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.
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.