This summer, I decided I wanted to challenge myself as a designer. I wanted to find ways to think outside the box...to really stretch myself to not just create the same pieces over and over. So when I saw this cool Link Challenge by Peggy Johnson, I was excited. I had never worked with links like this before, so I saw it as a great way to challenge myself creatively.
When my links arrived in the mail, I was a little bit surprised to see they were so big. I'm not sure what I was thinking, but they were much larger than I had anticipated. They were black acrylic and each one was about an inch to an inch and a half wide.
Lots of ideas came to mind, but not the "perfect one" that I am sure all jewelry designers live for. I decided to let the links sit for a couple of days before doing anything with them. I was hoping that maybe they would tell me what they wanted to become. I kept seeing these visions of neon colors working together with the black, but I was having a hard time marrying the two together. When I still couldn't get the idea to work itself out, I decided that wearing them might make them speak to me, so I fashioned a bracelet of just the links and wore it everywhere I went.
My favorite (and my least favorite) aspect of jewelry design is that sometimes the creative process works itself out when I least expect it to. I have been working on a new line of jewelry made from components found in a hardware store this summer. The components include washers, plumbing ferrules, brackets, old keys, and door hinges.
My husband Chris and I had been shopping for hardware to finish a few pieces when I found these really cool L brackets. I was dying to use them, and as I sat down at the table, the black links started to talk. I wondered what would happen if I combined the two in a charm style necklace with the L bracket as the base. I also wanted to add a softer touch, so I made a very basic wire wrapped charm out of glass beads (they have a ribbon of raspberry and light purple flowing through them), and a hand-made beaded orb on either end of the L bracket.
The end result was even better than I hoped for and I am thrilled with how it turned out. My favorite part is the sound the links make as they clack together. Its such a light tinkling noise and gives the necklace a spunky charm.
Several other talented jewelry designers took part in this challenge and I hope that you will check out their work as well. Thanks Peggy for this challenge. It was very rewarding :)
You are invited to check out Peggy's blog to vote for your favorite piece http://charmbarn.blogspot.com/
Ilenia Ruzza - http://ile1974.blogspot.it/
Shelley Graham Turner - www.shelleygrahamturner.blogspot.com
Tania Spivey - www.moobiegracedesigns.blogspot.com
Ambra Gostoli - http://chicandfrog.wordpress.com/
Kashmira Patel - http://sadafulee.blogspot.com/
Linda Florian - http://lilysofthevalleyjewelry.blogspot.com/
Jami Shipp - http://celebratinglifewithdamamashipp.blogspot.com/
Terri Gauthier - http://terrisbloomingideas.blogspot.com/
Miranda Ackerley - http://mirandack.com
Michelle Andrade - http://micheladasmusings.blogspot.com/
Mary Govaars - www.mlhjewelrydesigns.com
Sarah Goode - www.pookledo.blogspot.com
paula hisel - http://simplybeadiful.weebly.com/simply-stated.html
Shai Williams - http://shaihasramblings.blogspot.com/
Jennifer Reno - http://jenrenjewelry.blogspot.com/
Kay Thomerson - http://kayzkreationz.blogspot.com/
Denielle Hagerman - www.somebeadsandotherthings.com
Janeen Sorensen - http://wildvanilladesigns.com/
Emma Todd - www.apolymerpenchant.blogspot.com
Audrey Bélanger - http://esperianterra.blogspot.com/--