Thursday, June 25, 2015

Battle of the Beadsmith 2015 - The making of my design "Francesca's Farfalle"

When I design I usually start with a centrepiece, then I make a ‘rope’ to suit. I worked in reverse for this design. I made the necklace section first - see image one.

For a competition like Battle of the Beadsmith I needed a little bit 'more' in my design. After all it is a competition.

I came up with another idea to increase the size of the necklace - see image two

I designed a "star" centre piece with some new components making another necklace. I had a job ahead of me adding the second section to the first. I wasn't certain of the rivoli sizes needed and originally made the joining sections with 16mm rivolis. 
This proved to be too large, causing it to buckle and impossible to join. Everything had to be pulled apart and 14mm rivolis used - see the unattached section in image two.

I had success eventually but felt my design still needed MORE. 
I tried adding pearls around the outer edge - see image three.

Standing back to look at the addition my first impression was - "the pearls look like something other people would do". I wasn't happy with them.

With pearls removed I added two half components to my piece for a better gradual widening - see image four.
I was finished and I lived with what I had for almost two weeks.

It is strange but over time I came to dislike the negative spaces formed between the two sections. I was happy with the colours, happy with the 'rope', happy with the second section but I wasn't happy with the two sections joined. 

I thought maybe if I added something extra I may like it more, so I added the small drop at the base of the 'star' centrepiece - see image five.

That was better and again I thought I am finished.

But not for long!!!

The negative spaces continued to annoy me. I felt the 'rope' was less than it should be so I pulled the two sections apart, revealing my favourite part of my design again. I was back to square one -
see image one.

Another, 'better' centrepiece was required. I improved my star shape centre, glammed it up a bit then made another smaller bezel,  joining them to form image six.

Yay!! I was happy and I was finished - again. 

I did feel the centrepiece was a tad on the large side, I even tried to make another star just a bit smaller. Me being me I try to improve on things and my next attempt didn't work satisfactorily so I had had enough by this stage and decided to go with the large star centre.

BUT not for long!!!

The closing date for the competition was approaching and it was picture taking time.

I took quite a lot of images and I showed a couple of my beading buddies and the feedback was "maybe if you take the pic at such and such an angle your centre may not look so LARGE.

I tried and tried but to no avail!! The bloody centre was JUST TOO DAMN BIG!!

Off it came.

I finally made another of the bezelled rivolis and took it further - see image eight.

I was very happy with this one and felt it was finally done.

I liked my rope, I liked my small centrepiece bezel and I liked the new centrepiece bezel as it was a combination of both the rope and the small bezel. It was integrated and complete - pheeew!! just in time for pic taking and meeting the deadline.

I wanted to write this post to show all the toil there can be in a competition piece. 
I want to convey not all designs come easily. Maybe if I had done what I usually do, centrepiece first then rope I may not have had as much trouble. I will never know.
The journey along the way has taught me so much, new ideas and centres will spring from this
so called 'toil'. More like my passion for designing.

In the end I am very pleased with
'Francesca's Farfalle' and my entry has been very well received by the beading community,
beyond my expectations.
PS: the large Star centrepiece I sold to my neighbour as she loved it. 
It is now a pendant on its own.


  1. After all that frog-stitching, you ended with a glorious piece that is so "you". It's one of my favorites in the competition. Well done!

  2. thank you for showing the creative process! What I especially like about this piece is that it is so WEARABLE. Many serious bead designers have forsaken fashion for static craft. You always keep in mind the utility of a piece of jewelery and that is what will really promote this craft the most.

  3. Thanks for posting this, Patrick. I actually like all the iterations and hope it does well in B.O.T.B.

  4. This is a wonderful work :-)
    -Eva Maria

  5. you did an astounding job! I am totally blown away with the different looks, Thanks for sharing your process

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Hi,
    Jewellery are really looking beautiful, you are really worked hard to
    discover this unique designs.

    Nice efforts, keep doing.
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  8. Nice Collection...thanks for the posting
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  9. This is my absolute favorite of your designs. So jealous of your neighbor ! That star looks beautiful. Would love to see a closer pic of it. You are awesome Patrick

    1. Thank you Cheryl, I sent you a close up pic of the star, hope you like it

  10. You made very beautiful and special design,Patrick, congratulation!!! I always like to see your work.

    1. Thank you Romana, I appreciate you leaving a comment. You have been quiet in Facebook lately.

  11. Splendid work Patrick! quality!!!

  12. Can we buy this pattern??? Thanks.

    1. Hello Bep, I am writing the tutorial for the necklace portion, not the pendant, and will be releasing the tutorial soon. I will announce when ready on my blog so keep visiting.