Monday, November 17, 2014

Creating New Art for Magical Amulets

Last week I decided to create a few new designs for our line of magical mother of peal amulets.  Sometimes inspiration hits and you just have to go with it.  So I grabbed my pencil, ink pens, and colored pencils and got right to work.

I realized I didn't have a triple moon design, so I wanted a pretty stylized one. I also was inspired by watching the leaves falling here at Aelfheim this autumn, and created the Swirling Leaves Pentacle.  I also did a new Awen for my Druid friends.

First I sketch out the design with a light pencil, then I go over everything and add details using my Staedtler pigment liner ink pens.  I have a set of 0.1mm, 0.3mm, 0.5mm, and 0.7mm.  Once the ink is dry, I erase the pencil lines and scan the art.  Sometimes I clean it up a bit in Photoshop if needed, and then I print out the line art.  Occasionally I add the color right on the original ink, it just depends on whether I need to do clean-up work, or how antsy I get.
Close up of my new cimaruta design, my version of a classic Italian witchcraft and folk magic symbol.  Read about the symbolism of the cimaruta here.

I add lots of color details to the inked art, giving it additional dimension, and who doesn't love a little color?
Working on the cimaruta, Hecate's wheel, and the Horned God.  I turned the triple moon on it's end and re-designed the crescent to represent antlers. I used gold-tones for shading. See my little pillow? That's for my elbow!

I love that coloring is part of my job! When I was a little kid and my friends asked me, "What should we do today?" My answer was often, "Let's color!" And I never got wrapped up in coloring in the lines.  That's a lesson I've used in life too.  Let's face it, I've got a pretty "coloring outside the lines" kind of job I've created for myself. No, I don't use crayons any more, now it's my handy dandy Berol Prismacolor colored pencils!
Almost done adding color to the Swirling Leaves Pentacle.  Read more about this piece here.

Dan was very encouraging as the new designs came to life, as I was finishing up the first three he kept asking me, "How much longer, I want to get these scanned, printed and pressed so we can take photos before the sun goes down and get them in the Etsy shop." I was scanning the first three finished pieces and he ran back to the workshop to get the press heated up.
Above is the first sheet we printed, Dan was excited to get pressing, but I managed to snatch it away just long enough to snap a photo on the old wooden art table so you could see the size of the art next to the originals.  You may notice they're backwards, but they'll be right after they're pressed.
We print the designs to the right size for our blank mother of pearl amulets using special ink that's actually a dye. It's also printed on special paper that's designed to release the dye when  heat and pressure are applied.  The circles and ovals around the art are slightly larger that the pendants, and help us line them up correctly.
They're hot, don't touch them yet!  Dan takes them off the press with a big plastic spatula and puts them on a wire rack to cool.

Here they are cooling on the rack, too hot to touch.  We decided to make both round and oval versions of each design.

The finished Swirling Leaves Pentacle.

My finished photos from the Etsy shop, we raced outside to beat the setting sun. Natural light is the best for photographing the mother of pearl. The glimmering sheen of the shell is so pretty, but it's a challenge to capture photographically, having natural light helps capture the pearlescent quality and keeps the color accurate.

If you want one, Dan will be happy to make one for you!
click here!


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