Monday, May 30, 2011

June EBW Challenge piece: Building Together

When I read that the June EBW Challenge was going to be Heal the World and should center around a world problem of some sort, the first thing I thought of was house building.  I'm sure that seems a little random.  I didn't have any immediate inspiration for any in the small handful of causes that I am truly passionate about that would carry over into an art piece.  But I had the opportunity to participate in three mission trips during high school to rural Kentucky to build houses.  Those experiences have  stuck with me.  It made me truly appreciate the construction process as well as what one person's effort in a project like that can make.  The organization we worked with is no longer around, but it was something like Habitat for Humanity, only much more localized.  My dad now works for Habitat and I had an idea for a piece so I went with it.

Like a few of my other challenge pieces, the final result is not what I originally intended.  I got the idea early on for the three separate beadwoven components with the same single color running through each one.  My thought process behind this was that each person who plays a part in the building process has a different role, but they are all there for the same purpose.  I was going to have the three strands lined up next to each other, but that didn't work well.  I thought about twisting them, but the closure method I had in mind didn't allow for that very well either.  On a whim, I braided them and it worked wonderfully, both mechanically and with the idea behind this piece.

The house charms are something that I had left over from Angels in the Architecture.  It seemed only fitting to include a couple of them.  There isn't any significance to the color theme, at least none that ties directly to this particular piece.  I'm always struggling to stock a sufficient supply of size 6 Czech beads.  They aren't easy to come by, and I use a fair number of them in my work.  It shouldn't be surprising that when I do stock up, I end up with a lot of green, blue, and purple.  I played around with a bunch of different color combinations for each strand until I found exactly what I wanted.

Unlike many of beadwoven pieces which are not adjustable, the closure on this piece allows for this bracelet to be adjusted up or down for just about any wrist size.  I added enough links so that I could fasten it on myself easily , but it can go down for a tighter fit on a small wrist or up as high as you like.

I'm not planning to make more of these braids in the near future, mostly because of the final cost of the piece.  I have plenty of higher end inventory in my shop and am mostly adding $20-$30 pieces, which are what sell the best.  It really doesn't have anything to do with not enjoying the process of this piece because I did.  I'm sure that most of you already know how much I love right angle weave.  Putting together each section was fun, and it was neat to see how it all came together.

I think that you have to see how it looks on to really appreciate the full effect of the braid.  This bracelet is available here.  I'm donating 15% of the proceeds from it to Habitat.  As always, if you'd like a different length braid or different color combination, let me know.  Voting will be on the EBW blog June 9-15.  I'll post more details about that when it gets closer.


  1. What a fun piece! I love the story behind it :)
    And I love how the braiding gives it such neat detail.

  2. Wow, it turned out really neat Rose. I love the braiding. What a great story behind it too. It's nice to participate in things like that because it helps you to think outside of what you normal do:)

  3. This piece is beautiful. I like the fact that the final solution to bringing the pieces together was to braid them. I think that means it is all woven together. You are a heartfelt artist. I love your work and have admired it for a long time. I am so glad that we finally get to know each other. Have a wonderful and blessed rest of the weekend. Catherine

  4. How lovely! Love the color combo, and the story behind it. I also love how substantial this piece looks on your wrist. And what an unusual idea the braid is! Truly inventive and fascinating!

  5. The house charm is very nice and sure does complete your piece. What is the EBW challenge your speaking about, I mean what does EBW stand for?

    Love the colors of your beads.


  6. Beautiful entry!!!

  7. Thanks so much everyone! Your feedback means a lot to me.

    Sandy, EBW stands for Etsy Beadweavers. It's a team on Etsy. We hold a challenge with a different theme every month.


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