Today I’m tackling another design challenge that I have visited in past years. I thought it would be interesting to see how the finished bracelet would look and feel with the recent updates to my collection.
Over the past couple of years I have made a conscious effort to add certain shapes and sizes of silvers to my personal collection. I’m very particular about each silver – it has to have a meaning that makes me happy, but it also has to function well for the way I like to build my bracelets. I tend to make balanced compositions, so that means that pairs of silvers are useful. However, with very few exceptions I tend not to actually buy duplicate designs, but rather prefer to find patterns that are complementary to each other in both theme and dimension.
Luckily for me, Trollbeads tends to have a few relatively standard size grades within which they produce a number of designs. For example, “Jugend””Carved Flowers””” and even the “Rolling Troll” all have a similar form and size, so they work well to balance each other in a bracelet. I often use “Ball of””Sweater” together for the same reason. One bead that I simply had to twin in my collection was the “Bee on Hive”… it’s one of my favorite silvers, as it features the Bee image that I take as my personal emblem. It’s soooo useful to have that one pair for bangles, necklaces and so on.
I like to group silvers not only by appearance, but also to some extent by narrative theme. For example, I usually place my “Ball of Yarn” and “Sweater” together on a bracelet along with my “Spider”. I like to think that the spider is a crafty little knitter of webs. Similarly, I place my “Frogs”, “Neither Fish Nor Bird” and two “Happy Fish” on a design together for a wetland sort of a theme.
Perhaps the most relevant habit that I usually employ, however, is that I always…*nearly always* mix the glass or stones in with silver. Occasionally I might make a bangle with only one metal bead. From time to time I might make up an all-amber or all-glass bracelet. But all-silver? Nope. Only for the challenge! It’s a tough one for me, as it’s missing the colour elements that are my comfort zone. It’s also very tricky to build all-silver while creating a sense of order to the design. This year, with the addition of more size pairs, I think I’ve managed to design a bracelet that I would make and wear again.
It has a very comfortable amount of movement on the bracelet, which results in a very fluid feel in the hand. It’s satisfyingly heavy and I am enjoying wearing it today!