Saturday, September 17, 2011

Around the World with 362 Jewelry Artists - Bead Soup September 2011

This is the third time I have participated in Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Party.  The first time BSP was held, I saw the list of participants who had already signed up and was too intimidated.  The next time I just held my breath when I clicked the send button and hoped for the best.  Here I am a couple of years later and I couldn't be happier that I decided to take up Lori's challenge and work outside my comfort zone.  The BSP has morphed into a worldwide event - 362 jewelry artists from 21 countries on 5 continents!  Check out the map.  You can click HERE to go see what Melissa made with the soup I sent her which included a flower pendant from Tracee Dock of Classic Bead.
a little teaser from my partner Melissa Muir
soup arrives and is full of bright silver and copper beads

The gorgeous pendant with a sparkling cz set in silver
I loved my soup when I got it because playing with metal offers so many opportunities.  Even though I thought it might make Melissa gasp and maybe even sputter - I couldn't wait to patina the copper and silver beads.  Then I set off to design a piece of bead embroidery to hang behind the pendant and set it off.
lots of ideas I didn't end up using
I was inspired by some votive cups with Moorish designs against bright orange, green, and fushia glass.  I found some sari silk and attached it to a backing and began embroidering berry hued beads.  But something wasn't clicking with me.  I tried a couple bead woven designs, but these were also not a fit.  Then I went to wrapping beads.  Some silver, some bright stones, and a couple lampwork beauties by Julianna Cannon of Juls Beads. These lovelies are going to become a bracelet with the addition of some suede and a couple of juicy copper love knots.

Finally I decided I needed to go with wirework.  This was more in keeping with the swirls on the votives which were my original inspiration.  The pendent started reading as the negative space in a keyhole.  I drew up a few patterns.  The first one above is a little too holly leaf.  It actually only took two tries with a spool of steel wire and I was satisfied.
I formed my keyhole and added some tiny beads to the sides for a little weight.  I didn't want to distract from Melissa's pendant - just frame it with something.  I made some dangles - from a stick of dyed howlite, a tiny sterling silver key, a Swarovski 4mm, and one of the star shaped pearls from the bead soup.  Then I got to wrapping and making loops.  I dug out an large vintage clear crystal with a beautiful color filled sparkle, an aquamarine piece of cut glass, and a strand of something dyed to look like impression jasper.  
To see what the other 362 participants (¡WOW!) made, click on the link below to go to the Official Bead Soup Party page at Lori Anderson's Pretty Things blog.