Drawer 52: Recycled Found Metal

“Urban Jabber”

My Chinese Apothecary Chest:   in 1994, it arrived via container to California from Hong Kong, where I discovered beading during my husband’s ex-pat assignment. Serves as the repository for my beads.  Handcrafted.  It has 52 Drawers, mostly sorted by color.

2017 Challenge: Create a Necklace a Week, using only the Beads from one Drawer at a time. Voila!  52 Necklaces!

‘Week 52/Drawer 52: December 28, 2017: “Urban Jabber”

We have arrived at the last Wednesday of 2017 and at the bottom right last drawer. Drawer 52 actually contains faux amber, but the necklace would look a lot like Drawer 34 (August 23), so I have chosen to conclude my year’s work with panache.  I will tie together an amazing centerpiece with a quote from the artist which will, in turn, tie together my thoughts on rejuvenating my work in my 75th year.

Rochelle Ford, Palo Alto, CA, is the artisan who made the centerpiece. At age 58, she taught herself to weld, got a permit to salvage metal at the town dump, and turned her home into a gallery of her work.   I took some classes from her in the late 90’s to learn how to solder (I flunked, just like those drawing classes I took.  So if you can’t do it, buy it from one who can!)

I commissioned some recycled metal centerpieces from Rochelle and this is the last one in my inventory.

Life marched on.  I’m in Boston; Rochelle has turned 81 and is still welding.  Imagine my surprise three years ago when some ageing quotes popped up in my email, just like the cute dog and cat emails, and my friend Rochelle had a fabulous quote!  I copied it and put it on my studio bulletin board.  Here it is:

“ Every morning when I wake up, I say, ‘I’ll never be as young as I am today.  Today is the youngest day of the rest of my life.  Get up and do something fun!’” 

Her piece is 5.75” by 4.75”. There are many crazy bits of metal welded together and painted.  Like all my centerpieces, they dictate the colors of the beads:  here olive and copper were the obvious choices.  They had to be chunky, so there is lampwork glass, Indian glass, filigreed copper, a strand of small round flat vintage Czech glass, and it really demanded some hefty copper chain.  It weighs just 10 oz, not a heavy necklace.

The beaded section is 9.5” long on each side and features a large copper clasp. Matching olive  earrings don’t match with each other:  one is round and the other an organic pear shape.  As Rochelle recommends, have fun!  $139.

Rochelle’s story is too good not to tell, so I will do a week 53 wrap-up to tie together my thoughts on rejuvenating my work and what I learned over the past 52 weeks. We’ll pretend there are 53 weeks in 2017.

You will love her website www.metalsculptor.com, or google her name Rochelle Ford.





8 thoughts on “Drawer 52: Recycled Found Metal

  1. Hi Priscilla, I just want to tell you how much I have enjoyed your creations for the last 52 weeks! I love hearing about how you obtained the different beads and the stories behind them.

    I especially loved to hear about your friend, Rochelle. I am 51 years old now and have started to draw and paint over the last couple of years. I’m learning by trial and error but I am really starting to enjoy the process! Rochelle and you are both inspirations. Thanks again for sharing your beads and your stories. Love, Janie


  2. Love your finale and look forward to the wrap-up 53rd!!! Stay warm this week and Wishing you a lively 2018, filled with adventure, love, and creativity. XoK

    On Wed, Dec 27, 2017 at 1:28 PM Priscilla Beadle wrote:

    > Priscilla Beadle posted: ” My Chinese Apothecary Chest: in 1994, it > arrived via container to California from Hong Kong, where I discovered > beading during my husband’s ex-pat assignment. Serves as the repository for > my beads. Handcrafted. It has 52 Drawers, mostly sorted by ” >

  3. My Dear Friend,
    We all know you have panache in spades, but this piece leaves no doubt! It is like the big boom, boom, boom of a fireworks finale!! What a challenge you chose to conclude this journey; the metal sculpture demands such a high level of design and color sense to do it justice, and so you have! I MUST make the sojourn to Hull to see this in person and feel the wonderful texture evident in the photo. I loved Rochelle’s site and will print the quote and paste it to my computer monitor so that I will start each day with her wise and encouraging spirit. Congratulations on an amazing year, and the commitment it required, as well as for letting us all share in it. Can’t wait for week 53;-)

  4. Wow Priscilla, you really have concluded week 52 with a bang! It’s kind of sad to think your weekly masterpieces and stories will not be something to look forward to in 2018. UNLESS!!? I hope you had a great Christmas and Happy New Year.
    Love and hugs,

  5. Hi Priscilla ,

    I sent you a couple emails, and when I didn’t get an answer, I thought you might not have gotten them, so I signed up to be on your mailing list, and got this surprising email this morning.

    Oh my gosh!..you could be my advertising agent! Thanks for all of the thoughtfully kind words and interesting information you included in your email about me. That was a big surprise that made me smile, big time! You are sweet to have included all of those words about me in your mailing. Thank you. You’re sweet!

    Should you ever want some more centerpieces, let me know….and if not, you certainly have made good use of the ones you have already.

    I’m so glad we reconnected. Life is flying by, and there seems to be more and more to do. The list gets longer. I jokingly say I’ll have to live to be 105 to complete the list.

    I’m pleased you are continuing to use your artistic skills…and getting paid for your efforts is whipped cream on top of the cake! Keep it up.

    I’m not sure I told you, but both of our sons are living here full time, even though one son owns 7 houses in the area, but wants to be here to be with the grand kids who are here 1/2 time,and to spend time with his Father who’s got the onset of dementia. They both are very helpful. Mark rents out our 2 other houses…one on the ocean an one at South Lake Tahoe, and Mike, when not with his kids or working with a contractor, does the repairs around the house. I’m the chief cook and grocery shopper and Henry takes care of the yard. It’s kind of like living in a commune.

    I love your “drawer” story about your necklaces….great idea and most interesting way to talk with your collectors. Keep up the good work and know I so appreciate being back in touch and hearing about your art life.

    Hugs….and a Happy New Year!


  6. Just as I imagined your last piece of the year did not disappoint ! (only the comment about flunking your drawing class as I seem to remember being very present for your last one!)
    Now, what shall 2018 bring?

  7. Hooray!! You’ve done it! Congratulations on completing the 52-week project for your 75th year. It’s been wonderful to follow your progress week-by-week, see the next bead art piece, read the next story (and what great stories). Your “final” necklace is suitably colorful and complex – just like you.


    Wayne B Snyder

    E: wayne@talentage.com
    M: 650-248-7772
    S: wayne.b.snyder

  8. Hi Priscilla!
    Congratulations on achieving your goal of a necklace a week! What an accomplishment!
    I loved seeing your creations! It’s an inspiration and some day I’ll get back into jewelry making!
    Happy New Year! Hope to see you in 2018!

    Sent from my iPhone

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