UPDATE: I've completed the rounds to all the participants, it only took me 9 hours over a 2 day period! I really enjoyed visiting all your creations and hope to do this again soon! (there are still 6 that haven't posted yet and I will return to view yours too!).
The day has finally come for the unveiling! I've been telling you for weeks now about my participation in Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Swap who got the idea from Heather Powers of Art Bead Scene.
Lori decided to put one together, not expecting the huge turnout! I'm sure it's been quite an undertaking for Lori coordinating this for the past month and a half and I stand and applaud her! When all was said and done we had 84 participants in our Swap! Jewelers from all around the world, both professional and amateur answered the invitation to join in the swap and participate in the party.
Each person got matched up with a partner that mostly worked in a different medium than the other partner. Lori made over 40 matches, wow! Some contacted their partners and asked what they might like, others had pre-gathered their soup and sent it out when they got their partners name. I think everyone had great anticipation while waiting for their packages to arrives. Some sent the essentials that were required some lots more but all were interesting stretching each participant to work with components not chosen by themselves in this artistic endeavor. Many also posted to the Flickr group Lori started so we could see what each one sent and received and speculate on how they would interpret them into a creation all their own.
Well today is the day we've all been looking forward to, the PAR-TAY! This is where we all reveal the creations we've been working on so diligently since receiving our soup ingredients.
I will keep this short since you have lots of other blogs to visit so I will let the pictures tell the story, from the package I received, to the steps I recorded along the way, to my finished piece.
What was required in the mix each participant sent was the following:
~ A focal
~ Some coordinating spacers or beads
~ A special clasp (not just a lobster claw)
This is the pretty package I got from my partner Boot~C aka Jayne, please stop by her blog to see what she made with my bead soup ingredients I sent her.
I pondered over this mix for days wondering what to cook up with my soup. Played around with the pieces to get some ideas and kept drawing a blank.... I think I was trying too hard, over-thinking it.
Jayne had put together a similar mix and made a necklace with it and posted to the group Flickr pool so I didn't want to make something so similar, so I put it on the back burner to 'stew'. Then one night sitting in Borders sipping coffee and looking through some magazines and books it suddenly came to me. I love how that works. You look at a piece and get a totally different design pop into your head using the components you were trying to get to come together. I wonder if it's looking at others works that somehow frees our wheels to turn without us realizing it? I guess it takes our focus off what we are trying so hard to do and taking in what others have made that allows our subconscious to keep working on it. Anyway I quickly made a sketch then and there in the coffee shop in my little Ideas notebook I keep with me and when I sat down at my work table to get it going I actually followed my sketch pretty much to a 'T'. Sometimes my drawings are only stepping stones to the end product but this one worked so well it didn't need much tweaking... except for positioning and doubling the wire on the perch and adding some feet to the little bird to balance on.
Here are the steps I took to make some of the components given in my soup into a 'conglomerate' focal. You can click on the photo to get a larger view, but hit the back button to come back to this page. I used the piece of bamboo for the perch and added a twisted wire bail to complete it.
Now I had to figure out how to showcase this focal. I thought since the focal was a rather large 'focal' point I didn't want to distract from it with competing large beads so I sadly had to put aside the green beads Jayne sent. She couldn't remember what these were but I think I have identified them as Aventurine. Since green is my favorite color I wanted to do something with them so after the necklace was completed I made this bracelet.
I added some Sea Blue faceted quartz beads and used the silver beads Jayne had included as well as a few coordinating ones from my own stash. I like the raw natural shape of the Aventurine next to the faceted blue quartz, it makes a great contrast and can go casual or dressy. (to those following the Magic Carpet ride this is the "Something Green" I am giving away! ) :)
I think I went through every bead box and bowl I have and settled on using gray and peacock potato freshwater pearls in two sizes and rough cut faceted Labradorite. I had originally wanted to use the beautiful leaf clasp on the side but after assembling the focal I felt it would be too much. I was also going to do an asymmetrical look
with one strand on one side and three on the other but felt it would be too distracting and take away from the focal instead of enhancing it. Less is better, so I went with a mixture of silver bugle beads, the various sized freshwater pearls and the Labradorite ovals. To tie it all in with the focal I added two of the larger pearls of two different shades to the bead 'egg' in the nest.
So without further ado I present: "Swinging on a Breeze"
To follow the party Check out Lori's Party post here and take some time to visit all the mysteries revealed in Bead Land!