Wrangling Creativity: one day at a time
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Mandalas Only

This is just to showcase the Mandalas by themselves since I have done so many of them.  Comments appreciated.

Earth Wheel Mandala

Earth Wheel MandalaThere are various New Age products I have seen that call themselves "earth wheels," and basically they show you the change of the seasons.  They are fun and colorful, and tap into the seasonal cycles. This my version, the Earth Wheel Mandala. It has colors reminiscent of earth, sky and things that look like flowers, seeds, fins and bird feathers. Earth is more to me than soil. It's the whole shebang, the entire environment, that Gaia thing. Bring to it what you see.  Half of the fun of doing these is taking an artistic Rorschach Test, playing with the colors and forms and then seeing what I can find in it.  In the end, I don't know which is more fun: actually making the mandalas or that element of surprise when I see the end result and give a name to it.


Mother-of-Pearl Mandala

Mother-of-Pearl MandalaMother of pearl is also called "nacre," it's that lovely, satiny-looking stuff that is on the inside of some shells. I have seen it used a lot: to embellish jewelery, clocks, musical instruments—you name it, usually done as an elaborate inlay technique. I knew a luthier who made his own stringed musical instruments, and often did mother of pearl inlays on his own stuff and that made for other people. The process is painstaking, and produces some gorgeous results. When this mandala turned out the way it did, I instantly thought of his inlay work.  Hence the title, Mother-of-Pearl Mandala.

What is mother of pearl:

From GemstoneEducation.com:

The Mother of Pearl is not a gemstone per se, but organic mineral that is created by living organisms. While most people are aware of pearls, the Mother of pearl is made from the same substance—calcium carbonate. Mollusks such as oysters and abalones create the mother of pearl by secreting special substances that consist of calcium carbonate. The scientific formula is CACO3. This secretion is extremely fine, less than a millimeter thick and it is created into a structure of platelets that kind of resemble bricks. Mother of Pearl can be white with iridescent colors and these colors are due to the fact that the platelets are about the same size as light waves. Mother of Pearl has been known to man for thousands of years and can be found in many regions, especially in Europe, Asia, the United States and Australia. It is said to have many magical and mystical qualities such as helping a person to be cleansed, to help a person have faith and to be pure.

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Chinese Cloisonné Mandala

First you have to know what cloisonné is. I try to describe that information below.  Cloisonné colors are bright, saturated and gorgeous. Some of the best work of this sort has been done in China. When this mandala came out the way it did, Chinese Cloisonné Mandala was the only thing that seemed appropriate as the title.

Description from Cloisonné.com :

Cloisonné Dish

This image is from cloisonné.com.

Cloisonné, French for "cell", where thin wires are applied to form raised barriers, which contain different areas of enamel applied above the original metal form. An ancient metalworking technique, it is a multi-step enamel process used to produce jewelry, vases, and other decorative items. Objects produced by this process are also called cloisonné.

Cloisonné first developed in the Near East. It spread to the Byzantine Empire and from there along the Silk Road to China. Chinese cloisonné is probably the most well known and ubiquitous. Russian cloisonné from the Tsarist era is highly prized by collectors. Chinese cloisonné is sometimes confused with Canton enamel, a similar type of enamel work that is painted on freehand and does not utilize partitions to hold the colors separate.

So this mandala was fun to do, and it seems in the same spirit as real cloisonné , but enamel work is hard and the people that still do this kind of work are amazing.   Chinese Cloisonné Mandala

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Snowflake Mandala

Snowflake MandalaThis probably wound have been better published in December through maybe the end of February, but I just did this recently. And posting it after Spring Blossom Mandala and Ring of Fire Mandala kind of shows a range.   Snowflakes are beautiful things. Now two are alike... yadda, yadda, yadda. You know all that stuff and probably have fond memories of  cutting them out with a safety scissors in grammar school. Put most succinctly, I love the colors on this image  and how it looks kind of like a Christmas tree ornament. Blue is my favorite color...  I like the way the white frosty stuff kind of looks like mother-of-pearl. I thought about calling it, "Ice Flower Mandala," but isn't that what a snowflake is anyway?


Ring of Fire Mandala

Ring of Fire MandalaJohnny Cash is someone whose music I did not appreciate while growing up. Both my mother and father loved his music and he did have a voice like no one else.  In our house it was all about Country & Western Music, the classics Hank Williams, Hank Snow, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and so on. My mother also adored Elvis, and as a child I was dragged to all of his movies—whether I wanted to go or not.  She never said it, but I do believe Elvis was only second to God or Jesus in our house. I always secretly loved one Johnny Cash standard, and that would be Ring of Fire, so when this mandala came out the way it did... what else could I call it? I have matured a bit since my "I hate C&W because my mom loves it" phase. Johnny Cash really had some great songs, and I love his music now—though I will always prefer rock and roll, particularly The Rolling Stones.


Spring Blossom Mandala

Spring Blossom MandalaI do love it when all the trees, shrubs and Spring flowers come out after a long, cold Winter. Even with the pollen and my allergies, it is still my favorite time of year.  This pattern came about through a purely random experiment as did the color scheme. Again, I prefer more-saturated color schemes and something less "girlie," but this is still pretty and I like it. When it works, you have to go with it. So here's to Spring, enjoy it!  We only have two months of it left,

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Inside-a-Nautilus Mandala

real nautilus shellOne of the most beautiful natural forms to me is the interior of Nautilus Shell. A simple spiral has both movement and perfection of form, and is complex despite the its easily discernible geometry. It shows the growth of the animal that grew within it, turn by turn. This particular mandala is one of my personal favorites. The Golden Ratio and the mathematics of nature and infinity are contained within its spiral. The form says it all. Inside-a-Nautilus Mandala This mandala is also different from many I do in its subtle color. I love saturated color and forget sometimes how calming something softer can be.

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Ribbons are for Rembrance Mandala

Around different holidays, especially patriotic ones, you will see these swags done up with the American flag and ribbons of different kinds are used to honor fallen soldiers. We remember ribbons that are tied around special gifts we give or get. Ribbons are tied around prom flowers, wedding and funeral flowers.  Ribbons are about embellishment, adding that little something extra to make something nice even prettier.Ribbons are for Rembrance mandala The subdued colors and way things loop around each other could present any number of things: an award, a gift, an adornment for a special occasion.


Blue and Gold Caprice mandala

Why did I call it that? A whim, a moment of  dizzy weirdness, nothing else or nothing more. In one sense things need names or they do not exist. At least that idea works for some of us?   Definition: Blue & Gold Caprice Mandalacaprice [kəˈpriːs]

1. a sudden or unpredictable change of attitude, behaviour, etc.; whim
2. a tendency to such changes
3. (Music / Classical Music) another word for capriccio  [from French, from Italian capriccio a shiver, caprice, from capo head + riccio hedgehog, suggesting a convulsive shudder in which the hair stood on end like a hedgehog's spines; meaning also influenced by Italian capra goat, by folk etymology
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Rough Lace Star mandala

Rough Lace Star mandalaThis mandala has some shredded fabric aspects that I think make it look pretty.  Also, the inner circle looks like it was crafted out of yarn. This makes it a needlework crafter or knitter's mandala. Or perhaps it looks more like string craft? I found the image for the string craft on this blog that shows the similarity: cravingcolor.wordpress.com/2011/02/02/string-art-wall-decoration/       String craft example

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