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Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month Design Challenge Reveal for March

Looking for Bead Soup? Check out the post below this one. Each month one of the Art Jewelry Elements team members hosts the "Component of the Month" design challenge. They create a few handmade, high quality components for use in a jewelry design. They then send one of these components to some AJE team mates. In addition, each month 2-5 guest designers are randomly selected. Joanne Tinley was the host for March. She made these fabulous hollow copper lentils and even wrote up a tutorial on how to make your own hollow beads. copper hollow lentil beads by joanne tinley When I got my bead, I was surprised at how small it was! I admit to being concerned at giving Joanne's gorgeous bead proper treatment...it could easily get lost in a design with too much going on. But how to make this little guy the star of the show? I considered this question for a while. I came up with ideas then discarded them almost immediately. Then I had a sudden brainstorm. What if I did a bracelet using no other copper except Joanne's bead? And what if all the silver beads were similarly shaped? Hmmm.... But then what would I use as spacers? Not crystals. Not more silver. I have a buttload of gemstones that I never use. Kyanite sticks are perfect! However, between the tiny holes in the lentils and the tiny holes in the Kyanite, I had to use beading wire. Oh how I despise beading wire...

Working on the #ajecom reveal for Monday Jen cameron glass addictions art jewelry elements

And I needed to figure out a way to work some lampwork in there so it looks like it belongs. So here's what I came up with

March #artjewelryelements component of the month design challenge #ajecom jen cameron glass addictions

People, I have a TON of Hill Tribe silver that I NEVER USE (except for the teeny tiny spacer type beads). I bought a bunch because I loved it, and I still do. But it ended up that it really isn't my style.

March #artjewelryelements component of the month design challenge reveal #ajecom Jennifer Cameron glass addictions

Creating this bracelet caused me all kinds of uncomfortable...beading wire and Hill Tribe silver beads...in a single bracelet! But I love it. I kind of want to keep it, but it will be going to the Indiana Artisan Marketplace with me next weekend to see if anyone wants to adopt it (for a small adoption fee, of course!) You can see what others made by following this link to the post on Art Jewelry Elements that contains the list of designers.

Bead Soup Reveal 2013

Hello! Thanks for joining the party! I know you have a lot of partying to do this weekend, so I'm going to keep it short. Lots of photos, not as many words. I introduced my partner, Shari Replogle, a couple weeks ago. Here is the bead soup she sent me: upload I made a few things and still have lots of leftovers. The way I work with the various bead soups I have received over the years is to tackle the most challenging component first. In this case, it was the bird focal made out of ceramic transferware dating in the 1870's that Shari soldered into a pendant. I love the color, but it's a larger scale than what I'm used to working with. I made a couple pathetic sketches, which unfortunately do not translate well on the scanner due to the squares and my light pencil scratches. Drawing it out helped me see a couple potential landmines...mainly, the beak sliding down and pecking the wearer's breast. Not cool. Here's what I came up with Bead Soup blog party 2013 Jennifer Cameron glass addictions I was going to make a figure 8 or something similar out of wire to separate the chain and keep it from laying over or under the bird beak. But then I saw the guts from a watch and it worked perfectly. What you cannot see in the photo is a lobster claw clasp attaches at the top of the watch guts. Bead Soup blog party 2013 Jennifer Cameron glass addictions Close up of watch guts: Bead Soup blog party 2013 Jennifer Cameron glass addictions I wanted a method to balance the bird so the beak didn't face down. I attached a tassel made from the etched bullet casing Shari sent me in the center of the bird's belly, then attached a bunch of random beads to the chain...most of which came from previous bead soups I've received. Bead Soup blog party 2013 Jennifer Cameron glass addictions Another view of the bullet casing and beads: Bead Soup blog party 2013 Jennifer Cameron glass addictions I am super happy with how this turned out! Next I needed to use the clasp. This design turned out pretty close to my original vision. I made the "sea glass" sticks. They are just lampwork beads that I tumbled in silicon carbide grit. Bead Soup blog party 2013 Jennifer Cameron glass addictions For this one, I used the purple stone focal, the stone donut toggle, and a couple tiny stone spacers from the soup. Bead Soup blog party 2013 Jennifer Cameron glass addictions I really love these two shell beads that I've had forever and never used (I have an entire strand of these shell beads!) Bead Soup blog party 2013 Jennifer Cameron glass addictions And last, but not least, I made a pair of earrings from a couple of the etched and domed discs Shari made and sent me. Bead Soup blog party 2013 Jennifer Cameron glass addictions I still have some soup leftover and have plans for a viking knit bracelet with some of the other parts, but ran out of time. Make sure you visit Shari to see what she made with the soup I sent her then see what everyone else made. You can get the links to the other party-ers here: upload

