When I saw the inspiration for this month’s Art Bead Scene challenge I knew I had to try and create a piece of jewelry that captured the spirit of Toshi Yoshida’s amazing woodblock. The colour and the detail really spoke to me.
It didn’t take me long to find the ideal focal bead – a red-orange lentil bead with metallic accents from Grace Beads.
I was pretty sure I wanted to make a necklace but I didn’t have a clear idea of the design in my head yet. Since I ordered the focal bead at the beginning of the month, I decided to wait until it arrived and then see where my imagination took me.
Unfortunately, the mail was slower than usual and the package didn’t arrive until last Thursday. I was leaving early Friday morning to visit my mother out of town. I rummaged through my bead stash and threw a few random beads and findings into my bag.
Due to family obligations and the fact that my mother and I spent a fair amount of time knitting together, I didn’t work on the necklace over the weekend. Last night I checked Art Bead Scene and realized my piece had to be posted on their challenge web page by the end of today day. I played around with my design a little bit last night but having been up since 5 am to catch a train home, I figured I’d have to skip the monthly challenge and finish it on my own.
As luck would have it, M woke up with a fever this am. Since DH had a non-negotiable work commitment I stayed home with M. He stayed in bed most of the day, reading or listening to music and I worked on my necklace.
I decided to hang the focal bead from a “beaded chain” made from a piece of hand-dyed JodyPoesy ribbon wire and metallic seed beads. I originally thought about adding dangles to the bottom of the focal, but I made a wire-wrapped bail instead and finished it with a small spiral.
I made a second “chain” of wire-wrapped beads – round and twisted ovals in a neutral, almost off-white colour – and small red fire-polished beads. I added a round off-white ceramic bead from Gaea and a pewter bead from GreenGirl Studios, part of a set I won from Lorelei Eurto several years ago. Finally, I attached the two chain sections with stone connectors from StoneStudiosToo and jump rings.
Most of the time, before I start a jewelry project, I have a clear design in my head. In this case I made up the design as I went along. Other than the focal bead, everything else came from my bead stash. That made it easier to add elements as I went along – I didn’t have to rush to the bead store for additional supplies.
I’m reasonably happy with the final result, especially the colour. As in the inspiration piece, the red stands out. There lots of texture and movement too. Not bad for a last-minute project.