Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Evolution of the O Stars Pendant

Sometimes when I'm working on a new beading design, I'll have a specific idea in mind that I'm trying to achieve. This was the case with some of my more floral and geometric designs such as the Sakura Bouquet Necklace and the Tila Garden Pendant. Other times, a new design will evolve from a previous beaded component or set of components. This was the case with my most recent design, the O Stars Set.

Lucky O + Snowflakes + Rizo Triangles = O Stars

The O Stars Set started as a variation on the Lucky O Bracelet, one of the first designs that I completed using the new O beads:

While I liked the open, lacy look of these components, especially when paired with bugle beads in the bracelet, I noticed how the Lucky O components can also almost perfectly enclose a Swarovski rivoli crystal. A few bronze seed beads and two rivoli crystals later, a pair of such components quickly became earrings:

Since the wintertime was just beginning, I wanted to expand on the six-fold symmetry of these components to see if they could become snowflakes. I had already experimented with a more open version of beaded snowflakes in the aptly-named Snowflakes bracelet:

This bracelet gave me the idea to use SuperDuo beads for snowflake points, however I wanted to make the new components a little stiffer than those in the snowflakes bracelet. Another one of my designs that makes use of SuperDuos as points in beaded components is the Rizo Triangles Necklace, and, while this necklace is more complicated than the snowflakes bracelet, each component is more heavily engineered to be solid and self-supporting.

With these ideas in mind, I began work on combining the ideas from all three pieces together.

First O Stars Pendant

My first attempt at executing these ideas turned into these two components. In the medium component, the SuperDuos are added with sets of O beads on each side, as well as one on the top of each point to further decorate the component with these shiny little sequin-like beads. Interestingly, the result is more star-like than snowflake-like, a surprising but pleasing development. I immediately paired both components together with a briolette crystal to make a petite little pendant.

While I was very happy with how this pendant turned out, several people told me that it needed something more. Several friends said it would work better as a three-component pendant instead of two, and my husband said I needed to make a larger version to complement both smaller components. I was reluctant to step up to the challenge of more bead component engineering, but I also knew that they were right...

Final Pendant and Earrings Set

As it turns out, designing the large component was similar to the process of designing the large component of the Rizo Triangles Necklace; it's more challenging to create, but the result is definitely worth the effort. Here's a picture of the completed set of all three components in one pendant, plus two small components in matching earrings:

How do you explore new beading ideas? Do you find yourself returning to your previous work for inspiration? Drop me a line in the comments!


  1. I love looking at the development of an idea like this, from simpler to more and more complex. I my own designing, I notice that I often go from symmetrical to asymmetrical. First I do a symmetrical piece as a sort of "proof of concept". Then in the next one I sort of play with it more.


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