process - secret and strictly moderated. You have to be a member of the blogging bunch group to apply here
Every day of the week the group promotes posts on different social media platforms. The Schedule goes like this Weekly Sharing Schedule: Monday - Facebook, Tuesday - Pinterest, Wednesday - Google+, Thursday - twitter, Friday - Social Media Follows (we'll change which social media every week) Friday evening through Sunday noon - Comment Love

 Which are the other facebook groups that you are a part of and would recommend, do tell in your comments. While you are on facebook, do check out my page - Sayuri and show some love (Like)

I hope you find it interesting
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Friday, 11 July 2014

Creating Jewelry with Fabric - a guest post

As Crafters we often hoard fabric, tucking away piles of fabric scraps in our closet or discarding them in the bin, hardly knowing how and where to use them. At times the scraps are either too small or too varied to make something substantial. But fear not, you can effectively use them to create matching accessories for every outfit of yours and don a new look every time you step out
Fabric jewellery is the new trend in vogue, stepping out of shadows. A host of designers, artisans, and brands are giving a twist to the traditional Indian jewellery with the help of scraps of fabric which are, then, adorned with rhinestones or even buttons. The result is feather-light, economical, skin-friendly statement pieces coming out in light.
fabric jewelry  by sayuri
Fabric jewellery has been in full swing internationally for quite some time now, and is a household word even with the rank and file there. But, in India this novel concept of jewellery is in its nascent stages with only some celebrities donning these. But considering the fact that fabric jewellery is attractive and affordable, it will bid fair with the masses in no time.
 All you need is a figment of imagination and a stash of leftover fabrics.  Fabric jewellery provides one with innumerable options in terms of texture, color, design and, therefore, the over-all look. This type of jewellery can be made using almost any kind of fabric, be it chiffon, georgette, tissue, organza and silk or the humbler jute and cotton. For the embellishment, everything from buttons, beads, pearls and shells to rhinestones, semi-precious stones, swarovski-crystals and kundan is on the offer.
fabric jewelry by sayuri
So, you can go for an out and out feminine look complete with fabric flowers, ribbon rosettes, laces and pearls or return to your roots with traditional hand-woven fabric, batik-dyed fabric, zardosi and kundan work. Alternatively, go high on bling quotient with swarovski crystals and semi-precious stones, or opt for embroidery, crochet, net and fabric beads for a graceful, suave look.
Satiate the creative pangs of the budding designer in you and give an expression to your creative ideas in the form of these simple and easy-to-make jewellery pieces. Here are some tutorials on fabric jewellery that you might want to try.

fabric jewelry tutorials by sayuri
Let your imagination run wild and create a plethora of accessories to enhance your outfits. You can, thus, easily use the leftover bits of textile to create a bold and edgy fashion statement. Just put on your thinking caps, create innovative, eye-catching pieces and be the cynosure of everyone’s eyes. All this and more makes fabric jewellery the flavour of the season and all you need to do is to try it before you believe it. So, go ahead, ditch the metal and flaunt your fabricated jewels like a fashionista.

About the author: Vichitra Agarwal (Bhajjanka) is a Kolkata based freelancer who writes articles, blog posts, product and book reviews and manages web content. Working as a ghostwriter for the last three years, she has covered a range of topics including travel, literature, people, fashion, food, and art among others. Armed with a post graduate degree in English literature, she equally enjoys crafting, crochet, and all things DIY. She can be reached at vichitragarwal at gmail dot com

Images by Sayuri

Tutorials Listed in this post
Fabric Jhumkas
Valentine BFF corsage
Scrunchie hairclip
Rose trim cuff
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Monday, 7 July 2014

Chithiram Season 2

A collection that began root in a simple pendant I wanted to make for my mother to preserve a Raja Ravi verma painting - postcard (as she loves his paintings) in 2011 and was eventually bought by a big retail website.
A collection that enforced the value of upcycled and recyled products
A collection that has been featured in national Television, National and local newspapers, magazines, ezines, blogs and columns.
A collection that was totally experimental, tough to create and grew under tight deadlines and exacting briefs given by media professionals
A collection and concept that has inspired spinoffs, knockoffs and copies by many brands and designers, with and without my permission
A collection, that I am proud to say belong to me and my brand. A collection that has become my legacy!!
A Collection that will be "Designed to Please your soul" again this year.

Chithiram 2 back in a whole new avatar!!

 This time around - the collection would be divided into two distinct lines - Chitthira katha (Picture stories) and Ragamala (Garland of ragas or musical nodes). Here is the post on one of my favourite pieces from the collection - Purva Raga

The collection consists of 50 pieces and here is a snapshot of the range available. This is only a preview, I will feature pieces from this collection soon. My schedule is pretty crazy so I am unable to write any descriptive post at the moment, so please bear with me.

Chitthira katha


I hope you find it interesting
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Tuesday, 1 July 2014

My Country Blog Hop - India

My country blog hop is a wonderful concept where handmade artisans from around the world come together to show people something about their home, their country via a handmade product. This year 25 people from 11+ countries are coming together in this blog hop hosted by Nan Smith of Nanmade - Handmade jewelry to narrate stories about their respective countries, states or provinces.

