A Life of Varied Endeavors

Tag Archives: shells

Steel Wire and Niihau Shells

Steel Wire and Niihau Shell Earrings

Steel Wire and Niihau Shell Earrings – click to enlarge

A few days ago I sold these earrings in my Etsy shop.  They are a favorite pair, and I want to mark for myself the realization that I’m accomplishing one of my goals of moving into working with metal: the joining of beadwork and metalwork.

Niihau shells are special to me because they were treated as very precious things when I was growing up in Hawaii.  Many years ago (now) I inherited a couple of Niihau shell leis and love them dearly.  But my life does not lend itself to wearing them, and I decided to take a few shells off to play with.  This is one of the results.  I’m feeling like I want to do more.

Little Altars Project

NancyStrahle Center Collection

I’m participating with several other willing adventurers (10 others to be exact) in a project organized and inspired by Peg Gyldenege.  She’s calling it Little Altars, and we are all filling the compartments of a “letterpress drawer” that each of us purchased.  Once a month, beginning in January, we are completing a section.  Intended to allow us to play with things that inspire us and have meaning to each of us, it’s also going to be a mutual recharge, as we all inspire each other.

I wanted to participate for the inspiration, for the play, for the community, for the let-go.  It’s also a great way to celebrate a transition to retirement – something I am admitting to and focusing on! (Let’s hope it works!)

Our first date for completion was January 26th, the full moon.  We will complete a space by each full moon, sending the contents of a completed compartment to a fellow artist for installation.  To see the first month’s work and all the artists participating, check out Peg’s blog at http://wildhairstudio.blogspot.com/.

This little space gave me the opportunity to give a home to some little treasures of mine; things that aren’t made for more than this, ideas I’ve played with, little things I am fond of.  It uses a dried orchid blossom, some dried leaves, a few handmade magnet hooks with sterling wire and buttons that I made years ago (an Idea I am still keen on developing), a small fold forming experiment, a copper chain that I love (reminds me of a maile leaf lei), a rough ruby, a little madrona branch collected on one of my daily morning walks, a shell collected by a friend in Mexico, a press-formed and colored experiment on copper, and a scrap found-copper-shape that I  embellished with riveted colored copper circles.  The pieces are all held on by magnets to a covered sheet of steel.  So, by nature, each item can be rearranged!