Saturday, 1 September 2012
Challenge of Travel: ready for Tuvalu?
Welcome intrepid travellers! You have arrived at a dream like location. However, you may very well be the last generation of visitors, unfortunately.
Your trusty travel agents Erin Prais-Hintz and Marcie Abney Carroll have designed a blog hop to take you around the world to parts familiar and unknown. I opted to choose the region of Oceania. With the list of countries spread out before me I closed my eyes and pointed. Tuvalu was my surprise destination!
Like planning for any trip I set about doing some research. I had never heard of Tuvalu so I went straight to the globe that sits in my living room to find it. Then I spent some time zooming in and out using google maps satellite view which is pretty incredible. Tuvalu is one of the smallest island nations in the Pacific. The google satellite view really gives you the idea of the lagoons and coral reefs that it features.
I was focused mainly on the images and created a Pinterest board here to keep track. My favourite of the lot is not properly attributed so before I share it here I will have to sort that out. My apologies, I thought I had that nailed down. You will also see reference to copra, or dried coconut meat, which is an important natural resource.
While searching, I found more and more the talk about Tuvalu was mostly doom. Climate change, rising ocean waters, ocean acidification are threatening Tuvalu in real and immediate ways. There is so much discussion on the islands’ homepage I couldn’t recall which one in particular was most informative (I scanned them all).
So with ideas of amazing blue and green waters, I sat down with my polymer to see what would come out. Coconut references where also bound to be part of the story. Things in my studio always change course, usually several times, and this challenge was no exception. Let me start to show you!
There’s a lot going on here. I’ve had those gorgeous kyanite sticks for a long time. I love them, but struggle with an appropriate design. Based on the colours of Tuvalu I was seeing, I knew I wanted to incorporate them so I created polymer coconut type shells to really highlight them. The central one is flanked by two sea urchin spines that I’ve covered with polymer. I wanted to convey the feeling of rising, surrounding, dangerous waters. These urchin spines are almost completely enveloped in polymer. I hope the idea of a horizon with waves lapping towards you across the sand comes across... and if not than it's at least pretty.
Also in a shocking twist I made matching earrings!
I never seem to reach for designing earrings for the challenges I’ve participated in so far, so I’m quite happy with these simple and lightweight earrings.
Let's go back to the necklace though for a little more of the details.
Since Kyanite sticks and sea urchin spines where in the mix, adding amazonite sticks and stick pearls wasn’t too much of a leap. I originally had other plans for the rest of the necklace but as I started to clear my bead board of other projects (still working with my bead soup) I realized much of that wonderful soup would work here too. You can also see some of the faux sea glass I won from Erin, just had to work that in! Then more peals, Swarovski pearls, and matte resin tied it all together. The clasp is another pewter button from Mamacita Beadworks. I’m really pleased with the colours I was able to dig out of my stash to show those one-minute-green, next-minute-blue waters.
Here is the backside, which really shows the coconut idea. I actually used some coral to make that texture which I think makes it all the more fitting.
My plan was show you a bunch more that I created. You saw a glimpse here (turned sideways). I also have to show you the rest of my amazing thrift store finds (hint: my earrings are sitting on a piece of it) but that will have to wait for another day since my little bundle of fever will be waking from a blissful nap any second.
Pack your bags and head on to your next stop. I’m so glad you came to visit, please feel free to “sign the guestbook” below and I’ll keep a light on for you.
Updating to add, where are my manners!? Thanks so much to Erin for dreaming up this challenge and letting us all play in her sandbox, it's always a wonderful time!