I've had these beads from Dawn White for a long time. I knew I had to have them, but didn't know quite what to do with them! I love the "stick" beads for the texture, and the black and white designs are just wonderfully done.
Then I realized I had a strand of center-drilled matte onyx in my drawer and pulled that out, and along with some White Opal Swarovski crystals, I was able to continue the basic pattern. Really, this is an incredibly simple stringing design, but I thought it best to wait for JUST the right accent beads to pull this together. And I like it!
These are very simple, too. It's all about the beads! The raku ceramic was made by Beads of Clay, and I didn't want to muck around with over-designing it. Brass bees were all the extra adornment these earrings needed.
I think a lot of jewelry designers worry about finding that awesome-cool-fantabulous design, but sometimes, just let the beads do the work. Choosing pretty beads is just as important a skill as knowing what and how much to do to them.
These beads were also made by Dawn White, and they're in my favorite colors! When I bought them, I knew I was going to make a cha-cha bracelet with them. It just came down to picking the right beads.
With lampwork beads like these, you have to keep in mind the shades of color and work to not have a color clash. I had at least ten different bags of pink beads on my table trying to not only match up shades, but to decide how much color, how deep a color, and how many shapes I should use. I like how it turned out.
This bracelet is an example of what to do to change a design from simple to one-of-a-kind cool. The square ceramic nuggets are lovely and colorful on their own, but they needed something -- some OOMPH. I added the gray polymer clay owl by Barbara Bechtel and a polymer clay imprinted charm by Swoon Dimples. For a little more, I added a hibiscus flower charm at the back of the pink charm. Because the bracelet incorporates a lot of colors and visual impact, I chose a simple toggle clasp.
Knowing when to STOP designing is sometimes hard!
These earrings are made with lampwork head pins from SueBeads and sweet matte silver lily blossoms. I've struggled with using lampwork head pins in a unique way, and one day they just ended up sitting next to the lily blossoms. PING, on went the light bulb. They fit inside perfectly, and I'm showing front and back.
The lesson here is sometimes a messy work space can bring the right beads together!
This is a long necklace (and I have yet to figure out how to take good "on the model" shots, darn it!). I used lampwork beads by JulsBeads, a "PEACE" ceramic bead by Diane Hawkey, and chain from Ad/Adornments. LOVE that there are Swarovski crystal pearls to match -- bonus! I added bleached wood and large pewter ovals, and found a very cool decorative lobster claw clasp at Hobby Lobby.
This is an example of my collecting random beads and holding onto them for just the right thing. I always have a big tray of "need to use" beads handy, and this design began with Jul's beads, then the pearls, and finally the ceramic bead.
This is, of course, from a big bowl of Bead Soup. I threw together colors, stirred, and then tried not to over-think it.
And finally, a clasp I made. I've been trying to work more with heavy-gauge wire, and this clasp is a result of that practice. I hammered it and oxidized it and there you go! I have to admit, I'm not quite sure how I made the Thai bead portion, but that's part of the magic of wire -- experimentation can bring good things!
I hope you enjoyed the eye candy -- I'll try not to make it such a long time between showings!
Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off. She is the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.