Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cloudless Climes...

"She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meets in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which Heaven to gaudy day denies."
- Lord Byron, (1788 - 1824) 

When I saw the new Crystallized - Swarovski Elements disk pendants, I was instantly reminded of the poem by Lord Byron.  Perhaps it was the fact that these new disk pendants, with their precision-cut facets, have a unique quality of both absorbing and reflecting light.

I first saw them at their debut of the new Crystallized - Swarovski Element line in Tucson and I knew I had to work with them.  I was reminded of this need to utilize their versatile shape and brilliant sparkle at a recent visit to, a great resource for jewelry supplies and Swarovski crystal beads. This little trip produced the two used in the design featured above – one in jet and the other in crystal silver shade.   CLICK HERE to visit their site and peruse their selection.  I think that the color palette perfectly embodies Lord Byron's poem.  Needless to say, I was inspired and challenged to create a piece that would capture the essence of the poem.  

Cloudless Climes
Finished Size:  19" (48.26 cm)


1.  Use 2" of wire to create a wire-wrapped link, attaching 1 half of the toggle to 3" of gunmetal chain, strung with 1 dark indigo 8mm round.  Form another wire-wrapped link (using 2" of wire), connecting the gunmetal chain to 3" of jet cuplink chain, strung with 1 light grey pearl.  Attach the end of the cuplink chain to another 3" length of gunmetal chain with a wire-wrapped link strung with 1 dark indigo 8mm round.  

2.  Cut 1" of silver 2mm rollo chain.  Use 2" of wire to create another wire-wrapped link strung with 1 light grey pearl.  Connect the gunmetal chain to both ends of the rollo chain, creating a chain loop to hold 1 crystal silver shade 25mm disk pendant.

3.  Repeat Steps 1 and 2 for the other half of the necklace.  

4.  Cut 1" of silver 2mm rollo chain.  Find the middle 9x6mm link in the top of the bottommost length of gunmetal chain.  Use 1.5" of wire to create a wire-wrapped link, strung with 1 crystal silver shade 4mm bicone, to connect the 9x6 gunmetal link with the both ends of the rollo chain, used as a chain loop to hold 1 jet 25mm disk pendant.  Repeat for the other side.

Resources:  Silver Toggle:  Greeen Girl Studios,  All other materials:  (Did you know that offers fast, free shipping on all of their orders?)

What I love about this design is that it has a lot of movement.  The disks act almost as pendulums that pick up the wearer's movements, amplifying their individual rhythms and motions – creating thousands of tiny twinkles of cloudless climes and starry skies.


Margot Potter said...

Stunning as usual, Mr. Thornton. You have also used my favorite poem...which I like to believe Lord Byron wrote about me whilst gazing into the future! Ha! I'm such a Leo.

Let me know when you want to come and visit the Homestead.


Jean Katherine Baldridge said...

Dear Andrew: The beauty of this piece rivals the poem. I would wear it in a heartbeat with all sorts of outfits...out on the town on a dressy evening in a little black dress, up in a balloon on a picnic, overlooking colorful fields of flowers wearing something a bit wilder, and, of course, during the day, all by myself, wring in my journal, I would wear it next to my heart, dressed in a classic blouse. Great work!
Thanks so much for all you do to contribute inspiration to the online beading community!

jean xox

jean xox

Bukola Ekundayo said...

The necklace is beautiful Andrew! If it weren't for my allergic reaction to precious metals I would make one for myself.

I might try using ribbon for the primary chain. Then I could leave the lower half of the necklace as is. Maybe a silver colored ribbon would work?

Tammy said...

I love what you did with these. They are the type of component that are beautiful but not that easy to design with since they are so unusual, and you did them justice and then some! Thanks for posting such a details how-to with it as well.

Candie Cooper said...

Really beautiful, Andrew! Love how the lighter ring really glows in the photo too. And the double layered chain! Ooo!

melanie brooks said...

ooh gorgeous! I have not seen these components yet! Running over to Art Beads to see them all! Thank you.

Unknown said...

Ooo, I love that pendant! It's a reminder that I need to get to a show int he near future and stock up. Do you know if you guys are still planning to visit next month? we miss you!

Melissa J. Lee said...

Oh, yet another beautiful necklace! I'd not seen the disc pendants before - I will be sure to check them out.

Cynthia Thornton said...

Hey, this is really pretty! Makes me want to make it right now! Good color combo, for any season!

barbe said...