New Beads

I've spent loads of time over the last week or so making beads. I haven't photographed most of them. Too busy trying to have enough stuff to make jewelry with for my upcoming show (Indiana Artisan, 1st weekend of April, Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis). But here are a few new beads still on the mandrel:

Experiments in beadmaking Jen Cameron Glass Addictions

I got some new glass

The new glass I'm playing with today Jen Cameron Glass Addictions

and made these beads with it:

A few new beads using Ossa by DoublehelixGlassworks Jen Cameron Glass Addictions

These aren't beads, but I did make them several years ago. (WARNING! Proud mom moment). They are all dressed up because they both participated in MMUN (Montessori Model United Nations) My daughter was a delegate for Myanmar (our city has the largest Burmese population outside of Myanmar), and my son was on the dais.

The kids all dressed up for Montessori Model United Nations. Chloe is a delegate for Burma. Ethan is on the dais.

A few weeks ago hubs and I went to Florida because he was taking a review course for his boards recert coming up at the end of March. He was busy. I wasn't. The weather was perfect and I enjoyed the relaxation and extra sleep. A couple mornings I did wake up a bit early. One of the first things I would do is look out the window. There would be little messages spelled out in towels on the pool chairs:

What I saw when I looked out the window this morning

What I saw when I looked out the window this morning

I kind of love that idea...waking up to a surprise little motivational message. Maybe I will try to do something like that for my family. Although I kind of wish they would do it for me instead. lol! Have a great week. I've been trying to update my facebook page more frequently with lots of photos and "stuff". So if you like that sort of thing (eye candy, etc), then make sure you like the Glass Addictions facebook page.

Show Prep in Progress

Good morning friends! I was thinking about my blog yesterday. It feels like I've been neglecting a good friend for no particular reason. However, as I thought more on it, I realized that my blog is sort of like my journal...except I don't share every boring mundane detail of my life. And I certainly don't share the more juicy details. The fact is, my history with journals is rather bleak. I write in a journal for a day or two, only to give it up because it is so tedious. Not that I think of my blog as tedious...it's just not the biggest priority these days. Anyway...all that rambling to say hello, I'm still here, and I do want to write. However, I am concentrating on prepping for the only show I've signed up for so far this year. I really haven't prepped at all so far....which is kind of bad because it starts exactly 4 weeks from today...LOADS of time. bwahaha! So for some odd reason I spent what felt like hours making yellow and clear twisted cane. And I don't really like yellow...

yellow and clear twisted cane jen cameron glass addictions

I am heading to the studio in a few minutes to make beads. Last night's bead making was dismal. DISMAL. I got the 3 beads out of the kiln this morning hoping for a miracle. One bead (upper left in the photo below) gave me fits for about an hour before I finally threw it into the kiln and gave up.

lampwork beads straight from the kiln jen cameron glass addictions

  Unfortunately I will probably not be adding any new products to my shop until after the show. I will probably want to hoard all my beads to use in jewelry. This particular show does not "allow" me to sell my lampwork beads loose. However, if you attend (Indiana Artisan at the Indiana State fairgrounds the 1st weekend in April), I will keep a stash of lampwork beads behind the table if you are interested in purchasing beads for your own jewelry. Because it's kind of like having a secret club. I am spending more time on my Glass Addictions facebook page giving quick updates and sharing photos of my workdays. I would LOVE it if you stopped by, and said hello from time to time. Let me know what you want to chat about! This week I wrote up a blog post on Art Jewelry Elements about a very non traditional, visual method for making a business plan that I will be working on for the next month or two. If interested,  stop by and have a peek.  

