Monthly Archives: July 2020

That time I made mermaid jewels!

Mermaid jewelry by Suzanne Forbes July 2020I am continuing some fairly radical experiments with Angelina Fantasy Film and UV Resin.

I find working with iridescent and holographic materials so nourishing and stress relieving!

Mermaid jewelry by Suzanne Forbes July 2020 2I have been making all kinds of earrings and necklaces and delirious glittering sparkling shapes!

These pieces are made of translucent, layered, heat-sculpted Angelina Fantasy Film.

Mermaid earrings by Suzanne Forbes July 2020I make armatures of floral wire and colored craft wire.

Mermaid jewelry by Suzanne Forbes July 2020 with tattoos by Daria ReinThe Fantasy Film gets glued down to the fin-like armature with white glue – this is very tricky and doesn’t work consistently.

I think people who make fairy wings professionally- like for dolls- have more sophisticated techniques, like this hilarious Italian guy who uses an iron and Fimo liquid fusing gel.

Or you could use jigs to keep the wire armature flat. Then it would be much easier to glue down the film.

As soon as the glue is dry I use a lighter to burn, melt and shrink the Fantasy Film into curving, twisting shapes.

Once I have organic shapes I like, I start decorating the shapes with Swarovski crystals, jelly crystals, gradient pearls, and microbeads.

I use UV resin to attach the decor, sometimes flat to the surface of the warped film, sometimes skeins of microbeads floating above it in a transparent wave of resin. I use a wax pencil to pick up the tiny crystals and beads, one at a time.

It takes a long time! But I don’t mind. It’s mesmerizing and soothing to dot tiny rainbow bubbles onto a fin or wing of opalescent, changeant film. After I’ve added a good amount of decor, I start thickening and strengthening the Fantasy Film with drips and layers of tinted UV resin.

Mermaid jewelry by Suzanne Forbes July 2020 cuThe tinted UV resin adds hints of color, more transparent shapes, and strength in areas where the film is brittle or fragile.

Spirals of metallic purple wire make jellyfish tendrils and UV resin coats the strands with tiny beads. The detail is infinite! I cure the resin in sunlight, sitting on our balcony with all my little bottles of UV resin.

Mermaid jewelry by Suzanne Forbes July 2020 cu

Watching the materials sparkle in the sun is a great comfort to me.

And fiddly, absorbing work is good for my brain.

UV resin and Angelina Fantasy Film earrings by Suzanne Forbes June 2020

As my friend Gieza Poke says, when the hands are busy, the mind is calm!

Red Umbrella Embroidery project: Fight for the rights of Sex Workers!!

I got these beautiful domed antique brass frames, made in Germany, last Fall.

I found them on German eBay. I got a half dozen of them, they are tiny and very lovely, and I wanted to do something special with them.

I decided to embroider the Red Umbrella, which is the international symbol of solidarity with sex workers. The one below is in the Black Trans Flag colors, as well as the rainbow for Pride- I used superfine holographic thread and hundreds and hundreds of stitches.

Black leadership tells us to center the most marginalized.

To listen to what sex workers tell us they need, and work to help them get it.

Protect Black Trans Sex Workers embroidery with holographic thread by Suzanne Forbes June 2020Maybe someday every home will have the symbol of solidarity with sex workers.

Maybe someday every home will declare itself a safe space for the most vulnerable people in society, the people who have to work to live and yet are never given the protections of workers.

I have known and loved sex workers since I was a teen; I learn more all the time about how to listen to what they are telling me they need.

The most urgent need for sex workers all over the world is the Decriminalization of Sex Work. Not the Nordic Model, not legalization and government regulation – umbrella embroidery by Suzanne Forbes June 2020

Decriminalize sex work NOW.

Here are some of the reasons why sex workers tell us that Decrim is the model they want.

Here is an extremely useful article on how to make sex workers’ lives easier.

Read “Revolting Prostitutes: The fight for Sex Workers’ Rights”.

Now more than ever, when so many sworkers can’t work because of COVID-19 yet are excluded from government support in most countries, donate to sex workers’ aid funds.

People need money to live.¬†This is our German fund for workers who aren’t getting government aid. Orgs like The Black Trans Travel Fund and The Okra Project help BPOC trans people get basic needs like food and transport met.


You can hold up a red umbrella.