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Bead Fest Inspiration!

September 3, 2013 , In: General
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As you may know, whenever you go to a big show like Bead Fest, even if you don’t get to take classes, you come away with massive amounts of creative energy and inspiration!  When I got home, I cleaned and organized my house non-stop for two days before I took a break!  Then I started working on the design for this necklace!

I was influenced greatly by our own Jenny Davies-Reazor – I love how she combines gemstones with her own ceramic lovelies to create amazing necklaces!  And I was also influenced by Deryn Boyd Mentock.  I have taken a few classes with her, in person and on-line, and I really like her style (although it’s not necessarily mine) and love learning her techniques!

While I was at Bead Fest, I only purchased three strands of gemstones from Holy and Pure Gemstone (like them) specifically for this bead!

I then went to work with my little bead board, trying to come up with a pleasing combination of beads.  At first, I was only using the three strands that I purchased and just wasn’t happy with the combinations I was coming up with!  Here’s two collages that show the process I went through!

 I solicited a little input from my facebook friends, and decided to really mix up the beads and not stick with the three strands originally purchased.  I used copper wire that I patinaed with liver of sulpher – I really like the antiqued look of copper rather than super-shiny for this necklace! 

I made my own clasp as well – just a simple one, but I like it!  I hammered it with my rawhide mallet to harden it and patinaed it as well.

I’m very happy with the final design.  This did take me a couple of days, and even though my bead stash seems huge to me, I think I could use a few more strands of gemstones in my pile so I have more options! 

Here’s the finished necklace, I really like!

What’s your process when you make a piece of jewelry – do you lay it out, switch out beads, ask for advice?

Susan Kennedy

Susan Kennedy Susan, the owner of SueBeads, started making glass beads in 2005 because she loved lampworked beads so much, but wanted to make her own instead of buying them on ebay! She also makes enameled components and dabbles in polymer clay, but her first love is glass. She has attended jewelry-making classes at ArtBLISS and has taken classes from Barbara Lewis (torch fired enameling) in addition to several classes at the Pittsburgh Glass Center.
  1. Reply

    Thanks for sharing your process. I follow a similar process ncluding asking my husband what he thinks. He has a good eye for color. I have to add that I spend a lot of time thinking about what I will do which sometimes changes once I start laying them out.

  2. Reply

    you can never have too many strands of gemstones! This is beautiful, sue

  3. Reply

    Your lampwork focal bead is fantastic, Jen and you accented it perfectly. I pretty much go through the same process. If I'm unsure if I am satisfied with the design, I'll hold off on adding the clasp and look at it again the next day. Sometime I see something fresh the next day and can still tweak it because I haven't crimped on the clasp yet.

  4. Reply

    My process is probably the opposite of a good process. I usually have an "amazing" idea for the focal portion of a piece…usually the necklace. Then I get that part done and wonder what I'm going to do to finish it. Often I have to ponder it for days or weeks before I figure it out.

    I do love the necklace you made. Perfect for that focal and I bet it's wonderful to wear.

  5. Reply

    Beautiful necklace Sue. I start with an idea of how I want it to look and then lay out my plan. Next I just play with the beads until they look right to me. Sometimes It turns out not at all like I started out sometimes it is pretty close. I agree with Linda that walking away for a while and doing something else can help when you aren't sure if it is finished Thanx for sharing your process.

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    Oh Sue you are gifted in so many ways!!! Glass, enameling, polymer and now wire. I am amazed at your design process and in awe of your final product!!!!

  7. Reply

    Sorry I am so late commenting! I love it – and I am honored to be mentioned in the same paragraph as Deryn! I cannot tell you how many times I arrange and rearrange gems to get the right balance of shapes, sizes, colors. I LOVE the end result – it has texture, variety, and compliments/accentuates your focal so well!

  8. Reply

    Thanks for sharing your design process. I love the finished project. I admire anyone who can successfully create asymmetrically. I struggle with it, mostly in my own mind. *smile*

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