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The first design challenge was symmetry, so it makes perfect sense that the second one was asymmetry. I decided to make a shorter necklace this time (and earrings to match [well, not so much match as coordinate. I’m not a huge fan of matchy-matchy. And besides the earrings could easily be worn independently of the necklace.]) So here we go…

Symmetrical design can be easy because you design both sides simultaneously  if you like something, you just add it to the other side and next thing you know, you’re done!  Asymmetrical design can be a bit trickier; it’s requires a bit more moving around, trial & error, the abandoning of what seemed like a great idea in theory but, in practice, wears like a nightmare.

After all the wrangling and rearranging, here’s where I ended up:

That’s a lock I found at an antique mall (I wish I’d thought to tie the key to it like that but it came that way & I loved it too much to change it. Serendipity.).

I found the keys at the Texas Art Asylum.

I used the steel wire again plus a little bit of copper along with moonstones and black tourmaline.

For the clasp, I used the ring the keys came on when I bought them and fashioned a hook out of copper wire.

A look at the earrings:

So that’s my go at asymmetrical design.  Let me know what you think!

Next up: texture.

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Hi y’all! It’s been awhile again. I know. Life has been all kinds of in the way of me getting any creative work done. I’ve been working on some custom orders but not much in the way of anything new. So when I learned that the wonderful Deryn Mentock was offering a class built on design challenges with some great techniques thrown in, I knew it was something that *needed* to make it onto my fall calendar. My creative fires are in great need of stoking.

The first design challenge = symmetry.  I dug out an old pocket watch that I’ve had for at least 2 decades.  It worked fine as a necklace just on a velvet ribbon. But I decided it was time to give this old thing a new lease on life!

You know I almost didn’t work with this pocket watch because it’s not silver. Crazy, right? I almost always wear sterling silver (and have no plans to part with this piece!) so I spent some time figuring out how to mix the metals. I finally decided not to use any (as in NONE) silver what-so-ever. It made sense to not have any shiny, sterling silver as to not compete or look like I’m trying to be matchy-matchy with the other sterling silver I already wear. So here’s where I try something new: steel wire.

I used faceted onyx beads, of two different shapes, for variety. I mixed in a few smooth blue tiger’s eye beads because they are deep in color, so they blend fetchingly with the black. But they also have some pretty highlights that are similar to the golden shine of the pocket watch. I wrapped all the links in the steel wire and then made some little springs to hold the velvet ribbon. The velvet ribbon is from the original necklace and it ties in the back and I can adjust the length a bit as needed.

I’m quite happy with how it turned out. I’m very interested to see how the steel wire wears. Since it’s a dark annealed variety of steel wire, I’ve got my fingers crossed that it doesn’t rub off on the white blouses I love to wear. If it passes my wear-ability test, this hardware store staple may make more appearances in my work.

It’s not easy (for me, anyway) to show the variation in color in the blue tiger’s eye beads but you get the idea a bit here.

As I worked on this piece I thought a lot about time and how we measure it in very symmetrical ways. The actual experience of time, however, is nothing but symmetrical; summer vacations fly by but meetings and math classes drag on forever. My mind ended up wandering past the idea of momento mori, and ‘vanitas‘ paintings. And the skull bead just seemed to fit right in along the old watch, black beads and the dark steel wire.

And since some of you won’t be happy with out seeing the face of the watch, here it is:

There are 5 more weeks of challenges coming up and I’m planning to share my results here, good or bad. You know what else I’m planning? To not go out shopping for ‘new’ found objects to use in my challenge pieces. I’m going to re-work old pieces and use the things I’ve been hoarding collecting & squirreling away for years. I’ve got lots of little things lying around here that ‘I’ve been planning to make into something’  for a while, time to put that stuff to work! Now I’ve just set myself up with a lot of challenges: the design challenge pieces, blogging about them and not shopping for stuff for the design pieces. We’ll see how all *that* goes…

See you next week!

FYI: Deryn Mentock’s Alchemy of Objects class registration is open until October 15th with the online classroom open until November 30th. The challenges will be posted during the first 6 weeks and then there’s plenty of time to stretch your creative muscles. There are private facebook, flickr and yahoo groups for support, feedback and to learn not only from Deryn (a treat!) but from the other students, too. Come join us, it’s not too late!

