Here is a peak at what Karyn sent me...
raw brass sunflower
raw brass leaves
carnelian calla lily beads
coral colored Swarovski pearls
tagua nut pendant
red bronze leaf hook clasp
orange colored wood ring
carved wood beads
8mm mahogany agate beads
I view each of the blog challenges that I sign up for as an opportunity to try something new. After all, the idea is to work outside of your comfort zone. I wanted to work from the heart, all while trying new design techniques. I envisioned creating a collar that opens in the front.
Here is my result...
I knew that I wanted to place leaves at each end of the collar, making that area the focal point. I formed the collar from 4mm wide aluminum. It was too soft to hold it's own, so I wrapped wire around it, all while adding in the leaves, beads and silver spacers. From the left, I started with the two small brass leaves, organic shaped silver spacers, then added in the carved wood beads, following with the agate beads and finishing with tiger eye pattern Czech crystals from my own bead collection. I finished with another one of the brass leaves Karyn sent me.
I felt the design was missing that oomph I was envisioning. I looked through my leaf collection (I have a bit of a leaf obsession) and found two larger brass leaves and a Vintaj brass leaf. I wire wrapped those elements in, sat back and took a deep breath. It was just what the design needed!
This is the first time I have ever created anything like this. It is also my first attempt at lengthy wire wrapping (almost 8 yards)!
I then created dangle earrings to match the necklace. I wanted to keep the design simple and modern.
My next plan was to create a bold accessory with the brass sunflower. I thought about making it the focal of a necklace but then realized that the best way to showcase it's beauty and boldness was to create a bracelet. I envisioned a cuff. Again, I was venturing into uncharted territory as I have never designed a cuff bracelet before.
I started with a 1/2" wide piece of raw brass that I purchased last summer at Old Forge Hardware during my annual Adirondack Mountain vacation (I absolutely love this store). I textured it with a ball peen hammer, then shaped it with a bracelet mandrel I recently purchased from Rio Grande.
My dilemma was how the heck was I going to attach the sunflower! I don't have any metalsmithing experience with brass, so that was out. I decided the best way to attach the two was via cold connection, aka rivets. I hammered the top of the rivets to help them blend in with the hammered pattern of the flower.
I wanted this piece to work in with the necklace and earrings that I created, so I decided to add some silver wire near the edges of the bracelet. It also added some weight to the ends, balancing out the heaviness of the sunflower.
So I had incorporated the focals and beads into designs, but had not yet made use of the gorgeous red bronze leaf clasp Karyn sent me. I knew that I wanted it to be the focal point of the design. I played around with some of the chain I recently ordered from Best Beads, with an idea to link in some of the o-rings. I acquired inspiration from Chain Style, a really wonderful book focusing on designing with chain.
This is the result...
And last but in no way least, I wanted to create a piece with the beautiful coral colored Swarovski pearls. The color reminds me of a tropical island or fruity rum drink (either one makes me smile)! I decided to create a dangle style bracelet as they are my favorite bracelets to wear in warmer weather...
This has been a creatively rewarding journey for me! Thank you for joining me.
Please visit the other participants, I know you will be inspired!...