Monday, August 29, 2011

August Reader's Challenge REVEAL...

Today is a Gold Star Day! It marks the REVEAL of the second Reader's Challenge on my blog! A design kit was created with artisan pieces made by Diane Hawkey, Marsha Neal, Sue Kennedy and Bernadette Fuentes. It also included vintage lucite, Swarovski crystals, semi-precious stones, and a Luxury Bead Blend. The kit also included a special mystery component made by me! It was a copper sunburst pendant that was pressed out by hand. Participants were asked to create a piece using as much or as little of the kit as they were inspired to.

Challengers who wanted to share their creations and don't have blogs were allowed to send their pieces in or send photographs of their work to be revealed here. Below are three fine examples:

The above pieces were created by Kari Asbury of Hippie Chick Jewelry & Design. She made three necklaces, that I think look great together. Don't you think they look nice layered together? All of them are whimsical, wearable, and just lovely. I really like how she's used the large round links in two of the necklaces as accent focal elements – it really draws the eye to the artisan focal components.

The above picture is two views of the same stunning, magical multistrand necklace by Marian Howarth. The one on the right depicts the richly abundant necklace draped as if it's being worn. The one on the right includes some of the details. Here's Marian had to say about her piece:

I titled this piece, “The Magic of People.” It is a tribute to the people who influence my life through their talents, perseverance, or love and support. The art bead pieces are from the kit; plus I included three Bob Burkett shibuichi beads I have had for several years. The Tibetan prayer wheel beads are for the Dalai Lama. Hidden inside the necklace (as in a prison) are two pieces of copper tubing on which I have hammered the prison numbers of Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel (A7713) and Nelson Mandela (46664). Plus there are three tiny copper goddesses to represent the women in my life, especially my daughter Carole, my granddaughter Gillian, and my friend Margriet. I made the clasp and darkened all the copper findings, and the ends of the necklace are done with kumihimo weaving down to the Tibetan prayer wheel beads.

This was a fun piece to do, even though it meant threading 2000 – 3000 beads!

The above piece was created by Darby Lohrding. She stated, "I love my creation and the chain tied it all together nicely!! It was the missing link!" The layers of the strands impart an opulent feel. The addition of the blue really pops in contrast with the burnt oranges of the copper and the cascades of red. It's definitely an enchanting necklace.

The picture below is my own contribution to this month's challenge:

I've been REALLY pressed for time with the preparations for Allegory Gallery. It seems like this has been the MONTH of CHALLENGES! I don't think I've ever participated in so many in such a short amount of time. It has been nice to pull myself away from paperwork and frustrating pitfalls and make some time for a creative exercise. I think it has been really good for my creativity, as the time constraints don't give me much time to mull over design decisions and just MAKE.

In this piece, I wanted to keep it fairly simple to put an emphasis on the artisan made components. I always want to spotlight the work of the artisans I am incorporating. I think the magic of this piece lies in the little details. I've used a lot of my own handmade components in this piece and customized the pendant that was the mystery component by riveting Sue's lampwork glass bead on it and creating a movable mechanism that allows the necklace to be adjusted to different lengths without changing the proportions of the necklace. The piece is full of movement and I don't think the still images do it justice. (I was playing with it for hours, making all the parts move and dance!)

In this piece I also used a shibuichi link from Saki Silver and a shibuichi toggle from my family at Green Girl Studios. I think the dark, chocolaty patina helps bring the eye around the piece and provide visual counter-balances for some of the brighter reds.

Another challenge for me was using more of the Luxury Bead Blend. Last time, I used only a tiny bit of it. So, this time, I used more. I think the texture of the small beads balances the large links of the copper chain.

It was such a pleasure to see what everyone made. So many different design ideas and drastically different choices, even with nearly the same materials. For more fun, check out what the other participants made on their blogs:

(Do keep in mind that some of the Reveals have been delayed in posting due to hurricane Irene. Let's send good wishes and positive energy to those who are still without power... some of who are just bouncing up and down waiting to share what they made.)

