Creative Journey Challenge: Artisan Component to Art Jewelry

Creative Journey Challenge: Artisan Component to Art Jewelry


The theme for Creative Bead Chat this year is

“creative journey”

We each have a story about our journey as artists and designers. Our artisan components and art jewelry designs have stories of their own. Where did they begin? How did they get from an idea to a finished piece? What made us choose a particular component? Why did we use it in a design the way we did? Do you have a favorite artisan component designer? Show us something you’ve made with their components and tell us what inspired you and your final design.

This challenge is simple.

Submit a digital image of a finished jewelry design you made using artisan components. Your entries & website links will be included in a special “Creative Journey” gallery that will also feature your chosen Component Designer.  The top 3 “most chosen” component designers used in this challenge will receive a free “Directory Page” here on the website as well as a featured “Meet the Maker” interview!

This is great visibility for you both and will be seen by thousands!

Vote To Win!

Creative Journey Component Challenge Gallery

**Vote for your favorite artisan designs in the Creative Journey Challenge and be entered to win a gift of artisan jewelry tools (a $50 value).  To vote and enter, go to the Gallery of entries (you are here) and leave a comment on each post with your favorite designs. You may only comment once per post, but as many posts as you like (each comment will be an entry)
A winner will be chosen via from all comments submitted by Monday, August 24th. (7AM EST)

NOTE: Those of you with designs in the gallery have an extra chance to win a tool gift set as well. The design with the most comments (one per commenter) by 7am -Monday, August 24th (EST) will win a gift pack of jewelry making tools.
So, be sure to share the link to your entry(s) on your social media and encourage your friends to comment.**

Click here to Vote and see all the entries !

Dates & Deadlines:

Submissions are due by : Friday, AUGUST 14th, 2015 12:00AM

Winners will be revealed: Monday, AUGUST 17th, 2015 AM 

  • Submissions are due by : Friday, AUGUST 14th, 2015 12:00AM
  • Winners will be revealed: Monday, AUGUST 17th, 2015 AM 
  • Winners will be chosen on best design style using their artisan component.
  • Winners: 3 chosen winners by the CBC Admin and 3 Random winners by in each category.
    • Chosen WINNERS will receive a free CBC Directory Page, Meet the Maker Interview & Gift Pack of Artisan Components! 
    • Random WINNERS will receive a free CBC Directory Page
    • Top 3 Component Designers (based on # of entries using them) will receive a free CBC Directory Page and Meet the Maker interview.
  • SPONSOR Opportunity: If you are interested in donating 3 components, in exchange for post ads seen by 1000’s ..please email Melinda @  Subject: Creative Journey Ad
  • All medias welcome!
  • Any Questions? Please scroll to the bottom and leave a message – we’ll get back to you!

Thanks to our Sponsors for donating prizes for our event! 
Please click the link on their image to learn more!


Artisan Focal

You must use an Artisan Component as a focal

Artisan Beads

Use artisan Bead anywhere in your design – excludes focal and clasp.

Artisan Clasp

Must use Artisan Clasp in your design


~Only finished jewelry designs handmade by you, may be entered. You may use any supply item & media style.

~Complete a separate form for each Category you want to enter.

~Must include an artisan component handmade by ANOTHER Artisan (not yourself).  May use artisan-altered or upcycled items.

~You may submit ONCE in each category. Each entry must be a different design.

One photo per category. Photos on white or light backgrounds with minimal props are preferable. Be sure they are well-lit and in-focus, as well as large enough to show details, especially the artisan component. Good pictures will ensure your design gets the recognition it deserves!

blue feather sunCreative Journey Submission Form:

CLOSED for entries – Deadline was August 14th…Comment to win – go to the Creative Journey Gallery!


Here are more details just in case you have questions:


  • How many designs can I enter?   You can enter one design per category.
  • Can I enter the same design in more than one category? Each entry must be a separate design.  Your design may include multiple artisan components, by more than one artist. However, you should choose the featured component for your entry.  You can describe the other components, and credit the artist(s), in your description.
  • Why should I add my name to the descriptive title of my design? It will show up in the submission gallery in large font above your the photo of your design and help get you recognition. 🙂
  • Can I add hyperlinks to my social media, the component artists, etc. in my design description?  If you feel comfortable with the Text Editor – you can add hyperlinks in your description.
  • What information should I include in the description of my design? Tell us about the featured artisan component and how it inspired the final design. You can also tell us about the other elements in your design, why you chose them to accent or complement the featured component, or anything else you want to share about your design process or inspiration.


