Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Art Bead Blog Scene February Challenge


I have had a pile of materials, beads, ribbon etc. on my work table for a while now but as I haven't got any craft shows booked I lacked the incentive to make any jewelery with them. Then I saw these fantastic beads by Carolyn Saxby which I just had to buy

and low and behold whilst visiting the Art Bead Scene Blog there was this photo as inspiration for the February Challenge.

It's called The Rose Garden by artist Paul Klee. Now I'm not big into art and artists so I had never come across this painting before but the colours WOW they spoke to me so much. They remind me of India, spices and sari silk yum! and they just happen to be all the colours I had on my work table.

This is the first piece I made

Last year I purchased 2 big bags of spiral wire cages cheap from the Smitten Beads open day.

I recently used some of the silver ones in this necklace I made for myself

This time I decided to use one of the brass ones, you can buy them from Smitten Beads here: http://smittenbeads.co.uk/proddetail.php?prod=SND-05410ab

I took one of Carolyn beads and wrapped the wire cage around it, then wire wrapped the ends with purple enamel coated wire.

Then I took an etched purple lampwork bead that I made, added 2 wavy antique bronze bead caps and attached that underneath.

Below that I added one of my wire wrapped glass leaf headpins that had been made using silver glass that has been reduced to give it this lovely lustre.

I then found some antique bronze chain that was from a necklace that I purchase from a charity shop and re-purposed it.

Next up I wanted to introduce an element in the necklace to represent the rose in the painting and what could be better than one of my rosebud headpins that I had recently taught myself to make.

I took a Vintaj brass flower and painted that with purple patina, then I took a brass bead cap and painted that with green patina to make it look like leaves and fixed the glass rosebud to it.

Finally I threaded some silk ribbon that had been hand dyed by Sowzere Designs through some chain I got from Smitten Beads and attached a decorate lobster clasp to finish it off.

I love the look and the colours are just me. Worth showing twice don't you think?

The other piece I made was also a necklace and totally out of character for me.

A while back a friend of mine mentioned to me that she was going to try a product available in the States called Woolywire, I had a look at it and thought it was a nice product but I can't wear wool against my skin and then I had a brainwave and thought about making a similar product using hand dyed silk fibres and ribbon. It took me a while to work out how to attach the material to the wire but once I got that sussed I was well away.

I've called it Fibrewire and here is a picture of some that I have available for sale in my Etsy store

So I took a piece of the Fibrewire I had made using sari fibre and threaded some of Carolyns beads and my glass rings onto it. I wrapped it and bent it to shape. The great thing about Fibrewire is you can cut it and it won't come away from the wire.

Again I wanted to introduce a rose into the design and decided to have a go at making a glass one based on one of the ones in the painting.

Then I took a brass butterfly and painted it with pink patina and glued it onto the rose.

I thought it needed something to balance out the big rose so I found this ornate antique bronze bead in my stash and set about painting it with patina to give it some colour.

Finally I had some antique brass chain that I dismantled to use the large oval links and taking a selection of my glass discs I made the chain with some more links from another chain. Attached a heart lobster clasp and it was finished.

I'm really pleased with the way it has turned out although I am not sure who would wear it!

I would have liked to make some more pieces as I have lots more waiting to be made but I just ran out of time.

Thanks for looking.



  1. Really lovely and perfect for the challenge. Cheers Claire x

  2. Wow, those colours really spoke to you, Linda :) Amazing pieces!


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