February Component of the Month Trial, Error and Success

*if you manage to make it all the way to the end of this post, you will see how you can enter to win a guest designer spot for the March component of the month.

Francesca Watson was the hostess for the Art Jewelry Elements component of the month for February. Even though Francesca fabricates her own jewelry designs...creating most, if not all, of the elements in her designs, she is not a "component maker". Meaning she doesn't fabricate components to sell.

In spite of this, she jumped in with both feet to make these lovely enameled and domed discs for us to play with. I got one similar to the turquoise colored one at the top of the photo.

Originally I was thinking of going simple. But then I had a brainstorm to use one of my Nightmare Insomnia series beads in the design. Inside a circle to repeat the shape. It turned out...HUGE...measuring in at over 3" long, 2" wide, 3/4" deep (not including that tube bead shown at the top of the pendant).

Component of the month trial and error Jen Cameron Glass Addictions

And I wasn't really a fan of how awkward the disc laid because the armature I made for the Nightmare Insomnia bead was really fat too.

Component of the month trial and error Jen Cameron Glass Addictions

Component of the month trial and error Jen Cameron Glass Addictions

So I thought maybe making a short chain with jumprings for the disc to dangle from would help.

Component of the month trial and error Jen Cameron Glass Addictions

But when held up against my chest, it was still pretty awkward and the thing was getting monstrous in size. So I removed the enameled disc from the rest of the contraption (that will be its own piece eventually) and tried again. I freehand cut out a circle-ish shape of silver sheet, textured it, and domed it with texture side in the concave portion. I was going to place the enameled disc inside the concave part. But I didn't really like that either (no pics of that). So I will save the piece of silver for something else. It just so happened I had a bronze "donut" that Lesley Watt made sitting on my bench. The entire time I considered the enameled disc, it was always using silver, never copper or bronze. But I really loved the bronze of Lesley's piece. I think maybe it's part of a toggle? Not sure... So this is what I finally came up with.

February component of the month #artjewelryelements #ajecom #lampwork #glassaddictions

I really love how this turned out. The only thing I am not totally in love with is the chain, so I'm considering switching it out for leather instead.

February component of the month #artjewelryelements #glassaddictions #com

The lampwork bead I used is (of course) one of my own. It was an experiment that I wasn't overly thrilled with, but it looks perfect with this necklace (the color is much prettier in person than in the photos).

February component of the month #artjewelryelements #lampwork #ajecom

Go see what everyone else made with their components: Participating AJE Contributors: Kristi Bowman-Gruel Jen Cameron <----you are here! Jenny Davies-Reazor Susan Kennedy Linda Landig Melissa Meman Kristen Stevens Francesca Watson   Guest Designers: Dawn Horner Kym Hunter Kay Thomerson Shelley Graham Turner Sandi Volpe There's still time to enter to throw your name into the hat to win a guest designer spot for March using these gorgeous lentil shaped beads by Joanne Tinley. Winners will be announced Friday evening March 1. art jewelry elements component of the month March joanne tinley  



The first one was very cool but I think you did the right thing by going with a simpler design. I love the end result!


I love your Nightmare beads - but agree - it was too 3d in the frame... The piece you designed is fabulous - the texture to frame it, the lamp work to accentuate. And then the enamel and lamp work each get the attention! Love it. And thank you for sharing the path you took. I like seeing how things work, change, and come to be. Its not always as easy as you would think!


I agree the first one was very cool but if it was not sitting right you had to change it. What you did change it too is amazing!!! I also totally love that lampwork bead of yours.

Sandi Volpe

Love the layered look, the texture is perfect!! I always glad to see the trial and error process too, thanks for sharing.


I love the bronze donut behind the disc. Really sets the disc off and makes it the focal of the piece. Very pretty.


That layering is terrific, but I am especially blown away by your lampwork bead! How beautiful! I love this piece! xoxo

Lesley Watt

I think the first pieces is one of those that will develop over time and turn into a stunning finished design when it's ready to.

I love the combination with the lampwork and the bronze pendant (there should be a matching charm from the cut out...)and I like the chain and the mix of metals but it will work with leather too. Nice work Jen.

Melissa M

Love all the versions, but am really drawn to the final one! I love that lampwork bead!

Susan Kennedy

I loved seeing your progression, usually I rip things apart before I think about that! I do like the finished piece. I did use silver but copper and bronze are looking great too!

Linda Landig

I loved being able to see your trial and error process. I think that by removing the enamel piece from your first pendant, it will draw more attention to your gorgeous lampwork bead. That's such an amazing pendant and the enamel piece just looked like a add-on. In the final design the enamel piece is the center of attention and is perfectly accented with Lesley's donut and your lampie. Great job, I love it!


I love your piece, and I agree, the lampwork beads and Francesca's disc look like they've been married for years! The colors are fabulous! I also appreciate the honesty in your writing about the hills and valleys in analyzing if a design is going to work or not. The "insomnia" piece definitely has a purpose to be discovered, for sure!

Kym Hunter

Ooooh, both designs are very nice, but I think you made the right choice with the last one. Your lampwork bead and Francesca's pendant were made for each other!

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