Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Art Bead Scene: July 2015

It's time once again for me to play along with the Art Bead Scene challenge.  July's inspiration is Still Life with Shells by Dutch Golden Age painter Balthasar van der Ast.  It feels like a display of summer beach treasures from days gone by... these are the best of the best specimens someone has collected with care.  Overall, the colors seem more muted than I'd expect for the middle of summer, but the fruit does offer some small pops of color to the otherwise pale scene.  You can read more about the art and the artist over on the ABS blog HERE.

Still Life with Shells, 1640
BBalthasar van der Ast
This inspiration piece just screamed out for a somewhat literal interpretation (to me, anyway!) and I had just the thing in my stash.  I had gotten a pair of shell charms made by Diana Ptaszynski of Suburban Girl Studio in my Bead Cruise goody bag.  Lucky for me, I was sitting next to Diana and she offered me the matching pendant that just happened to be in her bag!  (Thanks again Diana... you rock!!!!)

The earthiness of this color palette led me to go straight to my gemstones... the rich mix of colors in Red Creek Jasper seemed like a no brainer.  I have several different sizes and shapes of this stone, but I just received a graduated strand of Red Creek Jasper that was perfect for the challenge in an order from Lima Beads... great timing!  To stretch the length out a bit as well as add some additional color and texture, I pulled in some Swarovski pearls and various brass beads.  I also finally braved playing with some of the WoolyWire that I had acquired a while back.  The "Flame" strand had just the right colors to bring out the reds in the painting and the jasper!  I'll admit that there was some trial and error with the Wooly Wire and I don't think I quite have the technique for keeping the cut ends nice and smooth figured out.  After a couple of attempts I'm pretty happy with the bail I made.

I knew that I had to complete the set and make earrings with those adorable shell charms.  I wire wrapped a bunch of tiny Red Creek Jasper Rounds to a jump ring and simply strung that and the charms loop right to the ear wire.  Voila!


  1. Gorgeous set! The shells with the red jasper creek it fabulous!

  2. I love this set, I have not tried the woolywire yet not sure what I would do with it either. The shell beads look great!