Studio Musings

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Little Underdone

With a little clever photography, I could claim that my Bead Soup piece is complete, combining right angle weave 'links' with the lovely sea glass bezels and fused glass focal created by my fabulous swap partner  Kimberly Roberts.  I definitely finished enough to get a feel for the final piece.

But the truth of the matter is, it's not yet done.   Late arrivals of my soup mix due to hurricane Irene, unexpected time requirements in my other work and design challenges all left me really running behind on this one.  If it hadn't been for the need to follow through to show Kimberly's pieces, I might have thrown in the towel.

My orginal thought was a solid freeform peyote collar
The large, square, transparent glass focal was a real challenge for me.  The shape didn't lend itself to my more organic stitching, and I wrestled with the issue of transparency - do I bead behind it or do I let it stand alone?  I considered creating a solid freeform peyote collar, with beading behind to provide a backdrop for the focal, but it just didn't feel right.  Too heavy and solid for the focal bead.  

Stitching the right angle weave closed around the wire
I finally decided to echo the open feel and shape of the focal with my right angle weave links.  Each link is stitched around a 20 gauge wire core to give it strength and stability.  I taped the ends with acid-free artists' tape and then painted the tape with a little acrylic to help it blend (the white tape would have shown through the bead work).

For each link I worked three rows of right angle weave the length of the circumference, like a long narrow ribbon.  And then I'd lace it closed around the wire, pinching it into shape as I went.

I'd originally thought I'd use the sea glass bezels in a separate piece, but when I laid them out amongst the links they looked right, so they were added in as well.  When the piece is complete, the links will graduate smaller around the neck.

So now check out the other Bead Soup participants' work:

The Hostess, Lori Anderson and her partner, Manuela Wutschke

There's more, but it doesn't look as complete!
1. Aimee Wheaton and Barbara York
2. Alice Craddick and Sandra Richardson
3. Alison Sachs and Amy Severino
4. Allison Scott and Cynthia Abner
5. Amanda Cargill Austin and Charlene Sevier
6. Amanda Davie and Patsy Evins
7. Amber Dawn and Kim Ballor
8. Ambra Gostoli and Christine Hansen
9. Amy Freeland and Christine Altmiller
10. Ana Krepel-Novak and Eleanor Snare

11. Andrea Morici and Hope Smitherman
12. Andrea Trank and Jayne Capps
13. Andrea Turini and Charlene Jacka
14. Angela May and Emanda Johnson
15. Anitra Gordy and Elizabeth Owens Dwy
16. Ann Rishell and Debbie Price
17. Ann Sherwood and Lynne Bowland
18. Anna Lear and Barbe Saint John
19. Anna Sabina­­­­ and Erin Siegel
19. Nan Emmett and Erin Siegel
20. Astrid Boyce and Birgitta Lejonklou

21. B.R. Kuhlman and Deanna Chase
22. Barbara Bechtel and Bryna Lumb
23. Barbara Blaszczyk and DaviniaDesign
24. Barbara Judy and Holly Westfall
25. Barbara Lewis and Cathie Carroll
26. Barrie Edwards and Lyn Foley
27. Becky Fairclough and Jana Tarhala
28. Bella Borgouise and Gillian Lehman
29. Beth and Evie McCord and Erin Prais-Hintz
30. Beth Bricker and Heather Pyle

31. Beth Emery and Cassie Donlen
32. Bobbie Rafferty and Cindy Cima Edwards
33. Candice McGinnis and Sally Anderson
34. Carol Bradley and Cece Cormier
 35.  Cathy Khoury and Molly Alexander
 36. Carol Tannahill and Hilary Frye
37. Carrie Tahquechi and Cris Peacock
38. Cat Pruitt and Cindy Gimbrone
39. Charlene Gary and Doris Stumpf
40. Charlotte Pevny and Kate Gardenghi

Wire links awaiting tape, paint & beading
41. Cherrie Fickand Cathie Carroll
41. Claire Maunsell and Cherrie Fick
42. Cheryl Roe and Jenny Vidberg
43. Chris White and Norma Turvey
44. Christa Murphy and Kathy Alderfer
45. Christie Murrow and Dana James
46. Christina Miles and Collette Collins
47. Christine Brandel and Elizabeth Woodford
48. Christine Damm and Cynthia Deis
49. Christine Hendrickson and Debbie Goering
50. Christine Stonefield and Dee Wingrove-Smith

