Tuesday, 31 March 2015

AJE March Hare Challenge Reveal.

Back at the end of February the AJE team announced that we were changing our usual monthly Component of the Month event up a bit by introducing 4 seasonal themed challenges. For the first of these Jenny chose Hares as her theme representing spring and if you missed her great post about these fascinating creatures you can find it here.

Today is reveal day and it's certainly been a hare raising month for me (sorry couldn't resist)! Hares are a popular icon for jewellery design and as soon as Jenny mentioned that she wanted them as her theme I started thinking about how I could develop something original. I don't often sketch ideas for beads but in this instance it seemed the best way to get the ideas out of my head and after much scribbling I came up with this idea. I'm not good at realistic representations so I wanted to keep the form fairly simple and use the different mediums I work in to add interest.

I made my first pieces up in a rustic stoneware clay using a layering technique. I cut the hare  and moon shapes out of a sheet of clay and then laid them onto another sheet of clay to create the background and then cut out the final shape. I wasn't sure about these at first as I thought they were a bit dark but they grew on me and in the end I fell in love with the rustic feel.

So I made some more up in a white porcelain stoneware clay and used some more colourful glazes.

While I was making the ceramic pieces I started thinking about how these hares would translate to metal clay...typical of me to be always thinking ahead o myself. The eight and cost of bronze clay meant that I need to do something a bit more economical so I decided to make pendants the shape of the hare and add loops that would allow for embellishment. I a spring flower texture mat for some of these and made them in both copper and bronze, the latter with Cubic zirconium set in for the eyes. I also make some moon connectors to go with the pendants.

Then I went on to make some up in silver which I love. The foot broke off the one in the middle so I have an idea to solder him onto some copper sheet with his own moon...when I get time.

I also played around with combining metal clay with sheet silver and adding a pretty gemstone and fine silver heart drop to the bottom.

While making this piece I also managed to tattoo a hare on my trousers when I sneezed and the hot hare leaped of the solder block! Fortunately I moved fast enough to avoid getting burnt but the studio floor didn't fare quite so well!

In the last couple of weeks I've been revisiting the ceramic hares and making some tweaks to the designs. The first batch where quite large so I wanted to make some more compact versions and these little fellows silhouetted against a full moon were the result. I love the way the bloom on the cream glaze looks like the moons surface.

You'd have thought I'd have had enough of hares by now but no...I had an idea to separate out the the elements and make some sets that would give give people more to play with in their designs. I made some clay hare figures and moon faces up similar to the forms I'd used for the metal pieces and also made some tiny stars. When I showed these as a work in progress on my Facebook page someone suggested a crescent moon might look nice too...and they were right. These were great fun because I could mix the sets up to combine different glazes and give different effects. I think these are definitely my favourite so far.

I was hoping to make some jewellery for this challenge with some of the hare beads I have in my stash but sadly I just haven't had the time but I will still try and get them done in the future as I think hares are here o stay. I did just manage to finish  this very simple necklace for myself though...

Speaking of which, if you are a member of the Facebook group Ceramic Art Bead Market you will know that we have a regular giveaway and from later today and for the next week this pendant will be up for grabs. You need to be a member of the group to enter but  the group is open to anyone with an interest in ceramic beads so if you haven't already do come and join us to meet some great artists with some beautiful beads.

So I hope you enjoyed meeting my little bunnies and will visit the rest of the AJE  team and our guests to see how this theme has inspired them.


  1. Hi Lesley,
    Beautiful Hares I love them all! It is a good thing that only your pants were scorched or you could have been branded with a Hare.

  2. Goodness what a great selection of Hares they are all lovely, good thing you didn't burn yourself though!

  3. Glad you are okay, love the layered look and being part of the challenge too.
    Woodland Bay Native

  4. I think hare trousers could catch on! ;) Love all of your designs, the pendants are amazing! and I'm hoarding my Lesley hares for ever!

  5. So many beautiful hares, I love them all and the mixed metal ones are fabulous...

  6. These hares of yours really do something to me. They are so compelling. I adore them in all their varied incarnations and cannot wait to receive the pair I bid on in the Ceramic Art Bead Market. I hope you keep making them - I'll be haunting your shop in hopes of catching more.

  7. Absolutely lovely. I adore your interpretation of "Hare" - there is a real sense of a story there.

  8. Stop it! I can't take any more they are all so good! The latest hare IN the moon is so awesome. And I never would have notices that one guy was missing a foot. I am thrilled this theme was so aMUSEing to you. I think one reason they speak to me so loudly is the spiral - to me its a nod to the Celts, a symbol of life's journey...so good.

  9. So many beautiful pieces Leslie! I really adore the swirls on your hares and your moons and stars and just wonderful!

  10. Every single one is just wonderful! Well done ♥

  11. All of your hares are so wonderful! Even the one who lost his little 'footie' is precious! Wow, that's absolutely amazing how the hot one left such a perfect image on your slacks...I'm am so glad you didn't get a burn! (Uhm, that shape would have needed some explanation at the Emergency Room!). Seriously, I am so glad you're ok! Awesome post.

  12. Lovely Hares Lesley, it would be so hard to choose which one I like best, but your necklace is uber cute.

  13. So so lovely hares, I love all of them. Have I missed something; I haven´t seen your hares in Etsy at all... Maybe they were gone before I noticed them... :(

  14. Love all you bunnies/hares. I have one of your etched rabbits...I wanted to get him done for the Challenge but run out of time...but he is pictured on my Blog Challenge Post... I'm going to have to get more of your new hares... Thanks for a fun Challenge!

  15. I am in love with all your hares! (Except the one that tried to burn you!) I especially love all the metal ones. I was lucky enough to snag a copper beauty. It pays to check for shop updates during breaks at work. :) Can't wait to see it in person.


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