Monday, January 23, 2012

New Beads: Indonesia

Indonesian Glass Face Pendant

When I first decided that my 2011 New Year’s resolution would be to try out new beads every month, I had my sights set on really unique materials, like one of a kind lampwork and vintage treasures. I have found some fantastic focals along the way, and learned a lot about my own beading preferences and abilities.

Towards the end of the year, I had to make some adjustments to my goal, since ever shrinking bead budgets left little room for expensive art beads and one-use components. Although I’m glad I had this challenge to give me the chance to try out other things, like long magatamas, I wanted to make sure that the final New Beads design was a big one. Luckily, December is always a little fatter than the rest of the year, and I was able to finally make a trip back to Happy Mango Beads for some irresistible goodies.

The selection on the website is large and varied, and since I didn’t have a specific focal style in mind for the last challenge piece, I started in the new arrivals section. Much to my delight, I came across some adorably charming face pendants from Indonesia. I was even more thrilled to discover that they are made from glass - no metals, gems, or plastic! I didn’t even hesitate to snap them up. I couldn’t walk away without a few strands of this and that, and I found some beautiful dyed buri nuts, also from Indonesia, and added them to my African Christmas beads and white hearts.

When I saw my new face pendant in person, I had a long debate about how I was going to use it. Such a beautiful bead deserves a great background, but did I want to make something so elaborate that it would take away from the fine details in the pendant? And with so many different accent colors to draw from, how could I choose a palette that would work with both the beadwork and the focal?

Tribal Pendant Necklace

At the risk of boring even myself, I was drawn to use a simple beaded chain - my favorite treatment for unique focals. The advantage to such an uncomplicated necklace would be the extra room for color play. So, I gathered up an assortment of brown beads, plus orange, yellow, red and turquoise green to match the decorative glass face.

I love the natural element that the buri beads bring to the chain, and their size allows the smaller, more colorful beads to sit in the background a little, balancing the design. Although this wasn’t exactly the ‘big’ necklace I had envisioned for the twelfth and final piece, I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. Trying out these Indonesian treasures was exactly the experience that I had hoped for last January.

Thank you so much for following along and supporting me during this challenge. The new mission for 2012 will be revealed soon, and I’ll be inviting beaders and bloggers to join in the fun!

Copyright 2012 Inspirational Beading
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  1. I really love how you did this piece. That beaded chain is awesome and really highlights the amazing focal. Very, very nice!

  2. We are very honored that you chose some of our beads for your December project. What a fabulous necklace!! Love the beaded chain! ~ Rudi

  3. That piece really turned out beautifully. I love the contrast and the focal bead is just adorable! ♥ :D

  4. I love this combination of colors.

  5. I hope you love the beads from my country =)


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