I don't usually do two posts in one day but my bead soup arrived today and I just can't wait until tomorrow to share it with you. Just look at all those gorgeous little packages - I actually made myself a cup of tea and sat and looked at them for a while...and then I ripped into them!
If you don't know Jen Cameron, she is a glass artist who makes amazing lampwork beads and uses them in her own jewellery designs. She's also a very clever lady because she's put together a soup that combines items that are right up my street, with things I've never used (and in some cases don't know how to use) and are going to challenge me big time. That really excites me and I can't wait to dive into the unknown.
Unsurprisingly there was too much in those little packages to get into one shot and anyway, you'll want more than one spoon of this tasty soup - so how's this for starters...
Not one, not two, but four gorgeous lampwork focal beads and one of Jen's 'lampworkified' keys. I love earthy organic beads and these are no exception and that key, well that's a fun challenge I'm really looking forward to. Then we have a good handful of colourful enamelled beads, again by Jen, Czech glass beads, Vintaj chain and yes, some Sari silk. From our e mail exchanges, Jen and I discovered that we had quite a lot in common one of which was finding Sari silk hard to work with. We both love it in other peoples work but always think it looks awful in our own. So she's set me another challenge here and since I noticed that she used it very successfully herself in a challenge piece last weekend, I guess I'm just going to have to rise to that!
Here's a better look at those lush focals...
I somehow managed to miss these lovely little pearls when I took that first picture.
And now we come to the unknown element, the materials I've never worked with and design styles I have never attempted - Steam Punk, found objects and vintage...where these are concerned I know nothing but I'm so looking forward to changing that.
So here we have my lovely vintage crystal clasp, some big wooden buttons, a glass vial, Steam Punk gears in wood and metal, vintage Swarovski flowers, Mica sheets and washer beads, some cute little brass star beads, a Washington DC bus token and a vintage fabric measuring tape. I am a little nervous when I look at these...the only thing I've ever done with a Mica sheet is slump glass on it but as I said, there is a certain frisson of excitement at the thought of working with materials I have no preconceptions of and the freedom that entails.
So there you have my bead soup with all it's depth of flavour. This will be sitting on my worktable for the rest of the week and hopefully sparking my imagination until next week when the fun will begin.
This parcel got to me in the UK from Indiana in just 4 days and hopefully Jen's soup will arrive with her soon too. If she likes it half as much as I do this - I'll be very happy.