Saturday, 17 September 2011

Mmmm soup's on!

Well, checking a few of the blog links showed that people seemed to have started posting already, so I guess I'm not going to worry about my timezone making me ahead of schedule. :) My partner is Terry from Starseed Jewelry (guess I better use the US spelling, since its her business name ;) ). Terry works in Polymer clay, which is a totally new medium for me. While I have seen some techniques that remind me of the look of some lampworking techniques, they are basically very different, and the charming rustic style of this bead soup in particular. Lori's goes to a lot of effort to pair us up, and one of her criteria is the aim to push us outside our comfort zone and in a different direction. The bead soup I received is quite a departure from what I usually work with, so it was an interesting challenge.
One of the suggested approaches for this exchange is to mix beads you already have with the Bead Soup you receive. At first glance, I didn't think that was likely to work for me. I didn't think the style of my own handmade glass beads was going to suit, and the Swarovski crystal and Bali Silver I normally use just didn't seem to 'speak to' the polymer clay beads I received. In search of inspiration, I rummaged through my jewellery cupboard (I think all crafters, and jewellery designers in particular are terrible hoarders) and looked for some materials that were a little more earthy, and had some interesting texture, that would work to the best advantage with Terri's beads. I stumbled across all kinds of things I didn't know I had.... elephants carved out of bone, copper spacer beads, chunky crystals and a range of small glass beads.
With all of that laid out before me, the next step was to work out what to string them on, and what sort of design I was going for. I have never worked with a clasp like that. I wanted to make a feature of it in the jewellery, and show off the beautiful colour and interesting texture, but I wasn't sure how to even attach them. I'm used to working with clasps with a loop and generally rely on softflex and silver crimps, but it looked like the toggle would need wire wrapping. I did consider fibre, and found some just the right colour, but the holes in some of the beads were not large enough.... Back to rummaging through my 'stash' and I discovered some brass wire, and my kit from a class in silver wire crochet from Glasstock in 2009. An idea started to emerge - I wanted something eclectic and textural, to match the variety of beads I was going to use. I had to google crochet to remind myself how to start off, but then it all came together. I crocheted 2 strands filled with beads, featuring Terri's focal front and centre, and twisted them together, wire wrapping the ends onto the funky clay toggle.
I was pleased with the result, and I hope you like it - it was a real challenge to move away from my 'norm' and do something different. The colour is a bit off in some of the pics, due to a fairly hurried photo shoot this afternoon, but hopefully you get the idea. Thanks Terri and Lori for the fun of this exchange - and the creative challenge!! I don't think I'll be temped away form glass any time soon though - I just love the high gloss finish and the smooth texture of glass.

67 comments:

Marcy Lamberson said...

OOOOH, I like your bracelet. It's fun and has great style.

Starseed Jewelry said...

Yaaaaay!!!! Awesome job Suzanne. I am so happy the beads arrived. Talk about pressure. You only had a day to decide.

Terri

Jo said...

That is lovely! I'm loving seeing all the different techniques everyone's using!

bwheather said...

I just love it. Good on ya for going outside your comfort zone. ;-)

Kym Hunter Designs said...

Great bracelet! I love the design and colors!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Silver Parrot said...

Different and unusual. I like it!

hellopalz said...

Unique bracelet! interesting challenge- bead soup...

Lorelei Eurto said...

Ohhh so organic and funky! Nice soup too! I can't wait to see what Terri made!

Michelle Mach said...

This is a beautiful, organic piece.
And you used crochet! You are so brave! That's a technique I've tried and failed at. Your piece makes me want to try again!

SoulsFireDesigns said...

Gorgeous! Fun and earthy and organic and... absolutely lovely! :)

SilverNikNats said...

A really original and organic looking piece

My Life Under the Bus said...

Very cool I love that there is constantly something new to discover! Great job!

Terri said...

Different, unique, & very artistic. Truly a one of a kind of wearable jewelry art. I'm really drawn to the fall color palette too.

Moobie Grace said...

One of a kind, & eye catching to say the least! Love your creativity!

EmandaJ said...

Great job -- We’re all being pushed outside our comfort zones — with amazing results!

Enjoy the hop,
Emanda

http://artemisiastudio.blogspot.com/2011/09/bead-soup-reveal.html

Thoughtfulhands said...

Your bracelet turned out AWESOME! Love the beads and how you wove it together.

Happy Hoppin,
Theresa

Tammy Jones, JewelryMakingDaily.com said...

Very stylish piece! I love the colors and the balance of big bold beads with tiny crystals. Great work!

Pine Ridge Treasures said...

Great Job - lovely bracelet!

