Use Your AJE Stash Design Challenge Reveal


It's time for another component of the month design challenge on Art Jewelry Elements. However, we decided to mix it up for the  month of January and challenged everyone who has been collecting components by the AJE team to use what they have in their stash. Plus we gave components by different team members to several different winners. 


I had good intentions for this challenge. I even started early. But I still haven't quite figured out the whole college student/mom/wife/chuaffeur/secretary/accountant/daughter/beadmaker/jewelry designer balance yet. 


I have several pieces in progress, but none are completely finished, which is a total bummer. However, I will give you a sneak peek into what I've been working on and the current status.


When I first started trying to decide which component to work with, I looked through my AJE drawer. Yes. I have an entire drawer dedicated to AJE components. That's how bad it is. 



I wanted to tell a story and probably the best one out of the team for telling a story through her components is Jenny Davies-Reazor


I've always been extremely interested in Greek Mythology. I have read several books, plays, took a college class, but have never incorporated it into my own work. I came across these two components in my Jenny section and immediately thought of the story of Arachne.



There are a few different versions of the myth of Arachne, but the basic idea of the story is that a woman named Arachne was an extremely talented weaver and many people believed the goddess Athena must have taught her. Arachne boasts that she is better than Athena (whose symbol is an owl) and could teach her a thing or two. Athena hears this (because, you know, she's a goddess...) and appears as an elderly woman to warn Arachne not to boast. Arachne continues to boast (uh oh). So Athena challenges her to a weaving contest. At this point, the stories diverge. Some have Arachne winning, some have Athena winning. One has Arachne hanging herself, another has Athena giving her a potion. Whatever. The point is, no matter who wins, Arachne ends up as a spider. 


The purpose of the myth serves a couple lessons. #1-Don't compare yourself to the gods or boast you are better. They get angry and it will end badly for you (this is shown over and over throughout mythology). #2-to explain where spiders come from. 




Obviously, the piece needed some weaving to demonstrate the story. I altered a tutorial from a book by Mary Hettmansperger for making a wire woven hand component to create a woven tapestry component. You can read more about that in this post I wrote on AJE.



When laying out my components, I realized I needed some black to tie the black of the components to the other side. Then that was as far as I got. I needed to be able to lay these out on my bench to look at them and play with them. But my bench is such a disaster and I didn't have time to clean AND design. *pout* 


When I finish this, I will patina the metal. Probably with Jax Pewter Black left over from my stained glass days.



Next up... I've been on a bit of a chainmaille craze lately. And Diana is the other chainmaille person on the team. So I decided to put an amulet I bought from her forever ago to use. 


This is the copper graduated box chain I started at the beginning of January (I think the photo looked better in black and white).



I  made some beads that are a mixture of "crusty" ancient base, and sparkly irridized glass on the surface. Again, it isn't quite finished....



My plan at this point is to create a hook clasp to hook directly into the amulet handle and (of course) finish off the wire wrapped loops. I will also patina the metal with Jax Pewter Black. 



And last but not least. This is a case of my "eyes being too big for my stomach." Or maybe biting off more than I can chew is a better aphorism?


I have this amazing etch ceramic lentil by Caroline Dewison (the large one in the photo below). I wanted to make a strand of beads in various shades of blue, purple, and green with a similar etched effect achieved through tumbling, that could be worn long or doubled. This is as far as I got...not very. 




Make sure to take a peek at what everyone else created!


AJE Team:

Kristen Stevens

Susan Kennedy

Jenny Davies-Reazor

Lesley Watt

Melissa Meman

Lindsay Starr

Jennifer Cameron <----you are here

Caroline Dewison

Linda Landig


Guest Designers (January Component Winners):

Lee - Strega Jewellry

Shai - Shai’s Ramblings

Samantha - Wescott Jewelry

Kathy - Bay Moon Designs

Nikki - Silver Nik Nats

Melissa Trudinger

Becky Pancake

Yvette - Blue Kiln Beads

Karen - Ginko et Coquelicot


Bonus Participants (Used their current stash):

Sarajo Wentling

Leah Curtis

Susan Delaney

Karen Z






That wire weaving is very impressive --how long did that take? I'm sure that will be quite a statement piece when you're done.

I really love the glass beads you made to go with Diana's focal. They are just gorgeous!

Becky Pancake

Hi Jen your designs are all really unique and creative. I appreciated learning to use a ring clamp to hold my wires for weaving. Thanx. The lampwork you created to go with Caroline's pendant are lovely.


They're all looking amazing so far. I love the JDR ceramics, I think I might need some of those! I can't wait to see them all finished, especially with my focal, the beads to match are gorgeous!


It s always interesting to see work in progress and I would love to see the finished pieces. However, the colours of the little glass tabs you made are just stunning together, definitely my cup of tea.


You certainly have your plate full! It looks like you have started on some amazing statement necklaces and I can't wait to see them finished.


I really love where you are going with both your pieces. WE REALLY need to talk about the glass you made.....hint - CABS!

Linda Landig

All of these are amazing starts and I look forward to seeing them finished. I am especially intrigued by the first one.

Ann Schroeder

I love everything you've started. The weavings for the Arachne piece are out of this world gorgeous. I can't wait to see how that plays out.

Terri Del Signore

Nice work! That first piece is an amazing design!!


Oh heavens I love, love it. I like the owl best - based on the shape of the woven piece. I have the weaving bug of late too, I think I need colorful 24 gauge wire... But I digress.

I gasped out loud when I saw those beads in those colors that you made for Caroline's! Oh heavens. The need was palpable.

I think the chain maille piece is fierce! NA dI can wait to see it done!

Sarajo Wentling

Sounds like you've got a LOT on your plate. Thanks for sharing your process and where you are with your various projects even if you didn't get done. I'm totally loving your piece with Diana's pendant. That is going to be amazing when it's all pulled together. I never would have thought of putting that brighter blue with it. Great idea!

lesley watt

Love where the spider piece is going and you maille work is brilliant...can't wait to see these finished.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To help us prevent spam, please prove you're human by typing the words you see here.