Sunday, 14 February 2016

Stacked Earrings Challenge - Chapter 4

Hello! It's time again for our little creative group challenge again, and my goodness, it's been a while since our last round. Hands up, it's all my fault! I had such a lot on over the summer - multiple craft fairs, working down in London for several weeks and the continuing saga of the poorly sick bunny rabbit, that it took me until DECEMBER to get my little bead selection out to everybody. When checking through to see when my last blog post was from this series, and I'm ashamed to say that I've held us up since last May. Eek! So sorry guys! 

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. Here's what I selected for the group:

Photo curtesy of Leah Curtis - please note the super-cute bunny plate!

We're a pretty diverse bunch of designers, all working with beads and found objects, and so it's been fascinating seeing what everyone comes up with each time, from exactly the same selection of beads. I have to say, I had a great time digging through my bead boxes to make this little collection - some beads I'd totally forgotten I owned (the rubber rings on the rh side) and some which I use all the time (ceramic rondelles and pressed glass flowers). When I'd finished gathering everything together, I did feel a little like I should perhaps have included a few neutrals and darker tones in there - you might need your sun-specs for this vibrant a selection! But then again, I adore colour and so it's pretty indicative of me, this little bunch of beads. 

And so without further ado, here's what I turned this little lot into:

I did have one more pair which I started on, but I had used one of my handwoven {song}beads and didn't have enough time to whip up another before photographing these (and it was a rondelle - one of the more time-consuming styles to make), so 5 pairs will have to do. And all in all, I'm pretty pleased with these! Especially because on completion of this collection, I realised that all I'd added to my original bead selection were my own handwoven {song}beads, and findings (the metal bits and bobs!). 

Spice Trail - a true stack of beads here, Czech pressed glass, nickel-free brass, Greek ceramic discs, vintage carved acrylic, handwoven {song}beads and handmade sterling silver earwires. 
These might be my favourite from the set of five. Stacked high with an eclectic mix of beads - ceramics, pressed glass, carved acrylic and of course, some of my own handwoven {song}beads, these are long and luscious. Just look at those vintage carved acrylic rounds! I am so glad I rediscovered these when hunting out beads for this round's little collection.  

Mojito - handwoven {song}beads, Czech pressed glass, handmade sterling silver pins and earwires and vintage acrylic rounds.
This pair also contain some awesome vintage acrylic rounds, and I've paired these with some of my handwoven {song}bead rondelles, and a stack of Czech pressed glass, topped and tailed by my handmade oxidised sterling silver. These are a bit of a departure for me colour-wise - lime green or chartreuse, as we are calling it these days (yep, I know they're technically different but chartreuse sounds so much nicer than lime, doesn't it?), isn't necessarily my go-to green, but here I've paired it with dark silver and teal to tone thing down a bit and it works! (I hope!) 

Favorit - Czech pressed glass, antiqued copper, vintage acrylic rounds, handmade sterling silver earwires.

There's a bit of a story behind the title here. Long-time readers may have noticed that 'Favorit' is a name I tend to use/borrow again and again - and yes, there's a reason behind that. In my late teens/early twenties, I left Edinburgh to go and study down in England, but when I returned to Edinburgh for the holidays, my friends and I always used to meet up in a late night cafe, Favorit. Despite it serving alcohol, we always opted for teas and coffees, and the occasional humus and pitta bread, which I'll freely admit, given the option of wine was unusual for us - even if we stayed there until the wee hours. I have some of the BEST memories of nights there - being silly and daft and laughing, laughing, laughing - Favorit is no more, but I'll never forget the good times had. It has a slight 'retro dinner' feel to it, and so whenever I see my favo(u)it(e) colour-scheme of red and turquoise (pretty retro in itself), I always think back to those good old days. I think this title will keep repeating on me! 

Moon Landing - Peridot, rubber, bone, handmade sterling silver earwires.

These beads were a bit of a wildcard in the selection I sent out. I love gemstone chips, but I must admit, I don't always know what to do with them. And those tiny rubber rings - I'd completely forgotten that they were something I had in my collection, so they were almost like new to me. The craggy surface of the peridot remind me of the rugged landscape of Harris, an island in the outer hebrides which I visited a couple of years ago. My host compared the rocky, barren landscape of part of the island which we were driving through with the surface of the moon, which has really stayed with me. It's a tiny island, but so full of contrast, as so much of the Highlands and Island of Scotland are. The idea that some of the landscape of this tiny island was comparable with the moon blew my mind! So the connection here is an other-wordly one. These earrings are some of my favourites out of this little bunch - perfect for those who like really dainty earrings.

Spring Meadow - handwoven {song}beads, Czech pressed glass, Greek ceramic discs, rubber, handmade sterling silver earwires.

Last but not least, these stackers are fairly classic Songbead. Light bright Spring colours, topped off with some of my handwoven {song]beads, I feel like these earrings are guaranteed to make you smile. Step out into the countryside in a month or two and you'll see these colour popping up everywhere! These are the happiest earrings from the bunch - I'm definitely tempted to make myself a pair of these too. 

And so that's it for this round! Please hop over to my friends' blogs and check out what they've created with exactly the same materials. Looking forward to the next instalment already!


Malin de Koning said...

Rebecca, first of all, thank you so much for the lovely set of beads you sent. So very you, with all the colours and flowers. And then, how fascinating it is to see what different creations we make with the same base. Your first pair - I agree with you - totally favourite of mine too. When I look at all your pairs I am struck by how you have used the beads in so many different ways. Especially the flower discs, which you just stacked in two of the pairs. I will definetly try that too :-). And the flower buds on top of each other in that green pair. I also like the circle shapes at the bottom as a charm in the two pairs. I loved creating with your beads, and now I am even more inspired to make more. x

Claire Lockwood said...

Of course, these are all beauties! I'm particularly sold on the first pair and the last (they're just so joyous!). I also love the stacked flowers at the bottom of the green and grey pair. I feel like I've done a bit of a cheat-y job not including more of your beads in each pair. Big thanks again for the lovely bundle!

Leah Curtis said...

Very, very you! The first and second pairs are my absolute favorites. I'm a sucker for detail and your woven beads add detail within the details. Always love your combinations of color and texture. Thanks so much for this fun set of beads!

Heidi Post said...

As usual, I love all of your earrings! And your [song]beads just bring everything together so well. Also, you are really making me want to go to Scotland! Some day... I think my favorites are Favorit and Spring Meadow.

Jan J. said...

These are all absolutely spectacular! I love the Spice Trail and the Moon Landing ones especially. I don't ever get the chips because I like everything even and smooth, but I love them on these earrings and will have to give a try to something similar. I am going off to see what everyone else did with their lot of beads!

CraftyHope said...

Your choice of beads was AWESOME!! I love all the color you infused in this mix. Beautiful! And your own creations simply sing. Your {song}beads pair well with the mix. I especially like that last pair named songbead. They're all gorgeous though. Well done in all respects.


Related Posts with Thumbnails