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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

By The Dawn's Early Light

Dawn's Early Light
I enjoy being a member of the Etsy Beadweavers team, and the best thing about the Beadweavers (aside from the wonderful, world-wide beady friends I have made there!) is the monthly challenge opportunity. Not only is there inspiration provided, but a deadline encourages work to be completed, photographed, and listed for sale.

This month's theme was "Misty Winter's Dawn" and I found it very inspiring.  I wondered if I'd feel like creating winter in the midst of my favorite season, but I got into it and loved it.  The fact that acorns are falling like rain here helps! In Minnesota, that is always an indicator of an early winter fast approaching.

I began with Swarovski rivolis, in Light Sapphire, Rose, and Rose Champagne, and bezeled them in 24k blue gold Miyuki delicas.  I wanted to make tiny stars of the rivoli's, and play down the sparkle factor while featuring the amazing blue gold bead bezels.

I kept the centers of each component clean and simple, and added pearls and magatamas as texture and density at the edges.  I wanted an impression of stars winking out as the sunrise begins to color the sky.  I muted and narrowed the colorway to keep the results soft and misty.  I rarely use grays, or silver, so this was a true challenge for me.

I also ran into a mathematical challenge.  Since I wanted to feature a star shape in the center of each component, there could only be numbers of beads in each bezel that would be evenly divided twice by two.  So, 24,12,6, the smallest stars, 32,16,8, the medium stars, and 40,20,10, the largest star.  But I had purchased 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18mm rivolis.  So, I had to cheat repeatedly with technical control of tension to make this work.  Yeeks!  Much of what you see here is structural netting.  The rivoli's are only about half of the width of the component in each case.  Here's a peek at the back, which gives a better sense of how where the rivoli stops and the structure begins.

I also wanted the piece to have an organic, natural quality.  I found that in my stick pearl tassles.  For me, the sticks look like newly bare branches, glistening in the dewy dawn. 

Fringe detail

This piece grew as it developed.   I had created a piece with linked rivolis earlier this summer in a hex pattern, which was supple and flexible, and I loved the feel of it.  I wanted to explore what other shapes would be stable as negative spaces.  I found that each opening I created required structural support from its neighbors and that the strength and suppleness of the whole was very dependent on the ingtegrity of each connection.  I want to explore this further in the future!

Early assembly detail, which really emphasizes the negative spaces and connections, before I finished the star picots.

 Please visit our Etsy Beadweavers Team blog and view my teams beautiful work and varied interpretations of "Misty Winter's Dawn."  Please choose your personal favorite from the array, and give it your vote on confidence in the right hand column.  Thanks!


  1. It's beautiful, Marsha! I love how your blog posts bring each piece to life for me, and give me a sense of where you started and how you ended... it makes viewing the piece even more fascinating. I love how your mind works things through. Thank you so much for sharing your journeys with us, I am positive I'm not the only artist who finds just as much inspiration in your words as I do in your work.

    1. Nancy, I so appreciate the friendships I have found through my beadwork. Thank you for reading, and commenting, and being a wonderful beady buddy!

  2. You have so artfully captured those soft blue and delicate, rosy colors when the sun makes its first appearance in the morning sky. Brings me welcome thoughts of the coming winter!

    1. Thank you so much! I appreciate you reading and taking the time to comment!

  3. it's an impressive work of art. good luck on the challenge!

  4. Wonderful detail and color play :-)
    -Eva Maria

  5. Thank you Eva Maria. I hope some day I get to meet you! You are such a strong supported of bead art.

  6. I saw this piece this morning on the EBW challenge post and in your shop. It is just lovely. Those grey and silver shades are some of my favorites.

    Thank you for the story behind the creation, I always enjoy reading about your process.

    Also, thank you for showing the back. I don't do that often enough and I almost always want to see the back. The backs of your rivolis are beautifully finished.

  7. I don't know why but when I saw this amazing jewelry the "A Midsummer Night's Dream " came to my mind.
    So magical ,mysteries gorgeous necklace.

    1. Oh, Interesting! I don't think of that as a Wintery play, BUT I could see this on Titania for sure!