Instead of our usual AJE component of the month we decided to change thing up this month and challenge ourselves to break into our art bead stashes and design something around a piece (or two, or three…) by one of our team mates. We also gave away some pieces for guest designers and we are joined by some of our readers who have also raided their collections for AJE beads.
My original plan was to make something for every member of the team but what with the madness that January has been that turned out to be wishful thinking but, I did manage to make five pieces. I’m going through a bit of a ‘less is more’ phase at the moment and I’ve kept all my design fairly simple to let the focal pieces shine.
First up is a necklace using a mixed media focal I got from Melissa Meman in a swap at Bead Fest last year. This handmade copper bezel is set with a vintage butterfly illustration set in resin with silver loops and I think it’s utterly charming.
perfectly some metal dipped Greek ceramic beads to continue the mixed
metal theme. These were all put together with my favourite double link
chain from The artisan Bead Company, some silver jumps and a little
silver clasp I made. A Thai silver flower charm and some Czech leaves
suspended from the bottom of the focal add a final flourish. I’m really
happy with this as it’s just the sort of thing I would wear.
My second design is a pair of earrings using beads made by Jen Cameron, very simply wire wrapped in sterling silver with chain fringing and hand made ear wires. I patinated these with LOS (liver of sulphur) and left them quite dark to give a cool, steely and elegant appearance but they’re a bit of a pain to photograph.
Next up I chose a ceramic feather focal set by Karen Totten. I love Karen’s beads and usually all I want to do with them is hang them on a simple leather cord or chain because they convey so much on their own. In this case I wire wrapped the set in copper and suspended it from a necklace strung with toning seed beads interspersed with textured copper beads and finished with a hand forged clasp.
length with a double strand or long with a single strand and the round
bead has a different pattern on each side – four for the price of one!
This next pair of earrings came about from a fortuitous meeting of beads while I was pulling things out to decide what to make. Kristen Steven’s beaded beads landed next to Sue Kennedy’s lampwork headpins and perfectly accented the reactive glass striations. A bit of wire wrapping and some hand made ear wires and job done.
Last but not least is a longer length necklace using a ceramic vessel bead by Caroline Dewison. I’ve started designing with this a couple of times but never got it to work properly. I think my current mood for keeping things simple and streamlined helped with this one as this focal really does speak for itself. I wrapped copper wire around the neck of the vessel to create a bail, wrapped a couple of toning lampwork beads and attached these to some ball chain.
Just to add a bit of textural variation I added what I thought were solid
copper crimp covers at points along the chain but after tumbling I
discovered these were fact copper plated brass. Hey ho – these things
So there you go – I got six of my team mates in and I’m aiming to pay tribute the rest of them in the near future – thanks to each and every one of you for your awesome talent. I hope you’ll now join me on our little blog hop to see what everyone else has made using the links below.