Friday, May 09, 2014

Bead Soup Blog Party: Dragonfly's Pond

My partner ChristieMurrow of Charis Designs Jewelry sent such a generous bead soup, it was a little difficult to know where to begin. I LOVE the focal and clasp, both from Havana Beads, one of Christie’s favorite local artists, and I knew I wanted to be able to see both on the front of the finished piece.

Christie’s soup included stone beads in pale pinks, which set off the smoky blue of the focal in an unexpected way, while the reddish brown tones of the accent beads pick up the rusty color in the toggle clasp’s glaze. Christie also included an assortment of silver beads, ivory pearls, and a couple of fun and funky blue beads.

From my stash came a few indicolite Swarovski crystals, short lengths of chain rescued from the thrift shop, and a handful of my own lampwork beads. It was *really* tricky to match the blue of the pendant, so I finally gave up on an exact match and just went with pretty blue beads in hues that complement the focal and bring to mind the dragonfly’s pond. I used a few of Christie’s silver beads, but left out the ivory pearls.
Figuring out a way to showcase the focal was the biggest part of the challenge for me. I don’t work often with pendants of this style (substantial, with a front-to-back hole), and was stumped for how to present it. Leafing through bead mags gave me a few ideas and I wound up making a bead link with one of my lampwork beads. Tiny dangles add movement to the focal and tie in colors from elsewhere in the piece.

From there, it was a matter of making a few more bead links, stringing some beads, and connecting the sections with chain, with careful attention paid to the overall length – with such a long pendant, I wanted to keep the necklace on the short side.
I’m really pleased with how the necklace came out. It was a joy to work with such a fresh-to-me color scheme, and I had a blast working with the lovely ceramic focal and clasp.

Christie, thank you for sending such a tasty bead soup, and Lori, as ever, thank you for being our fearless leader!

See what my partner Christie Murrow did with the beads I sent her:

To check out all of the other wonderful Bead Soup results, click on this link: