Thursday, September 25, 2014

Finding My Mixed Media Mojo...

So it's three weeks since I arrived home from my holiday in the USA and my first (yes I will be back) visit to Bead Fest and I'm delighted to say that once I got over my jet lag, I found myself raring to get in the studio and do something creative. It's not unusual of course to feel refreshed after a holiday but this one was just a bit special.

For me Bead Fest itself was a huge inspiration and not just because of the beads. My AJE team mates were so generous in the way they welcomed and hosted me and what with so many hugely talented and creative bead makers and designers coming together in one place I felt an amazing energy and buzz about the whole thing which certainly followed me home.

It was also great to talk to people attending workshops and to see how excited they were about the new skills they'd picked  up and I completely understand that as I  was lucky enough to take a mixed media workshop with our own Jenny Davies-Reazor. Jenny's class gave us a start on developing the skills to combine polymer clay, metal and ceramic cabochons as shown in these pieces of hers...

Mixed media amulets by Jenny Davies-Reazor
Metal working was one of my first jewellery making passions but I've never really felt the urge to get into polymer clay until I saw how well they worked together in this layered approach. This is the piece I made in the workshop and though not perfect I was pretty pleased with it...

Cabochon by Diana Ptaszynski

Needless to say as soon as I got home I ordered myself some supplies and set to work at having a go on my own and this was my first piece using a ceramic cabochon my Marsha Neal...

The process uses simple cold connections such as tab settings and staples to combine the elements into a sturdy focal piece. I know Jenny is hoping to teach similar classes at events next year so if you get the opportunity to attend one I would thoroughly recommend it.

This was a pretty large piece so I haven't quite decided how to use it yet but my second piece has already been made in to a necklace called 'From Darkness Comes Light'. I used one of Jenny's Celestial face cabochons with a sleepy expression and made a sun ray tab setting, Set against the dark blue of the sun stone beads and the tint of the polymer it evokes for me the dawning of a new day.

Well by then I was well and truly hooked and just had to make another one, this time using a pretty butterfly cabochon (again by Jenny) in warm rich tones. I haven't had a chance to make this one up yet but it's sitting on my work bench with a selection of possible beads for when I do.

Taking Jenny's workshop has had an added benefit in that it's also made me think about other ways of using cold connections and different mediums in my designs. This pendant combines a lampwork cabochon by Caroline Dewison with copper and a setting made from a vintaj brass flower blank connected with rivets.

And this one is again copper with a vintaj blank but I've added extra elements with a leather flower and enameled leaf from Gardanne Beads.

Ceramic cabochon by Caroline Dewison leather flower by H M Creative supplies

I have lots of ideas popping in my brain to take mixed media further so I hope my mojo decides to stay awhile. But what about you - have you taken any inspiring workshops or courses and if not, what's inspired you to try something new lately...? We'd love to hear.



  1. Lesley, thanks for sharing your new adventure with mixed media, all the pieces are gorgeous

  2. Amazing work sweetie,I am as usual in awe of your work,thanks for sharing all very beautiful

  3. Hi Lesley, you pieces have made me want to give it a try. Thanx

  4. I'm giddy with excitement! Not only were you happy with the class - it inspired you to do more, and adapt the techniques to your style. The moon face! Wow. I need some Vintaj blanks...

  5. Wow, you are really exploding with creativity Ms. Lesley! Once again, your eye for design is producing stunning designs for me to drool over!

  6. These are all amazing! I especially love the sun!

  7. I love all these new pieces---so beautiful! Where would I check for a class or tutorial to make these? Lynn Carling :)

    1. Thank you Lynn. Jenny is currently working on class proposals for 2015 but she is also planning to develop a tutorial for this technique so I would suggest if you don't already to follow her Facebook page to keep up to date:

  8. Very nice! I love the green leather flower with the ceramic cabochon.

  9. All of your pieces are beautiful, Lesley, your talent and creativity is unending.

  10. They are all beautiful! I tend to admire mixed media but I haven't dipped my toe in yet. I really think that I need to take a class to get myself going,


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