Before I show you what I've made, here's a quick reminder of what my partner Michi sent me. She was amazingly generous and sent me not the one focal bead, clasp and a few supporting beads that the party calls for but FOUR beautiful lampwork beads that she made herself, a clasp and a whole supporting cast of other beads. As breathtaking as her lampwork beads were and as much as I love them and am in awe at Michi's skillful work, they were definitely a challenge for me. I have become far more comfortable working with brighter colours over the last couple of years, but I think that it was the addition of the blue that made these beads so much of a challenge. The blue meant that I wasn't able to add colours like browns into the mix to tone the colours down and bring them closer to my comfort zone. I had plans for three of the beads, but due to Jamie being ill earlier in the week I've only been able to finish work with one of the focal beads. The other designs will be posted over the next week, so it'll be an extended party here!
So, are you ready? Here is my main design..... (Heavens, I'm nervous! I really hope Michi likes it!)
I knew that I wanted to use the brightest bead in a bracelet, mainly as the general expectation would be to use it in a necklace! However, this is a big bead, 4.5cm long, so I decided to make a brangle - half bracelet, half bangle - so that the metal section of the design would hold the bead comfortably on top of the wearer's wrist, showing it off. The red spacer beads either side of the focal were made by Michi too, and I decided to oxidise the bracelet as, well, bright silver was just too much next to the bright beads!
I made the clasp on the bracelet, so of course that leaves the clasp that Michi sent me to use in another design.....
The toggle clasp that Michi sent is so lovely, such a pretty, intricate design, that I decided to use it as a charm on a pendant rather than a clasp so that I could show it off more. The lampwork bead here is one by Isabelle Anderson that I've had for quite a while, and I added a faceted peridot bead to add a brighter touch to the design. The pendant hangs from dark pinky purple silk.
I had time to make one more piece. Actually this was the piece that I made first to get me into the swing of things! I loved the ceramic beads that Michi sent me, and I've brightened them up (see, she has influenced me!) by using them with amethyst, faceted smoky quartz and more of the pinky purple silk. I made the silver rings, and of course I made the clasp too, one of my daisy hook clasps. I gave the silver a slightly matt look to fit in better with the beads. I am awful at photographing long necklaces (and this one is over 80cm long), but I'm hoping to get a photo of me wearing this one later on today when the light's better.
Thank you for partying with me here in Southampton! Please do go and visit the rest of the bloggers taking part. I'm off to see what my partner Michi made with the owl clasp and large heart focal bead I sent her!