Sunday, 6 November 2016

Stacked Earrings Challenge - Chapter 5

Hello! Goodness me, it's been a while since the previous chapter of this stacked earrings adventure but we are back again, with Heidi's bead selection. 

This exchange is the brain-child of Swedish jewellery designer-maker, Malin de Koning, who invited Heidi Post, Leah Curtis and Claire Lockwood and myself to join her. Here's the lowdown in Malin's own words:

"The idea is that I give each of us the same set of beads. Beads that I believe would be nice to use in earrings. Nothing exclusive, and no art beads. Just a group of different beads that I myself believe can be used in fun and interesting ways in earrings in a stacked style.

 I am longing to see how we all use the same things but in different ways. I am thinking we could all make at least one pair of earrings, but hopefully more. And that we are free to add our own extra beads and/or other components, if we at least use three (3) of the beads from my set in each design."

Since Malin began this challenge back in January 2015, we've taken it in turns to send out little curations of beads, and all turning them into our own creations. It's been so fascinating seeing not only what people have in their stash, but what they choose - how they curate these little bead collections. I freely admit that my selection (last time) was more about assembling an interesting grouping of beads, rather than gathering together items for specific designs. I kind of think this adds something to the design process though - not least the fact that we all start nearer the same point when turning to the bead collection. I wonder if the other designers did the same? 

Anyway, back to this round of the challenge. Here's Heidi's lovely curation (picture courtesy of Malin):

It's interesting looking at this collection here again, whole. You'll see below but I've stuck with a fairly muted, soothing colour-scheme in my creations - and I'm interested to note that, despite there being a fair quantity of coral/orange in Heidi's wee group, I've not used any of it - despite it often being a 'go-to' colour for me when designing. Instead, I've stuck to a tonal palette ranging from mint greens to cool blues to warm purples - nothing too contrasting, nothing too clashing. Fairly unusual for me, but I'm pleased with what I created! See if you agree...

Anyway, here's what I came up with:


First of all, these long, elegant drops. I've used the peacock-silver biwa pearl discs and the moon-blue faceted rondelles here, connected with some gorgeous fancy chain in a co-ordinating gunmetal dark silver. You may think that those are the only one of Heidi's beads that I have used here - but no! You see those little handwoven rondelle beads? Inside are some of the little wooden discs - top left of the bead collection picture. When I saw them in Heidi's selection, I couldn't resist seeing if I could bead around them - and yes I could. Which leads me onto these studs...

Not technically stacked earrings, but I wanted to share them here as they came from Heidi's beads - each stud contains one of her tiny natural wood discs and I love them! They are about 10mm across in width when fully beaded. If anyone knows a source for these discs, message me - I'd love to make more. 

In the Fires

Next, a pair in soothing pale violet - almost like cape amethyst - and minty green. I was so pleased to find these Scorched Earth droppers in my stash - how perfectly do the colours go here? Both pairs of discs and the tiny flower caps are from Heidi. I just adore Petra's glazing work here - the way both base colours have so many other colours flashing in them. 


These earrings are the cute shorties of the bunch. More of the pretty mind green spacers from Heidi, little wooden plum-purple cogs and some beautiful transparent glass rounds with deepest aubergine swirls throughout - topped off with some of my tiny handwoven rounds in dark pewter. I like the flashes of copper wire here and how they contrast with my hand-formed oxidised silver earwires.


Lastly, these long elegant chaps. Glass rounds and violet gemstone chips from Heidi - and beautiful long porcelain drops from Round Rabbit. I love how the graffiti-style decoration on the rounds is echoed in Nancy's glazing. I purchased these drops in a  'grab bag' from Round Rabbit and I admit when I saw them, I knew I would struggle to use them in their gorgeous earthy olive-brownness - a lovely evocative colour, but not one I work with often. However, I started with the two upper beads and then just knew that I had to hunt down these drops to go with them as the perfect earthy foil to Heidi's beads' bright and bold colourfulness.

And so that's it for this challenge - we've come full circle, each one of us having sent out a grouping of beads now. Who knows if we'll go round again....I've so enjoyed each of these challenges - and whilst we've taken our time with each round, that's been nice - no pressure to create things to deadline that we may or may not be satisfied with. I hope you've enjoyed following along with us! 

Now hop over to my friends' blogs to see what they created with exactly the same materials:


Claire Lockwood said...

Some real gasp-y things here! I love how compact your wee stacks are. Beading round those discs? - Genius! I'm looking forward to seeing the studs. Graffiti and Peacock are vying to be my favourites!

Heidi Post said...

I have a ton more of those wooden beads I can send you. They're getting a much better use from you! I love how you made your beaded beads with them. I guess I never realized there was something inside. And I agree with Claire - those two are my faves as well.

Loris Glassworks said...

What a fun challenge! I've enjoyed visiting each of the participants entries this morning. I love what you've done with the beads, I especially like "In the fires", the color combination is fabulous and the drop beads are so pretty. You did a fantastic job with this challenge.
Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

Malin de Koning said...

I love all the earrings you made Rebecca. Such beautiful colour handling in all of them. And interesting distribution of shapes. My favourite pair is the first one. I love your beaded beads (even if I've so far never gotten around to buy any from you, shame on me!!!). I think the ones you made around Heidi's wood beads have a really nice shape to them. Hope you will be able to continue making them. And they work really well in that first pair. I like that seed bead color.

Julie Wong Sontag said...

They are all so gorgeous! Those 'hidden' beads are genius, such a clever way to build on something you have :) I admire the working-outside-the-comfort-zone as well, something I struggle with. Have to say I am a huge fan of the green drops and the combo in the final pair, you did some magic with them there! xo

Leah Curtis said...

You are too clever for words! The beaded discs are brilliant. That first pair is my favorite, but there's something enchanting about the Graffiti pair, too. I also went for a mint and purple mix!

CraftyHope said...

This is a really beautiful collection of earrings. You never fail to make stunning pieces that are complex in their simplicity. I don't know if that makes any sense to you, but it does to me. Your pieces don't look over-thought or over-designed, they are simple in such a surprising and inspiring way. Thank you for the inspiration.


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