November 15, 2007

Collaboration Exploration 3 part one

Today I want to show you a new project that I have just finished! You may recall the Collaboration Exploration Project that I have done in the past few months. There was one in the Summer, and one in the Fall, and today is the early Winter one! This collaboration project was a great idea that Cindy Gimbrone came up with, where two bead artists teamed up with a jewelry designer, and all three made their own piece of artwork using the same sets of beads from the bead artists. It was such a great idea, and such fun, that I arranged yet another one. This time the two bead makers are myself and Pam Brisse of The Blue Between The designer is bead artist AJ Reardon of Erthe Fae Designs. The group of beads we each had to work with are shown above...the porcelain beads on the right side are mine, and the beads on the left are Pam's lampwork glass beads. The rule is that the finished work has to have at least one piece from each artist, but each designer can choose the pieces they want to use. There were so many great beads in this collaboration, I could not be bound to only one piece! I will show one today and the other tomorrow...
A full shot of the finished piece above. I used my Poppy Shield and fairy Pam's two poppy beads, along with her lampwork accents. I have been obsessed with the velour rubber tubing from Beadalon, and I thought the rich black velvet of it would give a sort of somber, gothic mourning feel.
I also wanted to use the tubing in a sculptural way, to give the necklace lots of volume and an interesting shape. I messed around with many versions of this, trying to string the tubing onto beading wire with crimps, but nothing was working for me. I finally decided to string the tubing onto eye pins and make firm arches with it that would drop down between the lampwork beads. Perfect!

A close up of one of the sides, with lampwork spacers, rubber tubing on eyepins, fine pewter caps and beads, and Swarovski rounds and bicones.I think the thing I like best is the clasp, shown here. A simple loop of tubing and the daisy beads wired as a button. This inspires me to make my own flat, front drilled beads to use as buttons. I think it is a nice, clean look. Sometimes it is fun to be able to tie the clasp into the necklace with a co-ordinating bead, and sometimes I don't want to use metal for a clasp.

Tomorrow I will show the other piece, made with some of the links and the glass leaves. Check out what Pam and AJ did with their beads on their blogs today...Pam can be found at The Blue Between Blog and AJ at ErtheFae's Meandering Thoughts


  1. Melanie! Wow, that came out fantastic - love the tubing! Glad you figured out how to use the flower as a clasp, that's one of my favorite things to do with them too. Thanks so much for inviting me to play in this challenge, it was a lot of fun :)

  2. Ha ha, Melanie, you and I had almost the same idea for our centerpieces!

    Your necklace is beautiful! I love the graceful swags.

    Thank you again for inviting me to play ;)

  3. Congratulations! Pam posted her bracelet on Wet Canvas and I loved it so much I had to come and check out the other two pieces - all I can say is WOW!!

  4. Beautiful!!! I love the way you used the velour tubing.

  5. Thank you all for dropping by! This was a really great project to work on! I will be posting my second piece today...

  6. What a great necklace, Melanie! I'm a friend of AJ's, and I think all three of you did a marvelous job! Very clever of you to use headpins to make the swags. I can't wait to see your other design!