Thursday, May 08, 2014

Deep Waters Challenge Reveal...

Today is the Reveal for the Deep Waters Challenge!  If you're not familiar with the challenges, I put together Design Kits and offer them on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Challengers claim their kits and I then send them off around the world.  Each participant has about two months to create a piece and at the end of the challenge, everyone shares what they created!

It's a fun way to challenge your creativity and it's always fascinating to see what each person will make with the nearly identical kits.  Sometimes there are overlaps in ideas and themes, and other times, things are vastly different from each other.

I've really been enjoying the current Pantone Fashion Color Report for Spring 2014.  The kit focused on Placid Blue and Dazzling Blue.

In selecting the materials, I thought of the light filtering through deep waters, a glittering array of shimmering blues.  The kit was composed of a Luxury Bead Blend, Czech glass, African glass, vintage lucite, a silver-plated clasp, Irish waxed linen, and Japanese hex-cut seed beads.  Participants could use as much or as little of the kits as they liked.

Here's a close-up of the Luxury Bead Blend.  It's a random assortment of blues with pops of white and aqua.  This kit includes all kinds of goodies, like African glass, vintage Japanese glass, Japanese seed beads, semi-precious stones, Swarovski crystals, lots of Czech glass, and much, much more!  Usually there's enough beads leftover to make several projects and some challengers do!

The kits also include a Mystery Component!  This time, I put a porcelain coin pendant.  I carved the mold of the seahorse and then pressed out the pendants.  I fired them and then glazed them in a matte glaze in royal blue.  I fired them again and tumbled them to bring out the details.

And without further ado... here's the REVEAL:

This necklace was made by Julie Katz.  Here's what she had to say about it:

I wanted to create a piece using the hex-cut seed beads and the Czech glass.  The pearls warm up the multi-strand necklace and the pearlescent glow ties together with the sterling silver toggle from Saki Silver.  The focal of the necklace is a lampwork glass bead by Belladonna Beads.

This necklace was made by Laurel Ross.  Here's what she had to say about it:

I'm not going to lie.  My inspiration for this challenge was the movie, Frozen.  With an almost six year old little princess in residence, the theme song, "Let It Go" has been the anthem that my family has been rocking out to for the past six months.  And how appropriate that in the movie, Elsa turns the WATER surrounding Arandale into deep, deep, deep snow and ice.

I picked up this gorgeous white snow quartz at Allegory Gallery a few months ago.  After sorting through all the beautiful blue lovelies, I just couldn't fall in love with something all blue.  So I let my imagination go and this is the result.  I spray painted a vintage brass stamping silver and what I had originally picked out to use as a clasp.  I instead used the clasp as a focal piece!  I inserted a gorgeous blown glass bead inside and voila!  A piece fit for a princess in an ice castle.  Thanks Andrew for another amazing mix of beads!  I can't wait for the next one!

Here's a close-up of Laurel's piece.  In the top picture, you can see her clasp-turned-focal.  In the lower picture, you can see the pattern of the beaded multi-strand necklace.

This piece was created by Marian Howarth.  Here's what she had to say about it:

I began this pin months ago, but never liked the finished piece.  When the Challenge Beads arrived in my mailbox, I knew they would finish it!  Some beads from the bag, plus the "mystery component" were just what it needed!  I made it to go with the shawl I wove many years ago.  The wire is 18 gauge sterling that I sharpened to a point and bent into the desired shape.  The grounds are old Roman sea glass.  Hope you like it!

This bracelet was made by Alison Herrington.  Here's what she had to say about it:

I recently saw an article in a magazine by Lorelei Eurto with instructions how to make these awesome, multi-strand bracelets out of waxed linen.  I was inspired to use that technique to create my own bracelet.  One strand is made of Czech glass, another with beads from the mix and another with magatamas.  I used three ceramic beads for the focal points.  The "peace" bead was made by Diane Hawkey and the other two were also found at Allegory Gallery.  The closure button is a vintage one that I had in my stash.

This necklace was created by Crystal Farrell.  Here's what she had to say about it:

I used to make a lot of jewelry, but over the past five years, there have been many changes in my life which got in the way of that and my other creative pursuits.  I have very much been wanting to get back into it.  I do still purchase components that I find inspiring when I can afford to, with the intention of using them later.  When I saw the information for this challenge, it seemed like the perfect impetus to finally get me to complete a project.  The deadline and the fact that I could immediately share my work with other people helped, and so did the "Deep Waters" theme.  I have always been fascinated and inspired by the ocean more than anything else, and the beads contained suit my favored color palette almost exactly.  I decided to make something for myself and let my perfectionism run rampant and make something that felt perfect to me.  I have too many pieces that I stare at and just wish that one part was different on.  I made a simple necklace structure-wise, but I spent hours selecting just the right beads both from this kit and my own collection, putting them in the right order.  When I saw Andrew's gorgeous seahorse pendant, I knew that this had to be the centerpiece.  I worked outward from there.  This has exactly the look and feeling that I wanted, and it was a wonderful reintroduction to making jewelry.  

