5×5 Challenge

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This past month I participated in a very intriguing challenge, along with 4 other Artisan Whimsy members. It’s called 5×5 Testers, and works like this: five artists are chosen each month and each are given five identical components to create with. At the end of the month, all of the pieces are revealed and are featured in the beautiful Bead Chat e-magazine. To see it, click on the “Glossi” link on the right side of the page.

The results are fascinating, as each artist interprets the pieces in their own unique style. I wish I’d have thought to take a picture of the components before I used them (d’oh!), but I do know that some of the other team members did.

Here’s what I came up with-

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I decided to work with this filigree piece first. This was the easiest piece for me, since I work with this style so often. I enhanced just the center of the filigree with Vintaj patinas, and curled the ends under at the sides. At first I was going to join the chain with jumprings, but instead I inserted a headpin with tiny brass beads to work as stoppers. Some absinthe green Czech glass drops swing from the filigree.

Next came the X shaped piece of brass. I gently shaped it with bailing pliers so that it fit the curve of my wrist, and carefully wound hemp cord around the legs and over the center, adding a few African trade beads as I went along. Some vintage cuckoo clock chain and a lobster clasp was added to finish.

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When I saw this large, kind of open weave brass ring I knew I wanted to make a bezel with it, but wasn’t really sure how to go about it. After reading about the process on the ICE resin website, I decided to attempt a backless bezel with resin. I set the frame on a piece of packing tape and poured just a little resin in to cover the inside of the frame. After the first layer was dry I cut a piece of heavy scrapbook paper and laid it in for a background, and continued to add several thin layers of resin, letting it cure between layers. To finish, I painted a brass bird charm and glued it to the front. A couple of tiny bead caps painted with Vintaj patina became little flowers to hide the holes in the bird’s wings.

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Next I tackled the little square of copper. The edges were pretty sharp, so I filed them a little, and then coated the square with Vintaj patina. Once it dried I sanded it here and there for a distressed look, and added a rusty metal flower layered with a bright Czech glass flower bead. It’s strung on bright turquoise suede cord.

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Finally, the domed copper disc! This pretty much had me stumped, and I put off dealing with it until the very last minute. I thought about somehow winding wire through the slots but couldn’t come up with anything I liked, so out of desperation I just started punching holes in it. I had some bright colored embroidery thread laying on my table so I used it to make knots in the holes, and glued a flower shaped Czech glass bead to the front. It’s a little weird, but I kind of like it!

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This challenge was a great exercise, and forced me to think outside my normal creative box! Thanks so much to Melinda Orr for letting me participate, to Alicia Marinache for moderating the challenge, and to Heather Kelly Marston, who generously provided the materials!

Here are links to the rest of this amazing team’s blogs and their fabulous creations –

Charlene Bausinger Jacka     http://www.clay-space.com/blog

Lesley Freedom   http://www.sweetfreedom-designs.blogspot.com

Heidi Kingman     http://www.heidikingman.blogspot.com

Sharyl McMillian-Nelson  http://www.sharylsjewelry.blogspot.com

Heather Kelly Marston      http://www.cswdesignsbyhehe.blogspot.com

 

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About lilruby jewelry

My name is Joan Williams and I'm a self taught jewelry designer and mixed media artist. I was born and raised in the Chicago area, and I now live in the Missouri Ozarks with my husband, son and jillions of beads - along with lots of ephemera and stuff that my packrat ancestors saved (and I'm so glad they did)! My passion is creating jewelry that bears the patina of time and travel, using a blend of new components and found objects. I'm also crazy about antiques, horses, flowers, rusty hinges and chipped paint, so you never know what I might be inspired to talk about. I hope you'll stop by from time to time to see what I'm up to! Click below to visit my Etsy shop and my Facebook page, and to see additional photos on Flickr.

10 responses »

  1. I really like every single piece you designed, Joan! I think what you did with the domed copper disk was really quite daring, with terrific results. Your “X” bracelet is a real favorite of mine too! Very nice being with you on this challenge! –Sharyl

  2. I think you are so very creative. I love all of your pieces.
    I just hope someday you will give lessons.

  3. While all your pieces are beautiful, that first filigree piece is STUNNING! I could see me wearing that with so many things. It looks like it is made specifically for my wardrobe! Will you be selling this piece?

  4. Love everything you did with the pieces! Such creativity! I like how everyone did something different, but amazing at the same time. As I have, at times, hundreds of each on of these pieces I get “stuck” in my designs. It is so refreshing to see what other see in the pieces.

  5. I love all your pieces, but epecially the resin bezel, and the filigree. Nice painting on the filigree, and those beads match so well! I never heard that color called absinthe green before – interesting name!

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