When I saw the inspiration photos that Erin picked for this month, I was super-excited. An ocean-related theme? YES, please!!
However, my next thoughts after really studying the illustrations and colors were that they seemed very East Coast to me rather than anything like my California tide pools. It's entirely possible that's completely inaccurate - it's just sometimes the Muse sees what the Muse sees.
However, to show a bit of what I'm talking about, here's a photo I took of a tide pool at Crystal Cove in Newport Beach last year - lots of goldeny-greens, aquas and a few touches of brown and white or ivory. Perhaps too much knowledge of the real thing is a detriment in this case. So, I found myself needing to get out of my own way here.
This illustration was a bit more helpful although most of the creatures depicted are typically found in deeper waters than where "tide pools" occur. At least the color palette was moving in the right direction, though.
After discovering through my own experience what a total pain it is to drill through sea shells, I found a store on Etsy that was selling genuine shells the right size for jewelry and already drilled. Score! I've been saving them for the right project. The photo doesn't show it, but this pair has touches of lavender/purple along the edges. I've added some reddish/purple carved wood disks and some faceted Czech rondelles that are a mix of aqua, green and purple. Aged brass wire and findings are used to finish everything off.
With this pair, I brought in some of the orange touches from the illustration via some angelskin coral cylinders and a touch of the greenish background via a verdigris-patinated spacer. The ivory disks are howlite.
I went a little far out with this pair. The sea-tumbled shell pieces are from my own beach scrounging/seashell drilling experiments and mimic the scallop shells in the first illustration. I added some pre-beaded chain and a pair of dark blue dyed agate rondelles to represent the ocean and the deeper colors in the inspiration photo. Yes, the shell pieces are not an exact match, which is normally something I avoid like the plague, but I decided these were close enough for a casual, beachy vibe.
The brown slate pencil urchin in the foreground of the second illustration was the inspiration for this pair of earrings. The back pieces are made from black tab shell - they are a beautifully glossy deep brown with a hint of purple in the right light. The seahorse charms are copper with a few pewter details and I added some pinky-peach freshwater pearls and copper accents to represent the lighter colors in the inspiration photo such as the sea urchin and the center of the brittle star.
This gorgeous pair of lampwork beads from Unicorne Beads. contains all the background, ocean blues, greens and aquas from the inspiration photos. In the right light, there's even a tiny hint of orange swirled through the glass and the design impressed on the front is reminiscent of a starfish or the "flower" on a sand dollar shell. I paired them with beautifully detailed copper starfish charms from Kristy Bowman and added another tiny pop of orange on top with a faceted Czech glass rondelle. Copper wire and findings tie the whole thing together. These came out the best and were the last pair I made - the brain was definitely wading through a process to get here.
Hope you enjoyed this month's designs!