just in time for lunch! It is definitely soup weather here in MD today! You might break a tooth on this soup, it is so chunky!
What is bead soup? Well, Lori Anderson has hosted a Bead Soup Blog Party for the last couple years...I believe this is the 4th one...I have participated in all of them and this is the biggest by far...362 jewelry artists swapped beads (the mix had to contain a focal and a nice clasp) and each set out to create pieces utilizing what was sent.
This year I was paired with Mary Ellen Parker from BeeTreebyne. She sent a gorgeous soup mix in lovely autumn colors, complete with one of her signature polymer clay leaf pendants. Here is a reminder of the raw mix, to use as a before shot.
I knew immediately that I would make a necklace since that pendant is so huge! I also knew I would be using copper wire in some way to pull it together. My quandary was over how to hang the gorgeous leaf...I mean I could just put that on a copper chain and call it a day and it would be beautiful...but that's not what this challenge is all about!
I created a sort of bail out of 16g copper wire...it was supposed to be 2 smaller leaves, but as my hubby graciously informed me, it turned out looking more like a pair of wings, which is okay too!
I used more copper wire and created swirly links with the fancy jasper nuggets. I enameled a couple of the smooth copper beads in sunset orange and embellished them with twisted copper wire, then for something different, made up some wire beads. Initially I was going to use the tiny swarovski crystals on thread and have a fiber element, but after playing around a bit with that idea, decided to take the crystals off the thread and combine them with 1mm copper beads and 1mm green agate beads I had in my stash, then wrapped them on with 26g copper wire.
Utilizing more 16g wire, I made a bunch of jump rings for the chain and to connect the other links...get ready for this, I actually sawed them!! and I didn't break a blade!
After oxidizing and tumbling, I added the pendant. But wait...there were some other elements Mary Ellen sent that I really loved, but didn't think worked in my necklace design.
I decided on a simple, but fun, chunky bracelet using the big faceted quartz beads. I added copper bead caps from my stash and some brushed copper rondells. To finish, I added some more of the copper jump rings I made and hammered out a swirly hook clasp. I really liked the look of the African brass leaf bead, so I used one of my enameled headpins to hang it as a charm on the end of the bracelet for balance.
Thanks, Mary Ellen, for sending such fun, beautiful, challenging soup mix! Thanks, Lori, for hosting this behemoth party! Thanks, readers, for stopping by and saying hello and leaving your thoughts and comments. It means so much to me, as I know it will to the other talented artists who participated in this blog hop, so go take a gander at what everyone else made and show them some bead soup love!
Click here to see the full list of participants!