At long last, the third reveal of the 2013 Bead Soup Blog Party is here! We postponed it twice, due to the illness of our wonderful hostess Lori Anderson, and I am so excited to finally be able to share with you my first experience with this wonderful blog party.
This is my first time participating in the popular Bead Soup Blog Party, and I was paired up with the very wonderful Michelle Buettner, whose work I have admired since long before she became my BSBP partner. You can read more about the wonderful items she sent me in my first BSBP post and about the things I sent her in her first BSBP blog post. If you aren’t familiar with the BSBP, the idea is that partners send each other beads, a focal and a clasp (more if you want to) and each one has to make at least one piece from what they’re sent. I’ll admit that I am extremely excited to see what Shel created with the things I sent her!!
So without further ago, here’s my piece:
Most of the things that went into this necklace were part of the soup that Michelle sent me – I only used a few things out of my own stash. I was really nervous about using resin on the focal, because it’s one of two things we’re required to use out of the things we’re sent (the other is the clasp), so I had no idea what I’d do if I messed it up. But it all came together just fine – I stamped a small piece of scrap copper with the word “see” and captured it in resin in the open bezel on the focal. I was really, really happy with how it turned out. Then I made up chain links out of the clay beads and the Czech glass beads teamed up with the copper rounds and flower jasper rondelles. Between each of those links, I used three copper jump rings for substance and to keep the links from kinking. I finished the necklace with Michelle’s copper-plated chain, then added some of my own copper rolo chain for a little extra visual weight. I really love the two of them together! Michelle’s clasp rounds out the length, although at 35″, this is plenty long enough to go over the wearer’s head without a clasp.
Then I decided to try using some of the recycled sari silk from the soup as an accent. I have never used textiles in my work, because I’m concerned about colorfastness and durability, but I was determined to get over that fear this time! I paired up some deep chocolate brown silk with two short lengths of teal colored waxed linen cord (also from the soup! Michelle was so generous!) and knotted them randomly at the top or bottom of the larger link sections. I used my fingers to “shred” the silk and make it look a little more ragged and rustic – the pops of teal thread against the silk are pretty cool, and I can totally see myself using textiles in my pieces in the future.
The only bad moment I had was when I quickly dipped the finished piece into some Novocan black to take the shine off the copper wire and the copper rounds. The necklace was in there for just a second or two, but when I pulled it out, the dyes on the big clays beads was running. Oh no!! It never occurred to me that they hadn’t been sealed (lesson learned!) so I rinsed them thoroughly and quickly dried them off. Although I lost some of the original color, I sealed everything with Renaissance Wax and the more muted colors wound up working really well with the piece.
Finally, I made a pair of earrings using Michelle’s bead caps, head pins and fun ear wires, with the addition of two honey-colors glass beads.
These don’t “match” the necklace, but they are certainly complimentary and I love, love, love Michelle’s earwires!!
So there you have it – my first Bead Soup Blog Party! Head on over to Lori’s for a complete list of participants in this third reveal – there’s lots to see just by hopping around. But whatever you do, be sure to check out Michelle’s blog – I can’t WAIT to see what she came up with!!