Friday, 12 December 2014

Pink Rambling Roses

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My shoulder rehab is continuing with it's up's and downs. I bounced back from my recent bout of problems to get back into the studio again within the week. I have been doing a lot of experimenting on scrap sheets of watercolour paper, which basically means me dripping and oozing paints, and inks and scraping at the pigments with scalpels, and twigs to try and get texture. I have also been playing with cling film and salt (the usual watercolourist's toys). So far I have learnt a lot, even if the result is a muddy puddle lol.

Today I decided to make a quick sketch of a couple of rambling rose blossoms weaving their way round a hedgerow (similar to before), then set about throwing paint around. I wasn't intending to make a painting and the focus was not on composition, but more about gestural mark making and texture. I went overboard in areas and of course things got muddy, but I continued to add splatters, and used twigs to drag the ink out, which helped a little. I am in love with granulation as a contrasting effect, but am yet to work out how to get consistently good results

Anyway, I think I am going to probably use more light sketching to provide me with a framework before experimenting next time. The blank paper has been rather intimidating and I have noticed I seem to need a focal point to bring out better results. Here's the result and some cropped views to show the mark making up close. I hope my shoulder doesn't act up tomorrow after a long day in the studio....oh well it's all part of the rehab process :) and I am starting to get more and more excited about the art shop (yay)

The whole piece
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Twigs and splatters ...
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Check out that granulation, baby (lol) !! (and negative space painting)
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Watercolour pencil, intense crayon sticks ...
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Thanks for stopping by

Samantha Braund

Monday, 8 December 2014

Rosa Arvensis - A Fresh Hope

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I am continuing to do rehab for my shoulder injury and am pleased to report that over the last couple of weeks I have been able to use my arms a lot more and have even been able to do some "art"

I would of course love to be able to take on my wire work, but as mentioned before, this would tax more torn tendon more than any other art form I do. Thank goodness I like to dabble in other media other wise I would be going crazy lol. Art therapy is a major factor in keeping me centred . I have taken to my watercolours again, which has been a surreal experience for me, as this was my only creative outlet back when I was a doctor. I haven't touched the medium in a decade - I had of course discovered the joys of acrylics and mixed media thanks to my stint on the Arts and Design course at DeMontfort Uni in 2012, but I never really thought I'd revisit this old faithful friend lol

My approach has changed though towards the medium, possibly as a result of all those mixed media influences and my love of 3D and texture, so I have taken more of an experimental approach this time. I didn't realise how much texture and vibrancy can be brought into watercolours these days, my old work could look quite washed out. The experimental painting above is of Rosa Arvensis a wild rambling white rose, that runs rampant in the English countryside...I felt it symbolised a vibrant fresh hope for me that I am turning a corner with my health and happiness in general. I have been able to reconnect with long lost family this year, and have managed to achieve significant weight loss in my efforts to address my health - so even though there has been somewhat of a creative drought and not a lot happening with the shop, I would say this has been one of my favourite years so far :) If the current trajectory holds true with my rehab, then I hope to open an Arts shop alongside the jewellery one to sell my other kinds of work , which is a lovely thought for me to hang onto as we go into the festive season

Thanks for stopping by

Samantha Braund

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Cover Artists Celebration Issue Of Metal Clay Artist Magazine

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The latest issue of Metal Clay Artist Magazine contained a special gallery celebrating the cover artists it had featured over the last 5 years. There have been some amazing pieces featured on those covers created by awe inspiring artisans. They featured my favourite Spider Conch Necklace as you can see, which was so  lovely of the team given that I haven't actually touched any metal clay since 2012!! I went running off to have fun messing around on the Arts and Design Course at Uni and became obsessed with painting and mixed media work.

Now I jump around between making Shipwrecked Pirate Books and making Seashore Boxes, then when I get bored I dabble in my first love wire sculpted jewellery. None of which has been happening lately due to my torn shoulder rotator cuff injury - however things are improving in that area and I am to start doing art again as part of my rehab. The irony is that I am not allowed to do extensive wire sculpted work as yet, which means I may well be heading towards playing with metal clay again. This new MCAM issue has been really inspiring and I think I really need to revisit this medium. I'll also be doing painting as part of the rehab regime, and am going to keep everything crossed that I have turned a corner and will continue to improve.

