Buckle up, ladies and gents because today is going to be a festival of eye candy! Today is the day I get to reveal the eleven charms I made for the 2013 Art Charm Swap hosted by Jennifer Cameron of Glass Addictions, as well as the nine lovingly handmade art charms that I received as part of the swap.
Every artist in the swap made ten charms to swap and one charm to auction off to raise funds for Beads of Courage, the charity that provides morale-boosting beads to help children receiving life-saving treatments in hospitals all over the US to help them document their treatment journey and to remind them of their courage.
The first and most important thing you need to know is that one of my charms, along with one charm from every artist in the swap is up, individually, for auction starting today on Jennifer's Glass Addictions eBay page:
So please go take a look and, if you like something, please bid. If there's something you can't live without, shop now, because there's a $20 Buy It Now option! All proceeds are being donated to Beads of Courage. Jen wanted you to know that she's combining shipping. If you win a BIN, you have to pay immediately. If you are also participating in bidding, she can hold your BIN (Buy It Now) until the end and not charge additional shipping. But if you don't message her, she will ship within a day or two. Also the auction will be staggered. Each listing will be 2 minutes apart to facilitate bidding on multiple items. Also there will be batches this morning, the second batch will stagger start Saturday morning from 9am to 9:45-ish EST, and the third batch will start Sunday evening at 8pm-8:45-ish EST.
I'll start with the beads that I made for this swap.
As a lampworker - who really loves doing stringer decoration - I knew that would be the focal point of my charm design. I knew I wanted my charm to be more special than just putting my bead on a headpin with fringe. Don't get me wrong, I love - loooooooove - fringe, mostly because of the movement it adds to a design, but I use that element a lot in my work and I really wanted this charm to be unique. So, I decided instead to make my bead do the moving. As I pondered the theme - love - a little more, I decided to create a bead that expressed the idea, Love Makes The World Go Around, like a globe on its axis, but with hearts dominant to clearly communicate the theme.
To create the metal frame I ran some 14 gauge copper wire through my rolling mill and stamped "LOVE" on what would become the spine of the frame, again to reinforce the theme of LOVE making the world go around. I made some long 18 gauge headpins, flattened a bit like the base of a globe stand, to string the bead onto the frame and square wire copper jump rings to help reduce the friction of the bead against the frame to help it spin better. Then I used my bail-making pliers to create the loop on top and added the jump ring. Finally I soaked the whole thing in liver of sulfur to add some patina to the metal, then put it all in my tumbler with stainless steel shot to polish and harden the metal.
It's almost like, by spinning, the dots just flew right out of the heart. First they're in:
And then they're out!
Since I know that not everyone knows exactly what lampworking is, or the process, I made a video of me making one of the beads for the swap and auction so that you could see!
The Charms I Received
In exchange for nine of the eleven charms I made, I received nine handmade charms in return, plus one of my own. In alphabetical order:
Alenka is a polymer clay artist. I really like the gold and the rhinestone on this charm. It makes it feel regal. Tangentally, I love that her business cards say that her work is handmade in Slovenia.
Caroline is a ceramic artist. When I first saw this I was immediately struck by the clean lines and color, making the heart of gold stand out. It's an elegant charm and her talent in sculpting such a small form cleanly stands out.
Cassi, who donated a bunch of polymer clay beads she made with her daughter during last year's Art Charm blog hop made a sweet little impressed-leaf charm this year with delicate pink Swaroski crystals and a small matching blue heart.
Cheri made a layered metal charm using a darkened and polished embossed copper oval and a small brass circle with a stamped heart and happy turquoise blue patina, which really makes the heart jump out at you.
Lennis made this really creative two-sided resin pendant in an antique brass frame. The tiny red hearts add a ton of sparkle on top of the painted blue background and opalescent silver clouds, and the hot air balloon adds such a fun pop of color!
Those of us in the ISGB know that last year Mallory donated more lampwork beads to Beads of Courage than any other lampwork artist in the country, so it was a surprise to see that she's branching out into polymer clay! Her color sensibility diverges from her more subtle lampworking palette with these boldly contrasting colors.
Monique's talent shows in every tiny detail stuffed into this lovely charm, from the color palette, the finely sculpted rose and leaves, the carefully colored stamped lettering on the sides spelling out "my love is like a red red rose", to the textured and color-highlighted back. Lovely!
