Component of the Month REVEAL!

So, as I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been so crazy busy that I missed the announcement from my Art Jewelry Elements peeps that the reveal date for this month’s Component of the Month had been pushed up a day. I had an initial moment of panic and scrambled trying to figure out how I could get caught up – but then I threw up my hands and just accepted the fact that I was going to be a day late with my contribution. It is what it is.

This month, Kristi Bowman-Gruel gave us these stunning copper ammonite focals to work with.

I had the great pleasure of meeting Kristi in person and seeing a little of her work process during this year’s Metal Retreat so I know how much thought and care and work goes into making them.

Kristi loading the kiln at Metal Retreat 2013

Several of the folks who participated in this month’s Component challenge got very creative about how they used these focals – in particular, I was really impressed with Jen Cameron’s brooch. But I knew I wanted a bracelet and I knew it needed to be chunky to balance the size of Kristi’s focal. Here’s what I came up with.


My studio is packed up at the moment, getting ready to move to the new location (and YES I AM EXCITED ABOUT THAT!!), so this wasn’t an easy project. I kept wishing for something I couldn’t find. But thankfully my beads and chain haven’t been packed up yet, so I was able to pull out the perfect blue stoneware bead and a pretty opalescent Czech glass bead for the dangle.


I added some jump rings in two sizes to the bottom of the stoneware bead just for movement and interest. I dug out some of the sari silk that my Bead Soup Blog Party partner, Michelle, sent me (she’s a participant this month too!) – the color matches the patina on this focal almost exactly and I like the way its texture plays off the focal’s texture. I added lengths of copper rolo chain in two sizes.

I also went with an asymmetrical design, which is really unusual for me. I think part of it was that I can’t find my heavy gauge copper wire, so I had to come up with some way to connect all the elements to the focal. I twisted 20 gauge wire and created twisted jump rings – the three on the open side will hold the clasp eventually.


I tried several different clasps on this bracelet and didn’t like any of them. When my heavy wire shows up, I think I’ll do an embellished S clasp which will have enough visual heft to match the rest of the bracelet. Other than the clasp, I am delighted with how this turned out!

Don’t miss the rest of the participants – there’s some very cool stuff to see, so head over to the AJE site for the full list.

8 replies
  1. Shirley Moore
    Shirley Moore says:

    Ooh, Francesca! Yes, color me jealous that even with all your supplies packed up, you still came up with a gorgeous design. Love the dangles, and the twisted jump rings. You rock, my friend!

  2. Kristi
    Kristi says:

    Wow Francesca, I really love it!! I’m so happy you could participate with all you have going on and sorry the change in date threw everybody off. It’s stunning and so worth the wait. Thank you!!

    • Francesca
      Francesca says:

      Kristi, I am so glad you like it! I felt terrible about the confusion, especially since I flaked out on last month’s COM. My life has just been in runaway busy mode. I’m crazy about how this turned out and am looking forward to wearing it when my copper wire resurfaces!! LOL! Thanks for sharing such beautiful components with us. <3

  3. Michelle Buettner
    Michelle Buettner says:

    What a stunner!! I really do love how the Sari silk plays off the texture of the pendant and using two different sizes of chain makes it visually appealing (IMHO!) and the twisted jump rings and dangles, well, they’re just perfect! Glad you were able to get this up today – Congrats on all the wonderful things you have in the works. You’ve definitely been a busy, busy girl!

    • Francesca
      Francesca says:

      Yeah, girl – you’re responsible for turning me on to using sari silk more and more. I really love it. And that color was perfect for this focal, right?? Glad you like it and thanks for the good wishes – you should TOTALLY plan a trip to Texas for a visit so we can have a play date!! 🙂


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