Sunday, July 15, 2012

Beads of Clay Design Challenge Reveal

What a fun challenge this was, and what a challenge!  Before we were sent our mystery beads from the Beads of Clay group, we got a black and white picture of them.  What a shock to see them in person and color when we received them.

Marla wanted to know how seeing them without color played into the design.  For me, color is too important, and while it was fun to see the shapes, there was no way I could have designed based on that alone.

They sent us A LOT of beads.  More beads than I thought I could fit into one piece.  I love using art beads, but I mix them with other elements in my designs, so Marla said we could make two pieces....WHEW!  Even with that, you will see how packed these are with ceramic beady goodness.  I really think it was a good challenge, we have raku beads from Duane Collins in dark colors, some great textured beads from Marsha Neal in creams and aqua's, some earthy beads and a bright striped bead from Golem Studios and a bright focal from Shaterra Clay.  We even got some filigree bead caps and jump rings, and were told we had to use them all!

Without making this too long, I saw a bright design- all beachy and light, and a dark earthy design with blues and greys in my head.

Here they are!!!!

First, I used the raku beads and Marsha's aqua pieces, along with some of my patina'd bronze beads, tuquoise, agate and recycled sari silk in two colors to create this super chunky piece. 

The second piece was harder for me.  It was brighter, and bright and pastel sort of colors are hard for me.  And, with every challenge, I try to still put my spin on it, so that it looks like my work, even if it isn't something I would pick out (after all, isn't that what a challenge is all about, to push us?) 
Since there were a lot of beads left to use, I decided to use the jump rings as chain, and make a charm necklace.

I added sea urchin spines, one of my bronze ammonite pieces, ocean jasper and sari silk to shaterra's clay focal, golem studio's beads and marsha's cream color beads.  Then I realized I forgot two round beads and made them into matching earrings.  I know it wasn't part of the challenge, but I just couldn't add two more charms to this necklace.  It was at max capacity.
This was so much fun!  I love getting a mix of beads and having to turn on my brain and figure out how to make them work.   Thanks to Beads Of Clay for letting me play along, and thanks to all the artists that donated these beautiful beads.  To see what everyone else made with the same beads, hop along!

Staci Smith Blog

Linda Landig Blog:

Lesley Watt Blog

Katie Nelson FB

Susan Kennedy Blog


  1. I can definitely see your design spin on both of these. Love how you rose to the challenge of using a colors that you wouldn't normally choose. Really nice!

  2. What a great challenge. I love both pieces you created but I absolutely LOVE that second piece. Your work has such a great style.

  3. I love how you've worked the beads into your own inimitable style Staci two real statement pieces with so much depth.

  4. You have definitely succeeded in putting your design spin in both and I know how difficult that is with such a random mix of beads. I love your charm necklace.
    Desiree Malan

  5. I like the charm necklace you made. Good use of all the pieces.

  6. Both are really pretty but the one with the colors of the sea really speaks to me. And, it looks great on you, too!

  7. These are both such amazing necklaces - I can't choose a favorite. I think you did amazing getting all those beads into both necklaces. The textures and colors blend so well. And those earrings - oh my - those are super cool!! I really love those!

  8. Staci, you really made these your own! I just love the first one so much! I'm always intrigued with how you wire-wrap components and I love the addition of your swirly turquoise piece next to the donut. Awesome work, Staci!

  9. Both of these pieces are great though I love that chunky blue one the best! You did succeed in putting your own "spin" on both pieces. Beautiful!

  10. Gorgeous! Your wire wrapping really is so cool! I'm glad you had a good show too! Great work!

  11. Yes, designing without color would have been hard. In the end, you created some really beautiful pieces. I love how that first one hugs you neck just perfectly!!