Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Lifestyle Course: Learner's Work

We are coming to the end of the latest Lifestyle Course at Bedwas Adult Education Centre and so it is time to showcase some of the work carried out by the learners.
Most of the ladies attending the course were beginners in wire and basic jewellery making but all had craft or beading experience that helped develop their skills quickly.
Steph was the most experienced of the group and her jewellery shows how practising and adapting basic techniques to your own designs can produce stunning results.
Steph's brief was to produce an earring design that incorporated 3 different techniques we had covered. Creating a wrapped bead link and using coiling & spirals, she fulfilled this perfectly.
Taking the design further, she included delicate wire weaving too
Using her own designs and ideas, Steph has put her pliers and tools to great use to make a lovely toggle clasp and a kilt pin!
 We covered making wire rings using a  mandrel and wrapping free-form stones & sea glass to produce pendants like these two by Steph.
Hammering 1.5mm wire on a mandrel gave Steph this simple but effective finish to a simple ring.
Tobia is very interested in working with silver and has been practising wrapping a variety of stones in different styles. The 'plaiting' idea was her own and came from watching tutorials online. It was the  perfect choice for this uneven turquoise stone.

  Coiling wire on skewers has been used to excellent effect here for Tobia's earrings design and necklace.
Viv made a  lovely job of this wire ring design, combining the copper coloured 
wire with a  faceted black bead.
For the wire earring project, Viv experimented with thinner wire to create heart droppers. The pretty faceted, smoke beads give them a vintage look, which was another part of the brief.
Viv has embraced all aspects of jewellery making and has been busy making lots of designs away from class. A simple wire bangle has been transformed with black thread and beads.
Viv is currently working on  an elaborate animal wire brooch (could be an owl or may be a cat...she hasn't quite decided yet!) but she started with this lovely dragonfly design.

 Wire wrapped pendants by Viv and earrings showing the use of flat nosed pliers,
to create sharp corners in the wire and producing a triangle effect. 
When tackling a design like this, forward planning is essential so the bead placement is perfect.

For the upcycling project, Viv designed and made this fantastic necklace. Re-purposing a cotton reel, she painted and covered it with floral material then used the same to make her own rolled, tube beads. Pulling the design together by choosing a bead palette of pastel pinks and greens, she cleverly chose black metal findings and chain to give the necklace definition.
Laura came to the class a few weeks in and has worked really hard on mastering the basic techniques quickly before progressing to finished designs. She has been playing around with wire to create loops and swirls for links.
Laura's upcycling & vintage project design is gorgeous and  incorporates at least three of the basic techniques of looping, spirals and attaching links.
Despite never having lifted  a tool before the class, Kathy has shown a real talent for both the design and making of her jewellery. She has made a selection of wire wrapped pendants and rings using the techniques shown in class.
 Kathy's upcycling/vintage project piece is a fabulous mix of charms, beads, chain and pendants. She used books to research up-cycled jewellery and created a mood board of ideas before setting on her task.The layered look is a success and the colour choices ideal. By identifying areas she felt weren't working so well, Kathy thought the concerns through before re-working the button features.
Kelly made an elegant '20s style necklace for the upcycling/vintage project. The perfect placement of the pearls was a challenge at first but well worth the effort. The elongated diamond shapes, with three pearls suspended at their centres are striking. The extra detailing of handmade wire heart links and more pearls at the neckline, perfectly balance the black heart focal charm.
Kelly is an accomplished Kumihimo beader
 and has been combining her designs with wirework. The vibrant colours she uses are gorgeous and she very kindly demonstrated to the rest of us how to use the Kumihimo tool to produce this effect. I think her 
 friends and family are going to be happy with Santa's pressies this year!
Last week we covered basic stringing and how to finish off when using tigertail thread. 
Kelly has already been practising making designs in this style, as shown here in this lovely grey and silver set.
Multi stringing is difficult as you need to measure each string carefully so they all 'sit' in sequence on the wearer. Kelly has challenged herself even further by placing larger beads at equal intervals along the lengths. 
A design like this takes planning, careful measuring and lots of counting beads.... A job well done I say ! 
Everyone has worked hard to learn as many new techniques as possible over the last 10 weeks and  there's lots more jewellery they are working on.
It's been a pleasure getting to know all the ladies 
and see their designs and skills develop,
 I look forward to seeing what they all make next!