Friday, May 15, 2009

Beads vs Metal - Metal wins

When I first started making jewelry, I dabbled in various materials; seed beads, wire, beads, stones, pearls, more wire, crystals, leather, even more wire, sheet metal... you name it, I think I've used it. My passion has lead me to almost exclusively work with some form of metal, either in wire or sheet metal form and sterling is my favorite. Beads are a mystery to me now and I find myself increasingly overwhelmed at the possibility of combining them into something wearable.

My Seattle area etsy team created another challenge to stretch and inspire us. The theme is "Seattle Summer - What do you think of when you think of summer in Seattle?" Well, I think of fresh fruit in abundance and I'm craving really juicy cantaloupe. The necklace in the photo is what I made, with a bit of creative and technical difficulty. Seems I've forgotten how to blend colors, how to string beads, use crimps and crimp covers. I can't even count how many feet of Softflex I wasted and the number of crimps & covers I messed up in the process. My desk (and floor) is an absolute mess with beads sprawled out everywhere. Making jewelry is usually a calming, relaxing time for me. This was a challenge and I find I can't wait to get back to working with metal again.

I spent this morning in what seemed like heaven, making sterling silver infinity shaped links while having coffee with a fellow etsyrain member, Beth Newfeld of heart felt. Beth makes beautiful, creative felted and crocheted items. Check out her etsy shop today!

Someday, I may come back to working with beads, but right now, my sterling sheet metal is calling my name! I will be making 4 special order mixed metal bracelets and pendant/earring sets in the coming weeks and I'm psyched about pounding and riveting like a crazy woman!

Isn't it interesting how we gravitate toward certain things at different times in our lives? What phase are you being pulled toward?


  1. Beautiful necklace; great shop. I love working with metal...I started metalsmithing about a year ago and can't seem to get enough of it. My lampworking has taken a back seat which I thought would never happen.

  2. Hi Sandy!

    Well I think this necklace is quite lovely and well worth your time and effort.

    And yes, it is VERY interesting what draws us into being creative at any given time in our lives. Years ago I used to sew and I made all of my clothes. Stained glass became a natural course...cutting a pattern and putting pieces sewing. Now it is fused glass and what really grabs me is the strip bowl/plate construction process and putting color schemes together.

    Continue to do what you love as that will be reflected by the work.

    Happy creating!