Tuesday, August 28, 2012

BSBP Deconstructed: Vintaj Charm Bracelet

For those of you looking for my BSBP reveal, it is here (3 posts down!) - I hope you'll click, and take a look at my entire reveal!

This is the 3rd in a series of posts devoted to deconstructing my design process for the Bead Soup Blog Party reveal, providing the nitty gritty, behind-the-scenes details than went into one of my creations. The first project I deconstructed was the gemstone chip kumihimo lariat, and the second was my sari ribbon and enameled bead necklace.

Today's post focuses on my Vintaj Charm (or cha-cha) bracelet.

Thus far in the BSBP process, I have created 2 pieces, but only succeeded in using 2 clasps sent to me by my partner, Kate. In order to meet the BSBP challenge, I need to design a piece using one of the fabulous focals Kate sent. So that was my goal when I started this bracelet.

generous selection of focals I had to choose from

I chose the bird, because he (she?) seemed most suited for a bracelet. After all, I had already made 2 necklaces! I was ready for a bracelet!

I had a lot (a LOT) of bead choices from Kate, and many of them were of a palette that seemed perfectly suited for Vintaj Natural Brass, which I love. However, the silver bird did not go so well with the Vintaj, so I decided to patinate him, and settled on iris blue - I just love Vintaj and blue together. And many of the beads I wanted to use were blue, so this seemed perfect.

silver bird, before patination

bluebird, after patination and doming (to sit on the wrist better)

The patination process is described here.

Next, I started piling up all the beads and findings I wanted to use for this bracelet.

 Vintaj chain for the bracelet core, luscious kyanite up at the top left, freshwater pearls (top right), faceted Czech glass in smoky quartz at bottom right, and some beads and headpins I enameled to match the kyanite and my bluebird!

 Huge purple iris Czech faceted beads, some blue glass cubes I adore (and wish I had more of), and some rustic carved beads that look wooden to me, but are glass (according to my partner!) - also wish I had more of THESE!

I no longer had a clasp in my stash to use for this bracelet, so I created one (beadwoven):
beadwoven toggle (the purple jumpring is a place holder, to remind me of where I reinforced the toggle ring, so when I attach it to the bracelet, I'll attach it in the reinforced spot!)

OK. Time to quit prepping, and start making a bracelet!

bare bones of the bracelet completed, with the chain, focal, and clasp

It fits great, it lies perfectly on the wrist - time to start attaching dangles!

First to be attached was my sweet little bee charm from Kate, which I had patinated to a bronzy color:
At this point, I named this bracelet "The Birds and the Bees" - clever, huh?

And now we must pause, and you must use your imagination. Because I made dangles with all those beads you saw in the above photos - the kyanite, pearls, glass, enameled beads, yada yada yada - and attached them on either side of the bird, and I have to admit, it looked awful. The bracelet was too chunky on either side of my streamlined focal, and the proportions were just all wrong. When worn, it looked great, because you could only see HALF OF IT AT A TIME - either the nice, streamlined bird lying on the wrist, or the other side, with all the chunky dangles. But when it was lying on the table? Yuck. I couldn't even photograph it. [At this point, the bracelet was renamed "the Bluebird of Crappiness"]

After a few days of pondering, I made that decision to take it all apart, and I started over, basically, with just the chain and the toggle, adding dangles. I needed a few more, because of all the space opened up by the departure of the bird - so I was able to add these beauties from Kate:

these gorgeous blue beads were my favorite thing from my soup stash!

So here are various shots of my finished bracelet:
I absolutely love this bracelet - it is heavy and chunky, the color are divine, and it makes a delicious sound as the beads clank against each other.

But here's my dilemma - I have made 3 BSBP pieces, and I still haven't used a focal - now what do I do?

Stay tuned!


Lupe Meter said...

Beautiful creations!

Maggie said...

Your patination (new word for me!) created a wonderful transformation. The bird was nice to start with, but you made it fantastic. I liked the bird and bee bracelet on its own as a simple piece. Love the charm bracelet it transformed into also. Your clasp is beautiful. Love how you can just whip one up.