© 2016

H is for Hawk skull (AtoZ 2016)

A reflection on my bead-making journey wouldn’t be complete without looking at my first piece, my hawk skull.

I picked a hawk because we have quite a few that nest/hunt in our neighbourhood, and I’ve always been a little in awe of them. They soar so gracefully, and are stunning when you can see them perched in a tree or swooping down to the ground to catch their prey. And yet, tiny little birds chase them through the air and the hawks flee from them. It’s the oddest thing. I picked a hawk skull in particular because my artistic skills are a bit limited, so I figured that it wouldn’t be quite so obvious if I didn’t hit the mark ;)

Even with my bar set a bit low, it wasn’t all that I hoped it would be: it took me a few extra months to start and finish it, and even longer to oxidize it. I had to turn it into a pendant, instead of a bead, because I didn’t make the eye holes big enough to fit on a bracelet chain. There’s more than a few unintended scratches that I didn’t notice until after I sintered it. Then, while trying out a new steel brush to see if it would burnish it more, it scratched it even more. I never got around to getting a proper bail for it, but that hasn’t made a difference; I still wear it frequently on my Trollbeads black leather necklace.

But, as my first piece, I think I did pretty well. And, despite the things that didn’t go “right,” I still love the end result!

Have you made or done anything where things didn’t go the way that you planned, but you were still happy at the end?

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  • 20 Comments

    1. April 9, 2016 | #

      I really like this,it’s one of my favourites that you’ve done and I actually think all the scratches add to it (I thought they were deliberate).

      Skulls do not normally end up pristine, so I think it adds to the authenticity of the piece.

      Simply stunning :)

      Mars xx
      @TrollbeadBlog from
      Curling Stones for Lego People

      • Tracy
        April 9, 2016 | #

        To be honest, I’m surprised that I didn’t at least notice the ones at the top and bottom edges of the eye. They are really obvious now. I think I was just worried about ruining the whole thing that I didn’t pay that much attention to the scratches.

        But, as you say, I wouldn’t have it any other way now. :) It would look weird if it was completely smooth.

    2. April 9, 2016 | #

      That is lovely – a very evocative piece. I had ended up with something completely different than I intended on more than one occasion, and sometimes it’s actually better that way :) Writing happens like that quite a lot :)
      Tasha
      Tasha’s Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

      • Tracy
        April 9, 2016 | #

        True, writing always seems to choose its own path! I admire writers who can stick to a plot. I used to do some short story writing, but often the plot migrated as I wrote the story. Eventually, I just stopped thinking of a plot and just let the characters do what they were going to ;D

    3. April 9, 2016 | #

      It’s really beautiful – I would love a pendant like that. :)

      Susan A Eames from
      Travel, Fiction and Photos

      • Tracy
        April 9, 2016 | #

        Thanks :) I really do wear it quite often (although not if I have meetings since I don’t think everyone appreciates the beauty of a skull :D) I really do need to get a proper bail for it, though. With the amount that I wear it, I’ve already broken one beading wire and this one is looking a bit bent, too.

    4. Debbie
      April 9, 2016 | #

      A lovely piece, I can see why you enjoy wearing him. how mavellous to know that you created a stunning piece of jewellery. I would be more than happy to have bought this.

      I write and deliver skills based training courses (communication skills, mentoring and that kind of thing) and the agenda never goes exactly to plan but I always end up finishing on time and covering all the content.

      • Tracy
        April 10, 2016 | #

        Even though most of my beads don’t turn out exactly as I planned, I still love them. And, it is kind of fun that I made them myself. :)

        I have always been nervous about making beads for others, though. I’ve gifted two of my beads. In both cases, I started with the intention of giving them as gifts, but also figured that if they didn’t turn out, I could keep them and wear them myself. ;)

        I can see why training would sometimes go down different paths depending on who is in the training :)

    5. April 9, 2016 | #

      It looks awesome! The scratches really add character. And it’s even better knowing that nobody else has anything like it!

      • Tracy
        April 10, 2016 | #

        Thanks :) After my initial disappointment about how many scratches there were, I also started thinking that they added a little character to the bead. I also figured that nothing remains pristine forever, so it was bound to get a scratch or two eventually.

    6. April 10, 2016 | #

      Pretty jewelry!
      Sometimes recipes don’t always go the way I expect them to but sometimes it still turns out ok.

      • Tracy
        April 10, 2016 | #

        That is very true – even if you follow a recipe exactly, there’s always things that make each result a little different!

    7. April 10, 2016 | #

      I think your hawk looks fabulous! I had no idea little birds chased hawks around. Fascinating!

      Cheers – Ellen

      • Tracy
        April 10, 2016 | #

        Thanks! I was really surprised the first time that I saw it, but it’s pretty common. The smaller birds are more agile and can outmanoeuvre the hawks, so I guess they feel confident picking on them.

    8. April 10, 2016 | #

      This is a great piece, Tracy. Very unique. I don’t know much about your craft, but it seems like it is a lot of work with many steps to follow… Looking forward to seeing more of your artwork!

      Liesbet @ Roaming About – A Life Less Ordinary

      • Tracy
        April 10, 2016 | #

        Thanks :) There are several steps to making a bead, but most of them are actually quite simple once you’ve done them a few times. And, you can do many of them at your own pace, so that takes some of the pressure off.

    9. April 10, 2016 | #

      I feel the same way about hawks, though I didn’t know that small birds chased them.
      I love your pendant, with all its scratches. It just looks more authentic somehow.
      – Chicky @ http://www.mysteriouskaddu.com

      • Tracy
        April 10, 2016 | #

        Thanks :) Even though we’ve lived in this neighbourhood for years, I still always get excited to see the hawks. We had one nesting just outside our window at the last place I worked, so we got to see it quite up close!

    10. April 10, 2016 | #

      I love it as is. Like someone else said, a “found” skull will also have cracks and discolouration. I’m not very crafty, and so I admire anyone with the patience to pursue things like metalwork, jewelry making, textile work, etc.

      • Tracy
        April 10, 2016 | #

        I’ve always liked crafty things, although I tend to be more about the “destination” and not the “journey”. :D I used to knit quite a bit, but only small things like scarves and hats so that I didn’t have to wait for months to see how they would turn out. I could never knit a sweater (well, a human sweater. I knit quite a few dog sweaters for our pugs!)

        I’m impatient, too, but each step in beadmaking is pretty short so you get that feeling of satisfaction when you finish a step.

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