Patty Gasparino's power was out and she was unable to upload pictures to her blog. Fortunately we were able to figure out a way for her to take pictures with her camera and send them over for me to post here! Just look at her lovely piece! I love the mix of pale blues and reds. It's very striking and has a lot of wonderful texture and details. Very nicely done!

Interested in participating in the next round? Keep an eye out tomorrow for the September Reader's Challenge Design Kit! It's my birthday month and it's going to be a particularly nice kit with some really decadent surprises!


Christine Altmiller said...

what a rich abundance of talent displayed on this page! all the necklaces are soulful and beautiful :-)

Leslie Todd said...

Wow, Andrew! It's amazing how cool and how different everyone's pieces are. I loved the asymmetry of your design and I think the seed beads really look good in there. I love the way you worked all the artisan beads in and the paddled wire components you made.

Alice said...

All the pieces here are so beautiful. I'm amazed by the fact that there can be so many unique creations--all by using the same kit.

Andrew, I love that you riveted Sue's lampwork bead to your focal, and that is a moveable mechanism. Amazing!

Thanks for the wonderful challenge. I'm hoping to snag a kit for September too.

Happy Birthday a day early!!!

Marsha of Marsha Neal Studio said...

Great creations being made!!! You all have some talent! Wish I had time to comment on all the blog posts (will try to come back again later to click and comment)…

Thank You Andrew for having one of my pieces included in your kit!

darbyscloset said...

I love the way "color" is used to enhance the berry-red kit differently with each creation....golds, blues, rusts, autumn tones! All so beautiful!
Thanks Andrew for this fun challenge!

Green Shoot Jewellery Designs said...

I've really enjoyed hopping round this challenge, the challenge components were gorgeous and the pieces created are stunning! I'm hoping to be lucky enough (and quick enough!) to get one of the next months collection!
Deb x

Holly said...

Andrew, first, thank you so much for heading up this challenge! I can't imagine doing it now, while you are trying so hard to get Allegory Gallery up & running! Good luck on that, of course ;)

Second, your necklace is, in a word, scrumptious! I love how textured it is, and that it's so convertible.

Lastly, everyone you showcase here has sent you some spectacular pieces! I can't pick which I love best!

Cillaw said...

Good Job to everyone. Funny how you all made necklaces.
I am up and running now. Come have a peek.

Cathie Carroll said...

Beautiful work Andrew.
I love the simplicity of your piece.

I'm off to check out the other blogs!


JeannieK said...

These ladies did a remarkable job. I think we all did a smashing job with the wonderful art beads we were given and your pendant. It was fun and the red was quite a challenge.

And as always Andrew your designs never disappoint!
Thanks Andrew,

Christine Altmiller said...

andrew, when i was hopping around yesterday, i forgot to thank you for your time and talent! i really enjoyed this challenge :-D

Anonymous said...

Andrew! The talent and creativity of all the artist is amazing, such unique and beautiful designs! Everyone did such a fabulous job!

Andrew, thank you for all the work you do in putting these challenges together. I can't wait to see whats in the September kit, it's my birthday month too! I hope I can grab a kit!

Cece said...

Thanks for sharing this. Love looking at challenge pieces that use the same theme and, or components. It's amazing how no two are identical, all so unique.

CraftyHope said...

This post is so full of WIN it's amazing. It seems everyone was quite inspired by your beautiful mix if reds. And, all the designs are so very different. . . wonderful!
I can't wait to see what's up your sleeve next month and hope that I might be able to get in on it. Fingers crossed!!

Crimson Frog Designs by Kinga Nichols said...

What an amazing bunch! I can't wait to see the September kit, count me in Andrew:)))

CharmN Jewelry said...

Nice creations in various themes and colors...the beads can create lovely and very attractive designs indeed.Gift Ideas