March is hosted by Sally Russick, of The Sublime Studio (the one and only of the Focus on Life!), she chose 'Contrasting colours' as a theme and sent me these beauties... errr... yup, I forgot to take a picture *before* I started: I have to stop doing this, really! Luckily for me Sally did take a picture! mine is in the top right corner, the red and turquoise / aqua palette.
I drove the package around for 2 weeks, at the studio I go on weekends... but I had to work on other items (check tomorrow's blog post for some extra details), plus my ingredients weren't available (keep reading for details :) ) and it wasn't until Sunday until I started on Sally's beauties. I had a fixation on a tassel, and I had another fixation on how to make it. You might remember I have 2 huge 'loves' when it comes to jewelry making: metal and glass. I don't have much opportunities to work on glass and I have wanted to try enamels for a long, long, looooong time.
A few weeks back Dee (the lady who owns the studio) mentioned enamels and I had to be patient for either (1) her to find her own enamels or (2) her to get the new shipment of enamels. As luck will have it, #1 happened on Saturday so I got my chance on Sunday to finally work a little bit with them.
This is the tassel 'wrapper' - for lack of a better name. I made it of copper, looks very much like a flower (a tulip), then I covered it in enamel: green, with a border of sparkling grey.
The pictures are horrible, if you keep reading you'll also find why! Can you see the purplish-grayish-sparkly border on the bottom? It's truly lovely in real life, and the transparent peacock green gives the copper some interesting reflections.
Since I was having so much fun with the tulip, I continued on with some head pins. Being limited on time, I took an unorthodox approach: instead of getting copper wire, ball it, then cover it with enamels, I took some ready-made eye-pins and covered them in enamel. It makes for a more flat 'bulb' at the end of the pin (you can see the original eye-pin in this picture, on the middle turquoise bead.
With the tassel exactly as I envisioned it, I found myself in a bit of a 'now what?!' moment. I am usually going for simplicity, but this time I felt a little bit of chaos is welcome.
Out came Tibetan silver, coral, and turquoise beads (which I bought from my Bead Soup #7 partner, last year, and never used), copper beads (which I did receive in another swap or challenge, but for the life in me I cannot remember who sent them to me), copper chain, the wire (of course), red leather and... wait for it, this one *is* funny: even the thread Sally wrapped her package with (the turquoise bit you see below)!
Yup, another very long necklace.
The story behind these not-so-great pictures? It's funny: I finished the necklace on Sunday, I wore it on Monday and Tuesday, I was admiring the sunset on Tuesday when I realized the reveal is just a few hours away... and I had no pictures taken! That's what happens when you miss a perfectly sunny day, you get average (at the most) pictures. Oh, well...
Not very proud of the pictures, but incredibly proud of the necklace itself (and the second pendant). In a very eclectic way, everything matches - there are 5 different types of metal in there (silver, 3 different coppers, and the antique copper) and they are somehow OK together. The colours would be perfect together: turquoise is the common denominator for copper, the bright red, the coral, and the peacock green. There are so many elements: Kristi Bowman's copper elements, the Tibetan bead, the copper beads, the enameled tulip, the 3 different type of beads - and yet somehow everything is just perfect together.
It is fluid, it is colourful, it is asymmetric, it whispers secrets of the East, and invites you to some adventures in the West. It's my 'East meets West' piece (well, 2 pieces, to be exact).
Sally's beautiful package (we had an ad hoc contest, with all of us claiming her package is the prettiest) inspired me beyond my imagination this time. I am incredibly proud of the enameling parts: they came out exactly as I envisioned them, and the process is easy and fun (yeah, you guessed it correctly, you'll see lots of enamels from this girl). And solves one of my issues in a perfect way: it covers the metal base so I'm not allergic to it anymore. Did I mention I love the look of it?! Glass and metal: my 2 loves in one element.
Yes, I am excited :) But I should stop here and thank Sally for her generosity and for firing this spark in me! And the entire group for making this special event possible: it turns out to be one of the most fun and most enjoyable ever, with every reveal it becomes more and more interesting.
I am thanking you, too, for stopping by today! I hope you have enjoyed this new adventure - and please make sure you visit the entire group (it's a small one).
Sally Russick (March host)
Alicia Marinache <- you are here