Terri created this nostalgic piece with heavy, textured and forged copper, and heavily blackened metal, and glazed ceramic cross, like it is an artifact that's just been plucked from the courtyard of an old Spanish church. This definitely appeals to the archaeologist in me.
Rita, a.k.a. Toltec Jewels, was the obvious over-achiever in this swap and I was lucky enough to receive her three, yes three, fun charms that she made for this swap and all three are multi-layered feasts for the eyes!
She named this first one Love is a Diamond in the Rough and it includes a Kristi Bowman Designs custom made tag, copper chainmaille diamond, and Swarovski Black Diamond crystal. I love that it has a rustic vibe that complements the diamond-in-the-rough theme for this charm.
Rita named this second charm Love You Like Sliced Bread and features an amazingly textured and realistic polymer clay bread slice and melted butter custom made by Amazing Designs by Marlene Cupo. This one almost doesn't even need the colorful Czech pressed hearts that embellish this charm.
The title of this third charm is Love is a Keepsake and combines a trip of warm antique bronze hearts, including an Olla Podria vintage brass heart locket, Olla Podria vintage brass heart cage with Swarovski heart chakra green crystal rondelles, and heart stamped brass hearts by Margot and Andrew Potter.
I wanted to thank each of these passionate artists for sharing the love of their craft with me, for each of these charms is a window into their creative soul. What I particularly admired was how I could see the touch - often literally - of the artist in every charm I received. The art that we craft - especially when it's for a children's charity - calls us to be our best, and I'm sincerely thankful to everyone for sharing their heartfelt best with me!
The full list of dedicated artists who donated charms for this swap and auction. Please take a look at their blogs and see what they made, too! And remember, you can bid on any of the charms you love!
Jen Cameron: http://glassaddictions.com/blog/
Toltec Jewels: http://www.jewelschoolfriends.com
Vanessa Gilkes: http://culturezine.com/blog/
Caroline Dewison: http://blueberribeads.co.uk
Lesley Watt: http://www.thegossipinggoddess.blogspot.com
Susan Kennedy: http://www.suebeads.blogspot.com
Nancy Dale : http://www.nedbeads.blogspot.com
Alicia Marinache: http://www.allprettythings.ca
Cassi Paslick: http://cassisbeads.blogspot.com
Alenka Obid: http://www.pepita-handmade.blogspot.com
Renetha Stanziano: http://www.lamplightcrafts.blogspot.com
Shelley Graham Turner: http://www.shelleygrahamturner.blogspot.com
Monique Urquhart: http://ahalfbakednotion.blogspot.com
Shai Williams: http://shaihasramblings.blogspot.com
Lennis Carter: http://windbent.wordpress.com
Cheri Reed: http://creativedesignsbycheri.blogspot.com
Moriah Betterly: http://mlbetterly.blogspot.com
Perri Jackson: http://shaktipajdesigns.com/blog/
Mallory Hoffman: http://rosebud101-fortheloveofbeads.blogspot.com
Ginger Bishop: http://lilmummylikes.blogspot.com
Jean Peter: http://jeanpdesigns.blogspot.com
Linda Florian: http://lilysofthevalleyjewelry.blogspot.com
Patricia Pulliam: http://rusticstudio.blogspot.com
Karin Grosset Grange: http://ginkgoetcoquelicot.blogspot.fr
ME - Julie Bowen: http://blog.autochthonous-evolved.com
Susan Delaney: http://ladyflowersbysusan.wordpress.com
Emma Todd: http://www.apolymerpenchant.blogspot.com
Carolyn Chenault : http://carolynchenault.wordpress.com
Terri Del Signore: http://artisticaos.blogspot.com
Cory Tompkins: http://www.tealwaterdesigns.blogspot.com
Cheryl (Lee) Koopman: http://stregajewellry.wordpress.com
Lori Bowring Michaud: http://artfullyornamental.blogspot.com
Andrea Glick: http://zenithjade.blogspot.com
Jacqueline Carlson: http://www.beadgypsy.blogspot.com
Michelle McCarthy: http://www.fireflydesignstudio.blogspot.com
Charlene Bausinger Jacka: http://clay-space.com/blog/
Kristi Bowman: http://dreamsomedesigns.blogspot.com
Phew! Are you tired, or excited? Excited I hope! Which of the charms here is your favorite? Are you going to go bid on a charm?! I hope you do. They make great gifts and the proceeds go to a great cause!
Thanks for stopping by!