Rebirth of the Sun - The AJE Winter Design Challenge Reveal

For the final Art Jewelry Elements design challenge of 2015, Lesley Watt selected the theme of rebirth of the sun because the winter solstice happens in December. It just so happens that Marianne Kasparian included a HUGE ceramic spiral cabochon (about 2" x 1.75") with an order back in the autumn that I had NO idea what I would do with, but immediately glued it to stiff stuff to challenge myself to figure it out. 

Then it just sat there, in my bead embroidery drawer. In the middle of December, while hunting for inspiration of the design challenge, I came across this glued on cab, and knew that was it. 

I decided, due to its large size, to make it a brooch instead of a pendant. Because I tend to want to make EVERYTHING a pendant. I prefer wearing necklaces above all other tupes of jewelry. This is the teaser photo I posted on Instagram a few days before the reveal. 

December was crazy. Between running a race out of town, finals, kids, holidays, husband, making some of the gifts I gave, etc, finding enough time to work on this challenge was....a challenge. And I ALMOST got it done. Minus one tiny section of edge. 

ceramic spiral cabochon by MAKU with bead embroidery

ceramic spiral cabochon by MAKU with bead embroidery


You can see the tiny section missing on the top leaf and one space between leaves. But sometimes you just have to sleep. 


ceramic spiral cabochon by MAKU with bead embroidery

Originally I wanted to try a picot edge. I still might just to see what it looks like because it should be relatively easy to undo if I hate it. 

I'm not going to lie. I don't LOVE this piece. But my 14 year-old daughter does, which SHOCKS the hell out of me....

This is a design challenge with several participants. Please take a look at what others created with this theme:

Guest Designers

AJE Team
Jennifer Cameron <------- You are here


Susan Kennedy

I do love it too! That focal is amazing, and what you did is amazing as well. Can't wait to see how you finish it - necklace? Pin?

Jennifer Cameron

HA! I forgot to mention it's a brooch. I'll go back and edit it now.


Gorgeous! I'm a sucker for iris beads and I love all of the different colours you've used in your design, it's glowing!


I think Chloe has very good taste...I love how you picked out the different raku tones with the iridescent beads. Nice job!


I love the way you used the leaf beads to create a sun motif :-)


Absolutely gorgeous combination of elements. I love the way the metallic beads bring out the colors in the glaze on the spiral.

Kathy Lindemer

What a gorgeous piece! I so love the design and beading.

Melissa Trudinger

Really lovely how you've created a miniature sun out of the spiral component! Won't that be a striking pin to wear on a jacket!


I love the look of the pendant and your seed beading is amazing.


I'm always a sucker for raku and I love the cab. I also love the colors you chose to use with it - beautiful!


Jen, I think your daughter has great taste! I love the colours that you see in Raku and you have done such a wonderful job at bringing those colours out, using the leaves to make it look like a sun was a great idea and it really works! Your bead work is so well thought out and beautifully executed!


your bead selections are superb! The metallic iridescent copper on the edge? Heck yeah! Has the daughter absconded with it? Did you pin it on a coat?

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