Glassact's 2009 Round-robin bracelet series
sylvus style in purple and green

At some point I'll have to put up the rest of the round robin exchange bracelets our guild did starting in 2009—I evidently only posted about half the ones I photographed. But I wanted to put up this post as a lead-in to one of my more recently completed pieces, so here we are.

The first image is a closeup from some pants I dyed in 2008 though I didn't get around to photographing them until 2009.

DigitalCamera/2009/20090419: discharged (with stamping), stamped, freehand-dyed textile in grays, green and violet. The flower pattern is a commercial stamp—one of my faves, actually—but the irregular all-over triangular one is hand made by yours truly.

This was my first experience with black dye, which came out a dark charcoal grey. —When the round robin project was proposed, we all chose the colours we'd like. My faves are purple and green, but I was aware that some folks in the guild mightn't like working with that, so I thought using these pants as inspiration—I printed out the above & attached it to the little notebook that went around with the bracelet—would give the subdued-colours crowd something to work with.

The initial dangle for my bracelet.

Each artist also started by adding a charm in their colours. Honestly, this is what I wanted people to work from, rather than the printout (which was rather de-saturated). I've been making jewelry incorporating spacerbars, on and off, for years, so that was the basis of my initial dangle, since I could now make small enough mini-hollows to work with commercial spacerbar findings.[1]

This attempts to show how the dangle looked hanging...not entirely successfully: I hadn't really learned how to shoot with flash, which made this sort of suspended image kind of tricky.

The thing about projects like this is that you have to be kind of open-minded, because some members had studios of their own, and thus could easily make up exact beads to the specs. (Of course, then the ills of perfectionism set in, the opposite problem of procrastinating because none of the many beads made are ‘quite good enough’. I was hardly the only person hit with this syndrome, which is part of the reason the exchange, which supposed to take a few months, dragged on for two or three years.) But others had to dig through their bead boxes, and match as best they could. Furthermore, as the bracelet progressed, and more beadmakers added their interpretation, colouristic drift could shift the scheme.

Round robin bracelet: greys, purples & greens: sodalime glass, sterling silver.

Thus, I ended up with a lot of blue and white, and a fair amount of pink—none of which I'd ever envisioned for the piece. The idea was, if you really hated a particular dangle, you could "just cut it off". But that seemed unfair to the beadmaker who'd tried their best. On the other hand, while I loved some of the interpretations, others left me cold, and the bracelet as a whole, while handsome enough, was so far from what I envisioned that I've never worn it. Now that I'm attending guild meetings more often, I'll have to dig it out—it's the perfect memento for such get-togethers:)

another view, with some of my faves front and center—Eileen Miotke's dichro pressed lentil; that gorgeous mini-floral[2] , so crisp and clean in its execution, not to mention Ona Sostakas’ tiny ‘wizard ring’ —she knew how absolutely much I loved this style of hers. The striped bead between the floral and the wizard ring is a good example of something not in the original colour scheme but that co-ordinates with the others I've picked out.

Some folks’ bracelets were completely lost while making the rounds, thus I consider myself lucky to have one at all.

[1]All the metal is sterling: a requirement for this particular exchange.

[2]Not having the little notebook—with provenance for beads—is the reason I think this page never got posted. But now I want to refer back to it, so my imperfect documentation will have to do till I lay hands on it.