Monday, October 22, 2012

Forest Fantasy Mixed Media Art Charm Necklace

Lovely Em models the completed necklace.
A couple of months ago, a dear family friend asked if I could please create an "over-the-top mixed media necklace with art charms, in forest green, deep blue, and plum purple."
Tierra Cast toggle with seed bead/faceted Czech glass bead section.
Though I don't do many necklaces in general, and it has been AGES since I've done any mixed media work (I've been really focusing on my lampwork beads lately), I couldn't bear to tell her "no can do." So I pulled stuff from my stash, took pics and sent them to her to see if I was on the right track...and I was.
Pressed glass flower dangles and upcycled necklace chain.
But inspiration was elusive - I knew I had *most* of the elements I needed, but what about the design? I didn't have a clue where to start, and it felt like something was missing anyway, so what's a girl to do? Go on an inspiration hunt, that's what!
Ribbons and recycled (fair trade!) sari silks wrapped with 19 ga. annealed steel wire & connected to upcycled necklace chain.
The center of the ribbon section features one of my lampwork beads strung onto the blue and green sari ribbons - I love how this turned out, and I think I'll make more lampwork beads with holes big enough to fit multiple ribbons. :)
The other end of the ribbon section - also finished with a wrap of my beloved 19 ga. annealed steel wire
Poring through my stash of jewelry magazines and surfing my favorite jewelry sites, I found some mixed media necklaces I liked. Made rough sketches of my favorites...and then I really looked at them. As I didn't want to copy someone else's work, I decided to focus only on my favorite element of each piece.
The center of the necklace front - how it all comes together.
I made a list and rough sketches of each of those favorite elements, pulled the ingredients from my stash, ordered a bird connector from Bello Modo, and then started laying things out, playing with texture and color, and trying to get it just right.
The charm cluster: custom art charm by C. Hansen using Vintaj Arte Metal blank, Vintaj patinas, paper, chalks, & sealer; one of my lampwork hearts, one of Peg's sparkle-icious dichroic glass cabochons, a cute little beach stone, and more of the adorable pressed glass flower drops.
Once I started placing components here and there, the necklace came together amazingly fast - it was one of those takes-forever-to-get-rolling/comes-together-at-light-speed things.
Bead links made with 19 ga. annealed steel wire, Czech seed beads, and Czech glass beads.
I'm *really* pleased with how it turned out, and even better, my client LOVES it! win/win!

The bird connector was originally brass-tone, but that didn't work with the color scheme, so I used my new Vintaj patinas on it - love the results! (I *need* Vintaj patinas in lots more colors!)
Now that I've gotten my feet wet with this design concept, I think I'll try making more mixed media pieces using this strategy. Stay tuned for pics!
The view from the other side. Please ignore the messy kitchen counter!
How the charm cluster hangs when it's worn.
Another view of the whole necklace.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Last Call for 2012!

Strung Lanyards 101 by C. Hansen (class samples)
In order to spend more time at the torch making lampwork beads (yay!), I've decided to cut back on my teaching schedule (boo!).

As a result, next Sunday, October 21, 2012, will be your last opportunity until 2013 to take Strung Lanyards 101 and/or Wild Wire Mixed Media Pendant.

Wild Wire Mixed Media Pendants by C. Hansen (class samples)
Both classes take place at Shipwreck Beads in Lacey, WA: Strung Lanyards runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Wild Wire runs from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

I'm also offering a new class this year, the Chain Reaction Necklace, a combination of chain and bead links. This versatile design can also be worn as a lanyard or an eyeglass holder. The Chain Reaction Necklace class will take place at Shipwreck Beads on Saturday, November 3, 2012, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Chain Reaction Necklaces by C. Hansen (class samples)
Any of these projects make wonderful gifts, and it's early enough in the season that you can actually start (and finish!) these lovely pieces in plenty of time for holidy gift-giving.

Read on to learn more about these classes. Register for classes with Shipwreck Beads - by phone at (360) 754-2323 or (800) 950-4232, or online:

Strung Lanyards 101:
Student work, Strung Lanyards 101 

If you wear a badge, the Strung Lanyards class is for you.
Student work, Strung Lanyards 101 

If you like wearing a lovely necklace, piled with art charms, the Strung Lanyards class is for you.
Assymetrical Art Charm Necklace by C. Hansen, lampwork glass beads, vintage sheet music bead, lampwork glass heart, etched metal art charm, and embossed collage art charm, all by C. Hansen 

If you wear eyeglasses, the Strung Lanyards class is for you. (Leave off the badge, and use the center link to hold your eyeglasses.)
Student work, Strung Lanyards 101 
Geared for beginners and beyond, we'll combine heavy beading wire, your favorite beads, and a generous portion of bead soup to make a gorgeous functional necklace. Skills covered include planning and layout, stirring up a delicious bead soup, stringing and crimping. Class fee is $25 (class fee will increase in 2013).

Wild Wire Mixed Media Pendant:
Wild Wire Mixed Media Pendant by C. Hansen for Bead Soup Blog Party
I took part in the Bead Soup Blog Party last year, and was really stumped when my partner sent me a gorgeous bamboo agate focal to work with. Until then, I hadn't worked much with stones, precious, semi-precious, or otherwise, and just did not have a clue where to begin.
Student work, Wild Wire Mixed Media Pendant
After banging my head on my bead table a few times, I came up with this wild wire wrap. I was so thrilled with the results, and knowing that Shipwreck has a fantastic selection of stones to work with, I decided to offer this class.
Student work, Wild Wire Mixed Media Pendant
The wire-wrapped focal can be enjoyed as a pendant or one could use it as an ornament - perhaps a seasonal decoration, or something year-round, hanging in a window or maybe even suspended as a fan pull?
Student work, Wild Wire Mixed Media Pendant
Another beginner-friendly class, Wild Wire students use basic wire working skills, two gauges of wire, a handful of coordinating beads, and improvisational style to embellish a large focal pendant and create a bail for use as a pendant or an ornament.
Student work, Wild Wire Mixed Media Pendant
Once you get the hang of it, this project goes fairly fast, so we may be making 2-3 pendants/ornaments in class. Class fee is $35.
Student work, Wild Wire Mixed Media Pendant

One of the hottest looks right now is chain combined with bead links. In this class, you'll learn how to create bead links and join them with chain segments for an easy, stylish necklace that showcases your favorite pendant, it can also be worn as a lanyard or an eyeglass chain.
Chain Reaction Necklace with etched copper tag and lampwork glass heart, all by C. Hansen, class sample
Skills covered include planning and layout, working with wire and jump rings, and creating bead links. Quantities of supplies will depend upon supplies selected; e.g. if you select large focal beads, you may only need 6 total large beads, or if you decide to alternate large focals with smaller accent links, you'll need a few more accent beads and spacer beads. Please make sure all beads will fit 18 gauge wire. Class fee is $35.
Chain Reaction Necklace by C. Hansen, class sample