Friday, April 03, 2009

Her Airship Sailed Through Time

Her Airship Sailed Through Time is my entry for the EBW April Challenge, Time Machine. I'm very happy with how it turned out. I think it's attractive, wearable, and fits the theme pretty well. It's also completely not what I had planned originally.

Originally, I was going to make a necklace called Trinkets I Gathered on my Journey Through Time. The spiral was going to be a lariat with a dizzying array of nifty beads and found objects in the long fringe at each end. But as I was working, I realized that I might not have enough black size 8 beads to finish it, and since I had started it so late in the game, I didn't have time to order more. Remembering the neat steampunk heart toggle clasp that I bought from Green Girl at gem show, I decided that instead, it would be a front-clasping necklace with fringe spilling out from behind the clasp.

So yesterday, I went into my temporary beadroom (aka the laundry room) and picked out all sorts of awesome items. Keys, a coin, a carved skull, a carved moon face, various little lampwork beads (domestic and import), vintage beads, stone beads, Czech glass, a scarab, nuts and washers, etc etc. Then I laid them all out on a bead mat and strung a single eclectic fringe. I went to the mirror, tried it on, and found that the fringe did not hang nicely from behind the clasp like I had planned.

Well drat, I thought, now what? Maybe I could attach the fringe to the extra hole at the bottom of the clasp. Except that it was a small hole, so not a lot of fringe would fit. Then I hit on the idea of using one of the washers as a ring to hang the fringe from, so I used a little chain and a jump ring to attach it to the clasp. But it looked so cute that I couldn't stand the idea of overwhelming it with all of that chaotic fringe. What to do, what to do?

I remembered my stash of Earthenwood Studios Steam Stones, so I dug those out and my muse demanded that I use the ship's wheel and the "freedom" charm. Unfortunately, the ship's wheel had a very odd hanging loop configuration. I wasn't convinced that I could cut the superfluous loops off without either leaving poky bits or damaging the tile. But wait! I could use chain to attach the freedom charm to the bottom, and chain to attach the extra loops to the extra hole in the clasp. I could make it work!

At this point, I had the idea that maybe I should get a second opinion, but Chris was working and couldn't be interrupted. Well, forget the approval of others. Like a mad scientist, I was caught in the grip of an idea that wouldn't let me go, and I had to create! I returned to my little beading spot and began linking chains and rings and components until it all came together in the piece you see above.

And all of those eclectic beads and found objects? They're still sitting on my table, waiting for me to put them away before the cat decides that they'd look better on the floor.


  1. Thank you, Christina!

  2. It's beautiful and I love your design story. I think I'm a Steampunk girl (old lady?) at heart. I love that look.

  3. I really like this one AJ. It's simple and not overdone. Very effective.

  4. You know me, I like the restraint! It turned out very well!

  5. Wow, thank you everyone for all of the positive feedback!

    Dawn, you should give the steampunk look a try! Have you been to Melanie (Earthenwood)'s Etsy shop yet? She has some great steampunk pendants.