Wednesday, June 10, 2009

DSN 2009, Part II - Creation and Innovation

by Liz Stewart of Lush Beads

(Part I in this series is here.)

Now that I have gathered some pieces together, it is time to pick out my materials and get to work designing something!

I decided to use the chain and the rusty ring in my piece. I sprayed Krylon on both to seal them and keep them from degrading. I then went through my stash of beads, findings, and fibers, and pulled out some materials that might work well together.
I found some chunks of dyed blue coral, some blue and rust fiber strands, some dark blue 20 gauge wire, and some matte metallic blue iris seed beads. My initial thoughts were to create a multi-strand piece incorporating the chain, the fiber strands, and the pieces of coral wire-wrapped together.

As I started to wire-wrap the coral together, I realized that this would result in a very short necklace! The chain piece was also pretty short. I added a wire wrap to the end of the chain, with the intent of joining the coral there and continuing the wrap up to the clasp. I put that idea aside and instead wove the fibers in and out of the chain to give the chain a softer look. I cut the fibers long so that they would make up the bulk of the back side of the necklace. The wire-wrapped coral strand can be made the same length as the chain, so I will join them together with a few wire wraps and attach both to the fiber strands.

As you can see in the photo below, I had a 5th piece of coral that I was going to use but it split in half when I put the wire through it. I did glue it back together, and decided not to use it in this project. I will use it in something else.
I planned to use the rusty ring as a pendant, so I got to work beading a bezel around it with the seed beads. I considered embellishing the bezel to make it more fancy, then decided against it. I wanted the ring itself to be the showcase, not the beading around it.
I will add more wire-wrapping to join the 2 coral segments together, put the pendant in the middle, and finish the fiber ends with bead cones and a clasp.

Next week, I'll show off the finished piece and the rest of the Dirty Smelly Noisy exhibit! The exhibit runs through the month of June in the loading dock at the Western Avenue Studios in Lowell. It is an open exhibit, so come by any time between 10 and 5 to browse!

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