Monday, August 29, 2011

August Reader's Challenge II

I'm only partway finished with the wonderful beads and focals from this month's Readers Challenge from Andrew Thornton

Here's a picture I took of the challenge beads:

 August Reader's Challenge

The challenge beads include a ceramic magic bead  by Diane Hawkey, a floral charm by Marsha Neal, a silvered lampwork bead by Sue Kennedy, a lampwork bead (scarlet sugar bead) by Bernadette Fuentes, a seed bead blend, Swarovski crystals, vintage acrylic, and copper chain (not shown) and the mystery focal--a copper pendant by Andrew Thornton. 

As soon as I saw the beads I wanted to split them up into two necklaces.  I decided to put the floral charm and the sugar bead in one necklace.  The copper pendant has a stylized sun so I decided to go with a nature/flower/sun theme. I made a copper clasp to  go with this necklace.  For some reason my flash decided not to work so these are a bit dark. 

Reader's Challenge necklace 1

I gave the magic bead a lot of thought.  Magic has more than one definition and I decided to work with the theme of magic as illusion.  I researched historical female magicians and illusionists and settled on Mercedes Talma. Mercedes performed from 1899 through the 1920's.  She was known as the "Queen of Coins" for her skill in manipulating coins and making them appear seemingly from the air.  She confounded viewers during performances by wearing an off-the-shoulder gown that lacked sleeves in which to conceal the coins. 

Keyholes invoke the idea of mystery and things hidden so I decided to have Mercedes peeking out from a keyhole.  This is what I have so far:  

Reader's Challenge necklace 2

The escutcheon plate is iron and had surface rust.  I cleaned the rust up but left it dark as much as I could.  It's been coated with ProtectaClear to prevent any more rust.  The photo is one I found of Mercedes Talma.  The escutcheon plate will be backed with an etched brass plate and it will be riveted together. I'll probably darken the brass considerably so it doesn't stand out too much from the silver tones of the necklace.  Right now I'm thinking of wire wrapping the beads together with sterling silver, which I will antique.  I've had these Asian coins for a while and I thought they would go well with the "Queen of Coins." I'll probably use all the crystals that were in the challenge kit on this necklace, and some sterling spacers. 

Here's a list of the other challenge participants.  Check out their designs:  

Darby Lohrding, Marian Howarth, and Kari Asbury will all have pieces featured on Andrew Thornton's blog.

I still have a giveaway going until noon (Pacific time) on Monday 8/29.  Scroll down to the previous post. I'll notify the winner later on today but the reveal post will be tomorrow.


Christine Altmiller said...

i love the work in progress and seeing it laid out. you really did a lot of homework before getting started! it is going to be a fabulous piece!
the starburst pendant necklace is beautiful---nice and simple!

Alice said...

Leslie, I love your necklace! That second one is going to look fabulous with that iron focal!!!!! I can't wait to see it finished!

Holly said...

Leslie, oh yay! The first necklace is gorgeous, but I really can't wait to see what your second piece looks like. You really put alot of thought into this!

Green Shoot Jewellery Designs said...

Wow, I love your necklace. The august challenge had some awesome beads!
Deb x

Cillaw said...

Your Necklace is great! The second set up looks like it will be equally fantastic. Great research!

Therese's Treasures said...

Leslie, Your designs are wonderful the first necklace is very pretty and the second necklace design is intriguing. I like how you researched females in magic to base your design.

Andrew Thornton said...

How lovely! Both pieces! I can't wait to see the latter one finished! You intrigued me with the story about the female magician.

You've done an amazing job of bringing everything together and creating a really elegant piece in the finished piece. It's really wearable and very charming! Nicely done!

JeannieK said...

I love the double strand with the glass flowers and the second one is a start of something great.

diane hawkey said...

WOnderful! i can not wait to see your finished piece.

My Life Under the Bus said...

Beautiful work Leslie - I love how people get hit with inspiration as they open the beads!...and flower dangles I am totally addicted to them love them! XO

Leslie Todd said...

Thanks everyone! I found a wonderful stamp that looks sort of mystical so I've decided to etch some nickle silver for the back of the pendant piece.

Jennifer Tennant said...

Great idea, looking forward to seeing all of the good designs that come out of it.

Silver Jewelry Jaipur said...

amazing post really a good example of art so nice work done keep doing this kind of work so great