For the past several months I’ve been participating in a master class of sorts for the B’Sue Boutiques Build a Line Challenge and it’s been a non-stop learning experience! This saying has been my guiding light for much of the time as I found myself wondering how to reach my vision on more than one occasion. When I get stuck, I find that I need to get quiet and meditate and the ideas come flooding to me!
As I’m accompanied on this journey by 55 other wonderful, creative jewelry designers, makers and hobbyists, I see a myriad of experiences that we share in the group. Some of us know exactly what we want to do and are executing our vision flawlessly, some of us have become stuck only to reach out for the support of the other participants that are so generous and supportive, and some of us are only starting to find our way. While I can’t speak for everyone in the group, I have a strong feeling that we are all learning and growing, not only in our jewelry design endeavors, but in our lives as a result of being courageous and stepping up to accept the challenge.
And speaking of others on the journey, we discovered that there are four of us in Colorado, and we've been able to get together in person to see our designs and to support each other. You can see the Colorado Connection on the left with Lori Prull Meyer (top left), Alexandra Sefton (top right), myself (bottom left) and Maria Clark (bottom right). They are so creative, talented, supportive and fun, I know we're forging a friendship that will last into the future.
And, even though the other participants are scattered around the world, I've become Facebook friends with many. And, not surprisingly, everyone that I've connected with is positive and creative and I enjoy reading what's happening in their lives through Facebook posts. I feel a great sense of community and am so grateful to Brenda for putting this awesome group of women together!
The goal if this challenge is to have a cohesive line of jewelry at the end of three month period when we have our final blog hop on March 20. In order to reach that goal, I’ve had to think about how and why I create jewelry, how I’ve done it in the past and what I want to do in the future. Our wonderful leader and mentor, Brenda Sue Lansdowne of B’Sue Boutiques, is guiding us on this journey.
In the past, I’ve mostly done one-of-a-kind designs, so the real challenge for me has been to create designs that can be done quickly and efficiently as part of a line and that fall into the bottom two tiers of the pyramid. Since my theme is “When Brass meets Glass” (or "Kiss my Brass" as my friend Mel renamed it) and features the wonderful lampwork beads from Grace Lampwork Beads, I’ve been able to have my cake and eat it too. By using different lampwork beads as the center-piece, I am creating a cohesive line that includes a basic design, but with different beads and different colors.The photos below shows a design in various stages; raw brass pieces, a Grace bead, the piece being clamped after painting, sealing and assembly, and the finished focal piece which can be used as a necklace or brooch.
|In process||Finished necklaces|
I choose to make these three pieces into necklaces, but brooches will be added at a later time. The pendant focals have the same basic design, but look very different because of the lampwork beads used along with the colors I painted the raw brass and the different neck treatments. These necklaces will be priced around $40.
So far I’ve done necklaces, earrings and a bracelet. The three necklaces in the line so far have matching earrings and the purple set has a matching bracelet. I plan to use a similar design for more necklaces, bracelets and brooches.
You can tell from the designs I’ve shown so far that I love to paint metal with bright colors. Since part of the challenge is to create a sellable line, I made a simpler necklace with more earthy tones. I was having trouble finding just the right color for the flower piece behind the lampwork focal, so I torch patinaed the flower and got wonderful colors that work great with the bead!
I’ve also started several other pieces that don’t have the neckline treatments on them yet that are using puffy hearts as the centerpiece. My challenge with the hearts is finding a backing component to nest the hearts in as they are not flat on the back. This is a challenge with the beads too, but not as much as the hearts.
I think the pieces to the above will work as part of a cohesive line, and I would appreciate your thoughts, dear readers, as to whether they do or not, so please leave a comment about them if you are so inclined.
As usual, my lovely creative assistant, Ms. Tessa Kitty, has made herself known. She’s managed to plop herself in the middle of my work table or on my lap where she lets me know in no uncertain terms that she doesn’t want me to get up. So, I’ve resorted to doing my stringing while sitting in my chair with my trusty companion on the footrest beside my legs, with an occasional trip to lay on my chest when she feels that she’s not getting enough attention.
So, that’s about it for me at this point. Stay tuned for the next and final blog hop on March 20 where we'll be revealing our complete new jewelry line, and please be sure to visit the blogs of the other participants in this challenge that are shown below. And, be sure to visit the B’Sue Boutiques website, and YouTube channel.
I don't have an online sales site yet, but you can see more of my jewelry at https://www.facebook.com/LOmaraCreative.
Meet the Other Jewelry Artists
Below is a list of the other jewelry artists and designers that are on this three month journey with Tessa and me. Whether you're in the challenge or are someone who just found my blog, please visit the blogs below and feel free to leave comments if you like their story or their designs (or their assistants) for encouragement. We're all in this together and at the end, we will all be better designers and able to offer wonderful lines of jewelry to the world.