Earlier this year Sue Burleigh of SocialBeadia asked me if I'd be interested in traveling to Prague, Vienna and Budapest and teach some of the days during the trip. I reviewed the itinerary and yes! this sounded like a dream travel plan.
I wanted to do something special for the those going on the trip and something that would hold my interest and be a body of work which could grow.
Last year I had played with this concept of being able to magnet together bits of beadwork, and then time got the best of me and I didn't pursue it.
Beading through Bohemia (name of the trip) gave me the perfect opportunity to revisit this idea and work out the details. It could as easily be called the Pacific Northwest Collection as the majority of it was beaded while traveling to Seattle in our airstream.
Since Cubic Right Angle Weave is an incredibly versatile stitch, and my little signature sprocket/finial/thingy ma jig, was already designed, I decided to work out the best way to encase a magnet into the thingy ma jig and attach to the components.
Then because cubic raw can get quite structural looking and I wanted it to be Bohemian in flavor I added the whimsical romantica component, some crystals (of course) and some floral accents.
I also had the idea for each of the components, or most anyways to be reversible, doing double duty especially in color.
Since the body of work was destined to grow and I wanted to be able to wear the pieces inter-changeably I stayed within a fairly narrow color family.
I have a sketchbook full of ideas, and I've been busy beading up the different elements.
Here you see two lengths of diamond shapes serving as a necklace. There is an X connector so that two different dangly bits can be added. On the left there is a double diamond connector/pendant and a teardrop fancy stone. On the right there is an ellipse/romantica connector and a long ellipse with romantica dangle pendant. So in total seven different pieces, all of which reverse and can do double duty in other combinations.
This center focal is a bezeled large fancy stone with a double connector to hook into the necklace and a single connector from which to extend a pendant. In this case I've added a diamond connector and a shield pendant. Since all connectors have south magnets and all pendants have north magnets, I could just as easily add the teardrop pendant or the ellipse pendant from above. Here the diamond connector is a little shadow box with a czech flower peeking out, and the other side is a romantica medallion.
Here I've beaded up a simple prismatic right angle weave rope and added the y connector with the double diamond, the same diamond connector as above but on the romantica medallion side, the ellipse connector and ended with the shield pendant.
Taking out the diamond connectors and shield I left the ellipse connector and added the fancy stone teardrop.
At last count I have about 7 connectors, 2 necklaces and 6 pendants. I have not attempted to count the combinations I can create with these 16 pieces, but it's a lot! I don't see myself stopping soon. The beauty of this approach is that once you've established a couple of necklaces and a good number of connectors, then an afternoon of beading a pendant creates an entirely new piece.
Yesterdays reversible button pendant with a romantica medallion is my new favorite. As I add to the collections I'll be sharing photos. For now the work will remain exclusive for next May's Beading through Bohemia trip. The trip is currently full but if you're interested in future trips you can find Socialbeadia here.