February Component of the Month Trial, Error and Success

*if you manage to make it all the way to the end of this post, you will see how you can enter to win a guest designer spot for the March component of the month.

Francesca Watson was the hostess for the Art Jewelry Elements component of the month for February. Even though Francesca fabricates her own jewelry designs...creating most, if not all, of the elements in her designs, she is not a "component maker". Meaning she doesn't fabricate components to sell.

In spite of this, she jumped in with both feet to make these lovely enameled and domed discs for us to play with. I got one similar to the turquoise colored one at the top of the photo.

Originally I was thinking of going simple. But then I had a brainstorm to use one of my Nightmare Insomnia series beads in the design. Inside a circle to repeat the shape. It turned out...HUGE...measuring in at over 3" long, 2" wide, 3/4" deep (not including that tube bead shown at the top of the pendant).

Component of the month trial and error Jen Cameron Glass Addictions

And I wasn't really a fan of how awkward the disc laid because the armature I made for the Nightmare Insomnia bead was really fat too.

Component of the month trial and error Jen Cameron Glass Addictions

Component of the month trial and error Jen Cameron Glass Addictions

So I thought maybe making a short chain with jumprings for the disc to dangle from would help.

Component of the month trial and error Jen Cameron Glass Addictions

But when held up against my chest, it was still pretty awkward and the thing was getting monstrous in size. So I removed the enameled disc from the rest of the contraption (that will be its own piece eventually) and tried again. I freehand cut out a circle-ish shape of silver sheet, textured it, and domed it with texture side in the concave portion. I was going to place the enameled disc inside the concave part. But I didn't really like that either (no pics of that). So I will save the piece of silver for something else. It just so happened I had a bronze "donut" that Lesley Watt made sitting on my bench. The entire time I considered the enameled disc, it was always using silver, never copper or bronze. But I really loved the bronze of Lesley's piece. I think maybe it's part of a toggle? Not sure... So this is what I finally came up with.

February component of the month #artjewelryelements #ajecom #lampwork #glassaddictions

I really love how this turned out. The only thing I am not totally in love with is the chain, so I'm considering switching it out for leather instead.

February component of the month #artjewelryelements #glassaddictions #com

The lampwork bead I used is (of course) one of my own. It was an experiment that I wasn't overly thrilled with, but it looks perfect with this necklace (the color is much prettier in person than in the photos).

February component of the month #artjewelryelements #lampwork #ajecom

Go see what everyone else made with their components: Participating AJE Contributors: Kristi Bowman-Gruel Jen Cameron <----you are here! Jenny Davies-Reazor Susan Kennedy Linda Landig Melissa Meman Kristen Stevens Francesca Watson   Guest Designers: Dawn Horner Kym Hunter Kay Thomerson Shelley Graham Turner Sandi Volpe There's still time to enter to throw your name into the hat to win a guest designer spot for March using these gorgeous lentil shaped beads by Joanne Tinley. Winners will be announced Friday evening March 1. art jewelry elements component of the month March joanne tinley  

European 4-in-1 Chainmaille now in Technicolor

Continuing the theme of using color in chainmaille, I moved on from the Japanese weave experiments to European 4 in 1 (the traditional weave for armor "back in the day"). The first one I used the a color mix of anodized niobium rings called "Air" and just added the rings randomly, only making sure I didn't end up with a patch of rings that were all the same color.

I'm currently working on another length of Euro 4 in 1 with a color mix called Fire. If you look at the construction of the weave, there are 3 columns of connecting rings that face down (that's how I see it anyway). Then there 4 columns of rings that face up. On the 3 connecting columns, I'm using the silver/gold/orange colors of the mix. On the 4 columns facing up, I'm using the pinks/purples of the mix. Other than that, color placement is random.

Have a great Sunday. I'm just sitting here enjoying some coffee before I start my day of packing and getting ready to travel home.

