Inspired by a Painting


I’m glad to be back! Thank you, Enric, for writing to me to make sure that I’m O.k. because I haven’t been around for more than one month.

Furthermore, I had the best surprise this morning when I went to enjoy some beautiful art sketches on Enric’s blog, he was wishing me and all those named after Saint Michael: Happy Birthday! You’ve made my day! (

Well, I’ve been on vacation. I’ve been in Romania with my family (to attend a wedding) and then we went to Bulgaria to the seaside. To cut the story short, I hoped secretly that we would have a very good time and no time to spend on the Internet.  And my wish has been fulfilled, only not the way I thought it would: the Internet connection would not work, nor the mobile phone sim card, so we could not communicate with anyone… And when you are used to being “connected” all the time, it’s kind of strange.

Then we came to Thionville and I could not decide to go back to work. It felt that I have forgotten everything I ever learned, I had no inspiration whatsoever. So I wished not to procrastinate so much. Then, a terrible toothache hit me (I forgot what was like) and I still have to live with it for the next 3 days until the dentist’s appointment. The funny part is that when it does not hurt (there are moments like that), I sit directly to my craft table and get down to work. Never thought that I had to go through pains like that to understand that there are things that are scarier than sitting at your craft table and feeling uninspired (while the inspiration might come anyway if you start a project and insist to work on it).
So, my conclusion is that in the future I must be very careful what I wish for…

I also wanted to share with you an idea that made my life happier. When you want to create anything, you start to look around for inspiration, to see other artists’ ideas and their way of expressing their creativity. I do that a lot. A spend hours and hours on Pinterest, it’s my inspirational paradise. Then it hit me. I had so many creative ideas and then I see things that might look like what I had in mind (the same technique, let’s say) and then I felt that everything has already been done before. And I blocked completely. But then I heard Elizabeth Gilbert saying: Yes, it’s true. Everything has already been done. But not by you (meaning, for a jewelry making artist, you can still use the same technique, but by changing the colors, the other elements you are using, the result is always different and sometimes amazing). So, in case other people felt like me and thought like me, an advice: do it your way and it will be different! 

Now about this tutorial. I had to come up with an idea for this month’s ArtBeadScene challenge. It’s a must for me. So I decided to start with some of the colors of the painting and try a Mokume Gane and then used it the best way I could.

This month inspiration for the ArtBeadScene Challenge is represented by:

View of the Pond at Charleston, East Sussex
by Vanessa Bell
Oil on canvas, 79.8 x 84 cm
Collection: Museums Sheffield

the artist's estate; (c) Henrietta Garnett; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

You can see the jewelry pieces made by other artists for this challenge here:

Material and tools used: light green and dark green polymer clay, brown polymer clay, gray polymer clay, white polymer clay, blue polymer clay, a pasta machine, a blade, green mica powder, varnish, cutters, a lego piece, a sharp pencil, a needle, a round cutter, a toothbrush, liquid Fimo, pliers, a craft knife, a screw, a petal cutter and a toothpick. 


I conditioned the clay and rolled it through the pasta machine through the thinnest setting. I previously mixed a lot of white with a small ball of blue polymer clay to get an extremely light shade of blue.

[This is the Mokume Gane technique].

I stacked the sheets on top of each other and passed them through the pasta machine again (through the same setting).


I cut the margins of the resulting sheet and cut this sheet into 4 equal parts.


I stacked the four piles one on top of the other and rolled the resulting pile with the roller.


Then I started to play with the texture. I imprinted some small circles using a Lego block.


I continued to play with the same Lego block (I imprinted the same pattern starting in the middle of the first rectangle).



Then I compacted it a little.

IMG_3794I used a sharp pencil to put a hole into the circles.


I made little dots with a needle and then I started to play with a round cutter.




And compacted it again.


Then I took the blade and started to gently slice it.



I chose a slice and I put it on a brown sheet of polymer clay and then rolled it with the roller.



I stamped some clay with a floral design stamp.


I cut the Mokume Gane rectangle and pressed ii into a new sheet of brown polymer clay.


I added two stripes of stamped clay on the sides.


