Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Combination Collar and Pendant

Island in the Sun Lampwork Pendant by Firedance Beads

Have you ever created something that you absolutely loved, but got plenty of strange looks, weird comments or terrible critiques? It happens to the best artists and crafters from time to time. The real test is whether or not we take the advice, learn from the experience, get discouraged or just keep doing what we like anyway.

When it came time to decide what to make with April’s unique bead find, I found myself leaning towards a design style that got many mixed reviews the first time I tried it. It was a piece that I really liked, and despite lots of unimpressed comments, it sold almost right away, so I took that as a good sign. I wasn’t discouraged, so I didn’t hesitate to do it again this time around.

The bead in question is an absolutely gorgeous off-mandrel lampwork pendant from Firedance Beads. The studio is very close to my home, so it was a real treat to order the piece that I wanted, and then find it in my mailbox just 2 days later. I had lots of time to think about what I was going to make with it.

Giant Astro Pop!

The Inspiration:

I really like to do simple projects with art glass, because it allows them to stand out, and it keeps the price low. But since I’m buying new beads every month as a topic for this blog, I want to avoid doing the same thing over and over. This pendant needed something besides the same old caged bead chain.

I love the combination of transparent yellow, red and green, and the way they light up. It reminds me of one of my favorite childhood treats - the Astro Pop. It seems that the giant conical lollipops are no longer being made, and I thought for a moment that it would be fun to pay a little tribute with a color-blocked spiral rope in matching colors.

The Beads:

Luckily, before I could convince myself that an Astro Pop spiral rope would look great, I realized that I didn’t have enough transparent yellow seed beads. I had to come up with something else.

Then I remembered the bib necklace that I made awhile back, with a huge Cubic Zirconia pendant, and a new idea started to form. Instead of highlighting all three colors from the pendant, I chose one - dark green. Some earthy dark topaz drops were all I needed to finish the palette and get to work.

The Beadwork:

I used the transparent emerald seed beads to make a plain netted collar. The drops along the outer edge are like tiny mimics of the pendant, which I suspended from the center of the collar in the same fashion.

Summer Green Collar

Maybe adding a large lampwork pendant to a netted necklace seems strange, but I love the way it turned out. With the single color netting, the pendant doesn’t look out of place or overdone. Likewise, the netting makes a nice background for the pendant - wide and strong but not too complicated.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this design, good or bad! What’s your weirdest and most wonderful creation?

Copyright 2011 Inspirational Beading
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  1. This is a really beautiful blog post, I like how you explained your process of thinking out your next creation, and how you reflected back on an earlier piece for inspiration too! The necklace you created for the pendant is so pretty, I love the color green, and the accenting pearls are so lovely. Thanks for sharing, and for not giving into the critics!

  2. YES!! Absolutely the right solution, and beautiful. Is that RAW or just simple netting?

  3. Actually that happens to me a lot. I put a ton of work into a piece & no one else seems to be crazy about it. I think I just have a weird sense of design. I'd like to send a picture of an example, if I can figure out how to do that. BTW, I really like your netted necklace with the large focal.

  4. Thank you very much! So far so good.

    I would love to see some pics of other designs that are a little off the map! You can send JPEGs or Flickr links to me at inspirationalbeading

    I used a really basic pattern of vertical netting for this piece. I hope to share a tutorial for it very soon!

  5. I would never think to do this. I would think that the netting would be too delicate for the focal and that would be the end of it. I love what you've done and hearing your process. This totally works and works beautifully! Amazing! I love it.

  6. I think it looks great too! I never would have thought to pair netting with the focal bead, but the drops on the sides evens it all out. Looks awesome!

  7. I wouldn't have thought to do this either, but agree with the others that it is really inventive and works really well.

  8. The design, the color, the interesting focal pendant, all work beautifully together.


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