spiral notebooks

Calling the Muse

by Lyn Foley on January 16, 2008

Ideas and inspirations for creating beads and jewelry come to me from all sorts of places.  I buy  inexpensive spiral bound notebooks  and fill them with ideas.  The blank pages are great for drawing , or pasting spiral notebooks photos into. I can even tear a  perforated page out and  stick it on a clipboard   I keep in my torching area. I’ve filled this stack of  note books in the last 3 years.

Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night from a dream about a  finished piece of jewelry – I get up and  tiptoe into my studio and sketch the idea. I rip  pages out of magazines ( I’m the one that wrecks those stacks of magazines in the doctors office)  -   pictures of inspiring rooms, people, clothing, food -  and paste them into the current notebook. My digital camera goes everywhere, for photos  of shapes I like, colors, textures. Music inspires me.  I listen to KUT, the NPR station in Austin, or  KUHF in Houston. One day the opera La Boheme was broadcast, and the commentator  translated the Italian before each act. I understood the story line  for the first time, and the music evoked a powerful reaction that translated into shapes and colors.   blue necklace I put down the glass rods I was working with, picked out the new color scheme, and created the beads in this strand by the time the opera was over.


A few months ago while staying in a hotel during a selling trip we just stumbled onto Julie Taymor’s dazzling production of The Magic Flute on television. Oh, how I wished we had been at home and able to record the show, because both Jim and I went wild over about the costumes and sets . (Too bad there is no CD yet. )We filled up the hotel note pad with sketches and as soon as we could went to work translating what we had seen into jewelry.

Jim brings me design sketches, so sometimes I take his idea, and Abstract Blue Fish bead    make beads in shapes and colors for his creation.  Other times, he just pokes through my beads, finds one he likes, and takes it over to his bench to make  a silver setting something  for it  -a fish bead  I made to go with his “waves” of silver.

I have a degree in Art Education, and have been an artist all of my adult life – all of my life, really. Years of drawing, painting, working as a fiber artist, designing stores, and  designing jewelry, all led to my approach  of  “painting with glass”.  So paintings that I like are a great source of inspiration.   The muse I called upon in called upon in the last few days was this painting by artist Wesley Rusnell: Reclining Nude, Violet.   violet painting I love those intense blocks of color. I rarely use gray glass, but this painting inspired me to try gray with red and purple.



Rods of glass I chose, and the beads I made  using them. I’ll show you the finished jewelry I make from the beads in a few days. Maybe you’ll be inspired!

rods of glass finished jewelery

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