summer pendants & autumn plans

Well, I’m home again after spending some time in the studio in August-September. It was much needed, and awesome. And as always, way too short. I could easily do with a month or so more studio time, just to finish what I’ve started…

But time’s up and I have to keep my creative self in check… School is starting again next week and there will be no time for doodling. I can’t believe I’m going back to college! (yes, again…) The time is finally here, and I’m giddy. 😀

And to celebrate, I’m doing a workshop in October with the talented Lotte De Mey on stone setting! Check out her unique pieces on Penelope’s Verbs and her paintings (this is her portfolio). I adore her work and I’m really looking forward to the workshop!

And now for some pictures: this is what happened in the studio this summer!

A green goddess talisman:

green goddess

Pebbles:

3 pendants

A delicate balance in pendants  & earrings:

a delicate balance

a delicate balance

a delicate balance

…Do you remember this ring?

growing ring

It has been sprouting crystals lately:

tube ring

…and something else all together, can you guess what this is?!

can you guess? :-D

tube ring

Back to business: meet the new projects!

Thanks for letting me share that personal stuff of my previous post with you. I went back and forth about writing and publishing it to the world, putting myself out there, but whether I want it or not, it is part of who I am/who I’ve become. I don’t need to talk about it all the time, but I’m glad I got it out. 🙂

And the future looks bright: these are some little things coming to life on the workbench:

  • Fossilized coral (I just lovelovelove it! Look at them! They’re practically paleontological murrine! 😀 ) pendants and brooches with glass coral branches…
  • Opal glass cabochons with fused murrine, waiting to become pendants, rings, brooches, … (not sure how to name them yet -I can’t call everything microcosmos, can I? :-p )
  • … and a broad, solid silver ring set with a single murrini. I must give you a better view when it’s finished. Right now it’s on my finger, as a good luck charm for my upcoming tests at library school. You know, new jewelry needs test driving. It’s a very hard and tedious job… 😉
  • and this little goddess is getting a sister! Now what head to choose…? hehe

I’m also working on a bigger project (relatively speaking) involving torchpulled murrine, fusing and copper and am already dreaming up the next one. So stay tuned…

a goddess pendant & designing spiritual jewelry


As you probably know by now, I love designing after certain themes or concepts. One that I hold dearly is the talisvrouw series that led me to explore a feminine spirituality in bead, necklace and pendant design.

My interest in pagan and folk religion taught me how meaningful jewelry can be and how popular and widespread talismans and amulets are, whatever religion or age. Jewelry that goes beyond aesthetics and fashion and becomes magical: it protects and gives strength to the wearer (if you believe in it, that is!).

Of course the believing is optional. Aesthetic appreciation wil do just fine! 😉 I just wanted to explore the concept of spiritual jewelry with things that were meaningful to me.

The elements I wanted to use were clear from the beginning:

A fine chain made from the tiniest gemstone beads and handmade silver beads from Thailand and Bali. I start out with a set of colors/stones and a certain fluid rhythm in which the links are arranged. Just a cluster of colors & shapes.

A chain is a symbol in itself, made up of individual links. It’s being part of a greater entity, of having roots that go way back, way deep. It reminds me of a dream my favorite author and storyteller C.P. Estés had, in which she stood on the shoulders of a very old woman -she apologized and wanted to get off her and told her it should be the other way around because she was strong, but the older woman replied that it was perfect the way it was, because she was standing on the shoulders of her ancestor, and that line went all the way back to the center of the earth. Or something like that. I forgot where I’ve read it, but love the image.

-I choose the gems mostly for their color and form, not particularly for their symbolic properties. I’m not so sure what to think of that, although I am crazy about certain stones and less crazy about others. Some of my favorites you can find here. The Balinese and Hill Tribe Thai beads are handmade and especially the Thai beads are incredibly detailed for their very small size (1mm diameter!). They just seemed perfect for this project.

The neolithic spiral designs were my inspiration for the glass beads that would become amulets (I also use the spiral in my logo). The spiral stands for evolution, the way it expands from the center but if you travel the other way around it could mean a journey to the self, getting to the point (literally), unraveling the truth -whatever that may be. A psychological healing process can be described as peeling layers of an onion -you seem to be confronted with the same *shit* over and over, but each time you get a little closer to the core of the issue. And it does get a bit easier each time, a little less layer to peel off.
The spiral is also a Great Goddess symbol of the neolithic (check out the tombstone at Newgrange, Ireland) and finally, it’s a great design to translate on a lampworked glass bead.

The first necklace was still beaded instead of linked. Then with the Dryads (right) I made the chains a lot longer and attached the spiral bead pendant to it so you could wear it long or double. I loved the beads but wasn’t entirely happy with the pendants, so the idea of creating a seperate pendant with integrated goldsmithing and lampworking techniques grew on me, and that’s how the goddess pendant came to life.
A black-and-white reproduction of Minoan pottery showing the descent of the goddess became my model, and this summer the pendant became fact. I wanted to create a human figure, even as stylized as she is with a flower as her face and a curved, organic bead as her body because these “little people”, dolls, saints, house gods, teddy bears are rich in symbolism as well.
They are the little helpers we can trust with our deepest secrets and fears and they tend to talk to us in dreams.

She’s the first, but you can bet there are more to follow…

work in progress & results:

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listed!

talisvrouw necklaces
pretty in peridot – Dawanda (talisman-talisvrouw series)

Yay, I listed some new necklaces and earrings on Etsy and Dawanda! It does make me happy when I do, ’cause I haven’t found a rhythm to do this on a regular basis yet. I’m in awe of artists who can -for me there’s work or school that comes first inevitably, and then there’s a loooooong road from the initial idea to the final finished and listed piece of jewelry. Mostly because of practical reasons like the studio still being built up (and the house being renovated) to finding the right (natural) light to photograph and finally, health reasons too. Although I have been feeling stronger than before (touch wood!), that chronic fatigue still requires me to take things easy.

duizendbloem - morrocan blue
morrocan blue – etsy (from the duizendbloem series)

So some of the items you see here, finally finished and ready to set out into the world find their beginnings more than a year or so ago! Go figure.

This one for example, is part of the fairy tale fragments series, which I introduced back in june but only got around finishing a week or so ago. This one is all silver, fused and forged, with gemstones depicting melting ice and blossom petals (please view full size on flickr!):

emerging (through sunlight)
emerging – etsy -and all about Persephone!

I wish I could stop restraining myself and just throw myself into creating full time, but that wouldn’t be wise in these economically challenging times…so short, bright bursts it is then…

more bubbles!
budding green – etsy

And there’s one more thing: a film tip: Let the right one in. Swedish. A boy and a girl and their friendship (OMG so sweet!). And the occasional severed head (she’s a vampire after all).

Loved it. 😉

proudly presenting…

…my very own webshop! Its URL is http://artemissne.dawanda.com [CLOSED since jan 2010, check www.aarghh.be!!].

I’ve been preparing it for a while now, since organizing isn’t my best point… and finally uploaded the first items yesterday! That felt good, I felt really accomplished. LOL.

For now I’m hosting just a handful of goods, but I plan to add more the next days, as I design and make them. I try to go for a nice range of jewels and prices so it appeals to most of you. One thing I hope to add soon are some “necklaces with a cause”, like the t(h)ree sisters where I donate part of the profit to a good cause. Well, trees and kitties for starters!

The site that hosts the webshop, Dawanda, can be described as some sort of “Ebay for artists” -without the bidding though; you’ll only find handmade goods there. Go have a look, stroll through its catalogue to see what they can offer, or play with coloranda to find items in a certain color… but be warned, this can be quite addictive!