Blessed Bead Jewelry Explorations in Glass, Polymer, Gemstones and Metal
Monday, April 25, 2011
Mixed Media Explorations Rich in Color
I have done a little work in chain maille using neon colored aluminum jump rings and combining them with faux dichro and natasha polymer pendants. I decided to do further explorations with aluminum and copper wire in neon colors in order to improve my wire jewelry skills before foraying into sterling silver, since the price of sterling silver has jumped to 2.5 times the price I was paying last spring.
My first piece started out with a polymer pendant in canework coupled with a very intricately patterned heart veneer. The canework resulted in something reminiscent of the mola work in fabrics by the Cuna Indians in Panama. I will explore this idea further in later explorations, because I really liked the results. At any rate, I made a rather large focal pendant and two matching earrings using the "mola" canes and some very intricately patterned clay that resulted as a by-product of the cane work. I had some scrap clay in a similar mauve and purple color combo from some mokume gane work done several years ago and decided to make some Pandora style beads with this veneer to include in the piece. I also purchased some multi-colored faceted glass beads (also Pandora Style) to round out the bead selections for the necklace. I wanted to tie the entire piece together with some fuchsia colored aluminum wire and some fuchsia and purple jump rings. The beads were strung on the wire and then I added matching coiled wire that I spiralled around the bead groups for a playful, kinetic feel. Each bead group was connected to the rest of the necklace with rosettes in the purple and fuchsia jump rings. I added a matching toggle clasp to finish off the necklace. People really seem to like this set. It gets a lot of compliments.
Next came a necklace creation for my cousin, who loves dark pinks and magentas. I decided to do something a little different for her, so I made a necklace chain using 16 gauge fuchsia colored wire with double undulating links ending in a bib using multiple shades of pink, mauve, magenta and purple in two styles of glass bead with purple fresh water pearls as accents. I added some matching aluminum jump rings to the bottom row for a little added jiggle just to make it more fun. The matching earrings used the chain links with one row repeated from the bib in a triangle shaped dangle on french earwires.
The next exploration was done with aurora borealis crystal beads in a topaz color with pink and blue lights. I coupled the big beads with blue and pink swarovski crystals and used pale rose colored copper wire to link each of the beads together. I made matching earwires for non-pierced ears to the set for a complete look. Even if you have pierced ears, you might like these earwires, since the big focal beads could be rather heavy for a pierced earring.
Next came a bracelet with green copper wire bent into abstract geometric shapes accented with small green and white striped glass beads. The wire was hammered gently with a plastic mallet to harden and stiffen the shapes and the clasp is adjustable with a spiral "eye" that gets hooked by the last wire shape on the opposite end of the bracelet.
Finally, I made a study in purple and dark red with a polymer focal pendant, all strung on purple copper wire. This jewelry set incorporates all of the wire wrapping techniques, including wrapped wire looped bead connectors, coiled wire, wire wrapping on a pendant, a matching hook clasp in twisted purple and fuchsia wire, chain maille rosetts, and even weaving wire components through the chain maille! It is dripping in glass beads and pearls, swimming in swarovskis, and all in all, is a stunning color-drenched art necklace with matching non-pierced earwires.
Next up, non-tarnish silver, gold and copper wire creations coming soon!