I was introduced to the concept of Bead Soup by Lori Anderson and participated in 2-3 of them. After several years, she has re-launched the bead soup swap through her Bead soup Cafe page on Facebook. Bead soup is a swap event where you send your partner beady goodies (and in return get some fabulous beads). You create jewellery using the beads and components given by adding from your own collection. At the time of the reveal, you put it up on your blog/social media for the world to see. I signed up for Bead soup swap and create this year and Birgit Franck from Berlin, Germany is my partner.
About Birgit Franck
Birgit or Gite to her friends works at a pharmacy by day and is a seedbeader at other times. She is a frontline warrior who takes joy in her children and little pleasures in life. Gite loves blue-green colours but has seed beads in all colours and sizes. She told me that she is leaning more towards the steampunk aesthetic these days.
Her husband knows black smithing, carpentry and goldsmithing as well. He even made their engagement and wedding rings. How cool is that? You can see some of her work here.
Bead soup swap and create – what I sent her
I was very worried about international parcel laws newly in place in India (in January 2021) and the escalating timelines that I sent only a small parcel of beads. I did not want it to get lost or get stuck in customs but reach her on time. Gite put my fears to rest after receiving the package saying that “it made her dance around the table.”
Bead soup swap and create – what she sent me
Gite has been super generous in sending me several seed bead components made by her. I cannot even imagine the time and patience required to create such exquisite things. Knowing that I make picture jewellery, she tried out a version of that technique and sent me a pendant. It’s one of a kind post card pendant with a seed bead bezel. I am a (lot) embarrassed that I did not send her anything that I make.
Bead Soup Reveal
As the soup was beadifully gorgeous, I made lots of jewellery. The seed bead components made by Gite were so perfect that I decided keep my intervention to the minimum. I typically connected the components together and strung them up with beads from my stash. Two necklaces, a bracelet and a pair of earrings to be specific using both halves of the soup. Here they are.
As I am a picture jewellery maker, I began with the beaded cab pendant and made my horizon necklace. Apart from the green beads and blue crystals that she sent me, I used a lot of blue Indian glass beads. I also used Gite’s beaded tubes. This necklace is for sale.
Fuchsia Flowers in the bush
I typically make to sell, but after seeing Gite’s beaded components, I wanted to keep the resultant products for myself. The magenta with teal is a favourite colour combination of mine and she had specially made the one with the Chaton for me after I told her that I love to look at such components. Isn’t Gite a delight? Since I wanted the beaded components to shine, I attached them using jump rings and added a chain to complete the necklace.
The beaded beads and ring components were begging to be made into earrings. Thus the set was born with matching earrings. Wait, there’s more. There was also a beaded clasp which deserved be its own king, a focal in a separate piece. Therefore, I made a bracelet using some beads I was given in exchange for giving a lecture on beads at college. Tada, tada, a Demi Parure was born!
Those are the four pieces that I made and I hope that you enjoyed seeing them as much as I enjoyed making them. Thanks to Lori once again for hosting this event. Please head to her blog the Sum of small things to see the list of participants. Hop around and enjoy the beautiful jewellery that has been created by all of us.
I hope you found it interesting