  • We would love for you to share our event!  Please feel free to use any of the media on this page for your blog post, or use the Social icons on the left to share on your personal online social sites!

A big thank you to our Challenge Sponsors!
Each of our sponsors have graciously offered to donate prizes for our winners. Their donations are creating awesome prize packs for some lucky winners!


Share to win!!  A monthly giveaway and prize!

Share to win!! A monthly giveaway and prize!


Have you added the Creative Bead Chat Button to your website, blog or Pinterest? If not, time to get it added! Creative Bead Chat It's all about beading!

Each month we will be drawing a new winner from those of you that have added our Creative Bead Chat Button to your website, blog, Facebook page or Pinterest site. One lucky winner,  will win a free ad on the right sidebar for a month and a prize!  Each month we will draw a new winner from the submitted sites.  Your submission will be valid if we pull your name, head to your site and find our button with a working link to our website. Here arCBC Buttone the details: 

  • Add our CBC BUTTON (left) to your website, blog, Facebook page
  • Be sure to add our URL to the button: Test to be sure it works.
  • For Pinterest  use the long post (below right) by clicking the “Pin button”. This has all the details in the description so you won’t need to adjust the wording or add a link.
  • Comment below with your blog, facebook and/or pinterest link so we can find you when you win!
  • One entry per location, but can share as much as you like 🙂

PINTEREST SHARE HERE – click the pin button by hovering (top left) below, click on “pin it” and share to your favorite boards 

Creative Bead Chat  Bead Group - it's all about beading, component and jewelry design!  Get featured in the magazine, learn new techniques, read about amazing designers and build your business! Join us!

Pin to win!!

Need the actual code for your blog/website? Here you go!

Share this Image On Your Site

  • One winner will be drawn from the comment list below.
  • The chosen winner must have a linking URL with CBC Image.  If  not, another name/winner will be chosen.
  • Winners will receive: one 250×125 ad on the right sidebar of the website and a surprise prize to be mailed to you via USPS.
  • Winners will be drawn on last day of the month and notified via your comment below (email).
  • We will create an ad for you with your logo and image  with live URL, unless you have your own artwork.
  • If chosen, You will need to supply your preferred Logo, Image and URL and your your mailing address once notified!
  • Ad will run for 30 days from date it is posted.  If you would like to continue to run your ad, just send a message to Subject: advertising you will recieve a 15% discount for any ad or package you choose. (discount not included on artwork)

    Good luck and thanks for sharing!! 

The Clasp Conundrum

The Clasp Conundrum


By Erin Strother verdigris triangle When I began thinking about a subject for this post, my original topic was going to be a series of money saving tips. And since I’m admittedly one of the cheapest people you’ll ever have the pleasure to meet, I have volumes of knowledge in this area and could blab on and on about it endlessly until you suddenly remember your mother is calling and you have to go home immediately. Which happens to me surprisingly often. One of the things I planned to talk about was clasps—specifically, how you don’t have to spend a fortune on a big fancy one and also how you can make your own pretty easily. But then, the very same day I was planning to start writing, one of those big, corporate jewelry blogs landed in my inbox, and guess what it was about? Go ahead—GUESS.


Except that their whole blog was pretty much the exact opposite of my idea. According to this blog chick, who clearly has some sort of uncontrollable deviant clasp fetish, the clasp you choose is VERY IMPORTANT and must be SUPER COOL, because if you don’t choose exactly the right one, you will ruin the whole necklace and then everyone will know you’re just a hack and lose all respect for you and you won’t have any friends and will be forced live out your lonely, lonely existence with only 47 cats for friends. So perhaps I am totally wrong about clasps. I have friends (yes, REALLY!) who are very well respected jewelry designers who never scrimp on clasps. And yeah, their pieces are beautiful, and yeah, they spent, like, $20 on the clasp alone. And then you put on this beautiful necklace and where is that beautiful, expensive clasp? At the back of your neck under your hair where nobody will ever see it. Unless you have super short hair and a habit of turning your back to people when you talk to them. So I have never bought into the whole beautiful expensive clasp thing, EXCEPT in the following instances.

