Tuesday, January 1, 2008


I don't know about you, but I simply adore cephalopods. Yes, octopuses (octopi?), cuttlefish and squid, to be more precise. They are magnificent creatures - they are intelligent, strikingly beautiful, demonstrate amazing dexterity, and many of them do this really nifty color/pattern flashing thing that is part camouflage and part communication. Yeah, pretty cool.

So, in "homage" to these lovely creatures, I present some samples of my cephalopod bead series:

I've been working on this series for a few months. It started with some experimentation with Mokume Gane. OK, OK, it was really an attempt to figure out how Julie Picarello makes such stunning patterns with Mokume Gane - I'm still working on that one. *scratches head confusedly*

But my Muse took it upon herself to push me in another direction after she noticed a couple of interesting patterns that started to happen. So, off I went, following my Muse into the world of cephalopods.

And what will I do with these big, flashy, chaotic beads? I'll be danged if I know! Sometimes I wish I could just start with a complete idea and follow it through to the end. Geeesh.

Stay tuned, readers, for the exciting conclusion of the "Invasion of the Cephalopods Who Ate Freedom, Maine"


Anonymous said...

I too adore cephalopods...although, I have to admit that I am somewhat more fond of nudibranchs. http://www.sergeyphoto.com/underwater/nudibranchs.html
I just love looking at them. I love their gorgeous colors and patterns (somewhat like Julie Picarello's mokume gane??) I can spend WAY too much time looking at pictures of these beautiful creatures and wondering how I could translate their wonderful patterns into polymer clay.

I was very fortunate to take a class from Julie Picarello. She as an unbelievably huge collection of little pieces of castoff items that she uses for her patterns...and you should see her cutters! Amazing. She even gave me a little bag of "stuff" to take home!

I love your beads! I especially like the purples ones. I think you should stay on this path for awhile. Those beads are really gorgeous! They do remind my of cephalopods!


artandtea said...

I love the colors and organic look of your cephalopod beads! I'm like you, I start playing and creating sometimes without one thought as to what I will do with the finished product. The process is so much fun though!

Mel said...

Melanie, these are wonderful! I LOVE your mokume patterns and the colours you chose. The thing that I love about mokume gane is the fact that everyones style is a little different. I love Julies work too, who doesn't? But I love a lot of other peoples mokume gane too. That's the beauty of the technique, it really lets the uniqueness shine, depending on shapes of tools for impressing, shades of colours and thicknessness of sheets. I love the shapes of your beads too. How do you get those beads so beautifully shaped and even?

Raven's Clay said...

Greetings, Gals! Thanks so much for visiting and your kind words! It's muchly appreciated (yes, I said muchly).

Nudibranchs! Yes, yes! I love those things. Thanks for reminding me about those wild and flashy beasts, Doreen. When my son was younger we would sit and watch nature shows - and my favorites were always ones with nudibranchs!

Karen, you are totally right. Our way is definitely all about keeping the "process" fun! Thanks for reminding me. ;)

Mel! My Southern Hemisphere doppleganger!! No, wait, I think it's the other way around. lol You are totally right - mokume gane is in the hand of the slicer - or something like that. So far as the bead shape... I start with a tube of "bead guts" and cover with the veneer, and as I close the tops the pod shapes starts to form. Then it's just a matter of carefully rolling and counter-rolling... and a lot of futzing (technical word). :)

Happy swiss cow said...

Oh look at that girl, just few days that I didn't check the blog and wow! Hey Melanie those bracelets are great (like the blue one a lot) and your octopus beads are lovely! It seems that cephalopods are quite popular these days in the polymer-world... look here
and here

Sending you big happy 2008 New year hugs!

perlengaby said...

Oh, what interesting beads....... I'm so estoneshed.....