|From Gray Girl Studios, a Bead Soup Party participant|
I had several reasons for developing the Bead Soup Blog Party, but one of them was to help push jewelry designers to work outside their comfort zones, if even just a little bit. Being paired with a person they may never have encountered online means they'll receive a small package of beads from the sending partner's stash. There are only two rules -- you must use the focal, and you must use the clasp.
|The pendant I made from the burgundy focal bead I received from Dee Gordon.|
|Toggle used by Lisa Liddy|
Other than that, it's a free-for-all. Each partner sends some accent beads, but whether THEIR partner uses them is up to them. My thought process was the beaders would mix both the beads they received from their partner AND the beads from their own stash, melding the two into a design that probably didn't look like their normal look -- or at least, tweaked their normal look to a different level.
|I received the focal as stamped, silver and brass metal with an oval. I glued in the crystals, added some gears and rivets -- completely and TOTALLY not my style, but I love it and I keep it on my mannequin in my office.|
To take a look at the soup sent to people and the things they made with them from the last two parties, click here. As the new party progresses, you'll see more soup photos get posted, so feel free to subscribe to the group to keep up with the beauty being posted.
How can you vicariously participate?
Dig through your beads. Look for things you haven't touched in months or even years. Let it sit on your beading table for a while as you make things you ARE comfortable with. Every now and then, hold that focal or those beads up against what you're working with. Do the colors suddenly look good together? Does it spark a silhouette you've not thought of? Does it make you think of yet another bead hidden away in the back of your bead bin?
Try it out. Cut out that picture at the top of this post and tape it to your bead area. You never know what might happen.
Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off. She's also a contributor to Art Bead Scene.