Don and I were at the Renaissance Festival in 2000 when I saw a simple string of bells with a touch of turquoise. My first thought was that it would be fun to make something like that for Christmas gifts. Our whole family loves bells, probably because we grew up with them. Mother collected brass bells for decades. So we bought the string of bells and then went off to ride on the elephant. Everyone needs to ride an elephant once in their lives.
Back to the bell chimes . . .
The problem with string is that it just hangs there. It doesn’t go sideways. I discovered that immediately. Copper wire, on the other hand, worked perfectly. I made my first pieces with wood and glass beads. No Don Beads. No crystal. And my centerpieces were always the bells.
I didn’t know anything about wire wrapping in those days so my first mobiles weren’t much more than danglies hanging off of brass rings and copper tubes. At Christmas 2001 my brother, mother and big sister got my first mobiles as gifts. If you look closely at the mobile on the right, you will see two brass elephants. Most of my early pieces featured elephants and bells. And for 10 years I’ve treasured my little stash of those brass elephants.
In 2003 my brother bequeathed his crystal beads to me. And in 2004 my husband, Don Hohensee, began making glass lampwork beads. These two events changed the direction and style of my work.
But this week the brass elephants are back as the bell ringers inside 15 wonderful brass bells I discovered last month. There will be four pieces in this Serenity Series. The first two mobiles, “Tibetan Bells” and “Kachina Bells” take me all the way back to first days of no Don Beads and no crystal. I’m working on the third and fourth hanging, which will feature Don’s safari beads. Here’s a look at the first two.
The third piece is in the works and will feature Don Beads. I’m about a third of the way through it, so stay tuned . . .
Both “Kachina Bells” and “Tibetan Bells” will be at our Glass Art and Beads store this weekend and I’d love to show them off so come one by. I haven’t priced them yet, but I’ll have them by tomorrow morning at the store.
Is it too early to mention Christmas? And Christmas Spiders? And Angels? And fan pulls? And the terrific art of 12 Houston artists. Yep, two new ones!
Stay tuned . . .