Friday, March 18, 2016

Art Jewelry Adventure Class #2: Erika Sandor

I've been writing about my year-long Art Jewelry Adventure classes which started in late January.  The second class, available on February 18, was bead weaving by Erika Sandor.

Now bead weaving is right up my wheel house and, with all the beads, threads, findings and other sundries accumulated over the last 10 years, I thought I should easily be able to come up with the materials for the Antoinette earrings. Hah! Wrong! These lovely earrings featured rocket beads. No problem, I thought. I'll just go online to find them. But my searches didn't cough up the elusive beads. So I wrote to Erika to inquire about suppliers and she sent me some information as well as a note that she did have a few kits from another class she taught for this design. Yay! I thought the kit would make my life so much easier. The catch? She was shipping from The Netherlands as you can see in my kit shot below.

It took a little over a week for the kit to make its way across the Atlantic but I was delighted to see the elusive rocket beads, shown in the center of the above photo, as well as an elephant trinket. How nice of Erika to add an extra treat to her package.

Smooth sailing from on out, I thought. I easily made up the earrings following the excellent online and written tutorial. But when it came time for me to add the beaded bead to the 3" head pin, my brute strength got the better of me and I snapped the head pins that came in the kit. "Oh, shucks," was not the expletive I blurted at that point. So I dug in my stash to find a suitable replacement but nothing matched the metals in Erika's kit. Plus, in my frenzy to find new head pins, I scattered the daisy spacers all over the floor and lost the ones that came with the kit. I think we have all had beading moments like this. Moments when we are better off to close the door to our creative space and just take a breather.

So I did the best I could with supplies on hand and came up with these:

Notice the daisy spacers are too large and I used a decorative bead in place of the fancy head pin. But I decided to stop obsessing and post my pics to the Art Jewelry Adventure web site, along with my tale of woe. Erika jumped right on the thread and said she was sending something to me and it arrived yesterday! Another package from The Netherlands with extra head pins and daisy spacers.

So after all the ruckus I raised, I figured I better change up those head pins PDQ. And here's the re-do of the Anoinette earrings, using the proper head pins and spacers. You'll notice that there are a couple lengths of ball chain between the earring finding and the earring. Erika's clever design used ball chain terminators to connect the ball chain to the earring and to the earring finding. What a fun new technique!  Her design also adds a cup chain embellishment and I really like the extra texture this adds.

Thanks to Erika's wonderful customer service and tutorial, it was another great Art Jewelry Adventure experience. Now stay tuned for my third class which was a whole other story.


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