Once, at an exhibit of Klee's work, our guide told us about his artistic approach, that Klee started with a point, expanded it to a line and then took it for a walk wherever it wanted to go. Haven't you heard jewelry artists explain their own process that way? "It started with a bead…"
Or in my case, a charm! The starting point for this design was an elegant bead embroidered charm I received from Nancy Dale of NEDbeads. Nancy originally created the charm for an artisan swap, and when she realized it fell outside the project dimensions, thought it would be a great component for a mixed media piece and offered it up in a giveaway to her readers. I was the lucky recipient, and when I saw this month's painting, I realized I was already testing many of Klee's colors on my bead tray with Nancy's charm. Now, I would just be taking them down a different path.
Nancy's component included a Swarovski chaton and bicone in the new Crystal Lilac Shadow, set against the rich purple and warm bronze found in the painting. I added slim pave beads in the same soft lilac, front-and-center in the focal, and at the back to accent the plum silk cord. Berry and wine tones combine with gold and bronze in the dangles.
Wanting to work Klee's spirals into my design, I used Cindy Wimmer's birthday bow links to connect luscious merlot nuggets by Studio Juls and speckled red-orange spacer beads by Jessica Herrell. (The links are from Cindy's, newest book, The Missing Link, and you definitely want a copy for your wirework library!) The links, jump rings and wavy discs were all made by me in vintage bronze.
Many thanks to Nancy Dale for generously gifting me with her charm. You can read about the edging techniques she was exploring while creating it here, and find more of her tutorials on her website (many are free!) and her Etsy shop. And after treating yourself to NEDbeads, click over to the ArtBead Scene Flickr page. There are some truly phenomenal designs on display this month.