My favorite piece of vintage jewelry is this lovely Miriam Haskell brooch. It has provided many an inspiring moment for me, ever since it came into my possession almost twenty years ago and is a beautiful example of cagework beading, using wire.
Cagework beading, or vintage assemblage with wire is a way to use beads, bibs and bobs by attaching them to plated brass filigree with 28 gauge plated wire.
Here are some I'd been working on....none are finished:
Everything starts with a piece of Russian Gold Plated brass.....a finish which we developed OUR WAY for B'sue Boutiques with the assist of an artisan plater.
There is actually a vintage Haskell finding mixed in with one of our initial batches shown above. I think with a bit of searching you will pick it out, but there is little visible difference between our finish and the old one.
Ours is a bit more ruddy, while on the old finish there is the faintest ochre-olivene. But no matter that ours is a bit different! It IS ours, anyway...unique to B'sue Boutiques
We had about 36 students in the class, which was held as part of the B'sue Boutiques Third Annual Workshop. Christi Friesen taught polymer clay for the first two days, then we switched gears entirely and did wire assemblage.
First we spoke about the genre, and a bit about my passion for it, and then the class began. I taught it by small demonstrations, a few at a time....and got everyone started.
This was the kit of goodies distributed to each class member:
All the students needed beyond what you see here was a bit of 28 gauge wire. Some brought their own, but we put a nice big spool for common use on every table.
Everyone did a beautiful job. Some didn't even get up to go to lunch at the break, but kept at it, intent on getting that tapestry beading down!
One of the photos shared with us after the event at the Workshop page we form for it, every year on Facebook.
It wasn't necessary for me to continue to teach in the afternoon. Everyone was in the zone, and quite a few even finished projects. So I just went around from table to table to encourage and help with the work at hand.
Here are some happy and content cagework beaders!
Some had done a bit of caging before, but most had not. Let me share with you some of the lovely things they worked on:
This is Elayne Siegfried's piece in progress:
Finished up....and LOVELY.
Monica Rice was a busy bee....this is only ONE of the pieces she made:
Here is a great start by Janet Wilson:
And a finished brooch by Colleen Bullecks!
And from Terrie Taylor, too....
Emma Hall also made a very nice brooch:
These are only a smattering of the beautiful pieces made by our friends in class. And I know, only a START on a new jewelry making journey for many!
Some have even made more pieces and continue to share them at the B'sue Boutiques Creative Group at Facebook
Others who were not able to attend the class have had a look and given it a try, as well. Allison Murray from Bordeaux and Pearl, took to it like a duck to water. I believe most all of the brass and some of the little bellflower beads came from our place:
A gorgeous composition, indeed!
If you would like to explore more, here is my last video on the subject:
On day I will do that video over as my hands were in the way too much, we had a bad angle! But there has been a great deal of interest in the video and you will find some solid information and ideas how you can proceed with this method.
And of course....
We have everything you need to get started at B'sue Boutiques
Give it a try!