Thursday, March 7, 2013

Vintaj Morning Mist Design Challenge

Those of you who know me fairly well have already discovered that I've been enjoying participating in various design challenges.  Vintaj Natural Brass does a challenge every month on their blog that I love to take part in whenever I can.  It's been a few months since I've done one of these, but I'm back in action this month with their "Morning Mist" challenge!

The only real design parameter for the Vintaj challenges is that your piece showcases a good percentage of Vintaj Natural Brass Co. findings and embellishments.  Vintaj makes a wide variety of products in brass, copper, and arte metal (a blackened color) so there's plenty to choose from in the creative process.  Each month they award a prize of Vintaj goodies to the designer who gets the most votes and also to an editor's pick winner.  I've got my fingers crossed that someday I will be chosen!

I really didn't think that I had time to do another challenge piece this month with all my preparations for the Artsy Market sale, but I figured if I could make something I was willing to part with, then it wasn't really diverting my energies away from the show. 

I looked through my supply of focals and art beads and came across this great enamelled copper pendant by Becka Beads that I had bought from her back when she was still selling at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.  The swirling blues and greens over the copper were just perfect for a misty to figure out how to incorporate enough Vintaj peices to make it elligble! 

Close up of pendant and my initial design idea.
Since the pendant already had copper wire bail with a gemstone I wanted to include some of the gorgeous Artisan Copper from Vintaj.  I haven't built up quite as much stock from their copper line, so I had fewer options to play with.  This ivy piece immediately caught my eye--now I just had to think about the best way to attach it and the pendant to the rest of my necklace design.  I initially thought about hanging the pendant from the ivy as seen in the picture above.  With the longer bail, it just didn't look quite right to me, so I played around with other ideas.

Thinking out my design.

In the end I decided to do a mix of copper and brass elements (the darkened edges of the pendant have a color that's similar to to the natural brass).  I added some amazonite beads (both nuggets and rounds), as well as some pale green gemstones from a mixed strand, along with some other little pops of copper.  I liked the way the chunkier nuggets balanced out the ivy connector for some nice asymmetry.  

The finished product!

If you want to see the rest of this month's challenge entries and vote (hopefully for me!), check out the blog here.  Mine is number 9.

I think I'm drawn to these challenges because they often force me out of my comfort zone and make me think about my beads and findings in a totally different way.  I think our brains all need that on a regular basis to keep us sharp and nimble.

As a P.S. to this post, I sold this necklace at the Artsy Market!  It was one of my more expensive items (due to the art bead and other materials used) so I was thrilled at making such a big sale!


  1. You did a fabulous job!!! with pendant, your designs look so awesome! Definitely, it can attract anybody towards it. 
    Vintaj Natural Brass