8/11/12

Bead Soup Blog Party - Playing with Fire

My Bead Soup Blog Party partners, Evie and Beth McCord, presented me with four of their vibrantly toned enameled focals; one for each of the classical elements, air, fire, earth and water. (You can see the entire bead soup here). I tend to create on a very small scale – I consider size 8 seed beads monstrous and if I were going to stray from my typical 3mm crystals, it would be toward 2.5mm, not 4! In the last year I've pushed myself to incorporate larger beads and a greater variety of materials in my work, so these big, beautiful pendants were the perfect challenge!

Have you followed Alan Alda’s challenge to the scientific community to explain to 11-year-olds exactly what a flame is? I’d recently watched the winning entry, an illuminating video by Ben Ames, complete with catchy rock song. So, since flames were already stuck in my head, I chose to design with the fire focal for this challenge.

Expanding on the orange, yellow and red in the luscious lampwork beads from Evie and Beth, I added sterling silver, some richly colored squiggle beads, Czech glass and Kazuri rounds, a bit of red and yellow coral and black agate. Looking to create a neckpiece with firm structure and very little drape, I chose cubic right angle weave, reinforcing each stitch twice to ensure a very square shape. To stabilize the center section of the neckstrap, I inserted a length of 18 gauge wire, twisting the ends into simple loops, which I secured in the beadwork. To connect the sides, I made 5 passes through the center piece with 10-pound Fireline. I wanted the neckstrap to maintain this shape when I added the pendant portion of the focal.


Beth and Evie included a beautiful sterling silver toggle clasp which was perfect with the vivid yellows and oranges in the pendant.

Silver is also a fresh look with the  yellow-gold seed beads and orange-red stones in the earrings. These pieces are sure to put some sizzle in my fall wardrobe!


In his 7-minute video, Ben Ames, graduate student in quantum optics, explained life’s little mystery of the flame. I am so glad Beth and Evie McCord explored it even further and transformed its power into art! Take a minute now to head over to the EB Bead and Metalworks blog to see what they did with my bead soup! Then click here to go to our hostess, Lori Anderson's blog, for links to all the Second Reveal participants (scroll half-way down the page.)

As always, Lori, the biggest thanks to you for encouraging our creativity and organizing all 400 of us into this year's Bead Soup Blog Party. Fire element finished, I'm diving into the water focal next!

73 comments:

  1. Amazing focal, love what you've done with it

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  2. Okay when you get really tired if that necklace I know someone who adores red & orange. Can you guess that it is me? I feel the same way about those monstrous 8s too!!

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  3. You have been playing with fire... it is gorgeous!

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  4. Fantastic fire necklace and perfect earrings! Regards from Poland, Dorota

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  5. What a great necklace! I love the earrings :-)

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  6. omg what a great job you did. now i want to go make something red and orange. that's fantastic!

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  7. Gorgeous pieces !
    LOVE that necklace !
    Evie and Beth make such fabulous big beautiful pendants !
    You showcased this one perfectly !
    Delicious soup !
    m.e. :)

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  8. I love the flame necklace. Don't you love how challenges get you to work in a way you hadn't before? Could you send me the link to the Ames video you mentioned?

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  9. The colours are amazing and the details in the necklace are pure joy. Great focal too

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  10. Awesome job on the necklace! It's seriously fierce -- looks like it should be worn with a leather jacket and boots. :)

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  11. For creating on a small scale, you have done wonderful using bigger beads.

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  12. WOW, that is just fantastic. You know as a lampworker I love it. :)

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  13. Now THAT is a necklace that SIZZLES! Absolutely lovely!

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  14. Great necklace and even greater earrings!

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  15. Gorgeous pieces.The earrings are fantastic

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  16. Dramatic and impactful! Your beautiful interpretation is amazing. You superbly rose to the challenge of working outside your comfort zone. Your incorpration of the bold focal into the frameowrk of the body of the necklace was inspired. Your use of various techniques, colors and components was a delight to the eye and we are tickled pink with your creation!
    Evie and Beth

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  17. Vivid is most definitely the right word to describe that necklace you created! I love the fact that you got elemental pendants; I would love to see what you create with the other three :)

    Those earrings are pretty interesting, too-I've never seen anything like them!

    Happy Hopping :)

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  18. amazing design! fantastic work.

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  19. Wow, love what you did with the focal and the earrings are great.
    ~cryssT

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  20. That necklace is AMAZING and I love the earrings, too! And I like the story behind your design.

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  21. Wow! That necklace is incredible! I can't believe that you have issues with larger beads.

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  22. That necklace is amazing...my daughter would probably fight you for it :) Ha! Love it!

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  23. Wow your truly a talented jewelry artist...I love your soup reveal...thank you for sharing

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  24. What an incredible soup you received. The fire piece you created is simply stunning!! I love it!

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  25. The contrast of the hot oranges and yellows of the fire with the cool of the silver is a perfect balance - lovely!

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  26. That is one sizzlin' necklace! I love all your elements, and hearing how you constructed it. Truly a gem, and one to enjoy for years. The earrings are a perfect complement!

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  27. Colourful and Dramatic! Can't wait to see what you make with the other focals.

