The Rook and the Wren AJE Component of the Month.

Welcome to the July reveal of the AJE component of the month challenge. This months art components were these cute little buttons and clasps made from old UK coins by Niky Sayers.

Niky sent these out as a surprise package and I was happy to receive one of the beads which feature a pretty little wren motif.

When I got my bead I had a vague recollection of an old fable about a wren and after digging around a bit online I managed to find an obscure copy of it and it’s called ‘The Rook and the Wren’. After reading it through I decided to use it as inspiration and try and put together a design where the elements would represent certain motifs within the fable. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do but after pulling out some art beads that fit the bill a bracelet seemed to be the obvious choice. Some of the components have pretty clear links to the fables, others are more evocative…it’s strung on waxed linen and all in all I’m pretty pleased with it…

Rather than go into great detail I thought I’d let you read the fable for yourselves (please excuse the strange format but this is the only copy I could find) and then see what what you think of my interpretation…

Pewter heart and nest charm by Green Girl Studio
Rook and flower bead by Starry Road Studio
Branch bead by Marsha Neal Studio
House/tree bead by HumbleBeads
Czech glass beads from Smitten Beads

Many thanks to Niky for providing us with such a lovely piece to work with – if you would like to see what the other participants made with Niky’s components please join our blog hop using the links below.
Guest bloggers

Lesley

AJE Component of the Month Reveal – January

January brought with it another opportunity to work with a wonderful component designed by one of the AJE team  – this time a beautiful Polymer Clay aspiration focal from the lovely Jenny Davies Reazor. Jenny created the frames for these pieces by making a mould from an old buckle. She then a added dictionary excerpts which she sealed with resin.

The word Jenny chose for me was ‘explore’ to reflect my current journey in the ceramic clay world – most approriate… and the design I received was the burgundy/blue one at the bottom left of the picture.

I love the ornate style of Jenny’s piece but it wasn’t a style I was used to working with so I was unsure as to where to start – It had holes at each corner so I was thinking a bracelet was the way to go… To get the ball rolling I pulled out some beads in the same colour palette and left them on my desk while I went off to do something else and ponder.

A couple of days later I was trying to tidy up the studio and while shuffling the beads arrange I had an idea and started playing to see if it would work. An hour later this is what I had…

I was not entirely sure about it as it’s not like anything I’ve designed before but I do find it pleasing so I’ve stuck with it. The faceted bronze barrels and vintage Czech glass paired with tiny blue/grey frosted rounds.

The down side of just going with an idea in this way was that I hadn’t thought through the finishing of the piece and having been through everything in my clasp collection I had nothing that I felt would complete the bracelet satisfactorily. In the end I decided it need a bespoke bronze clasp but as I don’t have any other bronze ready to fire I haven’t been able to finish it so my design is incomplete. But I can show you how it looks at the moment…

I decided to make a mould from Jenny’s focal and replicate the frame as a toggle clasp. Once this is fired I’ll try to patinate it to match the focal – maybe in one colour maybe multiples, I’m not sure yet.

Neither am I sure how I’m going to do the bar element yet but I’m thinking maybe wire wrapped with some of the frosted beads…we’ll have to see.

Hopefully my ideas will work and I’ll post the finished piece once it’s done. In the meantimeyou can see what the rest of the AJE team and out guest made using the links below.
Lesley


AJE Component of the Month – December Reveal

Welcome to another AJE Component of the Month reveal which is a few days late as this is actually the last of the 2013 challenges. The components for December were these gorgeous organic swirl beads intricately decorated with tiny dots from Rebekah of Tree Wings Studio. I chose one in russet red like the one in the centre of this picture.

What with everything that goes on it December I didn’t actually start my design until right at the last minute so I had to come up with an idea that was going to work first time. While I was pondering what to do I was staring out of the studio window from where I can see a bit of the woodland that surrounds the area. The sky was that heavy pinky grey colour that promises rain (we’ve already had a ton of the stuff), the branches of the bare tree were stark against the backdrop and a few birds sat huddled together against the elements.

The earthy tones of Rebekah’s seemed to work with this image so I starting picking out some beads that I thought would work with the theme. I settled on a little grey bird by fellow AJE team mate Caroline Dewison along with some Czech glass flower beads. I made a focal pendant by wiring the focal and bird bead together with stainless steel wire and a russet crystal accent bead and hanging it from an antiqued silver ring. I wire wrapped the flower beads and added these to a length of chain attached to the bottom of the focal.

I was really happy with this and finished the necklace very simply by adding a length of leather lacing from Smitten Beads wrapped with more stainless steel wire. The necklace is extra long and slips over the head without the need of a clasp – very casual and very easy to wear.

I love the contrast of the flower beads – they give a watery effect to the piece and the stainless steel has that rain grey feel. I think it captures those wintry colours really well. What do you think….?

To see what the rest of the AJE team and our guests have designed with their component just click on the links below.

Happy hopping!
Lesley

Guest Designers:
Ann – Bead
Love
Melissa – Bead Recipes


AJE Team:
Karen – Starry Road Studio
Kristen – My Bead Journey
Susan – Sue
Beads
Rebekah – Tree Wings Studio
Caroline – BlueberriBeads

AJE Component of the month – November Reveal

The components we got to work with for this months challenge were a pair of the beautiful beaded beads made by the AJE ‘Queen of Seeds’ Kristen Stevens…

I chose a pair of lovely cinnamon coloured beads but I was also fortunate enough to do a little bead swap with Kristen so I actually received a whole selection of beads in beautifully coordinating tones and, because they went so beautifully with one of my patinated bronze leaf connectors I decided to use some of these too.

The beads reminded e of hedgerow fruits in various stages of ripeness and I wanted to try and portray that sense of abundance your get when everything is coming to fruition. I decided on a double strand necklace and combined Kristen’s beads with a selection of matching Czech glass, including some gorgeous vintage bronze faceted glass barrels.

The back of the necklace is made up of 2 strands of farfalle beads in a dark aubergine and olive green and a handmade bronze wire clasp. the final touch is a tiny flower bead hung from the bottom of the leaf connector.

I apologise for the photos not being the best in the world…for some reason I had great difficulty getting ‘unfuzzy’ photos and I can only put it down to my broken ankle…that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

I hope you’ll join us in our little blog hop to see what the rest of the team and our guest artist did with Kristen’s wonderful beads.

Special Guest
Alice Alice Dreaming
AJE Team
Lesley