The first necklace is made using a technique I first debuted with my Bonsai necklace in the Creative Jewelry 2010 magazine. The gorgeous bird pendant from Spirited Earth dangles from copper chain beneath a wooden twig. I then used two more of Nan's ceramic beads (wrapping one in copper wire), a vintage copper bead, some matte green glass, and a tiny little copper bird. To keep the necklace light and airy, I left the top portion bare of beads.
The second necklace I'm quite proud of because when I first saw the pendant, I had no idea how I was going to do it justice. It's very pale, with a delicate wash of color that I was afraid of overwhelming. For a long time I pondered over what beads I could use -- should I stick with ceramic in the same natural tone or use dark brown cording? What about all silver, perhaps a unique chain?
And then it hit me one night while I battled insomnia -- why not play up that blush of persimmon pink? After that, the rest fell into place with rapid speed.
Padparadsha and olivine Swarovski crystals, used in moderation, picked up the hints of salmon pink and olive green in the ceramic pendant. Branches were on my mind from the last necklace, so I chose a silver branch, punching an extra hole in it for an asymmetric bead dangle. Natural wood matched the color palette of the pendant, and I found some lotus blossom findings in a back drawer that only needed some holes drilled in them to make the perfect links.
During my recent weekend retreat with Cindy Wimmer, I learned her trademark bead wrap technique and decided to try it with the 8mm crystals. I'm still working out the kinks and haven't gotten it down perfectly, but I like how things turned out! (Thanks, Cindy!) I oxidized things, buffed it, and there you have it!
My last piece is my do-over piece.
Have you ever found that if you're just the tiniest shade of color off, it becomes HUGELY obvious? Well, that's what I was running into when I decided to work with Nan's blue flower pendant. I used a strand of natural milky aquamarine and bright Bali silver and put this together:
And it bugged me.
Once again, I had a night of insomnia, and this necklace crept into my mind. What did I do wrong? Well, for one thing, the elegance of the aquamarine and bright silver just didn't go with the earthiness of the pendant. It all felt off-kilter. I knew as soon as I had the chance I was going to have to take this apart and start from square one. As I finally drifted off to sleep, it hit me -- sodalite and amazonite. Of course!
Don't you think this is SO much better? Once again, I used Cindy's wire wrap technique, oxidized and buffed the wire (oh wow that takes a long time!) and then sat back to admire the finished necklace. I'm very, very pleased with this one and hope it finds a happy, loving home!
So there you have it. Three Cups of Soup (and one that had to get reheated). What did I learn?
One, I shouldn't underestimate myself. I didn't think I'd be able to tackle pendant #2 but I feel I did it justice.
Two, I shouldn't be afraid to start over. I'm the owner, designer, and chief bottle washer of this business, so *I* get to say when something is finished.
And lastly, I should embrace new tools and techniques, even if I've previously never used the tool or considered the technique too time-consuming. I've had three different metal punches languishing in my tool box begging to be used, and now that I made myself use one, I feel more comfortable reaching for it. I love the way oxidized silver looks, but have avoided it because the finishing is so time-consuming. That mindset just isn't conducive to spreading my creative wings.
And I want to fly.
And I want to fly.
A big thanks to Nan Emmett of Spirited Earth for her ceramic pendants and beads, and also to Cindy Wimmer of Sweet Bead Studio for teaching me the wire technique!
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