1. Bracelets You can see EVERYTHING happening on a bracelet, all the time, unlike a necklace where there’s usually an obvious front and a back. Many of my “claspalicious” friends (I just now invented that word, which I’m positive will catch on and become a huge thing) incorporate hand-made art beads or buttons into the clasp somehow, or use clasps with unique shapes that blend in seamlessly with the rest of the piece. I admit—those rock, although I am too cheap to make them myself.braided blues

2. Using the clasp as a focal. Some necklaces are purposely designed with the clasp in front. And by all means, if you have an awesome, expensive clasp, show that baby off! It should be a law, actually. Those kind of clasps should come with a dis
claimer, similar to carrying a concealed weapon: “WARNING: under penalty of death or dismemberment or undetermined but notably se
vere and/or unpleasant punishment, this clasp is to be worn in a conspicuous manner at all times!!! (Note the use of many exclamation points, proving that this is very important.) !!! Personally, I’m a fan of simple, hand-made clasps. I usually either make an easy “S” or hook clasp using 18 or 16 gauge hammered wire, or I make a toggle clasp using a washer and a hand-made toggle bar (again, using 18 or 16 gauge wire.) Typically, I use brass wire over copper, because brass is harder and stronger than copper, so it holds it shape a bit better. But I’m also a fan of LAZINESS, and I have plenty of necklaces that just have a simple, utilitarian lobster clasp. And honestly, I think there is nothing wrong with that.

What do YOU think? Do you LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, cool, expensive clasps, or do you think they are a big fat waste of money? (all viewpoints are welcome here. Except of course, those that differ from mine. Because those are obviously wrong. But feel free to express them anyway 🙂 )

Find out more about me and my work in the author bio box below!  

Visit the Clasp and Closure Challenge going on!

Closures – Not Your Typical Clasp and Design Challenge Announced!

Closures – Not Your Typical Clasp and Design Challenge Announced!


Bandana Girl Leather with Handforged Copper Clasp


Finishing off a piece of jewelry can sometimes be the most challenging part of a design.  Struggling to find just the right ending can often delay the completion of many projects.  Often times executing the idea is a challenge as well.   I’m sure that this is not as uncommon a problem as you might think.  Clasps don’t always have to be the traditional commercial clasps that are quite popular in a lot of designs.  My challenge begins when I stray away from these typical lobster or toggle clasp, but some of your most unique or spectacular pieces are when you use something non-traditional for the clasp.

 Do you struggle to get “Closure”?

Recently I have  been working on more bead weaving projects, and trying to find that extra special way to finish off my piece has become not only a challenge but a bit of fun.

Leather snap clasp goes great with my bead work bracelet

Lindy’s Designs: Leather snap clasp goes great a peyote wave bracelet design

The normal beaded endings or button and loops are always an option but I’m going for a more unique look,  something out of the norm.

Metal, leather, buttons are just a few of the endings that I have used on my bead weaving pieces lately.

Pyramid bracelet-5441

Lindy’s Designs: Pyramid Bracelet with hammered copper square washer & hook


Fellow beader, Cynthia Machata of Antiquity Travelers, has been known to use drilled rocks and drapery cord and leather for some of her pieces.

Antiquity Travelers:  Drilled stone with leather loop clasp

Antiquity Travelers: Drilled stone with leather loop clasp

Antiquity Travelers: Button clasp on cuff

Antiquity Travelers: Button clasp on cuff









Melinda Orr of Bandana Girl does fantastic endings with leather, metal and wire.

What are some of the most unique endings that you have come up with?  What materials have you used that weren’t originally made specifically for clasps?


With this in mind we are introducing our first Design Challenge! << Click this link

Clasps and closures challenge header

Clasp & Closure Design Challenge

Clasp & Closure Design Challenge


Clasp & Closure Design Challenge
Home boxHow to enter boxJudges boxView Entries box

Clasps and closures challenge header


Contest timeline shot

Entering the contest is easy!

  1. Read through the categories and get designing!
  2. Take a few different digital images of your shots and enter your best. 
  3. Tell us the inspiration for your design and explain your use of materials

You may enter three different categories:

Most Unusual  

  • items not originally meant for a clasp
  • should be a  clasp component only, no jewelry design
  • clasp must be made by you

Best Design Fit  

  • share your jewelry design with the perfect clasp
  • submission must include a clasp attached to jewelry design and both be clearly visible
  • clasp can be handmade or manufactured and doesn’t need to be made by you
  • jewelry design must be made by you

Most Creative Use

  • Using a clasp in a different creative way
  • submission must include a creative way of connecting to a jewelry design using a clasp
  • clasp can be handmade or manufactured and doesn’t need to be made by you
  • jewelry design must made by you

Staci Louise AD

Kristin Oppold AdBsue adGrubbi Natalie adCynthia Machata AdBandana Girl adLinda Y adHeidi Kingman ad

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