05 April 2012

Fusion Beads: Link Love

"A chain is no stronger than its weakest link, and life is after all a chain."  ~ William James

When I got my March FusionBeads.com package I immediately tore into it and started working with the goodies. But then life sort of got in the way and I pushed it back and back and back. Last weekend I stumbled on it again, and knew that I had to get busy and be creative!

This month is all about chain. From what I saw of the other participants, we were each given several different styles of plated chain in various finishes. Mine was a very cool matte black.

My favorite color combination has to be red and black. They are such a powerful pair. I also wanted to challenge myself to make a bracelet because I am participating in the Wrapped, Stitched and Riveted bracelet challenge blog hop with Tracy Statler later this month and I have to start making bracelets sometime!

I found this really cool square tube bead that I picked up several years ago on eBay I think. These were an afterthought to all that I purchased. I love these more than whatever it was that I was ordering at the time. I have been hoarding them ever since.

I dig the bright red color and the shimmery golden tones with the little murrini flowers on what looks like branches. I fished out some matte black drops, faceted glass teardrops in the same shape, vintage black glass nailhead beads as well as a few touches of gold to bring out the shine in the focal.

{bohemian wrapsody}
The chain that I used is a curb chain with the links in sort of a fat teardrop shape. I did attempt to scrub off some of the black to see if that would be a cool contrast. There wasn't much difference, so I left it matte.

One thing that I do like about this chain is that it has open links. I hate wasting links and with this type of chain, you can use exactly what you need. I like that about this chain.

I decided that a wrap bracelet was in order with an asymmetrical touch. I made this into a necklace that could be converted to a bracelet, wrapped comfortably three times around my wrist (note pasty white skin at this ghostly hour).

I think it has a bit of a gypsy flair. I call this Bohemian Wrapsody.

Next up is a larger elongated oval chain made from square wire. This has a bit of heft to it and again I appreciate that it is an open link chain. Getting the hang of opening up the square links is key to not marring the finish.

I had this spectacular bead from HoneyBijou on Etsy. Jenna and Kim make really fun polymer clay beads. They call this style "doodlebeads." I love that they gather up the scraps from creating and make these wonderful creations! 
{cosmic jellyfish}

The dark marks on the beads remind me of graffiti. I looked over and happened to have some leftover coils of wire from another project. They started to look like jellyfish tails. So I started bending and shaping them. I decided to make a lariat from these pieces with some additional faceted glass beads in purple, orange-yellow and red. 

Since the focal is so large, I kept the chain the way it is. I made this long, about 34" so that it could be worn long or doubled up. I call this the Cosmic Jellyfish.

Years ago, in another lifetime before I even thought of making my own jewelry, I was quite an accessories hog. Every outfit had a different set of jewelry to complement it. I recall buying this necklace maybe 15-20 years ago on a clearance rack. I loved the Y shape of it and the dainty black bar chain. The jewels are plastic and cheap, but I kept it all these years because of the design. In fact, it is sitting in my studio because I always wanted to recreate this. Now here is my chance.

{the inspiration}
When I saw the dainty bar chain in the FusionBeads.com pack, I knew that is exactly what I would do. I decided to use a lovely Green Girl Studios pendant. I have amassed quite a stash of Green Girl pewter. I love them each so much that I find it hard to part with them! That needs to change! 

I decided to double the chain on the outer part of the necklace. That is when I realized that this chain is NOT open links. I had to cut each link in order to work with it. That is not a deal breaker for me, as it is a very pretty shape, but I don't prefer closed link chains. Just a preference.

{come away with me}

This necklace looks as if it is a layered piece with multiple strands. I love this concept and think that I will explore it a bit more.

I added amethyst, pearls and cyclamen opal crystals to this necklace I call Come Away With Me as a nod to the message on the back that reads "Come away oh human child to the waters and the wild."

There was one more chain, but at this point (2:10am) I am too pooped to party anymore! I will save that blackened ball chain for another day! 

The materials mentioned above were provided as part of the FusionBeads blogging program. The author of this blog has not received any payment from the above-mentioned company. This post represents only the personal opinion of the blog author.


Patti Van said...

Everything is lovely, as usual! But, I think my favorite is the first one - with the gorgeous red beads! Love the fact that it can be worn as a necklace or a bracelet! So creative! 2:10 AM!!! Wow!

Kathleen Lange Klik said...

Wonderful collection Erin! I love how each piece has it's own style! I really like how the first necklace can be worn as a bracelet, very clever touch. I also like it's dramatic style. The colors of the second piece are very unexpected, making it a very fun and bold piece. The third necklace has a beautiful composition of color and components. Well done!

Courtney said...

Great pieces! I love Cosmic Jellyfish - so fun.

SummersStudio said...

Busy, busy. All of that black chain rocks. I've never considered using something like that in designs but you have definitely given me some ideas. I can so see it playing nice with bronze in particular.

I love your red and black combination in particular and that it is a multi functional piece. They are all really lovely but that one just got me from the very beginning.

Designs by Dawn Marie said...

Erin, your designs are always so inspiring! I love the Y shaped necklace. What a classic, versatile piece!

So much fun on all fronts! I really like how you create the "Convertible" necklace so it can be a bracelet too!

I definitely think it's time for "Convertible Season" in Wisconsin!


Alice said...

Wonderful pieces! I do love that black matte chain and just might have to order some.

I love Bohemian Wrapsody with the rich colors and clever play on the title. And the bright colors in Cosmic Jellyfish along with the coiled wire loops make this one my favorite. I can see the last necklace being a go to piece for any occasion.

AntiquityTravelers said...

Beautiful work - really like the last one. It is rustic, but elegant!

Off the Beadin' Path said...

You've raised that Fusion Bead black chain up several notches!! So stylish and each one has that something extra with the colors and sparkle. The "Erin Touch"! Open links, I'm getting them today! All of your pieces are winners!

Heidi Post said...

Ooooh I love ALL of it! That black chain is fantastic. I'm definitely gonna have to get some. (Fusion beads, your master plan worked!) I think your last necklace is way more powerful on the black chain than it would have been on silver. I just love it - I think that one's my favorite.

steufel said...

Oh, yeah! That is really pretty - my fav: cosmic jellyfish. Looooove the colors, the vibe, the style and the name:-)

Menachérie said...

Wow those pieces are so gorgeous!

I'm hosting a giveaway right now for some great accessories if you're interested:


sharon said...

I love all of these....you are so diverse in style and design! Come away with me is my favorite....just beautiful!
You have a great collection here!

Beth Hemmila said...

Ooooo love that red and black combination. It feels very Bohemian...I feel like going to see La Boheme! xoxo Beth

Shelby Foxwell said...

Your pieces are gorgeous! Love the contrast of the red and black in the first piece, but the Cosmic Jellyfish just does it for me! The colorful coiled wire is a nice touch!

Malin de Koning said...

All of them look so beautiful Erin! I really like the two last necklaces. They have a kind of sensitive and delicate feel to them. Not at all expected when using matte black chain. Great work!!!

SueBeads said...

They are all gorgeous, Erin, but I love the last one, the design and the sentiment!

Lori Anderson said...

Absolutely gorgeous!


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