I was delighted when my friend Melanie of Earthenwood Studio invited me to participate in her Earthenwood Design Team! I have loved Melanie's work for a very long time. I met her many years ago when we worked at a bead store together, and I immediately fell in love with her amazing ceramic beads. Since then, I've watched as she's expanded her artwork and created lots of wonderful new beads and components. So this is a very special challenge for me!
When I opened the package of beads she sent, I was immediately struck by the interesting texture of the lumber links and the toggle clasp. I liked the copper of the toggle clasp.
I started gathering beads to match. At first I pulled out my semiprecious beads and started to match. Garnet and fossil coral were some of my first choices, but I put the garnet back because it didn't have the right look. The fossil coral, however, had patterns and striations that looked similar to the look of the links. I also thought that some of the Czech beads that are made from vintage glass that I've bought from Raven's Journey had some interesting parallels as well.
My next hurdle was trying to decide whether to use wire or Soft-Flex (flexible beading wire). I'm in between orders on my Vintaj supplies, so I had only a small assortment of base metal to choose from. I thought of using sterling silver, but it didn't have the right look. So I ended up using goldfill wire instead. I was worried that it wouldn't have the right look, but I think it actually brightens the tone of the necklace.
I used large fossilized coral discs which had a great rust color and terrific textures.
I began to bead, and I got about halfway done before I realized that I'd put the link components too high in the necklace, so I repositioned them. I added a few Czech beads made with vintage glass, and round fossilized wood beads that had beautiful colors that matched.
After repositioning the links, I finished wirewrapping the necklace to the right length.
Thank you, Melanie, for the opportunity to have fun with these components! This was a great challenge!
Melanie's blog is located at Earthenwood Studio Blog. Shop at Earthenwood Studio
*FTC compliance disclosure: the ceramic links mentioned in this post were provided as a promotional gift for review or design purposes from Earthenwood Studio