"The Cream Puff"

"The Cream Puff"
"The Cream Puff" was shown by request @ Liberty Art Gallery, Long Beach Ca. April '12

Friday, January 25, 2013

ZNETSHOWS - Tuscon Design Team Reveal

    So, not too long ago I was contacted by Bill Zhang of Znetshows and asked to be a member of their design team for the Tuscon gem show. Wow! Well, Yes! Of course. What an amazing opportunity. Besides being  completely flattered that they picked me. I jumped right on it.  Znetshows is a wholesale dealer of gemstones, Chinese crystals, metal finding, etc. You can find them here http://www.znetshows.com/gemshow/retail/sea_glass_beads.asp   Their newest product is cultured sea glass.  Kinda like pearls and silk. Why wait for nature to do the job when we can grow them ourselves. Make the coveted and unattainable available and affordable to the masses. The sea glass selection they sent me to work with was quite impressive. A little bit cleaner looking than what you would pick up at the beach, but lots of interesting shapes they are able to replicate.  
Sea Glass Soup
    Drooling over their site after Bill's email, I had all sorts of crazy cool ideas running through my head. I had even mentioned how much I loved the firey colors. How awesome is that that I got orange, one of my 2 favorite colors. WooHoo! Then all of a sudden it's sitting here in front of me and I'm stumped. What do I do.  This is so different than what I usually work with. 
    I start photographing my soup. I had to do that 1st before making anything. While shooting I start to come up with a few ideas, and then I had a mishap. Oh no! AAARGH! As I'm turning my soup for a better angle some of it slips off the paper and hits my tile floor. Crap! Regroup. Some of the ideas I had now lay in pieces. I did manage to use some of the broken pieces in my designs anyway. I am a fix it artist. You'd be amazed how many of my coolest pieces came out of having to find a solution to something that went wrong. 
"Soleita" necklace

  The "Soleita" necklace was the 1st piece I started with. This was when I was still kinda stumped. I wire wrapped the glass and crystal into a sun. Cool, but kind commercial. I needed to soften it and make it mine. So I went to town with the curly-Q wire wrapped tendrils and then hung it on some wispy wild hand spun sari silk yarn in firey colors to soften it.

      Bill quoted Iron chef Miriomto  and asked us to "not just include the ingredients, really transform the ingredients to fit your dish." It took me a few to get the hang of that.

    Next, I moved onto the Saffron earrings.
"Mad About Saffron" necklace and earrings

Saffron details

The Arches on the earrings is the orange glass ring and the gold disc, which both broke in half. Rough edges were sanded, then glued to the planks with some decorative wire wrapping in a yin yang opposites attract style. I got the idea for hammered paddles from another one of my favorite artist Staci Louise Smith http://www.lovemyartjewelry.com/Staci_Bio_html.html     and I ran with it. I built the tic-tac-toe grid and wired all the joints together. Hey look at that I just learned a new skill. The necklace links are sets of 3 beads on a pin with hammered ends. Linked by sari silk wrapped sections of wispy fiber. My 1st Greek key closure. Really like how it turned out, and the way it fits, it has a built in extension. 

"Make a Splash" necklace

   Here's where I really start getting into owning this. I started form folding copper a little less than a year ago. I do leaves and blossoms and some corrugated back plates, etc. This is the most complex piece have ever done. A friend I showed into even thought it was multiple pieces soldered together.  The shell was designed as a back plate for the sea glass clam shell. Caged in with a sea of Aquamarine chips and a rush of watery blue curly wool locks . The cross bones are stamped "make a splash" with decorative wire wrap and a Biwa pearl. I'm really proud of how this pendant turned out. It's one of those "WOW, I made that! " moments. Hand made chunky chain links with intermittent blue ceramic donut links and honey jade dangles.  Golden yellow sea glass chunks, frosted gem stone balls (can't remeber, maybe Citrine) , and a stabalized turquoise flower and refhreshing irridescent blue woven braid and yellow silk fiber finish. 

"Star Shine" ring
Irregular hammered copper band stamped "shine" and given a little fibery bling.   

