Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Mini Design Challenge - jewellery by Rachael Smallcombe

We reveal the designs from our challenge winner...

We launched our very first design challenge last month and this pack was put together by Helen Bowen from her very own stash!The pack, 'Coral Sea' included some bronze veined Magnesite drops and barrel beads, Goldstone rounds in three sizes, Magnesite blossom frames, Sea Coral rounds, Freshwater Pearls, Bowenite rounds, three handmade paper beads, some wooden components, a ceramic focal, a seed bead mix, various antique bronze items plus sari silk ribbon and cotton cord.

When we announced our winner, Rachael Smallcombe, she told us "the pack looks so inspiring, I already have ideas!". When she emailed her finished designs, she said "I would like to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed this design challenge. I only regret not being able to use the large leaf focal, but was unable to think how best to use this! Something will come to me and will share at a later date."

Rachael's first design is a bezelled bronze veined Magnesite teardrop bead. She created the bezel using the seed bead mix from the pack and then created a pretty linked bead chain for it to hang from. She balanced the colours and shapes in this symmetrical design and used large links as a feature to connect the beads. Finished with a fancy flower toggle clasp.

Plaited silks

Rachael's second design makes the sari silk ribbon the focus with a plaited design with medium link chain and the addition of filigree bead cones to give the ends a tidy finish. She added some wrapped loop dangles and an extender chain for extra adaptability.

Rachael's final design (and our favourite!) uses sari silk as a background for a bead embroidered cuff. We love the clever use of components in this piece. The cotton cord acts as a continuous frame to the cuff and a loop for the button clasp made with a large Sea Coral bead. 

The two tones of sari silk worked onto a strip of beading foundation give a colourful backdrop to the smaller beads and Magnesite blossom focal point in the centre. We can't believe you just "made it up as you went along" Rachael!

We're really chuffed with Rachael's designs and are already planning another mini design challenge for when we reach 500 fans on our Facebook page. This time, it will be a gorgeous pack from one of our favourite bead suppliers.
Please keep sharing our page!

Happy creating!

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