Thursday, March 12, 2009

thing a week (embarrassingly) ten: dolmuş!

it's been far too long a time since i updated this blog. rather than feeling flustered and ashamed, i'll quickly gloss over the lack of updates. i learned that lesson from college - not finishing the assignment is not a sufficient reason to skip class. it only puts me further and further behind while making me feel worse about not working. so: i'm back in the saddle (so to speak) and have a new piece to talk about.

i've worked in many different creative disciplines over the years, achieiving at least a moderate level of competence in each one. i've done metalwork, strung jewelry, beadwork and wirework; i made glass beads (lampwork) for many years; i dabbled in precious metal clay; i'm a hardcore knitter (though that's just a 'hobi', as the turks say). rather than abandoning each of these skills as i moved to the next, i think of each of them as being tools in my kit. i do regret not having a lampworking studio at the moment - i miss working with glass and fire - but there's something very deeply satisfying about small needles and tiny beads.

since i spend so much of my time around yarn and fiber, i've been thinking about ways to incorporate it into my work. with these earrings, i've used needle-felted wool as an armature of sorts. when done in layers, right-angle weave is self-supporting - adding new beads is like adding bricks in a wall being build from the ground up. rather than create such a rigid structure, i made the beads in these earrings as empty ovals and stuffed them with wool to give support and a flash of color.

you've probably eaten or heard of dolma - rice and herbs rolled up inside grape leaves - but the word 'dolma' refers to anything stuffed. in turkish cuisine, stuffed peppers, zucchini and eggplant are all called dolma. the 1950s cars which have been tricked-out to accomodate more passengers are called 'dolmuş' because they're stuffed with people. the green of these beads makes me think of grape leaves and peppers, so:
dolmuş earrings. they're not my favorite pieces of jewelry - i'd like to take this idea further - but it's good to have something completed and recorded.

thing a week ten
: dolmuş earrings :
3.8?.09 - 3.12.09

fine silver Thai beads
size 10 Czech glass seed beads
nedle-felted hand-dyed wool
sterling silver findings
stitched together with Fireline and size 12 beading needle

next week: black and green. earth, growth, rebirth. the start of something new.


  1. I like them very much! I always enjoy how dimensional and textural your jewelry is, and I like that I can see these earrings worn by people with a wide range of personal style.

    Yay thing a week!

  2. WoW!! These dolmus pieces are awesome. Way to go elif!!
    Your loving huggable, fuzzy baba