51. Cilla Watkins and Johanna Rhodes
52. Cindy Wimmer and Riki Schumacher
53. CJ Baushka and Cory Celaya
54. Courtney Breul and Joanna Matuszczyk
55. Cristi Clothier and Kathleen Robinson Young
56. Cryss Thain and Serena Trent
57. Cynthia Tucker and Kitty Durmaj
58. Dana Johnson Jones and Eva Sherman
59. Davinia Algeri and Janet McDonald
60. Deci Worland and Lara Lutrick

61. Diana Ptaszynski and Kristy Abner
62. Diane Cook and Kerry Bogert
63. Diane Hawkey and Jen Judd Velasquez
64. Dorcas Midkiff and Jill Harris
65. Doris Radlicki and Heather Goldsmith
66. Dot Lewallen and Gaea Cannaday
67. Elisabeth Auld and Jennifer Justman
68. Erin Fickert-Rowland and Geanina Grigore
69. Erin Grant and Julie Jones
70. Eszter Czibulyas and Helena Fritz

71. Fiona Christie and Michelle Heim
72. Gail Zwang and Genea Crivello-Knable
73. Geneva Collins and Jana Haag
74. Gretchen Nation and Heidi Post
75. Heather DeSimone and Karin Slaton
76. Heather Marley and Terry Carter
77. Ingrid McCue and Jennifer Pride
78. Jackie Ryan and Nicole Keller
79. Janna Harttgen and Joanne Tinley
80. Jean Yates and Lori Anderson

Measuring the circumference
81. Jelveh Jaferian and Jenny Davies-Reazor
82. Jenni Connolly and Jennifer Heynen
83. Jennifer Cameron and Kristi Bowman
84. Jennifer Geldard and Lisa Liddy
85. Jennifer VanBenschoten and Kim Hora
86. Jess Italia Lincoln and Lori Greenberg
87. Jill MacKay and Lori Bergmann
88. JJ Jacobs and Karen Tremblay
89. Joyce Becker and Kathy Welsh
90. Judy Glende and Karen Sinkowski

91. Judy Riley and Kelly Morgan
92. JuLee Wolfe and Julie Bean
93. Julianna Cannon and Julianna Kis
94. Julie Nordine and Lesley Watt
95. K. Hutchinson and Shea Zukowski
96. Karen Firnberg and Karyn Bonfiglio
97. Karen Williams and Kimberly Roberts
98. Karen Zanco and Polly Barker
99. Kari Carrigan and Laura Twiford
100. Karin von Hoeren and Laura Blanck

101. Kate Richbourg and Lorelei Eurto
102. Kathleen Lange Klik and Maria Clark
103. Kathy Engstrom and Keri Lee Sereika
104. Kay Thomerson and Loretta Carstensen
105. Kelley Fogle and Laurel Bielec
106. Kelly Ramstack and Sally Anderson
107. Kim Stevens and Tiffany Long
108. Kristi Harrison and Mandy Williamson
109. Kristi Kyle and Lana Kinney
110. Kristina Johansson and Sue Hodgkinson

111. Kym Hunter and Laura Sanger
112. Laura Zeiner and Susan Kennedy
113. Laurel Steven and Mary McGraw
114. Laurie Hanna and Lisa Boucher
115. Lesley Weir and Liz DeLuca
116. Linda Djokic and Tracey Weiser
117. Linda Inhelder and Pam Brisse
118. Linda Landig and Lori Dorrington
119. Linda Murphy and Lisa Hamilton
119.  Line Labrecque and Marianne Baxter
120. Lisa Lodge and Monica Johnson

Another view of stitching the links
121. Lois Moon and Melissa Muir
122. Lola Surwillo and Therese Frank
123. Lori Bowring Michaud and Marci Brooks
124. Lupe Meter and Norma Agron
125. Maggie Towne and Marge Beebe
126. Malin de Koning and Susie Hibdon
127. Mallory Hoffman and Shirley Moore
128. Marcie Abney and Patty Miller
129. Marcy Lamberson and Melissa Clarke
130. Margot Potter and Suzann Sladcik Wilson

131. Maria Grimes and Wendy Blum
132. Maria Horvath and Melinda Orr
133. Maria Rosa Sharrow and Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp
134. Marian Hertzog and Melissa Mesara
135. Marianna Boylan and Sandi Lee James
136. Marina Dobrynina and Michaela Pabeschitz
137. Marsha Neal and Miri Agassi
138. Mary Ellen Parker and Melissa Meman
139. Mary Elliott and Tamara Soper
140. Mary Hicks and Laurel Steven

141. Melissa Pynn and Michelle Buettner
142. Michelle Hardy and Niki Meiners
143. Michelle Mach and Moira McEvoy
144. Missy Rappaport and Norma Agron
145. Molly Alexander and Poranna
146. Mylene Hillam and Nicole Rennell
147. Nadezhda Parfyonova and Stacey Curry
148. Nan Emmett and Nancy Peterson
149. Nancy Boylan and Natalie McKenna
150. Natalie Monkivitch and Niky Sayers

