Friday, September 30, 2011

Andrew Thornton September Reader's Challenge

I enjoyed the July challenge so much, I thought I'd try the September challenge as well. I had a difficult time coming up with a design idea for the last challenge but, this time, I developed an approach fairly quickly, inspired by the "grow" bead. I pictured something ornate and elegant and decided to build a filigree foundation to turn "grow" into the focal point.
Photo Courtesy Andrew Thornton

Here is my final product and below that, I captured a step-by-step pictorial of the creative process.

Building the Necklace

I started with a filigree base for the "grow bead" and lined it with bead embroidery backing from Nicole's Beadbacking, which I have on hand for bead embroidery projects. I glued a single filigree connector, shown on the left, to the back of the lined filigree and then glued on ultrasuede backing  to give the back a finished look. The filigree components (focal frame, connectors, bead caps, and jump rings) came from Vintage Jewelry Supplies.
Focal Components
Filigree Connector Glued to Back of Focal
Then, to hold the focal in place, I carefully bent two filigree connectors around the bead in front and around the back on top of the ultrasuede, and used a little glue for extra security. This is a tricky process because you need just the right amount of pressure in just the right places on the connector, else it will snap or distort (and I had a couple casualties as proof!).
Finished Focal
I've been going crazy for beaded mandalas lately and I liked the reinforcement of the circular shape as well as the stylized floral theme. The mandalas incorporated the round crystals provided in the kit and I used seeds, round pearls, and hex beads from my own stash. I made two large mandalas and two smaller ones and layed them out on my work surface to determine the best design. I decided that I needed two more smaller mandalas to complete that portion of the design.
Figuring Out the Lay-Out

My last step was to make the strap and toggle closure. For the strap, I wanted to use the remaining crystals.

And here's the toggle closure.

One last shot of the final necklace.

Visit Other Challenge Participants

Check out the great creations of the other challenge participants:

Andrew Thornton has photos for Christina Porter, Darby Lohrding
Lorelei Eurto
Sally Russick
Tara Linda
Melinda Orr
Beth Emery

Stay tuned for phase II of the reveals on October 12.


Kristen said...

It is beautiful!

Paula, Chief Bead Officer said...

Thanks, Kristen. You are up early!

Therese's Treasures said...

Wow your necklace for Andrew's challenge is amazing! I love all the detailed work you put into your design.

Paula, Chief Bead Officer said...

Thanks, Therese. You are so kind to drop by periodically and say such nice things. I noticed your posts on Beading Daily too! You always offer great suggestions.

Lorelei Eurto said...

WOW! this is amazing! I love how you crafted your own pendant by embellishing the polymer connector. Very nice!

Lori Bowring Michaud said...

Absolutely gorgeous! I'm in awe of anyone who can manage all those teeny, tiny seed beads!

Alice said...

What a gorgeous piece! I can't imagine the time it took to create this necklace!

bwheather said...

Oh my. This is excellent. ;-)

TesoriTrovati said...

Such a remarkable piece of art! I love the way you connected the filigrees and made it such a more subtantial part of the design that mimics your lovely beadwork! Enjoy the day!

Anonymous said...

This piece is exquisite! I love your pendant design, and the gorgeous clasp. shows all the work (and love) you put into it. ;)

Anonymous said...

Oh my! Oh my! I am speechless! What a STUNNING necklace! Truly gorgeous piece of wearable art!

Paula, Chief Bead Officer said...

Wow - thanks everyone! This is the most activity I ever had on my blog! :-) It's so nice to make some new beadie friends!

BackstoryBeads said...

I love the delicate beauty of the mandalas and the gorgeous, soft colors! And so appreciate your letting us in on your design process. You've created a magnificent necklace!

Releases by Rufydoof said...

Wow Paula this piece is absolutely divine. I love the way you have incorporated the components...gorgeous work.


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