There’s something really breathtaking about watching a drop of pure color dance across the surface of a smooth bead or a primed canvas. When the drop of dye (or ink or paint or whatever it is I’m using that day) encounters another color, the original color either pulls the new color into its dance or tries to avoid mingling together at all costs.
Working with color is a magical process. I feel blessed take part in it- to observe, to initiate, to influence.
All this art making is a contemplative practice, as well. I put a lot of thought and mindfulness into everything I create. When I sit down in my little art studio and get to work, I try and harness all the “good stuff” and inspiration I’ve been feeling and to translate all that into color and form and texture and whatever else seems to spill out. I am strongly inspired by nature, and really try and pull that sense of life into the things I make.
Each bead, each collage, each drawing, each painting I create is a labor of love. The process takes hours and lots of patience and observation. But I love it, so I keep doing it. And I want to share that little bit of magic, and possibility, and movement, and mindfulness, and feeling, and vibrancy with other people.
That’s why I make art. I hope you enjoy the finished pieces as much as I enjoy making them, because I truly *do* enjoy this creative work.
What is Gingerblue Studios? Who are you people?
Gingerblue Studios is a small, private art studio located on Marco Island, a tiny island located just north of the Everglades in Southwest Florida.
There are actually a few of us who work “behind the scenes”, but Gingerblue Studios is primarily the brainchild and creative vision of me- Chel (shoft for “Michele”) Micheline, a 30-something artist.
When I’m not in her my studio making art or PLANNING on making art, I’m hanging out with my husband and daughter, gardening, writing, reading books, volunteering at a local animal shelter, or swimming long distances. I live right on the water and I’m insanely inspired by nature in all forms- from the flowers in my garden to the manta rays I see swimming in the bay the our house sits on.
What are Gingerblue Beads?
Gingerblue Beads is our little line of handmade beads and jewelry.
All the focal beads are made by hand in our studio using an artist’s clay (also known as polymer clay, but sometimes a pulp clay is used). Each and every bead is then individually dyed or painted by hand, resulting in tiny, vibrant works of art that can be worn. Those hand-dyed beads are used to create jewelry, along with other high-quality beads and findings.
Since every bead is made from hand and from scratch, no two are alike. Every bead is unique and has its own characteristics. I’m an artist, not a manufacturer, and I really enjoy taking my time and making something beautiful as opposed to churning out hundreds of items that look identical and perfectly uniform.
Do you sell your beads individually?
Not often, but from time to time we make part of our stash available for purchase. Keep an eye on our Etsy shop or our Facebook page. Our bead-making process is too time-consuming (it literally takes hours and hours to make each bead) so the cost of individual beads can be prohibitive.
We do offer “Bliss Beads”, which are individual beads designed to fit Pandora, Troll, Biagi (etc.) jewelry.
Do you do special orders/custom orders?
I work pretty much whenever I have a chance, and I guard that time with fierce intensity. Studio time is divided between long periods of bead-making, long periods of jewelry making, and a few weeks of drawing and painting, and it’s really difficult to stop everything and whip something up in the middle of a “cycle”.
Also- I’ll be honest- I can be a perfectionist. So when I’m trying to create someone else’s vision, a lot of the inspiration and whimsy that fuels my work is dampened, and it becomes a more about anxiety and less about creativity.
The only way I’d consider a custom order is if you sent me a color palette (say from a photo or swatch of fabric) and let me figure the rest out. Including design and execution of piece. If that appeals to you, let me know.
Can you tell me how you make your beads? Where are the tutorials?
Thank you so much for asking, but the truth is that there *is* no set of steps- after years of experimenting with colors and textures and materials, I basically just sit down and go to work, like any artist. If you Google “polymer clay” or “bead tutorial”, you’ll find lots of helpful lessons to start you on your own creative journey. But every time I sit down to create, it’s a different story, with different colors, and different outcomes.
What about the illustration/paintings/prints/cards, etc.?
When I’m not making beads, I love to do mixed-media work. That includes illustrations, monoprints, watercolor paintings, abstract work, and collage.
All printed media is printed on 100% archival paper, either Epson Professional Grade papers or cold press 140 LB watercolor paper using a large format Epson R1900 printer using Epson archival pigment inks. All paper goods and prints will be signed/dated very lightly.
The purchase of ANY paper good product and/or print does not transfer reproduction rights.
Where’s your retail space?
Gingerblue Studios does not yet have a dedicated retail/gallery space, but several stores (both local and not) carry our work. Right now the best selection is at Marco Craft & Shell, located in Town Center Mall on North Collier Blvd.
Do you donate your art for charity auctions/non-profit fundraisers?
YES! I love giving back in any way, shape, or form. If I have something available, or can put something together by the event deadline, I would be happy to help out! Please get in touch.
My only request for you is to PLEASE be flexible about the details of the work that is to be donated. For instance, while I’ll happily take requests for a certain size/color art print or whether the jewelry should be a necklace or a bracelet, when it starts getting into “Can you paint tiny little ACCURATE maps of the United States on each bead and make sure the blue is exactly the right shade of the ocean and make sure the necklace is exactly 18.2467 inches and express ship it to us so it’s here in two days…” I get a little less enthusiastic about it.
Do you do wholesale?
Mostly. I know that sounds like a strange answer, but because I’m an artist, and not a manufacturer, the order might take a while and will not appear homogenized. Get in touch with us, we’d love to hear from you.