Today I'm one of three guest artists who, along with the Art Jewelry Elements team, will be revealing work using glass cabs created by Francesca Watson for the July art component challenge.
In addition to me, artists Deb Fortin of Studio 24 and Carol Briody of A Beads Life are also guests with the Art Jewelry Elements team today. The designs are certain to be inspiring and lovely with Francesca Watson's cabs! We all received one of the cabs pictured above. Aren't they amazing?
For me, getting to participate in my first AJE challenge is as wonderful a gift as is Francesca's glass cab! This was certainly a fun and happy Holiday in July. Here is the amazing art glass focal I received:
Francesca offered the cabs drilled or undrilled, our choice, and I asked for an undrilled beauty, of course, since working with cabs is one of my favorite design elements.
Warning: Lots of bezel eye candy ahead, so if looking at cabs and bezels makes you do a happy dance as it does me, enjoy! If not, feel free to jump ahead.
I love creating chain maille bezels, beadwork bezels, wire wrapping, wire weaving.
I thought and thought of ways to use the gorgeous focal! What to do?
Wire wrapping & beadwork?
A beadwork bezel?
My favorite, chainmaille bezels?
Wire woven with reversible beadwork?
I finally decided on a wire woven reversible beadwork bezel with beaded chainmaille. Creating this bezel design gave me many ways to reflect the rich colors within the cab, while keeping the handcrafted glass focal very secure. Since a chainmaille bezel would not be quite as secure as a reversible wire woven & beaded one, I was happy to incorporate some of my beloved maille into the necklace chain instead.
The woven bezel is made of Vintaj & Artistic antique copper wire (I would have used copper & LOS, but was having health issues that made me stay away from chemicals. I did use plain copper & my tumbler for some maille rings), with Czech seed beads & crystal rondelles for the wire frame (Delica for the embroidery technique bezel), embellished with Swarovski bicone dangles. The bail is made with a copper daisy, a chainmaille mobius, and handcrafted lampwork BHB by Tiffany Smith of Southern Gals Designs.
The reverse side is beadwoven, and finished with a copper splash.
I coordinated the celtic variation chainmaille and beaded RAW to compliment each side of the cab.
So, the beadmaille chain reverses too, with RAW teal silvered seedbeads on one side and matte navy on the other, nestled braided antique brass rings, copper rings, glass drops, and sari silk.
I'm so grateful for the exquisite handcrafted glass cab, and love Francesca's art!
Deb Fortin - www.studiok24.blogspot.ca
Toltec Jewels - www.JewelSchoolFriends.com
Carol Briody - cbriody.blogspot.com
The AJE Team
Caroline Dewison - blueberribeads.blogspot.co.uk
Susan Kennedy - www.suebeads.blogspot.com
Melissa Meman - melissameman.blogspot.com
Jenny Davies-Reazor - www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog
Kristen Stevens - kristen-beadjourney.blogspot.com
Our star artist, Francesca Watson - www.francescawatson.com
Toltec Jewels is an author by day, jewelry maker by night. Her literary work is housed by the San Francisco MOMA and is published internationally in popular magazines, literary quarterlies, and university publications. She has won a number of awards for both her literary and jewelry arts. She is happiest making handcrafted jewelry with her entire family, snuggling with her doggies and grandkids, sewing, singing, and learning more jewelry techniques. She hosts regular design challenges and blog hops featuring community bead artists, and is currently sharing a free chainmaille tutorial series on her blog.