September Artisan Component Design Challenge

So I’m in a LOT of buying/selling groups on Facebook – mostly for beads, components and other pretty shiny things that I probably spend way too much money on!  About a month ago, on the Artisan Component Marketplace a giveaway was announced by Kari Asbury.  Simple to enter, just comment and then you got an extra entry for sharing the post.   I was one of the lucky recipients of the giveaway! The other 3 were: Betony Maiden, Robin Reed and Carolyn of Carolyn’s Creations.

This is what we were sent:

Components we were sent.

Components we were sent.

Each wood piece is unique so mine looks slightly different but you get the idea….they are created by Burl Girl and can be found here.  The colorful ceramic beads are made by Okawa African Beads and can be found here.

So first came the easy part – going through my stash and pulling out anything that even looked like it would match.  To me, each component in the kit didn’t seem to fit, except the wood and the rolo chain.  So I had already created 3 design piles in my head – now to add to them!

Components I gathered to go with the wood and rolo chain

Components I gathered to go with the wood and rolo chain

The wood piece immediately screamed “fall!” to me so I started pulling out oranges, browns and reds. As you can see I ended up with quite a handful of things to work with.

Components I gathered to go with the sari silk length

Components I gathered to go with the sari silk length

The sari silk seemed to match this pendant I have been hoarding for a few years now – I bought it originally with 11 others, each a different color, as part of what I called my “color exploration series” because I caught myself always turning towards the same type of colors.  After I bought it – the design I had wanted for it just didn’t seem to “work” so it’s been in my stash of artisan components (which is growing bigger every month).

After gathering what I had in my stash I started “building” the pieces in my head – seeing what things I needed and didn’t have, made a list on my phone then off I went to my LBS to get what I needed.  The following is what I came up with :

This is probably the easiest of all the designs – the sari silk was made to be a necklace!  I combined it with an amethyst bead by Kristie Brigham of Sculpted Windows.  My original design idea when I purchased the bead just didn’t work for me and I’m not one to force designs – if it doesn’t work I’d rather take the time to rip the design apart then be unhappy with it.

The sari silk is twisted with a white length of silk to accent the focal.  A swarovksi tassle, combining all the colors of swarovski on the amethyst, helped finish the design.  The crystals are on sterling silver headpins.  The pendant is on sterling filled wire and the S-clasp is plated.  The matching earrings combine the purple and white as well, and have a tiny 3 mm amethyst swarovski at the top.  Lampwork is by Susan Wehner.

The earrings

The earrings – lampwork by Susan Wehner, accented 3mm amethyst swarovski, finished with sterling headpins and earwires

The necklace

The necklace – this was probably the easiest of the designs – it all just fell together wonderfully. 

Closeup of the necklace

Closeup of the necklace – sterling headpins, swarovski crystals, pendant by Kristie Brigham of Sculpted Windows

This design was a little harder – I knew I wanted to go “fall” with this one, but couldn’t decide the exact direction I was looking for.  I pictured a filled netting as the necklace and it just seemed TOO blingy and thick for the centerpiece – but the lacquer on the wood screamed for some kind of shine – just not TOO much.  So I grabbed some greek leather cord when I was at the LBS, as well as an antiqued copper clasp.  This was the original design:  I have antique copper beads on either side of the wood piece, topped with lampwork by Jennifer Powers and a beaded bead by yours truly (this actually had to be made twice because on the first the RAW base was too wobbly, and when I decided to remake it the necklace was already assembled like this so I had to cut it off and weave it back onto the necklace directly). The knot above the beaded bead is a Celtic knot, done with 2 lengths (each side of the necklace). It was my first attempt at this so I’m really proud of myself.

The chain is what is throwing me off.  I really wanted to include it with the wood because it matched so well, but I just couldn’t make it happen, it seemed ok until I took these pics, then I was so not for it.

The original design

The original design

So off came the chain and I like it a lot better:


The final design

Closeup of the beaded bead

Closeup of the beaded bead

The earrings - lampwork discs by Jennifer Powers, rondelles by Susan Wehner

The earrings – lampwork discs by Jennifer Powers, rondelles by Susan Wehner.  knotted on greek leather cord, hanging from antique copper earwires

I also made another set of earrings that could be worn with the necklace…once I had taken the chain off the necklace I needed to do something with it!


"Mixed metal" earrings

The Okawa beads also stumped me a bit – this is what I came up with – though I’m not sure I’m happy with it – it’ll do for now but I’m probably looking at a “redo” somewhere down the road.  I hand knotted 5 mm white leather cord, and found some Greek ceramic beads that matched the ones sent wonderfully:

The Okawa beads

The Okawa beads


4 thoughts on “September Artisan Component Design Challenge

  1. Kari Asbury says:

    Love all of your designs! I’m not sure I could pick a favorite they are each so different and really perfect for the components. Thank you so much for participating in the design challenge and sharing your talents!

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