Monday, November 25, 2013

November Art Bead Scene Challenge

When I first saw the inspirtion painting for this month's Art Bead Scene Challenge, "Basket of Apples" by Paul Cézanne, I wasn't really sold on playing along.  Thankfully, the cool proportional color palette that the talented Brandi Hussey did changed my mind!  You can find out more about the painting over on the ABS blog HERE

Basket of Apples by Paul Cézanne, 1893
Oddly enough, I didn't really realize how much of that pale aqua/turquoise color was in the painting until I saw this version of the palette.  I wanted to go with something that reflected the colors and feel of the picture without being too literal this time, but none of my art beads were speaking to me.  I had just snagged an orphan strand of gorgeous lampwork beads from Erin Davenport of Firelily Glass and one of those little lovelies looked like just the thing for a starting point.

Now at 14mm by 9mm, this bead on its own isn't too terribly large when it comes to focals.   I wanted to highlight the luminous quality of the borosilicate glass without overwhelming it.  Per my usual process, I started just grabbing beads that might work in a design and made my very patient husband take a look and listen to my thoughts.

While I can take credit for thinking about using the red recycled glass ring from Trinket Foundry somewhere in the design, it was Eric who thought it would be cool to put the lampwork bead in the center.  When he saw that the ring wasn't drilled he figured his idea was a bust, but I knew with a little bit of work, I could do some fancy wire wrapping and turn these two beads into a really cool focal.  Now what I needed was some time, lots of patience, and a whole lot of wire!

It wasn't at all easy but I did finally get the pendant wrapped reasonably well on my second try.  (On my first attempt I seriously underestimated the amount of wire I needed!)  It might not be the most refined wire wrapping job ever, but I was hoping for a more rustic look anyway.  I decided to go with a symmetrical design this time and made wire wrapped links with dragon blood jasper, China variscite, petrified green opal, and Czech glass for each side of the necklace.

My original design.
I was originally thinking that the pendant would go horizontal as shown in the picture above.  I just wasn't happy with the angles of how things set so it was back to the drawing board for a little reworking.

I switched the pendant's orientation and added in some little dangles off the bottom using Czech glass, turquoise, and little brass charms.  I also added some length to the chain now that it was no longer a choker style.  I'm happy with the overall effect and the colors in this piece.  My wire wrapping skills still have a ways to go, but I'm proud of myself for trying something totally new!

Take two.


  1. Very nice. I definitely like the second version best.

  2. I love the glass bead inside the ring and your color choices. And although the first version was nice, I like the second version better as well. Very nice!

  3. I love seeing the evolution of your design! I, too, was not even aware of the turquoise green color! Isn't that funny? I love what you did with the ring. That red just grounds it and makes it so very rich. I love both designs but the second one gets my vote! Thank you for playing along with us! Enjoy the day. Erin

  4. Thanks so much you guys! It's nice to have my choice to change the design vindicated. :) I have a coworker who is also a painter and I showed it to her (thinking she would like the inspiration painting as well and she bought it!