Thursday, July 13, 2017

Inspiration in Everyday: July 2017: Koi

It feels like it's been awhile since I've played along again with a design challenge from a newer group on Facebook called Inspiration in Everyday.  The group has been created as a means to share the everyday things we take inspiration from to use in jewelry.  The idea is pretty simple... find something that inspires you to create beads, components, or jewelry, take a photo of it, create something based on that inspiration, and share in the group!  There is an art bead focus to the group and each creation shared should include at least one handmade art bead or component.

While we were wandering around Milwaukee when we visited for the Bead & Button Show last month, we stumbled upon a cool piece of sidewalk art.  We were on a mission to get someplace (probably the next beer or cocktail!) but I still stopped to snap a quick iPhone photo of these delightful koi fish swimming on the cement.  Maybe I was subconsciously inspired by this unexpected artwork, but I ended up buying a cool koi pendant from Diane Hawkey at the show.  

In my usual way, I gathered a bunch of possible beads to play with Diane's pretty pendant and let them percolate on my bead mat (and in my brain!) for a bit while I worked on other things.  Here's a peak at my not-so-controlled-chaos!  Most of these beads made it into my final design!

I ended up using an eclectic mix of materials to play with the pendant... ceramic, Czech glass, copper, cracked quartz, and teal paisley jasper.  I didn't love the look of the black wire loops on the top and bottom of the pendant with the materials I had selected, so I played around with a couple of different options to camouflage them.  For the top loop, I wrapped coils of copper colored wire all the way around it.  On the bottom I was originally thinking that I would have some sort of dangles... charms and or beads... so I started by adding some small jump rings decorated with seed beads that I thought would fall on either side of the charms.  I never quite got the dangle idea to gel (partially because it felt like the focal was getting too big and partially because I wanted the koi have the attention) so I ended up just adding a few more decorated jump rings.  I like the effect... what do you think?

My photos really don't do justice to the gorgeous shimmer or the gold highlights in the pendant, but I promise it's even lovelier in person!  I may have to make Eric get the photo light box and real camera out for this one.

Thanks for stopping by to see the inspiration that I found in everyday!  P.S. If you're interested in my Bead & Button adventures this year, you can read my post on that HERE.


  1. ohhh!! that little bunch of beads at the bottom!!

  2. I love how this turned out. You really coaxed all the colors out of the pendant! And your fancy-ing up of the loops is great. The seed bead jump rings look like little fish bubbles coming to the surface.