Did you ever hear something you knew you needed to hear, yet hated to hear it? I am so busy while in Africa, with training and teaching, plus trying to overcome and keep technical problems at bay, that I didn't want to hear that our beads were not unique enough. But,...... I knew it was true, and that I had to find time for design, not just production.
While in the USA this visit I've tried to emerse myself in African design via the internet, and think about where I want to go with some special focal pendant beads. Here are some of my favorite African design finds. I just love the fabrics in Africa, but can't decide how to uniquely interpret them into clay.
Wax prints are a big part of African design
These prints are stamped from carved potatoes
Telephone wire baskets
Of course color can't be overlooked when thinking African design. Either earth tone pallets or wild primary color pallets.
I love proteas. They are so sculptural.
and now, how to translate ideas to clay?
I would love some stamps made from here http://www.4clay.com/ But we could only afford maybe 1 stamp, and I am too nervous about my drawing ability to actually commit the big bucks. Plus how to chose which one.
So, to postpone any decision on ordering a stamp, I decided to carve a few.
Here's how they look stamped with ink.
Unfortunately I don't have a clay studio here in the USA, so I can't go on to the next step of this experiment until my return in a few weeks.
I'll report in next month hopefully with some results of this on going experiment.