Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Crystal Jewelry Inspirations, My Journey as a Contributing Ambassador

 
It is my honor and pleasure to blog about being in the Crystal Jewelry Inspirations book of designs from the CREATE YOUR STYLE with SWAROVSKI ambassadors. Our common passion for Swarovski materials makes for a special bond not only between ambassadors but between us and everyone who loves Swarovski crystals! Kalmbach editor Karin Von Voohees empowered ambassadors around the world to share our styles and techniques as a group like never before!

How I chose my design
Let me tell you my journey for Crystal Jewelry Inspirations. I considered several existing pieces before ultimately creating something totally new just for this book.  First I presented to the editor my Fossil Pendant, one of my personal favorites to wear. Didn’t make the cut for the book because it doesn’t have enough crystals. I like featuring crystals in ways that set them apart from other materials in a piece but for this book, the design needed to be ALL about the bling.

Then I thought about this colorful necklace which always gets lots of comments when I wear it. But though it uses a great variety of stitches and is all crystals, it isn't totally my distinct signature style as an artist. It's very fun to make and to wear, though, so I will write this one up for sure. Some day!

Finding my design voice
I wanted to contribute something to this collection of special designs that people would connect to me and my style. I love rubber O-rings and also wanted to make a piece that was more than two dimensions. Loom weaving is, I think, an unexpected technique for crystals and something I teach and demonstrate often.  A loomed cuff worked up into a foundation cuff pretty fast so I could get right to adding embellishment and detail in all the circular brick stitched O-ring "orbits." Color was based on my desire to be graphic but feminine, stylish but edgy. Round crystals in jet (black) and crystal (white) checkerboard with fuchsia perfectly captured elements of fashion and futuristic, in my humble opinion.

The closure challenge
Everyone should give their work the happy ending it deserves. I chose to design an original clasp that was totally integrated rather than bring in a manufactured closure. I started playing with a toggle and buttonhole. First I just wired up a rubber tube, but needed to consider how to keep it in place.

The best answer was to use memory wire, which spirals into the third dimension with kinetic energy!

Everything about Crystal Jewelry Inspirations is meant to empower, instruct, and inspire. The diversity of projects and gallery pieces is simply stellar! See for yourself.

You're also invited to see more of my designs at www.leslierogalski.com, and shop for projects, kits, patterns, and more at www.sleeplessbeader.com.

 Happy beading!




9 comments:

  1. I love all three of these pieces (and I'm not a big bling person) but I would love patterns for the crystal pieces. Hope to see them soon.

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    1. Thanks Sally! The Pink Orbits cuff is in the Crystal Jewelry Inspirations book. I'm working on the other two and will post when that happens. Glad to make a crystal convert of you!

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  2. Leslie, your bracelet was one of my favorites in the book. I'm not a loom weaver, but I might have to start. :)

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    1. Thanks! Then my work is complete, to entice you to a new technique!

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  3. Leslie, the industrial quality of your work always catches my eye....I love all of the pieces pictured!

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  4. Wow, this is a fantastic design and love the closure. Hope to win this book, thanks for the opportunity.

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    1. Good luck, the book is a winner for sure!

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  5. I love seeing the steps you followed to solve the problem of fitting into the book while still being you.

    — Suzii

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