For May I picked the anemone poppy which came in my favourite number 1 (turquoise), accented with gold elements.
Which meant brass - and I wasn't still best friends with brass, so I worried a little bit. Then I did what any designer with an ounce of self-respect will do: put the worries aside, took the wire and started working it :)
I knew what I want to do with the neck piece - remember those gorgeous glass pearls from my mom? As soon as I saw them I knew they need to be part of the piece with Jeannie's anemone, they are the exact same shades of blues and yellows. Fate, eh?
The pearls are huge and you cannot use too many - so I wire-wrapped them nicely and decided to create some double scroll links to connect them. Easy-peasy.
I used 4 shades: 2 yellows (a pale and a bright one), and 2 blues (a pale and a - you guessed! - bright one). The brass wrapped beautifully around them and now I needed to connect the anemone.
But - how?! Whenever I can find some time for myself (it's not happening every week, more like every 2-3 weeks now) I meet with a wonderful jewelry artists, Dee, who teaches in various places, including her own art studio, Bead Flow. On Sunday - I brought my links to her and asked for advice on how to make a neat bail for the polymer clay piece. She promptly suggested a bail from brass sheet - which I made... but... I wanted to rivet the piece to the bail.
And that's when disaster stroke: while trying the only small gauge of wire I had... because it was too thick for the anemone's hole... the hole came apart and now I had 2 polymer clay pieces. It's Sunday evening and I am almost crying because now I have a ruined anemone...
If you know me a little bit, you'll know I rarely cry - what I do is solve the problem! And solve I did: first the E-6000 came out and soon I had one repaired piece. It was obvious that no matter how well repaired it is, it won't be strong enough to take the wear and tear. I was now looking for a way to keep it together by some stronger piece. And it downed on me:
The details is not great (if you click on the picture you'll see it larger), but this is what I did: I took a 6 petal brass flower element (from Lori!), annealed it (I hate to anneal brass, it becomes pink) and fold it. I made 2 matching wholes in the middle petal on each side, put brass wire through and made 2 spirals, which match the pearl details perfectly (talk about inspiration). Then carefully, very carefully I pressed the folded brass flower over the anemone - so it now keeps it secure and safe from breaking again!
At this moment I was happy again, I cleaned the brass folded flower as much as possible to make it golden again, I made a lovely double spiral to hook it through and connect to the pearls, made the clasp, and connected everything with brass jump-rings (the jump-rings are antiqued, but you can't really see the difference on the whole piece).
P.S. Jennie's work is fantastic, my accident (which turns to be a happy one, because I like this bail better than the original, it ties into the flower idea so well) happened because my 'brutality' towards the polymer clay was too much. I forgot I am not working with metal, I should have been more gentle!
And this is it: waiting for a name...
It wears beautifully (I only took it off during the night since Monday!) and it looks amazing. I usually love the pieces I make, but this one I am beyond happy with!
After this looooong journey through my adventure for Echo Club May - thank you for joining me!
And please make sure you visit the other Echo-artists:
Our lovely host: Jeannie K Dukic http://site.jkdjewelry.com/blog
Charlie Jacka http://clay-space.com/
Kristen Stevens http://kristen-beadjourney.blogspot.com/
Lisa Lodge http://www.gratefulartist.blogspot.com/