Welcome, welcome! The party is already in full swing with the first reveal group, the second group today and next weekend will bring a third and final installment this time. This is the brainchild of Lori Anderson of Pretty Things, I’m sure you are all familiar with this wonderful concept, for full details check out What is the Bead Soup Blog Party? With over 500 participants you would be hard pressed not to find some inspiration in all these collaborations. With that great volume in mind lets get going!
My partner this round is Cindy Ritchie, a lampwork artist with great style – just check out her Simply Cindy shop! Cindy sent a soup full of dreamy, seemingly colour-shifting glass and treasures. Here’s a little reminder
My first piece to come to fruition used the little purple (sometimes amber) glass bird. She has the most charming little face I wanted to be able to see her so I turned her into a ring. I wanted it to appear as if she had just landed for a sip of water from a little puddle.
A commercial sterling band became the base for a silk worm cocoon I cut, emptied, and filled with polymer which holds the embedded sterling legs of the bird - which become the wings and lock her in place. I experimented with very thin polymer wing sections but it blocked too much light. This bird sings with light filtering in from all sides and reflecting from the silver “waters” beneath. A few more angles:
Next, thinking of my little bird, I decided she had escaped from a cage using, what else, but that gorgeous key that Cindy elevated from utility to art. The cage is made from a sewing bobbin base with a wire frame that I fiddled with forever before getting it to sit just how I wanted. The key can spin and it turns the empty roost inside the cage. To say I struggled trying to photograph this piece is an understatement. The colour scheme came together from the key and two of the melon beads that had more of the blue/purple flash. I created a translucent pearly pale green to complement the key and used Swellegant for the first time in creating the polymer keyhole/key shaped pieces.
The five polymer discs have a touch of iridescent violet powder to let them shimmer and are woven with irish waxed linen sit across the back of the neck.
Here it is on. Notice the little bird in the bottom right picture. The bigger of the two is shrink plastic before shrinking and, you guessed it, the little one sitting on the polymer disc has been shrunk. I was snapping away taking pictures before I noticed I had forgot to add them. The plan was to glue them since curing them on the polymer sounded a little risky for that long in the heat. Now I’m not so sure, maybe just one? maybe none?
I had another bead that could have easily been the focal also. The swirls of glass inspired me to try my hand at a Cellini spiral for the very first time. I had it in my head I wanted to use a tonal bead mix. Thank goodness I opted to use the mix as the biggest bead in the spiral, otherwise I would have never kept the pattern straight. But it wasn’t all rookie luck, in my attempt to include a lot of colour I ended up with a massive diameter so a long length was out of the question. A hop, skip and a jump and I ended up making a hair stick (uh, not using the same glass focal but another slimmer bead).
Ok so back to that focal and another try at a Cellini spiral I brought in the silk Cindy dyed and created some twisted polymer elements to keep the spirals going. You can see the original creation at the top right below. I liked the idea in theory but not so much in execution. I separated the elements and liked it so much better. My second Cellini spiral I sort of made up the ends of the tube to try and get a more round shape and the mykonos copper discs Cindy sent totally finish off the very simple version with it on a cable choker (below bottom right). The tea dyed silk is awaiting new inspiration.
Still with me? I’ve been bringing you along for the journey as the pieces came together. I was really trying to use every last bead and at this moment there are four other projects on my worktable. I’m going to take a bit more time with them, perhaps wrap them up in time for the third reveal. But I needed to turn my attention to the handcrafted, stamped clasp Cindy sent. I envisioned swooping banner type polymer elements to echo the shape and planned them to be a translucent blue with the glass melon beads at the “gather” points. I ended up a little off course and with somewhat of a circus feel.
This necklace became the exploration of a few polymer head pins, a polymer bail, some wire embedded polymer swags, and some thin sequin-esque polymer to make a chain section. In other words, a whole lot of fun all inspired by the two glass melon beads and clasp and capped off by a Jade Scott pendant that arrived in the mail at just the right moment. With it and the clasp oxidized it may look like the rest of the copper I added should be too. I'm torn though since there is copper leaf in the polymer, nice and bright copper. So for the moment this copper isn't sealed whilst I decide. Feel free to let me know what you think!
I just realized I have two pairs of earring I forgot to photograph so I will have those to share another day. Thank you so very much for visiting and reading this far! I swear I really did try to not chat so much. I can’t thank Lori and Cindy enough for this gift of beautiful beads and moreover beautiful inspiration!
Now, it’s time to go see what the rest of the second reveal crew brought together. Please hop on over to Lori’s second reveal post – special treat is the map that shows how one woman can conquer the world!