Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Muffin Tin Challenge

This post is a sneak peek behind the scenes here at Songbead Designs! One of my good beady friends, Heather of Humblebeads (also chief bead guru over at Art Bead Scene where I am a co-editor) posed a challenge for her fellow-jewellery designers a few years back, and this week revisited this challenge. I joined in, although this post is at least a week later than it was supposed to be! Ah well, better late than never, eh?! Basically, you take a muffin tin (or similar) and gather selections of co-ordinating supplies in each little section, and then create designs from each wee section. It's great fun and stretches you just that little bit more. 

I actually don't own a muffin tin (yes, I wish I was a domestic goddess, but I'm definitely not...), so my alternative....
...a random collection tea light holders. They did the job - Ikea's finest! The collections of beads I selected for each holder varied, but there was one (almost) unifying theme throughout....I'll see if you can guess, reading though.

And here are the results...
These earrings came together really quickly. The purple handwoven {song}beads are in my very favourite shade, and larger than most which I use for earrings. However, I had a random pair done and dusted, and I thought they went beautifully with Claire Lockwood's celadon leaves. The rustic Vintaj brass visually knits them together. 

This bracelet is a real mixture of beads which I've been hoarding for quite some time now. One of my favourite bead artists, Alison Sachs of Beads by Earth Tones made the majority of these, with the addition of a neat little ceramic house from Elukka and a pewter clasp from Green Girl Studios.

I don't quite know how this piece came together, but I'm so glad it did! It was one of those things that simply wouldn't have happened without this very specific way of working. A Humblebead bird, handwoven {song}beads by me, a pewter clasp from Green Girl Studios and stunning porcelain roses from Claire

 Happily, my little tea light holder for this bracelet had quite a few beads and bobs left over....so these happened too.

 This bracelet, you could perhaps see as a cheat. Whilst I was scrabbling through my supplies to create the 'fillings' for the tealight holders, I realised I had the correct beads to recreate this design from before Christmas. It was one of those that I made the day before a craft fair and which then sold immediately, so I was keen to remake, not least because there had been a lot of interest online too! It's hanging out here, if you fancied taking it home ;-) Again, handmade ceramic birdie from Claire, and handmade polymer facets from Beads by Earth Tones

A sweet piece which was/is, quite frankly, a right bugger to photograph. Berries and leaves and blooms - oh my! I really like this one. It looks better in real life, and I may have another go with it and my camera at some point this week. Beautifully rustic ceramic leaf bar from Bo Hulley. 

Last, but hopefully not least, this sweet and simple necklace. I love long necklaces - the only length I would ever consider wearing (I really don't ever wear necklaces), and they are so versatile as well as comfortable. Two more wonderful ceramic artists - Petra Carpreau and Kylie Parry - along with Czech pressed glass and faceted brass. I think this could be a really special piece for someone, with any luck. 

Anyway, I am pretty pleased with the results of this challenge. Ok, so I didn't play along within the given time frame, but I enjoyed myself, and I am also quite happy with what I came up with. Once I'd filled my candle holders, the process was quite smooth and straightforward, also - the pieces really came together with ease. A worthwhile exercise that definitely bears repeating! Thank you Heather for organising this fun challenge. 

Oh, and want to see what happened when I took part in this challenge a few years ago (thank goodness that even given the January light, my photography is very much improved!)? Here's the link...Enjoy!


Christine Walker said...

Looks fun and pretty pieces! Did you have ideas of what you would make while gathering bits or was it a surprise and going with the flow ? X

KelsyC said...

I love the bracelet with the bird and the little white flowers. So pretty.

lynsey said...

What a great collection of beauties Rebecca, I did the muffin tin challenge all those years ago, I work a bit differently these days, I love seeing the results of these though

Christals Creations said...

I might have to give this a try and see what comes out. :)


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