Actual reveal day is set of June 28th. But since I was done, I decided to post it and walk you through my design process for this project.
Let's start with the amazing items I received.
I started by forming the filigree piece into a slight bowl using a wooden dapping block. I wire wrapped the Bird's Nest to the filigree. And that's when I drew a blank. It has taken me nearly a month to come up with a design that I actually liked (mainly because I was being lazy).
Since I had the natural beads, I decided to throw in some leather, but I didn't know what I was going to do with it or how to incorporate it. Then I thought that the pearls would look rather cool on the leather cording. I reamed out seven of the larger pearls with my flex shaft (Dremel) so they would slide easily onto 2mm round leather lacing. I don't recommend this if you can purchase some pearls with larger holes. I have burns on my fingers from the pearls overheating during the drilling process.
I cut two long strands of the cording and did a hitch knot to attach the leather to one of the holes in the filigree. On each strand I began to tie single overhand knots and slide on the pearls. After each pearl, I tied an additional knot. I did this in no particular pattern. I tied all the leather strands together at the end and slide on one of the wire spirals. I pinched the ends of the spiral to keep it in place on the leather and glued the knot using BeadFix jewelry adhesive. I attached a gold plated cord end from my own supplies, trimmed the excess leather and added some more glue.
For the other side, I attached the copper link chain from my swap supplies with a handmade copper jump ring.. I attached flexible beading wire to another copper jump ring and then hooked that ring onto the chain. I threaded a few wooden beads, white pearls and a few of my personal stash of colored pearls that looked like patinated copper. I laced the strand of beads through the chain and crimped the end off and attached it to a jump ring at the end of the chain.
Now what? I took another piece of flexible beading wire and strung on one of the white turquoise beads, wood beads and more of the colored copper pearls. I attached that to the lovely copper toggle clasp. On the other side, I took more of the leather cording and did a four strand braid attaching it with more of the gold plated cord ends. It was a bit plain so I took some flexible beading wire and ran it through the braids adding in a two pearls and one of the wire spirals. This end was attached to the second half of the toggle.
Something still was missing. I added three dangles to the bottom of the filigree. Two of which were white turquoise and the middle one was two wood beads and two white pearls. I attached these with handmade jump rings. And yet, something was missing. I had one left over turquoise bead, and I wanted to use it some how. I was going to make a chain out of copper washers, but didn't have any jump rings that size, and I really didn't want to make any more. I looked at the jump rings I had on hand and decided to create a bit of chainmaille pieces and attach them to either side of the turquoise. The piece wasn't quite as long as I would have liked, so I made to pearl connectors. I attached this piece with jump rings on either side of the necklace. Worked like a charm. I love how it turned out.