I appreciate all the lovely messages by people excited by my work. All the encouragement really helps me get into the right frame of mind to get better quicker :)  I will keep everyone updated on my progress and will show any new work on my Samantha Braund Jewellery Facebook Page . The image below is the banner for the FB page  :)

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Thanks for stopping by

Samantha Braund

Monday, 25 August 2014

Dragon Inspired Doodle

Hello again! I have been off nursing yet more injuries - this time it's an exercise related shoulder injury (torn rotator cuff) so I have been out of action for a while in terms of jewellery making...but on a personal note I have lost over 2 stone in weight so yay! lol

Anyway I was able to do some painting and drawing again after what seemed like a lifetime of not being able to do anything! This was a dragon inspired doodle I did in my art journal that I embellished with acrylic paint, including gold highlights. I love how it turned out, doodling always helps me achieve such a state of zen, similar to wire sculpting, so this little project has made me happy today :)

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Sorry For The Recent Inactivity!

I have been on a health kick this year, while trying to keep things ticking over with the creativity. Unfortunately I have sustained a few exercise induced injuries along the way. The latest is the most annoying, as it involves a slipped intervertebral disc in the neck, which has resulted in the nerves in both arms being affected, so I am busy "rehabbing" but am unable to do much with the arms and hands.

Once I am over the worst I will be back to making more pieces for the shops. The good news is that I have achieved significant weight loss and my fitness has improved too despite the current predicament lol. I have also sold a few pieces including the Cascade Mermaid Amulet featured in the last post (she will be missed)

  Anyway, thanks for the support and I look forward to creating and posting here again xxx Thanks for stopping by

Samantha Braund

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Meet The New Mermaid Amulet Queen!

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Having been immersed in making Pirate Treasure chests for the past week, it was only natural for my strange mind to turn to making another Mermaid Amulet for the shop. This one started as a rather modest composition around the central green pearl, then it started to grow, and grow , and grow!

The piece has cascades of my signature swirls and embellishments falling from the pearl, culminating into this Art Nouveau style sculptural feature. It is a real statement piece and the new Queen of the Mermaid Amulet Collection in my mind. You can find her here in the shop . I've included plenty of views so that you can appreciate the detail and intricacy that has gone into the piece. I hope you love her as much as I do!

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Thanks for stopping by

Samantha Braund

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Mini Treasure Chest

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I have been having more fun in the studio as you can see. If you follow any of my work you'll be aware of my love of the fantasy world occupied by Mermaids and Pirates - so when it came to making some storage for my growing mass of mini misters and sprays, I had to make a Pirates Treasure Chest!

I started with a few sheets of chipboard and constructed the chest, then took my time decorating the exterior with patterned paper, brads, and other metal hardware. The focal metallic embellishment is made from embossed foil, and treated with a variety of acrylic paints to get that antiqued gold look. I experimented on creating that effect earlier this year as described in this post . I am so happy with the chest ... and it's for me lol, not for my hubby or a friend, no, I get to keep this one all to myself

The next time I make one I think I will go a little bit more adventurous with the finish, maybe include some of my polymer sculptural work as I did on the Seashore Chocolate Box. I think a barnacle and marine life encrusted treasure chest would look so cool! Well, just the idea of it has got me excited ... anyway I hope you like this Mini Treasure Chest of mine :)

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Thanks for stopping by

Samantha Braund

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Tags and Studio Fun

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I've been in the studio this week messing around with mixed media, paint and cardboard, taking some time off from jewellery making. This tag was part of my downtime - it has an inscription on the back for the hubby and it sits proudly on his desk now :)

Thanks for stopping by

Samantha Braund

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

AAA Olive Quartz Dreamcatcher Necklace

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This is the latest Dreamcatcher Necklace which is already in the shop . I completed the piece yesterday and was so thrilled with it that I had to list it today. I am really enjoying getting to play with Goldfill wire (which is 14 karat gold) , and if ever there was a gemstone begging to be sculpted in gold, it's this one!

The gemstone itself is a very rare quartz, it is my understanding that you have Lemon Quartz and Smokey Quartz which brown, and often coexist. Where they meet you can on the rare occasion get a range of beautiful greeny gold hues as a result of the merging of the colours. I have used Bicolour Lemon and Smokey and even have one in the shop right now (in another showstopper piece) which also does a similar thing, but usually you see distinct bands of Lemon and Brown, but not in this is totally a homogenous stunning intense olive green. Nature is wondrous isn't it?

