Saturday, September 17, 2011
Bead Soup Blog Hop Partner
Hurrah! The day has arrived. It is the Bead Soup Blog Hop Event. Lori Anderson has done it again with another fantastic ride throughout the world connecting people together. The challenge was to partner people up and send out a bead soup consisting of a focal piece, a clasp, and/or beads and spacers. Then with what your partner had sent you create a piece of ART. Here is a link to click on to find out about the Official Bead Soup Blog Party. And here is the link to start the amazing blog hop with 362 artist.
My partner is Gaea Cannaday. Here is her blog with picture of her beautiful ceramic pieces. She has an Etsy shop with her beautiful pendents for sale. But if you really want to be amazed, then you must check out her webpage. I'm just in love with her Day of the Dead pieces and can see myself purchasing some of them in the future. Now for the fun part. Gaea sent me a lovely package with my favorite color palette. I got a handmade ceramic pendent with an acorn as the main focus. She also sent color coordinated ceramic spacer beads and a handmade clasp.
At first, I was just in a daze as I could not even wrap my brain about how to take all these lovely treasures and turn them into a piece of jewelry. Number one, I don't do any stringing at all. Number two, my abilities to do wire working is very limited. So I was stumped. Then I thought to myself, that this IS a challenge. I could possibly get some other beads from my stash, add some nice complimentary spacers, get out my book on how to do some stringing, and throw together a piece that would met all the requirements...BUT...none of that would satisfy me. Deep inside, I'm a bead weaver and that is where my thoughts went to next.
My strongest technique is bead embroidery. I thought of taking the pendent, gluing it down onto a base, doing a round peyote cage, then embellishing it with other beads, then putting it together on a strung chain with the clasp. Sounded good, but really is that a challenge. So that idea was thrown out too. Next, I played around and realized that to make this a true challenge for me I needed to plan (I know...Chris is amazed that I'm saying I planned this design) exactly how I wanted the complete piece to be finished and drawn in my new notebook. I've been having a blast since Bead and Button experimenting with Right Angle Weave (RAW), so I thought this was to be my challenge. I was going to do a whole bead weaving piece using RAW and a bit of peyote to make a necklace worthy of this amazing pendent and the blog party.
I started out by using RAW to cage the pendent. I used size 8 and 11 seed beads and short Magatama drops. Then using the same color I charted out a RAW necklace to compliment the pendent. I tried incorporating the ceramic spacers into the actual necklace design, but either my skills aren't practiced enough to give it a nice clean look, or my initial design was flawed. I had half the necklace portion completed with sections of woven RAW between the spacers. It looked horrible, so I tore it all out and got back to the planning board. I decided to forgo the ceramic spacers this time around and just go with the RAW necklace hooked into the pendent. It looked great especially when I used two of the ceramic spaces to join the RAW necklace and the handmade claps together. At this point the necklace with the joined pendent looked nice, but nothing spectacular, so I decided to add the ceramic beads along the bezel of the pendent. Wow, that really made the piece look finished. I was happy.
Yet, I still had more ceramic beads, so I decided to just the same weaving design in the necklace strap to construct a bracelet using the original design plan having the ceramic beads between sections of RAW. This time it looked better, but I still need to develop this technique a little more to make it look more uniform and smooth.
All in all, I've really enjoyed this challenge which has taken me into a new realm of actual planning a design, drawing and writing down idea, working a prototype, and making decisions on how to construct something unique and challenging to the skills I already have. It has made me want to truly start designing more pieces of art pulling in more skills I know and learning new ones to slowly develop a talent in jewelry design. This was definitely not an easy task, and I see if I do indeed want to become a jewelry designer I have to study, experiment, and be prepared for failures. And all in all, keep laughing!
So now I'm going to spend a couple weeks checking out each of these 362 Artist blogs. I hope to take my time maybe visiting 10-20 a day. Join me in circling the globe looking at some delightful pieces of jewelry.