This necklace was made by Crystal's brother.  Here's what she had to say about his piece:

When I showed my younger brother the kit, he mentioned that he had never made anything with beads before.  I thought it would be a nice if we made a family project out of it, and he did too.  I was very impressed with what he did.  He decided to go with the darker beads in the kit and added some carnelian and one of Andrew's Steampunk pendants to make something that was pretty as well as edgy.

This necklace was made by me.  When I started the project, I had a completely different idea in mind.  I originally set out to make a bracelet, but as time grew shorter, I had to make some design decisions to cut the work back.  So, I folded the peyote stitch band in half and made a small beaded purse.  I then added a beaded fringe and sewed on the seahorse focal and two of the African glass discs from the kit.  The base of the necklace is made from the Luxury Bead Blend.

Here's a close-up of the little purse that I made.  I like the fringe, because I think it shows off the mix well.  The finished piece turned out drastically different than what I had originally planned, but I was pleasantly surprised.  It has a very vintage, 1920's flapper girl vibe.

But wait... that's not all!  Please swing by the blogs of the other participants and see what they made for the Deep Waters Challenge:

The Good Earth Challenge is up next!  The kits will go on sale tomorrow (Friday, May 9th) at 8PM EST.  Check back here for the link.  If you're interested in participating, the kits sell out super fast, so make sure to get one while you still can!


Shai Williams said...

I am always so impressed by how a group of designers can start with the same beads and turn out designs that are so diverse. I am impressed by them all.

beautifullybrokenme said...

Andrew - thank you so much for being such a generous host! I really had fun with this challenge, and look forward to participating in future ones! The necklace with the little purse you created is absolutely gorgeous! I love how you have showcased the beautiful focal, and the colors you chose to use for the background are perfectly suited to the design.

Again, thank you so much!

beautifullybrokenme said...

I wanted to comment on all the other artists' pieces separately, so here goes:

Julie Katz: what a lovely design! The focal you chose looks great with the beads from the kit. This design would go perfectly with jeans and a t-shirt!

Laurel Ross: Even though I may be the only person who hasn't seen "Frozen" yet, I DO love the song! Your necklace is absolutely beautiful! The white quartz tells the story you are telling so well, and the blues of the kit compliment your piece perfectly. I love the clasp as a focal - so lovely!

Marian Howarth: What a fun pin! I've never made one myself, but you have inspired me to try one! The old Roman sea glass is a perfect background for Andrew's focal and for the kit beads. I love it!

Alison Herrington: What a whimsical bracelet! Lorelei is a huge inspiration for me as well. I love how you took the style and made it your own - beautiful!

Crystal Farrell: How cool that you were able to use this challenge to spark your creative juices and get back into the jewelry design groove. I think you did a fabulous job selecting just the perfect beads to compliment Andrew's focal. I hope you are able to continue on your creative journey - I can't wait to see what you make next!

Crystal's brother: Wow - what a great design! I really like the carnelian with the dark blues and the steampunk focal - well done!

Kari Asbury said...

All great designs and wonderful stories from each creator! Thank you Andrew for hosting this's always a pleasure to participate in the fun!

somethingunique said...

How fun...kinda like the cooking show chopped...given same ingredients. ..come out with different dishes. ...

Becky Pancake said...

Andrew I enjoyed looking at this challenge. You do a wonderful job of putting kits together. I liked your stitched beaded purse. It showcased the beautiful focal perfectly. Viewing this challenge gave me an idea for a piece that I am struggling with. Thanx

Bluefinch said...

Once again, a great challenge reveal! Love what everyone has done with the beads and the diversity of styles too!

Unknown said...

This was such a fun challenge! As always, I am impressed by the number of different and unique designs that are created using the same components. Thanks for putting these together Andrew.

Unknown said...

This challenge was so much fun. I loved all of the components and it was hard to decide what to use in my piece. As always, I am so impressed by the unique pieces put together by the different artists when given the same components. They are all lovely. Thanks for putting these together Andrew.