I added a stripe of brown polymer clay next to each stamped stripe. I pressed gently to bond them to the base sheet.

IMG_3828I textured the sides using a toothbrush.

I took a round cutter and cut two circles. 


I decided to cut the thee parts apart. And started to play with the design…




I added liquid Fimo on the sides and pressed the pieces together.

For the findings, I decided to use a copper finding slightly modified. I took a copper finding. I used pliers to straighten up the loop and to take out the ball and the spring from the body of the finding and replaced that with a rose pearl.




And then made a loop again. 

I added green mica powder to the stamped part. 


I put holes in the upper part to attach the earring findings. I put them to the oven (according to the manufacturer’s specifications).

After cooling down, I took care of the back. 

I put the focal on a brown sheet of polymer clay and pressed it well (I added some liquid Fimo previously).

I cut around with a craft knife.



I marked the hole again.

I imprinted a pattern on the back using a screw and added some green mica powder and varnish to fix the mica powder.


Then I attacked the pendant.


I applied a slice of Mokume Gane on a brown sheet of polymer clay and I textured with a stamp around the Mokume Gane slice (that I rolled into the brown clay). I used a petal cut to have a nice shape.

I attached a stripe of stamped clay (with green mica powder on top) on the center of the focal. I used the same cutter to cut another piece for the back of the pendant. 


I textured it with a tooth brush and then put the pieces on top of each other using liquid Fimo. 


I started to texture the margin using a toothpick. 



I pressed a rose pearl into the clay, added some liquid Fimo in the resulting hole and then put the pearl on top.



I rolled some thin clay snakes with my fingers and started to ornate the pendant (around the beads and around the stamped stripe).




After baking it in the oven, I added a little bit of varnish (yet I consider that you don’t see the Mokume Gane pattern so much, so not a very good idea to add the varnish).

I am happy to be back and to have managed to participate to the ArtBeadScene monthly challenge!  

Thank you for reading my tutorials!

My best to you!


P.S. I am sorry for not having been able to reply to the wonderful comments I have received, Thank you for writing to me! 




  1. Miha Hello, I am really amazed by your personality as an artist. Yes, I like your work, but also I like your coherency, as you conceive your art and how you feel it.
    You said some very true and interesting things, as being an artist can contribute something personal, but the history of art is a mountain made of sand grains each author. So it’s good way to see what they have previously taught the great masters.
    Your reflection is also important that each artist is personal, even if can be inspired by another author.
    In my blog, you have the example of September 21, in which there is a view of San Mateo by Raphael but after a work by Michelangelo. They sometimes worked as you.
    The greatness of your work is as big as honest and transparent is your art.
    Many great painters mentioned the fear of an empty white canvas. So your fear to sit and work without knowing what will happen, is also for masters and geniuses.
    Do not worry about being time off of work. Nobody knows what kind of tour have to traverse the neurons to do creative work. They are sequences and mysterious journeys of the mind, and the yours have shown that they know many ways to make great works. As you can’t forget to ride on a bike or swimm.
    Through the colours and shapes, the painting Vanessa Bell appears well evoked in your work. She would be so proud and happy with your success.
    Finally I have to confess that the funds you put to your pictures are wonderful. That’s more than a detail, believe me.
    Ultimately I have to congratulate you, not only your day, but also for your constant huge works that show your talent.
    Hugs and kisses.

    1. Dear Enric, as always, your wonderful words leave me speechless and I can’t find the words to tell you how much I appreciate your support, your explanations, the artistic suggestions that you give me and the fact that you take the time to write to me. Your remarks are always very helpful: for the information that you deliver to me and also for the kindness and encouraging feeling that I get when I read your comments. I am truly grateful for everything! My best to you! Hugs! Mihaela

      1. I am very grateful that you appreciate my work so much! I am a very lucky person to receive so many words of encouragement! Thank you for everything! My best to you! Mihaela

      2. Oh Miha, you really are the first you realise of this sense. I have not many skills with words, and you know that the english is not my mother tongue but for this post what you say was the most important for me. I wanted to link the last post about the angels with this post about the skies. But I’m sorry, I wanted to say that they are is only and idea of our mind. You already know that I’m not a religious person, but I think we can to follow this wonderful friendship. I’m so grateful for your comment, visits and likes. Thanks again and best wishes, Monaco’s Madonna.

