Bead Break

ikandiclay 430x257 - Bead BreakThis will be a simple, and hopefully simply delightful, week as I am traveling or in the midst of preparing to travel and will have to be brief. But I have had the idea of the ‘bead’ on my mind. That sounds pretty basic, I know, but for art jewelry, the bead–be it a simple, plain spacer or an extravagant focal piece–is the most common single element created and thus, has a pretty highly esteemed place in the world of adornment. So let’s take a closer look at some very well-considered and lovingly created beads.

These beauties are cane constructed by the ever clever Ivy Niles of iKandi Clay. Canes takes their place on center stage as well as energetically running around the circumference for an intricate and rather mesmerizing look.

If you are partial to either a well-done cane or intricate, take a break to look through Ivy’s her Etsy shop and her website.



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Clearly Layered

ikandi-lattice-laceThe really cool thing about translucent canes is that whatever is set behind them shows through, allowing for all kinds of possibilities with imagery and depth. The cellular cane conversation started Monday now turns to how to apply translucent canes created more for textural application than for the images embedded inside.

Ivy Niles has got this particular idea down as can be seen here in what she calls a translucent lattice lace cane. Adding the mostly opaque flower patterns into the mix allows for the canes to add their own variation in layering to whatever they are applied to so the flowers sit ‘up’ on the surface while the translucent squares frame small sections of the layer beneath. The cane slices from this could be set corner to corner for a regular and consistent pattern or, due to the outer translucent edges, can be blended seamlessly into other patterns or can be applied as accent textures on corners or edges.

Ivy has several examples of how to apply this particular cane on the listing for it on Etsy (sold long ago, I’m afraid), so you can pop over to see this here or just rummage for other ideas in her Etsy shop.  She also shows off more of her goodies on her website.


Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Today, accent, decorate or hand mark just the edges and corners of a piece. Let this kind of design suggest a focal point or maybe it won’t need a focal point but rather the texture may come together to create a pattern that becomes the focus and interest of the piece. Don’t judge what you’re doing. Just let yourself go and have fun.


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Steady Focus


Here’s another thought on that whole adding variation to repetition thing. Just as repetition doesn’t have to mean consistent and dull, variation doesn’t have to mean anything chaotic or crazy. The idea of variation is to give us something more to look at, to mix it up a little, to put enough interesting differences into a piece to either make a big initial impact, keep us looking at it, or to evoke a complexity of an emotion. Or, really, just because we find beauty in variation.

But varied can also be part of a series of consistently repeated elements. Center-focused compositions are often considered basic and boring. I probably rallied against that idea in art school more than anything else. What was this aversion to center-focus or balance? Nature is based heavily on this concept, and some of our most beautiful inspirations come from that kind of thing.

These pieces by Ivy Niles are an excellent example of variation in repetition using a centered composition. She uses more than one cane to give the eye a variety of visual textures plus those moderately used crystals to add a sparkle to the brilliant blues. I think we are averaging about five canes per piece plus accents, which could look quite busy, but the centric and regular repetition reins it all in. Just beautiful.

Ivy is a master cane maker with some of the most beautiful and intricate designs. She sells her canes on Etsy and shows off more of her goodies on her website as well.


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All Encompassing Names

If you work with a high volume of finished pieces, even if they are all one of a kind, it can be hard to effectively name all of them so one option is to name the series rather than each individual piece. This floral cane pendant is stunning enough on it’s own but there is a certain added awe when you find out that artist Ivy Niles calls the series of canes she made this from the Mortal Coil series.


Ivy’s collection of available canes are organized by the series name in her Etsy shop. Browse her Mortal Coil and other cane series as well as finished jewelry in those all encompassing pages.


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