Tag Archives: Suzanne Forbes

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!

Dropping in on US burlesque shows!

Minda Mae for Disabilitease by Suzanne Forbes July 19 2020Livestreaming shows means I can be anywhere, anytime, if I have the strength.

As I mentioned in this post, I am choosing to limit what I can do according to my level of fatigue, and set goals that are realistic. That means not trying to draw everyone in a show. I dropped in on day 2 of the Disabilitease Festival (which should not be confused with the UK-based show with the same name Disabilitease, which I also drew!) with the intent to draw a couple performers.

I drew the Festival producer Minda Mae, above, doing a beautiful seated bellydance.

Skirt Vonnegut for Disabilitease by Suzanne Forbes July 19 2020And I drew Skirt Vonnegut doing their Existentialism number, for the second time!

I drew Skirt several times last year during their tenure in Berlin, and they are a friend and serious collector of my work, so it was great to get a parallax view of this cool routine.

I also dropped in on “Burlesque at Home“, a great show I would have loved to have seen and drawn all of.

Miss Jessica for Burlesque At Home by Suzanne Forbes June 16 2020Above, New Orleans icon Miss Jay Broussard!

Aka, Jessica Champaign. What a legendary performance! Miss Jay was the finale.

Paul Aleksandr for Burlesque at Home by Suzanne Forbes July 23 2020And this is the lovely host, Paul Aleksandr.

Fellow creepy creature maker and glittery goth clown Paul Aleksandr hosted from the UK! I loved their blue look.

I am so grateful to my Patreon Patrons, whose monthly financial support lets me keep documenting an international bouquet of burlesque and drag performers while I work safely at home.