Japanese Chainmaille Weave in Technicolor

I've been playing with color this week, and I can't stop. Here's a progress shot of a Japanese chainmaille weave bracelet using anodized niobium rings.

And finished (except for a clasp)

Then I tried making a small component using sterling silver and anodized aluminum.

And I like them so much that they sort of started multiplying....

I think I prefer the rows of color fading rather than one color in the middle and a different color around the perimeter. What do you think?

Each of these components measures about 3/4" x 1 1/8" and would make wonderful links. What would use use them for?

Bead Soup Arrival

I received delicious soup from my partner Shari Replogle. I love the bag she sent it in.

Here's a group shot of the soup:

The focal is a piece of transferware (I think that's what Shari called it...I don't have my cheat sheet to check) from the 18th century that she made into this lovely bird focal. It's my favorite color too.

I absolutely adore the etched bullet casings and the domed discs. LOVE THEM! The clasp is so pretty.

And if that wasn't enough, she also sent some gorgeous coordinating beads.

And since Shari has received her soup from me, I can share what I sent.

The focal is a lampwork infield antique key and the clasp is a super cute sterling silver toggle I bought a long time ago. I don't remember where I got it. I sent a few lampwork beads and lampwork headpins along with some coordinating Czech glass, swarovskis, seed beads, hand dyed silk ribbon, and some wire lentils. I can hardly wait to see what Shari makes!

Challenge Earrings Week 5/52

Kristi Bowman sent me these darling little copper star charms with an order once. I recently made a bunch of simple black encased with fine silver foil and clear glass spacer beads. Some in a "nugget" shape (achieved by heating up small areas of the bead and flattening with a tool. This requires patience or you can completely knock the bead off center). I thought the black "starry" beads would be perfect with the copper stars for a set of dainty starry sky themed beads for the 5th week of the AJE Earring Challenge. These are going to a special (and unsuspecting) person as a thank you gift.

Challenge Earrings Week 5/52 jennifer cameron glass addictions

Make sure to follow the AJE Earring challenge Pinterest board.

Frenzy

This week I've been in a full blown, have to make myself go to bed, frenzy of creativity. It's kind of exhausting. I did stop long enough to snap a few pics of my week in the studio. And write up an article for Art Jewelry Elements about the War of Art. I haven't been blogging much, but I have been taking a few minutes out of my day to share a couple photos and insights into my days on my Facebook page. Please go there and click like . I would love input on designs I'm playing with, or just to chat. Oh, and do you like the new look of my blog? I LOVE it! I finally got around to using my logo in my banner, added a few recent photos, and my friend Robin Koza tweaked the design, installed the new banner, color coordinated the background to my logo, added my own customized social media buttons to the right, and it looks so amazing! Here's what I've been up to this week: This shows the very beginning of the frenzy. These things have multiplied faster than...I don' t know. What multiplies really fast? Our junk drawer seems to give birth to at least 30 new ink pens every single day. So maybe my headpins multiply faster than ink pens...if that makes sense.

Glass headpin bouquet #lampwork #glassaddictions Jennifer Cameron

I came up with this new glass headpin and copper wire design when I was falling asleep Sunday night (or maybe it was Saturday night?) and could hardly wait to get to the torch the next morning to try it out. I love them, but wasn't sure if others would. However, people have given a big thumbs up so far. I have never seen anyone do anything like these before, so I'm cautiously hopeful I'm the first...

New glass "headpins". Transparent encasing swirl of copper wire. #lampwork glass addictions Jennifer cameron

I got some brand new studio shoes. I LOVE these things, they are so cute!

New studio shoes jen cameron glass addictions

  They replace the old studio shoes:

Studio Wear

  And even while sitting in front of the fire, relaxing with the fam, drinking a delicious glass of wine, I just HAD to do some viking knitting. I'm trying 24 gauge bronze wire. And yes, I'm using a yellow highlighter as the mandrel. Don't judge. It's all I could find at the lake cottage that would work well.

How I'm spending my evening (Viking knitting bronze wire in case you are wondering) jen cameron glass addictions

Hope you have a fun weekend! I will be working most of the weekend trying to meet some deadlines that are coming up fast.
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