I've taken several shots and included a few extra props including Pete's distressed Jade Gothic book I made this January. Enjoy the photos :)

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Thanks for stopping by

Samantha Braund

Thursday, 27 February 2014

New Acorns and Golden Oldies

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Smokey Quartz gemstones and Sterling silver acorns

This post shows pieces going into the shop that represent new beginnings while reflecting on the past. I read in a Psychology book recently about how it can be beneficial to look back at the ups and downs of your life and work out how you got through the toughest times, and to acknowledge that you always did get back up again. You are meant to learn lessons from your own history and take reassurance from it. Bearing this in mind I created this piece as an ode to new beginnings . I have a strand of these smooth tumbled Smokey Quartz gemstones, that resembled acorns, others can see grapes, buds and even olives - what can you see? I sculpted the stalks , vines and tendrils in Sterling silver. You can see from the picture of the piece in my hand how small and intricate the piece really is (below)

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By way of a coincidence, I also found this significant piece I made years ago. This "Golden Oldie" was created at the height of some really tough times I was going through, and had no sense of control over my situation. This piece represented something of a creative breakthrough in my wirework, which gave me such a sense of hope and serenity in the midst of all that hate being thrown in my direction. I guess I should value the fact that my art and creative outlets have always comes to my rescue whenever I have fallen down, I will always be grateful for that. I hope to get these two pieces in the shop within the next few days :)

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14 carat gold and microfaceted  Citrine gemstone

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Thanks for stopping by

Samantha Braund

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Seashore Chocolate Box and Being Noticed!

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It has been a wonderful week of unexpected pleasures!

I managed to have a creative breakthrough, which is something that provides me with a sense of zen, like nothing else! It all started with Musetouch Visual Arts Magazine sharing my Art Journal (see below), on their FB page last week. If you follow the link you'll see that the response was amazing, the photo was liked over 2000 times, and shared over 700 times! I have never had such an ego boost for my work!

The truth is that I made the art journal as part of my Uni coursework - it was a Summer project they set before starting in 2012, to create a concertina style book. I patched the cover together in haste, using Polymer clay for the sculptural seascape elements, and over time completely forgot how I did it! I wonder if this happens to other artists too ... now I try to document my process, especially as I jump about from medium to medium so often. Well, as you can see I managed to work it out this week with my Seashore Chocolate Box :) Yay!

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Original polymer art journal from 2012

The chocolate box is for a friend who had every faith I'd be able to recall my process and tried to allay my anxieties. She wanted a coffee table book or box, and I came up with a box construction, to store her chocolate mini treats that she gets out with the coffee.

It turned out better than I thought it would. I combined polymer clay elements, Decoart Modelling paste, die cut shapes and several washes of acrylic paint to create the Seashore on the box, and added her initial to top it off. I am definitely going to make more of these for the second shop, and will try out different themes too, although I do love my Shipwrecked, pirate treasure themes in all the media I work in !

The other unexpected thrill was this amazingly complimentary write up on my metal clay work in The Polymer Arts magazine blog . My Fine silver  Purple Spider Conch Shell (see below) was featured and the author made connections between the piece and a human heart which was so insightful. It was such an honour to read, and they gave a flattering description of myself as a Multi Media Artist which did get me thinking about the way my work is developing. I cannot claim to be purely a jewellery artist that dabbles in mixed media on the side anymore, I think my condition is getting worse lol! I suspect the University course is responsible for freeing up whole other aspects of my psyche,  allowing me to explore those themes in other media

I certainly tackle issues from the past and mental health issues etc through more traditional art forms. I wonder where it is all heading?! Well, I'll be back at university this year, and will make sure I sit down with my mentor there and hash it out ....anyway I will leave you with lots of different views of the Seashore Chocolate Box and will come back with more jewellery soon, I am sure :)

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Purple Spider Conch Shell in fine silver, freshwater pearls and sterling silver
(I hope to get the conches into the shop soon)

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Seashore Chocolate Box

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Box opened up - I used some distressed French script  paper to line the box

Close Up Views ... I love those!
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I added this piece into the following challenge:
Country View Challenge #12 "Painty Pleasures"

Thanks for stopping by

Samantha Braund

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