Sunday, August 10, 2008

Mostly Metals Project

Chapter 5 is all about designing with spacers -- using these little metal darlings to solve a design problem or enhance a focal bead. The "mother's bracelet" project on p. 78 uses a lot of metal spacers to make a primarily silver bracelet accented with children's names and birthstone crystals. These bracelets are extremely popular and I don't claim to have thought of the design myself. However, it's an excellent illustration of how spacers can drive a design, and help unify elements. I also love the project because it's so personal and you will never see two exactly alike. Here's a version I made years ago for my mother, when she became the grandmother of three:

This version uses tiny gemstones to signify the birth months, and since I don't do anything mainstream, they are the "alternate" birthstones (really, now, who decides this stuff?) tourmaline, lapis and quartz.

I also enjoy making these bracelets without the letter beads. The pattern is driven by the birthstones, and the mom knows that what may seem to be just another pretty bracelet to others holds a special significance for her.

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