June 25, 2017

Squash Blossom Necklace and Earrings: June Pretty Palette Challenge

 
THIS WAS ONE OF MY FAVORITE JEWELRY PROJECTS EVER. Seriously, I SO LOVED this entire process. I've wanted to make a squash blossom necklace for a longgggg time, but was unsure if I could convert what is normally a metalsmith project into a wire jewelry design and actually do it justice. When this month's Halcraft Pretty Palette Challenge theme was announced, I knew it was the perfect excuse to finally get my bum in gear and just try it.



For June's challenge the inspiration was a photo featuring the colors red, white, and turquoise and with distinctive tribal patterns against a background of earthy browns and taupish-gray. I knew a squash blossom necklace would be the perfect fit for the colors and tribal design!

This month's Pretty Palette inspiration photo. Check out the challenge here.
The color palette for this month's challenge.

To correspond with the given color palette I chose faceted white quartzite beads and a couple of varieties of red bamboo coral Halcraft beads from Michaels, turquoise howlite beads from Hobby Lobby, and for the taupe/gray and brown colors I chose silver-tone German style wire and small copper accent beads (I was probably pushing the color palette matching a little there, but I figure the earth-tone colors/metal elements all convey the same idea).

As squash blossom necklaces generally all have a similar layout, I knew ahead of time exactly how many components I wanted to make and how I wanted everything to fit together. (If you're unfamiliar with the squash blossom necklace, click here to see some images.) I made these components a little differently than I usually do, using my wire jig for only the main body shape and then my looping pliers (with multiple graduated sizes) to create all of the loops along the sides of the components.

 


I also embellished these frames a little differently than I have before. I wanted the turquoise beads to sit upside down (with their drilled top points facing downward), and I ended up going with a fishtail-style wrap to keep them secure and standing up straight. I think I'm happy with how they turned out, although it wasn't the aesthetic I'd originally had in mind. I'm a neat-and-tidy sort and sometimes struggle to appreciate wraps that look messy or random.

 

I used the faceted white quartzite beads to connect each of the wire components and the crescent pendant, and used some red bamboo coral beads around the neck to add a bit more visual interest (and because I really wanted more red in the necklace to pop against the turquoise). I kept the connector elements between the quarzite and coral beads small and simple, as I wanted the main focus to be on the fringed components and crescent pendant.





Similarly with the toggle clasp I kept the embellishment simple with only a few copper beads. All of the wire components, findings, fringe, and chain links are entirely handmade with German style wire, which makes this necklace (and the earrings) incredibly lightweight.



For the earrings I mimicked the design of the components along the sides of the necklace to create a matched set.


Here are few more photos just because I can't pick a favorite angle!












 And so you can get a better idea of their actual size:



Overall, I am so pleased with how this set turned out. It was one of those rare events where I think the final product turned out better than what I had originally envisioned.

 
What do you think, are you a fan of the squash blossom necklaces that are so popular right now? Do you like tribal-style jewelry trend and would you wear a piece of this size? I'd love know!



Possibly linking up with:

Fabulous Party at Lou Lou Girls
Show and Tell Link Party at Flamingo Toes
Your Whims Wednesday at My Girlish Whims
Link Party Palooza at Tatertots and Jello

14 comments:

  1. Wow! This is a stunning jewelry set. I love all the detailed wirework, especially the focal.

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  2. So lovely and INSPIRED!! You always come with such intricate designs! Gorgeous as always!

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    1. Thank you so very much! It was such fun to make!

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  3. Wow - your pieces are so incredible - so intricate. Amazing!

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words!

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  4. Oh my goodness! I think this is my favorite of your Pretty Palettes so far! I love your wire interpretation of the squash blossom pendant. It's such a statement without looking or (I assume) feeling heavy. Thank you for sharing some of your in process pictures along the way! I've got an idea for next month's challenge that I think will work really well with your design process! Beautiful work!

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    1. Wow, you are too kind! Thank you! The wire really does make this necklace super lightweight--not heavy at all. I already can't wait to see what next month's challenge theme will be!

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  5. What a lovely delicate take on a squash blossom necklace. And, amazing wirework as usual!

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    1. Many thanks for the kind compliment, Terry!

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  6. It looks super grand and the wrapping looks really neat to me. Hats off to you for pulling it off

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    1. Thank you Divya! It was such a fun challenge and I'm glad it turned out as it did.

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  7. Wow, wow, and wow. Awesome at its finest

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    1. Thank you for the very kind words, Gloria! You made my day!

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