Once again, I’m thrilled to be part of Lori Anderson’s 6th BeadSoup Blog Party where 400 beadmakers and jewellery designers from around the world exchange blind packages to spur their creativity. This time around my partner is Joanna Matuszczyk, a jewellery designer from Poland. This is the bead soup she sent me:
Quite the lovely variety, huh? I love the well-coordinated mix of all the different textures and shapes plus it’s in my favourite colour too – PURPLE!! I’ve never worked with materials like bamboo, ribbon, copper or fabric beads (except the glass beads/gemstones), so it really took me out of my comfort zone. Now, I tried to use everything but honestly I just could not figure out how to work those felted butterflies in… i think they will have to be separate piece… maybe a fun dangly necklace on a silver chain? We’ll see…
First thing i decided was that i was going to use ALL of those lovely ribbons – it was such a perfect mix of colours, plus i couldn’t resist the lush effect. Then i turned the ceramic button into the clasp and knotted the loop created from doubling the ribbon strands into the catch with a few copper jump rings (which i made!) to keep the strands in place. Then, i lightened the edge of the bamboo tube to match the ribbons and wrapped it first with the brown crocheted ribbon (incredibly cool and retro) then with masses of copper wire to create a hook for the dangly mix of glass and gemstones. Final touch was stuffing the knitted balls into the bamboo tube to create a fun and unusual focal.
I’m pretty happy with this necklace, especially since when i first received the package, i had absolutely NO idea what to do with all that ribbon nor the fabric beads. But then… that’s the point of the BSBP – to get us all to experiment with materials we normally never or rarely use and discover some new ways to invigorate our own designs… and of course to have FUN!!
OK… I’m off to check out the other Bead Soups, grab a cup of tea and join me! There were three reveals this time around (i’m in the 3rd) – you can find them all here (or by clicking the picture below): http://lorianderson-beadsoupblogparty.blogspot.ca/2012/06/participants-of-6th-bead-soup-blog-party.html
I was lucky enough to be selected as one of the bloggers to participate in Lori Anderson‘s January 2012 edition of her BeadSoup Blog Party – essentially a jewellery exchange where beadmakers and jewellery designers from around the world exchange a kit of beads and must design a piece based on the kit they receive. I was partnered with Gaea Cannaday, a ceramic artist from California. We have no idea what we will receive so it’s all about working outside your comfort zone and having a bit of fun along the way.
This is what i received (forgot to take a pic before making the necklace) – a wonderful square heart focal in soft red with some coordinating accent beads which i have yet to figure out how to use – a bracelet or earrings maybe? The ceramic beads are all made my Gaea herself and I think the copper clasp as well. I’d never worked with ceramics before so at first i was perplexed. I considered making some coordinating beads of my own to match and was testing various colours before finally deciding NO, they would compete and it was best to design a piece that really showcased the rich colours and textures in her beads on their own.
Soooo… i went digging through my gemstone stash to see what i could find. At first i was leaning toward some aquamarine but in the end decided on these serpentine jade tubes with red coral and deep gold glass accents. This necklace is so fresh and spring-like, i’m quite happy with the result! The pale green jade really makes the coral and the glaze on the heart pop… i love red, it’s like an instant pick me up during this long dreary winter.
Here’s what i sent in for the exchange – an earthy goddess, a couple matching accent beads, some agate and citrine nuggets, freshwater pearls and a clasp made from shells. Unfortunately, I had one shipping snafu after another so Gaea didn’t have much time to design her pieces but i think she did a pretty stellar job – you can check out her BeadSoup post HERE to see what she did with my beads. Can’t wait to see how she finishes one of the oval tabs she’s bezeled in copper to create a pendant…
This is the fifth BeadSoup hosted by Lori and i can’t even imagine how much work it is to coordinate details for such a large group, so just wanted to say: THANKS LORI!
You can check out the full list 200 participants below – grab some tea and a comfy seat, it takes a while.
FINAL UPDATE: 8/21: A cheque for $14K was just issued to Anna to help with her medical costs… (updated email below)
UPDATE 8/17: Apparently over $10K was raised for Anna by this event! Most excellent! 🙂
UPDATE 8/14: Yippee! the white Graffiti goddess sold as well!! Thanks again everyone!!!
Great news!! The black Graffiti Goddess sold on the first day – THANK YOU!! Remember, all the funds (not just profits) are going straight to Anna, the artist – i’m even paying to ship these to the US.
Here’s the latest email i received 8/21 with an update:
(Click either picture to get to the Artful Home Hearts for Anna page.)
I found these two quirky items from a UK ceramics artist while randomly surfing etsy (click either picture to get to her store).
They are tiny, handmade and absolute perfection. The base is offwhite clay with embedded glass (you knew there’d have to glass included, right?) and gold and platinum highlights.
I had the teal pendant custom made and then found the purple brooch in her store – i LOVE purple! I’ll need to wire the pendant or maybe make a necklace for it. i think i’ll wear the brooch to an event i’m attending tonite.
I keep picking them up to look at them ‘cuz they’re just too perfectly precious…
Results from my last few torch sessions – a goddess and two pendants for a couple custom orders:
Hades Goddess: (sold) Sometimes simple is best. This is just black glass and silver leaf passed through a reduction flame to bring out the iridescence. I had originally planned to tart her up with some frit and a latticino or two but once i reached this stage, i realized she’s perfect just as is.
Tempest: (sold) Ever been on the beach during a thunderstorm? As the wind rises and the sea slams against the cliffs, the water, foam, seaweed and sand all swirl together wildly. And if you’re lucky enough to find a good vantage point, you can enjoy this spectacle of nature from a safe distance but still be close enough to feel the salty spray hit your skin with each crashing wave…
Spring Bloom: My first serious attempt at a traditional raised floral. Every single colour is custom blended – from the base to the premade latticino’s used for the branches and the flowers. The branches have a bit of sparkle as i used green adventurine in the twist, then i reduced the bead lightly at the base to give it some depth. A lot of work but i’m pretty happy with how it turned out.
And if you think it looks familiar, you’re right. It’s inspired by Vincent van Gogh’s 1890 painting Almond Blossom.