Saturday, 7 April 2012

Glass Headpin Challenge - Reveal Time...


Back in early March I was lucky enough to be one of ten people chosen randomly by Lorelei Eurto to take part in a design challenge using these fabulous glass and ball ended headpins from Anne at Gardanne Beads. We had no idea which set we would be getting and when mine arrived I was delighted to discover that I had the lovely rich iridescent toffee/butterscotch pair on the far right of the picture above. I knew immediately that I had a set of lampwork beads that would match these perfectly and that they would also work beautifully with my bronze elements.


So then...what to do with these beauties? For some reason the first thing that came to my mind was tendrils - absolutely no idea why but whatever I did I wanted to have tendrils in it. This was one of the rare occasions when I actually sat down to draw up designs before I started. Normally I just dive right in but I didn't want to start forming the headpins without a clear vision since there was little margin for error or for changing my mind mid flow - something I am rather prone to.

This process drew me in one direction only - a necklace with the headpins forming part of a central focal element and the tendril idea developed into a vine and flower theme. I'm pretty pleased with the outcome but the colours and the iridescence didn't make it the easiest piece to photograph. So here we go then, this is my necklace...


The necklace is structured around a yoke of heavy gauge bronze wire set with beautiful lampwork beads by Caroline Rhodes in shades of purple (much more so than is visible here), toffee and bronze, interspersed with bronze Miyuki cube beads. I've wrapped the headpins around the centre of the yoke, coiling and stretching the wires to look like vine tendrils whilst the glass heads create the effect of lush fat flower buds. Frustratingly, one of the the balled ends snapped off while I was stretching the coil (ever the klutz) which is a shame because I really like the effect. I am still pondering what I'm going to do about this ...


Between the headpins I've created a beaded pendant which includes some of my own handmade bronze pieces - a flower bud which mirrors the shape of the headpins, a purple iridescent Czech glass flower, tiny bronze leaves and a matching lampwork bead set on a bronze headpin with a bronze cap. These elements have a lovely sense of movement which contrasts nicely with the more rigid style of the yoke.


I didn't want to distract from the strong focal element of this piece so the yoke is suspended simply from a Plum silk string from Marsha Neal Studio (and from the colour palette I created for Marsha's silk color palette challenge) and I finished the necklace with a handmade bronze clasp.


I've called this necklace 'Shiraz' because of the vine like elements and because the Shiraz grape variety is known for it's blackcurrant and berry notes with an occasional hint of toffee!

So there you have it. I really enjoyed this challenge and would like to thank Lorelei for organising it and to Anne for supplying the lovely pins. To see what the other participants did with their headpins just click on the links below and join me on a mini blog hop...


                                                             http://songbeads.blogspot.com/

And finally, may I wish you all a lovely Easter.

Lesley



29 comments:

  1. You utilized the headpins wonderfully! I love the cascading ensemble! and vivid colors.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is amazing Lesley! (I wouldn't worry about the balled end - it looks perfect as it is!)
    Kazx

    ReplyDelete
  3. That is really lovely Lesley! A perfect name too.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Beautiful. I really love what you've done with the headpins - I could never have imagined this up! Love th bronze flower as well.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ooooh lovely! great name for it too! The combination of your bronze pieces, glass and silk is so perfect! So glad you joined us in this challenge!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Holy Moly Lesley!!!! This is truly a work of art! I absolutely adore this piece! Love all of your bronze pieces with all of the stunning lamp work beads! Stunning!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I don't really have any words except to say this is really stunning.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Absolutely beautiful!!! Love, love, love it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The design, colors, and textures in this piece all work so well togehter. It's a lovely piece, and I'll bet it looks great on the neck.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is a lovely piece of wearable art! Excellent job all the way around!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh WOW Lesley, I think your necklace is gorgeous! I love the focal you designed with the glass headpins I did not notice that one of the end balls was missing until you mentioned it. I agree with you the simple silk neck strap is all it needed, anything else would have made it too busy.
    Therese

    ReplyDelete
  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  13. That focal is one of the most amazing things I've seen. I love all the bronze and glass and it all just comes together so well. It's just wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  14. That is beautiful!!! and so romantic looking!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love the color choice, the purple and gold makes the head pins pop. Just beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  16. What a lovely garden of a necklace. The spiraled middle with all the little surprises was like taking a hidden path to a secret spot in the garden.

    ReplyDelete
  17. So lovely, Miss Lesley! I am particularly struck by how your pretty bronze pieces echo the shape of these pods. I love your new bronze and I am so happy you are having so much success with it! This is such a powerfully beautiful piece of art!
    Enjoy the day.
    Erin

    ReplyDelete
  18. Your bronze makes this piece absolutely stunning! I love the combination of colors, textures and materials.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love this necklace!!! Really beautiful!
    Sonya

    ReplyDelete
  20. Fantastic!!! By far the best piece on this blog hop.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Really beautiful! So simple and elegant. :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Beautiful work Lesley, thank you so much for participating in the challenge and devoting so much time to your piece. Sorry about the copper ball popping off, but I already have some ideas perking to problem solve that issue. I loved how you used the wires to create a bail, and the overall design of your piece is beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thanks Anne, I'm glad you like it and I think the ball issue is probably down to me -I'm not the most delicate person in the world and it happens with my own head pins too!

    ReplyDelete

Don't be shy - join in with the gossip...