Thanks to the amazing Lori Anderson, Bead Soup Blog Party is back for 2014. And I’m participating again! Last year, my partner, Marina Kosović sent me a neat mixture of beads, including several polymer clay pendants that she had made herself. The whole process pushed me out of my comfort zone – both in terms of designing and executing several pieces of jewelry, but also exposing my designs to a large group (close to 500 people).
This year, my partner is Shalini Austin. The first thing I noticed when I went to her blog is that she works primarily with wire, using semi-precious stones and a variety of beads. Her designs are very unique and striking. I love these wire earrings made with bright pink felted balls.
And this necklace with copper and colourful pearl flowers.
She also makes stunning wire sculpture trees – this fir looks incredibly lifelike.
Bead Soup is a challenge on two levels – assembling the “ingredients” for your partner and then designing and creating pieces from what she sends you. In putting together Shalini’s “soup,” I focused on combining as many different textures as I could. I also had to be mindful to keep the package itself fairly flat, as Canadian postal rates are based on weight and height. A package higher than 2 cm is considered a parcel and for whatever reason, seems to take twice as long to get to its destination. There was a bit of trial and error involved – a couple of things I really wanted to include were just too big. However, I spent a couple of days putting together different combinations, until the soup was “just right.” I packed it all up and sent it on its way to Shalini.
I can’t show you what I sent her – Shalini gets to see it first. However, I wrapped some of the pieces separately, to ensure they’d fit in the mailing envelope.
I’m crossing my fingers Shalini gets her Bead Soup package soon. I can’t wait to see what she thinks!