151. Natasha Lutes and Pam Ferrari
152. Noemi Baena and Penny Ilagan
153. Pamela Petry and Rebecca Sirevaag
154. Pat Haight and Mary McGraw
155. Patty Gasparino and Vonna Maslanka
156. Penny Neville and Sandi Volpe
157. Pepita Bos and Wendy Chamberlain
158. Raida Disbrow and Rebecca Watkins
159. Rebecca Anderson and Sabrina Staub
160. Regina Santerre and Rose Binoya

Kimberly's fused glass focal
161. Rhea Freitag and Tari Kahrs
162. Rochelle Brisson and Sheryl Stephen
163. Sally Russick and Tracy Bell
164. Sandra McGriff and Shay Williams
165. Sandra Wolberg and Sara Hardin
166. Sarah Elder and Salla Small
167. Saskia Kaffenberger and Sharon Gardner
 168. Sharon Palac and Shannon Chomanczuk
169. Shay Stone and Suzette Bentley
170. Shiraz Biggie and Tammy Powley

171. Staci Smith and Tracy Stillman
172. Stacie Stamper and Tracy Martin
173. Stefanie Teufel and Vicky Taylor
174. Stephanie Dixon and Stephanie LaRosa
175. Stephanie Haussler and Valerie Norton
176. Suzanne Tate and Terri Wlaschin
177. Sweet Freedom Designs and Tammy Jones
178. Tania Spivey and Tari Sasser
179. Tara Plote and Terry Matuszyk
180. Terri Gauthier and Deana Hager


  1. What you've done looks great! The beaded links are wonderful and I think they do set off the fused focal! Would love to see what it looks like finished... around someones neck!

  2. Thanks Lynne! So do I - can't wait to see it finished. I will post additional pics when it is, and around someone's neck, too.

  3. Karen, I still think you stayed true to your organic style with this. I love those links! So, was the hole in the focal wide enough for a strand of RAW? It looks like it goes right thru it. The colors you chose are beautiful!

  4. WOW Karen -- you never cease to amaze me with your fabulous creations. I love what you did with the beaded wires and big shapes -- it creates a sort of "Pop Art" feeling to the piece. Love the colors too -- this piece rocks!!!

  5. Very unique and creative...what a lovely piece!(even if it is slightly underdone) :)

  6. OMG Karen what a fantastic piece! Your use of the seeds in those links is truly unique and outstanding!

  7. Those links you've created are great and such a wonderful compliment to the focal piece.

  8. Karen!!! i love it!!!! i just love what you do with seed beads and wish i had that patience!!! those pieces are perfect for that focal!!! thanks for being my partner!.
    i was late getting my post up because internet has been up and down....more down.....hope you like what i made :)

  9. I am SO sorry for being late — today our internet provider decided to crash. My stress level is through the roof, to say the least! They’re still working on it, but it’s like dial-up.

    I think you did an OUTSTANDING job and trust me -- after tearing up my piece three times, I thought I'd never get done, and I had that hurricane, countless migraines, school starting, more emails than I EVER thought I'd have, and a show in the middle of all this. You did far better than I did.

    You should be proud!

    I hope you’ll participate again!

    Love, Lori

  10. Oh boy with my luck and seed beads I would still have a pile. You have my admiration for using these little missels. You have created some beautiful links.

  11. Please finish it and please show us. What you have done is so amazing I would hate for it to sit neglected and unfinished. I definitely admire those of you who have the patience to work magic with those seed beads...

  12. What a beautiful soup you made my friend, your work is truly stunning!! Thanks for sharing & all I can say is yummmmmy!!!

  13. I'm so glad you posted your soup. Even though it's not totally finished, it's done enough that we can see what the end result will be. A STUNNER. I love too that you included your failed first attempt and shots of how you are making those outstanding beaded components. Really, Great GREAT job!

  14. I think that necklace will be stunning when it is finished...I can already see that it is! What a lot of work those little beads are...I admire anyone who can have the patience and fortitude! to work with them Please show us when it is finished as I would love to see it.

  15. Shirley - yes, a single strand of right angle weave fit absolutely perfectly through the focal's beading hole. Which was great because it provides more support, and I love the patterned effect through the glass.

