BSBP 2013: beads, challenges, friends!

Welcome! This is my third year doing the Bead soup Blog Party – and the first thing I have to say is “Thank you!” to Lori our hostess and fearless leader. We wouldn’t be here without you… seriously. 

I think my title sums it up: send and receive beads; be challenged/escape your comfort zone; make new friends! And honestly – if you are here reading this – you know what I mean. So let me introduce you to my newest friend and partner this year – Jennifer Cabic. 

Jennifer is an Ohio based artist working in metals and metal clay. Her pieces are created with layers of meaning; she creates amazing intense personal talismans, memorial pieces, that will be heirlooms in the future. I was struck especially this year at how well we were paired. Our work is very different; but we are drawn to metals, incorporating words at times, drawing from our own personal language of symbols, and creating pieces with intent, amulets and personal talismans. I am very drawn to her work, and was thrilled to receive one of her bronze clay clasps in my soup…. (Here’s a reminder of what arrived for me…)

Soup rec'd

I loved the earthiness of the corals and jasper nuggets – and was challenged by the pink tones. 

I loved the warm brass and circular motif of the focal – and was challenged by its tribal style and size. 

I adore the clasp. Using it was not a challenge but a joy!. 

Please know – my soup is fabulous. But I am not a pink person – hence the challenge. Overall I am thrilled with my pieces, both how easily they came together and their final appearrance. (And thanks to Staci Smith for inspiration!!!) I knew I wanted the focal to have a dangle. The tribal/boho/earthy feel sent me to sea urchin spikes and shell daggers. There’s a river stone, howlite nuggets and seed pods in there too: 

Necklace with focal

The rustic bronze sun/floral piece ( at top center in this pix) and the concentric circles I used in the clasp are by Staci of Artisan Accents. They were the perfect elements to unify the focal and the chunky gems and nuggets. I liked the scale of the circular piece and used it for visual balance and to create a clasp with my forged spiral hook. One side of the necklace is strung; seed beads in burgundy accent the darker tones in the coral. The other side is wire wrapped, and the back is finished in recycled sari silk. 

Focal detail

Dangle of chain, bells, sea urchin spines, shell daggers. Bead caps on coral beads are made of copper gears, dapped to fit. 

earrings to match clasp and gear/caps

Left: matching earrings.          Right: detail. Howlite, jasper, lava stone, seed pods, river stone, coral, bronze spiral.  

At this point there was a good deal left over… the green lampwork beads were sparking ideas for a different palette. I knew I wanted the clasp to be a focal in its own right… so chunky stones to give it “presence” and here she is… 

bracelet with clasp

Gems and lampwork – a medley of greens… 

What a pleasure to meet Jennifer and work with the generous assortment that she sent me! Please tune in to the other posts – its a long list – today and over the next few days! I know I look forward to seeing as many as I can… Thanks for taking the time to join me here!

The full list of links can be found here.