P.S. Deryn is giving away 2 spots in this class. Visit here for the details but do it before Saturday the 22nd (that’s when she’s drawing the winners!)

***Update*** I ended up adding a small quartz crystal to the watch bow and NOW it feels done!

So I just got a BlackBerry Bold (RIP Curve). WordPress has a BlackBerry app. This post is an attempt to use said app to post. So let me share with you a necklace that I made this weekend that I’m afraid to say I’ll never be able to duplicate!

The first picture is the front. I love the little cracking/missing piece at the bottom, which of course I’ll never be able to do again. Part two of why-I’ll-never-be-able-to-make-this-necklace-again is that I bought the chain on closeout from Rio Grande years ago. Hmmm. The second picture is an attempt to show the texture on the back.

This pendant was the first one I’ve tried with that round bezel around it, so I look at it & see beaucoup de errors. So the pendant along with this posting from the BlackBerry is an exercise in trying something new and then figuring out how to do it better. On that note I’m going to add the pictures (also taken with the BB) then try to publish this thing. Since blogging fom my phone is important because…

Feast your eyes on two of my newer pendants. I’m loving the go-with-everything, simple charm of these.

The Initial Pendant is my variation on the ubiquitous letter charm. Incidentally, it’s also the first pendant I made after I took my introductory Art Clay class. It goes without saying that I will make this for you in the letter of your choice. you don’t have to wear a ‘C’ just because I do.  (Please tell me my reference to first=initial wasn’t lost on you. I mean it made sense, right?) There’s the potential here to accent with a birthstone instead of a pearl, too. (if your birthday’s in June: two birds, one stone. [One pearl.]) Or you could have your kids’ birthstones or well, I could go on here forever. One day y’all will pick up on the fact that our possiblites are endless to make any of this jewelry *yours*.

The Initial Pendant is made of Fine Silver, accented with a freshwater Pearl & strung on a 16″ Sterling Silver bead chain. $40.

Initial Pendant

Back of Initial Pendant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How can you not love a bee? ( Life threatening allergies aside, of course.) The industrious, helpful, flower loving bee.  Historically, a symbol of immortality, rebirth and overcoming obstacles (you know the whole it-should-be-impossible-for-a-bee-to-fly-since-he’s-not-very-aerodynamic-and-his-wings-are-too-small-for-that-body-yet-he-does-it-in-spite-of-the-science thing). And the next time one flies into your house, before you shoo him outdoors, keep in mind he just might be there to let you know that luck is buzzing your way. Or string your luck around your neck and take it with you everywhere you go.

The Bee is made of Fine Silver, accented with a Freshwater Pearl & strung on a 30″ Sterling Silver bead chain. $55.

The Bee Pendant

Back of The Bee Pendant                                                                                                                                                                          

Here’s an excellent compendium of bee facts. I *heart* a good compendium.

It’s true: You Are Unlimited. We all are but sometimes we forget. Or we stop believing it.

I saw this phrase on the tag of a tea bag (Yogi Tea Green Tea Blueberry Slim Life, if you’re looking for the details) and it’s been stuck in my brain looking for somewhere to land. So I embedded it in a Fine Silver pendant sprinkled stars on the back and dangled a pretty, pretty pearl as an accent. Why a pearl, you might be asking yourself? A pearl because a pearl is born of irritation. Irritation transformed into something we value as beautiful. See where I’m going with this? We all have our irritations/annoyances/turns of bad luck that have moved us along on our path to something beautiful. It happens when we honor our unlimitedness and find ways to feed it so we can get through the ups & downs that we are bound to encounter as we live our lives.

Need some a bit of guidance on nurturing yourself so you can feel unlimited? Fred Krazeise of Empowered & Fit offers these ideas for taking care of yourself (It simply must be done. Take care of you so you can take care of whoever or whatever else you have to take care of.)

You Are Unlimited Pendant

 

 

 

Stars

The You Are Unlimited pendant is made of Fine Silver with a Freshwater Pearl and comes on a 16″ black satin cord. The pendant is a 1.25″ oval, the pearl adds about half an inch. $55.

As per usual, want a different length or style of chain? Want your personal words to live by on a pendant? E-mail me at info@studio219designs.com or leave me a comment