Carlson’s story necklace

Maureen Carlson’s necklace tells a charming story and invites a dialogue…and isn’t that what we want our jewelry to do?

She tells of her winter trip to a family reunion in simple polymer clay beads. And she suggests several ways that you might use this technique to tell your stories.

I saw Maureen wearing this intriguing necklace and wanted to know more. Now I’m itching to make one of my own. Enjoy this little video of our conversation. Maureen’s new jewelry-sized face molds will make their debut in November.

  • reply Melanie West ,

    What a terrific story, and such a wonderful way to tell it! (I especially like the cookies… mmmmm). The history of Maureen’s grandmother doing a similar story telling with a line of beads was… well… it tugged at my heart and really made me smile. It reminded me of all the things my mom had done that impacted who I was and how I try to tell my own stories. Thank you, Cynthia and Maureen for sharing this with us.

    • reply Eva/le Loup ,

      I so agree with Melanie!
      A work while so interesting to bring of the sense to what we make.
      To make of the attractive / beautiful it’s good, but it is a little bit hollow and everything eventually looks like(is alike)…
      When the sense of our work comes from our history(story), from our memories(souvenirs), of how we were smaller shier or greedier, well we tell we draw we model in a different way, colors are more lively more dimmed(deafened) or more shaded off.
      How are we now? How approach we the daily subjects which lead the world? Not as everybody yes? No?
      Thank you for this article! But it is not with this kind of article that I am going to manage to moderate!

      • reply Ronna Sarvas Weltman ,

        Maureen’s art is delightful and joyous to behold, so it’s fabulous on that level — but look at all she does with her books, molds, everything else that helps others find their own voices in their art and art jewelry. What a gift.

        Story necklaces would/could/can be very therapeutic for overcoming grief and trauma. A softer/kinder/gentler approach that will work for some souls. To those of you who are using art as therapy with others, hope you’ll consider adding Maureen’s molds to the mix of materials.

        • reply Maureen Carlson ,

          This morning’s post was a surprise to me. Of course I knew Cynthia had recorded it, but, when it popped up unexpectedly today, I smiled and smiled. Just like in the photo! What a nice way for me to start the new season of fall and back to school and renewed concentration on work.

          A note, also, about the therapeutic use of story. That’s what I do when I get stuck, artistically. I use story. I remind myself that all art is about visually telling one’s view of the world. When I remember that it’s really about the story, then I always find something to say. I reach into my bag of clay and mixed media “tricks” and figure out which one will be just right for beginning the tale. When I do that, the performance anxiety dulls down to a dull and sometimes comforting murmur – or hum … once upon a time ….

          Thanks, Cynthia!

          • reply Sydney Wellman ,

            This is an excellent thing to teach children, also. Isn’t this just one of the reasons we love Maureen? She just exudes warmth and love. Maureen was my first inspiration and instructor in PC. Thanks, Mo, and thanks for bringing this to us, Cynthia, a real gift.

            • reply Jeanne Dumond ,

              What a great interview! Cynthia you are awesome at catching the essence of people and their art in interviews! Thank you!

              • reply Jeannie ,

                Maureen doesn’t know me, but she inspired me to try polymer clay. I was in her art center a few years ago and I was blown away. I didn’t want to leave.
                Her sculptures evoked emotions in me. Great interview.

                • reply Phyllis Solberg ,

                  How wonderful to see Maureen telling her story. I belong to that extended family in Michigan and have always be inspired by my cousin Maureen. She does have a wonderful way of putting a story to the most ordinary of things or help someone else pull out their own story that may possibly be buried deep within. Thanks for sharing this Cynthia and Maureen.

                  • reply Heather Campbell ,

                    HI Maureen…. You’ve done it again! Inspired me!

                    • reply pat whitaker ,

                      As a member of the great extended family, I am once again awed by Maureen’s talent, & honored to know her. Thank you so much for sharing your story necklace, & another glimpse of our ancestors with us.

                      • reply victoria angelica ,


                        • reply christi friesen ,

                          Maureen is the awesomest, isn’t she!! She was in Chicago this summer at the IPCA retreat along with lots of other fun folks and I loved sneaking peaks at her table to see what she was up to. She rocks!

                          • reply Polymer clay circus beads ,

                            […] monthly challenge reminds me of Maureen Carlson’s story beads. What a great […]

                            • reply Varda ,

                              Wonderful, what an idea to build a necklace story for my grand daughter as she develops and grows up.

                              • reply Polymer with a family story ,

                                […] a sucker for polymer art with a story (remember Maureen Carlson’s necklace). Sandra’s Wearable Whimsys are full of tales like this James and the Giant Peach […]

                                • reply Shirley Chipman ,

                                  Loved your story teller necklace.

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