Sunday, September 3, 2017

New Inspiration leads to new designs

As I mentioned in the last post I am a member of the Macarthur Bead Society. Each month we meet and each month a beading challenge is set. 
The challenge for June was Op Art - see previous post.
The challenge for July was "Around the Spire".
These challenges can be interpreted in any way you wish in whatever medium you choose.

I was somewhat baffled how to interpret this challenge, my immediate thought was a pointed 
tower and that meant spikes. I sat and played, capturing a spike and decorated the outer edges - hmmmm... not what I wanted so my first attempt was pulled apart - sorry no images. 

That evening I sat to watch my favourite TV series A Game of Thrones - or GOT to those avid followers. In the opening credits they show an aerial view of what look like medieval castle towers, rising up out of the earth. I immediately thought - THERE is my inspiration.

I wanted to capture the look of a tall tower coming to a point and include various turrets and buttresses if possible. Since I was working in beads I thought I would attempt to also make the 'Tower' into wearable jewellery.

Engineering the three dimensional, architectural structure took some pondering but I managed to get what I was looking for.

To the right is my first attempt.  Tower#1
I had so much fun figuring out how to make what look like turrets and how to taper the tower so that when it is held up it is wide at the base and tapers to a point. 
Since the spike was the point the structure had to point downwards for aesthetics as jewellery.

The base of the 'Tower' then had to be finished so I added a Swarovski rivoli. 

Placing a rivoli at the other end - top -  made me very happy.   I have often thought all the sparkley bits in jewellery are often pointed at the viewer. 
Having the tower top decorated with a rivoli made the sparkles point at the wearer. That was a big plus in my eyes. 

When I finished this Tower #1 I added a length of chain - enough to go over the head, so no clasp - and naturally I put on my new creation. 
I have a large belly, the Tower turrets sat on my belly, when I moved the Tower rapidly rolled from side to side. That is not good!!! Someone could lose an eye with all this propulsion!!

So my next question was - how do I get this new design to lay flat?
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On the left is my second attempt. I removed a turret point giving me a 'flat' area, which by rights should allow Tower #2 to lay flat on the wearer.  

When I placed the new piece on myself - it worked!! - no belly rolls.  YAY!!!!!

Happily I took my two new creations to the society meeting, I proudly placed them on the table when we were having our show and tell and I received some lovely oohs and aaahs !!
I was pleased.

I asked one of the ladies to put on Tower #1 as I wanted to see how it sat on a woman's body.

I then realised that because women have their own 'turrets' my little Tower sat perfectly just under the bust. 
There were no belly rolls because all the points were not touching anything.  

Sheeesh....Tower #2 was unnecessary!!! but I am glad I had a variation.

I have since created Tower #3 - alongside - and I really had fun with colours, embellishment and shapes.

Making these pieces has captured my imagination. I am loving the three dimensional look of them.
I have a myriad of ideas forming in my mind. There will be more.

I have been asked for a tutorial and shall begin writing soon.

Stay tuned for the release of my 

"Tower Spire" pendant tutorial


  1. Congratulations Patrick on such interesting and colorful designs!
    -Eva Maria

  2. They're wonderful, Patrick! Hope to see a tutorial for tower 1 soon, as I would love to make one!

  3. Hello Susan,
    thank you for visiting my blog and for your comments.
    Tower 1 was my first design and had some engineering hassles. I will probably write the
    tutorial for more for Tower 3, but that won't be for awhile. Too many others to write first.
    - Patrick

  4. eagerly awaiting your Tower Spire tutorial!!!!!

    1. Thank you Rene, almost have moved house and will be settling into write tutorials.