Friday, September 18, 2009

One little acorn

Busy, busy today with a little obsession that involves one little acorn. And it looks like someone really needs to do a bit of work on her cuticles. A little hand cream might be in order too.


But this story actually starts with these leaf pendants. Yesterday started out well enough until I started making leaf buttons. Now call me a fuddy duddy if you will, but I think buttons are quite nice when they are flat. And these little monsters kept coming out of the molds twisted. Frustration, cross words, I walked away for a bit and noticed the carpet of old pecan leaves in the corners of my deck. I also noticed how much that leaf shape echoes the shape of the pecan leaves and zap of inspiration, why not just make leaf pendants with that little twist that nature provides so well? I've made these as flat pendants before and never liked them much but after making 17 of them in this new way, I was feeling a bit more friendly to the shape and in need of a break.

So I walked out to the front garden and hapened to look up at my oak tree. Now this is a Texas red oak which I am told is special for reasons I can not recall. I did not plant this young tree but I did save its life. A while ago, the very nice arborist who was tending my neighbors pecan trees told me that the tree was infected with some sort of insect and that was why it was losing branches. I dutifully poured the required nasty chemicals on the roots of the tree and hoped for the best. I am actually very fond of this tree. It consistently has the most amazing blaze of glorious red in autumn for just a few days before the leaves come off the tree. It is a sight to behold.


While I was looking up at my tree I saw what I thought might be another tell tale sign of bad health in my lovely tree. I wandered over and low and behold it was an acorn. This tree has never had acorns before. This tree was either too young or too sick or both to have acorns. I felt jubilant, really truly over the moon. Yes, I know it's only a tree, but it is my special tree whose life I saved. AND zap....another bolt of inspiration. Just abandon those leaf buttons today. There is always tomorrow. Make acorn buttons.


My neighbor and friend happened out at about this time and plucked the acorn off the tree for me. She's much taller than me and almost never comments on the disarray of my clothes or the clay in my hair when I come out in my studio gear. Thanks, Liz!


A little mad frenzied carving of models later I had poured plaster molds to celebrate this one little acorn. BTW it is not the only acorn on the tree. When you look closely there are quite a few up there just waiting to become little oaks or most likely squirrel food.

So this morning I started making things. The molds were a bit to wet yet to use, so, ssshhh don't tell Peter, but I dried them in the oven. Very handy things are ovens. I don't bake much but they do very nicely to dry all sorts of things.


What started out as buttons became a whirl wind of other things. It went something like this:


Oh, as a cabachon that large acorn might make a nice autumn brooch....

Those little leaf charms could become connectors in a bracelet or necklace...

The fat little acorn charms might be nice as shank back buttons...

Curved properly that large oak leaf might make a nice large focal in a bangle type bracelet...

Maybe little sets of acorns and leaves....


So a few hours later my work surface is a forest floor of oak leaves and acorns. About those leaf buttons? Tomorrow, really truly tomorrow.


Have a great weekend everyone!

17 comments:

Katie said...

I can't wait to see the end results of your crazed oak-inspired day :o) You sure you didn't get bonked on the head with an acorn?? (haha)

And you better make sure the squirrels don't run off with any of your acorns - I can only imagine the bill for the little sets of dentures they would need after trying to eat them :o)

SueBeads said...

OMG - they are so cute!!!!!!!!!!!!

mairedodd said...

you are very dangerous to me! in a great way... i love all things trees, so cannot wait to see what becomes of these lovely beginnings...

peacockfairy said...

These are great! Can't wait to see them glazed!

The Joy of Nesting said...

Oh My Gosh LeAnn,

I'm putting my order in right now cuz I'm not getting left out in the cold without acorns!!:) The fat little ones are most adorable and must be had. Oh and a set of leaves and acorns too!!! Please let me know when they are ready to go to new homes!! This is perfect timing because I can have you send them to my daughter's and they will be waiting for me!!! Yipeee

So have you guessed I'm really smitten with these?? :) No one here even knows what acorns are, way to far south! :)

Pattie ;)
Mazatlan Mx.

PS. Thanks for all your thoughts and well wishes!!! I really am a lousy patient :)

SummersStudio said...

Katie, those squirrels are way too interested in pecans to worry about a few acorns. In fact, what I have to worry about is getting bonked on the head with the pecans, that I swear they throw at me.

Sue, it is hard to make an acorn not cute. They are just so cute in their little round plumpness. I love how cute acorns are and as you may have noticed, I don't really do cute. I like cute but it does not come naturally. But with an acorn....? Yep, that's just how they are.

Maire and Heather, these things will be glazed sometime next week. I have some specific things in mind. So we'll see!

MJ I love trees and all of their fruits too. I really do have a particular fondness for this tree. I know that's a little weird but I just really like this tree.

Ah Pattie, I know just what you mean. For all of those years I lived in Australia, there was not an acorn in sight...sigh...And there is just so much potential and what have you in a little fat acorn. I'll let you know when there are some ready. So happy you are on the mend!

sharon said...

You are a source of endless beauty LeAnn, and it's usually nature leading you there!! That acorn is the most adorable thing.....I love it!!

Katie said...

Yeah, those pecans can be deadly...But they'r so good...When I was in college, the "townies" would come to the campus on the weekends to gather pecans from the Academic Mall...

I am sure they will turn out wonderfully and that a couple will end up here at my house (I can break my bead fast for something that cute, can't I?)

Watch out for those squirrels! They get feisty (we had one that terrorized the dogs at our old house by running back and forth on the top of the fence...)

stregata said...

Wow, it is plain to see inspiration struck big time!! Love what you have been doing. Beating fall to the punch, leaves and acorns all over the studio... fantastic! Can't wait to see these glazed!

Esther said...

very cute!!! what a work!! you are a great designer!!

Barbara Lewis said...

Love the story ... it made me laugh out loud when I imagined you in the clothes and with the clay in your hair. When I was younger ... that means before gray hair ... I used to joke that the color my hair changed when working with clay gave me a picture of my "senior" years. You saved the tree and it bore you fruit! Isn't creation amazing ... with nature ... in your studio. The ideas falling like dominoes ... one stumbling onto the other.

SummersStudio said...

Katie, you can imagine how many squirrels we have with 6 pecan trees around us. We joke that they exercise the dogs by running across the fence. What they are really doing is making the old one a nervous wreck.

Esther and Sharon, thank you! But you know it is hard to make an ugly acorn. There is just no getting around it, acorns are cute.

Barbara, my hair is quite gray but not enough yet to make that clay blend in. Dang! But you'd definitely have a pretty good visisual of the studio gear having been there yourself. It is a quite a sight, no?

Renate, we are finally feeling a little like fall here. It is my favourite time of year but I've never really made anything seasonal before. Sometimes it just happens, a good thing!

LLYYNN - Lynn Davis said...

LeAnn, when I lived in Texas we called them Red Bud trees, if I'm thinking of the right ones. And I love them in the spring when they explode into gorgeous blossoms.

Makes me homesick.

SharonP said...

I have such a weakness for acorns and falling leaves! I'll be in line with everyone else for a few of your beautiful pendants!

Lucid Moon Studio said...

I'm really starting to get into the fall mood, and I can't wait to see your stuff glazed! I just found some tiny green acorns on my bike ride with Cooper the other day...I'm using them as props in my photos! The leaves don't change here, but we have acorns :)

Lisa

SummersStudio said...

Hi, Lisa and Sharon. I'll be getting some of this out next week. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Marie Cramp said...

Wow, you have been hard at work!! I can't wait to see what everything looks like all glazed. Have fun, just don't make us wait too long ;)

Marie