Absolutely gorgeous and very fitting for the poem. I have a friend who is a Byron Freak (even owns some of his handwritten letters)and she would love this.

I often shy away from discs & donuts because I'm unsure how to make them look there best in a design without overpowering it. You have inspired me to get some and start playing! Artbeads here I come!

carol anne said...

Dear Andrew,
Your new necklace is beautiful and thankyou ever so much for the easy to follow instructions! As always you have great information to keep the mind and hands busy and poetry to feed the soul.

jeweledrabbit said...

Beautiful work, Andrew.

Nicki said...

Andrew, as always you have foudn a very impressive way to combine shapes and colors. I think this turned out really special. Interesting enough, my boyfriend (not at all a jewelry guy) likes this necklace even more than me, he got really excited. Thank you for sharing your inspiring artwork with us.

Andrew Thornton said...

Hey Margot Potter!

Thanks so much for your kind words! I'd love to come and visit! We'll craft until we lose our minds and then some. I miss you a bunch.

OH! Congratulations on your latest YouTube video!

Andrew Thornton said...

Hey Jean Yates!

I can just picture you in all your many guises donning the necklace, and you look lovely wearing it.

Thanks for all your continued support and encouragement!

Andrew Thornton said...

Hey Bukola!

There are several different options for creating non-reactive jewelry.

One simple way to wear metal, without having it react is to mist the piece with a clear crystal krylon spray. This will create a thin plastic coating that will keep you and the metal separated.

Also, Beadalon makes an interesting Polychain. It's basically chain that's made out of polyester. The chain can be modified and made sparkly with a few additions of Swarovski flatbacks.

Also, Cindy Gimbrone has a line of glass link chains.

You also might be able to track down some vintage lucite chain.

Or make your own out of polymer clay. You'd have to reinforce your piece with wire, but the wire would be embedded in the polymer clay and it wouldn't come in contact with your skin.

There are all different kinds of solutions.

Another would be passing the wire through a silk-mesh netting. This would prevent any direct exposure and can be embellished.

And yes, you could most definitely use ribbon, fibers, or leather!

Andrew Thornton said...

Hey Tammy! Thanks for your flattering comment! I really like ring, doughnut and disk shapes. The iconography of the symbol and design motif goes back thousands of years. I like the idea of working with such ancient ideas and concepts. The end design might be completely modern, but it's fascinating where the two meet and the old comes face to face with the new.

I really like design challenges! It's a lot of fun!

Andrew Thornton said...

Hey Candie!

I love Swarovski crystals. They put out so much light and are such magical little vessels of something really extraordinary! I think Swavorski nailed it with the new cut and the colors, always improving and keeping one step ahead of their competition!

Andrew Thornton said...

Hey Melanie! Make a beeline on over there before they sell out! I think your pieces would work WONDERFULLy with these. Perhaps one of your little faces mounted in the middle? Or done up with filigree?

Andrew Thornton said...

Hey Eva! We'd love to see you! I don't know about next month or not. I sort of just go where they send me or take me along. I'd love to go though. It seems like it'd be a lot of fun and it's been SUCH A LONG TIME since we all saw you. Congratulations on the bun in the oven!

Andrew Thornton said...

Thanks Melissa for your kind words. Do make sure to check them out. I think they're right up your alley!

Andrew Thornton said...

Hello sister! We're going to totally sit down and make a few samples if you like! I love these crystals so hard!

Andrew Thornton said...

Barbe, you're totally awesome and a great designer! Fear not and jump right in. The ideas will start rolling off your fingertips and you won't be able to stop making disk pendant pieces!

Andrew Thornton said...

Hey Carol Anne! Thanks for commenting and for your kind words. If I could do one thing, it would be to make things that inspire people. I am glad to hear that I'm encouraging people to get up and do something, and most importantly, engage all different sorts of parts of their brains.

Andrew Thornton said...

Hey Maureen! Thanks for your lovely words. It means a lot to me!

Andrew Thornton said...

Hola Nicki! It's nice to hear that you and your boyfriend like my new piece. Your boyfriend has good taste! I'm glad that he was excited by my new necklace and that you all could share a moment of togetherness while looking at my work. Thanks again!

TesoriTrovati said...

Such wonderful imagery so beautifully translated by your expert vision and nimble fingers! I love it!
Thanks for sharing.
Enjoy the day!

Andrew Thornton said...

Ha ha ha, thanks for your kind words Erin! They are truly flattering!

I am happy to share! Your praise means much to me, coming from such an inspired designer!

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