    And yes to all, I do plan to finish the necklace. I'm traveling this week, but have packed a beading kit to continue working on the beaded links. I've been averaging an hour and a half to two hours maybe a little more per link. So while I'm quite a ways into the project, there's still a ways to go. But I have every intention of finishing it, and that will give me an excuse for another blog post, too! :)

  16. Oh, Karen! I love your book! I have had it for maybe a year and have used it alot. It is the best written easiest to follow book I have ever used! It has given me wings! thank you for writing it.
    and I love your design for bead soup! :o)

  17. Your design is so very unique and original. It's definitely a one of a kind! I totally dig it myself and know that it's not something that would have occurred to me. Of course, I'm no good with the beadwork. Yours is fab. Wonderful work!

  18. i LOVE what is going on in this!!! i love the beadweaving and the sea glass and the focal! fantastic work! i collect river rocks obsessively and small pieces of driftwood and anything really. some items are making it into much fun making nature (seaglass becomes nature, doesn't it?) wearable!
    You make beautiful jewelry!!!

  19. just love your design process, it is such a stunning focal and those can be the trickiest of all to incorporate into a wearable piece. You really did an awesome job!

  20. Oh, I'm sure the finished necklace will be great! You already spent a lot of effort on it, and I like what I can see so far!
    Greetings, Michi

  21. Interesting beaded links. Looking forward to seeing it finished.

  22. I really like what You have doen so far !! That focal would have given me pause as well!!

  23. You are off to an amazing start. What a beautiful piece you are creating!

  24. I am just amazed at those of you who can stitch with beads! You're on the way to a great design here!

  25. So wonderful! I love bright colors, geometric shapes, and beadweaving, so this really floats my boat! and I really appreciate your tip about putting the wire inside the loop!

  26. Lovely work, and there's a lot of it there. To have constructed each of those links is a feat. I'll make sure I checck back when it's done and thumbs up on creativity for working outside your usual zone.

  27. It looks great! Love the bright colors and neat shapes!

  28. Wow! This is really incredible! I LOVE the links that you made. It's just perfect!

  29. A fantastic design I love the beaded links and the little dangle from the focal is so cute and the fantastic photos show you you did it!

  30. A really unique and one-of-a-kind piece, lovely!

  31. looks great so far..keep going and I really think You should post this on the ABS blog challenge for this month !! colors not 100% perfect for it but the shapes sure are !! go over there and have a look if You did not allready :)

  32. Wonderful! I like your use of color and texture, and I love the bead weaving. Thank you for sharing your artistic process along the way. Cheers!

  33. What a luscious focal, and I love your response to it. The seed beads you chose set the perfect tone - looks like you plucked your colors from the sea. This is going to be amazing when it's finished!

  34. So far it looks great. I like your seed bead stitching to hang the focal. (I can't do seed beads) The little dangles on some of your other bead links are cute. Can't wait to see it done.

  35. Very unique. What a great design idea to do the seed bead links.

  36. life happens! what you have done so far looks wonderful!

  37. So far so fabulous! Keep it up! You have a patience I do not, I rarely use seed beads LOL. You are awesome!

  38. What a great design! I can tell the finished piece will be smashing! Thanks for sharing the process too!
    Julie and Andrea

  39. When you're finished it's going to look fantastic, great job so far!

  40. This is an area of beading that I'm not willing to step into so I admire those who like to do it. I can see you have a very unique design and some serious beading skills. Soup-er job so far!!!

  41. I love absolutely everything about this - and it's great to see another weaver on the hop. Your idea of using wire as an armature for the shapes is genius! Delicious, organic, wonderful necklace!

  42. Beautiful and fun necklace! I'm impressed with your beadwork!

  43. What a gorgeous necklace! I know this is one that I will definitely remember from this round of the is truly unique and I can really appreciate all of the planning you put in to it! I alway enjoy seed bead work, and you truly rocked your design. The way you added some step by step photos along the way was great - a good insight in to the process of designing this piece (rather complex so this was helpful!). Your necklace is a real stunner!

  44. Your links set of the focal so nicely. I would never have the patience to do all that work. Very creative though (including the stamina it takes)

  45. Cool and creative necklace! I love those irregular beaded links. Fab job!

  46. Underdone, maybe, but it's a beautiful piece in progress! I loved seeing the different stages of the process. Beautiful design, color and use of your soup!

  47. Oh! I love those beaded links!! Great Work and a beautiful necklace!

  48. It's beautiful, complete or not! I love the beaded links!

  49. You've had a lot done by the deadline and it looks great. Plus you showed your process which is very interesting.

  50. Your piece is so fascinating! I love the photos you've taken and the not so finished piece!

  51. I love this, and the work in progress photos are great. I love the idea of beading around the copper rings. I hope you'll have a chance to post a picture of it when you've had time to complete it.

  52. The idea to echo the feeling and the shape of the focal was great and made yout necklace an original piece.