Sharon Gardner said...

You really rose to the challenge! I love the organic look of the bracelet.

WondrousStrange said...

love this so fall feeling!

la mar de bonita said...

A wonderful bracelet - one of a kind, everbody looks at if you wear it!
Greeting, Michi

rockcreekcreations said...

Very nice!! I love how it all came together!!

pam ferrari said...

I love your bracelet, Very different bold and Beautiful!

Sarah said...

This is a really cool and funky bracelet! I love how different it is and that what makes it so amazing.

Christine Altmiller said...

how fun and earthy! great jewelry!!!

pinkchapeau said...

Great bracelet...your technique and construction are perfect with those beads!

Jenni said...

Beautiful bracelet Suzanne...so glad you soup came in time ! I really like the bracelet on your wrist..it shows off the rustic colours and the crotcheting so well. Gorgeous mix.
jenni

Juli said...

Very pretty!

Sandra said...

very unique bracelet, it speaks all autumn and thanksgiving and halloween to me. Love the color palette you got to work with!

playsculptlive said...

You did a great job with your soup mix. Delicious.

Ann said...

That's very pretty. The colors really and the way you've put it together seem meant for each other.

Sweet Freedom said...

What a fascinating toggle! I love your soup, and I love the bracelet you created! Incredible!

susie said...

OMGoodness...your soup is DELICIOUS my Friend!!! I adore your design, it's truly stunning! Well done, another AMAZING cup of BEAD SOUP from a very talented designer!!! ;)

Polly Barker said...

Very unique!

Bobbie said...

Lovely - you did such a nice job with materials that were out of your normal realm!

Lori Anderson, Pretty Things said...

Incredibly creative and wow, but does it look time-intensive! I'm quite impressed!

I hope you'll join me for the next party! The badge and dates are up on my blog!

Love, Lori

Palimpa Lim said...

A funky and unique piece!

Mylene said...

What fun and interesting shapes in your bracelet - very earthy and organic looking.

T... said...

oh wow, very nice, love all those wonderful different beads....

Shyme said...

Lovely! A fun bracelet!

GlassBeadArt said...

A wonderful organic piece of art!

Beadaholique said...

Beautiful bracelet! Reminds me of undersea treasure, it's a piece I feel I need to keep staring at in order to take in all the intricate elements.

Julie and Andrea

Rebecca said...

Really unusual - looks like ti would be fun to wear!

KayzKreationz said...

I like this braceet so much. I've been trying to learn wire crochet. And the crazy, wiry look of this is so much fun. Love it.

DaviniaDesign said...

Super Bold piece. Perfect.

coffeeaddict said...

awesome! this is so inspiring!

Maggie said...

Your bracelet is very yummy and tribal and beautiful!

Kathleen Lange Klik said...

Really creative design. Fantastic! I love the way you dangled the beads with wire work.

Julie Nordine | Credit River Art Glass said...

Very fun, Suzanne! Great job.

I LOVE color! said...

I am so sorry I am so late , but my computer dug in it's heels and said I'm nota-gonna go that fast:^)
Your designs are nothing short of amazing.
Be blessed to be a blessing

Marianna said...

beautiful work!

Regina said...

What a lovely bracelet, earthy, chunky, warm colors, everything I like in a bracelet. It is beautiful. You did well with the challenge.

Serena Trent said...

Very unique and different! I likey alot!

Tracy said...

Beautiful organic bracelet, love the style.

Lisa said...

Suz, I am late getting around....but your bracelet is amazing! Way to push yourself...it turned out great.

maneki said...

Beautiful and different bracelet! I really like the textures and the mix of bead sizes. Great job!

CraftyHope said...

Your chunky bracelet is very cool. Nicely done!

Pine Ridge Treasures said...

Love the chunky bracelet. Nice earthy colors.

chicandfrog said...

This is really eye-catching and the colour are perfect for Fall. Love it!

Ambra

OhAllisonBeading said...

Earthy, yet fun! Beautiful! :)

vonna said...

Susan it's lovely, just my style too! I love it! :)

Marsha of Marsha Neal Studio said...

I love what you've done with your Bead Soup! Beautiful!!!

Melissa said...

What a unique idea. I would have never come up with this in a million years. You did a great job with the use of your wire and beads. Very creative.

Karyn B said...

I love how chunky and fun your bracelet is! Great soup!

Marie Cramp said...

Looks fantastic! You rocked the Polymer for sure!!

dreaminofbeads said...

Very nice work! Love the idea of using bead crochet.

Tracey N. said...

Beautiful bracelet! Such an eclectic mix. Love what you created!