Thursday, July 17, 2014

Good Earth Challenge Reveal...

Today is the Reveal for the Good Earth Challenge!  If you're not familiar with the challenges, I put together a Design Kit 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 the ideas and themes, and other times... things are vastly different from each other.

For the few kits this year, I've been inspired by the Pantone Fashion Report for Spring 2014 and this time, I focused on Freesia, Hemlock, and Sand, with pops of Cayenne and Celosia Orange.  In selecting the materials, I thought of the bountiful, good earth.  I saw in my mind fields of tall grasses, waving in the wind.  The kit was composed of a Luxury Bead Blend, lots of Czech glass (both old and new), African glass, brass, Japanese hex-cut seed beads, Hamilton gold, waxed linen, and more.  Participants could use as much or as little of the kit as they liked.

Here's a close-up of the Luxury Bead Blend.  It's a random assortment of golds, browns, greens, and pops of orange, cream and red.  This blend included all kinds of yummy treats, like Czech glass, semi-precious stones, Swarovski crystals, different kinds of Japanese seed beads, and so much more!  Usually there's enough beads leftover to make several projects and some challengers do!

That's not all the kit includes though!  There's a Mystery Component.  In this case, there were two Mystery Components.  No one knows what they are until they arrive at the challengers' doorsteps and even then, they can't share what they are until the Reveal date.  This is a strand of Faux Moroccan Amber.  I was inspired by the luminous beads and decided to make some out of polymer clay.  I then stained and colored the Faux Moroccan Amber beads and hand-polished each of them.

The second component was a polymer clay leaf charm.  I craved the mold, pressed them out, baked them and then colored them with a variety of inks, colored waxes and paints.

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

This necklace was made by Laurel.  Here's what she had to say:  "I liked the mishmashed look of the Good Earth blend so much that I decided to do the same thing with the larger beads!  I made a simple loop of these strands and added some heavy duty chain to complete the look.  The length can be adjusted but I'm keeping it longer to pair with a black top, leather jacket and boots to wear this fall!"

This necklace was also made by Laurel.  Here's what she had to say:  "I played with this piece for almost the entire duration of the challenge.  I knew I wanted to use this imitation turquoise as soon as it was posted on Facebook by Allegory Gallery.  I thought that a mix of bead blend braided around these chunky stones would be very unusual.  Then it was a matter of how to tie it all together. I visualized the antique brass flower at first, but then I tried a bigger bead from my stash.  When it didn't look right to me, I went back to my original plan and am glad that I trusted my instincts, as I'm quite pleased with the result."

This mixed media necklace was created by Kim Griggs.  I love how she incorporated found objects with the mix to create a really eclectic piece.  It looks as though each element tells a story and there's a powerful narrative flare to this texturally juicy necklace.

This necklace was made by Deb Floros.  Here's what she had to say about it:  "This "Good Earth Talisman Necklace" is almost completely made with elements from the kit.  I really enjoyed the polymer clay focal and beads!  I added the waxed linen and some pieces that made the necklace almost appear like a talisman.  I love the funky, earth feel of this piece."

 Here's an alternative view of the Good Earth Talisman Necklace made by Deb Floros.

This bracelet was made by Deb Floros.  Here's what she had to say about it:  "The bracelet is all about Earthy Glam!  I love the shine of the beads and the wonderful earthy tones.  This bracelet is made almost entirely with beads from the kit.  I strung them on gold memory wire and plan to wear this one often!"

These earrings were made by Deb Floros.  Here's what she had to say about them: "I really loved these clear-ish glass Chicklet beads!  I combined them with gold elements and used some of the waxed linen to attach more of the pretty glass beads.  I think these earrings will go wonderfully with the necklace."

Here's another view of the earrings.

This bracelet was made by Ann Mergl.  This bracelet is made of the Czech glass included in the kit and has a beautiful elegance with the repetitive pattern and earthy colors.

