Monday 29 August 2011

Andrew Thornton August Reader Challenge

Andrew Thornton is one of my favourite bloggers. I was so excited to see his Readers' Challenge and thrilled when I managed to snag a kit for the August challenge. (See his July challenge here.) When it arrived in the post, I couldn't believe just how many beautiful beads were included. A beautiful Diane Hawkey 'magic' bead, a sweet Marsha Neal charm, a generous bunch of Swarovski crystal elements, two pretty lampworks from Bernadette Fuentes and Sue Kennedy. Some vintage acrylic, a luxury bead mix, copper chain....a bounty of treasure to work with! I've been dying to get my hands on Diane Hawkey for a good while now and Marsha Neal makes some utterly gorgeous botanical pieces - I've a few of her pendants now and I adore them. A very pleasing selection to me! 

Now, I love red. It's one of my favourite colours to wear. But not to work with in jewellery design, for some reason. (Unless combined with turquoise, of course!) I have tried to work out what this reason is. I think it's primarily because of the lack of shade variation within red. I'm really no colour expert, so I may be using the wrong technical terms here but if you think of blue from very pale to very dark, there is a huge variation of shade to pick from. Similarly with green. (Oh yes, and they are my favourite colours to work with!) But with red, very pale is pink. And very dark verges on brown. And I know there is still texture and shape to work with but I think the lack of shade variation shies me away. So one of the reasons I bought this kit was to give myself that personal challenge; to work with red 'en masse'. I've also had requests for more red pieces at the craft fairs I've recently started participating in, so this kit was always going to give me a good push that I needed!

And this piece is such a good example of why I *love* challenges like this. I love red, but I hardly ever work with it. I love Swarovski crystal but usually resort to using it in the same old ways. I have had the tiny red bell and cool toggle from MissFickleMedia for forever it seems, love them but never could think of how to use them. And spreading out the elements of Andrew's pretty package out in front of me, this bracelet started to take form.....I am so pleased with how this has turned out! Totally different from anything I have made before. A bit kooky perhaps but I think it is a success. Any thoughts? Is it too off the wall for you or would you wear it? All comments gratefully received!

I still have a fair sized bounty left over from Andrew's gorgeous kit, which you can see here. Including the mystery item, a beautiful Andrew Thornton original copper coin, which you can see here! It has a gorgeous heft and weight to it, and is a beautiful shade or selection of shades I should say, of shimmering, rich copper. I had intended to incorporate it into this piece but it just didn't sit right - and time has run away with me for a second piece, which I fully intend to create using the lampworks, Andrew's coin and Marsha's beautiful charm. So watch this space for further pieces using these components!

Please check out the other challengees and see what beautiful goodies they have come up with.

Thanks so much Andrew for creating this beautiful kit and sharing it with us - it has really stretched me, in a very positive way!


Malin de Koning said...

Rebecca! One word! Yes, it's the one you said yourself. Success! You are absolutely right there. This is soooo lovely and interesting and unique and ... and ...

It must be gorgeous to wear. And I thought that before I read your question about it.

I love it! Please work more with red. It really suits you.

Alice said...

Rebecca, this is absolutely gorgeous! It's so unique, and I think it would be very comfortable to wear. Love it!

Like you, I tend to stear away from red when I'm creating, mostly because I have never been a fan of the color. I purchased this kit to challenge myself to use this color, and to get my muse working again, and it definately did the job.

TesoriTrovati said...

That is just so lovely. I would never think of doing something like that. It is very romantic and Victorian looking, and matches your blog theme perfectly, by the way! I think you should make that your banner! Love it.
Enjoy the day!

Anonymous said...

Rebecca! GORGEOUS!!!!! Such a unique and beautiful design! Great job!!!

I bought the kit to push myself too! I don't gravitate to bright red, or red in bulk but the beads were so beautiful the designs just flowed!

Christine Altmiller said...

my jaw dropped and coffee dribbled out when i saw this! what a creative and beautiful cuff you have created! what vision you have! i would absolutely wear this!!! i cannot wait to see what you do with the sunburst coin. i will have an empty mouth when i come back here to look.

Anonymous said...

It's always good sometimes to work out of our comfort zones. We learn a lot about ourselves when we do.
Kooky, ooky and crazy cool.

Green Shoot Jewellery Designs said...

It's absolutely gorgeous, love it!
Deb x

Heidi Post said...

It's so unusual. Very pretty and almost medieval? Maybe? I like it though, and even though you don't work with red, the lace/tatting/whatever you call that -- is distinctly you. Very clever engineering :)

Cillaw said...

Very Unique and beautiful!
I agree it should be your banner.
Great Work!
I am up and running now.
Come on back for a look:)

Lisa said...

Red was my favorite color when I was a little girl! My birthstone was red and I thought I was the luckiest person in the world to have my fav color as my birthstone! And, I honestly think you absolutely did these stones in red justice! I love the contrast with the red and white, and I agree with the others that it looks like you and your style and you should put it in your banner. I would wear it because it is so different. I like different!

Leslie Todd said...

Wow! Your bracelet is so unique and beautiful! Did you do the lace yourself or is it vintage? It's not too off the wall at all.

Leslie Todd said...

Wow! Your bracelet is so unique and beautiful! Did you do the lace yourself or is it vintage? It's not too off the wall at all.

Andrew Thornton said...

How lovely! You're actually not that off about the "variations of shade" concerning red. It's sort of working all in black.

Anyway, it was great to see the piece that you made! Very lovely! I love the sort of glitzed up version of a Elizabethan cuff. Very nice!

Thanks again for participating and for challenging yourself! You did GREAT!

Mary Ann Tate said...

Different, unique and beautiful the red:)

diane hawkey said...

This is the most unique piece i have seen my bead used in. What a treat!

Jo said...

Such a romantic piece!

My Life Under the Bus said...

This is beyond cool my friend - love what you did with the lace!!!


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