Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bead Soup Blog Party Reveal

Here is a video of my project for the Bead Soup Blog Party. I was paired with Christine Damm and she sent me a challenging two-strand clasp and a focal adorned with her signature layered patterns. The color palette of the focal and clasp was black with red, white, gold and green accents. If you have been around me lately you know that I have a bright red streak in my black hair, so this palette is obviously one of my favorites! The accent beads Christine sent were mostly in the black-and-white family, although she popped a few green jade pieces and some patinaed brass, too. I used a lot of what she sent me but my big additions were the German hand-dyed rayon cording and the brass ball chain. I love the dots of brass with the dotted-and-striped patterns Christine had on her focal and the red, well, that was a perfect fit. 

The parts for this necklace have been sitting on my studio table since Christine sent them to me. I can be very indecisive with beads sometimes. I would put down accent pieces and remove them, over and over, until I came up with the final design. The design you see is not the 'final' design I thought I would end up with! I had actually paired the focal and clasp with this rayon cording and these ceramic Elaine Ray beads but in the end it didn't seem like the best design. The flower printed rayon took the pendant from Africa to South East Asia and the whole design was much more feminine and floral. It was very pretty, but it was too summery and with fall approaching I wanted to make something that seemed perfect for cooler weather.

While I worked, I mixed metals throughout this design; brass ball chain, silver machine ends, brass jump rings, silver jump rings, steel clasp and steel beads, brass head pins. The mix of colors in the focal seemed to demand a mix of metals. 

I constructed the necklace by cutting the cording strands and gluing the cording and ball chain into the machine ends on one side only. Then I fed beads onto each cording strand and knotted below the bead so that they wouldn't all fall to the center when the necklace was worn. After I positioned the beads along the cording I attached the other machine ends. For this project I used the Beacon 527 glue, which is a great glue that has just enough viscosity to really get inside that cording and around that ball chain. I have made several pieces using this glue and these machine ends and the results are always sturdy. 

After I attached the pendant to the cording using jump rings I began adding the ball chain tassel. Watch the video to see the way I attached the ball chain pieces to the back of the pendant with those clip-in chain ends. I also used the same ends to attach the dangles at the end of the chain pieces. I have to say, those clip-in ends make things easy for an indecisive person like me! I moved several of the charms around on the tassel until I liked the effect. 

I worked on this design both on my studio desk and, in the end, on a mannequin at the store. I like working on a mannequin for larger-scale, drapey designs so that I can step back and see what is lying where. 

Working on this project was a fun challenge and interesting for me. I usually only design with items from Ornamentea and I select most of them so I am rarely pushed to work with an item I didn't pick out in one way or another. There were several other interesting items in the box and I'll post projects using them in future blog entries over the coming months. The first item up on my list is a twisted, coiled bit of steel wire from Christine's husband. It has an excavated, urban look to it that is very interesting to me. I couldn't make it work in this necklace but I have a bracelet idea for it that I'm pretty excited about.

Here is a listing of all the BSBP participants...settle in and visit as many as you can! I'll blog about some of them over the following month.
The Hostess, Lori Anderson and her partner, Manuela Wutschke

19. Anna Sabina­­­­ and Erin Siegel

that amounts to 362 people making jewelry and finding inspiration in each other's stashes! wow! Thanks to Lori for organizing and coordinating this swap and thanks to Christine for the fab box of goodies I got! 

Now I'm off to read some blog posts...

Oh, this necklace will be on my other blog, 365necklaces, maybe today!