      3. Thank you for your beautiful and touching words! I understand your struggle with words. English was never my strong point (I think I speak French better and it is easier for me to express myself in French) and sometimes I would want to elaborate more but I stumble on words. But I also feel the good vibes in your messages, the same dedication and time that you put in creating collections of sketches on a certain subject. I love looking at your collections because I am amazed by each artist’s style (showing that we all have a different vision but it all comes from the heart). Best wishes! Mihaela

      4. Oh Mihaela, I’m sorry for my delay, I not only can feel your good vibes, when I see the pictures with your explanations, I also realise that all is from your generous heart. The kindliness flows out from your tutorials. Thanks for your surrender to the others. Congrats! ❤

      5. I love to share the beautiful things that I adore! And I totally loved the ethnic sketches and your inspiring message! Hugs! Wishing you an amazing day! Mihaela

      1. Thanks Mihaela for that great advice !! I too , forget to play sometimes and I think that is why I get burnt out at times, it becomes a chore and is not fun anymore. That is what I am trying to do, find what I enjoy and concentrate on that !! Thanks for link !! I appreciate you reading my blog, I need to get back over there, no posts for too long, trying to get excited and inspired again !!! Sometimes I let the day to day stuff get in my way !!!

      2. Dear Stephie, we’ll inspire each other to write blog posts more often! I tend to be caught on day to day stuffs also and I procrastinate a lot (which I hope to do less in the future). Have a wonderful day! Mihaela
        P.S. Thank you again for mentioning me in your blog post!

      1. I am sorry for the delay in my reply. I try to make so many things: I enrolled in online marketing classes, online photography classes, free painting classes in the town in which I live that are a perfect occasion to meet other people from Thionville (sharing the same interest for art), not to mention the attention that my 5 year son rightfully demands, so I got a little bit lost. Thank you for taking the time to write to me and for appreciating my tutorial! Best regards! Mihaela

  2. No problem, Mihaela. I was blaming cyberspace, not you. If I were in a beautiful French village like Thionville, I might be distracted too. At least I’m in New Orleans, your French outpost in the colonies 🙂

    1. In fact I have been living in Thionville for 2 years and it’s only recently that I started to appreciate it. I loved the architecture, I loved French language and culture, I loved visiting around, but I felt very lonely… I understood that it was my fault that I was lonely and now I go to classes and meetings and I do my best to interact more with people. And for the first time I don’t feel a stranger here, I feel more at home. New Orleans must be very beautiful! I hope to visit it some day! Thank you for writing to me! Have a wonderful day! Mihaela

  3. I needed to hear that ‘everything has been done, but not by you’, what an great reminder, thank you. Welcome back! You are an inspiration Mihaela. I always enjoy seeing what you’ve created, it looks like such a painstaking process. I love it!

    1. Thank you so much, Deb. I love your work and I love the positive energy that you put in your work. I also loved the idea that you start your painting with an inspirational word written in gesso. This is wonderful! I feel the love and the joy in your paintings. And I am amazed by your beautiful wood turned pieces Thank you for your wonderful comment! I really appreciate it (I have two wisdom teeth less since yesterday- so I might be less wise – but I feel better already). Have a wonderful day! Mihaela

      1. Thank you, you are too kind my friend. Sorry to hear about you losing your wisdom teeth, oh my they can be SO PAINFUL! I’m sure it is a relief though! Keep making your beautiful jewelry, i love seeing what you come up with next. Lots of love and feel better!

      2. Thank you so much, Deb! You are wonderful! Yes, it is a relief! At least I know I won’t have the terrible aches anymore. I am trying to get back to work. Thank you for encouraging me! I am sending you love and appreciation! Mihaela

    1. Thank you very much for the re-blog! I appreciate a lot the ideas that you promote on your blog as well as your efforts to make bloggers meet with each other! My best to you! Mihaela

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