Art Jewelry by Francesca Watson

What, again??!

I can’t believe it’s been a month since the last Component of the Month challenge over at AJE (and since I’ve posted here at all – sheesh)… and I was not the only one who was having a rough go of it this time around. The entire team has been hit hard with a number of personal things and we all agreed a few extra days would be useful, so we delayed the reveal to today.(Pssssst: I’m hosting the July Component of the Month – head over and see what I made up for everyone!)

And honestly, I am so glad we did, because June’s components were so special and I especially wanted to do mine justice. Linda Landig was this month’s hostess and she has been spending a lot of her focus on fulfilling a long-time desire to learn how to make ceramic components. She’s done an amazing job translating her years of experience in other mediums into this new one, and I was utterly smitten with the pretties she offered us.

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Aren’t they gorgeous?? As usual, I asked to be surprised… but I did hint that I really loved the leaf imprint stoneware pieces! Lucky me: Linda sent me the green leaf pendant piece in the top row!

I started out with one idea, involving green nylon cording, picasso finished Czech glass tab beads, and antiqued brass rondelles. The colors were perfect. But unfortunately, everything I came up with looked anemic and washed out. Nothing was clicking and there was no pop.

So yesterday morning, I ripped it all out and did this instead.

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Because my original design involved using cording in the holes, I cored them with brass eyelets to keep the cord from fraying. Thankfully, they worked just as well with the brass jump rings I had on hand.

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I had some sueded leather cording that was nearly exactly the same color as the stoneware Linda used for this pendant – and since I had started with brass, I decided to make wrapped brass stations to create some interest along the leather cord.

And people, let me tell you: those wrapped brass stations really kicked my badonkadonk.

First, brass is harder to work with than copper or sterling. Second, soft sueded leather cord isn’t prone to staying where you put it. It’s… floppy. Third, figuring out the best way to tuck in the work-hardened wire ends so they didn’t snag and would still look good and symmetrical was less easy than it sounded in theory.

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The other thing that kicked my butt was the leather ends. I originally planned for a Celtic button knot made with both strands on one side of the necklace. It looked horrible. Then, I did a single Celtic button knot and wrapped the other strand underneath it.

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It too looked…. suboptimal.

So I settled for a single Celtic button knot and wrapped both sides with brass wire stations. To one side, I added a very thick twisted brass jump ring and the button fits snugly through, lariat style.

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Much better.

(Of course, after I’d done all that work, I realized the necklace was long enough to slip over my head and didn’t really need a clasp. D’oh!)

Thank you, Linda, for the gorgeous component – I am so thrilled for this new artistic phase in your life and the way you are completely rocking it!!

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If you want to see what the other folks made, including a couple of guest artists, check out the links below.

Guests

Ann Schroeder

Mischelle Andrade Fanucchi

Therese Frank

AJE Members

Susan Kennedy

Diana Ptaszynski

Linda Landig

Lesley Watt

Melissa Meman

Caroline Dewison

Francesca Watson

Jenny Davies-Reazor

Rebekah Payne

Kristen Stevens

13 replies
  1. Linda Landig
    Linda Landig says:

    What a beautiful necklace Francesca! The neutral colors will go with so many things. I’ve used leather cording, but haven’t used leather lace. Who knew it would be so frustratingly floppy? But the necklace looks great. It doesn’t look at all like you fought with it! 😉 I love the brass cores you added. They really kick it up a notch. The brass wire stations echo the brass in the pendant cores and dress the whole thing up a lot. You did a great job. Thanks for playing along! <3

    Reply
  2. Ann Schroeder
    Ann Schroeder says:

    Wonderful necklace! I love the little touches you added like the cores and brass wire stations. Also, I always thought only I struggled with the floppiness when wire wrapping leather! The most interesting theme I’m seeing in this hop is how simple many of wanted to go with Linda’s pieces. To me, that means they are beautiful and stand up on their own. They don’t necessarily need more more to bring out their beauty.

    Reply
  3. Deb Fortin
    Deb Fortin says:

    simple is often the best way to go , and though your finished design looks simple , obviously it wasn’t technique -wise. again sometimes the case with simple ideas.

    I love the tiny eyelets you set into the pedant holes. such a small detail with such a large effect. you chose the right colour of leather to go with the pendant Linda made.

    I’ve done the some thing using a clasp on a necklace that didn’t require one but now you can pull it over your head even with poofy hair.

    Reply
  4. Keirsten
    Keirsten says:

    I love the simple design of this–perfect! The sort of monochrome/tone-on-tone with the leather really brings out the green leaf motif. The bright brass gives it a soft luminous quality–an unexpected contrast with the other more rustic elements. The eyelets are a great touch (I’m obsessed with eyelets and tube rivets myself.)

    Reply

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