Saturday, June 29, 2013

Bead and Button Bead Soup

I had mentioned in a previous post that Kalmbach hosted a bead soup swap at the Bead and Button show in honor of Lori Anderson's book, Bead Soup.

My soup was cooked by Jo Dresden.

When I first saw my soup, I was struck by the awesome focal bead. The beads and crystals Jo chose complimented the focal beautifully.

I wasn't sure how to incorporate the lighter beads and, at first, thought I might treat it as two different soups. As it turns out, the beads played together better than I imagined.

I had immediate plans for the focal and, while I let those ideas roll around in my head, I started on a spiral rope using the majority of the beads in the soup.

I love how the pale glass nuggets play so well with the light and dark crystals.  You can't see them in this photo, but I also used the small white pearls in this spiral.

Since I had plans for the focal that came with the soup, I added a few beads by Marti Conrad to my rope.

The lighter colors of Marti's beads are perfect with the beads from Jo's soup.

Marti makes fabulous beads.  If you would like to see more of her work, check out her etsy shop.

The result is a stunning necklace.

I had originally intended to embellish the spiral rope with the larger pearls from the soup.  After finishing, though, I decided that the rope was perfect as it was.  I love the different mix of beads in the spiral and the darker core beads peeking out.

You can't see it, but I used the clasp from the soup on this necklace.

My next piece uses the focal and some of the crystals from the soup.

While the necklace came together quickly, this bracelet took quite a bit of 'cipherin'.

I wanted to create something that combined the different techniques I learned this year at Bead and Button.

This bracelet is close to my intentions, but not quite there.

My original cuff, for example, had one fold formed line below the center.  Did you know that you can't always slide a piece of fold formed metal through a disc cutter?  I didn't either.

Regardless of that, and a few other mishaps, I am quite pleased with the cuff.

I was able to incorporate a bit of Eva Sherman, Sherry Serafini and Kim St. Jean into the finished piece.

I love how the rivolis sit into the cuff and have ideas for more cuffs.

I also love the flame patina.  It's  rustic and haphazard and was attained through another series of mistakes.

Basically, I didn't shake the can of sealant and the cuff looked awful after I sprayed it.  After trying unsuccessfully to scrub the sealant off, I tried to burn it off as a last ditch effort.  This patina is the result.  Let's hear it for happy accidents.

All in all, I had a fabulous time with this soup.

I was a bit surprised the the majority of the ladies who participated at the show had heard of Lori's book, but hadn't followed the Bead Soup Blog Parties online. I think it's awesome that Kalmbach was able to introduce a new group of people to the joys of bead soup!

I'm not sure if Kalmbach will be showing the results of the Bead and Button Bead Soup Parties, but if pictures are posted, I will share the link.

Thank you, Jo, for the wonderful soup and thank you, Kalmbach, for an awesome party.


  1. You are so darn creative! Love that spiral rope with Marti's beads...reminds me that I have a stash of my own to use! That cuff is simply amazing! I would never have that that bead weaving and a copper cuff would look so incredibly beautiful! Nice job!

  2. Both projects turned out beautifully, Tanya. I am particularly taken with your cuff. I love the patina on it, which really helps tie in the colors and finish of the focal bead and the crystals. I was so surprised to read that it came about through a series of happy accidents, as it resulted in such an effective and unified design!

  3. Your cuff is so beautiful. Are the embellished rivolis glued on?

    1. Thank you, Raquel. The rivolis are not glued. The seed bead bezels are almost like rivets.

  4. Tanya, your work is just so beautiful! The stringing on the necklace really caught my eye and your beadwork on the cuffs is to die for. Amazing!!

  5. I love both of these! Marti's beads are just perfect with the necklace--I recognized those right off! The bracelet is really something! I'd love to see that up-close!

  6. Love love love the cuff! Great idea, Tanya, to rivet. hmmm gives me some ideas! ;-)