This month, American artist Edward Hopper’s iconic 1942 painting, titled Night Hawks, is our inspiration. Interesting title, huh? Art Bead Scene offers everyone a monthly challenge using paintings as a jumping off place for jewelry designs. Always different, and such a great way to express yourself through your jewelry. You might consider joining in the fun!
In the past, I purchased the art beads use in my design entries, because I don’t make art beads myself. Love ’em, just don’t make them. This month, I decided to really stretch myself and tackle polymer clay, figuring it would be the easiest for me to learn on my own. I did read several articles and watch some youtube videos to get some tips, dos and don’ts. Here’s some of the supplies I used for the beads.
When studying this painting, my eyes kept wandering back to the woman. Pale ivory skin, red hair, red dress. Hopper must have wanted us to give her our attention as well, by placing her in the best lighting, seated facing us– the most directly of all the figures in this work. She also doesn’t appear to be wearing any jewelry, so I decided I would make her a necklace and earrings inspired by the ivory, dark rusty red, and black in the color palette.
The polymer clay beads started out as a primary color red. I used a patterned stamp to create the impressions. After baking, I painted them with a mixture of black acrylic paint and antique staining medium. Wiped off the excess with a soft cloth. Dry. Finish with a coat of satin varnish. I was going for an antiqued cinnabar look on the beads and am so please with this result. The earrings were embellished with black faceted glass beads and Chinese character, faux ivory beads. The necklace is a simple look with large pendant and some small black faceted crystals. I think the Lady in Red would love these.
Before and after the antiquing treatment and varnish
Here’s a look at some more of my first attempts with polymer clay. Happy with some: others, not so much. I’ll definitely be working some more with this medium. Lots of fun!