Wednesday, 5 September 2012

WIP: copper satin and blue silk

I did make a few thing while being without a camera. Here are two pics of a couple of ideas that I tested. For bracelets, most likely. Both uses satin copper twin beads and blue silk

The piece above probably looks soutache-inspired, but my main source of inspiration is actually smocking with pearls and pearls/beads stitched into the folds of shibori silk. Things like Phiona Richards' book sculpture Pearls of Wisdom shown here and the silk bangles from Alyson G. Design.

The soutache inspiration was probably more subconscious in that case, having seen soutache jewellery and tutorials for years now, it's tricky to say they didn't play a role in the process behind this bracelet design. It's got the strict, clean shapes and curves of soutach jewellery even though I'm more drawn towards the organic shapes of scrunched and "freeform folded" beaded fabric. Hopefully you'll get to see some embroidery of that kind in a near future. I'm playing with a few ideas, developing a few things I've done before and exploring some new ones. Nothing finished enough to show on the blog at the moment, I'm afraid.

As you can see I haven't got very far. Right now I'm using a brick/peach red thread, which matches the twin beads well, but as the thread will show on the cobalt blue silk ribbon, a darker blue thread would be better. Seeing how blue isn't a favourite colour of mine, however, there's no such thread in my stash. So I've put this project on hold while planning for the closure (and a good excuse to do a tiny bit of bead shopping again).

The other sample is made with the same twin beads as above and some denim blue pearl silk. Tried a few different things before doing the "strung-and-whipped" design you can see on the left. It might be a bit too stiff for a bracelet, though, so I'm trying a few variations first before trying to do a whole jewellery pieces. Also, I'm not sure it looks that interesting, just doing this. Don't know. Nothing wrong with simple bracelets, but it's perhaps not the style I want to explore at the moment. But even if I scrap the idea, I'll keep the sample for future reference.


  1. I don't think it really looks like soutache. The softness of the silk is different from the sleek look of soutache ribbon. As for soutache, the shapes created may look organic, but there is usually no softness of the kind we see here. The beads in soutache look like restricted by the ribbons. Your beads look like they were growing. I like the luxurious combination of blue shimmering silk and coppery metal.Milka

    1. Good point. About the soutache, I mean. One thing I like with the silk cord is also that the volume means it can fill out gaps where needed and be flattened where that's needed.

      I'll see when I get around to finish it so I can show the final result. This one will just have twin beads, but I'm tempted to make another with mixed beads (shapes and/or sizes).


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