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  28. Wonderful necklace! Really dramatik satement piece!

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  29. Just AMAZING!! I love the way it turned out!! and the RAW... perfect!!

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  30. What an amazing necklace - love the hot fiery colors!

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  31. As a fellow bead-weaver, I applaud you!! I would certainly have been challenged to use those "giant" (in comparison to size 2.5 bicones) focals as well, and you did just an amazing job. I haven't gotten into CRAW yet, but plan to for sure. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  32. I left a comment yesterday - don't know what happened to it! It said it was accepted! Anyway - hot, hot necklace! Love it! You achieved a beautiful result.

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  33. Very,very dramatic piece! Love your use of seed beading and stringing. You really brought up the colors of the beads in your necklace. Definitely a HOT piece of jewelry!

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  34. It works. You balanced that large focal so well. Love the earrings as well.

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  35. Wow, I love your design... and love the elements of fire. That is super cool, I will have to check out the fire challenge... Have an 11, 12 & 13 year old... love the concept! Beautiful work... I agree with Andrea... you balanced the focal so well! Amazing job! Kris

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  36. You know, I think that being used to working with small beads has you very used to paying attention to detail which is why I think you totally nailed this piece. Fear not working with bigger than 3.5mm as you really have such rich texture here. I love it! I would love to see the whole element series you could come up with...

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  37. Love, love love, this dramatic necklace. This is one fabulous piece!

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  38. Beautiful design, great job!

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  39. amazing design. love the earrings. beautiful work! ~diana

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  40. Really beautiful pieces. I love the earrings - so full of rich layers!

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  41. Love what you made and love the colors.

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  42. Wow that necklace is stunning! I just love it!
    Sonya

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  43. That pendant is stunning and the necklace you made showcases it perfectly. Wonderful job!

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  44. HOT MAMA! That is one gorgeous necklace. It's on fire! Great job.

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  45. For someone who normally plays with teeny tiny beads, you did an amazing job with this big, luscious focal. I foresee many compliments coming your way when you wear the necklace and earrings. Beautiful work!

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  46. You did an amazing job on these. I was so enthralled looking at the details of the necklace that I almost missed the earrings. Fantastic job.

    Melissa Muir
    http://design.kcjewelbox.com

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  47. Holy Smokes! This piece is on fire and really rockin' my clock. I just love how you worked in the pendant. The earring are sizzlin' too! Do admire beadweavers

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    1. This is stunning! Thanks for the explanation how you put it together...very helpful! I also really love the earrings and thanks for the video.
      Jenni

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  48. HOLY COW! That is one AMAZING soup. You seed beaders have my admiration for your patience. great job!

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  49. OMG!!!! That necklace is to die for! You did a fantastic job. What a wonderful Soup you were served.

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  50. Spectacular! A real jaw dropped!! Glad to see you do so well in unfamiliar territory.

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  51. Beautiful! The colors are incredible and I love your beading. Fantastic job!

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  52. FIRE ! You did a wonderful, amazing job. LOVE.

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  53. Wow! Amazing! I can't wait to see what u do with the other elements.

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  54. Wow wow wow. Gorgeous! I am in love.

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  55. Wow! The necklace is amazing! Love the vibrant colours and how you attached the focal. Beautiful. Love the earrings too! Great job!

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  56. it was a difficult soup, for me... if I received I would have some problems (I don't like so much those colours...)
    but you did a beautiful work! the necklace is stunning!
    ciao dall'Italia

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  57. Wow! First, how lucky were you to get Beth and Evie! I love your necklace, the colors and texture! Yummy!

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  58. For someone who's not comfortable with larger beads, you sure did rock this piece. I love all your additions and the way you hung the flame from the base necklace. Beautiful!

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  59. Wow! This piece is hot, hot, hot! :)

    I love this smoking hot color palette!

    Reading about your reinforced CRAW with the 18 gauge wire I was a little confused wondering why you needed all of that until I scrolled down and saw your focal. Then I understood. Boy did you make it work! And I found it interesting to see how different the necklace looks with and without the focal strand. Without it's quite nice. With, it's stunning (and maintained its shape perfectly). Beautiful!

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  60. Hi Karin,
    Wow your necklace is amazing I love all the little elements you used to represent fire, beautiful! I love the earrings and I agree a perfect pair for autumn.
    Therese

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  61. the necklace is certainly fiery and fierce... it's sure to garner tons of comments!!! i love what you did with the seed beads to make a little next backdrop for the earrings.. definitely makes them look more unique and eye-catching especially against long, dark hair! beautiful work!

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  62. My goodnes that is one fiery stunning necklace it looks as if it would burst into flames any minute, it would look fantastic with a little black dress!
    Jackie

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  63. Your necklace is fabulous, and a gorgeous representation of fire! Loved hearing how you put it together.

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  64. I love the pendant. Your seed bead work adds a lot to both pieces.

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  65. Fire is right! Those pieces are hot hot hot! I'm loving the orange beads paired with the black.

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  66. I would have had a hard time with the fiery focal piece, but you really really showcased the whole theme. What a stunning necklace! I love the woven golden seed beads in the earrings! beautiful work!

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