 I thought that this would be a great opportunity to display one piece from my new- upcoming collection - The second season of my most popular collections of all times - Chithiram.
Chithiram is a tamil word that means art, painting, movie or even a story; Chithiram by Sayuri, is an art to wear collection. In 2012 my focus was on Raja Ravi verma's (A great Indian artist who is well known for his portrayal of women in a classical way) paintings and I had used them on upcycled/recycled objects to create one of a kind wearable jewelry. Two years later, the entire line and concept being ripped off by dozens of jewelry makers and many requests from clients to bring back the original designs, I decided to bring it back with a twist.
This time around - the collection would be divided into two distinct lines - Chitthira katha (Picture stories) and Ragamala (Garland of ragas or musical nodes)
We Indians have a strong tradition of narrating stories using pictures, so the piece that I have chosen to showcase today - Purva Raga, falls under the Chithira Katha Category.

kemp necklace with radha krishna

Purva Raga is inspired by the Story of Radha Krishna, one of the greatest myths and Godly love stories of India. Its a glimpse of the eternal love story of Sri Krishna and Radha Rani  which is filled with unconditional love and devotion. Theirs is a story of two soul mates forever separated yet together in their minds - a symbol of the purity of love.

Sometimes when we hear a person or catch a glimpse of them (in a dream, photo or even in real life) without really interacting with them or listen to somebody else talk about them, we might get attracted to them and/or  fall in love with them. This is what "Purva Raga" means. There is indeed no rhyme or reason to it, it just happens due to connection between souls.
Purva raga - Source - Hare Rama, Hare Krishna Postcard

The design is an amalgamation of both North and South Indian aesthetics which are extremely different from one another. But our love of gold and preference to auspicious colors like red, green and yellow bind us together.
 As red is the color of love, I have chosen a red colored fabric to create the necklace stuffed with hollow beads. The focal is divided into two parts The first pendant is one half of a traditional South India hair accessory called Chandra prabha (meaning the moon, the other half is called Surya prabha meaning sun). The stones are artifical kemp (made from glass) and set in a plated copper setting, This style of jewelry is called Vadaserry or Temple (dance) jewelry or Simply as Kemp jewelry. It is worn especially during weddings and Bharatanatyam dance performances.
The second focal contains a decoupaged image of Radha looking at an image of Krishna on an acrylic base and has been rimmed with peal stone chain to coordinated with the wire wrapped pearls on the chandra phrabha. Both focals are wire wrapped together and then to the necklace.
kemp necklace with radha krishna 
I shot the pictures on a banana leaf for two reasons - 1) great color contrast 2) Due to its importance in Indian Culture. Banana leaves are very special to us; once commonly used as a leaf plate for meals, its now reserved for wedding and special occasions. The upper portion of the leaf is meant for fruits, vegetables, chips, pickles and the lower portion for rice. It is said that Lord Rama, divided the leaf into two parts so that his trusted deputy and follower Hanuman (a monkey) can share a meal with him by eating fruits from the same plate (leaf). Being served on a leaf that still has its tip intact without any tears or dryness is an honour. Food tastes much better when served on the leaf, plus its completely an eco friendly way to have a great meal!!

India is a great country with Diverse cultures with each region of every state having their own traditions, making it impossible to talk all about it, in one post. Hopefully I have brought out a few glimpses of our culture through my design and this post. I am looking forward to taking a bloggy world tour to see what everyone else has created. Do Join me in visit our lovely host Nan and hopping to all the blogs from there.

Recommended reading
Bridal series- South India
Types of Indian Jewelry
What is Kemp

I hope you find it interesting
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Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Colorful brass earrings with patina inks

I, like most Indians, have a weakness for color - neutrals bore me and colors liven me up. I am particularly attracted to colors that bond well with gold tones - like mid tones or deep deep colors rather than pastels. There was a time however when I liked only midtones and darks but jewelry making has prompted me to look at colors from a different perspective. I now associate them with skin tones, moods and attitudes which has enabled me think of unique and unconventional color combinations.
This Post however is about me taking the concept of using Patina inks  (from my Dhathu collection) to semi precious jewelry in my Sudya collection. I think adding color takes a metal component from being generic to being special.
As the findings are gold or silver plated I have played it safe by using traditional color combos like red and green, silver and blue while testing the waters by combining yellow green with pinks.

Elai earrings (Leaf earrings)
16K gold plated brass textured folded leaf earrings with emerald vintaj patina ink with red glass bead drops 
Colorful brass earrings with patina inks

Double lotus leaf earrings
silver plated brass lotus leaves findings altered with emerald and topaz vintaj patina inks with pink agate beads and silver plated pewter bead caps. Earring post - sterling silver, plated stoppers
. I have distressed the colors for a worn in feeling

Colorful brass earrings with patina inks
water drop earrings
 silver plated brass leaf findings altered with sapphire vintaj patina inks with blue glass drops in silver frame. Earring post - sterling silver, plated stoppers

Colorful brass earrings with patina inks

water lily Earrings
Double layered earrings Created with silver plated pewter lotus leaf findings altered with vintaj patina inks, real- fresh water pearls, brass chain and pink beads enclosed in silver plated frame. Hook pewter. These earrings can be worn in 3-in-1 style - with just the leaf, with just the pink drop on a chain and both put together . The color used is a greenish yellow but looks like turmeric in sunlight

Colorful brass earrings with patina inks
So what do you think of using color on metal and what are your favourites from these four?

The first two are available for sale
I hope you find it itneresting

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Jewels of Sayuri


Creative Commons License
Tutorials listed under Sayuri TM by Divya N are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.Jewelry designs of Divya N (for Sayuri) are copyrightedMore