I received generous sample packets from each of the beads you see here...big spools, bicones, rondells, flowers, tiny discs, larger textured discs, and more!
Even though I initially had enameling in mind, I knew that the soldered and plated beads would not stand up to much torching, plus the enamel tends to flake off on plated beads. I did experiment, though, and was able to successfully enamel a few of them!
I created 2 pairs of earrings, and 1 long necklace for the challenge.
This pair was started by dapping the larger disks...they domed very nicely. I had previously experimented on enameling some of the tiny discs, and these were fairly successful and the color turned out lovely! I decided to cold-connect them with balled copper headpins that I swirled around in the back to hold them in place. They turn and move around a bit, but I like that. The 4mm beads used with the flowers and embellishing the earwires were part of the sample pack and are very versatile.
For the necklace, I wanted to incorporate as many of the copper components as I could...for the focal pendant, I used one of the huge brushed bicones. The holes are pretty big, so I added a couple swarovskis to stopper them up! Dangling below is an enameled component created from the 2 sizes of discs. I included a 2nd similar component in the body of the necklace. I dapped some of the tiny discs to use as bead caps for the pretty lampwork beads I got from Karen Kordan , then tied it all together with some pretty czech glass flowers, a resin "grace" charm I made, and a copper toggle clasp, also made by me.
All my pieces are oxidized, since I love that well-loved, vintage-like patina. The components took the liver of sulfur well, and polished up nicely in my tumbler.
I would say my favorites were the 2 sizes of discs, especially the tiny ones - they were so versatile. I also liked the "flower" beads and the tiny rounds. I didn't get a chance to use the big "spool" beads, but noticed on the blog that other designers have! Go and check out the other designs that were created for the challenge - they are all gorgeous! I think Dave is going to pick a winner this week...wish me luck!
Thanks again, Dave, for the chance to create something with these awesome components! I had fun :)