Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Artfire Bead Swap reveal
I am chagrined that I am nearly a month late posting these pics, but (sigh) life got in the way. Earlier this spring, I participated in the Artfire Beadweavers Guild bead swap and received some lovely beads from Barbara of Beads of Spirit.
The reveal date was May 15, but I was only a few inches into my beaded rope by then, because I had been so entrenched in my big class final project (which consumed all my waking hours outside of work for about three or four weeks). I made a frantic push to get it done before going on vacation, but I still had a few inches to go, plus the finishing. I finally completed it Sunday night and took some pics this (Monday) evening.
Here again are the beads that Barbara sent me:
As you can see, there is an assortment of amber gold, silver and black beads, in addition to the glass focal and silver clasp. The rules of the swap were that you had to use the focal and the clasp, but were free to add beads from your own stash.
From my collection, I used some silver-lined gold twisted bugle beads from Fire Mountain Gems, which have this cool duotone effect (they look silver in some light and gold in another), as well as some champagne-colored No. 11s from Accents Beads to the mix and then created the rope using a variation of Russian spiral.
To showcase the glass focal, which Barbara said was from Unicorn Beads, I created a bail from three gold oval hoops that I wired together at the bottom only. This caused the top to splay out in a pleasing manner. I then joined the bale and focal with a beaded circle made of some lovely faceted rondelles she included. It's hard to describe the color, almost pumpkin really, but they match the burnt umber of the focal perfectly. (They're in the photo right next to the focal, atop some black beads, but really hard to see. )
The bail was made to be large enough to slip off the necklace, so that the rope can be worn by itself or with another focal. It's about 22 inches total.
Here's a closeup of the clasp, which I was especially taken with:
Some notes on the finishing: Because this type of Russian spiral (made with the bugles) doesn't have a lot of support, I lined the rope with 2mm black cording. I had some cones on hand that had top openings wide enough to slip the cord through some jump rings and then back through the holes. The ends of each cord were then sewn together and tucked down inside the beaded rope.
I'm pleased with the end result. And I am relieved that I am finally done, because this was a karmic debt hanging over my head. This is the first time I've ever blown a bead swap reveal date. I've decided not to participate in any more swap reveals until I finish school next spring. It's just unnecessary, crazy pressure to put on myself.