I'm so glad it's finally Bead Soup reveal day so let's get started.
Here is what my partner, Jennifer, sent to me:
I have to admit, I was initially a little intimidated by the weight of the ceramic focal and the placement and size of the hole. I definitely wanted to keep it on its flat side (the way it's pictured) to show off the wonderful colors in the glaze. Even if the hole had been larger, I don't think I would've wanted to run multiple strands of things through it because they would have ended up covering too much of the surface. In addition, I thought the coordinating ceramic squares might be too small to go into the same finished piece so I decided right off the bat to use them in a pair of matching earrings. The whole color scheme screamed "copper" to me so I put the brass clasp aside to use in a separate piece. I totally loved the brown wooden barrels and turquoise cubes and definitely planned to incorporate those somehow. In a strange coincidence, the carved white faux-cinnabar disks are the exact same beads as some that I sent in my soup package to Jennifer LOL! They ended up not working for the final design I came up with so I've put them aside for a separate project.
Here's the first design I came up with:
I ended up going with just a simple copper wire loop through the center. I wanted the least obtrusive treatment possible so the focal could really show all its beauty.
I did want to cover up the black area around the hole so I added a single copper daisy spacer.
I repeated the motif of a circular dangle by adding these Mykonos ceramic cast charms hanging from copper jump rings. Then I used the wood barrel beads and the turquoise cubes from the soup and just added a few more copper daisy spacers. I like the play between the darker wood and ceramic tones and the bright copper spacers.
There weren't quite enough of the cubes to make the length I wanted so I finished off the strung section with a loop of seed beads in a dark blue/teal finish to pick up the darker blues in the pendant and the cubes. This attaches to sections of copper chain.
The copper teardrop toggle is from my stash and I added a little wired dangle to the back with the last cube and a peach glass square from my stash...it mimics the shape of the two ceramic squares in the soup and I put a few of them in the sides of the necklace, too.
Here's another view of the whole necklace.
Remember those coordinating ceramic squares that I set aside for earrings? Here's how those turned out:
I had these patinated copper rings on my work surface and thought they'd be perfect with this design. I made a stack of the wooden barrel beads, the peach ceramic squares, the turquoise cubes and the seed beads and wire wrapped them onto the copper rings.
They will work on their own or worn with the necklace and I kept the play between dark and light versions of copper going.
Then there was the clasp. My brain was REALLY fixated on copper, copper, copper for this whole set. Mixing metals seems to come naturally to some people...I am not one of those people LOL. It's like trying to write with my left hand...I can do it, but it takes EFFORT! So, to satisfy that part of my brain, I had to come up with something COMPLETELY different to do with the clasp. While copper makes me think "earthy, tribal, rustic, etc.", brass always makes me think "vintage, feminine, pearls and pink." So, I decided to take a dive through my stash and see what I could come up with to make that little clasp sing.
And since I'd already done a necklace and earrings I decided to do a bracelet:
I don't normally do asymmetrical designs...especially in bracelets, but I had this little three-bead set and it just seemed to call for this positioning.
From my stash, I also added brass spacers and rounds, Chinese crystal rondelles in a deep rose pink and then I wire-wrapped a few crystal dangles - some Swaro bicones in "Erinite" and a faceted glass briolette in pale pink. It's simple and elegant which I thought fit the clasp perfectly
I actually was so happy with the way this bracelet came out that I ended up going nuts and making a bunch more using the same bead arrangement, but all different kinds of beads from my stash and they came out pretty cute. I will post about them in a future blog entry.
So, that's my soup. I hope you enjoyed it, and, if you have time, I invite you to check out the rest of the blog, leave a comment or become a follower! I've been doing a lot of technique experimentation this year and I give good bead porn (or so I've been told) ;-)
Thanks again for visiting! Here's a link to the post about what I sent to my partner (scroll down to the end to see the photo of what I sent) and here's the link to the rest of the participants.