"Fun in the Sun" necklace
I used the golden yellow sea glass conch shell for some "Fun in the Sun". A hammered copper spiral wrap adds interest and texture while creating a loop on the end to dangle some gem stones. Serpentine Jade briolette, golden pearl, and a Peridot briolette for bling. Hung from a faceted green turquoise bead, a stabilized Turquoise flower, and a Dragons vein Agate egg. I wire wrapped the yellow sea glass ring for durability and texture and used it for my jump ring closure. Finished with olive green sari silk and a synthetic green Raffia the same shade of Peridot green for a little flash. 

 I cut the surf board to go with an eye shaped sea glass piece, stamped  "surfs up" and soldered a tail fin on. Strung on recycled jersey cording. I wanted to add a shark's tooth to this to represent "fearless" , but couldn't find one last minute.
"Surf's Up" necklace
"Surf's Up" necklace

"Go With The Flow" bracelet - golden sea glass, minty green Turquoise, and bronze cage beads wired with iridescent watery blue ribbon running through it. I patinaed the Znets bead caps findings copper to match. Hand made anchor toggle and charm stamped  go with the flow in a spiral pattern. Accented with Amazonite and bronze stick pearl that perfectly curves at the same angle as the glass pendant .
"Go With The Flow" bracelet

Summer Breeze collection
I didn't plan it this way, but there's a sort of mix-n-match thing going on here that I really like.
    The orange sea glass star fish is the star in my fishing net pendant. A 4g 1 inch jump ring, a scrap donated by my brother, I hammered on for days. Spread out to this super chunky donut. Hand stamped "Sand" "Sun" "Surf". I used a bit of veil netting from a vintage hat to make the fish net, and then caught some treasures in it. The coraly net texture of the brass finding were actually the inspiration for the fishnet. I patinaed these copper as well. Lots of sari silk fibery bits.  I used the Aqua Terra Jasper a little orange sea glass, bronze cage beads and some orange coral nugs. The Venetian glass bulbs are stuffed with orange tinsel glitter and confetti swirl that gives a flash when caught in the light.

"Sand Dunes" necklace
"Sand Dunes" earrings
"Ice Castles" earrings
Last but not least..... I'm not usually a fan of crystal, and I'm all about color, so these were a challenge. They are absolutely pure bling. I went wintery and showcased the "ice" with chandelier earrings and a fiber wrapped dangle bangle that is all shine. Kinda like the way they turned out. 
"Ice Castles" bracelet
I kept checking the facebook posts to see everybody else's work afraid that it would all look the same because we were working with the same materials. I am really pleasantly surprised at how diverse the reveal is. Everybody really did make the ingredients their own. This has been such a fun and awesome experience. I love doing these challenges and seeing how I grow as an artist every time. Thank you Bill for this amazing opportunity. Just hope you love my stuff enough to want to share it with the world at the Tuscon gem show. Fingers crossed...... and good luck to everyone and their amazing designs. Go check them out.

Bobbie - Beadsong Jewelry

 Charlie - Clay Space

Cherrie - En La Lumière
Christina - Wings N Scales

 Christine - Sweet Girl Design

 Cindy - Live to Design

Donetta - Simply Gorgeous
 Gretchen - Gretchen Nation Collection

Heather -  The Crafthopper
 Heidi - Heidi Kingman Jewelry

Hope - CraftyHope

Kelly - Traveling SideShow 

Klaudette -  Only Road

Suzette - Ellie's Bijoux


  1. WOW...looks like you had a lot of fun creating your pieces...Excellent combinations, very creative! Good luck!

  2. You really went all out...I love the use of fibers and the "wild and free" look of your finished pieces!

    1. Perfect! That's exactly what I was looking for ; )

  3. Great pieces! Love the Soleita necklace.

  4. Ok how much for the soleita necklace?! I would wear it everyday, I swear and pass out your cards too :)

    Great job and I love all of them!

    1. Thanks. Sending you a pm through etsy. Let's chat.

  5. LOVE the Soleita necklace! I had a similar style in my brain for my collection of sea glass, but wasn't able to get it to work how I wanted it. You totally nailed it! Simply gorgeous!

    1. Thanks. This piece really kinda made itself, I was just the messenger ; )

  6. I love your color mix. I love those colors, too. And that Mad About Saffron necklace and earrings are to die for. As is the Go With the Flow bracelet. But they're all great designs and very unique. I only had time to make 4 designs with my samples, but had a lot of fun.

    1. Thanks. Oddly, green and gold was my high school colors and I hated them. I don't think I've paired them up since. Glad I gave them another chance.

  7. Kelley you are very talented!