Who Loves Bees?
Bees! I can't help but to admire the bees buzzing about outside my Shedquarters, so I thought I'd put together a little CRZyBest bee appreciation blog. Bringing together lots of my bee creations that I've made over the last five years and giving a shout out to some small businesses along the way.
I created my first tiny bee sculpture with the idea of creating a honeybee inspired alternative bouquet, of which quite a few variations of have now been made. Very quickly after creating my first Honeybee Bouquet, I made some matching hair clips and bee earrings to go with it and then soon after I made some Honeybee Hair Combs, followed by my first Bronze Bee Hair Vine with complementary Bee Bobby Pins. So, put quite simply, if you want bees in your hair, then get in touch with me.
After creating my first tiny bee sculpture I started experimenting with different ways of attaching my bees to different objects, sometimes I embed tiny eyelets in the bees before I kiln fire them, sometimes I drill tiny tunnels through my bees so that I can thread wire through after firing.
I hear you ask 'what do you mean by firing?' Well, all my finished bees are made out of metal clay, which you can find out more about in my Metal Clay Blog, to get the best finish for my metal clay I always kiln fire all of my tiny sculptures, whether they are made in Bronze, like most of my bees, or Copper which a few of my bees are made from and even my sterling silver bees, are kiln fired for a quality finish. Most of my sterling silver bees are necklace pendants or stud earrings, but I can create any of my accessories in sterling silver, once I was even asked to create a silver hair vine with sterling silver elephants and leaves, so think how fantastic a silver bee hair vine made to your own specifications would look!
Talking about making things to your own specifications, I also create bespoke sculptures and of course that includes bespoke bees, so if you have your own favourite bee or perhaps your company or small business has a bee in its logo, then I could make that bee into your very own tiny or not so tiny sculpture. In the past I have created a variety of business logos for people, either as one-off pieces or as a collection of pieces that can be gifted to customers or colleagues. Lapel pins, pendants and earrings have all been popular options for turning business logos into.
By far my most popular item made with my tiny handcrafted bee sculptures are my bee stud earrings and I make most of these in sterling silver, with a few in copper, I'm not sure why I haven't included bronze bees in the stud earring options, perhaps I should? Let me know!
Going back to the firing process, whenever I kiln fire my tiny metal clay sculptures, they shrink and that can be anything from 5% to 19% depending on the type of metal, firing times and even what sort of day it is! So measuring and being aware of size fluctuations can be important, although I usually find relying on my spacial awareness works pretty well. However apart from the challenges with creating shrinking tiny sculptures, I also use this process to my advantage and I have utilised the metal clay shrinkage to create even tinier bee sculptures from my original master copy of my bee sculpture.
Being able to shrink my tiny sculptures has been brilliant in enabling me to create smaller stud earrings from my original sculptures and especially so with my bee sculptures. Once I have shrunk a tiny sculpture in firing, let's take my tiny bee for example, I can then make another mould for that bee, once the mould has been made and is ready to use, I can then fill it with metal clay to make another even smaller bee, which, you've probably worked this out already, will shrink even more once it has been through the firing process.
Every single tiny sculpture that I make in metal clay, including my bees, are sculpted and refined before and after firing and given their own unique finish, so even though every bee may look the same, due to their handcrafted nature, every-single tiny sculpture is different. When making up a pair of stud earrings, I do try my best to make sure that the bees are as similar as possible. Occasionally I can't match an earring up with it's pair and I sell these individually at my in-person events, you can find out where I'm going to be next, by following me on Instagram or Facebook.
Credits & Shout Outs