While Baz was busy on boat projects again this week – servicing the engine with Aydin, which is an important job, and discovering how they haul the 55 ton gullets up onto the hard from the harbour here in Kaş - I got creative.
Oh, and wasn’t it a joy! I’ve actually been making a few pieces of beach jewellery on commission too over the last few weeks, which is always exciting. This week was no exception.
But let me show you first what I do because if you’re new to A B Sea, then you may not realise that as well as being a Wet Grey Nomad living aboard our beautiful yacht, I am also an artist. I’ve painted in various media (mainly watercolour and acrylics) since I could hold a paint brush and wherever I’ve lived people have always commissioned me to do paintings for them. From small watercolours to large murals on restaurant walls and all the sizes in between, I’ve had the privilege to create for other people. I also branched out into making felt and delicate silky nuno felt scarves and other felt objects which went like hot cakes at our local markets in Glasshouse Mountains on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast hinterland in Australia.
When I realised we were going to be downsizing onto a yacht, I knew that felt making and eco-printing (another passion) weren’t going to be practical to make on board. Think losing fine wool rovings in a puff of wind, or using up all the gas boiling eucalyptus to eco-print a tee shirt. So I racked my brains and decided that two creative outlets would work on the boat: painting small sized pictures and making wire-wrapped shell and sea glass jewellery. I’d already been playing with wire wrapping and loved that each beach-find leant itself to a slightly different design. Plus, I figure we’ll also be visiting many beaches on our travels, so I’ll never be short of materials! Here are a few of my earlier designs.
The Mermaid's Necklace
So over the last few weeks a friend commissioned me to make not only three pendants but also a costume necklace that he will use in a photo-shoot. He wanted something bold to stand out, as he’ll be filming his mermaid model underwater. How cool’s that! I was very excited and this is what I created for him. I used over 8 metres of sterling silver wire to create the mermaid’s necklace as I wanted it to be a keepsake after the modelling and silver would (a) hold up in sea water better than other metals and (b) using wire rather than beading thread would give the model the ability to mould the pendant into a shape that would work best as she swims underwater.
As well as using various semiprecious beads and shells, I also used a piece of pale blue fishing net that I found on a beach in Spain, as it gives the pendant the look of a treasure that a mermaid would make herself from beach finds. Here are the finished result. My friend loved them, and I’m pretty stoked at how they came out. I loved adding abalone and pearls to the Mitra shell pendant as they just add to the overall design. And I think the wire-wrapping gives a great fisherman’s net effect. What do you think?
Order inspires Mermaid's Treasures shop
This week I had an order for a cockle shell pendant and a wire wrapped tiny shell-filled glass bottle from one of our long term Facebook followers. It was such fun making these. Again, they each have their own individual look and feel, and enhance the shells that are used in the designs.
The beauty about making beach jewellery is that each one is unique as, even though I may copy a design using similar materials, no two pieces look the same. I have so many ideas, I am excited to bring a few to life once we’ve done the last few projects to get A B Sea ready to sail for this season.
Actually, my last order gave me the impetus to create a shop on our website. It’s not quite a proper shop as we aren’t financially able to buy one yet, but it is a great showcase for the jewellery and I’ve made a user friendly way to order and pay for them, so all I need to do now is make more beach jewellery. By the way, I’m calling my collection Mermaid’s Treasures, as I think the name captures the spirit of the jewellery pretty well. And it allows for some awesome and different designs! Do contact me if you fancy a piece yourself!
Decking out A B Sea
My other creative projects lately have been to make A B Sea more of a home and while we’re in Turkey I couldn’t resist a few rugs. They really add a beautiful character to the yacht – the newest one is over 60 years old, and along with a square Persian rug that’s in the Princess Suite, I reckon these are just gorgeous. I got them from a wonderful shop Yoruk in Kas Marina and if you’re there do say hello to Alpaslan, he’s a charming man who also owns the elegant restaurant there, called Passarella. Here’s a link to their sister shop in Istanbul.
While I was talking to Alpaslan, I noticed three pieces of indigo shibori-dyed handmade cotton. I snapped those up and am in the process of making three cushions from the material. Our boat’s going to look even more gorgeous than she does already! I also discovered some Neyshabur Persian Turquoise cabochons in amongst his silver jewellery which sparked my creative juices till my mouth watered! I picked up five of these babies and am learning a more complex wire-wrapping skill before I set them in bezels that do them justice. Here’s one cushion that I’ve sewn up already.
You know, even making the web pages for the Mermaid’s Treasures has been a creative endeavour for me, and I have to say that I’m feeling very recharged by all of the beauty that has been surrounding me lately.
Are you creative? If so, what do you like to make and what materials do you use? Do comment below (it’s a friendly Facebook comment box) and I’d love to hear from you.