Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Starry Night

This is a rather clean and simple design but I'm quite pleased with it because I got the exact effect I wanted for it. It started the night before last when I shut off the lights to head to bed and saw the partial moon sitting in the sky over town. It was one of those nights when the lights in town twinkle and sparkle like little stars and the moon had a lovely burnt sienna cast to it's outside edges. I thought "oh! The moon!" because it's like getting a beautiful little present every time I catch a glimpse from inside a cooped up house. 

So I went to bed thinking how I wanted to capture that. I intended to make a new bangle for my line the next day, so thought to incorporate that. I really wanted the star effect and I remember how the Milky Way used to almost overwhelm the dark of the night in New Mexico. I have some super fine glitter and thought that would work. I chose blue and gold and a little white to give it a hint of that milky effect. It does not show on a photo, but every time it moves, it twinkles...just enough glitter for the effect, too much and it would have been overwhelming, not enough and it would have looked like some just spilled on it. So that was easy. 

But if you've ever tried to create a moon that wasn't just plain white, you'll know that it's hard to catch that slight coloration and glow. So I started with some pearl white clay and then did a Skinner's blend with it and a smaller mixture of fire hot red, yellow and white pearl. 

A Skinner's blend is done by cutting the two colors into triangles and then laying them next to each other to make a square. Then you run that through a pasta machine about 20-25 times, refolding in the exact same direction each time. You end up with a perfectly gradated blend from the darker color to the lightest color. 

This is very thin when it's finished, so you accordion stack it and then cut slices from that to work with. The photo doesn't catch this part very well's not the camera or my skills that are lacking, it's just a very subtle shift. It's a little better seen in the second photo. I'm never completely sure something is going to work until it's done...a lot of ideas just don't pan out, but I got lucky here.

The light hits the little pearl particles in the clay and gives it a glow effect. I wear all my bangles for at least one day to make sure that they are sturdy and will hold up to normal wear. What was so cool about this one is that when it would catch my eye (I was wearing long sleeves, so it would only show if I stretched my arm out) then I would actually think... "Oh! The moon!"

So even though it's a fairly simple and common shape for a moon representation, there's a lot more here than meets the eye. I had to call it A Starry Night, because it just really made me think of how Vincent must have wanted to capture that same feeling when he created his painting.  



  1. This is just beautiful. The way the "stars" are sparkling in the sky behind the moon. You picked just the right name for it.

  2. thank you Linda! I just sent you an email, so look for it in your box :)


Please leave your comments, your opinions will help format the content of this site. Comments will be reviewed for content and then posted.