Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Art of Awareness: Autism

Lori Anderson is back doing what she does so brilliantly,  hosting a blog party.  This time she partnered with Heather Wynn Millican of Swoondimples.  Heather created polymer clay bean beads with inspirational words of our choice in the color of our choice each with an awareness ribbon. As soon as I saw Lori's post about this hop, I signed up. What an amazing collaboration between art, artisans and awareness organizations. 

I chose Autism.  I think Autism is an issue that touches everyone; the degree of separation just varies.  Do you have a friend of a friend, a friend, a family member who lives with the effects of Autism?  I resist labels, but my family is also touched by Autism. Autism is a difficult subject because the cause is unknown and the results vary from person to person.  Patience, Kindness and Acceptance are key while the research is ongoing.

I chose the words,"be you" for my bean bead; a reminder to shine bright regardless of difficulties. Heather made me a fantastic royal blue, red and yellow bead.  It is perfect for the primary color palette associated with Autism. From the outset, I knew I wanted to incorporate some plaid.  When I see plaid, I think of boy's and men's shirts.  In fact, I upcycled one of my sons outgrown shirts to add a few pieces. Since more boys are affected with Autism, I wanted to use the plaid as a subtle symbol.  I also knew from the beginning that I wanted to use this wonderful enameled key from Marie Demicco; a key to Autism is kindness, patience, understanding and acceptance. I also knew that I wanted to integrate one of the rings from Pam Ferrari.  When I laid the necklace out, I decided to use all three rings as a symbol of the puzzle pieces representing the complexity of Autism.  This necklace, "The Heart Shines Through", is beaded with a rainbow of faceted seed beads representing the diversity of Autism, red Czech starburst beads representing the hope of research, and a blue Czech bird representing the individual caregivers...the wind beneath the wings. I finished the necklace with chunky red glass nuggets and a vintage red glass button. It is available for purchase at my etsy store. 

This is not a color palette that I typically work with and it was fun for a change.  Thank you Heather Wynn Millican for inspiring me to work outside of the comfort zone and for the opportunity to bring awareness to Autism. Thank you Lori Anderson for hosting this wonderful blog hop.  You are amazing!  Check out Lori's blog, to hop along, see the other reveals and the stories behind them.