This necklace was made by Ann Mergl.  It's a multi-strand necklace with one longer length and a shorter one.  The beads were mostly from the kit with the addition of some blue beads, which pops the white and plays with some traditional Native American color palettes.

This necklace was made by Alison.  It incorporates the Faux Moroccan Amber beads and is paired with some vivid, contrasting blue beads that make the design really pop.  The cross pattern of the blue beads and how the "amber" beads are laid out, makes the piece looks like "XOXO" pattern.

This piece was made by Alison.  It can be worn as a necklace or as a wrap bracelet.  It features mostly pieces from the kit, knotted on the waxed linen.  It has wonderful texture and a beautifully beaded feeling to it.

This bracelet was made by me.  The base of the bracelet is composed of the Japanese hex-cut seed beads, woven together with peyote stitch.  The bottom edge of the bracelet has a beaded fringe with beads from the Luxury Bead Blend.

Here's another view of the bracelet.  It's held together with a copper tube clasp and has a delicate picot-inspired edge.  When I thought about this bracelet, I almost thought of it as a ruffled cuff that could be worn with other bracelets and be a part of a stacked ensemble.

But wait... that's not all!  Please swing by the blogs of the other participants from around the world!  Check out what they made for the Good Earth Challenge!

The Dark Bloom Challenge is up next!  The Reveal is scheduled for Thursday, August 7th.  Check back here to see all the lovely creations.

Also, tomorrow (Friday, July 18th) the Festival Lights Challenge kits will go on sale!  Swing by tomorrow and get ahold of your kit!  If you're interested in participating, the kits sell out super fast, so make sure to grab one while you still can!


Unknown said...

Great pieces here all! Andrew, thank you for hosting and posting! Great fun!

Ann Schroeder said...

This blog post is chock full of wonderful creations! I love both of Laurel's necklaces. They are exactly the type of thing I love to wear. Her first one will look fantastic with her fall outfit!

Kim's mixed media piece is wonderful. I aspire to make a mixed media piece. I love the feeling that there is a story behind them.

Deb's talisman necklace is great. I love the very idea. And I'm going to have to steal the phrase "earthy glam" used to describe the pretty bracelet!

Ann's colorful double strand necklace and elegant czech bead bracelet are so pretty.

I was blown away by the color combination of Alison's beautiful necklace. I love the shape of the blue beads and how they work with the faux amber!

Andrew's cuff bracelet looks so luxurious and glamorous. It would just make the wearer feel as beautiful as the bracelet.

Thank you, Andrew, for a wonderful challenge and hop!

Kari Asbury said...

Well...I am just in sensory overload from all the fantastic designs! So many fantastic variations from the same materials. This has been a wonderful hop with lots of really talented artists!

Alison Adorns said...

Andrew, Thank you for hosting this and for posting others on your blog! Everyone's pieces turned out amazing! I have so much fun sorting out the mix into separate piles and saving for later!

Shai Williams said...

Totally beautiful designs! I just love seeing how everyone goes a different direction from the same point. Some of the pieces are playful and some are almost spiritual.

ChristinaMarieH said...

I am so amazed at the variety of techniques and designs, all from the same kit of beads!

Karin G said...

So many wonderful creations from the same kit! I love the variety of techniques used, multistrand, weaving, use of found objects, all the designs are so rich and perfect illustrations of the richness of the Earth!

Inner Muse Jewelry Design said...

First, a big Thank You to Andrew for hosting this event and putting together the bead soup! I still have mine spread on one of my bead mats and am going to finish off my projects.

Second, I loved all of the designs displayed in this reveal! Oh my! The inspiration and creative energy was flowing through these wonderful creations. I felt very energized to create more pieces after viewing all the blog posts. What a great way to reawaken that dormant Muse!! It was also just plain ~F~U~N~!!

Marybeth said...

So many beautiful pieces created by all the participants! Thanks so much Andrew for hosting us and giving us such wonderful beads to work with.