Monday, August 12, 2013

Wildflower Fields Collection

Bead Fest Philly is just around the corner, and I've been busy putting together the instructions and kits for the three classes that I'll be teaching there. Yesterday I wove a purple version of my Wildflower Fields Pendant:

A Topiary Flower Ball Pendant

I must admit that it's been an interesting process to re-focus on this design. I first came up with it over a year and a half ago, and at the time I was totally in love with its petite, little wildflower components that only require a minimal number of round and shaped seed beads to weave. But since then, so many other interesting bead shapes have come to market, and in my flurry of experimenting with two-hole beads and rizos, this design fell by the wayside. I was worried that re-visiting this design wouldn't be as exciting as when I first beaded it.

But I was pleasantly surprised at how this piece is still satisfying to create, and how adaptable it is to many different kinds of jewelry. The flowers are five-sided, so twelve of them can join together make a cute little dodecahedron-shaped pendant that reminds me of a floral topiary ball.

(Such floral topiary designs are quite common in modular origami, as I've noted on this blog before!)

Earrings and Charms

These little wildflowers are a great source for component-based jewelry design. Just one flower can be attached to a jump ring to make a cute little charm, and two pair together for a quick pair of earrings. But unlike my other beading designs, these flowers can also be incorporated into stud earrings. Neat huh?

Many Possibilities

The wildflowers can also be connected together for a twisting little bracelet, that matches both the pendant and earrings for the complete collection.

I also like how easy it is to develop different colorways for this design. The primary colors in this piece are only from two shapes of Japanese seed beads, so I don't need to worry about matching different kinds of crystals and glass beads from three different countries to come together into one piece (although that can be a fun challenge too). And since shaped seed beads come in dozens of colors (and round seed beads come in hundreds!), many different colorways are possible.

I'll be teaching this project at Bead Fest Philly on Saturday, August 24, from 8:30 AM-4 PM. More information about how to register for this class can be found on the Bead Fest Philly website.

Are you going to Bead Fest Philly? I'd love to see you there!


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