AJE Themed Design Challenge – Fireflies

Today is the reveal of the second AJE themed design challenges and this months event is hosted by Jen Cameron and the theme she chose was fireflies.  This did turn out to be quite challenging for me since the last tie I saw a firefly was probably way back in my childhood. We do have them in the UK but more in rural areas that I don’t tend to frequent after dark!

So I had to turn to Jen’s photographic images for my inspiration and it took me a while to come up with a plan.

I was struggling to come up with a way to capture these masses fireflies in ceramic that was different from the other teams ideas so I decided to for silver clay instead. I used a stamp to create a grass design and then set lots of tiny 2mm cubic citrine zirconium into the clay – a bit of a race against time to do before the clay dried out. Once the piece was fired I gave it a heavy LOS patina to help the CZS stand out…it’s a bit of a pig to photograph so apologies for the less than brilliant image.
I’ve not yet had time to make this up into a piece of jewellery but I have an idea in my head to rivet it to a copper back plate that will be etched with the legend ‘fireflies dance’. I’m thinking a chain of hand coiled links interspersed with citrine or yellow quartz beads to pick up the stones on the pendant but knowing me that may well change.
Then last week I was finishing up a clay session and decided to have a go at doing an individual firefly like this little chap…

It got a bit tricky when it came to the legs and antennae so I decided to use nichrome wore for these instead of clay…not exactly the elegant creature I had in the back of my head but a bit of fun none-the-less!

So there you have my attempts at creating fire flies and if they’ve sparked a flame (sorry!) for me then you can see what out guest designers and the rest of the AJE team created using the links below:
Guest Designers:
AJE Team

15 thoughts on “AJE Themed Design Challenge – Fireflies

  1. Beautiful pieces I love the in progress shot of what you want to do with your metal clay piece, it looks like it will be amazing! and how cute is your firefly!!!! Love the legs!

  2. I love the metal clay pendant and your sketch for how to use it. You have a very elegant necklace in the making. And that little firefly on a leaf is adorable. I think I worked in the opposite direction from you, because I made a more literal firefly first, and then a looser interpretation of the images. My firefly doesn't have legs because I didn't want wires poking out. But yours works well with the leaf as a background.

  3. Oh Lesley, I love your pieces! The square pendant captures the mood of the challenge perfectly and I love how you've made the top of the leaf in the second one look as though the firefly has lit it up! These are perfect!

  4. I reconnected with fireflies back in 2008 – before that I must have seen them when I was a child. Our life adventures get us back to the mountains and rural PA in the summer, and our firecamps are full of the magical creatures. Both your pieces are beautiful – the PMC pendant is truly spectacular, though! I love the design you drew around the piece, and I'd love to see it finished.

  5. Love where your muse wanders. I can't wait to see the finished necklace for the first focal. I bet it is going to look incredible.

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